Many business models require you to have a mobile workforce. Other businesses rely heavily on hybrid or remote workers to get things done. Those businesses can benefit from using mobility-enhancing VoIP technology that streamlines communication with people who are not in a physical office. Some of those workers need far more functionality than a simple smartphone or tablet would offer. If your employees or colleagues need the ability to share files, make and receive calls, or engage in instant messaging conversations from outside the office VoIP phones can be the solution you need. VoIP phones and some associated technologies can boost productivity, employee satisfaction, and even customer satisfaction.

The Advantages of VoIP Telephone Service

Telephone service provided over the web offers quite a few potential benefits over traditional phone service. Some of the benefits come from the common features you get with a VoIP phone system. The other features come from the nature of Internet-based communications:

  • Lower total cost of ownership – Conventional business phones and service may cost more than VoIP service plus a VoIP phone, in part because the phones tend to be cheaper and in part because you will not be paying international rates or long-distance rates.
  • Better call quality – Conventional phones, both landline and mobile, are more vulnerable to issues that affect call quality. Almost everyone has been annoyed by bad cell signals that make your call sound like the other person is using a $20 walkie-talkie.
  • Higher security – Phone calls and chat messages can be encrypted from handset to speaker or from computer to computer. Note that this level of security is not a feature of all systems but is something you can expect to find if you shop around.
  • Easy scalability – Unlike conventional phone service, adding a few VoIP lines is a simple matter of paying your provider for more numbers and ordering a few more phones. You can also downsize more easily when the need arises.

VoIP phone systems have other standard or optional features that help a mobile workforce to be more productive.

Features Serving a Mobile Workforce

A modern telecommunication system based on Internet technologies can support mobile, hybrid and remote workers through several communication features. Not every IP telephone system will have these features, but many of them will:

  • Follow Me – This function routes a call to whatever device you happen to be using. This is much more convenient than having to stay by the phone or dial in to check messages, only to find there aren’t any.
  • Softphones – This is a piece of software that mimics most of the functions of a physical telephone. With a softphone available, an employee can log in and make calls or check messages on any device with the softphone app installed.
  • IM and Chat, with Presence – These related features make it easy for employees, clients, and potential customers to know when you are available to chat or exchange instant messages. This function makes work a little more efficient and convenient.
  • File/Document Sharing – Share documents, photos, and videos via chat and IM functions so it is not necessary to go through extra steps. Voice mail may also be accessible and shareable via a web interface too.
  • Remote conferencing – Employees who need to be on audio or video conference calls can join in from any place that has a good Wi-Fi signal.
  • Annotating CRM software – IP (Internet Protocol) telecommunication technology can connect to Salesforce and other customer relationship management tools. This is a premium feature, in the sense that it requires you to purchase additional hardware beyond just VoIP telephones.

Some systems extend the functionality of email by allowing users to attach voice mails or send faxes. As with CRM integration, this is often a premium feature, but it could be a worthwhile investment for a business where heavy email and phone contact is the norm. The same is true for Salesforce or other CRM integrations.

Mobile Work Applications

Mobile or remote workers can streamline their work in many ways, depending on the industry and occupation. Sales and marketing people who work on the road can make or receive calls, access voicemail messages, and send faxes by email. Impromptu audioconferences often go over well with clients when some important project or opportunity comes up. Being able to share video clips or photos over an IP phone system may also be valuable to construction and maintenance people. They may need to discuss something that is easier to show than talk about it.

On the management side, you can more easily connect with employees by seeing their status in chat. IP telephone systems usually come with an administrative dashboard. This dashboard could allow a manager to see how many calls are coming to the call center, how many are not answered, how long calls last, and so on.

VoIP Phones Have Multiple Advantages for Mobile Workers

Smartphones and tablets can be valuable, but a VoIP telephone system offers more capabilities at lower cost than conventional phones. For mobile and remote workers, the added features can be a real boon to satisfaction and productivity. If you would like to learn more about VoIP technology and how it could benefit your business, contact us to schedule a free consultation.