When it comes time to analyze your company’s communication systems (including phone systems) and how they impact the bottom line, where should you start? What costs should you look at? How do find out how they impact revenue?
At DiRAD we can help you make the important decision as to which communication tools are going to help your business succeed in the next 5 to 10 years.
Know The Costs Of Your Current Phone System
A great first step is to take a look at what the costs of your current systems are, so you know what you are spending. What are your monthly costs and annual costs (for support, maintenance and service) that are part of your contract? Are there any additional fees you might have to pay for onsite service or in order to grow?
You will also want to be aware of some of the costs that may not be so easy to calculate, but can be a drag on the success of your business:
- How quickly does your current provider respond? For general questions? In emergencies?
- If your system is down, is it easy to troubleshoot yourself (i.e., using an easy web app)? Or are you at the mercy of your support provider?
- Do you have a contract? Is it easy to get out of? Is it set up so that it is very hard to switch to better options when they arise?
In today’s day and age you will also want to take a look at what people are saying on social media about your company’s customer service. Are people complaining about things like:
- Leaving messages that do not get callbacks
- They can’t reach you after hours
- All they ever get when they call is a lousy voicemail message
It’s scary to think of how many customers companies lose just because they didn’t pick up the phone. A new communication system can help keep better track of all incoming and outgoing calls, as well as offer other, more convenient alternatives for customer to reach you (i.e., chatbots for after hour calls).
How Does VoIP Save Companies Money?
VoIP Phone Systems (Nextphone)
Locally-supported & cost-effective VoiP phone service Capital Region businesses trust.
If you have a good grasp of what your current expenditures are you can easily pinpoint where savings will come in when switching from a traditional phone carrier to a modern Internet based communication system. With a new VoIP system, there doesn’t have to be any additional capital costs, because you really do not need phones. For each employee, a USB headset that connects to their computer will work just fine. If your company does want to have phones for employees and workstations, they can be set-up, and the cost, if any, would depend on the number of phones and the type of phone required.
The question that comes up at this point is typically “Why does it cost so much money to make calls from our phones, but if we use VoIP, it doesn’t cost more?” The most direct part of the answer comes down to Trunking.
Trunking is the term that describes the incoming phone lines that connect to the telephone poles outside. Customers are paying for phone lines every month, whether they use them or not. This includes a number of tariffs and taxes. With a VoIP business phone system you no longer need that connection. Everything rides the Internet which most businesses already have a connection to. And while there are typically some fees for VoIP, they aren’t as pervasive as the tariffs and taxes associated with phone lines.
SIP Trunking is another alternative that can save companies money. Essentially SIP Trunking is an internet-based pipe that can be used with your old phone system. It most cases this can dramatically reduce monthly trunking costs.
With VoIP, businesses no longer have to pay for yearly support on their phone systems. It’s included in their subscription.
But there are other areas where companies who use VoIP save money because of the advantages that VoIP offers. On the extreme side of things many companies have found that by switching they are able to save on the cost of office space (or at least downsize the footprint of their physical office space). Today’s technology makes it very easy for employees to work from anywhere. This saves on real estate, equipment costs, power and improves employee morale. Some startups do not even invest in a typical office these days.
An example of the savings can be found right here at DiRAD. Many of our call center agents work from home, some even a few states away. They all have the same technology and access to the same information that agents based in our office do. No special setup is needed – they just login and put on their headset.
With a new unified communication system companies often see savings due to less IT infrastructure/overhead needed, as well as the consolidation of tools that occurs because not as many different programs are needed.
New Unified Communication Systems Increase Revenue
Chatbot & Virtual Assistants
Utilize chatbots with AI-driven conversational speech capabilities to enhance your customer service offerings.
Employees can be more productive and plan their schedules more efficiently with an updated system. Instead of getting up and walking down the hall (or a few flights of stairs) to talk to someone, unified solutions provide “presence” for employees to use. Presence is the ability to see who’s available, at their desk, on a phone call, in a meeting, out of the office or some other status. Now employees can figure out when to schedule in a quick meeting. Presence also improves accountability, as all employees will be aware of what others are doing.
With a properly designed unified communications system used by employees who are trained on using it, the customer service experience will be better. Whether it comes from business texting, AI-driven chatbots or a 24/7 outsourced contact center, by giving customers a way to find the answers they need when they need them through the method of their choosing, you are deepening the relationship with your customers. As potentially unsatisfied customers are turned into more and more satisfied customers, additional revenue will be generated. That will either come from those customers directly or the customers they refer to your business.
When Should A Company Switch To A New Unified Communications Solution?
From a cost perspective, if you can calculate that your company would break even by switching to a new solution, it may be time to make a change. But even if you can’t get to break even with the hard numbers, the soft benefits mentioned above (i.e., improved customer service and productivity, knowing your company is in a better position should an emergency arise) add up quickly and often make switching an easy decision for companies.
Still have questions? Is your current phone contract coming to an end? Want to know more about what new technologies and options are available for your company to use as a unified communication solution? Give us a call. DiRAD is always happy to discuss what the best options are for companies, as well as when a good time to switch may be.