If we take the United States, user numbers have dropped from 128 million to 106 million.
From 297 million to 260 million between 2014 - 2019 and emerging markets, the same trend in Europe is also less favorable to installing fixed landlines. Global usage of fixed landlines is expected to continue falling through to 2030 and eventually become obsolete.
Businesses have experienced the same decline, with some companies ignoring landline set-up altogether. Businesses have become more strategic when it comes to their communications and adapting to communication trends.
Why Are People and Businesses Moving Away from Landlines?
Technology. With landline telecommunications declining, telecommunications companies switched to the growing market demand for mobile and wireless options. Why?
Businesses and peoples’ needs and preferences have driven the demand to have more flexibility and availability 24/7/365 and have shifted behavior away from fixed landlines towards mobile and internet-based technologies.
Communication today is faster, and demands for rapid access to information have shifted to a swifter and more widely accessible solution.
The telecoms industry adapted to that knowledge, continuously developing, bringing optimized speed and increased capacity demand for a faster-paced business world. Technology advanced when wireless communication was released; we’ve seen the change from 3G, 4G, and now to 5G.
We are already entering the age of 5th generation (5G) wireless technology. Somewhat controversial, but 5G brings lightning-speed communication to people, homes, and businesses across most countries.
However, landlines, how rely on copper wire cables to be installed into buildings and across cities for them to be used; this is costly in construction and maintenance.
Service providers would then have to recoup those costs with high prices and locked businesses and people into lengthy inflexible contracts with complex T&Cs. Clearly, a turn-off factor for many.
Wireless Technology: The Present and Future for Communication
Wireless technology and the ability to be mobile using satellites and signal transmitters were developed to replace that heavy cable usage.
Using satellites and transmitters, communication was available across any area the signal would reach. With these technology opportunities, businesses have evolved accordingly.
Take electronic appliance manufacturers as an example, who have begun adapting to include more integrated features into office spaces and home appliances with smart technology integration for wireless connectivity.
From that, we now see the decline of desk phones and bulky cable demanding office accessories. And your business might need the same outlook; to be adaptable.
Phones are now with people everywhere they go providing constant communication opportunities. People are always reachable and are no longer confined to waiting by a fixed landline to receive information.
So how can you leverage that for your outbound sales? Where do you go from here? Let’s take a look at what the telecommunications industry offers as possible solutions.
Fixed Landlines: Pros & Cons
Landlines and connections are still available in private addresses and businesses and may offer an undervalued lead generation segment. So, what are some of the pros and cons of a landline solution for my business?
Fixed Landlines Pros:
Clear audio quality: Landlines give direct call audio connection and with a clear voice to your callers.
Trust: Landline numbers coming through to call receivers are more likely to be answered. Landline numbers give more reputation to the caller ID as an established and local business.
No interruption: Cable connections allow for uninterrupted calls. There is virtually no issue of frequency/signal loss or interception.
Available during power outage/blackouts: Landlines are separated from the power supply; in an emergency, you can still make and receive calls.
No internet connection required: Landlines are copper wire-based and separate from the internet-providing cables.
Fixed Landlines Cons:
No flexibility: With a fixed line, you're limited to the length of the cord - as well as your customer. Even with a wireless phone device, you're limited to the range of the service provider.
Limited scalability: Once integrated, the service provider typically gives a fixed annual fee regardless of your usage needs if you scale back.
Heavy, long contracts: Service providers give lengthy T&Cs and contract withdrawal clauses, which can lock you into paying for long periods even after termination.
Technologically obsolete: We’ve seen the future outlook for landlines is bleak. Technology and business demands have advanced beyond the requirements of what fixed landlines offer. Businesses need responsivity in dynamic industries.
Restricted calling: Your sales team is bound to the fixed calling, both by business hours and working hours. Customers asking for callbacks outside of working hours means that you either need a 24/7 team available at desks or restrict your operational hours.
Cell Pros & Cons
Mobiles give precisely that, mobility. Businesses need to be able to respond quickly and be more active in the world outside the office. A wireless device gives the freedom of movement away from the desk or fixed location, both for the sales team and your clients.
The cell allows for more flexibility in sales functions, with location no longer a barrier to operation.
Sales personnel can be both active in the field and still available for calls with a cell. Mobile gives freedom of working from home, which, as we’ve seen from the Covid-19 pandemic, can offer more flexibility to continue working even in uncertain situations.
Cheap Plans & Data: Fierce competition in the telecommunications industry drives that, and with switching costs generally being low, you are open to negotiating with providers for the best deal.
Communication Integration: Mobiles and smartphones have advanced integration options with other electronic devices (laptops, tablets, even the office fridge) to provide a fixed-line option for advanced communication and data sharing.
SMS: Mobiles still have the capabilities of sending and receiving texts. It is still considered a widespread effort in marketing teams for directly reaching any cell user.
Re-routing options: Remember the trust factor of landlines? Cell operators now offer business packages offering pocket landline numbers that divert to and from a mobile handset. That’ll help boost the company’s reputation in local areas.
Catch your salespeople anywhere, anytime: OK, maybe not at 3 am on a Sunday. But using cells within your company gives both your internal staff and your customers or leads the possibility of communicating with your sales team. Called someone, and it's not a good time? Not a problem for your dedicated sales to call. And this data can all be collected to prevent multiplying bothering calls.
5G: With 5G entering to provide a signal, speed and connectivity issues are improved.
Integration with VoIP software: Mobile also allows integration with growing telecommunications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software.
Equipment: A power outlet and in-build internet data to your service plan are all you need for small-scale operations.
Call recording & Data collection: Mobile does offer call recording and data collection opportunities with apps.
Signal: Mobiles are bound by signal availability; however, signal coverage by most service providers can be covered nationally. And if your service providers coverage is down, other service provider's can provide a floating service if you opt for roaming.
Battery: Battery life can be an issue, but with most modern handsets providing rapid charge and the rise of portable batteries, your team is never too far from a power source.
How to record sales calls for training and support on a mobile phone?
Call recording for your business can help dispute resolution, employee training, and customer quality assurance. Compliance with local regulations and legal systems is a priority to consider when setting up automated call recording using a mobile device.
VoIP software offers an advanced solution for recording a mobile call.
What is a VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the newest growing technology in the telecoms field. This is a call service technology run through sending voice data using IP networks via your internet provider.
VoIP allows voice and data to be carried out without the need for a desk phone. All you need is an internet connection, a laptop, and you’re good to go.
VoIP offers a virtual number without any direct association with a telephone line. You have all the benefits of calling landlines without the restriction of needing a landline connection or cell.
This technology is rapidly growing and replacing traditional communications in businesses and homes.
Adversus is one provider of VoIP technology, offering advanced features with its online software solution.
Why do I need a VoIP?
VoIP can be used with just an internet connection and a desktop or laptop with a speaker-microphone. VoIP is best used in office settings with a headset to provide better sound quality, voice clarity, and employee health benefits compared to desk phones.
VoIP can be used with smart mobile phone handsets; all you need is an app of choice and a stable Wi-Fi connection. To use VoIP with an existing landline, you need an adapter to be installed to divert the call.
Who is VoIP ideal for?
VoIP is gaining popularity with homeworkers, freelancers, working professionals outside serviced offices, and businesses needing personnel in multiple locations.
Fundraisers, telemarketers and appointment schedulers, PAs & Executives also benefit from integrated VoIP services in their wider business.
Real-Time Data & Reporting: VoIP services can offer advanced data collection and reporting. Call conversation capture, feedback, live employee overviews. All data can help boost KPIs. Data-driven reports can also be generated to allow efficient decision-making.
Call Methods: Predictive, progressive, and manual. You are capable of calling fixed landlines, mobiles, and other VoIP numbers. And you’re given capabilities for delivering intelligent campaigns with high efficiency for automating call flows.
Legal Compliance: VoIP reporting allows your company to directly show regulators in a report format of compliance with local laws.
Lead Management: Helps to keep your leads information management under control with internalized data organization functions.
Task Automation: Your team is given the ability to automate workflows and prevent repetitive time-wasting tasks. Avoid call duplications.
Equipment: A laptop and an internet connection. No-fuss.
Service Plans: VoIP services have learned the fixed-line and mobile lessons and have a different strategy. VoIP service providers have no setup fees, and prices are determined by the number of users your business needs.
Individual Portal Accounts: You’re in control and can set up individual accounts for personnel and cancel when no longer needed.
Wireless IP Phones: VoIP is also capable of integration with mobile phones. Even if you have a field sales team that makes and receives calls, a VoIP can have them covered. And that data feeds directly back into your portal account.
Instant Messaging & Video Call Features: Most VoIP providers offer advanced video calls and instant messaging already integrated into their service.
Connection: For VoIP to work, you do need to have an internet provider and broadband connection.
Equipment: Desktops or laptops with a microphone and speaker are needed. Additionally, a headset is more beneficial. When working out of the office, a mobile handset or laptop with WI-FI access is necessary. With 5G rising, the risk of losing connection is becoming minimal.
Hacks: Some raise concerns around hackers who may be capable of breaking into the software to steal information. It would help if your looked to find a reputable VoIP provider offering service through a secured network in your research.
Telecommunications are offering more advanced and integrated solutions to businesses for communicating with customers. Landlines are falling in popularity as businesses' needs have evolved.
VoIP software is somewhat a dark-horse in telecommunications, but it's proving effective in recent times with the rise of working from home and flexibility trends. And with events such as the covid-19 pandemic, VoIP provides an essential solution to businesses’ ogoing communication.
So... will you cut the cord on your business landline and be one to embrace the future communication networks?