Amongst all of the expenses associated with your business, your phone line is likely to be at the bottom of your priorities. Of course, being able to call clients and suppliers is an essential part of the job – but does it have to cost so much? Below, we’ve rounded up four ways in which you can reduce call costs for your business, helping you return to profit.
- Get customers to call you
Instead of reaching out to your clients or offering a call-back service, ask them to call you by handing out your number or installing a Freephone line. You could even set up a virtual switchboard so that calls can be handled by the right department immediately, cutting the cost of phone operators and customer service representatives. If you do decide on a forwarding service, however, avoid automated systems; as Help Scout reports, 67% of customers have hung up the phone because they couldn’t get through to a real person.
- Cut down on your sales and outreach
If you spend a lot of time calling potential leads and nurturing customers before they commit to a sale, then reconsider your tactics and research into alternatives such as email and inbound marketing. Although phone calls are relatively inexpensive and offer a range of benefits when it comes to sales, cold calling can be a time-consuming process and lead to an expensive phone bill at the end of the month – and, it could even damage your reputation.
- Save money on international calls
Dealing with overseas clients can be expensive – especially if they want to stick to phone calls and avoid technologies such as Skype and Google Hangouts. If you want to save money on your international phone calls, then consider the services offered by companies such as Planet Numbers, where calls to Africa, Germany and India start from as little as a penny per minute. This international phone call service requires no credit check, works from any phone in the United Kingdom and requires no weekly or monthly charges – you just set up a prepaid account that leaves you in control of your finances.
- Audit your calls and impose new rules
When was the last time you did a proper audit on phone calls in your office? Perhaps your employees are calling friends and family at home on their lunch breaks, or many colleagues are calling each other in-house rather than sending an email or walking a couple of steps to ask in person. Review all of the calls your staff have been making, and then impose new rules and conditions so that you can cut down and save money. The best business phone line providers often include features such as call blocking (meaning that your staff won’t be able to call premium line numbers without prior permission), and you could also set up a VoIP (voice over IP) system so that in-house calls can be carried out via Skype or Hangouts.