Many people ditched their home landlines long ago. In a world where everyone carries a cellphone on their person at all times, it just didn’t make sense to hold onto them.
Understandably, businesses have been slower to let go of the landline. You need a standard number where people can be guaranteed that they’ll get hold of you.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean holding onto an antiquated landline system. Far from it. By ditching their landline and adopting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, companies can overcome many of the deficiencies of traditional landline systems and accrue major benefits.
That’s according to John Woollam, CEO of Cloud VoIP provider Euphoria Telecom, who says freeing your teams from their landlines has several business benefits.
It enables remote work
At the beginning of 2020, very few South African companies allowed employees to work remotely but as the country went into lockdown, businesses were left with little choice but to do so. Now, even as less strict lockdown conditions permit a return to the office, most companies will still need to cover at least some form of remote work.
“Many employees have had more than a year of working from home,” says Woollam, “and businesses and individuals have realised that the physical office is no longer the centre of the work day. This has opened the door for more flexible working options, and the benefits this brings.”
Companies that implement remote work successfully have plenty to gain. A two-year Stanford study found that remote contact centre workers were 13% more productive than their office-bound counterparts.
A VoIP system allows employees to access calls and take their daily instructions, provide updates, and ask questions just as well as if they were working in an office. Additionally, a VoIP solution also means that companies don’t have to shift landline costs onto their employees.
It also enables flexibility
Workplace flexibility is something that top employee talent has increasingly come to expect as standard. Even if your company isn’t fully remote, your employees should be able to work from anywhere.
“Flexibility isn’t just an employee demand either,” Woollam points out. “It can also be a major boon to the business. If employees are able to make and receive calls on the way to and from, or in between, site visits, for example, they can potentially be much more productive and are less likely to end up working after hours. A VoIP system enables that flexibility far more effectively than any combination of a traditional landline and cellphone can.”
You can operate in multiple locations without needing physical offices
Tied to the ability to work remotely is the option for businesses to operate in multiple locations without the need for physical offices.
“Office space has traditionally been one of the major costs for any business and can be limiting, especially when it comes to setting up shop in high-demand cities where real estate can be expensive,” says Woollam. “With VoIP systems empowering remote work, the need to secure office space when opening up in a new location is greatly diminished and, in some cases, rendered entirely unnecessary.”
So, for example, an ISP customer in Cape Town could have their call serviced by a customer service operative in Bloemfontein who then dispatches a contracted or outsourced technician to the customer back in Cape Town.
The customer probably doesn’t care whether or not the ISP actually has an office in Cape Town, as long as their needs are met.
You can scale up (and down) quickly
If the past year or so has taught us anything, it’s that the business environment is incredibly unpredictable.
Reacting to that volatility with traditional landline-based systems can be complex and expensive. With the right VoIP provider, scaling up or down according to the business’ needs can be much simpler.
“Rather than having to wait for extra infrastructure to be installed, you can simply contact your VoIP provider and add as many extra extensions as you need,” says Woollam. “And if you have to scale back, you won’t be left with any costly infrastructure running at a fraction of its capacity.”
You can concentrate on hiring the best resources
The flexibility and saving benefits mentioned above can also have a positive impact on the way companies hire. Without the need for receptionists and other office support staff, businesses can focus on hiring employees who directly impact the company’s ability to effectively do business.
“The more employees who are directly involved with servicing client wants and needs, the better,” says Woollam. “Once you remove the need for traditional office-based roles, you can shift the cost to areas where it’ll make a real difference.”
“Ultimately, there is no need for businesses to remain tethered to their landlines,” Woollam says. “It’s time to do the same thing we all did with our home lines years ago and cut the cord. Those that do and embrace VoIP will experience major benefits.”