In today’s climate of austerity, cutting costs is de rigueur in the world of business. Technology is often regarded as the solution to many organisations’ financial woes, helping businesses to work smarter and achieve operational savings as a result.
But where should you start? Many businesses put their communications strategies in the firing line, which makes sense with companies reportedly losing an average of $11,000 per employee every year due to ineffective collaboration and comms.
The good news is that there’s plenty of scope to come up with a more cost-effective communications strategy for your business. The bad news is that there are plenty of pitfalls you need to avoid. Here are a handful of unwise ideas when it comes to cutting your comms costs that could do long-term damage to your business:
DON’T just use a free app
There are plenty of free communication platforms out there. So, why not rely on Skype, Zoom or a similar platform for your business communications?
While these platforms are useful and have some legitimate business applications, they are collaboration tools, not unified communication products.
As a result, you may not be able to integrate them with your existing tools and technologies to provide an effective, safe and productivity-boosting communications solution. Plus, if you run a BYOD scheme, your staff may struggle to separate their work and personal communications using such services, leading to a drop in productivity.
DON’T stop making calls
If you want to cut your comms budget, then why not just put a blanket ban on all calls and ask your staff to use email or messaging apps instead?
Firstly, because your customers want to talk to you, not a chatbot. While chat is the preferred support channel for millennials, 40% of customers actively seek out a real person on the phone when the complexity of the issue increases.
For your internal communications, making a call is often a more appropriate and effective tool too, especially if you manage a large proportion of remote workers.
DON’T cut down on your communication methods
You could decide to cut out one area of your comms solution to save cash. For example, you could kill all landlines or ask your staff to stop using their own mobile devices at work.
Again, this is a bad strategy that will result in less communication between your staff and introduce a new load of issues.
For example, if you decide to remove your BYOD scheme, you will also see a dip in productivity and staff morale as a result. Likewise, cutting the cord on your landline could introduce problems with call quality and issues around organisational control.
How to implement intelligent comms cost savings
If you want to cut your communications costs, you need to think strategically and provide the most appropriate communications channels your staff need to do their jobs.
You also need to futureproof this strategy, making sure it will stand the test of time and not need additional investment further down the line if your business or industry changes.
This is where a robust Unified Communications strategy can help streamline your approach, introducing a flexible approach and cost savings across your business.
At Zen Systems, we recommend 3CX Phone System. It’s a feature-rich solution that eliminates the limitations of shared cloud PBXs and the cost and management issues of outdated, traditional phone systems.
3CX phone system is a highly versatile solution, working across IP phones and SIP trunks both on-premise and in the cloud.
3CX phone system could also help your business save up to 80% per year as its pricing is based on the number of simultaneous calls needed and not per extension. It’s also free for up to eight sim calls and, - 3CX phone system is available at one low yearly price, which starts from as little as £1.50 per user per month.
In other words, with this model you only pay for the maximum number of simultaneous calls that you may need; which is the perfect solution for businesses where the number of extensions is significantly higher in comparison to the number of actual calls. What’s more, your remote employees can make free calls and chat to their colleagues using 3CX mobile and desktop apps.
Unlike many other Unified Communications solutions, there aren’t any expensive add-ons either with 3CX Phone System with features such as video conferencing, iOS and Android mobile apps no longer included in standard version only professional. This makes 3CX a feature-rich and cost-effective solution - take a look at this comparison table to see for yourself.
You also have complete freedom to install your PBX where you want it and choose which IP phones or SIP trunks to use, which could save your business thousands of pounds per year on your enterprise phone system and calls. Also, you can decide where to run your 3CX phone system. So, you could use your existing servers or virtual environment, providing a more cost-effective setup for larger installations.
For smaller installations, you can use on a low-cost PBX appliance from a range of vendors, including Gigabyte, Intel NUC, Shuttle and Zotac Zbox.
It’s also easy to scale your installation by either incrementally adding additional hardware or scaling up in the cloud.
With the right solution in place, there are plenty of ways you can streamline your communications strategy to provide a wealth of cost savings for your business.
3CX Phone System is just part of the comprehensive Unified Communications strategy we offer at Zen Systems. For more information, you can contact a member of our expert and friendly team. If you’d like to find out more about our telecoms service, please click here.