Gone are the days when landlines were the only option for phone calls. Nowadays, almost every person on the planet has a mobile phone. On top of that, the advent of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has transformed how we make calls from our homes or offices.
But while mobiles sacrifice call quality and reliability for the ability to talk on the go, VoIP provides a real alternative to the traditional landline. Even better, it offers many benefits over its old-fashioned counterpart – benefits which can provide a much-needed boost for those in the voluntary sector.
In this post, we’ll look at 14 benefits of VoIP for charities.
1. Fast deployment
Setting up a traditional telephone can be a long, drawn-out process if things don’t go to plan. You might need a new line installed, or there could be problems with the existing one, given that many have been in place for several years. BT has also committed to switching off the traditional landline network by 2025.
In contrast, one of the many benefits of VoIP is that it can be set up in a matter of minutes. Of course, there might be a couple of days to wait while your hardware is delivered. But once that’s arrived, it’s simply a case of activating the service, and away you go.
This is a huge benefit for charities, helping them avoid delays and disruption that could result in a loss of funding or interest.
While traditional phones are connected to a landline, VoIP works using your broadband internet connection. While this wouldn’t have been ideal back in the early noughties, it’s a huge boost for modern-day reliability.
With internet speeds forever increasing and coverage always expanding, VoIP is impressively reliable for individuals, businesses, and of course, charities. Even better, it will only continue to improve in line with internet connectivity. That means charities don’t have to miss out on any enquiries or opportunities.
Let’s face it – costs are probably the biggest factor for any organisation. That’s especially true for charities, which rely on funding, goodwill and voluntary work to keep them going. Thankfully, costs are another benefit of VoIP.
First and foremost, VoIP means no need for a private branch exchange (PBX), which is required for offices with multiple landline phones. This cost-benefit extends long into the future too, with domestic calls typically cheaper through VoIP and international calls even more so.
When you’re using a traditional landline or PBX system, it can feel like you’re out in the wilderness. Who do you contact if something goes wrong? Needless to say, this can be devastating for charities, who already have plenty of responsibilities to juggle as it is.
Fortunately, the best VoIP providers do things differently. With VS Group, for instance, you get disaster recovery included at no extra cost. Any issues? We’re only a phone call, email or online message away.
5. Less maintenance
If you have a problem with your charity phone line, it’s not unusual to wait days for a technician to come out and assess the issue.
Fortunately, with VoIP, any problems that arise in your service are resolved more quickly and efficiently by the provider. This is typically carried out remotely, so you don’t have to wait around for a resolution.
In addition, you don’t have any hardware onsite. So this means there are minimal costs for repairs and maintenance of equipment.
One of the major issues with traditional landlines is that you’re fixed to a single location. Not with VoIP. Because it’s run through the internet, you can use your VoIP device anywhere with a reliable internet connection.
That makes it much easier if you need to move premises. But it also makes remote working a breeze. As we saw during the coronavirus lockdowns, remote working is a great way to minimise disruption for charities and businesses.
However, it’s also becoming increasingly popular on a more permanent basis because it offers its own variety of benefits for employees and employers, including:
- Reduced office costs
- Better work-life balance
- Improved productivity
- Better staff retention
Equipped with VoIP, nothing stops you from accessing these benefits, allowing staff to work remotely as much or as little as you (or they) see fit.
When you invest in a phone system, that’s usually just what you get. The ability to phone people and nothing more. With some VoIP providers, you can also access a range of complementary services that could transform the way you work.
Collaborative tools like audio conferencing and screen sharing are the perfect partner for your phone system and could unlock even more productivity from charity volunteers or paid employees – not to mention making their life easier.
Additionally, VoIP integrates seamlessly into existing systems, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. This offers an enhanced way of connecting with charity customers, patrons and donors. Plus, it enables tracking and management of fundraising prospects and leads.
The integration of this technology also removes the need for manual data entry into different systems. So you can organise charity customer and donor databases more efficiently. Data is also easily accessible to those that need it.
8. Improving the customer experience
It’s important that any callers to your charity receive the best and most efficient experience as soon as they phone you. With a VoIP telephone system, you can improve this experience by utilising various features.
To help customers get through to the right person faster, an auto attendant feature enables users to set up menus and automated responses. This directs callers to the right place more effectively and helps you manage calls better.
In addition, call monitoring and recording features provide insights into how team members communicate with different people. Analysing customer service and identifying areas of improvement enhances the customer experience. This information is also useful for training new staff.
We’ve mentioned above how VoIP going above and beyond what you’d expect from a traditional phone system. This extends to the information available about the calls themselves. Another benefit of using VoIP is that you get real-time call analytics.
The dashboard can report on everything from call volume and duration to the number of calls in a queue or the average waiting time. The end result is more informed decisions about staffing, training or call handling procedures.
Security threats are an increasing worry for charities, as fraudulent and scam phone calls can cause devastating losses. However, VoIP systems have advanced IP technology, such as encryption, to help mitigate threats.
In addition, your provider ensures networks are protected with reliable security systems to avoid exposure to vulnerabilities.
11. Mobile application
Whether it’s a small fundraiser or a national charity campaign, missing a call is incredibly frustrating. It means missing out on an enquiry, donation or just an opportunity to spread awareness.
With a mobile application on VoIP, that never has to happen again. You can have calls routed directly to your mobile device when you’re not available, so your charity can keep a virtual ‘open’ sign on display to the public.
With VS Group, you can also use our innovative mobile application to access a feature-rich dashboard and call analytics on the go.
12. Better voice quality
In the early days of VoIP, clarity was one of the biggest drawbacks compared to traditional phones. That was down to slow or unstable internet connections, which soon became a thing of the past. Nowadays, as internet connectivity continues to improve, we see VoIP call quality surpass that of landlines.
With the right internet connection and VoIP devices, calls can be noticeably clearer and crisper than you’re used to.
13. Environmental benefits
As more charities look to cut their carbon emissions, VoIP can lend a hand. This system is cloud-based, so there’s no need for transportation or installation of extensive hardware.
The system also allows for remote and hybrid working, meaning staff can connect anywhere in the world without travelling.
Additionally, VoIP is an adaptable software application that integrates into existing hardware more effectively. This enables charities to reuse existing systems and reduces the need to purchase new equipment.
14. Future proof
As mentioned above, BT plans to turn off PSTN and ISDN networks by 2025. So, if you’ve switched to VoIP or are thinking about it, it means you’ve already taken steps to future-proof your charity communications.
If you’re considering moving to VoIP, setting up this new system is quick and simple. But, it takes some planning and consideration beforehand to ensure it’s the right choice for your charity. That said, moving to a cloud system is the future of telephony services, and you’ll be prepared ahead of time for the transition.
Discover VoIP benefits first hand
If you’re wondering what the benefits of VoIP are all about, why not try it for yourself?
At VS Group, we specialise in VoIP solutions for charities just like yours. With expert support, the latest technology and a free mobile and desktop application, you can see just how great VoIP is compared to traditional phones – and reap the numerous rewards for your charity.
Contact our friendly team today to talk about your charity and how we can help.