Business communication expenditures can place a heavy burden on corporate budgets, forcing SMBs (Small and Mid-Sized Businesses) to search for ways to trim their communication costs on fixed and mobile phone calls. A key component to achieving your cost reduction target is to incorporate a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)/Unified Communications solution.

Thanks to VoIP technology, smaller enterprises have more options today than ever before. The features and benefits of adopting a VoIP system are substantial! Every business is looking at ways to enhance their bottom line, so we’re going to focus on “Ten Ways SMBs Can Save Money using VoIP/Unified Communications.”

1. Working remotely is a growing trend for many businesses, with some requiring employees to work from home either occasionally or full-time. UC (Unified Communications) provides the flexibility necessary for remote phones to connect from anywhere. In many cases, businesses have been able to minimize overhead by reducing real estate expenses, afforded them by employing remote workers.

2. Maximized mobility is achieved through the increased freedom afforded by not having to be chained to your desk to receive calls. A VoIP number represents your account, not your physical location. Therefore, with an IP connection, VoIP means never missing a call again. Calls can be automatically forwarded to employees working in the field, for instance, which would allow service experts to handle new inquiries and customer service calls while on a job site. Sales agents can work from home while maintaining their connection to the office phone system.

3. Using your PC to make free calls is the most preferred and accessible way of using VoIP. What an incredible concept! With no restrictions on location or country, all you require is a computer with an Internet connection and sufficient bandwidth. The calls are free and unlimited if the communication is between users of the same service. Charges will apply only when making calls to or receiving calls from landline or mobile users through traditional networks.

4. Voicemail to Email is a phenomenal UC function that allows voicemail messages to be forwarded to an email inbox – increasing customer service and efficiency throughout the work force. Using email as your voicemail platform provides the flexibility to play back the voicemails on your computer or mobile device for a hands-free experience, eliminating the need to write down information.

5. Maintenance costs can be reduced by incorporating UC. Traditional phone system hardware can fail, costing your company substantially. By deploying VoIP in the cloud, you can eliminate troublesome hardware failures and maintenance issues that often result in lost revenue. And, since every VoIP phone is an extension of the phone system, a user can simply unplug from the LAN (local area network) and move it anywhere they desire. The flexibility of UC eliminates the costly service calls associated with relocating phones within an office.

6. Direct inward dial provides your employees with a direct telephone line number so callers can bypass the process of going through a receptionist. This frees up the receptionist to focus on other duties, while providing customers with a direct line to the employee, which improves customer service while saving you money.

7. Text messaging is another UC option that allows users to communicate from office to office, or even from desk to mobile phone, without incurring any additional texting costs. This feature saves money and allows users to communicate among themselves to provide potentially critical information without ever having to put a caller on hold.

8. Using VoIP for international calls can save businesses on long distance fees because VoIP connects calls over the Internet. Plus, international calls can be made at half the cost of traditional landline-based communications. As long as you and your contacts have installed the service’s application on your mobile devices, you can connect for free worldwide using your mobile phones and other portable devices.

9. Using VoIP can save on mobile calls provided you meet certain criteria, such as – ensuring that your portable device is supported by the service you’re using, your caller is using the same service and you have an Internet connection. It’s no secret that everyone is converging toward mobility, so incorporating a VoIP plan for heavy mobile users will save considerable amounts of money for your business.

10. VoIP offers advanced features that can help SMBs appear larger and well-established at no additional cost. Features such as auto-assistant, call routing, music on hold and many others help businesses appear more professional while providing exceptional customer service – and that can increase business.

In reviewing these 10 ways to save your business money with a unified communications platform, we’ve merely scratched the surface. The list of features and benefits is extensive and unique for each business. If you’re an SMB that has been considering migrating from your current legacy telephony system to a robust VoIP solution, do yourself a favour and contact Eclipse today.