Modern telephony installations are increasingly residing in the cloud – rather than the traditional analogue system or private branch exchange that would have a place in your office, but what’s driving this change?
We’ll take a look at 13 of the benefits you could expect to see with a hosted voice service – to help you decide if it’s time to progress your business telephony to the next level…
There are enormous cost saving benefits when you use a hosted voice telephony service – and it’s estimated that businesses will save around 42% when comparing hosted voice to analogue.
The reason is almost entirely down to the cloud storage and the simplicity this brings. A communications company who offers hosted voice services will generally handle software upgrades and general maintenance as part of your monthly fee too, so costs are predictable and consistent.
While there’s a sense of security knowing your solution is entirely on your premises – the security that’s associated with hosted services is generally far more robust – and administered by a company who dedicate themselves to keeping your phone systems safe.
If you want to worry less about security and data compliance – you could do a lot worse than trust a reputable supplier with your hosted voice system.
Any cloud-based system benefits enormously from the fact that disaster recovery is automatically obtained by simply having your systems off-site. If you run into any problems at your premises, your hosted voice system will wait – entirely uninterrupted, until you access it again.
Ease of management
Where traditional systems usually require an engineer on-site, these logistics are entirely removed when you use hosted voice. Instead, general maintenance and additions can be configured remotely – and since your system will share the same wiring and power as your IT network, initial installation times are also reduced.
While traditional analogue exchanges provide a consistent call quality – the same can’t be said for VoIP calls on older systems – especially when your network isn’t quite configured ideally. With hosted solutions, Quality of Service is considered at the design stage – and a good installation company will make sure you’re getting a perfect line every time.
Contact centre flexibility
While many businesses will require only a handful of handsets, contact centres potentially need hundreds – often in constant use around the clock.
With hosted voice, you can route your calls with incredible flexibility – either on an automated schedule – or manually, should you need to adapt to changing conditions. What’s more, Interactive voice recognition (IVR) will allow your customers to verbally interact with your system – making pre-contact security and routing a process that can occur while calls are waiting.
There are a host of additional features that can be quickly and simply added in to a hosted system, including:
- CRM integration
- Voice recognition
- Automated chat and response applications
- Remote management
- Automated call routing and distribution
- Voice-to-text transcription
- Teleconferencing and video chat
…and many more. If you’ve got a function in mind, your supplier will be able to support you to find a solution.
Hosted voice services allow you (or your service provider) to access a management portal and scale your line according to your immediate need. If you need additional lines, it’s not uncommon to find that they can be added within the day – if not within the hour.
In the past, this scalability would have required you to contact your provider, scheduled engineer’s visits – and waited for a significant period before your line was up and running. Hosted services can be scaled in a fraction of this time.
If you’d like your employees to use their own devices for business, you can tie your hosted telephony service together with their laptops, tablets and phones – and, the most attractive part of this feature is, integration can be turned on and off quickly and simply – meaning business and personal device use will never clash.
If you facilitate customer interaction across a number of platforms, a hosted voice system will tie into this perfectly. Most enterprise level CRMs allow you to bring together phones, email, live chat, SMS and social media – meaning older systems will leave a significant gap in your customer records – as well as making data handling significantly more difficult than it has to be.
While there are a number of additional hosted voice features that companies can often live without, unlocking the cross-device mobility options that VoIP can offer is almost universally used.
Would you see a benefit in having your mobile device ring when your desk phone rings? Would it be useful to have your calls routed to your mobile when you’re in certain locations or away from the office? Would a direct-to-mobile option for your entire system be useful if you were to ever experience internet connection issues on your site?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then hosted voice can make it happen.
Studies show that customers prefer dealing with hosted voice services – and it’s all down to the smart routing and voice recognition.
While traditional systems would make it clear that a customer has been placed into a hold queue, hosted voice works a little differently – offering a security and smart routing options that avoid the need for holding and listening to a host of ‘select a number’ options. The result is a customer experience that involves less time listening to hold music – and issues that are generally solved by the first person they speak to.
Whether you’re a large-scale contact centre – or a smaller business with just a handful of users, you’ll almost certainly unlock enormous productivity gains by using a hosted voice service. Mobility is a big factor – obviously meaning far fewer voicemails and callbacks – or associated secondary contact methods that need handling.
What’s more, the right add-ons will sync directly with your CRM, meaning your agents are ready to pick up another call immediately, without the downtime that’s often associated with the recording of call details and further action required.