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Internet phone or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is also referred to as an internet telephone or internet calling. The virtual phone is an excellent means for people to reduce their monthly phone bills because of its low costs; in addition, it has plenty of features and superior voice quality during internet calling that conventional phone services just can’t match. You can use a VoIP phone system, and virtual phone numbers, for your home and business internet calling. Plus, there are a variety of internet phone service providers to meet your specific needs. Internet phones convert human voice into data packets and complete the phone call online through a broadband connection. These products are similar to regular phones in that the dial tone, phone numbers, and area codes are the same. The primary difference between internet calling and a regular phone service is the way these phone services connect your call. A conventional phone service utilizes traditional phone lines; while a VoIP phone system uses the internet for connecting your calls to public phone networks.
These are some of the most recommended VoIP providers on the market:
VoIP phone systems come in different forms. Some common types are:
An IP conference phone is similar to a regular phone. It allows effective internet calling between several people at once. You can add multiple virtual phone numbers or members to a phone call via a conference bridge.
This is a standard VoIP phone and has the features of a traditional phone along with the several benefits of VoIP technology. The virtual phone can connect through Ethernet to the phone system, ensuring high-quality calls all the time.
These 2 internet phones often go hand in hand. A softphone is often a software application instead of an actual phone. Once you install it on your computer, you will be able to make and receive internet phone calls from a VoIP phone number. For example, RingCentral’s software can be downloaded online and used across devices to make internet calls. A USB phone can be connected to a computer through a USB jack. This will allow you to communicate just like you would use any standard phone.
At times, it is necessary to talk face to face. However, this may be difficult to achieve when your clients are hundreds or thousands of miles away. However, using video phones, you will be able to call online and see each other, making it easier to give presentations as if your clients were in the same room.
A virtual phone number is a phone number that’s not tied to a specific phone. Usually, they’re programmed to forward incoming calls to pre-set telephone numbers which the owner has chosen.
They can be forwarded to mobile, fixed, or Virtual VoIP lines. It’s not limited to voice calls. Text messages can also be forwarded via a VoIP phone number. With internet phone service providers like Vonage, you’re able to forward your virtual number to different phone numbers based on the time of day or day of the week.
For example, with a VoIP phone system the virtual phone number can be forwarded to your office line during business hours but after you leave the office it goes directly to your cell phone.
Many small businesses require a phone number to communicate internally and externally. The smart ones have ditched traditional phone lines and opted for virtual phone numbers.
With virtual numbers, you’re able to cut costs, project a professional image, and meet customers where they are. In addition to that, you can use them to track calls generated from advertising campaigns, empower your team, and get up and running in minutes instead of days.
There are many benefits associated with VoIP phone services. Here are some examples of the many ways internet phone services can enhance your business:
Often times people are more likely to call a sales rep or otherwise interact with your business if they see a local number instead of an international number. VoIP phone systems allow you to have an international phone number whose calls are forwarded to an IP phone anywhere in the world. The same holds true for toll-free numbers. It adds a personal touch and clients are confident you’ll be available when they need you the most.
You can also assign multiple virtual numbers to a single line and keep tabs on where the call is coming from to measure performance in different regions.
This benefit follows on the heels of establishing a local presence. It’s no secret that calling long distance is expensive and many phone companies treat it as a different billing plan altogether.
An online phone allows you to bypass this constraint and remove the cost completely. Apart from saving yourself money, you save your customers and clients money on long distance calling. This little consideration can be the difference between people contacting you and moving on to the next vendor.
You also save costs by circumventing the need for multiple phone lines. A mid-range key system which is suitable for a small business with less than 40 employees will cost $300 – $1,000 per user. A virtual VoIP and number will cost about $39/user.
One of the problems with using direct call ads is that it can be hard to track specific campaigns. All phone calls go to the same place. With virtual lines, you’re able to set up multiple numbers based on factors important to you. For example, you can set up a series of numbers for an ad campaign that’s centered on a Christmas promo and a different set of numbers for an ad campaign focused on a new service you’re offering. You can then track which campaign is performing the best and drill down to specific ads and creatives to see which messaging pulls the most calls & revenue.
Whether your team is made up of five members or one hundred members, they can all have a dedicated business line. Direct inward dial (DID) lets you maintain a single virtual number and add extensions for each employee or department. A client or customer can contact the right person without having to be rerouted half a dozen times. It also saves you the hassle of maintaining multiple phone lines (not to mention the added expense).
Most internet phone service providers also offer a huge array of services and features not found on conventional phones. A couple of these incredible features include video voicemail, text voicemail, call parking, voicemail to email, and a busy line feature.
Moreover, IP phones have a software-oriented nature, which makes them easily scalable and generally easy to integrate with other applications and services. If your business is constantly growing, perhaps the best VoIP phone service for you will include such a software. Adding an additional virtual phone to an existing online phone system does not require a new line. You can directly incorporate it in your system and current infrastructure. This is not possible in the case of conventional phones.
Considering each of the internet phone service providers offer different features, VoIP phone services are not one-size-fits-all. You should think about which services you or your business need in order to choose the best VoIP phone service. Take these factors into consideration when buying a virtual phone for internet calling. Apart from the fact that you will make and receive phone calls, what features are you looking for in your new internet phone system? Therefore, it is vital to know if you need features like voicemail, auto-attendant, or voicemail-to-email. Perhaps the best VoIP phone service for you will also include video calls and messages.
One of the most touted benefits of IP phone systems are their ability to integrate with various business systems such as ERP or CRM platforms. Numerous internet phone systems provide API’s for integration with different software, while others do not provide this capability. You must know which corporate systems need integration with the new IP phone system before approaching a vendor.
You should also consider who will deploy, maintain, and support your virtual phone system. In case you have experienced and capable IT staff, it is likely that you will deploy and maintain the phone system on your own. In contrast, if you lack adequate IT personnel, you may have to consider options such as a hosted VoIP solution that can render these services. It is also important to keep the needs of your users in mind. Before buying a system consult your employees as they will be using it.
The process for setting up a virtual number is simple and is a benefit in itself. With traditional phone lines, a technician usually has to come out and get everything set up properly. If there’s an issue, they’ll have to come out and troubleshoot it.
A virtual phone line skips this process entirely. The best internet phone services, such as 8×8 Inc., make simplicity a priority. You can get started in a few steps:
That’s it. After step 4 you’re free to use your new number however you like.
The world is moving fast and it seems like traditional phone companies aren’t able to keep up with the times. VoIP is an exciting and revolutionary development in contemporary telecommunications that can easily make a huge difference to various businesses today. Internet phone systems are very appealing as they can save your business up to 90% on its telephone bills while providing more flexibility, superior scalability, and access to great features when internet calling.
Internet phone service providers have sprung up to meet the needs of businesses who need a simple yet powerful solution to communicate with team members and customers alike. With virtual numbers, you’re able to cut costs, project a professional image, and meet customers where they are. In addition to that, you can use them to track calls generated from advertising campaigns, empower your team, and get up and running in minutes instead of days. There are a number of IP phone services, VoIP phone plans and online phone packages available today. The decision to switch from an analog service to a VoIP system is easy, but the difficult part is to navigate your way toward the best VoIP phone service for your needs. This is why we have compiled a list in the table above of the best internet phone service providers to make the choice easier for you.