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Are mobile working small business employees missing customer calls? When they are out of the office, mobile workers may be taking calls on their smartphones, using noise-canceling headsets to block out background noise. But if calls are coming into traditional desk phones that can’t switch to a mobile device or another desk; customers and prospects will need to wait for a call back. Furthermore, there may be times when a mobile worker needs to refer a caller to someone else in the organization, but there is no way to transfer the call.

Delayed responses and asking callers to call another number impact customer service and can result in lost sales and dissatisfied customers taking their business elsewhere. An outdated phone system can affect your small business bottom line in other ways. You may be spending too much time and money maintaining an older system. Every time you add a new employee or someone leaves, you need to work with your vendor. When there’s a bad connection, a technician needs to come to the office.

VoIP answers the call

To address these issues and others, many small businesses are switching to Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP), although some still rely on Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and even Primary Rate Interface (PRI) service, which transmits multimedia data in addition to audio data, reports Software Advice. In its 2015 VoIP Software Small Business Buyer Report, the resource for software buyers, found that 36 percent of survey respondents use VoIP versus 24 percent that use POTS and 11 percent PRI.

VoIP can save your small business communication costs because you don’t have to install new phone lines since VoIP equipment hooks directly into your existing broadband network. With your data and phone system converged into one network, you also spend less time on system management and can easily add or delete users and efficiently change phone features from a central Web portal.

Other productivity and efficiency benefits of VoIP are:

  • Advanced features: In addition to standard features, such as voicemail, caller ID, three-way conferencing and call forwarding, VoIP also offers a host of advanced functions. With automated attendant, your phone service can greet callers, screen calls and through the use of voice prompts route them to the appropriate person on your team. Find me/Follow me routes unanswered calls to a series of phone numbers you choose – desk, cell or home. Many VoIP systems also provide integrated web and video conferencing.
  • Enhanced multitasking and collaboration: By integrating applications, you make multitasking easier. For example, you can be on the phone and check a voicemail that you received in text via email that may contain information that is relevant to the call. If necessary, you can switch from an audio call to a web or video conference to enhance communication or collaboration.
  • Integration with other business systems: VoIP enables you to integrate your phone with CRM or ERP systems to automatically log call information into these systems, so you don’t need to manually enter the data.
Choose cloud-based or on premise installation

Choose between a cloud-based VoIP Virtual PBX (also called a hosted PBX) and an on premise IP PBX. To make it easy for small businesses to acquire Plantronics products along with a complete cloud-based software solution, consider Plantronics Device-as-a-Service Pro. The program bundles Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) offerings, which are based on VoIP, and Plantronics UC audio devices from the Voyager®, Savi® and Blackwire® families or the CS540 into flexible 12- 24-or 36-month payment options. For more information about Plantronics Device-as-a-Service Pro, visit: www.plantronics.com/DaaS.