Changing your old office phones to a completely new system can seem like a daunting task that leaves you asking – is it worth it?
To help you evaluate the cost benefits of VoIP, we analyzed over 1,000 small businesses and created this infographic with interesting statistics on how small businesses are using VoIP, and how they're reducing costs.
Further down the article, we elaborate on the cost benefits of switching to VoIP service, and provide three tips on how to maximize those cost savings if/when you do decide to make the upgrade.
Here are highlights based on the data we gathered from small businesses using VoIP.
On Cost Savings
- Companies can reduce monthly telecom costs by over 50% by switching to VoIP.
- Setup costs for an on-premise phone system typically start at $20,000, while setup for a cloud phone system can be as low as $0.
- The average employee uses 400 minutes per month. Thus, companies significantly reduce costs by bundling their users into a usage-based plan, rather than paying per user.
On Business VoIP Features
- 47% of SMBs are using SMS to communicate with their customers.
- 74% of employees use a mobile app for making work calls.
- 22% of SMBs have a toll free number.
- Phone menus offer callers an average of 3 options.
- 89% of phone menus enable callers to enter an extension.
- Phone menu greetings last an average of 15 seconds.
On Call Activity
- The averate time a caller holds before hanging up is 90 seconds.
- The average time a caller holds until an agent answers is 36 seconds.
What are the typical cost savings with VoIP?
The average savings businesses see after switching to a VoIP system range anywhere from 30% to 50%. While the amount of savings can vary from case to case, almost all companies see a meaningful reduction in their telecommunication expenses. The most significant cost savings are realized by companies switching from an on-premise phone system, to a cloud based phone system.
How are VoIP savings that drastic?
There’s no equipment. Unliked traditional phone systems, VoIP providers host all the telephone infrastructure on your behalf. That also means that VoIP eliminates the need for in-house servers along with the ongoing maintenance fees. A hosted phone system means that everything is handled off-premise “in the cloud”, so the expense of servers and maintenance is shared among the subscribers and everyone saves.
Making changes is easy and free. VoIP services like Telzio provide online tools that can be used by anyone without prior VoIP experience. Adding features, users, phone lines, and any extras can be done through a web browser without paying for an on-site technician every single time. Because it’s so easy to do everything online, businesses end up saving on all the service fees for making any changes to the system.
There are minimal long distance charges. Depending on the provider, VoIP service allows you to make international calls at local rates. When you make an international call, the VoIP provider connects to the country being called and essentially initiates the phone call from within that country so you end up paying their local rate.
The Cost Benefits of VoIP Service
While switching costs could be different for every business, the basic financial requirements for implementing a VoIP solution are minimal and well worth the long term benefits beyond the setup process. Even through growth and operational changes, the convenience and flexibility of a VoIP phone system keep costs at a minimum.
VoIP enables employees to use their mobile devices
Telzio provides an integrated mobile app, which enables users to make and receive calls/texts with their business phone number on their mobile device. Calls on the mobile app are separate from their personal line, and it’s easy to see when there’s a work call coming in versus a personal call.
The mobile app enables you to add phone users to your system without purchasing new desk phones. This also means you don’t have to worry about replacing aging phones in the future.
In addition to the mobile app, you can use the Telzio Webphone for calling and texting.
VoIP eliminates hardware and maintenance costs
Switching to a hosted VoIP service means eliminating all on-premise server equipment. By moving communications to the cloud, businesses share the burden of hardware and maintenance with other subscribers to lower overall costs. Instead of housing equipment at every office location, businesses can access a virtual phone system for all operations without purchasing any new equipment.
Switching to a hosted phone system means that you never have to worry about system updates or maintenance issues ever again. All costs related to server issues and hardware malfunctions fall on the shoulders of the VoIP service provider.
VoIP simplifies setup and customization
With a VoIP phone service, setting up and managing features, users, and phone numbers is all done online through a web interface. There’s zero programming involved and often, zero hours required from IT.
Telzio provides an easy-to-use web portal to set up and manage all features, users, and call routing. Everything from creating call groups to uploading custom hold music can be done on the Telzio website. With visual tools like Call Flows, even non-technical users can customize an entire phone system in minutes.
Versa Products, a furniture manufacturer and ecommerce company in Los Angeles, stated management as one of the biggest pain points with their prior phone system.
Our communications are now much more efficient and Telzio’s user-friendly interface is much easier to use and manage as needed. Whereas before it was necessary to contact a technician for any little change, I can now manage everything right through my browser, and it goes live instantly.
- Nathan Endow, IT Director
Online management enables businesses to save on ongoing service costs (and time) every time a change is needed on the system.
What's more, advanced customization to the system is much easier. In fact, VoIP actually makes it possible to customize your phone system in ways that traditional phone systems cannot.
VoIP scales as your business grows
Since hosted phone systems are administered through a remote online control panel, scaling operations across physical office locations and within organizations is easy and immediate. With a hosted phone system, your business is never tied to any particular setup or location and you can scale your phone system as your business grows. Adding a new user, department, or even location can be done online. New phones can be shipped ready-for-calling, drastically cutting down deployment efforts for IT personnel.
In addition, VoIP pricing is much more scalable than traditional phone service, since you are not paying for lines. Each time you add a user with a traditional phone system, you have to pay for the physical line to be run to the desk. With Telzio, there is no cost for adding users.
3 Ways to Cut Costs When Switching to VoIP
A few years ago, before the “cloud” hype, these cost-cutting options were not available to small businesses. Most companies today are still emotionally attached to their traditional landline phone service, but with a fresh perspective, these tips for lowering your company phone bill are simple and easy to implement.
1. Consolidate Phone Lines
Are you still paying for “dummy” phone numbers so you can handle multiple calls? With traditional phone companies like Time Warner and Comcast, businesses are forced to purchase additional phone lines so that if there’s an existing call, a new incoming call will “rollover” to the next line. Now if there’s a third call? Well, you have to keep purchasing lines to avoid sending callers to a busy signal.
With Telzio’s cloud platform, rollover lines are completely unnecessary. One phone number can handle all simultaneous calls at once. What that means is, a company with 100 employees can all receive and make calls using the same phone number at the same time. Callers never get a busy signal and a business can handle as many calls as they have physical phones.
When callers dial in to a business they are usually directed to an auto attendant or a live receptionist. From there, callers can enter or look up the extension of the person they are trying to reach. This eliminates every employee having their own phone number, but also eliminates the cost of Direct Inward Dialing (DIDs). You can still assign a unique phone number for certain employees or departments, but for a majority of companies, this “number-trimming” will cut monthly costs down substantially.
Tip: Make a list and see how many of the phones sitting around your office actually need unique phone numbers. Now multiply that number by however much the monthly cost is for each of those numbers and you’ll start to see how it adds up.
2. Avoid “Unlimited” Calling Plans
Scaling is the number one rule in basic economics. It’s the reason cloud servers like Amazon are such a great resource for small businesses. You can just pay for what you use, rather than investing a set amount and losing on the unused capacity. Think of it this way - instead of renting my own storage unit, I can share a bigger space with others and come and go as I please, so my cost fluctuates if my usage fluctuates.
So if we’re doing that with everything else, why aren’t we doing that with our calls? “Unlimited” plans are a marketing ploy by phone companies to get you to pay for more than you use. Most employees call on average 400 minutes per month, which 99% of the time does not amount up to the higher price of the “unlimited” plan.
Tip: Find VoIP plans that are scalable and transparent, so it’s easy to calculate exactly what you will be spending and how much your cost savings will be. Checking your usage and finding a plan that fits is an extremely easy way to manage costs. Just pull your last phone bill and compare rates between VoIP providers.
3. Migrate to a Cloud-Based PBX
Certain items in the office are easy to upgrade – computers, furniture, even an old copy machine. Others appear much more daunting, like the phone system. When was the last time you upgraded your phone system? Maybe never. Until recent years, there wasn’t an obvious reason to fix a phone system that simply “wasn’t broken”. Now that there are cloud based phone systems that use VoIP, there’s a much higher financial incentive to consider an upgrade.
We’ve seen companies save over 70% on their monthly costs after switching to Telzio, and this is not a singular occurrence.
How is it possible that the cost savings are so substantial?
One, it’s the pricing model. Telzio includes all users with any plan or phone number, so not only can you save on consolidating phone numbers, you’ll be eliminating all user fees.
Second, Telzio is cloud based, so there’s no hardware or on-site PBX equipment. This means there are no maintenance, upgrades, or damages to pay for. You simply need internet service and your choice of devices. Telzio works with IP phones, softphones, and there’s also a mobile app.
Third reason Telzio is so economical, the service is a full-featured business phone system. From IVR menus and call recording to voicemails and call forwarding, Telzio offers all the calling features that small businesses need in a phone system, with no hidden costs.
Tip: Sign up for a free 30 day trial, and see for yourself how easy it is to set up a cloud phone system.
Switching to VoIP
Final advice for switching to VoIP - test the service before permanently transitioning your entire system. Not only will you get an idea of the service quality and usability of the interface, but you’ll get a glimpse into the customer service experience from the provider.
Jennifer is part of the content marketing team at Telzio, providing insight and tips on how Telzio can be used to optimize business communications and customer service.