In life, there are signs that alert us to potential trouble — and if we’re attentive and wise, we heed these warnings and avoid bigger problems in the future.
For example, our car may be sluggish and sputtering, and pleading with us for a tune up or some preventative maintenance. And our bodies often tell us through various aches and pains that we need to dial things down and take a break — or else a break may be thrust upon us.
Now, what does this have to do with telecommunications? It’s this: businesses also receive warning signs that their conventional landline phone system is no longer supporting their success and growth — on the contrary, it’s bogging them down and pulling them back. And while these signs aren’t as blatant as a car dashboard warning light, they’re pretty easy to spot if you know what to look for.
And so, here are 4 signs to help you clearly see that it’s time (or make that past time) for your business to upgrade from a conventional landline phone system to an advanced cloud phone system:
- Your telecommunications costs are much higher than they should be.
Here’s something that most people don’t know: phone companies don’t make a great deal of profit from residential customers; in fact, sometimes they even lose money. But business customers are another matter entirely! They’re nothing short of cash cows, which is why bills range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars per month — and that’s on top of a wide range of other fees, such as for maintenance, technical support, and so on.
Cloud phone systems dramatically lower business telecommunication costs — and not just for the first year. The savings continue into the future, since there are no maintenance costs, no update or upgrade costs, no long distance costs, and adding numbers or extensions does NOT require physically adding new underground lines — which makes doing so extremely affordable.
Add up the numbers, and most businesses can expect to see a year-over-year savings of at least 40% compared to a conventional landline phone system. And it’s certainly not uncommon to realize savings of well over 50%.
- Your remote workers are out of the loop.
While remote working isn’t new, in the last few years it has skyrocketed. As noted by Global Workplace Analytics, 50% of the US labor force now works remotely at least 20 percent of the time. And with the rise of tablets and other mobile technology devices, these numbers will only increase in the years ahead.
The good news is businesses that enable remote working substantially reduce overhead costs — which is especially valuable and vital for startups and small businesses who don’t just want to maximize working capital, but need to in order to survive.
The bad news is that conventional phone systems typically keep remote workers on the outside looking in, which makes collaboration difficult, drains productivity and reduces customer satisfaction. That’s where cloud phone service enters the picture and changes the game!
With a cloud phone system, all employees, contractors and other authorized system users are connected on a unified, centralized cloud-based platform, which they can access anytime and from any device: computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Instead of working on disconnected islands, remote workers — whether they spend 100% of their time out of the office, or occasionally work in the field or from a home office (or their favorite Starbucks!) — are always in the loop, and can effectively collaborate, communicate and contribute.
- You’re losing business to larger competitors.
These days, SMBs can’t afford to be perceived in the marketplace as having less capacity and credibility than their enterprise-level competitors — or else some customers will take their business elsewhere. Unfortunately, this is what happens when SMBs are saddled with an old fashioned conventional phone system, which offers little more than features that haven’t been innovative since the 1980s: call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, and so on.
Of course, this begs the question: why don’t these SMBs simply add advanced calling features? The answer is even simpler: because phone companies charge an arm and a leg (and often a few other valuable body parts as well!). Remember what we said about business customers being cash cows? This is a perfect example.
A cloud phone system permanently eliminates this excessive cost barrier, by providing SMBs with a full range of advanced enterprise-grade calling features at no extra cost, such as: voicemail-to-email, voicemail-to-text, video calling, auto attendant, one-number service, direct-inward-dial, and the list goes on.
The end result is that a cloud phone system significantly helps SMBs compete with the “big boys” in their marketplace — which is critical for short-term success, and long-term survival.
- Your business is located in an area where brownouts are common.
As noted in a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the nation’s aging and over-burdened utility infrastructure triggers thousands of brownouts each year. These are relatively brief — but certainly noticeable — power outages that can last for a few seconds to a few minutes.
The problem for business is that going off the grid — even for 10 seconds — can mean the difference between impressing a customer, or losing them to the competition. It can also mean critical internal communications get delayed and costly misunderstandings occur.
With a cloud phone system, fearing brownouts are a thing of the past. That’s because the system is supported on an on-premise network of backup power systems, which immediately and automatically spring into action in the event of power loss. Even if computers and laptops can’t be turned on, users can simply access the cloud system from their smartphone. Incoming calls from customers, partners, suppliers, vendors or anyone else continue as usual with no disruption or reputation-damaging “we’re sorry, the number you have called is not in service” recordings.
If your business is experiencing any — or possibly all — of the above, then it’s clearly time to upgrade to a cloud phone system! To learn more, contact the Carolina Digital Phone team today at (336) 544-4000. Your consultation with us is free.