The business phone system used by your company can make or break your efficiency. When your phone system is cluttered, confusing, or inefficient, it can be hard to keep employees organized and projects on track. This is a major reason why it may be time to consider the advantages of VoIP vs landline.
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Considering VoIP Vs Landline Phone System for Your Business? In-Depth Comparison
Like any other decision you make for your company, it’s very important to give careful consideration to the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP vs landline. To be sure, your priority will be selecting the business phone system that will enhance the productivity and growth of your business, while also cutting down on costs and increasing efficiency.
For most businesses, it can be hard to decide between VoIP vs landline. This is because both business phone services offer features that are beneficial for businesses. Let’s start our in-depth comparison by exploring what VoIP and landline services are.
What Is VoIP?
VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol, which is a type of cloud-based communication technology that allows businesses to make calls over the internet rather than analog wires used by a landline. VoIP phone systems are increasingly popular, particularly among small businesses that want to use flexible platforms to save on costs.
VoIP is easy to set up and maintain, has more scalability, and is the future of communication technology. VoIP software works by automatically converting analog frequencies into digital data that is sent over the internet and then decompressed into analog frequencies on the user’s device. VoIP systems also offer a wide range of communication tools.
What Is a Landline?
Landline technology is a physical connection to analog wires that are used to send signals across telephone lines. For example, landlines typically use copper wires or fiber telephone lines. Landlines are typically less flexible because one wire is connected to one number, which can reduce the number of unique users and numbers you can have for your business.
VoIP vs Landline: Head-to-Head Comparisons
Aside from what each of these business phone systems is and how they work, there are a few other head-to-head comparisons that you will want to make before you choose between VoIP vs landline. For example, you will want to consider factors such as mobility, cost, convenience, and flexibility before making your final decision.
When it comes to mobility, VoIP technology is the superior option. Because VoIP software can be used anywhere you have an internet connection, this makes it easy to conduct business away from the office, such as while you’re traveling or while you’re working from home. As long as you have a working internet connection, such as through a hotspot, Wi-Fi, or 4G or 5G internet signal, you can use VoIP software anywhere.
By contrast, there’s a decided lack of mobility when it comes to landlines since landline connections can only be used in one geographical area. Landline signals are grounded to a particular location, which means it’s impossible to use a landline connection if you are away from your business. This can make it difficult to manage businesses that need several dozen extensions and can also make it more difficult for workers to work from home.
For overall cost comparisons, landlines typically run a bit cheaper than VoIP software. For example, because landlines are priced by analog connection, companies offering landline services usually charge a flat rate between $15 and $30 per month.
VoIP services, on the other hand, calculate prices based on the features you have, the number of devices connected to VoIP software, and sometimes even the number of users that will be using the software. That said, many VoIP services offer monthly or annual subscriptions that can fit any budget. For example, some VoIP services are priced between $20 and $40 a month and offer substantially more features than landlines. Other cost considerations include:
For a landline, you may need to make several initial purchases for hardware. For example, landline services can only operate with analog phone hardware, which can also include headsets, fax machines, and other tools. One of the major hardware costs for landlines is a PDX or private branch exchange system, which is a switching system that requires its own room and in-house IT team to manage multiple landline extensions.
By contrast, VoIP services can work with a user’s current device, so there’s generally no need to make additional hardware purchases. For example, the primary hardware used by a VoIP service is called a softphone, which is essentially any application that is installed on a user’s device. Some companies may also choose to use desk phones, conference phones, and headsets depending on the specific needs of the business.
For installation, VoIP systems are free to set up and install after you make your initial subscription. All you need to do is install the correct applications on devices and register users. VoIP providers can help you purchase digital numbers and online fax numbers, or you can port in your current business phone number to extend the flexibility of your business.
For installing a landline, the installation process can also be quick if you have a phone jack already installed on the premises of your business. However, the installation fee for a new phone number associated with the landline for a building can be a major initial cost, sometimes running up to $200.
When you are comparing VoIP vs landline services, convenience is one of the major factors that need to be considered. This is related to the mobility factor, since the height of convenience is being able to access business communication tools whenever you want. If you have hybrid workers or remote workers, the convenience of VoIP software is essential.
Finally, VoIP services offer significantly more flexibility than landline services. With a landline phone system, you will only be able to use desk phones or other hardware to access your communication services. On the other hand, VoIP services can be used across multiple devices. As long as the device supports the VoIP software application, any device can be a communication tool.
For example, the Apple App Store or Google Play Store can give you access to your VoIP provider’s application so that the app can be installed on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This increased flexibility can be especially important for employees.
Is VoIP Better Than Landline?
Considering that landlines will become obsolete in the near future, VoIP is generally a better option for your business phone system. VoIP offers significantly more features, increased mobility and convenience, more flexibility, and lower costs when compared to landlines.
It’s also a good idea to switch over to VoIP sooner rather than later so that your business can be prepared to use advanced technology before landlines are completely classed out of the system. For VoIP vs landline, it’s better to be on the cutting edge so your business doesn’t fall behind.
Best Features of VoIP
VoIP services offer significant features that are appealing to business owners, whether you run a small business or a large business. One of the main advantages of a VoIP service is a tiered system that allows you to cherry-pick the features that you want to bundle into your services. Some of the best features of a VoIP system include:
Landline providers offer voicemail, but the electronic system used by VoIP services is much more efficient. Although VoIP voicemail works in the same way by allowing agents and employees to access voice messages left by callers, VoIP services enhance the voicemail experience by offering transcriptions, virtual voicemails, and voicemail drops.
Voicemail transcriptions are the automated conversion of voicemails into written text. Not only does voicemail transcription allow employees to process voicemails more quickly, but this feature also allows employees to prioritize callbacks. The voice-to-text transcription can be sent to employees via email, text messaging, or app notifications.
Virtual voicemail is another important feature, since this allows users to organize voicemails into inboxes to prioritize messages. Virtual voicemail enhances the organization and flexibility of your business by allowing users to pause, forward, or delete messages. Virtual voicemail also allows inboxes to be customized so that voicemails can be searched by details such as name, phone number, keyword, or date.
Voicemail drop is another unique feature provided by VoIP services. Essentially, this is a feature that works by allowing users to leave a pre-recorded voicemail in the voicemail box of a customer. This can make it much easier to process callbacks or save agent time.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Although IVR software isn’t new, VoIP services offer enhanced IVR technology. In addition to auto attendants, the interactive voice response provided by a VoIP service gives customers increased serviceability.
IVR technology is essentially an in-house phone tree system that helps customers self-direct to agents that will be able to help them with their concerns. In many cases, IVR technology eliminates the need for customers to talk to live agents if concerns can be resolved independently.
Call Routing Strategies
One of the biggest benefits of using VoIP IVR technology is the enhanced call routing strategies that you can access. For example, call routing strategies can be list-based, round-robin, skill-based, time-based, or relationship-based.
Essentially, VoIP services allow you to organize your call routing strategies in a way that customizes the call flow through your business based on the type of business you have. Call forwarding may also be included in call routing strategies.
VoIP services also offer ring groups, which are a collection of agents or phone numbers that all ring at the same time to help a caller contact an agent more quickly. The goal of a ring group is to shorten queues for calls, improve customer service, and reduce hold times. Ring groups are also a crucial part of call routing strategies, particularly for larger businesses that have more complicated IVR needs.
VoIP services offer unique features like call analytics. Call analytics is a database strategy that will allow businesses to monitor key performance indicators and other call center metrics. Call analytics can be particularly important if you want to increase the productivity and efficiency of your business, or improve the overall customer service for your business. Some key features of call analytic technology include:
Sentiment and Predictive Analytics
Because VoIP services are offered through enhanced virtual features, every call can be monitored by speech recognition software that will pinpoint keywords to assess customer sentiment during phone calls. Sentiment analysis may also identify conversation patterns so that customer service agents can receive customized feedback.
Predictive analysis is another type of data analytics that uses sentiment analysis and other past data to predict customer satisfaction, agent behavior, and other trends associated with client-to-customer phone calls. Predictive analytics is a good way to assess individual employees for how well they are handling a customer’s needs.
VoIP software will also offer performance summaries that allow decision-makers to assess the performance of individual agents, departments, and contact channels. Performance summaries will use factors such as the number of calls answered, the number of calls missed, the average talk time for phone calls, how long it takes calls to be answered, and if customer queries can be resolved in one call.
Quality of Service Reports
Quality of service reports is another type of call analytics that can be used to assess the productivity of your business phone system. In particular, quality of service reports analyzes the health of the phone system itself, such as the quality of sound during phone calls, data transmission, and other objective data.
Adoption and Usage Reports
Adoption and usage reports are a type of call analytics that generates statistics for each communication channel, department, team, and agent. Similar to performance summaries, adoption and usage reports will analyze how often communication channels are used so you can assess whether you need to continue subscribing to features such as messaging, video conferences, or virtual phone calls.
One classic feature of VoIP software is video conferencing. Video conferencing is the number one way for certain business meetings to be conducted, particularly for remote workers.
Video conferencing technology supports internal and external video meetings for team collaboration and can include features such as file sharing, screen sharing, polling, whiteboarding, and in-meeting chats. If your business hosts a lot of meetings, it’s essential for your video conferencing to support features that will allow meetings to be organized and productive.
Internal and External Messaging
Internal and external messaging is one of the most basic features of a robust VoIP system. Internal messaging is a type of chat channel that is used by team numbers or departments so employees can more easily collaborate, whereas external messaging is a way for customers to get in touch with live agents using widgets embedded in your website.
An advanced feature of a VoIP system is a chatbot, which is an automated self-service AI that routes customers to answers, links, or other ways to contact your business. The best example of this is using a chatbot to handle payment needs or appointment scheduling. If the bot cannot resolve an issue, such as a customer wanting to return an order, the bot can get in contact with a live agent who can settle the issue with the customer.
Call Recording and Transcription
Call recording and transcription is a VoIP feature that automatically logs all VoIP calls so these calls can be accessed in the future. The call transcription technology will convert voice conversations so that performance analytics for individual agents can be assessed.
Inbox and Ticketing
Finally, VoIP services may support inbox and ticketing features, which allow queries from customers to convert into tickets that are organized into inboxes and answered by live agents. When agents receive tickets, they can use channels such as virtual calling, email, video, SMS text, or chat message to respond to the customer.
Can You Completely Replace Landline With VoIP?
When comparing VoIP vs landline, some businesses may hesitate to switch completely to VoIP services simply because old habits die hard. If you’ve been doing business with a landline for decades, it can be hard to wrap your head around the advanced technology used by VoIP services. However, the fact of the matter is that you can use VoIP services to replace your need for landlines entirely.
Who Still Needs a Landline?
Although VoIP services can completely replace landlines, there may be some businesses that can still use a landline connection, such as businesses that don’t want to upgrade to a virtual service when they already have a robust landline network. Companies that don’t need to support remote workers, hybrid workers, or advanced customer service also may not need to switch to VoIP services.
Who Benefits From VoIP Services?
Businesses that benefit the most from VoIP services are primarily those that have hybrid employees, remote workers, and those that want to improve the productivity of their call system center. The features used by VoIP software can also increase the overall efficiency of your business.
Pros of Switching to VoIP Phone From Landline Phone
There are several advantages of switching from a traditional landline to VoIP services. For example, one major pro is the affordability of long-distance and international calls, since VoIP services do not charge for international virtual calls. VoIP software is also toll-free, includes high-quality HD audio that makes it easier to hear calls, and is also more easily scalable for your business than landlines.
Are There Any Cons for VoIP Services?
Although VoIP software is usually overall superior to a landline, there are some cons of VoIP services. For example, when you switch to a VoIP system, you will need to increase the bandwidth of your business, and your employees working remotely from home may also need to improve their internet service. VoIP services require a strong internet connection to operate correctly, which may be difficult if remote workers are in an area with a weak Wi-Fi signal.
Can VoIP Still Be Used During Power Outages?
With a landline, during a power outage, it’s usually impossible to make a phone call because the electricity associated with the analog telephone line is also down. Similarly, a VoIP system may also be threatened by a power outage.
However, if your voice-over-internet protocol system can access 4G or 5G internet through a smart device, it may not be necessary to have a Wi-Fi connection that is supported by a physical modem. This means that a VoIP system is ultimately the better choice for conducting business during power outages because the remote internet connection can keep business operations stable until power is restored.
How Can You Choose the Best VoIP Provider?
Since VoIP systems are generally much better and more relevant than landline systems, you will need to be circumspect when choosing the best VoIP provider for your business. Ultimately, the factors you will want to consider include the cost of the monthly or annual subscription, the scalability of the bundles offered by the VoIP service, and the specific features that will benefit your business the most.
Many technology experts predict that landline services will be obsolete in the next couple of decades, which means it’s a good time to consider switching to VoIP services for your business phone system. If you are comparing VoIP vs landline, there are many advantages of using VoIP software, including flexibility, mobility, and increased customer satisfaction.