In the age of everything new and innovative, businesses have a myriad of communication channels available to choose from. Gone are the days of relying on a wordy direct marketing letter or accounts statement delivered door-to-door to communicate with your customers. Not now that you can choose from interactive emails, text messaging, live chat functionality, and even video messaging. Of course, there’s one channel that we haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s arguably the most important communication tool in your arsenal – business hosted voice, also referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
The truth is that a majority of customers prefer the telephone to all other forms of customer support, and let’s not forget that the eCommerce sector is meant to have call centers available to further support their customers. As a result, hosted voice is the key channel for businesses to connect with and care for their customers.
While there are a number of companies who already have some form of hosted voice service, we want to further explore the relevance of this channel for the eCommerce sector, looking specifically at how the evolution of this service provides value.
We want to take a closer look at:
- What is hosted voice for business?
- Powerful features of VoIP for eCommerce businesses
- 5 Benefits of VoIP in your business
- The future of VoIP
What is Hosted Voice for Business?
If you want to use your phone system to deliver improved customer relationship management and better customer service, you need to think strategically about hosted voice and what it can do for your business. But first, it’s important to understand what terms like business hosted voice and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) mean.
These two terms are interchangeable and it’s good to know that VoIP is what people are talking about when they refer to hosted voice. The slightly technical definition of hosted voice or VoIP is that this is a cloud-based service that typically depends on a third party to provide telephone connectivity through the internet. A simpler way to understand it, is that VoIP is similar to a telephone service that relies on the internet for connectivity. Because it uses the internet, it offers you a new, technologically-advanced way to connect with your vendors, employees, and customers.
In short, there are additional benefits that traditional telephone services just can’t provide.
Powerful Features of Hosted Voice/VoIP for eCommerce Businesses
Hosted voice features can do much more than just make and receive calls. Instead, you can bring your telephone setup to the cloud and unit your whole business with a single cloud-based, hosted telephone system that enables you to stay connected to your office and customers. While no two services deliver the exact same set of features, the benefits unlocked offer very real, tangible ways in which VoIP can substantially impact your eCommerce business. Possibly the most crucial of which is that you’ll never have to deal with the hassle of managing an outdated phone system in favour of a reliable system that connects you with your employees and customers, whenever and wherever.
Examples of VoIP features:
- IVR menus
- VIP ringing
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- Call hold and transfer
- Call recording
- Call whispering
- Conference bridge
- Video conferencing
- Around-the-clock tech support
- End-to-end management
- Unified nationwide calling
- Cloud-management for easy, streamlined maintenance
5 Benefits of Hosted Voice
Businesses all over the world are benefitting from the technological advancements occurring in the hosted voice space – as evidenced by the thousands of eCommerce businesses switching to VoIP phone systems. Given that most businesses, but particularly all eCommerce companies, already rely on the internet to operate, it makes sense to take your calls online, too.
Not just because you won’t have to deal with the issues and hindrances related to traditional phone systems. There are in fact a plethora of reasons to make this switch, the most significant of which is the radical difference this communication channel can make to your customer service.
Here is a closer look at our top 5 reasons why VoIP is a good investment for your eCommerce team.
The freedom of mobility
One of the key impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a larger than ever remote workforce. This isn’t looking to change any time soon as both millennials and up-and-coming Gen Zs are continuing to seek more flexibility and better work-life balance. Perhaps that’s why the most relevant reason to deploy a VoIP phone system and cut ties with traditional business telephone systems is the freedom of mobility.
With VoIP, you can seamlessly integrate this technology into your business, connecting you and your teams from wherever you are in the country (or the world) to your phone system and its rich feature set. Not to mention the added benefit of broadening the hiring pool, allowing you to cast a wider net and find the best person for the job and not just the most convenient.
Connecting in a crisis
The world is a turbulent place, no matter where you live. Riots, service disruptions, a global pandemic, and other scenarios outside of your control can always occur. It serves each of us, regardless of company size or industry, to be prepared so that we can be responsive rather than reactive. Because your phone system is in the cloud, VoIP gives your business this advantage. This enables you to survive just about anything, because you only need an internet connection to access your business’s phone system.
In short, you won’t be scrambling in search of key information, like voicemails, and you can even reroute calls to mobiles or a more appropriate destination where your team can easily access their calls.
Increased customer engagement
Older technology served its purpose for its time, but in a faster, digitally-enabled world, the old systems are typically less intuitive and more complicated to use. These challenges can damage your ability to engage with your customers, waste your team’s time and energy, result in lost opportunities, and of course, there’s the lost income to consider.
VoIP services, on the other hand, offer simple interfaces that people find easy to use and features like instant messaging, presence and virtual meetings. This puts a stop to things like missed calls that end up in your competitor’s net and increases your team’s ability to engage with your customers in a way that bolsters your business’ reputation for excellent customer service and builds loyalty.
A solution that’s scalable
Unlike traditional phone services, VoIP is provided as a consumption model. This means that it will scale with your growth. As with most cloud technologies, you are looking at swift configuration for new users, enabling you and your VoIP service to easily and quickly scale as you grow. Importantly for some businesses, such as those with seasonal employees, you’re also able to scale down if the need arises.
VoIP is digital and as a result, it’s easier than ever to collect data about your business’s calls and analyse this data. We’re talking about anything from average call time to call volume by time of day, which is easy to pull and collate because it’s all in the cloud. With the enhanced reporting and analytics that VoIP enables you can expect granular details of each call in and out of your business.
Take a moment to consider the sheer amount of accurate data that you can use to inform a customer-centric communications strategy and allow you to make smarter business decisions that will take your business from strength to strength.
The Future of VoIP
When you review business growth strategies of old, you’ll be hard pressed to find VoIP included as a significant tool. But now, the real-time communication abilities and data that VoIP calls records has the potential to take a business’ communication capability from average to absolutely incredible. You can use that data to better unify your business around the customer experience and upgrade and elevate your communication strategy simply and seamlessly.
It might be a bold step and one that you aren’t sure how to take, but we believe that VoIP is the must-have business tool that is instrumental in taking your business to the next level. Importantly, our team at Huge Connect works diligently to create systems and packages that benefit eCommerce business, including VoIP technology, and we’re available to help you take that next step.
If you’re wondering if VoIP is right for your eCommerce business, then call us on 087 820 0220 and let us help you understand how your business can benefit from this incredible technology.