Quick Guide: Reduce VoIP Phone Costs and Reinvest Savings in Growth

Emily GregorLast updated on January 2, 2024
7 min

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Cloud-based phone systems, voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), virtual telephony–or whatever name you know them by—offer cost savings in different shapes and sizes. And in light of the challenging economic climate, cost savings have become more important than ever before.

But just because you’ve switched your sales and support teams to using business VoIP phones, doesn’t mean those cost savings come automatically.

Just like the financial perks they make possible, VoIP phones also come in different shapes and sizes. Capturing VoIP phone cost savings is about identifying your inflated costs and shortlisting vendors with proven cost-cutting impact.

Whether you’re a cloud-based phone system beginner or looking for a cost-efficient alternative in the face of budget cuts, this VoIP cost-saving guide should help gather decisive insight.

To gain deeper insight into the potential cost savings of switching to Aircall, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ study. The results of the study are for a composite organization representative of interviewed customers and present the potential of Aircall to support companies through this challenging time.

To start, let’s weigh why virtual telephony is better for cost-saving than fixed-line hardphones.

VoIP Cost-Savings: Why Cloud-Based Phones Save More Money Than Hardphones

The obvious answer here is that VoIP softphones require almost zero maintenance so there’s one cost slashed already.

But there are a few other VoIP phone cost benefits you might not have considered.

Time means (less) money: VoIP phones get cheaper over time

The good news? The cost-efficiency of VoIP technology is already pretty good. The better news? VoIP costs will get even better over time. According to Gartner, cloud telephony costs are expected to drop by around 3% to 5% each year.

If you’re a small- to medium-size business with a “save to thrive“ cost-cutting focus, this is worth celebrating. That 3% to 5% can make a huge difference if smartly reinvested to help you compete with bigger market players.

The cost of silence: VoIP phones cost less when nobody’s speaking

Get this: Up to half of sales and support conversations are complete silence.Gaps in conversation aren’t a bad thing until you realize that traditional fixed-line phones continually send data back and forth—even when nobody’s speaking. By contrast, cloud-based phones economize data using silence suppression, actively detecting when people are speaking.

In other words, traditional phone lines consume up to twice as much data as VoIP phones, potentially increasing costs by just as much.

VoIP phones bring cost benefits across teams

There are really two problem cost sources that VoIP phones alleviate better than fixed-line hardphones:

  • Overhead costs like setup, licenses, bundles, call costs, and maintenance.

  • Opportunity costs like missed training opportunities and customer support team performance inefficiencies caused by limited business tools and inflexible telephony hardware.

Some of the early cost savings you’ll make by switching to a VoIP system will be in initial overheads like setup, call costs, and licenses. Those should come down overnight if you choose the right package with industry-leading features.After that, it’s all about consciously planning further VoIP cost savings by capturing new opportunities.

This means collaborating closely with operations, IT, sales, and support departments to create further savings in process efficiency. Try to identify problem cost overlaps that affect shared workflows.For example:

  • How many open support tickets go unresolved because your IT team is busy with hardphone maintenance?

  • Are customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) decreasing because support reps struggle to transfer customers quickly to the right team?

  • Are sales reps dropping deals they should be closing because admin and multitasking are dragging down focus and performance?

All these scenarios are costs of uncaptured opportunities that aren’t easy to quantify. How can you calculate something you’ve lost? It’s not easy.

What’s easier is ensuring your new VoIP system serves everyone and creates those cost benefits.

To ensure this, make sure your cloud-based phone system creates sales and support manager independence by making it easy to add or remove numbers. These should be easily taken care of by business managers without costly IT interventions.

Besides nurturing sales and support manager autonomy for daily maintenance, your cloud-based phones should bring cost savings in team performance. For example, real-time performance analytics and Call Whispering are features that lower training requirements and costs.

Combining the right VoIP phone capabilities will ultimately ensure sales and support call opportunities are captured while they’re hot.

What VoIP Cost Saving Should I Expect?

Typically, the right cloud-based phone system should reduce telephony overheads by around 30% to 50%. That seems to be the industry consensus.

To give you an idea of how that might translate into dollars, when we commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study to evaluate the potential business impact of Aircall, the composite organization achieved savings of:

  • $72,403 in year 1

  • $91,783 in year 2

  • $103,258 in year 3

Those are the risk-adjusted figures. Where your potential cost-cutting percentage lands will depend on a few factors.

Start with low Initial VoIP setup costs

It’s true that cloud-based phones all offer easier initial setup versus traditional hardware-based phones. But initial setup is trickier with some cloud-based phones than others.

To tick the cost savings box on the initial setup, look for same-day setup assurances. Also, check if cloud-based phone vendors you’ve shortlisted let port over existing business phone numbers. Just this alone will help keep initial setup costs down.

Making VoIP cost-cutting strategic for the long-term

This is especially important for ambitious small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs). At the enterprise level, cutting costs with a VoIP phone system is about capturing those final few micro-efficiencies at scale.

For SMBs, it’s about leveraging financial agility to compete with bigger players. Scroll to page six of this Deloitte Study (Save to Thrive) and you’ll notice that SMB cost-saving is high on the agenda following the Covid pandemic.

According to Deloitte:

  • The percentage of SMBs pursuing cost reduction targets greater than 10% increased by 61% compared to pre-Covid levels

  • Two of three companies globally (66%) now have cost-reduction targets that exceed 10%.

To achieve those targets, your VoIP cost-cutting mindset should be geared for the long-term by freeing other business leaders from daily admin.

Your new VoIP system should mean less time spent firefighting and more time spent solving higher-level strategic challenges.

The Bottom Line: VoIP Cost Saving Is a Part of Reaching Digital Maturity

The Deloitte “Save to Thrive” stats mentioned above points to one thing. The post-pandemic economy has encouraged more SMBs to pursue digital maturity more confidently.

That’s just one of the reasons SMBs should accelerate digital transformation with VoIP cost saving.

What is digital maturity?

Here’s a useful quote that neatly sums up digital maturity.

“Digital maturity is the ability to quickly respond to or take advantage of opportunities in the market based on current tech stacks, staffing resources, and digital technology. It’s an organization’s ability to take on digital transformation not only from the standpoint of digital technology, but organization-wide, including people, culture, and processes, to achieve business outcomes.”

Dave Rutkowski, CEO of Performance Improvement Partners

Digital maturity won’t happen overnight, but switching to a cost-efficient cloud-based phone solution is a big step in the right direction.

VoIP cost saving: How to get others on board

If what you’ve read makes perfect sense, but you’re struggling to sell the benefits of VoIP phone cost savings to others, here’s some advice.

1. Spend time gathering cost-efficiency (or inefficiency) insights in your specific department.

2. Try to source similar insights from other departments, including IT, sales, and support.

3. Compare notes and identify the overlapping workflows responsible for those shared financial pain points.

Finally, shortlist vendors that allow full-access free testing.

Now that you know which processes, workflows, and costs your VoIP phone needs to streamline, you can test the right features and integrations for reducing costs.

Want to Reduce Phone and Calling Costs?

There are significant potential per-person cost savings that we discovered when we commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct the TEI study to evaluate the potential total business impact of Aircall.

The composite organization represented in the Forrester Consulting study was able to make VoIP maintenance and calling cost savings amounting to $219,254 over three years.

But there’s one number that tops them all. You guessed it: return on investment.

How did Aircall deliver 373% ROI, and what could Aircall do for your business growth?

The composite organization from the Forrester study achieved 373% ROI over three years. Needless to say, 373% will likely not be your exact Aircall ROI percentage.

Of course, ROI isn’t the whole story. What’s powerful is the cost-savings linked to ROI that enable those all-important “save to thrive” reinvestments. This is of special significance for SMBs that need to free up finances to compete with bigger players.

Aircall ROI and Cost Calculator

Cutting costs by switching to a cloud-based phone system makes sense. But it also makes sense to forecast savings based on your own data.

In the Total Economic Impact™ of Aircall study we mentioned, conducted by Forrester Consulting, gives good cost-saving indicators. But don’t take our word for it. Why not use Aircall’s own ROI and Cost Calculator to see how much you could save by switching to Aircall?

Published on November 9, 2022.

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