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VoIP for Business: Review, Comparison, and Effective Use

VoIP for Business

Why is VoIP Important for Business?

It’s no secret that when choosing the main tool for communication, most companies prefer VoIP for business. This is a modern solution that has a number of advantages over both outdated wired and mobile communication. It covers the needs of internal and external communication at the same time.

VoIP system can not only save the company money: it also facilitates global interaction and remote work. VoIP allows you to connect an unlimited number of telephone numbers, and use digital tools for optimization. If you plan to create a special customer service department (hotline or call center), then Internet telephony will be useful.

To understand the benefits of VoIP for business and find the best software, you need to learn a few basic concepts. Let’s explore these aspects together.

Understanding VoIP: The Definition and Advantages

VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, refers to a telephone connection that operates through the Internet. In the past traditional analog channels relied on an analog connection and now these systems are obsolete.

Unlike analog landline systems that are limited to specific locations, cables, and costly telecommunications equipment, VoIP offers a more flexible and cost-effective solution. 

In the past, businesses had to maintain separate networks for Internet and telephone communication. However, with the advent of IP telephony, the need for a dedicated telephone network has become obsolete. Now, companies can leverage IP telephony within their offices, enabling seamless telephone communication anywhere in the World.

By transitioning to VoIP, businesses can reap numerous benefits, including reduced infrastructure costs, increased mobility, and enhanced scalability. With VoIP, there is no longer a reliance on physical copper wires, making installation and maintenance more streamlined. Additionally, employees can communicate from various locations using their VoIP-enabled devices, facilitating remote work and global collaboration.

The Difference Between IP Telephony, VoIP, and SIP

  • IP-telephony is a general concept that characterizes the technology of transmitting packets of media information in real-time using the Internet Protocol (IP). On the Internet, each computer device (PC, tablet, smartphone, router, or IP PBX) has its own unique IP address. The Internet Protocol, in turn, combines all these addresses into one common network. Devices can communicate with each other by finding each other by IP.
  • VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a term often used as a synonym for IP telephony. However, VoIP means the transmission of voice, not any other data media. VoIP allows the transmission of voice data in the form of data packets over the Internet, which ensures communication efficiency. This solution reduces costs and expands the capabilities of personal users and businesses.
  • SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is the protocol itself (a set of rules) for exchanging data between devices. It is thanks to the SIP protocol that communication via IP telephony is possible. The SIP protocol is responsible for the quality of Internet data and signal transmission between two Internet subscribers. Therefore, sometimes you may hear the term “SIP telephony”, which is equivalent to the term “IP telephony”.

What is IP telephony?

To use IP telephony, broadband Internet access, and an IP phone or specialized software are required.

A softphone is a computer application or a mobile application for a smartphone. After simple settings, you will be able to use it as a regular phone. After registering in the system, you will see the interface for accepting and making calls via the Internet.

In the past, IP phones, which look like regular landline phones and connect directly to an Internet cable, were more common for Internet calls. Some models of IP phones are equipped with a screen for video communication.

Today, IP phones are still used, but many companies prefer web telephony over softphones. By using only software for calls, the business saves money and creates comfortable conditions for the remote work of employees.

Where is IP telephony Used?

First of all, Internet telephony is appreciated for its ability to connect multi-channel communication. Customers can call the company’s hotline using a single toll-free number, and IP telephony will distribute these calls among operators. Employees can work from anywhere in the world by logging into the program.

IP telephony for the office and VoIP technology are used in areas of business that require active communication with customers: having their customer support line, delivery services, regular outgoing calls to the customer base, and automation of these processes. This applies, in particular, to banks, clinics, and online shopping.

IP telephony works effectively for businesses of all sizes. It not only increases productivity but also helps to improve the company’s brand by improving the level of communication.

IP telephony and VoIP technologies are great for various types of organizations, including small and medium-sized businesses. Choose VoIP for business if you want to optimize communication costs, improve the quality of customer service and efficiency. Thanks to IP telephony, companies can easily expand their telephone network, adapt to changing business conditions and grow.

Advantages of VoIP for Business

Internet telephony provides opportunities to implement functions that are more difficult and expensive to implement with an analog signal. This is due to the absence of the need to lay cables and connect to the PBX.

Cost-Effective Installation and Usage

IP telephony eliminates the need for extensive cabling and connection to a Private Branch Exchange (PBX). This results in cost savings during installation. Additionally, calls made over IP telephony networks are generally less expensive than traditional long-distance or international calls.

The transmission of digital voice signals over the Internet is more cost-efficient compared to using expensive equipment for traditional telephony.

Compared to mobile networks, the cost of Internet telephony is also lower, but often a business needs to use both methods of communication. Then FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) technology comes to the rescue — a solution that allows you to combine fixed and mobile communications into a single network.

No Reliance on Telephone Lines and Other Infrastructure

With SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) telephony, a stable Internet connection is all that’s required. By leveraging IP telephony, businesses can free themselves from the constraints of traditional telephone lines and systems.

This not only saves money but also provides the freedom to communicate from anywhere in the world with a stable Internet connection. Businesses are no longer tied to a specific location or dependent on a local PBX.

Enhanced Scalability and Global Cooperation

P telephony is highly scalable, allowing businesses to easily expand their communication capabilities as they grow. It facilitates collaboration with international partners and clients, enabling seamless communication across countries.

This scalability and global reach empower businesses to expand their operations and establish a strong presence in multiple markets. Furthermore, IP telephony enables employees to work remotely, offering a competitive advantage in the modern labor market and enhancing productivity.

Integration Opportunities for VoIP

IP telephony for business is not only calls and video calls over the Internet. This technology can be combined with other systems to expand functionality and automate certain business processes. Let’s consider which programs can be successfully integrated with Internet calls:

  • CRM integration: By integrating IP telephony with CRM systems, you can view the client’s card during the call for personal service. Make calls to the client in one click with VoIP for business and CRM!
  • Softphone: You can choose any convenient program with the desired interface. IP telephony does not limit you to using a certain phone for VoIP.
  • Personnel management: Monitor employee performance by integrating call statistics and operator occupancy with workflow control applications.
  • Virtual PBX: Systems that allow you to combine the required number of work numbers in one network under a single short number for incoming calls (for example, 0-800…). Provide free internal communication between company employees with VoIP for business!
  • Call center software: IP telephony becomes not just a tool for Internet calls, but a full-fledged management system for a separate department – a call center. Software for call centers significantly expands the functions of IP telephony . It automates the work processes, offering powerful systems of statistics, and monitoring the quality of service and performance indicators.
  • Software for remote work: IP telephony provides the ability to make calls regardless of geolocation, communicating with the whole world without roaming restrictions. VoIP allows you to cooperate with people from all over the world. It applies to both employees (remote work opportunity is one of the most important advantages for modern workers) and customers.
  • Virtual numbers from different countries: This is an important aspect that allows you to have a virtual number of any required country without physically being there. It allows you to communicate with customers and partners from different countries, which greatly simplifies international cooperation and business expansion.

Reliability and Data Protection

IP telephony cloud servers are maintained by providers who usually guarantee the reliability and security of the IP telephony service for your business. Calls made through an Internet connection are protected by security protocols. Voip ip telephony providers are responsible for protecting your data (as well as any other software maintenance issues).

The physical location of the telephony server in the office does not guarantee complete security against unauthorized access, attacks, and viruses. Unfortunately, this is not a case where you can simply lock the room with a key and solve the security problem.

Functions of IP Telephony

The main features provided by IP telephony include multi-channel, call holding, call forwarding, conference calling, and answering machines.

In addition to communication over the Internet, IP telephony allows, after integration with specialized solutions, to use other digital tools that are unavailable or difficult and expensive in analog communication systems. Let’s take a closer look at these tools.

VoIP Call Recording

VoIP systems allow you to register and save call records. Cloud storage provides the ability to store the required amount of data. In business, in particular, in the call center department, call recording is a must-have feature.

This will help you monitor the quality of customer service and train new operators with examples of successful and unsuccessful conversations with customers.

Call Monitoring with VoIP Software

Calls from customers can not only be recorded and listened to. Thanks to IP telephony technologies and cloud call center connectivity, they can also be monitored in real time when needed. What do we mean by monitoring?

  • Management of the distribution of requests between groups of operators;
  • Statistics of incoming, outgoing, and missed calls;
  • The possibility of connecting the call center manager to an active conversation (for example, in the mode of prompts to the operator, which the client does not hear, or full inclusion in the conversation, which can facilitate a tense conversation with the client).

Use of Virtual Mobile or Local Numbers with VoIP

A virtual mobile or local number does not depend on your geolocation. This means that you can receive calls to such a number both in the office and anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection. If you move your office, you keep your virtual phone number – unlike traditional telephony.

A virtual mobile or local number, as already mentioned, does not require additional equipment or the connection of telephone lines, so it is activated in just a few days.

Local Identifier (Caller ID) for VoIP Calls

With an IP telephony system, you can order virtual local numbers for any country. Such an ID is used for the convenience of customers, as they will be able to call a local number.

What’s more, when making outbound calls to customers from a specific region, you’ll know that the number with their country code will be displayed on their screen. At the same time, the company can be located anywhere in the world.

Intelligent Call Routing with IP telephony

Thanks to IP telephony and, in particular, software cloud call center solution, incoming customer service calls can be intelligently routed using two features:IVR (Interactive voice response) is an interactive voice menu in which the client listens to pre-recorded voice messages and selects the category of his request by pressing the appropriate buttons (0-9, *#).

More advanced IVR systems usually take into account not only the customer’s menu selection but also additional information about the customer obtained from CRM systems and other data for call distribution.

ACD (Automatic call distribution) is a call routing system that, after the customer selects the subject of the call, directs the call to the appropriate department (or the appropriate operator) according to the required logic, for example, the priority of the given incoming line for the operator or group.

Integration of Self-Service Systems with IP telephony

Self-service is an important component of modern service. If it is possible to automate the resolution of certain issues, allowing the client to solve them independently in cooperation with the answering machine and without the operator’s involvement, it is worth doing. IP telephony allows you to use the capabilities of the interactive voice menu IVR.

With the help of voice messages divided into categories, which the customer selects using the corresponding numeric keys, the IVR system can automatically provide answers to standard questions and inform about new products, services, tariff plans, or, for example, inform about the balance status or delivery time order.

Quick answers to frequently asked questions (which can be listened to again if needed) help to significantly reduce operator queues. It is important to note that car service systems work around the clock. Despite this, 81% of customers expect more self-service options, according to research.

The ability to independently solve most issues at a convenient time has a positive effect on customer satisfaction. For the operators of the self-service system, it is also a relief, as it frees them from the routine questions that often make up a large part of their work. Thus, operators are left with only those tasks that require individual intervention. This approach will help to retain highly qualified specialists who are interested in performing intellectual tasks in the call center.

Data Collection and Analytics Tools

As mentioned earlier, IP telephony can be integrated with other digital business solutions, such as a virtual PBX or a cloud-based call center. This, among other things, will provide an opportunity to monitor the statistics of the calls made.

Standard virtual PBXs provide basic statistics on received, made, and missed calls.

However, if IP telephony for the call center is connected to a comprehensive cloud solution, the statistical possibilities become much broader and are not limited to calls. Software for Sirius cloud call center from Global Bilgi allows you to analyze data in real time or view detailed statistical reports. The reports help monitor the work of operators, the overall flow of requests coming to the contact center, and the status of the processing of these requests:

  • Report on the workload of operators: control of the time spent by operators in the “ready”/”not ready”/”break” statuses;
  • Inbound Call Report (ACD): Average call duration, the average wait time to connect with an operator, first call resolution rate, and more;
  • Outbound campaign report: the number of calls made (by an individual operator or in a specific target segment), as well as a report on outbound SMS, e-mails, and more.

Conclusions

Internet telephony for business allows you to save time and money, optimize work processes and simplify scaling if the company’s service processes change.
This technology offers the use of different types of software:

  • A softphone is a program or mobile application that allows you to make and receive calls from a computer or smartphone by connecting to the Internet
  • Cloud PBX (Cloud PBX) is a private cloud PBX for business, which allows you to combine an unlimited number of numbers in your network, for example, under a single short number of customers. Cloud PBX also provides automatic distribution of incoming calls between employees (in the case of a call center – between operators) and redirection of calls to the appropriate department using an interactive IVR menu.
VoIP for business with FMC
Usage of VoIp with FMC from Global Bilgi

Cloud Call Center Platform and VoIP for Business

A cloud call center based on VoIP technology is the most comprehensive solution for business. It includes all the functions listed above (Internet calls, an unlimited number of connected numbers, call distribution, and IVR). They are supported by numerous additional tools for effective call center management. It feets both for the incoming line (customer support service) and on the outgoing line (telemarketing). Compared to simpler solutions for IP telephony integration (for example, virtual PBX), a cloud call center offers the following functions:

  • Communication system through channels other than phone calls: e-mail, SMS, and web chat.
  • Automatic outgoing call, which can be configured in different modes, depending on the type of telemarketing campaign (cold/warm calls); as well as a fully automated call using the IVR system: informing customers about new products or services using pre-recorded voice messages.
  • Automated customer satisfaction survey system: Through the IVR menu, customers can rate products/services or service levels and answer other questions by pressing a button from 1 to 10.
  • Automatic sending of SMS.
  • A system of reports and monitoring of performance indicators in real-time.

Therefore, Internet telephony for business provides convenience and efficiency of work processes by offering a variety of software solutions that meet the needs of different types of businesses and work departments.

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