Five tips for SMEs to get smarter with their telecommunications

By Matt Fahey. Published at Aug 23, 2019, in Technology

Vonex CEO Matt Fahey shares how Australia’s fastest growing SMEs get switched on with their phones and internet.

Our telecommunications industry has a lot to answer for Australian small businesses.

In 2018, there were more than 20,000 complaints from small businesses owners in Australia about their telecommunications - up by almost 9 percent on the previous year according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

And 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 - let alone got down to the nitty gritty of the best ways to optimise their phones and internet for doing business smarter.

While disinterest is unsurprising, sadly, it’s likely to have big impacts to 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.

Vonex CEO, Matt Fahey.

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?

We’ve been fortunate to help more than 30,000 SMEs – including some of Australia’s leading brands like Oscar Oscar and Wittner Shoes – get switched on with their telecommunications.

And here are our top 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

It’s a no-brainer, and what every business must do to grow – review and get smarter with how you invest in your telecommunications to save on your overall costs.

And unsurprisingly, this is the last thing your telco wants to you to do. They’re quite happy with you setting and forgetting.

So it’s time you take back that control, and get up close and personal with how you can be smarter with your costs.

While every business has unique needs and associated costs for its phone and internet needs, 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 – via your handsets or mobiles – at a fraction of the costs, it provides you with the latest and greatest phone system features that are constantly updated.

And it also saves significantly on time and resourcing if set up correctly, through being able to automate many processes.

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 – and 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 ‘up time’ – the term used for ensuring you’re connected with the best speed, and that it’s 100% 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?

Are you left suffering in a notoriously long wait queue – with little sign of a resolution – or can you talk to someone who’s local, and knows your business?

It’s time Australian SMEs take back control of their telecommunications

So, 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.

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