As much affection as we may have for them, the truth is that businesses don’t absolutely need a landline phone anymore. If you love your landline and still want to hang on to it, then of course they still work fine and you can use it with a Talkroute virtual phone system, too.
Meanwhile, you can easily manage all of your calls without it, for less money and more simply. Every business has their own way of managing calls, but you may find that there’s a very strong case for getting rid of it.
Many Businesses Are Eliminating Their Wired Line Phones
It’s been happening for some time now. For the past 10-15 years, businesses have been gradually phasing out landlines in their offices, and that’s been accelerating in the past few years.
As pointed out by Business Insider earlier this year, businesses are switching out their landlines in favor of “more advanced means of communications” such as cloud-hosted, virtual phone systems that integrate the mobile phones and VoIP lines, and any other type of phone, into one centralized solution that can be efficiently managed.
Chicago Business reports the same in their article, “Even Large Firms Are Cutting Landlines”, where they describe the trend of large businesses are seeing a need to switch to a more unified phone system that can provide their employees with the ability to stay connected no matter where they are, relying heavily on features like voicemail-to-email, instead of being tied down to a wired line system.
And to drive the point home, AT&T, the legacy carrier in twenty-one U.S. states, is passing legislation through the Federal Communications Commission to completely remove its landline phone service by 2020 or sooner, if possible. Paul La Schiazza, AT&T Illinois President, said about their landline service, “We’re investing in a technology that consumers have said they don’t want anymore.” (Chicago Tribune)
Cut Out the Landline, Or Use It with Talkroute
Most of us have already gotten rid of them in our homes, in favor of individual cell phones; landlines are redundant and don’t really have a place in businesses anymore, either.
Naturally, it’s a decision that every business has to make for itself, but cutting the cord with landline service just eliminates that extra phone bill and simplifies your phone system. At the end of the day, you know what is best for your business.
If you choose to keep the old wired line, then a great advantage you can give yourself is to use a virtual system like Talkroute that centralizes all of your phones–cell, landline, VoIP, Google Voice, or any other–and route calls to your landline through the main system. Talkroute also includes professional voicemail, which you’ll see later in this post.
Landlines Are Not Easily Serviceable If There’s a Problem
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), or “landlines”, as we know them today, have been around for a very long time, being continually maintained and updated until very recently.
The infrastructure for landlines is still in place and still in use for those who use them regularly, but in many areas, the network is not nearly as well-maintained as the cellular network, which has far more traffic than wired phone lines.
Another problem you can run into with landlines is that if your business line goes out, you’re most likely going to be on hold for hours with the phone company, a technician may need to come out on site, and your line may be down for an uncertain amount of time. That can obviously seriously affect business during that time, which none of us can afford to endure.
With a virtual phone system like Talkroute, which has a 99.98% uptime record, the system almost never goes down, and tech support handles it immediately if there ever is any kind of issue.
When Everyone Has a Cell Phone, There’s Virtually No Need for a Landline
With today’s technological capability, handling business calls strictly through your employees’ cell phones is probably the simplest, most efficient method. You can even do this if you’re running your business from a single cell phone, and you can make your cell phone(s) function exactly like a traditional office system.
Add a call menu (auto attendant), welcome greeting, hours of operation, professional voicemail, and a lot more–everything you would normally have with a traditional office phone system. Even if you were to buy new cell phones for all of your employees, to use with a virtual system, it would still be cheaper than landline service with the local phone company.
Finally, one of the greatest features of a virtual system is that it gives you and all of your staff the mobility that a landline cannot provide. No matter where you are, you can make and receive calls, monitor your system, check voicemail, send and receive text messages, and pretty much anything else, all remotely.
Separate Business Voicemail with a Virtual System
There’s a very good chance that you and other key employees are getting business voicemail messages on their personal phones, and that’s usually not a good thing. The first problem is that customers are hearing your personal outgoing message, which can be off-putting when the person is calling to reach your business.
On top of that, messages might be accidentally deleted or not saved due to a full inbox. The same is true of a voicemail account that comes with your landline phone service, and those mailboxes are sometimes not even attended, resulting in lost sales.
You can eliminate all of these issues by using a virtual phone system because it comes with its own voicemail, and even if you keep your landline, you can disable the landline’s voicemail and have those messages sent to your separate business voice mailbox, which comes with your virtual service.
Talkroute has a variety of voicemail features included, such as voicemail-to-email, as well as the ability to assign different mailboxes to multiple employees if needed. So if you need your landline, that’s absolutely fine, but to streamline your business’ phone management, you might want to try out a virtual phone system that isn’t tethered to the old wired line.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.