Difference Between VoIP and PSTN


Since it was first introduced, VoIP has quickly been selected as a cost-effective and future-proof option for PSTN. By 2021, VoIP users have reached 3 billion tags – a considerable achievement compared to only 2 million businesses connected to the landline. With more companies keen on employee mobility and flexibility, there are no signs that this trend is changing or declining. But is it time to officially call PSTN Termination?

What is PSTN?

PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is a traditional circuit-switched telephone network. It is best described by other acronyms, POTS or the plain old telephone system. Since the late nineteenth century, it has provided infrastructure and services for public transportation and replaced landlines as an alternative to personal and commercial communication.

What is VoIP?

Over the past 30 years, VoIP has made rapid progress in the telecommunications industry, proving its reliability and versatility. VoIP depends entirely on an Internet connection to make and receive calls. The audio data is sent over the network as compressed packets and decoded and decompressed at the receiving end.
The main difference between PSTN and VoIP
While enabling successful long-distance communication is the ultimate goal of both networks, it paints a list of similarities to the end. However, when this is considered, PSTN and VoIP take two completely different paths toward this goal. For example:

Technology and hardware

PSTN is a two-point circuit-switched network. It consists of copper wires that are used to transmit analog audio data. They rely heavily on telephone wires, switching hubs, and cabling systems to ensure high-quality audio transmission.
On the other hand, VoIP is a packet-switched network that sends digital audio signals from the sender to the receiver in real-time via a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. Users have the flexibility to make calls from their existing landline using a dedicated VoIP desk phone or adapter or by downloading an electronic phone to their mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

Expenses

Call charges on a traditional landline are based on distance and time. For a person who makes frequent international calls, this means having difficulty estimating the vast and unexpected monthly bills and their communication budget.
However, in the case of VoIP, your standard monthly subscription eliminates the element of surprise. This monthly or annual rate is determined by the users and features you want to apply and can be modified entirely to meet your business needs.
In addition, unlike PSTN, VoIP does not require significant infrastructure costs on hardware, wiring, and personal telephone installations. VoIP telephony efficiently reuses existing devices and internet connections without the need for any additional initial investment. It is manipulated that companies can save up to 80% by eliminating traditional circuit-switched networks.

Features

Since PSTN can only make and receive calls, VoIP telephony is a clear winner when we consider the features on offer. VoIP is not just about making calls but getting the most out of each call. Offers a complete set of default features, including:

  • mail
  • Call transfer
  • Call recording
  • Call monitoring
  • Call queue
  • Call forwarding
  • Availability status etc.

Some systems may even offer simple AI-powered devices like Digital Receptionists. It helps customers in a timely and efficient manner using automatic commands, queue, and on-hold music. In addition, automated service handlers can collect basic caller details with more sophisticated software to help agents quickly adapt their approach to customer needs.

PSTN Advantages

Although lagging in terms of cost and features, it still sets the standard for: Security: VoIP’s reliance on the Internet to transmit data is its most significant strength and weakness. While Internet setups are vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks, companies that handle sensitive data prefer traditional landlines. Quality: It’s not that VoIP doesn’t match the quality of land calls, but it often doesn’t have the same consistency. With PSTN, signals typically travel at high speeds using copper wires and are not subject to low bandwidth.
Utility: Businesses seek the benefits of VoIP – making changes is never easy. The landline has long been an easy-to-use solution and a comfortable area for many employees and managers.


VoIP Advantages

In addition to being a unique and cost-effective solution, as discussed earlier, VoIP offers several benefits that are hard to miss:
Flexibility: Select the device, providers, SIP trunk, number, and country-code you want to use. IP telephony offers unimaginable freedom and control over setting up connections.
Mobility: Lack of dedicated infrastructure means the system can be adapted from anywhere, providing employees with all the tools required to be productive.
Scalability: With just one click, you can upgrade or downgrade your subscription to meet the needs of your current business and eliminate the need for long (and expensive) hardware replacements.
Maintenance: Most VoIP maintenance can be done through automated software updates that are free and take a few minutes to install.

Conclusion

We cannot deny the VoIP’s contribution and innovation in communication. VoIP is a clear choice for many simply because of its comfort and flexibility. However, we will not be in a hurry to announce the death of PSTN. POTS still offers unparalleled reliability and consistency. As a result, it serves as a backbone and safety net for many companies trying to get the most out of VoIP.

Where to get the best VoIP service?

Intratel is a leading provider of business telephony / VoIP systems and solutions. We use our innovative and full-service capabilities to provide your business with affordable, reliable, and specialized enterprise-class telephony solutions. Call us right now!

Businesses Turning Towards Contact Center Solutions & How Can It Benefit Your Business

Companies have customers, and they interact with the company’s customer service agent, and the agents face challenges. Handling it professionally is essential for business success. It is vital to have a recurring client, and communication needs to be handled professionally and aesthetically. Poor customer service benefits competitors.

Many factors manage these challenges. For example, customer service may seem impossible, but modern technology indicates a flash of light at the end of the tunnel.

The primary way to manage these challenges and barriers is to respond effectively, with restraint, and on time, thus positively impacting customer service evaluation and increasing customer loyalty and business profitability.

Here are some common pitfalls that large and small companies face in customer service –

  • The customer service agent may not answer the question accurately.
  • Turning blind calls to the wrong departments.
  • Not understanding what the customers want.
  • Dealing with angry customers.
  • Report problems to supervisors and incorrect data.

Here, the role of the contact center solution comes in!

A contact center solution is a platform that facilitates customer communication through setup or software that is deployed through the cloud or on-premises in the enterprise.

Organizations can use call center software solutions for incoming and outgoing calls. For example, your agents, support teams, or sales teams can use cloud or on-premises calling and live chat for their communication needs. Cloud-based call centers are hosted in the cloud because there is no infrastructure to take care of, which is one of the most lucrative options companies are turning to.

Call center solutions can be integrated with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) of your choice to maintain a customer database with past customer interactions, which can help agents learn, track past issues and provide quick solutions. With a call center solution, your organization can be available 24/7 and use many features like conversational A.I., chatbots, voice bots, and voice blasters that improve customer service processes and reduce reliance on customer service agents. Your agent only needs to be present to clients whose queries have not been resolved by A.I. or chatbot functions, thus reducing human agents’ workload and helping them focus on more important concerns.

Some of the benefits of call center software that you should be aware of –

Reduce human error 

Minimize human error when a customer calls in odd working hours or reduced business hours, as organizations employ less-skilled workers. Also, sometimes there are excellent knowledge-based training programs that customer service agents need to study and understand. Using Call Center Software Solutions, A.I. can handle simple routine queries, and complex inquiries can be left by simply routing calls to the human customer service agent.

Improved efficiency and productivity

An overview of how your organization’s customer service sector works is one of the most significant insights that all businesses seek. Organizations may be available 24/7 for customer support using A.I. cloud-based calling solutions. They may raise necessary/complex questions to human agents by accurately routing calls while maintaining call details/call tracking and logs through the cloud.

Consistent customer experience

Customer satisfaction is critical to a business’s success as it is the final point of contact for your customers as they judge your organization’s ability to provide services. Therefore, an organization needs to use the right solutions to communicate with customers. Unfortunately, sometimes a customer service agent forgets to move an important thing or takes training. These issues lead to inconsistencies in customer service. Combining quality call center software with a live chatbot or voice bot can help alleviate this problem by becoming more intelligent over time and more accurate when interacting with customers. In addition, the best call center software provides customers with a consistent experience every time they make a call and provides a seamless transition through a human agent between incoming calls.

Quality Inspection

You can check the quality of service provided to customers with transparency and check the basics of call tracking to check the agent skill set, listen to customer and agent calls, or call if the agent makes a mistake. Verified reports, including call times, resolution repair times, waiting times, etc., can also show revenue per call.

Best Vision = Best Strategic Decision = Best Business 

Improved reporting metrics, real-time updates, instant decisions, and the latest insights help make the best strategic decisions for organizational improvement. In addition, it helps to establish excellent customer relationships without worrying about call tracking, incoming call alerts, live chat, or complete call center software solutions.

Cloud-based call center solutions also help speed up your business process while working from home!

  • It makes your process scalable, manageable, customizable, and accessible.
  • Ignores the need to install additional hardware
  • It makes the transition convenient and smooth for the call center agent and, in turn, makes it easy for the organization.
  • Remote work saves company costs.
  • Automated processes for managing stress due to low workforce and high demand

With cloud-based software’s enhanced convenience and ease of use, call center-related processes are streamlined. As a result, many companies are more involved in cloud-based customer communication technology, as the Covid-19 is the new generic for adapting to environments and situations.

With the above features and benefits, organizations must take advantage of call center solutions to grow their business smoothly and efficiently.

How to choose the right provider for cloud-based phone systems services

How to choose the right provider for cloud-based phone systems services

There are plenty of options for cloud-based phone systems. A cloud-based phone system is a telephone service that allows you to make calls over the Internet and store data in the cloud.

These systems are affordable and reliable.

Of the many phone systems available for small businesses, the cloud-based system is the most popular choice, offering reliable service, low cost, and many business-friendly features. 

What is a cloud-based phone system?

A cloud-based phone system is a telephone service that allows you to make calls over the Internet. It is also called Cloud Calling or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system. Cloud-based phone systems work differently than traditional analog phones, which use copper wire or optical fibre to make connections between two contacts so that that data can be stored and hosted in one or more secure data centres. 

Cloud-based phone systems can be used using many devices, such as traditional phones with adapters, smartphone apps, computer calling software, or VoIP-enabled phones. A cloud-based phone system is a hosted PBX or private branch exchange. All data is stored and accessed through the cloud, saving you time and money by allowing you to update and protect your information quickly.

Features for a cloud-based phone system

The main advantage of a cloud-based phone system is the abundance of features that come with your package. Here are the key features you should check:

Voice Mail: This feature is standard with cloud packages and permits you to receive messages during missed calls.

Messaging: Also called team collaboration, this feature permits many collaboration methods such as screen sharing, file sharing, document editing, and conferencing.

Do Not Disturb: It sends all incoming calls directly to voicemail without the phone ringing.

Caller ID. It lets you know who is calling. Caller ID shows caller number and name- This can be useful for identifying which calls are important and which calls are spam.

Ring group: Group ringing is a valuable feature for a team answering a group call from the same client. Whenever the phone rings for that team, every member will be notified.

Call forwarding. This feature allows users to send calls to another number.

Online management. Most cloud-based phone systems are managed through portals or management systems where administrators can add users, assign numbers, create ringing groups, and view contact data. In addition, users can check voicemail, access company directories, and set up call forwarding routes.

Unified Communications. It is also known as a single cloud solution or an entire cloud platform. It enables real-time collaboration and allows businesses to integrate their communications services such as CRM, live chat, analytics, and more into one app.

Voicemail over text or email. Voicemail to Email, or Voicemail to Text, is a handy feature that translates voicemail messages into email messages or text formats that are easy to manage.

Automated attendant: The auto attendant automatically answers phone calls to your business and directs the callers they are trying to reach.

How do you decide if your business needs a cloud-based phone system?

There are several factors to consider to find whether a cloud-based phone system is appropriate for you. They are: 

Equipment: Whether you already have IP phones that can easily connect to the cloud system? Or are all your phones traditional and need a desk phone adapter? Your existing equipment can significantly impact costs, so think carefully.

Cost: You have to decide the features you wish to pay for your current system, features you do not need, and features you prefer in your new system. You need to check whether these features are included in your package or add-on is required.

Reliability: Cloud-based phone systems are dependent on the Internet. So have a solid and secure internet connection. 

Your business: Whether you possess a small or medium-sized business, Cloud-based phones can be a great way to save money on installation and maintenance and provide constant flexibility to make changes to your calling system with your business.

How to find a cloud-based system provider

After deciding that you wish to possess a cloud-based phone system, the next step is to find a provider. Every provider will offer different features and packages at different prices, so you need to evaluate which one best fits your requirements.

The best way to find a suitable cloud-based phone system provider is to do diligent and thorough research. Read company reviews, see if they offer any free trials, and see if they have any recommendations with other small business owners in your industry. Checkout Intratel it is one of the best cloud-based system provider company in Canada. Call us today!

9 Fundamental Aspects Today’s Business Phone Systems Must Have

9 Fundamental Aspects Today's Business Phone Systems Must Have

With the current telephone infrastructure, changing technology, and evolving systems, companies and organizations need to adapt and change to more advanced telephone systems. Today, our latest technology supports VoIP and mobile, making business processes easy, smooth, and fast.

However, the valuable features of the phone system are essential to realizing the full potential of your business. Below, we list the key features you should consider when switching to an IP PBX system.

1. Call Transfer

Today’s phone systems have a real-time call forward feature that allows colleagues and customers to contact you on your mobile or other available communication devices. This feature allows you to customize settings to connect to all your devices simultaneously or as your choice. If you can’t reach all devices, your phone system will automatically route the caller to your voicemail.

2. Call waiting services

If you’re on the phone, call waiting will secretly notify you in the background that there is an additional incoming call. This feature will allow you to decide what action to take, such as calling, putting the caller on hold, or sending voicemail when your conversation ends.

3. Do not disturb

This feature is self-explanatory- this allows you to stop receiving incoming calls for a specific period, which is especially useful when meeting or doing something fundamental.

4. Conference call

The ability to organize video or audio meetings with multiple employees or clients in different locations is a feature of easy modern management through reliable telephone systems with call conferencing capabilities. That will showcase the company’s professionalism and the flexibility of your business in terms of your operational business matters. You can make these calls through the softphone applications on the computer or through the tabletop IP phone units.

5. Auto-attendant

The auto-attendant is the core of the business phone system. It is part of the call that welcomes callers, provides them with a list of options, and relies on the option entered using the telephone keypad to direct them to the appropriate section or extension. Auto-attendant becomes essential even in small organizations, especially for organizations without dedicated staff for the reception duty.

6. Recording features

Call recording is another essential feature for businesses. When you can record calls, you can improve customer perception and satisfaction. This feature forms an audio file that you can retrieve, archive, share, or review from the system server.

7. Security

Security is essential for all businesses, large or small- This is because potential customers and business partners always face a safe and secure environment, which prevents hackers and malicious people from accessing critical information. In addition, many commercial phone systems today rely on the cloud, which means company data is secure because these systems are equipped with a firewall.

8. Call recording and analysis

Most IP PBX systems provide:

  • Only basic call recording features.
  • Recording all incoming and outgoing calls as well as the date.
  • Time and duration of each call.

However, your PBX system should be able to sort call logs by type and duration and download call logs into Excel spreadsheets for a more detailed logging and reliable design.

9. Active call control

This control feature allows supervisors and managers to listen to calls, instruct employees, especially trainees, and join ongoing calls. In addition, this feature makes it more convenient for administrators to monitor employee performance, making it easier to achieve customer satisfaction.

The real challenge is running the business and ensuring that the company runs smoothly. However, investing in an IP PBX system with specific features should make your job easier and more manageable.

You can get all the services mentioned above at Intratel. Moreover, Intratel provides high-quality Hosted PBX for business, On-premise phone systems, call-centre solutions, VoIP phone lines for business. Call us today!

How To Minimize Call Drop Rates Effortlessly At Your Call Centre?

How To Minimize Call Drop Rates Effortlessly At Your Call Centre

With an increasing number of calls, dropping calls has become one of the biggest problems in the call centre environment. In addition, due to various reasons, customers are inadvertently reaching out to more and more customer support.

The final decision on a product or service is increasingly dependent on consulting experts or support agents. Consequently, consumers are looking for such advice to find meaningful solutions.

Contemporary call centre phone solutions have improved the situation and made it more productive to handle the large number of daily calls that challenge the current state of the customer support system.

Abandoned call indicates that call centre functionality cannot match customer support environment requirements. Customer waiting time is another factor affected by many variables, such as agent awareness and handling customer queries efficiently.

There are ways to help reduce the call drop rate at your call centre.

1 – Intelligent call delivery

With the advent of the cloud, call centres use automatic call delivery as incoming call centre become busy and unavailable. Automatic call distribution (ACD) is a significant way to create a platform for customers to receive their calls on purpose and get the most out of them.

Helps manage incoming calls by choosing an order to deliver or root calls between agents quickly.

In addition, skill-based call routing is another feature that helps a lot in dealing with customer inquiries as customers get the most appropriate solution in the least amount of investment time.

Skill-based routing is a call assignment method used in many call centre to route incoming calls to the most suitable agent rather than selecting the next available agent.

Since the agent handles many calls, it is vital to root the call to the most appropriate agent who can offer a solution to reduce the chances of a call being abandoned.

2 – Using IVR as a self-assist tool

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an excellent self-help tool to guide customers in a meaningful way.

IVR allows computer systems to communicate with callers using DTMF tones, voice, and keyboard input. These systems respond with pre-recorded messages depending on the caller’s information.

The design of the IVR system makes it easy for service providers to use and intuitive. In addition, the straightforward menu helps customers effectively because they can find a solution independently. In any case, if the answer is not visible, the line of direct agents is always open.

With IVR, customers can quickly find solutions on their own, which builds customer satisfaction and trust.

3 – Give your customers the option to call back

The callback option is the best way to get your customers in touch with your business and profitably eliminate waiting.

Customers can receive a callback by dropping their number in the callback.

After the customer selects the callback option and shares their number in the call centre, the agent receives a notification to call back to the customer with the specified call number. This strategy enhances the customer experience as they do not have to place the call in the queue and will not charge the call.

4 – Change the frequency of messages in the queue

Playing a similar pre-recorded message can annoy customers while they wait. So instead of playing the same statement, you can toggle the message until you contact the proxy. Because with each repetition, customers are moving away from their activities.

Also, most people prefer to listen to music while standing in the call queue.

5 – Use integrated CRM software

CRM (customer relationship management) helps monitor call volume patterns based on hours, days, weeks, and months. By analyzing this data, managers can hire call centre agents for peak hours so that queues do not apply and get out of control.

6 – Increase resonance time

The “ring-ring” sound is more familiar to consumers. Moreover, it reduces the chances of disconnection because it has been psychologically proven that most people habit listening to rings rather than automated messages.

If you start a call with an automated message, it may annoy the caller. So instead of triggering an automatic transmission at the beginning of the call, create a few rings first. This small change will help reduce your call centre abandonment rate.

Leave every chance of dropping the call.

The number of calls increases rapidly, making calls a more challenging environment. However, you can bridge the widening gap between the customer and the call centre by utilizing the resources efficiently and choosing the methods mentioned above to handle the volume of calls.

Whom to contact to reduce the call drop rate?

Intratel provides the best solution to reduce the call drop rate effectively. We utilize our innovation and capabilities to deliver reliable and affordable telephone solutions to your business. Also, we focus on quality. So contact us today and reduce your call drop rate.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit From VoIP

The corporate world at large is moving further away from traditional technology in favor of modern solutions as we move into the 2nd decade of the 21st century. Nowhere is this trend more apparent than the quick switch we’ve seen small businesses around the world make to VoIP solutions. If you dig deeper, you’ll find plenty of legitimate reasons as to why this is the case.A VoIP solution basically refers to cloud-based technology that allows phone calls over the internet instead of traditional landlines. VoIP was a landmark innovation that changed how businesses across the globe communicated. It tore down whatever barriers to communication remained and in its place built a formidable channel that facilitated smooth, uninterrupted conversations.Small businesses, in particular, can benefit immensely from such technology. In fact, with more VoIP providers entering the market, we’ve seen small businesses in large numbers gravitate towards this technology. In this article, we would like to list down all the various reasons why small businesses are switching to VoIP solutions. So without much further ado, let’s get started.

1 – Enhanced Customer Experience

Your business needs a professional phone setup. This includes an automated attendant that can greet your callers with a professional-sounding message. Traditional PBX systems simply aren’t cut out for this anymore. With VoIP solutions, however, even small brick and mortar stores can equip their businesses with a solid full-featured communication system. Small businesses can leverage several key VoIP features to improve customer experience. Aside from professional sounding automated greetings, VoIP can also help with missed call texting, call analytics, and automatic call distribution. Furthermore, VoIP also allows businesses to track call data. As such, you can keep note of all the inbound calls, placed calls, missed calls, answered calls, and important details like the source of the call with the help of a robust VoIP system.

2 – Saving Costs

VoIP has major cost-saving benefits for small businesses. On average, a small business can save up to 30-50% in expenses by simply switching to a VoIP phone system. VoIP allows businesses to save money by lowering long-distance bills and monthly service bills. Businesses can also save a lot as VoIP doesn’t require extensive setup or customization when compared with traditional phone systems. VoIP also involves fewer equipment to install. Suffice to say, VoIP’s cost-saving benefit is a major appealing factor for small businesses.

3 – Fewer Missed Calls

Missed calls can be detrimental to your business. Unless you want to drive your business into the ground, you cannot afford to miss calls that usually come from clients or customers. With VoIP, you reduce your missed call volume considerably. VoIP allows the automatic rerouting of calls to multiple phones. As such, if one member of your staff is missing, someone else can immediately pick up the call in his/her place.

Moreover, VoIP solutions today also come with a feature called ‘missed call texting’. As such, after a missed call, an immediate text message is sent to your caller informing them the reason why you weren’t able to receive the call, what time you will be free and whether you will call them back. VoIP helps you maintain customer text by handling missed calls in a more efficient way.

4 – The Flexibility of Mobile Use

With VoIP solutions in place, staff members can receive official calls via their own personal mobile phones. This is a remarkable feature, especially in a time where work-from-home has almost become a new normal of sorts. Employees can make and receive calls or text messages via a recognized office number through their mobile devices. This way, employees can indulge in official matters while keeping personal information separate from their professional work on their mobile phones.

5 – Highly Scalable

Businesses don’t want to stay in the same position forever. They would scale and expand their operations. As such, you need a communication system that scales with your business as well. This is difficult with traditional landlines but not so much with VoIP. You don’t need to spend extra money to accommodate newly hired employees with a new number.

All VoIP requires you to do is simply log into the VoIP software and make a few adjustments. You can also switch your office space conveniently without having to replace your existing phone system if you are using hosted VoIP solutions.

6 – Seamless Integration with Enterprise Software

VoIP is a cloud-based technology. As such, it can integrate seamlessly with almost any of the enterprise management software used by your business. While not all VoIP solutions possess this feature, the ones that do, make running a business look like a walk in the park. With an integrated solution, you can not only see who is calling but also see their entire record. Staff members who receive calls from clients can instantly refer to detailed information that pops up on their computer screen alongside the call. This makes them better positioned to handle the client.

7 – Low Maintenance

Like we said before, small businesses suffer from limited funds. Therefore, it would help to have a phone system in place that doesn’t require frequent maintenance work. As VoIP solutions require very little equipment and are incredibly easy to set up, there is little to no maintenance required.

Hosted VoIP solutions are even easier to use. You don’t need any technical expertise to run them or fix any issue that may pop up. Small businesses can save oodles of money on maintenance costs alone by switching to VoIP solutions. The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are several legitimate reasons for small businesses to embrace VoIP solutions. They are easy to set up, require little to no maintenance, are highly scalable, and are capable of saving a lot of money for your business. They make the prospect of running a business less stressful and more efficient.

However, simply switching to a VoIP phone system will not yield the desired result. You also need to approach the right vendors to ensure your business is integrated with a reliable VoIP connection. This is where Intratel’s VoIP business phone services come into play.

Intratel arms your business with state-of-the-art VoIP infrastructure that can work seamless with your existing PBX and Intratel provided phone system.

To Learn more, you can get in touch with us or visit our official VoIP service page now.