With the extensive features associated with modern telecommunications, as well as the numerous service providers available, it’s always possible to cut down on costs associated with this vital business tool. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re not spending unnecessarily.
1. Choosing the right service provider
The most important step is selecting a good service provider that offers high quality, cost-effective services that are suited to your budget. Assess the telecommunications provider’s installation process, support services and response time, particularly with emergency repairs or assistance.
2. Telecommunication expense management services
Certain telecommunication providers offer telephone management software which gives customers access to real-time account information. Reports on billing, invoicing, savings and diagnostics are all readily available, providing upfront cost-saving solutions for your organisation.
3. Monitoring bandwidth
As companies grow so does the need for increased bandwidth but before you start paying for improved performance, check what your bandwidth is actually being used for. Staff members are only human and downloading YouTube videos can be more fun than work, so ensure the correct security systems are in place to prevent money being wasted on streaming videos and social media.
4. Decrease the number of phone lines
It can be difficult to establish exactly how many telephone lines your company will need ahead of time so, before installation, check whether the contract allows for a reduction of phone lines. Some providers might charge less if the number of lines decreases so it might be well worth looking into.
5. Assess your services
If you’re using a great telecommunications provider, then you should be offered features that are specifically suited to your company. These can include voicemail, directories, mobile capacity, the inclusion of emergency numbers as well as sequential or simultaneous ringing, among others. Determine exactly which features will help your company grow and then look at expanding your options once the savings start. Then, once up and running, take some time to audit your telecommunications services, determining what is vital for the running of your business and what you can do without. You can get caught up on day-to-day operations, making little or no time for assessment, but it could make a big impact to your profit in the long run. There just might be cheaper alternatives that could work better for your company.
6. Ask about discounts and refunds
Before entering into a contract with a telecommunications provider, inquire about any discounts offered or special rates available for services. Are there termination rates applicable? What are the costs for fixed-to-mobile, local, national and international calls? Once you’ve established the exact amounts owed, check your monthly bills thoroughly, comparing them with previous bills so as to determine exactly how much you are saving.
7. Check and resolve billing errors
No matter how careful a company is, when operating on a large scale, billing errors will occur. Go through your monthly statements carefully to make sure you aren’t being charged any hidden costs or that what you agreed upon is what’s being charged. If you do pick up any inconsistencies, make sure to get them resolved as quickly as possible so that a seemingly minor problem doesn’t escalate, accumulating expenses over time.
Throughout your analysis of your telecommunications service and how to minimise overheads, remember that whatever decision you make mustn’t impact on the lines of communication between yourself and your customers. Jeopardising this customer contact will ultimately cost you more in the long run.
These tips to lower telecommunication costs in your business are brought to you by ECN. ECN is a leading telecommunications partner in South Africa. ECN offers a broad set of cost effective voice, data and hosted services to meet our customers ever growing technological needs. Our market leading voice solutions provide our customers with the option of replacing their existing voice service provider to substantially reduce their monthly telecommunications bill. Contact ECN today for leading telecommunications solutions.