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VoIP for retail businesses - the Pros and Cons

20-May-2014 13:48:43 / by Olivier Butler

To run a successful retail business takes more than just great products and prices; to flourish as a retail company in today’s competitive environment means taking advantage of all the best practices and efficiency savings that the modern world of technology has to offer.

For many retail businesses, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system is the perfect solution for their communication needs. VoIP can reduce costs, improve customer service and enhance overall operational efficiency for retail businesses large and small. Here, we take a look at the pros and cons.

The benefits of VoIP for retail businesses

  • Easy to get started: VoIP from SpecTronics UK can be set up to work on your existing phone number, meaning you won’t miss any calls from customers past or present. We can set up the system for you, or can provide simple to follow instructions on how to do it yourself.
  • As flexible as you need it to be: Flexibility is essential in a retail environment, and offering 24 hour customer support is a real bonus. It is also a real possibility with VoIP, as you and your team can make and receive calls from anywhere, including at home, through the same system you use at work.
  • Free calls between sites: If you have multiple outlets, even if some are in other countries, your calls between stores will always be free. Given our VoIP packages start from just £1.20 per user per month, the savings can be substantial.
  • Cutting edge call management: Call management features such as voicemail to email, hunt groups and call queues are all included in our VoIP features at no extra cost. To your customer you can appear as professional as a major UK retailer, but at a fraction of the expense.
  • Fixed and cordless phones: A VoIP system will allow you to use DECT cordless phones to ensure roaming staff such as warehouse managers are contactable at all times.
  • Call statistic evaluation: Refining and perfecting your customer service is all about learning from experience. Find out how many people call you, when they call, and from which numbers, as well as how long they are put on hold for and how many abandoned the call. This type of information will allow you to plan your staffing and marketing strategy better.
  • Voice quality: VoIP works by turning voice sounds into digital data, and then back to sound at the other end. While a modern, well designed VoIP systems can rarely be told apart from traditional telephone systems (and indeed, can exceed traditional systems in quality), there is a risk of noise disruption, crackling or echoing, if your broadband connection is of low quality.
  • Loss of service: VoIP works through the internet, therefore if you do not have an internet connection you will not be able to use the phones. Having said that, most modern internet service providers (ISP’s) offer a 99% uptime guarantee, so the likelihood of failure is slim. Power cuts can also put your service at risk, but talk to us about putting your network on a backup generator so that you can continue to communicate with your customers even in the event of a power failure.
  • Internal bandwidth dependency: VoIP depends on the internal bandwidth of your organisation, so in small businesses with out dated cabling infrastructure, there can be a slowing of PC internet speeds when the VoIP is being used. We can help you find out what your current capabilities are, and can supply superfast fibre broadband or fast ADSL at competitive prices if you decide you want to upgrade.

The drawbacks of VoIP in a retail business

The verdict

For all shapes and sizes of retail businesses, we believe that VoIP is certainly a solution you should be considering for the future. Our experience in working with retail businesses have shown us that VoIP can have a massive impact on their efficiency and productivity. Multi-site businesses can integrate onto one system without substantial investment, businesses can be flexible according to economic or seasonal conditions and savings on call costs and maintenance can be substantial.

Talk to us today about how VoIP can work in your retail business. We offer a free trial of our VoIP system to any customer considering an upgrade, so you can see for yourself how simple our hosted VoIP solution is.

Topics: News

Olivier Butler

Written by Olivier Butler

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