For many years, the only way to accept multiple phone calls at the same time was to run additional phone lines into your practice and install a complicated phone system. For many Veterinary practices, the prohibitive costs often forced them to make do with a single incoming line, leaving some customers to be greeted by an engaged tone if the line was already busy.
Thanks to the internet, there is another option which is far more accessible, especially for smaller practices. Voice Over IP, or VOIP as it is commonly known, is a telephone system that operates over your internet connection. Because it is not tied to your physical line, it is possible to have any number of telephone calls connected, all at the same time. The number of simultaneous calls is only limited by the bandwidth of your internet connection (and obviously having the people to answer them).
As well as giving you the ability to handle multiple calls without installing extra physical lines, VOIP systems offer a range of other benefits. They are not tied to a physical location like traditional phone lines. Providing each phone is connected to the internet, no matter where in the world that internet connection may be, it can be used to answer and make calls. The services and costs can differ slightly from one VOIP provider to the next, but common features include being able to have multiple incoming numbers, call groups to control how calls are routed and which phones ring, the ability to transfer calls from one phone to another, and call recording.
VOIP will probably require replacing your existing phones for VOIP phones, and you will need to make sure you have enough network sockets to plug them all in. You will also need to make sure your internet connection is up to the task. While this is certainly something that more technically minded practice owners would be able to achieve on their own, if you have an IT company, it would be worth discussing VOIP with them first. If you do not have an IT company but would like assistance getting a VOIP system for your practice, give VetRunner a call and we will help make it happen.