As the leader of a growing company that is just getting on its feet, you have a lot on your plate and there are many strategic decisions you need to make in the first year. Of all the strategies you should focus on right off the bat, your communication strategy should be one of your top priorities. Why? Because communication permeates all aspects of your business, from marketing to sales, from PR to HR, and everywhere in between. Without an effective communication strategy, you’re not able to maximize any of your growth tactics or capitalize on marketing, sales, and customer support.
Nowadays, customers want and need to communicate with their favorite brands on a regular basis, but it’s not just about external communication – it’s also about the way you communicate internally and remotely and how it impacts productivity and output. To cut a long story short, you need a solid communication strategy (a topic for another time) and a comprehensive communication tool like VoIP, which we will be focusing on today. Let’s delve deep into the key features your VoIP plan should have, how it works and what it is, and how you can find the best provider without breaking the bank.
Modern companies require modern software solutions, and now that you’re probably working remotely and were forced to send your employees home, you need a communication tool that allows you to communicate and collaborate in real time. Voice over internet protocol is by far the best solution out there because it integrates various conferencing perks and functionalities that facilitate seamless conferencing between teams as well as your various departments and customers. Because VoIP is a cloud-based system, it’s able to utilize numerous technologies and deliver them seamlessly to your digital workspace.
Ideally, you’d want your VoIP plan to give you unlimited audio and video meetings with a big number of participants, preferably upwards of one hundred. This is the base conferencing functionality, and you also want to have full HD support and a crystal-clear connection at all times. You also need a screen share feature, direct messaging, and of course, call recording to preserve records of all calls and meetings.
Full mobile optimization
Everything is going mobile nowadays. Ecommerce, SEO, products, and services, every aspect of the modern business world is quickly adopting mobile technology and optimizing its processes to appeal to the rising mobile demographic. And the same is happening with communication. You can’t expect to run an efficient startup, in-house or remotely if your employees rely solely on your desk phones and are using God knows which apps to communicate via smartphone. Not only is that a security risk, but it’s also highly inefficient and wasteful.
That’s why your VoIP plans need to come with full mobile optimization. This should include a dedicated mobile app so that you and your employees can use all VoIP features via smartphone, and a desktop app for your PCs or Mac computers. You should also be able to use the mobile features to completely eliminate your desk phones from your workstation. The mobile app should be full of handy features that allow you to track communications and chats, view who’s online, schedule your day, and more.
Low-cost calls and complementary features
Probably the most important benefit of VoIP is the fact that it doesn’t put a dent in your company’s budget. While it used to be expensive to run remote teams, especially international ones, the fact that VoIP lets you make and receive calls over the internet lets you avoid the heavy charges that national and international communication typically incurs. Even if you’re communicating locally with employees and customers, the sheer volume and duration of calls can skyrocket your phone bill with a legacy phone system.
However, VoIP is so much more than a phone system, as it unifies all communication via phone, chat, and video so that you can easily switch between your preferred methods. If a team member is not up for a video call (we all have a bad hair day) you can use the phone, but if a client wants to look you in the eyes while you present your monthly report, well you can switch to video with a push of a button.
Collaboration functionalities and file sharing
Companies nowadays rely on comprehensive project management tools to collaborate with ease, especially when working remotely, but what you might not have known is that you can use your VoIP system to do the same. It’s not a dedicated PM tool, but that doesn’t mean that VoIP doesn’t have some handy collaboration features that are just what a growing business needs. Plus, using your VoIP system to collaborate will save you money because you can ditch the PM tool – and more money in your pocket makes the stakeholders happy.
With unlimited and unrestricted communication plus dedicated file sharing and management tools, you can easily manage the work of your remote employees and keep everything safely stored in a centralized location. You can also use the built-in scheduling and task management tools to keep all your teams and work organized.
Call analytics to drive business intelligence
Last but not least, data is what you need to grow your new business safely and efficiently. After all, good business decisions are based on verifiable information and relevant insights, not your gut feeling. You need to leverage all the analytics tools at your disposal to gather as much customer and market data as possible. VoIP is another one of your tools that has built-in analytics software that will provide you with invaluable insights about your callers and all communication in your company.
Paired with the data you collect through your CRM tool, sales, and web analytics tools, you can create a comprehensive reporting system that fuels your company’s growth. The more information you gather, the more accurate your projections will be, and so you’re able to make wise long-term decisions to survive and even thrive in those first crucial years as a startup.
If you’re running a growing business, you know that every penny counts and should go towards achieving your goals. Be sure to stop wasting resources on ineffective communication methods and tools, and integrate VoIP into your operation to take your business forward as a whole.