Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP can be explained in a non-geeky way of sending your voice calls over the internet instead of through traditional phone lines.
That wasn’t so hard was it?
VoIP and call centres
Traditionally, call centres required lots of separate telephones lines (aka trunks), lots of hardware, separate wiring for phone calls and data and an entire IT department to run everything!
With VoIP, call centres can now be managed ‘in the cloud’ so all you need is an IP Phone and internet connection and you’ve got yourself a contact centre. Oh, and you might need a computer or laptop and a headset as well.
And if we are going to be technical, call centres don’t really use VoIP – they use IP technology.
It’s almost the same thing. VoIP is more like your consumer version (e.g. Skype calls) and IP technology provide higher call quality and reliability.
Using IP technology, businesses have two main options:
1. Hosted VoIP/Hosted PBX
These are hosted by a third-party vendor where the vendor manages all the technical aspects of providing service and for most smaller call centres, this is typically the chosen solution.
2. On-Premise PBX
An on-premise PBX offers the opportunity for more control, however, it requires significant technical expertise and an upfront investment and is typically only considered for larger contact centres where there is in-house expertise available.
Benefits of VoIP technology for call centres
Putting aside whether you opt for a fully-hosted PABX or an on-premise PABX, moving to VoIP technology for call centres offers a range of benefits:
It’s easy to manage
Setting up a call centre has never been easier.
All you need is an internet connection and an IP Phone.
You only need to click a few buttons to configure the phone and bingo, you’re in business.
It’s easily scalable
No more expensive upgrades as your business grows or perhaps contracts over the quieter periods.
A VoIP solution enables you to add or delete phone lines in minutes making it easier (and cheaper) to only pay for the lines you need.
VoIP supports all channels including:
- calls (obviously!)
It will save you money
There are some significant costs savings moving to a VoIP contact centre solution over the traditional setup.
Cheaper phone calls, cheaper line rates and cheaper handsets.
Did I say cheap?
Remember how I mentioned all you need is an internet connection and an IP handset?
Well, that’s also all your contact centre agents need.
So you can easily onboard or transition to home-based contact centre agents in just a few minutes.
Not only does this provide you with some improved flexibility for your existing workforce, but it also makes it easier to scale quickly if you need more agents in a hurry.
It also helps with business continuity, enabling you to disperse all your agents if your main site becomes unreachable.
Enhanced VoIP Call Centre Features
Many of the hosted VoIP solutions offer some traditional call centre features that are either included in the price or can be added on for a low cost.
Standard features include:
There is also a range of fully hosted contact centre options available that as well as the standard features mentioned above, can also include:
- Skills-Based Routing
- Speech Analytics
- Voice Recognition
- Outbound Diallers
- Payment Gateways
- Voice Authentication
- More advanced reporting
And a whole lot more!
- If you’d like to find a VoIP solution for your business search our Business Directory for a list of great suppliers.
- If you’d like to save some time, money and stress in finding the right solution try our free CX Connect Service and we’ll provide you with a shortlist of recommended suppliers with the right experience and price for your business.