Traditional phone systems are fast becoming obsolete due to the cost required to maintain them and a lack of advanced features. Communication is without a doubt one of the most important facets of the business world and is something every good business should invest time in.
With advancements in cloud-based technology and businesses transferring over to a larger cloud service, there has never been a better time to upgrade to a cloud phone system. With over 40% of employees around the world working remotely, there has never been a better time to update your business phone system than today.
But why exactly should you upgrade to a cloud phone system? And is it truly better than a tried-and-tested traditional method?
Below we have broken down exactly what a cloud phone system is and what benefits you can expect from upgrading your services right now. With features such as screen sharing during a call and group meetings improving unified communications, cloud phone systems are a thing of the future.
What is a Cloud Phone System?
Simply put, cloud-based phone systems are a method of making and receiving calls across the internet. This is opposed to a more traditional phone system that uses optical fibers and copper wires across a physical connection.
As it is used through your internet connection it is available on a host of different types of devices. So whether you are on a mobile phone or a desktop, you will be able to take part in your companies unified communications.
By using a selected phone number, you will be able to connect your employees with ease. If you are looking for an alternative phone solution to a traditional method then you should consider updating your companies systems today.
How does a cloud-based phone system work?
Where you are a large or small business, a cloud-based phone system will work the same way. By using data, known as voice packets, you can have a typical phone conversation entirely across the cloud. What you say, your voice is split up into separate packages that are sent to the call recipient and repeated back to them. This is extremely similar to a traditional system but instead uses the internet.
VoIP providers cant still be used to handle any call routing, allowing you to make and receive calls using a usual phone number. A big bonus of a VoIP phone system is that you won’t need to constantly maintain your physical phone system as it will be done for you online.
The cloud technology itself is known as a Cloud PBX (Private Branch Exchange). This gives users the choice to communicate either internally within the business or externally to customers and other business employees.
There are a variety of different ways in which you can make a call using a cloud phone system. Below are just a few of the most popular methods:
- Use of a mobile or desktop app to access the cloud-based system. This is easily the most common method and is available on most third-party phone system providers.
- Using a traditional phone alongside a VoIP adapter to accept cloud-based calls. The adapter itself will usually be plugged directly into the phone, but if not it may need to be plugged into your router.
- A slightly less common but still used method is through the use of a VoIP phone. Closely resembling a typical phone, these devices will allow you to tap into your cloud-based system with ease.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud-Based Phone Systems?
Choosing to opt into a virtual cloud phone system comes with a wide variety of different benefits. From a low running cost meaning, you can save on your business expenditure, to its truly accessible design suited for all employees. Here are just a few of the benefits your business will instantly notice if you choose to upgrade to a cloud-based system!
Due to a cloud-based system not requiring expensive physical hardware, both the setup and running costs are extremely low. As the application can be run on a plethora of different hardware models, from a desktop to a smartphone, specialist gear isn’t required.
By setting up a cloud phone system for your business, you will instantly notice how much of an impact a traditional system can have on your overall finances. If you are looking to save both time and money and you are tired of the traditional method, then consider updating to a cloud system as soon as possible.
As a cloud-based system doesn’t use a physical server, your business’s phone lines will be far more secure than if you stick with a traditional system for your business. Without a physical interface, it is far more difficult for hackers and other security threats from accessing your phone line.
Typically, your cloud-based services will be based in one or more offsite data centers that are highly secure and will lower the risk of a security breach exponentially.
Whereas a traditional phone method can be accessed fairly easily, cloud phone systems use a secure internet connection that is incredibly difficult to breach. This makes it an extremely appealing option for businesses that handle sensitive data and is worth considering no matter what your business deals in.
Ease of Use
By removing the need for a traditional phone set up, a cloud-based system can be far easier to use for remote workers. As the application is compatible with a wide range of different phone and desktop models, it is an extremely accessible choice.
Anyone who is familiar with calling on a smartphone or regularly uses their desktop will instantly be able to familiarize themselves with a cloud phone system. This means you will be able to switch over without the need to worry about training your staff back up.
Team collaboration has also never been easier, as a cloud phone system will allow you to connect to multiple employees at once. Never miss a call again thanks to the easy to use upgrades of a cloud system.
Must-have cloud phone system features:
Perhaps the biggest bonus of using cloud-based phone systems is the vast array of additional features that make your business communications a breeze. Add-ons such as toll-free numbers massively improve customer support whereas an auto-attendant will help you save time and money. Below are some of the most popular features you will find in cloud-based phone systems – and the ones we fully recommend you add to your package.
Sometimes referred to as a virtual receptionist, an auto attendant can help direct your customers towards the right service for their needs. A virtual receptionist is essentially a voice-controlled menu that will give customers a way to find the team they are looking for without the need of talking to a telephone operator.
If you have ever been on the phone with a large business such as a bank or similar private branch exchange, you have probably already spoken to a virtual receptionist.
This is one of the best ways to save money when using cloud phone systems as you won’t need to hire a telephone operator. It can also help prevent your phone lines from being swamped as any customers will be correctly diverted to the right team or service.
A cloud-based call routing system will work in tandem with your virtual receptionist to provide ideal customer support. Customers will be placed in a queue and directed to the relevant customer service. This is an exceptional way to prevent congested phone lines and negate potential frustrations your customers may face.
Call routing also helps prevent your employee’s time from being wasted. As the routing will happen before the phone has been picked up by a member of staff, there will be minimal time wasted on both the customer’s and staff members’ end.
This feature will massively improve your phone service and is without a doubt one of the most popular advanced features of cloud phone systems.
Toll-free numbers are easily a great bonus to offer your customers. By removing the charge associated with calling business numbers you will not only attract more customers to you but will also improve the service of those already familiar with you.
A cloud phone system has the option to provide your customers with a toll-free number which ensures your business phone calls are far more inviting. Add to this to the fact that you will have a choice of a multitude of different phone numbers and your business’s phone service is suddenly far more customer-friendly.
Video calls are fast becoming the standard in the business world as they allow more intimate meetings to take place. Seeing the person you are talking to can help build a rapport and improve communications call quality vastly. By using a cloud phone system, you will be given the option to opt into video conferencing features.
Having the ability to view the person you are talking to in real-time can improve business relations. As long as the device you are using has access to a camera, it is extremely easy to set up a video conferencing feature.
This is without a doubt one of the most requested features when it comes to improving unified communications within a business. If you are setting up your new cloud phone system, be sure to consider adding video conferencing advanced features to your package.
By choosing one of the many call forwarding features, you can set up a system that allows certain phone calls to be directed to another number. Invented by Ernest J. Bonanno, this extremely useful feature removes the need to have a multitude of different business numbers.
This feature is especially useful for remote employees or those who constantly travel. As you will be able to direct any incoming calls to your travel phone, you will never need to miss another important business phone meeting again.
If your business has a few long distant employees or your line of work requires frequent traveling, then consider adding call forwarding features to your cloud phone system package.
Managing multiple local numbers and paying to maintain them can quickly become both tedious and expensive. With each state and even some areas within these states having their unique area code, it can become pretty confusing.
Thankfully, a cloud-based phone system will take care of all of this for you. By giving you the option to port over existing numbers and route separate area codes to one main call number, it has never been easier to adapt to your customer. Remove all the hard work by setting up a cloud phone solution as soon as you can!
Working with a team from a long distance can be extremely challenging. This is especially true if you are working on the same thing, or if your jobs are intrinsically linked. Having the ability to share your screen directly with another user is extremely useful and is a great way to produce distant productivity and teamwork.
There are already desktop and mobile apps that have this feature, but few are as effective as building it directly into your cloud phone system. Regardless of whether you are working on a desktop or using your business phone, screen sharing can expertly help team collaboration.
Get rid of the need to use third-party mobile apps and improve your team messaging system by adding this to your cloud phone package.
Recording phone calls and customer interactions is a great way to train your staff in handling real-time communications with customers. This is one of the most common ways large businesses will train their phone operators, so having it directly built into each call is a great way to save time.
Improving communications within the team and with customers is a great way to expand your business. By ensuring you have the means to train your staff, you will be preventing your business from potential issues further down the line.
Everyone is prone to missing a call, no matter how prepared you are. This can make handling business communications difficult if you are extremely busy meaning you may miss out on an important call or bit of information. A decent voicemail is extremely important to ensure you keep on top of your business and that missing an important call isn’t the end of the world.
With a cloud phone system you can be sure that even if you miss an important call, you will be able to listen to what was said with ease. Callers of your business phone system will be prompted to leave a message on your voicemail system. This will be stored online giving you access no matter where you may be.
By removing the need to check your desk phone physically, you will be able to manage your business while on the go. So whether you are planning on using a cell phone or your desktop at home, you will be able to access any missed calls remotely.
Choose the Plan That’s Right for Your Business
With so many impressive features and a host of different packages to choose from, it can be complicated to find the right plan for your business. This is especially true when you can’t quite figure out what each package contains whether or not it suits you.
Below you will find a breakdown of the packages we can provide, with all the features you will need to effectively run a business today. So whether you are familiar with a cloud phone system or you are getting ready to upgrade, be sure to check out the following table!