Despite the growth in the Internet as an outlet for addressing customer questions, many customers still prefer to discuss their situation with a live person through a telephone conversation. For large companies that receive thousands of calls a day a dedicated department or call center may be in place to handle customer inquiries. No matter the organization’s size, the cost of maintaining telephone support services can be expensive. One major expense lies with the cost of using traditional telecommunication lines. Commonly referred to as Plain Old Telephone Service or POTS, this system is more expensive because telephone lines are generally dedicated to individual users, that is, a single line can only handle one phone call, fax transmission, or computer data connection at a time.
While a discussion of technical issues behind this are beyond the scope of this tutorial, suffice to say that POTS system is inefficient since a single telephone line has the capacity to handle a far larger volume of phone and data transmission. For this reason companies have moved to a technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). With VoIP, telephone calls are delivered over the Internet with multiple phones sharing the same connection. With more people using the same line the cost per call is reduced. While the audio quality of the call may not be as reliable as POTS technology, improvements over the last few years have narrowed the quality gap to the point where most customers cannot distinguish the difference.