Insurance agents in North America have been jumping on the “VoIP train” over the last few years, but why?
The savings of course speak for themselves – typically businesses save about 50% on their phone bills compared to legacy analog based phone service and often this number can be as high as 80%. This alone is a compelling reason to move to VoIP but looking under the covers and talking to some friends in the insurance business, there are many other factors:
- Less hassle. For larger insurance companies that were used to having a traditional PBX in their phone closets, a hosted VoIP service saves a lot of head aches. No more hardware and software maintenance, having to call out Telecom Engineers to fix problems, change menus or add/remove phone lines. Hosted VoIP is located in the cloud at the VoIP providers data center – they take care of all the hardware and software, all you need is Internet access and phones!
- Portability and scalability. Customers can call the office and be forwarded, without them knowing, to the agents home or cell phone – this is very useful for emergencies during out of office hours. Likewise hiring another employee involves logging into the provider’s website and adding a line or extension – it’s that simple. Need to move office? No problem, VoIP is all Internet based so the location is not important.
- Call Recording. Many providers have call recording features so you can record calls and use them for training purposes internally – what should your inexperienced agent have said to the customer.
- Features. There are so many useful features for insurance agents, here are a few beauties.
- Auto attendant. This is essentially a virtual receptionist that is menu driven such as ‘1’ to talk to an insurance agent, ‘2’ for emergencies etc. The emergency option could forward to your cell phone or home phone so you can support your customers if they are in a car crash, as an example.
- Voicemail to text or email. Similar to above, you could be texted or emailed any voicemails that come in during out of office hours or indeed during office hours.
- Call logs in Real-time. Keep track of your employees to make sure they are making telemarketing calls rather than phoning family members 🙂 Use the call history to call a number back if the voicemail message is unclear.
- Web portal. You can change features in real-time regardless of your location, so long as you have Internet access. You could be on vacation in Hawaii and still keep track of your employees via call logs on your web portal. Maybe you forgot to forward calls to your cell phone while on vacation, simply log in and set it up.
- Outlook integration. Add software to your PC so that any time an incoming call comes in, a Microsoft Outlook contacts window pops up showing you who is calling. Also works the other way, click on your Outlook contact and make calls directly from your address book.
Hopefully this gives you an insight into some of the many advantages of VoIP for insurance agents.
Are you an insurance agent and want to learn more? Visit our Business VoIP section to learn more and request free, no obligation, VoIP quotes.