What telephony software does your business need?
Business phone systems, options and needs have changed immensely over the past couple of decades. Organizations of all types must update quickly to remain competitive and survive. New companies and even nonprofits must make sure they are adopting the right technology, including telephony software, or face the fact that you quite likely won’t see your vision realized.
Here’s the 411 on telephony software, common services and features, new must have tools, and tips for choosing the best options.
Telephony is all things telecommunications. Telephony software refers to all things digital in this space, including Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
It’s all about how you communicate both internally with your teams, and more importantly, how you communicate with your customers via phone devices.
Telephony software is what enables you to reach them, and for them to reach you, and navigate your organization. It’s all happening behind the scenes when they dial your number, you pick up the phone, you text them, etc.
Since the earliest big telecom companies figured out how to use monopolies and regulation to limit or even eliminate competition, phone services became quirky, inefficient and expensive.
You can also imagine it wasn’t cheap to lay and operate phone lines early on. In the beginning you had to directly connect two phones for them to be able to be able to talk to each other. Eventually this became manual exchanges which required human workers to physically connect two phone lines, after callers spoke to an operator and requested the recipient by name. You can imagine the cost and inefficiency this involved.
Then came trunk lines and IP phones. Business phone systems evolved, but they still required large physical stacks and expensive handsets that sat on desktops and could cost hundreds of dollars each. Calls were still extremely expensive, and long distance calls could still run a $1 a minute or more.
Then around 2003 VoIP and telephony software really began to transform. With new services like Vonage, all of a sudden businesses could have multiple phone lines, route numbers anywhere, and all at a tiny fraction of the cost of systems and service being sold months before.
At the same time mobile phones were developing with the Blackberry and Microsoft document capabilities, but service and data was still limited and very expensive.
Just a couple of years later and everything started changing much faster with services like Skype, and then eventually free WiFi calling services like WhatsApp became the norm. Along with unlimited text and data plans. While businesses found they could do everything digitally, and at a small fraction of previous costs, without the need for hardware.
Some of the most commonly used telephony services by small businesses as of 2020 included:
Some of the typical features businesses can expect or look for when shopping for telephony software include:
Some newer additions and developments with these services can include:
One of the biggest developments in this space in the last couple of years has been the emergence of ringless voicemail (RV).
Ringless voicemail services allow businesses and nonprofits to drop voicemail messages directly into phone users voicemail boxes. This technology does not cause the phone to ring, bypassing the common challenges cold callers, call centers, and every other business person and worker faces in connecting with leads and existing and past clients. The message can’t be bounced. This means a 96% open rate for these messages. Almost 4x as much as email, and 2x as live agent calls or voice broadcasts. It's even more than 10% more effective than text messaging.
Ringless voicemail gets your message delivered. This is critical for a variety of business purposes which can benefit from generating inbound callbacks, including:
Turning the tables in your favor by generating inbound calls, and even taking this a step further by combining these calls with IVR carries many benefits, including:
Put simply, ringless can be a total game changer for new and existing businesses. It can make all the difference in competitiveness and profitability. It can achieve what these other telephony services have not yet been able to offer.
What’s important when selecting the optimal telephony software for your organization?