VoIP vs SIP: Which Communication Solution is Right for Your Business?
The Best VoIP Providers for Insurance of 2018
Why Do Insurance Companies Need VoIP?
VoIP can increase the professionalism of your entire business, cut costs, and improve overall customer service. This is something that every business could do with, no matter what the industry, but it’s particularly useful for insurance companies. Insurance companies are more likely to deal with upset and emotional customers, since making a claim is usually stressful for the claimants. They need a reliable phone service so that they can focus on reassuring customers without worrying about latency or downtime.
How Does VoIP Help Insurance Companies Deliver for Their Clients?
For insurance companies, VoIP service provides a number of specific benefits that help them to offer better customer support. The sound quality and reliability of VoIP calls are important when dealing with stressed or emotional customers who are making a claim. A good VoIP system will make it easier to communicate clearly with your claimants. With a VoIP service, insurance companies can easily extend 24/7 support for customers by simply setting up “rules” that direct out of hours calls to the employee on duty for that time period, without requiring them to be physically present in the office.
If you run a small insurance company, you might not have enough staff to man your call services around the clock, but your customers want to be able to get hold of you as soon as a disaster occurs, no matter what time it is. A VoIP service enables you to handle out of hours calls through auto-attendants, voicemail, and customized call messaging so that you won’t leave any customers frustrated that their urgent call wasn’t dealt with appropriately.
VoIP also makes it easy to redirect customers to the right agent for their needs. Insurance can be complicated, and customers and potential customers often need plenty of time to ask questions of the employee who is an expert in this particular area. With VoIP, you can easily hand a customer over to the right colleague without dropping the call or clumsy button pushing.
By connecting remote workers, a VoIP service makes it easy for employees to work from home or directly from a disaster site. The insurance agent can file forms and send in reports via the VoIP service from wherever they are at the time. If you choose a VoIP with CRM integration, it enables every agent to access the customer’s details, including their payment and claim history, even if they are working from home. Most VoIP systems include secure, encrypted storage for sensitive customer details so that there’s no need to worry that an agent working remotely could compromise your company’s data security.
Top 5 VoIP Providers for Insurance Companies
Vonage Business is the current market leader, offering over 40 business features that make it suitable for insurance agencies of every size, from small businesses to large enterprises. Vonage Business has saved companies an average of 36% off of their phone bills when compared to landlines.
Vonage Business is quick and easy to set up, especially if you use a Vonage VoIP business phone. Most VoIP phones are compatible with Vonage Business, so you don’t need to go out and buy a new handset or headset to switch to this company.
Some of the main advantages of using Vonage Business include:
Easy and comprehensive mobile integration using the Vonage Business app.
40+ standard business features that include call recording, virtual receptionists, and the Vonage service portal.
Extensive 3rd-party integration with useful business apps, including Amazon Chime, Office365, Salesforce, Google Apps, Microsoft Dynamics, Clio, and more.
Competitive international call rates.
Reliably high call quality.
24/7 customer service.
Monthly contracts without long-term commitment.
RingCentral is another outstanding VoIP provider that is highly scalable. With no contractual obligations and plenty of differently priced plans, RingCentral is a good choice for insurance agencies of any size that look forward to scaling up.
RingCentral’s plans include varying levels of business features, from the standard plan, which includes plenty of 3rd-party integrations, a mobile app, and other useful features like unlimited video conferencing and multi-level auto-attendants. At the top of the pricing tiers, RingCentral extends comprehensive, extensive support for enterprises and insurance companies with multiple business locations.
Some of Ring Central’s most popular features include:
An efficient mobile app integration for iOS and Android.
An intuitive dashboard and easy setup for simple onboarding.
24/7 customer service with premium Extended Enterprise Support for top-tier clients.
Rich features such as video conferencing, fax integration, call logs, and call recording that will help your business to scale effortlessly without losing customer calls.
Secure communications that are protected by encrypted networks to safeguard your customers’ information and your business data.
For small and medium-sized insurance agencies, 8x8 is a very cost-effective and efficient VoIP option. As a hosted VoIP service, it’s ideal for smaller insurance agencies that can’t maintain a large IT department, and the system is particularly easy to get up and running fast. It’s also simple to manage and customize the system without IT experience, thanks to an intuitive dashboard and useful tutorials.
8x8 also offers an impressive range of features at a reasonable price. Standard features include many 3rd-party integrations and a mobile app as well as internet fax.
Here are some things that make 8x8 so popular:
It’s very easy to operate, even for employees with little or no IT experience.
You can integrate 8x8 with over 30 different business tools, including Outlook, Salesforce, Netsuite, Office365, and Exchange.
Easy scalability thanks to per-user pricing.
Video conferencing, call recording, and internet fax included in the premium plan.
Grasshopper is ideal for small insurance agencies or sole proprietors who want to give a professional and streamlined appearance. Setup is fast and easy, and you won't have to buy any new hardware to implement Grasshopper – another plus for insurance companies that need to watch their budget. Alternatively, you can use it with your existing landlines and smartphones.
It’s important to note that Grasshopper only handles inbound calls, not outbound calls. So, you can manage customer claims or requests for more information through the auto-attendants, call transfers, and call queuing, but you’ll need to handle your outbound calls in a different way.
Some of the advantages to using Grasshopper include:
Low-cost pricing plans without contract tie-ins so you can scale up easily.
No need to spend additional money on headsets or handsets.
Toll-free and vanity numbers at a low price.
Auto-attendant and out of hours call handling to deal with out of hours customer calls without running a large customer support staff.
Jive is another VoIP provider that supports insurance companies of every size, but as a hosted service it’s especially useful for insurance agencies without an extensive IT department. Jive is easy and intuitive to setup and doesn’t require any additional equipment beyond internet phones.
Jive offers an open API along with its built-in integrations with tools such as Outlook, Salesforce, and Maestro, so you can connect it easily with your own preferred or home-grown applications.
Some of the main reasons why Jive is so popular include:
80+ features included in one price.
An easy to use online portal so that small insurance agencies can manage the system without IT experience.
Features such as fax integration, unlimited auto attendants, conference calls, and call recording.
Open API so that you can integrate all your favorite business tools.
Transparent pricing plans that make it easy to scale up.
Cut Costs With a VoIP
VoIP helps insurance companies save money, too. If you choose a hosted VoIP system, you can avoid maintaining a large IT staff to deal with your communications service. By using a VoIP with conference features, you can also conduct meetings with all of your agents no matter where they are located. Transport costs and the maintenance of physical meeting rooms can be cut by replacing in-person meetings with virtual ones.
On top of that, many VoIP providers offer national and international calls at a lower cost than you can find from a landline communications provider or a cell phone company. If you make many international calls, you’ll find that the cost of internet calls saves you a lot of money compared to the high price of international conversations on your landline.
How VoIP is Changing the Insurance Industry
With the arrival of VoIP unified communications services, insurance agencies are able to reconstruct the way that they work. Finally, insurance agents can work flexibly, taking claims and calls from wherever they are instead of being tied to the office.
With greater confidence in leaving the office, agents are able to travel in person to disaster sites and inspect insurance claims without the fear of missing an important call. Thanks to the capability of submitting forms remotely through a secure VoIP connection, agents can also expedite the length of time it takes to process a claim.