Peripheral Visions

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3 Ways Your Company Can Communicate Better

Just about every company uses traditional communication methods like a telephone to facilitate communication with customers and suppliers, but do you realize that by using the Internet you can enhance your business communication? The Internet allows a company to take their communication to the next level, for a surprisingly affordable price. Saving money while obtaining advanced features is a win-win situation for even the smallest of companies.

There are Internet-based communication technologies that give a modern twist to traditional communication methods, and technologies that allow you to communicate in ways once accessible to only the largest of corporations with huge IT budgets. Fortunately, today the Internet allows any sized business to take advantage of the latest communication technologies without having to spend a bundle. Three such technologies are as follows:

1. Virtual Phone Services – A virtual phone service uses the Internet to facilitate voice communication. Also known as VOIP (voice over Internet protocol), a virtual phone service comes in two flavors – the full small business phone system and the add on service – both using your existing high-speed Internet connection.

A full virtual phone system includes everything you need to have a multi-extension office phone system, without needing to pay for traditional copper wire service. You just plug your Internet enabled phone handsets into your existing office Internet network and you get a fully configurable phone system that uses the service provider’s computer servers, eliminating the need for your company to invest in expensive hardware. You have full control over inbound call routing and other advanced features once available to only Fortune 500 companies.

An add on virtual phone solution uses your existing landlines and cell phones, but adds the same advanced features of a full virtual office phone system. You are assigned a toll-free or local phone number that becomes your main business number and you have a virtual auto attendant that routes calls to the appropriate existing phone line. You also have full control over call routing, and can quickly update how calls are routed. This means that you can have inbound calls routed to your cell phone, your home phone, or any working phone line anywhere in the world, thus allowing you to always be available to take calls, no matter where you happen to be.

Most virtual phone services come with a standard feature set, including complete voice mail service for each extension/phone line, call forwarding capability, call logs, and much more.

2. Online Fax Services – Despite the fact that faxing has been around for a long time, many businesses still rely on it as a primary means of communication. For many reasons, there are industries that are unable, or refuse, to use email to replace faxing, which means that there is still a business need to have faxing capability.

By using an affordable online fax service, you can save a great deal of money versus using a traditional fax machine, while having the features a fax machine is typically unable to provide. An online fax service uses your existing computer and Internet connection to send and receive faxes. You don’t need to pay money every month to the phone company for a dedicated fax line, and you can say goodbye to buying toner cartridges for that ugly fax machine you have stashed in the corner.

Online faxing is easy to use. If you can compose an email, or create a word processing document, you can fax online. With the ability to receive inbound faxes in your email inbox, you can literally receive faxes anywhere in the world. It also allows  secure access to an online fax account that lets you compose, view and manage your faxes with ease, making faxing online a simple process.

3. Web Conferencing – Web conferencing, also known as online meetings, enables you to meet over the Internet with customers and coworkers, reducing the need for business travel. Imagine being able to meet online from the comforts of your desk, without having to spend days traveling across the country, or world.

There are web conferencing solutions that range from just being able to talk over the Internet, to solutions where the meeting organizer shares their computer desktop to give a presentation, to a full video conferencing solution where you not only can hear those you are meeting with, but you can also see them. Depending on your business needs, there is a web conferencing solution to let you take your meetings online and significantly reduce overhead.

The Internet allows you to meet with someone at a remote location without ever needing to leave your office, while giving you the level of personal interaction that you desire. An online meeting may never be able to replace all face-to-face meetings, but for many situations, the ability to meet online can save you a great deal of time and money.

Give Internet-Based Communication a Try

Most leading providers of the three Internet-based communication technologies mentioned above allow you to try their services for free, generally for a 30-day period. This allows you to see for yourself how the Internet can help you take your business communication to the next level, without committing to anything until you are convinced of its usefulness.

These online business services can save your company money while giving you access to technology that not that long ago was out of reach for all but the largest corporations. If your company communicates via the telephone, uses a fax machine, or travels to hold business meetings, then you should harness technology to give your business a competitive advantage.

About the Author:

This guest post was written by Business Service Reviews, which is a website that features product and business service reviews that help business owners make use of technology to start and run an efficient operation.

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Categories: Business Tips


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