Traditional landlines have long been the primary option for businesses wanting to look professional with a business phone number. However, since the introduction of VoIP and cloud-based phone systems, more and more SMEs are choosing to have a virtual phone number.
Although traditional landlines can be more reliable (and therefore often the obvious choice), internet connectivity has become so omnipresent that more and more companies are switching to virtual phone systems as they’re generally more flexible and cost-effective.
One of the biggest advantages of a virtual phone system is the low cost involved with it – there are no setup fees and you’re not tied into expensive and restrictive long-term contracts. This is one of the main reasons why startups and SMEs are choosing to go down this route; not only do small businesses not want to be tied into long contracts, but virtual phone systems also give them the flexibility to scale up as they are able to grow rapidly without worrying about the bills.
Easy to grow
Whether your business is going through a period of growth, or you’re looking for a way to cut costs, having a virtual phone system means you are easily able to add and remove features from your account without having to call a support line. We know that entrepreneurs don’t necessarily keep ‘normal’ working hours, so it can be helpful to have a platform that’s available 24/7.
Ease of location and collaboration
Virtual phone systems do not require on-site hardware. This means startups and SMEs don’t have to worry about having multiple offices or people working from home as it’s possible to have the same number across all locations. The flexibility of a virtual phone system means that team members are able to work anywhere in the world and still be able to answer the phone like they would if they were in a office – the caller’s experience is not negatively affected in any way.
Virtual phone systems have given many companies the freedom to cast a much wider net when it comes to recruitment, as they’re often able to hire anyone in the world instead of just looking at their local area – many even do away with the traditional office set up and have fully remote teams. This allows them to hire the best talent and reduce the costs associated with having a physical premises.
Although not all virtual phone systems have application programming interfaces (APIs), some providers (such as Nimvelo) offer controlled access to the code their platform runs on. This allows people to build their own programmes that access information provided by their virtual phone system for the benefit of their business – for example, a call centre might use the API to build dashboards that displayed call data so everyone could see how they were performing.
Whether it’s because they value the flexibility or are looking to save unnecessary costs, more and more SMEs are choosing to have a virtual phone system over a traditional landline. If you’re not sure which option is for you, take a look at our post on what type of business phone system is right for you.