If you have not heard about VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol recently you must be living in a cave. Right now the Telco’s and cable companies are battling it out with the CRTC over who can do what, and to whom with VOIP. The news has been full of it.

What ever you may have heard about VOIP, this telecommunications challenger has made huge strides and will be the way businesses communicate in the future. Fortunately for us small business owners the future is now, it’s heading for the mainstream, you can take advantage of its many benefits today and save money at the same time. I believe VOIP is the end of conventional telephony as we know it.

It is estimated that 95% of Canadians have made a telephone call over the internet without knowing it. POTS or Plain Old Telephone Service is too limiting for Street Smart Marketers.

Let me tell you why I think VOIP is such a powerful weapon for Street Smart Marketers:

1.  Your clients and prospects can reach you anywhere with a single number. All the numbers you set up, can ring simultaneously, so you can choose how to answer or direct the call. Location and equipment are irrelevant. It does not matter if you are using a cell phone, a regular telephone, a mobile device or a computer, you are reachable. Users of VOIP technology report a 40% increase in real time customer access. That means your sales force or service department is that much more accessible to clients and prospects. Did you know many prospects who don’t get you the first time, simply hang up and dial someone else.  The average business has more than 11% of its business at risk as a result of the way telephone calls are handled and problems are resolved.

2.  VOIP is 20-30% less costly than even the cheapest telephone services.

3.  You have full switchboard functionality without having to invest in a PBX or PABX.  You can even transfer calls between geographically separated locations. This is something that even firms with very deep pockets cant do with standard telephones.

4.  You have full instant messaging integrated with the phone system, between any of your team, even while they are on the phone.

5.  You can mange incoming calls by sending personal calls to one voicemail message, while sending business calls to another. If desired you can even set up a voice mail for a single number, if you know you are going to miss an important call.

6.  It is so much more than voice, voice mail can be directed to one number, so you don’t have multiple voice mail boxes to clear. Voice mails can be e-mailed to anyone and so are no longer confined to the phone. Have you ever wanted to share a voice mail with someone outside of you office? This is no longer a problem.

7.  You can keep your current telephone numbers and do away with the the telephone service you have had for so many years.

Do you remember what life was like before e-mail and cell phones. Well for me VOIP is like that. I have been using VOIP for several weeks now and feel I could never go back. My customers can reach me far more easily and I am saving money. Sound quality is good and so is reliability.

What more could I ask for better service, happier clients and lower costs