VoIP phone for businesses offers a unique approach to phone numbers. Traditional numbers are assigned a fixed location, phone line, and device by phone companies. Although an onsite PBX means desk phones can still forward calls, this forwarding is limited to the physical location of the office.
Virtual phone numbers, called direct inward dialing (DID), circumvent these limitations. DID numbers aren’t tied to a specific phone line or device but to a specific person, branch location, or department. They work between PSTN and VoIP service providers by forwarding calls to multiple devices, IP addresses, and other phone numbers. This means that customers can reach an employee on their office phone, home phone, or mobile device, but the employee must only give the customer the online number. This offers a higher level of privacy and prevents employees from being tied to their desks waiting for an important call. Also, virtual numbers make it much easier for callers to reach a live phone.
Different Types of Virtual Phone Numbers
In addition to the convenience they provide, virtual phone numbers also allow companies to choose from different number types:
- Local numbers
- Toll-free numbers
- Vanity numbers
The local number and area code are ideal for businesses with multiple city locations and a great deal of contact with the local community. Local access numbers not only make it easy for callers to connect with nearby agents, they also reduce costs for distance calls.
Toll-free numbers prevent callers from paying for expensive long distance phone calls as charges fall to the call receiver (your company). Since calls are made over the Internet, it also saves you from paying high fees for international calls. Plus, toll-free numbers offer increased credibility to businesses of all sizes, giving them a more corporate appearance.
Vanity numbers, on the other hand, are easier to remember and help companies differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Differences Between Landline Phones and VoIP Phone Systems
While traditional phones are known for their reliability, they have some downsides that don’t always fit in today’s office environments. Basic features such as voice messaging, conference calling, caller ID and call waiting on regular phones are not only subject to additional charges; it is also much more limited than virtual phone systems. Regular phone services cannot offer more advanced features such as call forwarding, video conferencing, and voicemail to email.
While standard desk phones may seem less expensive than virtual telephony, they often cost much more than expected, with the price of physical equipment, local and long-distance calling charges, the cost of additional lines, and additional fees for features. Also, this equipment is not only costly, it takes up a lot of valuable office space. And they also age quickly.
Why You Should Get A VoIP Number
VoIP systems provide numerous other benefits in addition to a simpler setup process, cost savings, and advanced features that improve customer service.
- Simple installation
- Scalable pricing
- Number portability and more flexibility for employees
- Better communication for remote employees
- Better chance for customers to reach a live representative
- Shorter resolution time for customer service
- Better customer feedback through automated surveys
- Additional modes of communication (video conferencing, faxing, SMS texting, etc.)
- Less call abandonment and dropped calls
- Insight into productivity, number of daily VoIP calls, etc. with in-depth call analytics
- 24/7 service provider support