For about a decade, standard PBX landlines have been the back-of-the-closet parachute pants everyone knows are a lost cause but hesitates to ditch… “just in case.”
Gizmodo dubbed landlines a doomed relic – along with floppy disks and dial-up modems – in 2014. Rumors of the landline demise began years earlier, and 19 states have already authorized providers to end copper landline service.
With VoIP reigning the number one choice for businesses, we’re fairly sure landlines won’t be coming back into style.Here are some of the biggest hassles businesses look forward to ditching when they give up the phone system that’s weighing them down.
In an age where most business operations occur digitally, landlines create a rift between communication and operations. Standard PBX systems can’t interface with computers, email or other digital devices; what happens on landlines stays on landlines.
VoIP, by contrast, is digitally compatible. VoIP SIP enhances productivity through application integration, call recording and tracking, email notifications and customizable reporting dashboards.
For example, businesses can connect their VoIP phone system with their CRM to consolidate customer and call history information, speeding up calls and adding a personal touch to caller interactions. VoIP can also send voicemail transcriptions and notifications to users’ emails, digitally fax documents while maintaining security and generate customizable reports. Virtual PBXs are now so powerful and digitally connected, in fact, that many businesses are even using VoIP for call centers.
Rigid Settings and Requirements
Landlines aren’t quite heralded for their flexibility – rather, just the opposite. Now that VoIP offers flexibility and mobility to the extent that users can manage work calls, texts and more from just about anywhere, landlines are looking lackluster by comparison.
With landline systems, changing anything from an outgoing message to IVR settings is an involved process, and almost all landline configuration changes require a provider’s help. Wait time for implementation can be lengthy, and employees often end up giving up on changes, condemning their business to inaccurate IVR menus, old outgoing voicemails and calls that forward to the wrong place.
In addition, landlines’ physical infrastructure ties all work to a physical space, making any changes like an employee temporarily working remotely or an office relocation a logistical nightmare. Even employee seating changes can disrupt a standard PBX’s fragile setup.
By comparison, VoIP makes it easy for employees to manipulate settings on their own. From changing IVR settings to forwarding calls to a coworker while in a meeting, VoIP users can easily change settings to meet their exact needs. And if they need to change seats or work from home? No problem. VoIP phones are plug-and-chug (making seating changes a breeze), and can operate through a phone app: employees can take their work phone with them wherever they go.
Long and Arduous Maintenance Processes
With landlines, every problem is an ordeal – and with aging technology and infrastructure, problems crop up frequently. From relaying issues to unresponsive support teams to scheduling and waiting for expensive third-party maintenance, issues can take days (if not weeks) to fix.
VoIP technology, by comparison, is newer and internet-based, which means it can receive ongoing updates to keep up with businesses’ needs.
Also, since providers host VoIP PBX equipment, most problems fall under their jurisdiction, and their extensive infrastructure complete with backups makes for quick (and free) fixes. Often, VoIP suppliers can fix problems by changing quality of service or bandwidth settings remotely.
Many business VoIP providers will even monitor client service to catch and fix issues as soon as they arise. Look for a VoIP vendor that proactively monitors service for issues and interfaces with third parties like internet providers to solve issues without disrupting the company’s workflow.
High Costs and Billing Issues
Amidst several landline inconveniences, perhaps the biggest factor driving businesses to switch to VoIP is the cost. What with their physical infrastructure-based service and aging equipment, landlines can’t keep up with the affordable and modern service VoIP offers.
While landlines are expensive to install and upkeep, VoIP solutions function on existing internet connections, allowing providers to deliver advanced capabilities at lower prices.
Landline providers tend to further jack up prices with à la carte pricing models (compared to VoIP’s feature bundling method) and, occasionally, deceptive billing practices. Unclear reports, one-off mystery charges and even phone bill cramming can swindle businesses into paying more than they owe.
Since VoIP services are easy to deliver and monitor, shady billing practices are less likely; however, businesses should always read VoIP provider policies and customer reviews before signing any contracts to ensure honest, customer-first service.
Modernize and Grow with VoIP Solutions
VoIP PBX service’s flexibility and advanced capabilities lend themselves to business change and growth. Considering a switch? Download the infographic on 4Voice’s business VoIP service to learn some of the other great benefits of upgrading to VoIP.