How can a Cloud Phone Service Increase Your Effectiveness and Your Profitability?
If you could wave a magic wand and improve your profitability, would you? If you could immediately increase your effectiveness, would you? What if you could so both at the same time? And what if making the switch was easy?
We are pretty sure you answered yes, so let’s talk about how a Cloud based phone system can benefit your business, not just as a quick or temporary fix, but for the long term.
What is a Cloud Phone System?
A cloud phone system lives in a data center.and is not
confined to physical hardware or a physical location.
Your inbound and outbound calls, as well as configuration and management all take place in the cloud. Call recordings and call reports can all be retrieved from the cloud portal. Normally all you need at your office is the handset. There are occasions where a gateway may be required to connect to the cloud phone system. Check with your Cloud Phone System provider to see if a gateway is required for your setup.
What are the main benefits of a Cloud Phone System?
Moving from a capital expense to an operating expense allows for reinvestment into the growth of your business. It is possible to find cloud phone systems that do not require a contract. Bear in mind that these services will often be more expensive when compared to services that require a term.
Cloud phone systems can typically be anywhere from
20% – 50% less expensive than on-premise systems.
Cloud phone systems are highly available. Multiple levels of redundancy are built into cloud phone services. Automatic failover, dynamic routing, SD-WAN and backup power are some of the features implemented to ensure your cloud phone system is there when you need it.
At your office if the internet goes out, your phones tend to go out as well. With a cloud phone system, if your internet goes out, you can continue to take phone calls. You will have to route calls to a cell phone or mobile app, but you will still be able to take calls.
Cloud phone systems are backed with multiple paths to the internet, so if one carrier suffers an outage it does not equate to a loss of phone service.
The same can be said of power. The loss of power at your office meant the loss of computers, wireless and your phones. If power goes out at your office and you have a cloud-based phone system, the system will remain operational. Although you may not be able to use your desk phone for phone calls, you will be able to use a mobile application.
Most cloud phone systems include routing updates and maintenance. In a lot of cases, adding users, making changes to call routes and even auto attendant configuration is included with your service.
When you own the equipment the regular maintenance falls on your shoulders. If you don’t have the skills in house to configure and manage a VoIP system, you may need to outsource the support of your phone system.
Failing to keep your phone system up to date can result in poor performance. It can also lead to dropped calls, calls not routing properly or other issues.
Never take a set it and forget it attitude with your phone system or any other equipment. Another issue with not keeping your systems up to date is security.
In addition to resolving bugs, manufacturers release software updates to plug security holes. You don’t want the wrong people to gain access to your phone system. If this happens, they could route calls to themselves, or implement fraudulent calls.
Phone system fraud can also involve high toll charges if they enable international calling or calls to 900 numbers. These charges can be very difficult to dispute since they will show as originating from your phone system.
IT tends to focus on network and server security and can
sometimes overlook the security of your phone system.
An added benefit is maintenance costs are included in the cost of the service. This allows you to eliminate the yearly maintenance and hardware supports costs with physical phone systems.
All you need for a cloud phone system is a reliable internet connection and a handset. In some cases, you don’t even need the handset. If the service provides a solid mobile application, then you can use your existing cell phone as your handset.
Your employees with appreciate the freedom of working from anywhere. Not being tethered to a desk phone improves morale and employee satisfaction. Happier employees produce better results and provide a better customer experience.
How can a cloud phone system increase my profitability?
As we briefly touched on earlier, cloud services can be budgeted against your operating expenses. The shift in your budgeting may allow you to free up capital that can be used for reinvestment. Reinvesting in your business can allow you to ultimately increase sales.
Jeff Bezos turned Amazon into the behemoth it is today by continuously reinvesting in the businesses. Expanding distribution and taking on product delivery has spurned tremendous growth. Despite the risk of debt, Bezos didn’t shy away from purchasing Whole Foods. The bold moves paid off, as Amazon has only grown as a company over the past decade. There seems to be no sign of Amazon slowing down.
Capital reinvestment may be just what your company needs to spawn growth. Work with your accounting firm to determine if this makes the most sense for your businesses.
Less Hardware to Purchase
Cloud services don’t eliminate the need to purchase equipment entirely. Certain hardware may still be required. For example, wireless access points and possibly ata’s may be needed. It is possible that firewalls and switches may be needed as well. Often these purchases are made when needed and the lifecycle is often longer than with other hardware.
If your infrastructure supports it, you will see savings from not having to purchase physical hardware.
Less Power Consumption
Cloud services reduce the demand your business has for power. Since the equipment is not at your location you won’t directly pay for the electricity to power the equipment.
If you have less power consumption you may be able to purchase smaller UPS devices. Smaller devices are cheaper to purchase and maintain as the cost for replacement batteries is often less than the larger units.
Lower cost of IT Staff
Experienced IT professionals demand a comparable salary. In most cases the single largest IT expense is payroll. Moving some systems to the cloud will allow you to repurpose your staff to cover other areas.
Leveraging the service provider’s staff is a great way to supplement your team. Some providers cap the amount of support time you utilize so be sure to check your agreements.
The Effectiveness of a Cloud Phone System
With the proper unified Communications system in place, the effectiveness of your staff to deliver a great customer service experience increases. Here are some areas where cloud services can help improve your team’s ability to service your customers:
Collaboration is key. Having one or two lone wolfs can have a negative impact. At the office you could get everyone together for lunch, or for a meeting. The more your team is together the more they come together.In person activities are on hold for now, but you can produce similar experiences through virtual collaboration.
Web conferencing with audio and video is a good substitute for in person meetings. We must make the most our virtual time. Don’t be put off by sudden interruptions from pets or children or loud noises. Some people have turned this into a game and are looking out for these anomalies.
Cloud Phone system can unleash the power of collaboration. Getting together, even in a virtual sense, forces us to be engaged and focused on the topic immediately in front of us. Some people are better at staying on task than others. Virtual meetings may be just the thing your team needs to keep the train on the tracks.
Quick to Scale
Quick was a concept that was tossed around but had a loose definition. Covid-19 turned quick into now!
Quickly workers were expected to work from home. In some cases, this was the next day, and in other cases companies had a few days. In either case, the move was sudden and unexpected.
Your business may need to rapidly stand up a call center. Or you may need to add users to the phone system.
Cloud based systems streamline the process of adding users and features. This flexibility extends the other way as well. When needed you can reduce the number of users in the system or remove features you are no longer using.
Taking care of your customers is the secret to retention. Every business needs to retain their existing customers. If customer service weren’t something people were looking for then it wouldn’t be tracked. JD Powers and the Better Business Bureau exist, because we all have an understanding that reputable businesses stand behind their products and services.
Cloud based unified communications can empower your company to improve the customer service experience. The inclusion of services such as chat and conferencing provide for a faster avenue for fielding requests.
The Future of Communications
Cloud based communications are the future of business communications. The balance of flexibility and business enablement cannot be overlooked. Managers should be including cloud-based systems in their analysis and studies when considering their businesses communication needs.
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