Bob Milliken
Bob Milliken

If you’re like me ‘busy-busy’ is a word that applies to you.  You are probably swamped with work just keeping your small business running and haven’t realized that you may have outgrown your technology, including your business phone systems. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, has been helping businesses communicate more effectively for a few years now. You probably use it in your personal life, with applications like Skype, but your company just might be able to take advantage of the technology as well.

Here are a couple of signs that might indicate your business is ready to make the jump to VoIP.
You employees use personal devices at work
It is commonplace for employees to use a cell phone to take work calls when they aren’t in the office. However, unless you have issued cell phones to your staff, there probably isn’t a reason for them to use their personal devices to talk to clients while at the office. If this is happening, there are two things you need to consider.
First, you have no way to monitor your employees’ phone usage and behavior. Are they dealing with clients in a friendly and polite manner? Are they keeping with your company’s message when speaking on the phone? Are they even talking to customers at all?
Second, why aren’t your employees using your office phone system? You may find that there are some usability or performance issues that ought to be addressed. Switching to a VoIP telephony solution can take care of both issues.
For starters, it will provide an easy-to-use phone system for your office with far more features than you currently have. More importantly, for staff who still wish to use their cell phones, calls can be forwarded from their work number to their personal device. This allows you to keep track of their usage without forcing them to give up their preferred method of communication. Since the call is still going through the VoIP phone system, you’ll also be able to monitor it should you wish to.

Clients can’t reach you
Sure, your clients probably have your work, cell and home phone numbers, but do they want to try all of them to get a hold of you. VoIP can give your clients anytime access to you with a couple of different features. The find me/follow me call routing system will see your work phone ring a few times, followed by your cell and then home phone, until you pick up or the call goes to voicemail. You can also set it up to have incoming calls ring on all your phones at once – useful if you would rather be able to pick up your calls on whichever device is most convenient at the time.

Bob Milliken is the president of Cascadia Systems Group. Connect with Bob at TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com, or give us a call – 604.270.1730. Your comments are appreciated –ComputerCents@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com