Modern businesses often use one of two phone call systems: voice over IP (VoIP) or a landline. Both systems have their benefits and drawbacks. In some cases, they can impact how effectively your business communicates with customers. That’s why it’s so important to learn the difference between VoIP vs landlines.
We’ve rounded up the basics of a VoIP vs landline for business, so you can have a clearer understanding of how both systems work—and which one will serve your business best.
VoIP vs Landlines: What They Are and How They Work
The main difference between VoIP and landline for business lies in the underlying technology. We’ll start with landlines, since there’s a good chance you’re a little more familiar with how they work.
Landline Phone Systems
Landlines were the original form of telephones. They are physical phones in buildings that use phone switches to handle traffic. Businesses are limited to service from their local telecom provider. Landlines utilize dedicated, telephone equipment to handle voice traffic. Today, there are around 120 million landlines, and many of those belong to businesses.
VoIP Phone Systems
VoIP is a more modern technology that first gained widespread, comercial adoption in the late 1990s. It uses internet technologies and infrastructure to handle voice traffic. While VoIP phone systems can look similar to landline hardware, the difference between VoIP and landline phone systems is that they run on different technology inside.
The Difference Between VoIP and Landline Phone Systems
The main difference between a VoIP vs landline for business is the technology that makes both systems work.
A VoIP phone system setup empowers you to do a few things that you might not have been able to do otherwise. You can:
- Choose from more providers. Regional landline providers may be limited. However, VoIP providers are aplenty, and offer their services to most customers across the country.
- Track your stats. VoIP phone systems can track the same stats that your other business communications channels, like email, record. For example, you can get data about your agents’ response rates, call times, resolution rates, and more.
- Use your mobile phone as an office phone extension. Landlines direct all calls directly to your landline phone. They will not send calls to a mobile phone. (Though SMS, as we’ll discuss later, is another matter.) With a VoIP, you can direct calls to your mobile phone or even your computer.
- Integrate your VoIP phone number with almost all business apps. VoIP phones are connected to the cloud, which means they can integrate with other cloud-based business apps. Many businesses connect their VoIP phone lines to their CRMs, so the CRMs can record contact information and track KPIs. While landlines can integrate with some apps, like business SMS, many others simply don’t work with it.
- Scale phone numbers easily. If you want a new landline number, you have to purchase another physical phone to receive and place calls. You may have to pay more for a new line with a VoIP phone system, but the process is fast and requires no additional hardware.
Landlines don’t have the above capabilities. However, they have one benefit that, for some businesses, outweighs the many features of VoIPs. Phone calls made from (and received with) a landline are reliable. While VoIP phone systems are often reliable, they are subject to their connection to the internet. Sometimes these connections can fail, dropping or lowering the quality of customer calls.
These are only some of the aspects that you should consider as you decide between VoIP vs landlines for your business.
How VOIP vs Landlines Work with Business SMS
No matter which phone system you choose, both will work well with business SMS. There is no substantial difference between VOIP and landline SMS integrations. Some VoIP providers do offer business SMS, but it often doesn’t have key features like shared inboxes, templates, and integrations.
Your business SMS provider will be able to text-enable your landline with ease. The process takes only a few minutes, and your customers will be able to call while your provider is setting the line up. Once the process is over, customers can both call and text your landline or VoIP number. Incoming texts will arrive in your business text messaging platform, where your team can quickly answer them.
The integration process doesn’t differ much between VoIP vs landlines. You simply have one more initial step: you’ll need to ask your carrier to allow your existing voice provider to separate your line’s voice and texting capabilities. They should release your Service Profile Identifier (SPID). With the SPID, your business text messaging provider can text-enable your VoIP line.
Still have questions about the difference between VoIP vs landlines? Ask our team.