It’s no secret that consumers are giving up their landlines in droves and switching to exclusive cell phone usage. Did you know that a lot of businesses are also following suit?
Running on cell phones alone might not work for some business owners. There are plenty of other options, though. You don’t necessarily have to keep yourself tied down with a landline.
Read on to learn more about some effective and affordable alternatives to a business landline phone service.
What’s Wrong with Landlines?
You might be wondering whether you really need to get rid of your business landline or not.
It’s up to you to decide what’s best for your business. Before you make a decision, though, you may want to consider some of the most significant ways that reliance on a landline might be holding you back.
Here are some of the main ways that landlines hinder your business.
Often, traditional landline systems are very expensive. This is especially true for businesses that are growing and need to install new lines to accommodate all their new employees.
Landlines are not as reliable as some other communication systems, either. If a call gets dropped while you’re talking to a client or potential client, that doesn’t make your business look very professional, does it?
Lack of Emergency Access
Landlines phones also aren’t ideal during emergency situations. If there’s a major power outage or a phone line goes down, you won’t be able to contact your clients or call for help.
If you rely only on landline phones, you’re required to work only in the office. If you switch to a different system, you and your employees will be able to work anywhere and be more productive as a result.
Best Alternatives to a Business Landline Phone Service
There are plenty of reasons to give up your business’s landline phone service. What are you going to replace it with, though? Here are eight alternatives that will make communication easier and more affordable:
1. Cell Phone
Depending on the size of your business, using your cell phone as your business phone line might be a viable option. If you’re a one-person show, you can give out your cell phone number and have people contact you using it.
The downside, though, is that you may run into professionalism issues if you have calls getting dropped on a regular basis or poor call quality. It can be hard to separate your work life from your home life when you use your cell phone for business-related calls, too.
2. Virtual Phone Line
A virtual phone line is a service that gives you access to a toll-free number.
People can call that number and be routed to another phone line (such as your cell phone) or to a voicemail box. You can use a virtual phone line to mask calls from your cell phone or another phone line, too.
Virtual phone lines can be good when used in conjunction with a cell phone to create a better work-life balance.
3. Call Parking and Forwarding
Call parking and forwarding is similar to a virtual phone line.
You can use it for your landline or your cell phone to deliver a recorded message to callers or forward their calls to you using a find me feature.
You can also combine the find me feature with a follow-me feature. This allows people to reach you at multiple phone numbers.
This is an inexpensive system, but you can easily rack up overage fees if you’re receiving lots of calls on a regular basis.
4. Traditional PBX Service
Another option to consider is a traditional PBX (short for private branch exchange) service.
This is a phone system that provides you with an internal phone network. That network can interact with a PSTN (short for public switched telephone network). This system allows you to handle calls through a specific number of lines.
With a traditional PBX service, the hardware is located at your office.
5. Hosted PBX Service
You can also look into a hosted PBX service. This is similar to a traditional PBX service, but your hardware is located off-site and managed by a provider.
This service can be more reliable than some other landline alternatives, but it can also get expensive, especially when it comes to hardware purchases and installation fees.
6. Auto Attendant
An auto attendant is an automated answering system.
It answers your calls and then routes to a specific, requested extension. They play music and/or recorded messages while the caller waits for their call to be connected, too.
Auto attendants can be very helpful, but they can feel a bit cold and impersonal, which may be off-putting to some callers.
7. Interactive Voice Response
Interactive voice response (also known as IVR) is an artificial intelligence application. It’s similar to a program like Alexa or Siri.
It plays a recorded voice message to callers and gathers information from them. Then, based on the response from the caller, the system chooses the most appropriate action.
Lots of businesses use IVR successfully. Keep in mind, though, that they can be irritating to some callers.
VoIP (short for Voice over Internet Protocol) is a popular wireless landline alternative.
VoIP relies on an internet connection to carry voice signals so you can communicate with employees and customers alike.
Skype is an example of VoIP, but there are tons of other providers out there that you can use.
If you’re considering this approach, be sure to learn more about pricing and plan features from different providers before you make a decision.
Try These Alternatives Today
You don’t have to stick with your current business landline phone service if you don’t feel that it’s working for you.
There are tons of alternatives that are just as (if not more) effective and cost less.
If you want to learn more about any of these options before you make a decision, we’ve got lots of helpful resources available on our site.
Visit the Tech section today for more advice on which choice will work best for your business.