VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, has continued to grow in popularity over the last decade. It's changed the way businesses communicate with their customers and employees – and makes it just as easy to call someone next door as the other side of the world. VoIP trends this year are going to bring even more changes.
But first, what is VoIP?
VoIP technology allows you to make calls with an internet connection rather than a typical telephone line. You don't even need a phone to make a call with VoIP – it also works through your computer.
Outside of work, you're probably using VoIP services like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger.
Business VoIP tools are designed for call centers and any businesses making regular calls, such as in their sales and customer support teams.
Some of the most popular VoIP providers for business are RingCentral, Jive, Grasshopper, and Aircall.
9 VoIP trends for 2023
1. Smaller businesses adopting VoIP
Better sound quality, access via the cloud, and low costs have made VoIP more appealing for small businesses in recent years. VoIP is a good choice for small businesses who want to make regular calls anywhere in the world for cheap and keep this data seamlessly connected with CRM contact records. This year, more SMEs can be expected to adopt affordable VoIP technologies.
2. AI classifying and allocating incoming messages
As a VoIP trend this year, AI will continue to get more powerful. VoIP service providers will be better at automatically classifying and allocating incoming messages, based on required agent competency, urgency, and skillset.
3. Integrating VoIP data with other customer data
One of the main disadvantages of traditional phone calls via landline is that it doesn't give you any data. With VoIP, however, you automatically get stacks of useful insights into how often you're communicating with customers, how much time your team is spending on calls, and where you need more call center resources.
In addition, make sure your VoIP service and CRM are integrated - this will ensure that both apps have fully enriched contact databases, have updated automatically, and are in real-time.
4. AI preventing fraud
Some AI can even detect inauthenticity in a person’s voice and use biometric markers to prevent fraud. Nuance technology provides 85% of Fortune 500 companies with anti-fraud voice measures using a dataset of known fraudulent voices as part of a wider fraud detection system.
Beyond this year, we anticipate anti-fraud AI technologies to become more accessible to smaller businesses, especially as popular cloud-based VoIP tools connect with larger AI players.
5. Multi-layer security to reduce vulnerabilities
VoIP security hacks gained front-page headlines in recent years. In May 2019, some high-profile WhatsApp accounts were targeted by a hack that could inject malware onto their phones — and steal data from them — simply by calling them. They didn't even need to pick up, and the calls often left no trace on the phone's log.
Bjoern Rupp, CEO of the German secure communication firm CryptoPhone, said in an interview with Wired: "Security never was WhatsApp's primary design objective, which means WhatsApp has to rely on complex VoIP stacks that are known for having vulnerabilities."
We can expect VoIP services to introduce more powerful multi-layer security this year to avoid similar hacks.
6. Smart routing by language
For businesses serving their customers in different languages, it's not always easy to personalize customer experience. However, more VoIP tools are offering language recognition features that route calls to the right reps according to language. With RingCentral, for instance, you can recognize and route calls in 70+ languages.
7. Calls being just one part of omnichannel support
Calls are just one part of the customer support parcel, just like tweets, live chat messages, and emails. No matter your industry, you'll attract and retain far more customers if you're available to chat on your customer's channel of choice and provide excellent service.
VoIP tools that offer an omnichannel view of support or that talk to all of your key business tools - as Aircall does beautifully - are leading the way this year.
8. Using VoIP APIs in innovative ways
In the future, expect to see APIs being used in creative ways to link previously disconnected systems and data. As one example, developer Mike Stowe shared on Medium how he connected the RingCentral API with his WordPress site to send fans an SMS notification when new posts were published.
9. VoIP tools as an essential part of tech stacks
One of the most important VoIP trends this year is VoIP services becoming more integrated with wider sales and support stacks. When choosing the best VoIP service for your business, it's essential to think about how the platform fits with your other tools.