Businesses all over the world seek more affordable, innovative, and faster solutions to keep their business growing every year. From onset of instantaneous communication, it was easier for business owners to communicate with their customers or clients about new deals or opportunities. Now, business owners, especially small-business owners seek a way to communicate better.
That’s why more and more small businesses are choosing VoIP solutions for their communications needs. According to a recent report by the VoIP software reviews company Software Advice, more than half of a surveyed 350 business—whose annual revenues were never over $120 million—were investing in VoIP for the very first time.
The main communication concerns among the surveyed businesses was reliability and scalability. Both of these are obtainable through a VoIP solution so less and less small business owners were interested in an onsite IP-Private Branch Exchange (IP-PBX).
With that said, an overwhelming majority were looking for a hosted solution to cut costs and maintain uptime.
Now, these small businesses still rely greatly on their mobile and landline communication systems, but for the reasons above, they are becoming more accepting of VoIP integration (In fact, 57 percent were thinking about investing for the first time).
As stated above, many businesses are still using landlines (31 percent) or mobile devices (13 percent) as their primary business-communication source. The problem with these platforms is that they are not very conducive to reliability and scalability, one of the main functions businesses are looking for from their communications.
Dropped calls and connectivity problems happen all the time under PSTN or mobile devices and that’s why 17 percent of the sampled regarded these shortcomings as a point of frustration about their current communication systems.
Another 15 percent of the surveyed cited the lack of capacity (or phone lines) was a main issue as well—they were simply running out of lines and maxing out their current systems.
With a VoIP solution, especially a VoIP hosted solution, these concerns can be rectified.
According to the survey—and this is no surprise—lower price was one of the main reasons a small business would make the switch, but sometimes lower prices come with setbacks. Some small business owners did not want to sacrifice functionality (14 percent) for price. Luckily for them, a VoIP solution covered their bases on both accounts.
To go along with functionality, businesses were sometimes frustrated by the lack of support that came along with their current communication systems. Some noted complications in integrating all the features, while others complained of never being told how to use their current systems.
To go along with this, support was another point of frustration for business owners under their current phone systems. Having to call someone to make changes to your system can be a hassle and people could use that time to be more productive.
On the other hand, a concern one might have of the VoIP platform was not as shared an opinion among small business owners are one might have thought. Only 10 percent of these potential VoIP customers cited call quality as a purchasing concern.
To wrap up all these concerns, just look to the cloud.
Under a hosted VoIP solution, small-business owners don’t have to worry about purchasing an onsite IP-PBX (77 percent preferred a web-based solution). With that in mind, many small business have an inadequacy in the IT department, especially on the premise of their business.
Buyers, then, saw light at the end of the tunnel is a hosted (and fully supported) VoIP system where they didn’t have to maintain the system themselves but could still have administrative access remotely.
It’s just something else not to worry about, or time saved. And we all know what time is when it comes to running a business.
All of the above are great selling points of a VoIP solution if you are a small business owner, but some were still on the fence. Many feared that a VoIP solution would lack the applications they wanted in their phone systems. The top three applications that small business owners wanted in a phone system were an off-site PBX system, an auto attendant, and conference calling.
We already covered the PBX, and conference calling is a must, but why the need for an auto attendant?
What auto attendants do is portray their business as larger than it actually may be. Which is a useful application to be sure.
But what about features?
One of the most surprising results of the study was that the top feature small businesses were looking for in their phone system was voicemail, specifically voicemail-to email functionality (think: people read faster than they can speak).
The kicker: All of the above can be found on a VoIP solution.
Fortunately for VoIP providers, even though businesses still rely mainly on landlines or mobile devices as their main source of telecommunication, interest is shifting towards a VoIP hosted solution.
Again, you can find the Software Advice survey here.