What do a VOIP telephone system and a cell phone have in common? Besides each being a technology we use to make phone calls, they are both based on technology that was new a couple of decades ago, and both have come a long way.
But where one is familiar to virtually everyone, the other, while touching all our lives, is far less understood. As a result, business owners may find that their employees are reluctant to use the technology that the business is paying good money for and is also, not incidentally, better for the business.
Why? And how to solve the problem. Let’s get into it.
Times They Are A-Changin’ – Sound Quality and Functionality
Back when cell phones came along and became popular, I remember walking around my house trying to find the spot where I could actually speak and listen without being interrupted by garbled sounds or long pauses.
Now that we’ve progressed to 4 and 5 G and cell towers peppering even the remotest areas of the countryside, it’s hard to find a place where there isn’t coverage (though locals will be sure to be yelling “Bent Mountain!” right about now).
Similarly, in the beginning, the VOIP telephone system quality left much to be desired. There was a lot of dropping, popping, and various other sound issues. Plus, there were (and to some extent, still are) large swathes of the country without fiber or broadband, preventing them from adapting VOIP technology whole cloth.
But things have changed in the last decade or two.
Both cell and IP phones have vastly improved their sound quality and reliability, making it much more possible to use both without causing connectivity or other communication issues.
This improvment has helped individuals, businesses, and even the telephone companies themselves to save money by using the new technologies.
The Cell Phone and Business VOIP Telephone System Both Have a Place
Business telephone systems are still great for business. As great as smartphones are, they’re not ideal for transferring calls, paging others, conferencing, call recording, etc.
Business phones are still the best real-time communication tool for business. They evolved in the office environment, and cell phones have not improved on them functionally in the business environment.
That said, we’re at the point now that Star Trek imagined over 50 years ago when everyone is carrying around a high-powered computer in their pockets. And many of us have become pretty attached to them (link).
Because of our fondness, dependency, and familiarity with smartphones, many of us prefer using them, and you may even have trouble getting your employees to use your preferred communication method while at work.
Why Not Use a Cell Phone?
Feature-wise, business phone systems are better for business and collaboration. Some of these features also relate to the accountability issue.
Call recording, call reports, and even call logs are all accountability-based features that help you know what’s happening with your business and can even help measure productivity.
Add to that the fact that when employees give out their cell phone numbers, you run the risk of losing billable hours (or, in the case of an employee freelancing, even customers), and you can see why you want all your calls to run through your business phone system.
So how do you get the benefits of both?
Cell Phone Integration with Your VOIP Business Telephone System
I’m not saying cell phones can’t be a valuable tool for your business.
For example, it’s a lot easier to reach employees in the field now that we have that tool in our toolbelt. Further, texting pictures has been an amazing feature for many service-based businesses.
But if you want your calls to go through your system, and your employees can’t break the cell phone habit, there’s a solution – cell phone integration with your VoIP business telephone system.
Most cloud and VOIP telephone systems now have the ability to install an app on a cell phone that makes it work just like a desk phone – transfers, paging, recording, and reports are all on the table!
For employees, this means continuing to use their cell with the extra added benefit of masking their telephone numbers.
For employers, it means keeping all of the call accounting features, fewer headaches, and possibly even not having to buy an extra piece of hardware.
If your employee is set on using a cell phone, install a desk phone on each cell phone. Everybody wins with cell phone and VOIP telephone system integration!
But maybe, also give them a reminder that there’s a life beyond the palm of their hand. Smartphones are great but never putting them down isn’t so smart.