New Year is a time for resolutions, new goals and self-improvement, but with all the focus on personal resolutions, it’s easy to overlook areas of your business which can be improved upon.
With technology such as business phones, broadband and mobile devices coming on so far in the last few years, updating your communications and connectivity can hold several benefits including free calls, lower maintenance costs and no requirement for expensive on-site hardware, to name a few.
In our latest blog post, we’ll run through some of the most common improvements businesses can make to their phone systems, service plans and general communications infrastructure.
Carry Out a Communications Audit
Carrying out an audit of all your IT and communications infrastructure will give you a clear picture of where cost savings and efficiencies can be made, this can include devices such as computers and mobile phones and services such as software subscriptions and maintenance plans. When carrying out your audit, take note of:
- Average monthly usage of device or service.
- Age of device.
- Staff satisfaction with device or service.
- If staff are using the device or service properly and making use of all features.
- Customer satisfaction with service (if applicable).
- Cost of device or service (including repairs).
- If the device or service is serving its purpose.
Following the audit, you will be able to identify which devices or services are providing value for money and which may need upgrading or replacing. You may also find that staff are not using services or technology to their full extent. In this instance, we would recommend providing training for staff on all features or downgrading if the service offers more features than you need.
Review and Upgrade Outdated Technology
Outdated technology hinders business success. As well as frustrating staff and reducing efficiency, old tech can lead to poor customer experiences and cost businesses thousands in repair and ongoing maintenance costs.
With technologies such as hosted / cloud telephony and SIP trunking now accessible to businesses of all sizes, there is really no excuse for holding on to tech that’s preventing your business from growing. The key benefits of upgrading outdated technology include:
- Lower maintenance costs.
- Free calls.
- Reduced risk of unexpected system failure.
- Increased business efficiency and profitability.
- Higher staff and customer satisfaction.
- More secure storage of customer and business documents.
- Enhances internal communication.
- Unified communications across all channels.
- More advanced call management.
- Better customer service from suppliers vs. legacy equipment.
Upgrade Your Broadband
Slow internet is a burden on businesses that we believe should be left in the past, slow internet speeds can impact on customer experience, frustrate staff and reduce overall business profitability. Some of the key benefits of superfast broadband include:
- Improved efficiency.
- Higher customer and staff satisfaction.
- Fast connection speed even at peak time.
- Scalable to your business.
- Fast download, upload and backing up of files.
- Guaranteed levels of service.
At Channel Comms, we offer a range of business broadband services to suit you. From superfast fibre broadband to dedicated leased lines, we can recommend a solution that best suits your needs and usage.
Be Aware of Upcoming Industry Changes
Every sector and industry have changes to regulations, laws and infrastructure that impact how businesses can operate, and telecoms is no different.
Throughout 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was one of the biggest considerations for business across the UK, with an obligation to ensure that any voice recording or contact was made in line with the new regulations.
In the coming years, a large consideration will be the BT PTSN and ISDN shutdown, which will mean businesses will have to move away from fixed lines and make plans to switch to an Internet-based telephone network.
The change is not due to take place until 2025, but businesses should be looking at their options throughout the coming years to ensure their current location, infrastructure and available funds will allow them to make the switch easily before the time comes.
Review Your Suppliers
You wouldn’t stick with a car insurance provider who raised your premiums every year or provided a sub-rate level of service – so why stick with your existing telecoms provider if they are doing the same? When reviewing your suppliers, take the following into account:
- Value for money.
- Recent or upcoming increases in rates.
- Staff and customer satisfaction with service/product.
- Support times.
- Ongoing maintenance costs.
- Recent repair costs.
- Communication from the supplier regarding upgrades and changes.
- What service the supplier is offering – are you using multiple suppliers for services that could be provided by one?
If you’re dissatisfied with the current level of service from your supplier, get in touch with them to find out what they can do to improve. If you’re not happy with their response, switching is easy and will result in zero downtime to your business if done properly.
Review Contingency / Disaster Recovery Plans
Did bad weather or a seemingly unpreventable disaster cost your business big in 2018? With new technologies, there are contingency and disaster recovery plans you can put in place to ensure your business keeps moving whatever happens – these include:
- Ensuring true resiliency within your broadband connection.
- Ensuring your telecoms are portable and remote working is possible.
- Using technologies such as SIP trunks and cloud telephony to prevent reliance on fixed lines prone to outages.
- Training your staff to ensure they can work efficiently from home in the event of a disaster.
- Keeping phone systems and software updated and maintained to prevent any unexpected failure.
For more information, take a look at our blog on business contingency planning for bad weather.
Make 2019 a Success with Channel Comms
At Channel Comms, we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes across a wide range of sectors to ensure their telecoms systems fulfil their business requirements.
As well as keeping your telecoms systems up to date and well maintained, we work in a proactive way to ensure you’re not missing out on new technologies and services that could benefit your business’s profitability.
For more information, call one of our expert team free on 0800 856 6900, or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you.