Maybe you’re looking into VoIP software to use as a personal, private business number. Or maybe you’re evaluating different VoIP providers because you need a cheaper way for your sales reps to contact prospects. Even still, maybe you need a voice solution that can also provide your team with an online meeting and messaging capabilities (check out this post about VoIP and UCaaS platforms if you do).
Or maybe you already have a VoIP service, but want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all it has to offer.
Either way, understanding all the different ways you can use your voice solution will help ensure that you’re not underutilizing the software. In a recent survey of over 200 VoIP users, we asked respondents how they’re using different products to get a better picture of what the most popular VoIP use cases are.
We also put together a table of the top rated products for the 3 main ways businesses use VoIP technology: voice calls, video calls, and instant messaging.
5 Main VoIP Use Cases
The majority of businesses (64%) use VoIP technology not just for making calls, but also for either online meetings or messaging. While many vendors also offer online faxing capabilities, only 1% of respondents used their VoIP solution for sending or receiving faxes.
Based on our survey results, it’s clear that the 3 main ways most businesses use their voice solution are:
- Voice calling
- Video/web conferencing
- Instant messaging
We also dug a little deeper to figure out how these different modes of online communication are used across business areas. It turns out there are 5 primary business functions that organizations use VoIP services for: internal communication, talking with prospects, contacting current customers and clients, customer support, and contact center activities.
#1 Internal communication
70% of all survey takers use VoIP for internal communication, which can include voice calling, hosting online meetings, messaging coworkers, and team collaboration features like screen sharing. Many vendors currently offer unified communications (UCaaS) platforms that have VoIP technology at their core, but also include these other features to help companies streamline their online communication needs. Rather than having multiple separate tools for web conferencing, messaging, and making voice calls, companies can purchase one unified solution that does all the above.
#2 Sales communication
Just over half of respondents (53%) utilize their VoIP software to talk with potential customers. Phone calls have been the bedrock for many a sales conversation for decades now (telephones have been around since the 1800s!), and are still incredibly relevant in sales conversations. According to Salesforce, 92% of customer interactions still happen over the phone.
VoIP is often a much more affordable and scalable alternative to traditional landlines phones, or even mobile phones that rely on cellular networks. There are also several different ways individual reps can connect to a VoIP network, such as a desktop (or softphone) app, a mobile phone app, using an IP phone, or by physically plugging in a traditional phone to a VoIP network using an analog telephone adapter (ATA).
#3 Client/customer communication
A slightly higher percentage (63%) use their voice solution to engage current customers or clients. Similarly to sales, a classic form of client communication is phone calling. Customer success teams and account managers also use video calling to connect with their clients. It may seem like a small detail, but simply being able to see the face of the other person you’re talking with can help create more trust between.
There are so many subtle things, like hand gestures, facial expressions, body language, and overall level of engagement that are missed on voice-only calls. If you’re considering purchasing a VoIP solution that your customer success or account management team can take full advantage of, check out vendors like 8×8, Zoom, Fuze, Microsoft, Avaya, and Cisco that have full unified communications platforms.
#4 Customer service/support
Professionals working in customer support were a little less likely (45%) to use a voice solution. One potential explanation for this is that customers are increasingly turning to social media platforms for answers to their questions, rather than immediately picking up the phone when they have an issue.
However, for companies that still want to have a support line available for their customers to reach them at, VoIP software is a compelling alternative. This is because VoIP providers typically offer more features than a traditional phone line or cell phone service. For example, users can set up call routing, have access to an auto-attendant, have voicemails transcribed and sent to their email, or send/receive faxes online.
#5 Contact center activities
The least amount of survey participants (18%) used their VoIP software for contact center (or call center) activities. However, even though phone calls are one of the major activities call center agents engage in, this isn’t very surprising. Organizations that operate as call centers are likely using contact center software that’s specifically designed to meet the needs of the contact center workforce. In contrast, VoIP software is ideal for serving as a unified communications hub or replacing older business phone systems. But not all VoIP providers are well equipped to handle the incredibly large volume of calls that come into contact centers every day.
Top Rated Products for 3 Main Capability Areas
Given that a majority of businesses use their VoIP product for more than just making voice calls, figuring out which products excel three capability areas is important! For example, certain products like Google Voice have high scores for audio calling (8/10) and instant messaging (8.6/10), but a lower score for video conferencing capabilities (7.2/10).
If you’re looking for a voice solution that also has strong web conferencing and/or messaging capabilities, double-check our scorecard below to make sure you’re looking at the right products. The chart below includes 7 of the most popular VoIP products, each has at least 30 reviews and are listed in our VoIP Providers software category. (Products with a * do not currently have a rating for this feature).
These 7 products include: