Nowadays, running a call center using a traditional phone system is challenging. Traditional phone lines have become outdated, leading to expensive phone calls, poor call quality, dissatisfied customers, and inefficient workplaces.

A bad communication service can harm your business’s reputation, annual turnover, and ability to meet customer requirements. Fortunately, you can avoid all these issues with one smart choice: VoIP.

VoIP technology provides a cost-effective, reliable, and secure call center solution that enhances overall business communication and customer satisfaction. In this article, we will learn more about VoIP and the benefits of VoIP for call centers.

Let us start with the definition.

What is VoIP?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the system that carries your voice using Internet connectivity. Sometimes it is called IP telephony, internet calling, or voice-over network. 

VoIP technology allows you to make and receive phone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional telephone line. VoIP calling converts the analog sound signals of human speech into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.

Modern VoIP phone systems enable call centers all over the world to run more efficiently by upgrading traditional landlines. An example of VoIP software that is popular for video calling is Skype.

How does VoIP work?

How does VoIP work

Surprisingly, VoIP technology is simple and works similarly (if not better) than traditional landlines or mobile phones. Here’s how each VoIP conversation works.

  • The VoIP phone receives digital data from another device and splits it into packets of information.
  • Using broadband internet, packets are converted and sent to a router.
  • Once the router gets the packets, it determines the most efficient way to deliver them.
  • The router gets the packets and determines the most efficient way to get them to their destination.
  • The phone that receives VoIP calls uses the addresses for each packet so that it can place them in their proper order. 
  • Conversely, the VoIP user gets the data as recognizable speech.

Comparison of traditional phone systems and VoIP

Today’s interconnected world makes communication essential for both individuals and businesses. In the past decade, traditional phone systems have dominated voice communication. 

In these systems, voice signals are transmitted by copper wires and circuit-switched networks. Nevertheless, with the advent of the Internet and advancements in digital technology, a new method of communication has emerged known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

There are several key differences between traditional phone systems and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Some comparable differences between traditional phone systems and VoIP are given below.

Traditional Phone Systems VoIP
Traditional systems depend on physical connections, like switches, and telephones. lines, to establish voice communication. VoIP relies on the principle of converting voice signals into data packets and transferring them over an IP network. 
It offers better call quality and reliability since they operate on dedicated, prioritized channels. VoIP call quality can vary depending on internet connectivity and congestion on the network. VoIP call quality, however, has significantly improved as technology and high-speed internet have advanced.
The need for physical infrastructure, such as lines, switches, and other equipment, increases initial setup costs. VoIP, on the other hand, requires minimal hardware investment and often utilizes existing internet infrastructure. 
International and long-distance calls can be expensive. You can obtain a better rate when calling over the Internet, especially if you are calling internationally or long distance.
It has limited scalability and often requires physical installation for each additional line or extension.  VoIP systems are highly scalable and flexible, allowing them to easily add or remove lines or extensions through software configuration.
Traditional phone systems need extra equipment to access advanced features. It offers many advanced features, such as call forwarding, virtual attendants, video conferencing, voice-to-email transcription, and call forwarding features.
Traditional phone systems are typically tied to physical phone lines and require hardware connectivity. Due to the fact that VoIP systems are not physically anchored to a specific location, they provide greater mobility. 

Benefits of VoIP for Call Centers

Benefits of VoIP for Call Centers

Many call centers, whether large or small, move to VoIP technology because it offers various benefits.

The financial and operational cases are undeniable. Using this technology, managing calls remotely is also possible. And another major benefits of VoIP for call centers is the customer response center. 

These are some of the reasons why call centers shifted towards VoIP. To learn about the major benefits in detail, scroll down.

1. Cost savings and efficiency improvements

Undoubtedly, VoIP calls are way cheaper than calls through traditional landlines. Since the VoIP calling system uses the internet instead of a phone line to conduct and receive calls, you can make long-distance and international calls for a fraction of the cost. 

In fact, you can make international calls at no additional cost. Many VoIP providers allow you to make calls from any state in the U.S. free of charge. So it drastically reduces the communication costs of your call center. Further, you don’t have to spend money on hardware equipment.

2. Enhanced scalability and flexibility

To make VoIP calls, call center agents can use any device, including mobile phones, laptops, desk phones, and desktop computers. Moreover, agents can make and receive calls from anywhere with an Internet connection. 

Additionally, virtual phone numbers allow you to keep the same number wherever you go. Therefore, VoIP systems increase your flexibility. 

Similarly, when your business grows, you can quickly increase your VoIP plan. You can add or delete phone lines as needed and only pay for the lines you use. You don’t have to order new hardware equipment. 

As a result, you don’t need to spend money expanding your program. This saves you money.

3. Improved call quality and features

VoIP phone systems rely on an internet connection to communicate. So call quality won’t be an issue if there is a strong and fast internet connection. In fact, VoIP calls are clear and smooth, with no lags or dropouts. 

Before, we used to call using our cell phones, which used the nearest network towers to provide the signal connection. If the signal gets interfered with during a call, the sound on the other side becomes understandable, with echoes and interruptions. 

To overcome this issue, using a VoIP phone is felt to be needed, as it ends those interruptions and provides smooth connections throughout the call so we can talk to the other side without any disturbances or barriers. VoIP phones use noise-canceling microphones and advanced audio compression to achieve this sound quality.

4. Improved analytics and reporting capabilities

Another benefit of VoIP for call centers is improved analytics and reporting capabilities. And it is important to analyze your call data to maintain and enhance your call center’s performance. 

For any call center to understand the customer’s experience, knowing more than the call duration is essential. And with VoIP systems, you will have all this data readily available. You can pinpoint anomalies and call quality problems that you have to address, like latency and packet loss. 

5. Improved customer experience and satisfaction

VoIP solutions offer features such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), Call Recording, and Chat, along with skills-based routing, speech analytics, voice authentication, voice recognition, and so on. These features help call center agents communicate with their customers. 

This cloud-based technology allows call centers to integrate unified communications into their call centers. Further, call center agents can interact with customers through email, SMS, instant messaging, and other web-based communication methods.

How to implement VoIP in Call Center?

Up until now, you’ve gotten information about VoIP systems and their benefits for call centers. But now it’s time to learn how to implement VoIP in call centers.

1. Planning for VoIP implementation

The first and foremost step to take while implementing VoIP in a call center is planning. You should define the goals and objectives you want to achieve after implementing VoIP in your call center. 

It can include improving call quality, expanding communication capabilities, enhancing agent productivity, and reducing costs. Similarly, it is very important to determine the budget for the VoIP implementation. 

2. Evaluation of hardware and software requirements

Now, evaluate existing hardware and software like phones, headsets, and other communication devices to determine if they need any upgrades or replacements. And select the softphones that are compatible with your VoIP service provider and meet your call center’s requirements. 

Further, look for features such as call queuing, call routing, reporting and analytics, CRM integration, and agent performance monitoring. 

3. Evaluation of network and internet connectivity

Evaluate the current network infrastructure, such as switches, routers, and firewalls, to verify their capability to handle VoIP traffic and provide adequate bandwidth for optimal call quality. If needed, upgrade the network equipment to meet the requirements of VoIP implementation.

Next, configure Quality of Service (QoS) settings on the network devices to prioritize voice traffic over other data traffic. This prioritization helps minimize latency, jitter, and packet loss, ensuring high call quality.

Additionally, assess your internet connection’s speed, reliability, and available bandwidth. If necessary, consider upgrading to a higher-speed link to accommodate the VoIP traffic and ensure an optimal call-quality experience.

4. Integration with existing systems and software

The last step is integration with existing systems and software. And to ensure smooth integration with existing systems and software in your call center, you must evaluate the compatibility between your CRM software and the chosen VoIP solution. 

Test whether they can seamlessly integrate, enabling features such as screen-pop functionality, call recording, and access to customer information. Through this integration, agents can be more efficient and enhance the overall customer experience.

Additionally, evaluate the integration capabilities of call center applications, such as workforce management and reporting tools, for comprehensive reporting, analytics, and performance tracking.

Best Practices for Using VoIP in Call Centers

Just implementing VoIP in call centers will not be enough. You have to apply effective practices to get the best outcome. So our next step after implementing VoIP in call centers is to follow best practices.

1. Training and education for employees

The successful implementation, utilization, and adoption of VoIP systems require the proper knowledge and training of employees. Employees should be given proper information about the VoIP system’s features and functions to implement them successfully.

It involves running comprehensive training sessions to introduce call center agents and employees to the VoIP system’s features, functionality, and best practices. You can cover topics such as transferring calls, using advanced features, call handling techniques, and troubleshooting common issues. 

Furthermore, offer ongoing education and refresher training sessions to keep employees updated with any system updates, new features, and emerging best practices. 

By investing in training and education, call center employees will be equipped to handle calls efficiently, deliver excellent customer service, and maximize the benefits of the VoIP system for call centers.

2. Monitoring and troubleshooting issues

Now, it is vital to conduct continuous monitoring and proactive troubleshooting to ensure the high performance and reliability of VoIP systems in call centers. 

So, you must implement monitoring tools to track call quality metrics, network performance, and other relevant indicators. 

Regularly review these metrics to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement. You must periodically review the metrics and establish a clear process for reporting and escalating issues to the technical support team. 

Further, you must encourage call center agents and employees to report problems and guide them through basic troubleshooting steps.

By actively monitoring and promptly addressing any issues that arise, call centers can minimize downtime, maintain high call quality, and optimize the performance of the VoIP system.

3. Evaluation of the impact of VoIP on call center operations

It is essential to evaluate the impact of VoIP on key call center operations before implementing VoIP in the call center. Measure and analyze call center performance indicators (KPIs), such as average call duration, call abandonment rates, and agent productivity. 

Using these metrics, evaluate how the VoIP system has affected the business before and after implementation. 

Find out what call center agents, supervisors, and customers think of the new VoIP system by asking them for feedback. You can obtain feedback through surveys, feedback sessions, or one-on-one conversations. 

Keep an eye out for challenges and opportunities for improvement. VoIP can allow organizations to identify areas for optimization, refine processes, and enhance the overall customer experience by evaluating its impact on call centers.

Potential Drawbacks and Risks of VoIP

Nothing comes without benefits. Everything has benefits and drawbacks. This rule applies to VoIP technology too. Some of the potential disadvantages and risks associated with the VoIP service that you should be aware of are given below.

1. Bandwidth dependency

As we all know, VoIP systems depend on an internet connection. So when the connection goes down, your phone lines go down too. Further, insufficient bandwidth is likely to result in poor call quality. Some common issues that VoIP systems can face are noise, delays, and echoes.

VoIP has several security risks that can affect service quality. Due to VoIP’s Internet dependence, hackers could potentially eavesdrop on conversations and intercept calls, gaining access to sensitive data.

Additionally, VoIP relies heavily on software infrastructure, which makes it susceptible to malware. There’s also a greater risk of DoS (denial of service) attacks when using VoIP.

2. Limited Emergency Services

Customers using a VoIP call center phone system should know that 911 cannot be accessed through the service in some cases due to limitations imposed by service providers or Internet service providers. So, customers must have an alternative means of calling emergency services.

3. Evaluation of security concerns

Security is a major concern associated with VoIP. Your virtual call center can have possible threats such as identity and service theft, malware, spamming, phishing, viruses, call tempering, and DOS (denial of service) attacks. 

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about switching from a traditional phone system to a VoIP business phone system but are confused about its benefits, we hope this article helps you clear out some doubts.

Guiding your call center into 2023 means making smart decisions and leveraging new technology to reduce costs and simplify customer service. VoIP offers several benefits that help your call center improve productivity by solving problems such as increased client demand, worker turnover, and call volumes. So start researching and give your agents a VoIP tool they can rely on!

Join Dialaxy if you’d like to increase your call center’s productivity. Our call center solution eliminates the need for expensive hardware and automates operations to help your organization communicate effectively and boost productivity. Please contact us if you need any other information. 

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