2020 is the year of unanticipated days, with COVID-19 bringing the world to a complete standstill.
For the past months, people have been forced to stay at home, take precautions and adjust to the new normal. According to the Global Economic Prospects by the World Bank, a 5.2% contraction in global GDP has been forecasted for 2020, leading to possibly the deepest global recession in decades. This sudden strike has undoubtedly affected small to medium businesses and startups.
With cases still on the rise, and nations struggling to flatten the COVID 19 curve, staying afloat is a task. Every penny saved is a bullet dodged; we’ll discuss one of the most cost-effective and efficient business practices made available by technology. Cloud communications are a must for startups and small-medium businesses to survive amongst established companies in the current economic climate.
Cloud communications refer to a system of communication that ensures streamlined voice and data transfer over a high-speed Internet connection. This system is more convenient than PBX (private branch exchange) or a traditional telephone line.
A traditional telephone line has a rigid infrastructure and is bound, in most cases, to an office. Moving to cloud-based solutions has a variety of advantages, several of which are listed below.
As a startup, it is imperative to make the best use of available funds. Switching to cloud telephony systems is one of the best ways to do so. With pay-as-you-go plans, these systems can be set up easily saving you the cost of installation of heavy hardware, maintenance, and training.
A start-up usually demands all hands on deck, and using cloud-based solutions can help you save time for employees. The IVR feature of the system allows you to completely cut out a receptionist, and focus employee time on other important tasks.
Since the cloud telephony system is not bound by location, data can be accessed anywhere, even during transit. Many startups, small, and medium businesses have decided to give up their office spaces since they are working from home. In such a situation, there could be confusion about where the office number would be transferred, and who would receive it.
The same number can be accessed by multiple people at multiple places, making remote work smoother in operations. The system allows companies to opt for multiple numbers while paying for just one by the use of extensions.
Promotes Remote Work
If you own a startup that operates in several countries or cities, having one toll-free number shows a unified front for your company, while also assuring a cost-free solution to the customers.
Customer experience in the last few years has been a determining factor for measuring the success of a company. One way to ensure excellent customer experiences is by making it easy for your customers to get in touch. Cloud communications also allow you to use local numbers that foster trust in customers as they would recognize their local code.
By switching to cloud-based solutions, companies can hire people from around the world. Assigning phone numbers to employees across time zones can help you connect with customers across time zones. The technology also allows managers or supervisors to tap into a call and listen to it, and even hold on-call conferences whenever required, from their place.
As a company willing to extend its reach, the voice broadcasting system helps attain greater heights by sending out pre-recorded or typed messages to a vast list of customers.
Offers Unique Features
The advantages of using cloud telephony systems are multifold as it offers features that no traditional phone system can. Like connecting multiple devices to the same number and making sure all devices ring when a call is received. This reduces the chance of missing a call, no matter the day or time of the week.
In the rare case that you miss a call, cloud telephony even allows for the customers to leave a voicemail which will be sent to your email, helping you return calls efficiently.
Cloud communication also facilitates live chat and email options for your customers to engage in. It can provide immediate call analysis that can be emailed to your team. This also helps you save several hours of valuable employee time and energy.
Most importantly, cloud solutions make your life a lot easier and enable you to set up new numbers, create extensions, reassign numbers—all in a matter of minutes.
Levels the Playing Field
In today’s time, the perception of a company is everything, especially if you are operating internationally. Being seen as a startup, when the competition includes large and established companies, can be challenging.
Using cloud telephony services allows you to project your organization as a large company, professional, and well structured.
Pre-recording a greeting message, customizing the language and accent, can help your startup seem like an organization that has gone out of its way to make customers feel at home. Having local numbers show your availability in multiple cities or countries, and a company-wide toll-free number projects reliability and professionalism.
Since all calls and communication will be managed through the cloud, high-speed internet connectivity is all you need to ensure a smooth calling experience which puts you at par with established companies.
Ensures Stronger Security
One of the most reliable parts of cloud communications is the fact that security is never an issue. All data is saved on the cloud and protected in a manner that can only be accessed by authorized entities.
In case you receive a call that you deem unsafe, the number can be blacklisted. For customer service or engagement teams, a big pro is that incoming calls are randomized, so the employee can never be harassed by a customer with multiple calls. Since the numbers used will be generated by cloud telephony, there is never an issue of divulging personal information.
All organizations, especially startups, have had to switch up operations due to the pandemic.
Vanita Arora is a marketing enthusiast currently working with Servetel – a leading cloud telephony service provider. Reading novels, traveling is some of the interest areas that keep her rejuvenated.