6 Ways You Can Save Money with VoIP Service
Voice-over Internet protocol (or VoIP) is fast becoming less of a futuristic gadget and more of an integral part of doing business and connecting households with the outside world. But VoIP wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it failed to offer myriad moneysaving advantages for users. Here are six of the most frequently-cited for business customers:
- Deemphasizing (or even ditching) your landline phone service. If you have a complex business phone system and wanted to switch telephone companies, you’d probably have to throw out most or all of your hardware because it wouldn’t be compatible with your existing setup. In contrast, most VoIP systems can be hybridized with existing hardware, so you can enjoy lower costs without starting from scratch. That said, VoIP can fully replace your landline service at a much smaller cost than a new standard telephone system.
- “Add-on” features are standard. Chances are, you pay a little extra each month for perks like caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, voicemail, and conference call capability. But most VoIP companies offer these features at no extra cost – so your monthly charges are reduced accordingly. Plus, VoIP makes it easier for you to conduct video conferencing with existing platforms like Skype or Google Voice.
- Cheaper long distance. As inexpensive as long distance is compared to the 1970s, the per-minute international rates charged by phone companies are still considerably higher than those offered by VoIP providers. And if you’re in the U.S., you can usually get free domestic calling (including Canada) with your VoIP service – which can really add up if you own a company that makes a lot of calls throughout the U.S.
- A reduction of your reliance on toll-free phone numbers. Many companies provide callers with toll-free numbers. That can mean paying a heavy toll-free service bill each month. But with VoIP, you can either let consumers “click-to-call” using a Web-based VoIP system, or allow them to contact your company via text, email, or other messaging service and then respond to each query with an inexpensive or free VoIP call.
- Better availability of support technicians. With most standard landline systems, the hardware is proprietary – meaning that you can only receive repair or support from the companies’ own technicians, who may not be available when you need them. But VoIP systems are much more standardized, which equates to a larger pool of knowledgeable support staff members who can help you with any VoIP system. Therefore, your risk of lost revenue due to phone system downtime is much smaller with VoIP.
- Cheaper expansion. If you own a small business, you’re probably hoping to expand your operations at some point. Unfortunately, many landline telephone companies make expansion costly, and then force you to buy more circuits than you actually need. VoIP systems often allow you to utilize your existing Internet connection, and are much more flexible in terms of adding circuits and bandwidth than their landline counterparts are. So you only have to pay for what you need whenever you need to expand your business.
Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes about topics ranging from entrepreneurism to consumer finance to home improvement.