Many organizations are using phone systems that are at least 10 years old. Some have hit the 20-year mark. That’s because the phone system is one of those “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” tools that tends to be fairly low on the list of priorities when it comes to technological upgrades.
Of course, if you really take a hard look at your legacy phone system, you’re likely to find that it’s more broken than you realized, even if it still functions. From cost to productivity to customer experience, that old phone system is probably costing you money and could very well be hurting your reputation.
As we mentioned in a previous post, the cloud has always been a natural fit for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). That includes cloud VoIP phone systems. By adopting a cloud-based system, you’ll take advantage of a number of benefits that can improve your strategic position and give you competitive edge.
1. Customer Experience
According to a recent survey commissioned by ClickZ, nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said brands don’t meet their expectations for a good customer experience. 59 percent said they couldn’t remember when a brand exceeded their expectations.
Phone interactions are often the most memorable for customers. If calls are dropped, missed or unreturned, you give customers a reason to look for other options.
A cloud VoIP phone system has enterprise-grade technology that provides more reliability and better voice quality than legacy systems. Because cloud services won’t be affected by local weather events, power outages and other emergencies, the risk of downtime is minimal. Customers will always be able to get in touch with you.
2. No Physical Onsite System
That means no physical system to install, no physical system to manage, and no physical system that limits how or where your employees communicate.
A cloud VoIP phone system is quickly and easily deployed with minimal downtime and no complex hardware installation. Users can then be more productive because they can access the system from any location and any device. If you have employees who work remotely, your phone system will go with them. Calls to the office can be automatically forwarded to cell phones so customers don’t have to chase down your employees.
A cloud VoIP phone system can reduce monthly costs by an average of 20 percent while reducing management overhead. Internal resources in terms of both staff and dollars can be redirected to more strategic, revenue-producing initiatives. The cloud also allows your VoIP system to grow with your business without a capital outlay for equipment. Even the cost of phones has dropped as the new Hardware-as-a-Service (Haas) model provides you with IP phones for a low monthly payment.
Speaking of growth, a cloud VoIP phone system makes it easy to add users, features and extensions without complex installations or on-boarding. If you’re opening a satellite office or branch location, simply add those users to the system. Administrators can handle these tasks remotely and configure the system through a management interface.
If you have a seasonal business that sees spikes in demand during certain weeks or months, you can add services when you need them and remove them when you don’t. Pay as you go for what you need instead of over-provisioning to account for peak demand.
5. The Potential for Unified Communications
Migrating to a cloud VoIP phone system is the perfect time to adopt a unified communications platform. Instead of being tied to your desk phone, the cloud allows you to access all forms of communication through a single interface – email, text, instant message, video and collaboration applications. This is far more efficient and productive than forcing employees to bounce around different tools.
Keep in mind that unified communications is one of the key drivers of digital transformation. If you expect to take full advantage of your technology investments to enhance the customer experience, optimize business processes, become more innovative, and implement these changes successfully, seamless collaboration is critical.
In addition to eliminating communication silos, unified communications can help to bring the entire organization together and deliver a consistent experience, regardless of department, device or communication preferences. This translates to a more engaged staff and more satisfied customers.