Most businesses move to Voice over IP (VoIP) on the belief that VoIP technology will save money over their current phone system. In many instances, this is simply not true.
Traditional phone companies have responded to the VoIP challenge by lowering their rates. With this being the case, what is it that explains why so many companies are moving to VoIP?
If the benefit of moving to a VoIP phone system is limited to just the cost savings, we would not expect to see so many companies adopting VoIP technology.
What is the Real Benefit of VoIP for Businesses
The real benefit companies gain from adopting VoIP technology comes from the increase in productivity, improvement in customer satisfaction and flexibility.
Productivity/Customer Satisfaction and Flexibility
VoIP, especially Hosted VoIP enables companies of all sizes in virtually any industry to increase productivity. Because a Hosted VoIP phone system allows companies to incorporate workers in any geographical location, companies can expand their hours of operation without incurring overtime.
For example, a company with a technical support department can have support staff on the east coast and the west coast. This allows a company to have expanded hours of operation and not have to pay overtime since employees will be working during normal business hours. This is a productivity gain because a company gets the same level of output without increasing costs. It is also an increase in customer service since the company was able to increase the hours it can provide customer service (8:00 A. M. Est to 8:00 P.M. PST).
Another obvious productivity/satisfaction gain comes from giving companies the ability to hire workers in an area that has a high-speed internet connection. Just because your company headquarters is in a high rent area, like New York, Chicago, Los Angles, does not mean you have to have your entire company at this location.
The JetBlue Example
JetBlue’s 500 reservations agents work out of their homes within a half-hour drive of the JetBlue Reservations Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Reservations Center has 100 seats for training new reservations agents and also houses the IT staff. JetBlue reservations agents connect to the host reservations system over the internet and use voice over IP (VoIP) connections to interact with customers. The IT staff supports reservations agents remotely by phone. And when the agents have a hardware problem that can’t be resolved over the phone or they need to upgrade the operating system or application, they take their removable hard disks to the Reservations Center to be re-imaged or exchanged for new disks.
By using VoIP technology, JetBlue has tapped into a pool or talent that may not have been available had JetBlue required their reservation agents to work out of a central office location. Another benefit to JetBlue from this strategy is the savings in overhead associated with leasing office space. This expense completely goes away because JetBlue adopted VoIP technology.
VoIP, especially Hosted VoIP, offers company opportunities to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and save money. The flexibility to hire workers in any location and incorporate them into a company’s phone system is a game changer. Companies are now freed from only having to draw talent from the local area surrounding the home office location and they are no longer to accept the higher rent space of a geographical area, just because it happens to be where their headquarters are located.