There was a time when Cable and/or Satellite TV was all the rage. You had loads of different channels and a ridiculous number of shows at your disposal. Many people spent more time channel surfing and looking for what to watch than actually watching.
Then there was the issue that you had to pay for channels that you did not care for. It was not an ideal business model, and it was definitively not consumer friendly. However as time goes on new consumer friendly alternatives are starting to pop up; alternatives that put you at the centre of the service.
What is VoIP?
The reason why so many people have dropped their cable subscriptions is because the internet offers alternatives that are tailored towards a consumers particular needs at a fraction of the price.
Now, the questions stands: if we have done this for our television and entertainment needs, why not do it for more aspects of our life and our business?
There was a time when phones were a traditional and not very flexible aspect of business. If you needed to take or receive a call, you needed to be at your desk and ready for it. And if you wanted to go global, telecommunications where a huge part of your overhead, as those long distance calls were expensive.
However, we now have Voice over IP (VoIP), a simple protocol that converts the analogue sounds of your voice into a digital signal that can be transmitted through the internet.
Much like you don’t need a cable company to watch movies anymore, you don’t need a phone company to make calls. VoIP takes care of it at a fraction of the cost and it is much more diverse and flexible.
How can it help my business?
As an example, you can retain your same phone number regardless of where you are as long as you have a phone and an internet connection. This can be incredibly convenient if you have a local business, as you can have local numbers in different countries. For your clients it is always a low cost local call. It makes you easier to reach and more available to them.
What if you don’t have an IP Phone at hand? Well, with VoIP you can check your voice mail pretty much anywhere, not only from a phone but also from a laptop or basically any kind of internet enabled device. It is much more flexible, not only for clients but for you as well.
Another advantage of using a VoIP system is that you create an online ecosystem. You want to attach a voicemail to an e-mail? You can. If everything is connected, communication becomes incredibly easy, and sharing data requires minimal effort.
Of course, if this were not cost effective then it would be pointless, but IP telecommunications are a lot more affordable and their traditional analogue counterparts.
If you have a website, you can even use your hosting company for these purposes, allowing you even more options to communicate and reach out to your customers.
In the age of the internet, the more ways you have to receive feedback and be available for your customers, the better. VoiP is a great compliment for your communication strategy.