If you want to reduce your business expenditure, then your telephone system is a good place to start. By introducing a hosted telephony solution, you could not only realise substantial cost savings but also improve your productivity and your customer service.

However, it’s important to find the right communications solution for your business. You need to reduce your costs without sacrificing the quality of your service or the productivity of your staff. Here are the steps you may want to consider to help your business make the right choice when it comes to upgrading your phone system:

Evaluate your current system

If your current system is not serving its purpose, then you should first list its pain points to help you make a more informed decision when choosing your replacement telephone solution.

For example, staff productivity could be adversely affected if you need to constantly install system updates. Or the system may have slowed due to increased traffic and it may no longer provide your business with the functionality it needs to get the job done.

Evaluate your calling habits

Once you have a clear understanding of your call history, you can plan for the future and look for areas where you could cut costs. If you’re using a bundled minutes package, for example, find out if you’re making the most of it. You could downgrade if you’re not using your allocated monthly minutes or upgrade to a larger plan with a lower cost per minute if you regularly go over your allowance.

These might seem like small changes but, depending on the size of your business, such adjustments can help you find a more cost-effective telephone system.

Consider a cloud-based system

A cloud-based phone system operates in a similar way to a traditional on-site business phone system. However, you’ll also have access to a wider selection of features compared to a traditional fixed-line infrastructure. In fact, a cloud-based hosted telephony system brings a wide range of benefits to businesses both large and small:

A cost-effective solution

Cloud-based telephony is simple and inexpensive to set up. It only requires a small amount of time to install and gain access to cloud telephony services. In most cases, you can use the existing IP network.

You also don’t need to invest in any costly hardware or software. For example, a conventional PBX system uses phone connectors, which require a lot of time in initial setup and investment stages. However, cloud-based hosted telephony systems need a minimum initial investment and can be a cheaper option going forward.

Low maintenance overheads

There are no excessive maintenance overheads with a hosted telephony solution. Such systems are maintained by your service provider. So, you will always have access to the most recent software updates and disruption is also kept to a minimum, increasing your productivity levels.

Hosted telephony also provides a centrally hosted system. For larger companies with multiple sites, this simplified architecture provides further maintenance cost savings.

Security and reliability

A properly installed cloud-based system is more secure and reliable than a traditional system. Your customer and call data, for example, is stored in the cloud, which is not vulnerable to hardware failures. This data is also protected using measures such as encryption and advanced data redundancy strategies.

So, even in the case of data loss or a network outage, your data is available on another server, which helps provide a seamless service to your customers. As such, a hosted telephony solution provides robust disaster recovery as it can be accessed from anywhere using soft clients or mobile apps, not just fixed desk phones.

Scalability and customisation

The cloud is highly scalable. So, you can easily add resources to this virtual platform without any additional infrastructure costs. This gives you the opportunity to extend your telephony system and serve your customers 24/7, which can be useful if you are building a brand or trying to improve your customer satisfaction levels. You can also easily customise your cloud-based hosted telephony, allowing you to introduce your own processes, techniques or customised marketing strategies to meet your customers’ expectations.

Easy integration and analysis

To make the best use of your cloud telephony system, you can integrate it with your call centre software to gain detailed insights on your performance and any recent marketing campaigns, for example. Most cloud service providers also offer a range of APIs. These enable companies to integrate with their existing systems for better management and monitoring purposes. APIs can also be used to generate real-time information and reports, providing you with further insights into your business.

For example, you could use call reporting and alert features to see how your business is performing using daily, weekly or monthly call performance statistics. These could include the number of calls answered, or lost and abandoned calls in different departments during a set time period. This can help your business more effectively plan its staffing levels and call routing decisions, compared to traditional phone systems that simply cannot provide this functionality.

The cloud platform can also store a lot of customer data, which can be easily accessed at any time, from anywhere. This can be used to provide further valuable insights into your customer interactions, allowing you to deliver an enhanced customer experience.

Support multiple locations

Since hosted telephony solutions are based on a virtual platform, they do not require much space or any infrastructure. This is very useful if you need to provide remote and flexible working for your staff. You can also see the status of your staff over a hosted telephony system. For example, you could see whether they are on the phone or busy, and use instant messaging to communicate with them instead of calling.

Cloud telephony also makes it much easier for businesses to move premises and have a more national presence with ‘VoIP’ geographical phone numbers assigned to their hosted telephony system. If a business with ISDN is thinking of moving offices, for example, a hosted telephone provider can port their numbers to their hosted system. They can then more effectively plan their telephone system upgrade as part of the move.

In short, a hosted telephony system provides a range of cost-saving and productivity benefits to your business. At Zen Systems, we provide a wide selection of hosted telephony solutions and strategies. If you’d like to find out more, click here to talk to one of our experts.