The great VoIP vs landline debate rages on: what's the difference, anyway? And more importantly, which one makes sense for your business?
What is VoIP (Voice Over IP Phones)?
Though most consumers have ditched their home phones in favor of a smartphone, most businesses still need some type of phone system. But even business systems have entered the digital revolution in the form of Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service.
In fact, research shows that more than 36% of businesses are using VoIP systems, citing greater productivity and lower cost as the biggest incentives. Here's a closer comparison between the two:
VoIP and Landlines: How They Work
Landline phones require physical wires and equipment to make calls. For more complex landline phone systems, businesses require a phone tech to install and make changes to their phone system.
VoIP uses an internet connection to facilitate calls and call features. Audio is transmitted as data via a wireless connection and doesn't require any physical hardware.
You can connect a regular desk phone to your VoIP phone system, or even have calls forwarded to a cell phone.
Features and Benefits
Both VoIP and landline phone systems offer a core set of invaluable features. But because of its internet-based platform, VoIP can offer more functionality that businesses may find useful.
You can remotely monitor your VoIP system and make changes on the fly. In fact, many VoIP services come with a mobile app that lets users turn their cell phones into mobile office phones.
In addition, companies can usually integrate third-party software with their VoIP system, such as CRM. When linked to your phone, your CRM can track and log incoming calls your team can reference later.
However, landlines are considered more reliable because they work in a power outage and don't need an internet connection.
Landlines are usually associated with better call quality, but as internet speeds have increased, VoIP call quality has also improved.
If you're concerned about the bottom line cost, VoIP is an obvious choice. Because there's no hardware to maintain and phone service can be as low as $20 per user per month, it can be cheaper for small businesses to go with VoIP.
With a traditional landline, you'll be paying about $25-$60 or more per line. You'll also need to consider the initial investment in the phone system itself, which can cost upwards of $200 or more, not including the handsets or installation.
Check with your local phone service provider to get pricing and availability in your area.
Bottom Line: Who Wins the VoIP vs Landline Debate?
In the VoIP vs landline discussion, there is no clear winner. Lower costs and reduced complexity can tip the scales in favor of VoIP. But many businesses still prefer the quality and reliability of a traditional landline.
No matter which side you're on, make sure you work with your provider to take advantage of everything your phone system offers. As a result, you'll be better able to serve every caller and give them the best impression of your business.
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