Communication is the bloodline of efficient dental practices. You need to engage with patients, particularly new patients, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Practices use different ways to accomplish this, such as email or onsite chat systems. Others have implemented VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol.
You may be asking yourself "what is VoIP" or better yet, “how do VoIP phones work”? VoIP works by utilizing broadband internet connections to host phone services instead of traditional phone lines. It’s quite useful if you’re looking to streamline how your practice communicates, without relying on contracts from phone companies. If your practice is seeking a new way to handle communication, then VoIP may be a great solution.
In this post, we'll provide more insight into how practices can use VoIP phones and services to increase productivity and efficiency as well as enhance your overall patient experience.
How Does VoIP Work?
So, how does VoIP work? VoIP converts phone signals to digital ones using broadband internet connections. Using VoIP, users can make calls with either software, an adapter, or a special VoIP phone. Along with centralizing communication, VoIP can be much more cost-effective and offers unique features.
VoIP is a great way to integrate your services into one platform. If you already have a fast broadband connection, then you already have one of the resources needed to make Internet-based calls. Still, it’s important to understand if VoIP is right for your practice.
What Are the Advantages of VoIP?
VoIP comes with a host of benefits that can improve patient communication for any practice size. Here are just a few ways your practice can benefit from utilizing VoIP:
To remain competitive with phone companies, VoIP solutions come loaded with communication features beyond making calls with broadband. Some, for instance, integrate with video chat. Others offer mobility, where a VoIP device can connect to networks on the go (even wireless), providing an excellent utility for practices that share multiple locations and have team members traveling between them.
No doubt one of the biggest selling points of VoIP is its cost factor. The low cost is the result of a variety of factors, such as the accessibility of free software compatible with VoIP phones (like Skype, for example). VoIP can also be more cost-effective than traditional landlines with no hidden fees or burdensome contracts.
What Are the Disadvantages of VoIP?
So, now you have an idea of how VoIP phones work and how they benefit your dental office. But, the service isn’t without its drawbacks. Knowing these drawbacks helps you make an informed decision about whether the service is useful for your practice.
Because VoIP phones rely on the internet to make calls, the quality relies on your internet service provider. Most of the time, this isn’t an issue, but some practices may suffer from bandwidth problems or they may lack enough speeds for calls. This means you’re limited to broadband. While it’s still possible to run VoIP phones and services with wireless, the touch-and-go quality can become a hindrance instead of a help.
While not difficult, VoIP phones require some time to get the hang of, which may require time to learn. This is a minor issue, however, as most VoIP phones are easy to use and designed for accessibility. The software requires more knowledge, but this knowledge is mainly for management (which is included with our Pact-One Voice solution).
How Does VoIP Help My Practice?
Now you have an idea of what to expect from both VoIP solutions. But, how does this tie into your practice, and how does it help? Aside from the pros and cons we’ve discussed, here are a few other considerations.
The great thing about VoIP phones is they’re a form of modern technology, which means the service is always improving and evolving. VoIP phones offer a variety of tools and unique ways to approach your practice, and you can always expect the hardware to continue to evolve for the better.
Additionally, internet speeds are constantly scaling. It’s not uncommon for a dental practice to have gigabit or similar internet services, and as such, the quality problems mentioned before are a minor footnote at best. Legacy systems and traditional landlines are still usable but are slowly less usable in the modern office environment.
If you need to replace a VoIP phone, that’s not an issue. Legacy systems, however, are more challenging depending on the age of a phone. For most VoIP phones and services, it’s a matter of plugging in the hardware – easy to install, even if you need to set it up for multiple users at once. That also means your practice won’t experience problematic things like downtime because of maintenance.
Have additional questions on whether VoIP is right for your practice? Don’t keep struggling with bad technology and poor support. Talk to our team at Pact-One Solutions about our VoIP solution, Pact-One Voice.