You may think that a virtual phone systems or VoIP are something that can only be used by large companies or by digital businesses; but the truth is that even traditional small businesses such as beauty salons, bakeries, restaurants, shops, among others, would get great advantages from a virtual phone system and a virtual phone number.
What are the costs of cloud and traditional phone systems?
Installing a traditional telephony services in your business can include landline installation costs (when the chosen place does not have a previously installed landline) and service, in addition to contractual constraints; unlike a virtual businesses phone system which does not have installation costs because it depends on the internet and it does not require cabling and even you may not require devices beyond computer to answer calls from your customers, even your smartphone could work as your business phone, because you can use even mobile apps to serve your customers from any place with Internet connection. Because of being a service, cloud phone service does not generate any long-term obligations since you can pay it only for as long as you need it, without any penalty, your telephony is hosted on the servers of the provider, and they are responsible for its maintenance and monitoring.
About the costs, if you only look at the numbers you can think that a traditional landline it is cheaper, but the truth is that sometimes for a price not too high, you can give your business many useful features.
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What does virtual phone systems offer that does not give you the traditional telephony?
As for the additional features both traditional telephony and virtual phone systems can offer you:
- Call queue: If you are using the phone, another customer can call you and it will not hear busy tone; you can decide to switch to the new incoming call or answer when you finish the one you have in progress.
- Voicemail: When you can not answer or the phone is busy, your customers can leave a voice message.
- Call identifier: It basically shows you the phone number and name of the caller and stores it on the phone, as long as it has this functionality. When the service is in the cloud, you don't need special phones.
These services are usually charged extra in traditional telephony, but in the cloud, they can be included in the initial package depending on the selected provider.
- Device independence: A virtual phone system works over the internet so you can answer your calls from a computer or apps on your mobile device or smartphone.
- Portability and mobility: Phone numbers in the cloud are virtual phone numbers, which unlike traditional lines are not associated with a physical address; basically if you have internet access, you can answer your phone. In short, if you move your business place, you will not have to do any paperwork or process in order to move it and the phone number will always be with you, even if you leave your work site you can continue to answer your fixed number from your smartphone.
- Simultaneous calls: VoIP systems will allow you to answer to several customers calling at the same time to the same phone number. In order to achieve the same in the traditional system, you have to use a PBX or a call center devices that are usually not part of the budget of a small business because of cost and complexity issues.
- Greeting messages: In the traditional line your customer will hear ring tone while your team answers, but in the virtual telephony you can have prerecorded messages that are much more pleasant and perhaps they can avoid you to lose customers.
- Integration with systems and websites: If you have a website or Facebook page, some virtual phone systems will allow you to put a button to receive calls with a simple click or even they can be integrated with customer management systems (CRM).
|Installation Cost||Different prices by operator, country, networks coverage etc.||US$ 0|
|Service monthly cost||Between US $20 y US$ 30 depending on the providers||Between US$ 20 y US$ 30|
|Basic services: Call identifier, Call Queue and voicemail||Usually requires additional payments||Usually included|
|Advanced services: Simultaneous calls, mobility, greeting messages||Not available||Usually included|
While installing a traditional landline seems to be simpler and may be less expensive than a cloud system, having a virtual phone number offers many more benefits for a not very high price, even for small businesses. Another point to consider is that if your business is just starting, a virtual number can be a less risky investment because it is paid only as long as it is needed and besides not depending on physical locations, you can move your business anywhere without having to worry about formalities of changes of line or even coverage of telephone networks.
If you want to experience a high-quality virtual phone system for small businesses and big companies, at an affordable price, you can try Toky for free