You’ve heard the buzz about virtual phone systems, but before you get rid of your traditional office phone, you want to see the data behind why switching to VoIP is the right idea.
VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) may be the most well-known for drastically reducing business communication costs, but it can also increase employee productivity, provide more flexibility to remote teams, offer a higher call quality, and much more.
Below, we’ll show you the numbers that make a compelling case for the benefits of VoIP and fill you in on the features that reduce miscommunications and improve the overall customer experience.
Switching to VoIP telephony from a traditional landline business phone saves companies an average of 49-69% in monthly communication costs. (Source)
|Feature||Costs Associated With Traditional Phone Service||Costs Associated With VoIP|
|Phone Lines||$40-$60/phone line per month||From $20/phone line per month,|
|PBX Hardware||A one-time cost of $500-$2,000 per user||None, since VoIP provider manages the PBX hardware|
|Annual Maintenance Fee||Average of 1% of the total cost of phone service per month||None, since VoIP provider handles maintenance|
|Hardware Expenses||From $100-$1000 per phone||Not required, can use existing equipment|
|Long Distance Phone Calls||Roughly $480/month for up to 10 employees||Included in the cost of the monthly plan, no additional costs|
Given that the above table shows how VoIP lowers the costs of communication, maintenance, and hardware, it’s not hard to believe a recent study from Microsoft that proved 82% of companies experienced a significant cost saving when switching to the low-cost options of VoIP.
Communicating over the Internet as opposed to the traditional phone system, the PSTN, can also save you:
- Up to 40% of the monthly costs of local phone calls and reduced costs of long-distance calls
- Up to 90% of the monthly costs of international calls
- Up to 90% of startup communication costs for new businesses
- Up to 30% of the costs of teleconferences (when using both voice and video capabilities)
Though you may wish to purchase basic VoIP equipment like IP phones and headsets, the only thing you’ll really need to operate a virtual telephone system successfully is a reliable broadband Internet connection, which costs an average of $50-$75 per month.
Plus, even if you choose to purchase compatible VoIP phones and equipment, a small business with 30 employees or less will still save up to $1200/month by switching to VoIP. And if you use the VoIP softphone capabilities with your current equipment? You can see savings of up to $1727/month.
Advanced VoIP features can save the average user 29 minutes of call time every day. (Source)
Analog phones and traditional phone lines have basic features like voicemail, caller ID, and limited call forwarding options.
But VoIP features are much more advanced, allowing users to take business communication to the next level.
Features to look for include:
- Call recording
- Automatic call distribution and IVR systems
- Call routing, call transfer, call parking, and call waiting
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Third-party CRM integrations
- Video conferencing
- Call queuing
- Voicemail to text
- Ring groups
- Call monitoring, call barge, call whisper
- Advanced call analytics and data
These features can:
- Increase first call resolution rates, which can decrease customer churn by 80% and increase cross-selling acceptance by 20%
- Decrease the need for callers to speak with a live agent by relying on self-service IVR (which costs 100 times less than a live agent call) instead
- Decrease customer hold times, which reduces call abandonment rate, saving up to 40% in lost revenue
- Decrease the potential for business miscommunication, which can annually cost companies between $4000-$6000/employee
- Increase call retention rates by up to 98% thanks to hold music and messages
As we’ll discuss later in this post, VoIP functionalities also increase employee productivity and offer a higher level of flexibility for remote teams.
This is especially true for video conferencing features, which
VoIP services also offer several different plans per product, not only making it much easier for you to enjoy scalability with your telephone service in the future but also helping you to avoid paying for advanced features you may not need.
In addition to bundled features included with plans, many providers offer add-on features like call recording transcription, extra cloud storage space, and voicemail to email. As your business grows, you can add additional communication channels and new features to keep up with your expanding needs.
Poor call quality costs companies roughly $550/employee per year. (Source)
Problems like desk phone background noise, dropped calls, missed voicemail notifications, and static aren’t just annoying — they also cost your company revenue in terms of abandoned calls and decreased employee productivity.
In fact, the average employee loses about half an hour every week due to problems with call audio quality.
Plus, poor audio quality is a nightmare when it comes to a successful audio conference or group video call. Over 80% of teams say that high-quality audio is one of the most important factors in whether or not a group conference is a success.
VoIP service providers are able to offer high-quality, HD calls using features like background noise suppression, wideband audio codecs, and automatic call quality upgrades by optimizing bandwidth usage.
To learn more about how to handle common call quality issues like latency and data packet loss, check out our post on VoIP problems and solutions.
VoIP telephony can increase team productivity by up to 20%. (Source)
VoIP technology doesn’t just increase team productivity by saving time previously lost to poor audio quality and advanced features.
Features like auto-dialers make call list penetration much more effective, as they dial numbers for agents, skip numbers that are busy or disconnected, and automatically scrub call lists. They also only transfer agents to a call when the caller is on the phone and ready to talk.
Agents that manually dial numbers only have about 10-15 minutes of talk time per hour, while the time savings VoIP offers can increase that talk time by 200-300%.
Additionally, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) capabilities allow for a high level of customer self-service without the need to speak to a live agent. Not only does this free up your agents to attend to more time-sensitive issues, but it also means that your company is available 24/7.
Plus, no employee wants to repeat the same answers to the same questions day in and day out. By letting IVR systems handle the more mundane parts of the job, your team members will be able to focus on the things they enjoy — and happier employees are at least 13% more productive than unhappy ones.
Finally, as we’ll see below, VoIP increases the ability for team members to work remotely — which is essential to productivity. Over 75% of remote workers report a higher level of productivity than in a traditional office space, while nearly ¼ of remote workers say they work longer hours thanks to the added flexibility and lack of commute.
Nearly 60% of employees say that VoIP has increased their ability to work remotely without sacrificing quality. (Source)
It’s safe to say that remote work is the new normal.
A recent Nextiva report shows that, even before COVID-19, 1 in 3 companies had at least some employees that worked remotely, while a Gartner survey shows that 74% of businesses will have some form of permanent remote work by the end of 2021.
VoIP mobile applications mean your team members are accessible everywhere they go. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that these apps can increase employee productivity by 20%.
It’s no wonder that over 75% of business owners say that the increased mobility VoIP provides team members has been one of the best things about making the switch.
Call forwarding and remote access to voicemail are two of the biggest features that help remote workers. Close to 30% of employees say their biggest remote work need was to be able to forward calls to their personal devices, while 25% most needed a flexible voicemail system.
Additional features like multi-device syncing, team chat messaging, advanced call routing, missed call and voicemail notifications, softphones, and CRM integrations also make it easier for team members to take their work anywhere with the portability of a VoIP phone system.
Now that you can see what VoIP has done for other companies, it’s time for your business to experience the same benefits.
Of course, the real success of your virtual phone system depends on which provider you choose.
You’ll need to consider the features each plan offers if the service is compatible with your third-party business software or existing hardphones, and the overall costs of a new business phone system.
Our interactive table compares the features, pricing, available plans, and user reviews of top business VoIP providers like Nextiva, Vonage, RingCentral, and GoToConnect.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most common VoIP phone service frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. Most providers will offer free number porting which allows you to keep your current phone number. Additionally, you can purchase toll-free vanity numbers, local presence virtual phone numbers, and even international numbers from your VoIP provider.
You’ll need a minimum speed of 100kpbs per phone line to successfully operate a virtual telephony solution. However, most providers recommend 200kpbs per phone line to ensure high-quality voice calls.
Note that you can make calls over wireless Internet/Wifi, but you’ll need a strong signal.
Because your VoIP phone is connected to the Internet, when you lose power, you won’t be able to make virtual calls because the Internet router is down. You may want to consider a backup power source, especially if you’re in an area with frequent storms. Some providers also allow users to route calls to a mobile phone or voice mailbox in the event of a power outage.
Faxing is possible with VoIP, but note that your standard fax machine will not work with Internet telephony.
Instead, you’ll need to use online faxing, a feature which the majority of VoIP providers offer. Virtual faxes are usually unlimited, and you’ll still be able to make phone calls if the online fax machine is in use.
Yes. Providers usually offer an Android or Apple iOS smartphone app that you can use to make VoIP calls on mobile devices.
You may have somewhat limited features on the smartphone app, but you’ll still be able to access essential functionalities.