Landlines have paved the way in communications for decades, but the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is now set to be turned off by 2025 to make way for more modern solutions. As the existing network is unable to meet the demands of the modern world, providers have had to find an alternative efficient route. This is where VoIP comes in.
VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, technology allows calls to be made and received over the internet, meaning that as long as you have access to a stable internet connection you can communicate from anywhere in the world. VoIP is said to improve call quality, save money, and provide a number of extra features that were previously not available with landlines.
As such a significant change is happening, UK businesses are likely to be impacted by the new technology, particularly those who still rely on analogue phones. Certain industries may be more affected than others depending on the type of communications they make, how often they make calls, and where the calls are made to. It is therefore worth understanding which industries will be the most affected by the PSTN 2025 landline switch-off.
The financial industry is certainly familiar with the impact of money and efficiency on businesses. With VoIP and other digital voice systems, businesses in the finance sector will be able to manage multiple office locations with virtual extensions. Plus, with better call quality and features such as call recording, finance professionals will be able to revisit conversations, ensuring all business is conducted in the right approach.
Something to be aware of, however, is the fact that some fax machines may not be compatible with new digital networks. Therefore, if you still use fax machines and do not want to invest in a new one, you may need to rethink some of your financial operations. Yet, VoIP also has virtual fax capabilities, so there should be a solution which is fitting for everyone.
Lauren Davies of bOnline comments: “There is almost no industry which the switch off will not affect. From finance, to healthcare and more, being connected in the most modern way will become more important than ever and VoIP is at the forefront of that.”
2. Customer Service
Any business that deals directly with customers or clients will be affected by the switch-off in some way. Customer service in itself heavily relies on communication, which previously was not as optimised with landlines as it could be.
The switch-off should help customer service teams to minimise wait times that their customers experience, collect call data, and access any voicemails through emails, allowing problems to be solved faster.
What’s more, rather than being tied to a piece of hardware, customer service professionals will be able to access their calls from anywhere. Remote working will therefore be made more accessible to such companies, highlighting a healthier work-life balance for many.
Much like customer service firms, travel agencies revolve largely around the experience of their clients. The emerging digital networks should benefit travel companies by allowing them to quickly respond to customers, forward calls, quickly find an available agent when needed, and ultimately ensure they do not miss out on any business opportunities.
By switching to a VoIP phone system, travel agencies and firms should have a more streamlined communication style, which should ultimately benefit their business.
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VoIP and digital voice services can also allow hospitality professionals to offer clients a more efficient experience. There are certain features of VoIP which can work in the favour of hospitality professionals such as extension dialling and customised hold music while callers are waiting.
Whether you work in a hotel, restaurant, or event experience, having a professional image for your clients is key. The features that will be introduced with the digital network will therefore be advantageous for any hospitality company in the UK and should be straightforward to implement.
Landlines require a specific hardware device to be able to make and receive calls which may have previously hindered healthcare workers who have no choice but to work near the phone.
With digital phone lines, the wireless nature of the technology will allow those in healthcare environments to communicate while on the go. Administrative professionals can transfer calls to the right department in hospitals or clinics, and there should be shorter hold times which could prove crucial in the healthcare industry.
Non-profit organisations can greatly benefit from the new digital network as a more affordable communication solution.
From organising events to coordinating volunteers, VoIP services provide NPOs with a high-quality communication system that can be managed at a low cost. The great thing about VoIP systems is that they do not need any maintenance work as everything can be handled digitally. Plus, calls are cheaper than standard landline minutes, making it the best option for non-profit organisations in the long run.