Our telecommunications industry has a lot to answer for Australian small businesses.
In 2018, there were more than 20,000 complaints from small-business owners in Australia about their telecommunications. It’s no wonder – our industry is riddled with a monopoly of seemingly faceless big players, confusing jargon language, heavy bills, and overly standardised, complicated and trying experiences every time you need help.
Some businesses have never even questioned their telecommunications provider. While disinterest is unsurprising, sadly, it’s likely to have a big impact on their bottom line and their ability to grow.
A huge difference between those SMEs that thrive, and those who stay stagnant, is having their telecommunications set up to maximise how they connect with their community.
Those that thrive have the right phone and internet systems and communication strategies in place to manage customer and employee needs in the simplest, most reliable, secure, scalable and cost-effective way.
But how do you do this? Here are five ways to give you back the control with your telecommunications to do business better:
1. Review and target ways to reduce your telecommunications costs
Review and get smarter with how you invest in your telecommunications to save on your overall costs. Unsurprisingly, this is the last thing your telco wants you to do. So it’s time you take back that control, and get up close and personal with how you can be smarter with your costs.
One of the best ways to save is to set up a cloud-based phone system (in the tech world, it’s evolved from what’s known as voice over internet protocol or VoIP), making all calls over the internet, rather than via traditional landline settings. It not only lets you make local and international calls at a fraction of the costs, it provides you with the latest and greatest phone system features that are constantly updated.
2. Create ways to automate and systemise for better business efficiencies
And while we’re on the savings bandwagon, you must set up your phone system for automating processes – like common customer enquiries with voice directories and other call diversion and messaging services. If not, you’re likely to miss out on great ways to do business better.
3. Ensuring your phone system grows and goes as you need to with business
With the rising flexible workforce model and gig economy it’s important to make sure your phones can move with you as your business grows and evolves. The best way to do this is through a cloud-based phone system.
The last thing you want is to do lose your business number if you move locations, or you’re wanting to be found across multiple numbers, but it’s hard to set up, so you just…don’t.
4. Ensuring your telecommunications is reliable and secure
The last thing you need is for your phone network to go down, a vital client call to drop out, or your phone service to be hacked.
So, make sure your cloud-based phone systems have the highest “uptime” – the term used for ensuring you’re connected with the best speed, and that it’s 100 per cent secure.
5. If something goes wrong or you need help now, make sure you can speak with an expert immediately
If the worst were to happen, like your phones or internet go down, how quickly can you find the underlying cause of the problem? Can you talk to someone who’s local, and knows your business?
While every business has its own unique telecommunication needs, what’s important is you understand the possibilities for setting it up smarter – so you’re not wasting time in wait queues, and get back to doing business better.
Matt Fahey, CEO, Vonex