By now, most businesses are fully aware that a Hosted VoIP alternative can deliver direct monthly savings and an improvement in technology. However, there are plenty of opportunities to draw out indirect savings from your decision to deploy hosted VoIP. Certainly, every business will have their own unique circumstances, but the ideas below may generate some thoughts as to how you can create savings or efficiencies. The key point is that there is tremendous flexibility in how you can deploy the VoIP programming, thus it can be molded to the uniqueness of each business.
Remote Employees – One of the great things with a hosted VoIP system is that you can include remote or work from home employees on your phone system. Internally and externally, it would be as if they are all under the same roof! This opens the door for savings of additional phone plans (cell phone minutes or land line) for those employees. You can also use such a system to facilitate the set up of a department in a location where it may be advantageous for recruiting efforts. An example would be to deploy customer service personnel in a town where recruiting may be easier and wages lower. These employees could have direct dial numbers that tie to the headquarters’ location and also be included in the ring group for customer service!
Local Number for Remote Locations – If you have some customers that are aggregated in a particular metropolitan area, you can set up a local number in that MSA. This would lessen the volume on your toll free number and save money to that end. Getting a telebranch number set up with a traditional telecom would be similar in costs to a toll free process. The approach taken by hosted VoIP companies differ, but the potential for this to come in quite a bit less than a toll free rate exists.
Centralization of Functions – One of the biggest paybacks for hosted VoIP systems comes when you can make staffing adjustments because of the technology. With remote locations, it is easy to envision opportunities for such savings, as you can centralize various functions to the extent that they support your activity over the phone. For example, if customer service is handled with phone support, not every branch would need to have a dedicated rep, as the function can be centralized. Calls to the branch for customer service can be directed to the central group. If you do not have multiple offices, you can look to an automated attendant to route calls to the particular employee or department and eliminate the need for a central reception function.
Phone Administration and Maintenance – A great benefit to hosted VoIP systems is that you no longer have to maintain an on-site PBX. Additionally, many hosted VoIP providers act as your administrator to your phone system programming. Therefore, dollars spent toward maintenance, service calls, or on-site administrators can be redirected! The only exposure for you would be out of warranty handset replacement, but typically the costs of these handsets are much lower than the on-site PBX counterparts.
Accessibility of High Customer Contact Employees – Utilizing find me/follow me features and/or creating a simultaneous ring to cell phone will ensure that your high customer touch employees (sales and service personnel as an example) will always be reachable by your employees. Where this may not produce savings, it certainly improves efficiency and customer service metrics, which also carry indirect benefit to your bottom line.
There are many more examples. Again, the key is to envision the capabilities of hosted VoIP features into your business and project out a potential design that will lead to possible indirect benefits. Couple these with the potential direct savings you receive, and the return on investment becomes obvious. No wonder many businesses are gravitating to these type of systems!
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.