Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that uses fiber optic cables to transmit the signals instead of the copper wires found in traditional phone systems. Simply put — the signals travel via an internet connection.
Digital voice (and video) transmission tech dates back to 1995, but since the internet wasn’t as powerful as it is today, VoIP wasn’t a feasible communication channel. The sound quality was dreadful, the connection unstable and the calls cut off all the time.
Eight years later, Skype released the beta version. It was the first globally known, audio-only VoIP service that in the following years expanded to video calling, file sharing and more.
We could argue that VoIP tech started developing much earlier, with AT&T’s Bell Labs and Picturephone in the sixties, but it wasn’t until the 2010s that VoIP went mainstream.
The internet connection quality rapidly went up, and VoIPs followed. In 2019, the U.S. VoIP industry has reached $14 billion — and with the current global health situation, we expect these stats to skyrocket by the end of 2020.
Now, why do these stats matter and what does VoIP have to do with marketing strategy anyway?
We plan to reveal that in today’s blog!
For now, here are some spoilers:
- It saves tons of money
- Traditional phones’ features cannot compare
- VoIP brings local flair to across-the-globe communication
- Office presence is not required
- You’ll have an insight into precious data and the ability to act on it instantly
- Customers are happy and so is the customer support team — feed two birds with one scone (no stones here, birds are cool)
Sounds good? Thought so — let’s dive in, so you can learn how to build the best marketing strategy yet with the business telephone system your enterprise deserves.
While Running Costs Go Down…
Introducing VoIP into your business enables you to cut the costs in multiple ways, and is one of the main reasons to adopt this model of communication.
Installation costs. First of all, there is no need to install a special office phone line or any new hardware. VoIP uses the existing equipment and infrastructure you own and only requires an initial 15-minute installation. The only thing you need for your VoIP to work is an internet connection. It is much more expensive to set up the traditional telephone system — and it lasts longer.
Call pricing. Remember when you accidentally called an international number as a kid and had a “fun” conversation with your parents when the phone bill came in?
Well, some of us do — and while it wasn’t really a fun conversation, the call surely was expensive.
Anyway, the cost of international calls with traditional phone systems didn’t change much. The costs are based on duration and distance from your base, and there are no freebies.
VoIP providers offer cost-effective plans at lower prices, and many of them even include this feature for free or provide free minutes.
Service maintenance and overhead costs. Maintenance costs are also higher, while the only running cost of a VoIP comes from the data usage. Additionally, it’s much cheaper and easier to add or remove extra phone numbers than it is with POTS (plain old telephone service).
Updates. When it comes to scalability, VoIP wins again. The software and bandwidth updates are faster and easier than POTS updates, as VoIP requires no additional hardware installations.
Features. Finally, the features such as Call Transfer, Call Forwarding or adding remote extensions are included in the basic VoIP packages. With POTS, each additional feature needs to be implemented separately, and it adds up to a hefty bill. Most of them are only available with cloud technology in the first place.
In the end — this saves you plenty of money when it comes to telecommunication costs!
…Conversion Goes Up!
Saving lots of money is already great news, but on top of that — using VoIP increases the conversion rate as well!
By using this type of cloud service, you have an opportunity to expand your marketing strategy through other channels besides online ones. In addition to email, ads, social media and others, VoIP will enable you to reach out to your customers and speak directly to them.
There are multiple scenarios in which issues cannot be solved the other way. Some of these include:
- Explaining something complicated
- Having to answer plenty of questions
- When it’s urgent, important and/ or personal
Although cold calling does have a bad reputation for being intrusive, it’s not what it used to be (and even when it was, back in 2010, it still had a better success rate than email). Reps have many tools at their disposal to “preheat” the call and contact people who are a good fit, and cloud tech that VoIP resides on is one of them.
Now we’re diving into the customer satisfaction area! In the following chapter, we’ll explain how VoIP technology helps you warm up what was once named “cold call” and converts leads to long-term customers.
Maximize Customer Satisfaction — Dynamic And Effective Communication
Handling the impatient customers’ requests fast is a must if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Keep them on hold just a bit longer, and you’ll lose the happy customer; with that, you may miss a bunch of referrals from them, as well as a future purchase.
By using VoIP, you’ll have instant access to all the info you can need! Cloud technology stores and updates the data in real-time, making access fast and intuitive. This makes the conversation effective and most importantly — short.
The following features will help the reps handle the calls at all times:
- Call History — access the list of calls made earlier to keep track
- Call Recording — listen to the previous conversations with a certain client and stay up to date with their situation
- Call Comments — leave useful notes for future reference, or access them to learn more when taking over the customer from another rep
- Shared Call Inbox — allows multiple sales reps to participate in call and help if necessary
Still, customers and clients can reach out to you in more ways than one. Email, Chat or Phone Support — everything goes, so even the customers that shy away from speaking over the phone have a way to ask for help or info.
Website Call Widget is another thing that makes it easier for customers to reach out. They can use it to make a call without leaving the website. Customer support reps can assist them at the moment of speaking, and guide them through the problem-solving process. Email exchange could take days — this way, everything can be resolved in a matter of minutes.
In addition to the features described above, VoIP has a way of handling the calls even before the reps pick up the phone. Queue management with IVR menus, auto-attendants — all of these direct the customers to the right department instantly, eliminating the need for transferring the call and without wasting their (and reps’) time.
What’s also amazing about VoIP is that you can do all of this outside the office!
VoIP Increases Your Availability — No More Office-Bound Work
If you opt for VoIP instead of a landline, you can work from anywhere, provided that you have a stable internet connection. Just the same, you can use any smartphone or laptop — from the office, home, coffee shop or any other location you pick. This can be especially powerful for digital nomad solopreneurs who create educational resources like online courses and want to offer consulting on the side.
It’s possible to assign the same business number to multiple devices, so you’re never caught off guard (or with an empty phone battery without a charger in sight).
This option became crucial in 2020. for the obvious reasons. However, being able to answer the call this way would still matter if the current situation didn’t have the dystopian elements.
For some businesses, being available outside the typical office hours is a prerequisite.
Then, there are different time zones you want to cover if you strive for a global presence. In the end, for huge customers in the crucial stages of the sales funnel, not answering the call is not an option! This way, you can speak to them whenever they want, and provide them with an exceptional customer experience.
Also — did we mention that VoIP opens the doors for the markets far away, but makes it look like you’re right there?
Global Reach With Local Appeal — With Geographical Number Targeting
Need to reach the customers located across the continent?
VoIP allows you to pick a phone number that matches any geographical location you wish. This also means that you can use multiple phone numbers, a different one for each area.
With this feature, your small business can have the appearance of a bigger enterprise, with HQs established in multiple cities, or even countries. Local numbers also help with customer segmentation — their needs may vary depending on the location, so you can easily group them and present them with offers relevant to their location and cultural preferences.
As it strengthens your company image, it also appeals to local customers. They will see a familiar area code, and won’t think that you’re far away, or that the call will cost them a fortune. And it really won’t — VoIP packages include toll-free numbers as well!
Geographical number targeting is also a great way to track the ad campaigns, and then analyze and compare their success. Find out how to do it below!
Measuring Your Campaign’s Success — See What Works Well And Improve Instantly
Continuing with local numbers and ads success — there’s a “trick” that will show you what ad converts the best.
When you’re putting the special, local ads together, include the local phone numbers so your customers can use them to contact you. VoIP can provide you with a fair amount of those numbers. Then, you can take a look at the stats, and see what number brings the most calls and sales! This way, you can pinpoint which ad worked the best and make a direct connection between the ads and the sales.
You can also apply this strategy when determining which web pages on your website have the best CTAs. Create and place a special number on each page (or place the Website Call Widget there), and you can estimate the success by noting down which number got the most calls.
However, VoIP has more useful functionalities that help you build marketing campaigns with high conversion rates. Integrate it with your existing CRM and sales tools and you’ll get an interactive dashboard, with all the data right where you need it.
Help Your Customer Service Team — Improving Performance With Little Effort
Including VoIP in your sales and customer service teams’ tech stack will make them work efficiently and alleviate the everyday stress that comes from working in a fast-paced environment.
The features are devised with teamwork in mind. Assign the Call Owner, and you’ll leave no place for confusion, as everybody knows their tasks and who to turn to in case they need extra info or help. Dedicated Account Manager is in charge of key customers with a long track record of high-priced purchases — eliminating the need for multiple reps to juggle several accounts and mix them up.
The Call Recording feature we mentioned also helps with onboarding new team members: go through the notable calls with them, and you won’t need to schedule special onboarding sessions. Practical, real-life examples are the best learning material!
A Shared dashboard brings the whole team together; no matter where in the world your reps are located, they can access the data in real-time and communicate with coworkers.
For every well-made marketing strategy, it’s important to go where your customers are. Using VoIP, next to live chat or emails, provides yet another channel for you to do so.
It’s a cloud service that seamlessly integrates into your existing tools, and ties them together into a powerful kit that makes your teamwork fast and effective. Not only will your team appreciate it, but the customer satisfaction levels will notably grow. Installation and maintenance are cheap and easy, and it pays off on so many levels!