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Article from VoIP_News

#1 – No change in the basic user experience

If your employees are rooted in the pre-Internet world, they’ve been using desk phones for a long time, and probably the same one for most of it. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the desk phone to be the longest-serving tool in use for communication or getting work done. Perhaps the fax machine has been there longer, but there’s probably just one of those in the office. In terms of what’s on the desk, PCs turn over every few years, but desk phones last pretty much forever. Many employees are using their mobile phones more than anything on their desk, but these turn over even faster than PCs.

Your desk phones likely have a very high level of familiarity, and even though they’re all identical, each employee has a personal attachment to “their” phone. Unless it’s broken down or becomes a hazard to use, they won’t see a reason to change. If their job entails a lot of phone usage, it will be important to know that the basic user experience will stay the same when VoIP comes.

Old habits die hard, and if they view VoIP as being new, complex technology, there could be a lot of apprehension around something that’s important to them. While that may be an accurate description of VoIP, the good news is that VoIP is designed to replicate the legacy telephony experience, not replace it with a new one. Everything works the same as before, and in some cases, even the pre-sets. When they discover that, their anxiety about new technology will melt away, and they won’t miss a beat with their new IP phones.

#2 – Visual voicemail

In terms of new features that actually make VoIP a better experience, this is hands-down the one that everyone will love. For long-time legacy telephony users, this will be a great improvement since they can now stay current on missed calls when away from their desk. Since legacy systems operate independent of the data network, there is no intelligence to route messages beyond where your desk phone sits.

VoIP, on the other hand, shares the same network as all your other applications, and by integrating the phone system with your desktop, you can receive alerts about missed calls from any broadband connection. This alone will be well received by employees, but there’s more to consider. These alerts will include an MP3 of the message, so there’s no need to call into your phone system to retrieve the message. Not only that, but being a digital file, it can then be shared with others. There’s even more to like about visual voicemail, but based on these examples, it’s not hard to see why employees will love this feature.

#3 – Free calling for domestic long distance

At face value, this matters more to the employer than the employee, but it’s probably the most attractive feature for consumers when going to VoIP. Low cost international LD calling rates is another draw for residential VoIP, but the psychology is different since costs are being incurred. Generally speaking, the vast majority of LD needs for SMBs is domestic, and on this front, there are two things employees will really like.

First, since these calls are unmetered, time is not a factor. If a sales call or a customer support call runs long, there’s no need to worry about long distance charges eating into their operating budget. Similarly, conscientious employees – perhaps they’re not so common any more – may be genuinely concerned about wasting their employer’s money, so now they don’t have to feel guilty if an LD call runs longer than expected.

Second, this scenario makes life easier for some employees working from home. In cases where employees pay for their phone line out of pocket and then chargeback the costs for reimbursement, they no longer need to track domestic LD charges, which could be extensive for sales or technical support people. With VoIP, the only add-on charges will be international LD, but that’s usually nominal, and otherwise, these types of employees will love how this simplifies managing their phone service.