If you run your own business or have even interacted with the phone services of another business outside of a professional context, you’ll likely have come across ‘hosted voice’ telephone services before.
Now offered by many leading telecoms companies, hosted voice services are an innovation in telecommunications, ditching traditional tech in favor of a company’s IT network. As a cloud-based technology, hosted voice services are an ever-evolving technology that only gains more functionality with each passing year.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the opportunities they can offer your business.
Simple to Install and Manage
If you’re looking to a third party for IT support, you might expect that having a variety of third party companies looking after your systems would increase the chance of requiring a person on-site to install and maintain your network infrastructure. This isn’t the case – by using a hosted voice service, you’re relying solely upon one network services provider, rather than multiple different companies.
As you would be placing the responsibility of maintaining your telephone systems in the hands of IT service providers, it’s likely that they will be able to maintain and even install them completely remotely, eliminating the need for staff on site.
Though dodging the initial hassle of installation is clearly a benefit, it actually carries over to whenever you want to change your existing systems in any way, even at short notice. In the past, an engineer would have had to come to your site (after you have pre-arranged an appointment) and physically install it – now, hosted voice services can be altered in a management portal from almost anywhere.
This simplicity allows you to add sites, add users, alter and adjust call priorities, and more without the issues that would have previously arisen.
Value for Money
You may assume that this simple management interface would result in a higher price, but that actually isn’t the case with hosted voice.
If you’re a small business, you could see a saving of 50% in installations alone when you compare with current telephony costs. This is because the complex infrastructure required is already in place as your existing IT network.
But once again, you continue to reap the benefits even after the initial installation, as the running costs tend to be far lower than what they would be with traditional copper-line based tech. You’ll likely also discover that your provider can advise you on the most cost-effective ways to scale your use as your business grows, as well as how to best use the range of features made available through this system.
Clearly, there are plenty of upsides to using a hosted voice system, but you may understandably have some doubts about the security risk of tying your telephony to your IT network, particularly with third parties involved and so much information stored in the cloud.
It may seem as though you’re more secure with your telephone on site, but you could actually be safer placing your data into the hands of true professionals on the subject. Studies have shown that roughly one small business is hacked every nineteen seconds – in fact, many cyber-criminals are aware that smaller businesses take fewer precautions, under the assumption that they’re too insignificant to be targeted.
Data loss and downtime are both a nightmare for businesses, especially those that have just started up and can’t afford to lose time or money. By relying upon specialists in the field and tethering your phone system to your IT system, you can rest assured that your security is in the hands of those who truly know what they’re doing.
Bespoke for your Business
Every business is unique with unique requirements regarding preferences, end-user experiences, and needs, and this carries over to what you need from your telephone system.
In years gone by, phone systems have been fairly standardized, allowing you to dial, redial, perform to internal routing and diverting, and access voicemail. However, they didn’t provide much more than this, and many businesses were left wanting more.
By utilizing a hosted voice service, you can open your business up to an unbelievable number of features that can easily connect to your IT systems. Here are just a few functionalities you might want to use for your own business:
- Voice to text transcription software integration
- Voice recognition for automated help functions and call routing
- Automatic scheduling for call distribution and call routing
- Integration with CRM systems for the purpose of call recording and more
- Integration with other communications apps
- Fast, simple remote management portal access
As well as these, there’s a world of features that haven’t been mentioned here you can also add to your telephone system to suit your business as you see fit.
Lots of businesses on the cutting edge have actually found that using hosted voice systems resulted in some notable productivity increases. However, those businesses are staying up to date with the latest technologies – many jobs are limited by the constraints of traditional phone systems.
For example, customer service staff used to have to manually transcribe a telephone conversation into a CRM system, whereas this whole process can now be automated. As opposed to being written up after the conversation has ended, it is now done in real-time while the call is happening.
This means that instead of having to have staff always available to take calls, there isn’t a reason to pick up the next incoming call, freeing up staff to work more efficiently and produce a greater output – imagine the benefits across an entire team.
This is only one of the thousands of ways that a hosted voice telephony system can help bolster productivity for your business. You can even improve employee satisfaction by using the system to allow work-from-home opportunities – happy employees will always mean greater productivity, and therefore more business success.