In a time when most business meetings involve remote participants, companies look to invest in various services that help improve communication by making the system supporting it more flexible.
That’s where virtual phone services come in. Unlike traditional phone lines, which are dependent on location and need special hardware and installation, virtual phones operate over the internet. This way, a business using it gains functionality and flexibility, which brings a series of benefits that help the organization or company stay competitive.
Since it’s become such an essential part of the way we do business, today we’ll take a deep dive into the pros and cons of virtual phone services. So, if you want to know more, make sure to keep reading.
What is a virtual phone system?
In a nutshell, this is a system of communication that uses the internet and the cloud, not traditional phone lines and signals. This means there’s no need for an additional device to make a call (audio or video)—your laptop, PC, or smartphone is enough.
The calls are handled using what’s called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which means the connection happens over the internet. To do that, the information sent via the call (usually sound) is converted from analog to digital, which also improves the quality of the call.
Furthermore, VoIP systems are more reliable than landlines during severe weather or other natural phenomena because the provider sets up redundant networks of data centers. This way, if one server or data center infrastructure falls, there will be others to take over its tasks.
So, if you’re looking for productivity hacks to help employees improve performance, this type of service is a great one.
The pros of a VoIP system
If you’re looking for the best virtual business phone service for your company, it’s important to know the benefits it will bring. Below, we listed some of the most common ones that are valid for all businesses and organizations.
If you have ever had to install traditional landline phone service, you know it requires a team of installers, wires, holes in the walls, and lots of business operations disturbances. Plus, you can’t start using it until the last phone is installed and ready to go.
Well, with VoIP systems, you don’t have to do all that. The provider does all the setting up in a virtual environment, and once you get access, you’re free to use the service right away. You don’t even need a VoIP phone since you can make calls with any device that has a reliable and secure internet connection. And when the phones arrive, all you have to do is plug them in.
Furthermore, if you feel you need to learn more, there are lots of resources online where you can understand how to make full use of all the functionalities that come with such a service.
Accessibility & flexibility
Virtual phone services use the cloud and operate over the internet, so you can get calls and make calls wherever you are. Also, it’s easy to redirect calls when you’re not available or have your voice messages delivered via email.
With more employees embracing flexible work and companies looking to hire from the global talent pool, this type of service makes sure your people can stay connected regardless of location.
Furthermore, the device is not important either. You and your employees can take calls using desktop or laptop softphones, apps (Android and iOS), wireless VoIP phones, tablets, iPads, and so on.
Plus, you’re not limited to one type of number. You can use different options, such as:
- Local phone numbers – great if you are interested in interacting with the local community since you’ll be using a specific area code. The great news is that, with VoIP, you don’t have to be located in the said community to get the area code you need.
- Toll-free numbers – great for businesses looking to expand at a national level, using 800 numbers;
- International phone numbers – to gain access to foreign markets;
- Vanity phone numbers – great to use for marketing campaigns since they are easy to remember and can help increase brand awareness.
Overall, a VoIP system is a must-have in a business’s productivity toolkit as it improves collaboration and creates better ways of communication with team members and business partners.
Besides the fact that you won’t have to pay installation costs and buy special devices, you also can customize the functionalities you want for your solution. This way, you only pay for the features you need and use. Also, the system is scalable, so you can add other features at a later date.
This is a great advantage for small businesses or solopreneurs who don’t have to buy an entire phone package just to get the phone number they need.
The cons of virtual phone services
The main problem with virtual phone services comes from your internet connection. If your internet connection isn’t reliable, your VoIP system won’t be efficient, and you’ll experience disruptions and even lags.
However, for most businesses, this is not an issue. Still, there are locations where internet connectivity is not at its best, so you should first check with your internet service provider. Plus, you can implement call forwarding to a data-enabled cell phone, so when the internet is down or slow, you can continue to communicate.
Another problem when it comes to VoIP is security. Since your calls use the internet, you also have to worry about data breaches and ill-intended actors spying on your communications. Fortunately, this can be avoided by selecting a reliable provider that implements effective security measures such as high-level encryption and tunneling.
Virtual phone services help improve communication and business productivity by reducing the cost and time dedicated to installing and maintaining traditional phone lines. Also, unless your business is located in an area without reliable internet services, the quality of your communication will improve.
Overall, as long as you have a reliable internet connection and choose a trusted VoIP provider, this type of service is the best option for your business.