Inflation. It’s the word on the lips of nearly everyone these days, as we watch prices of goods and services tick upward week by week. The Bank of Canada recently raised its interest rate by a full point in response to news that inflation hit 8% and would likely linger there for several months. In the U.S., the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data revealing a 9.1% rise in the all-items Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months. Many anticipate an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve will soon follow.
Fortunately, both the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve forecast rates returning to more normal levels (2 ½%-3%) next year, but that leaves business owners in a quandary about what to do now to balance increased costs of supplies and labor while absorbing potential downward pressure on consumer demand.
In this article, we’ll look at why cutting costs is vital to weathering inflation and how updating your telecommunications service is a smart place to start.
Lightening the Load
Inflation impacts businesses largely by reducing their purchasing power, which eventually impacts sales and profits. If your profits decline, you also have less money to grow and invest in the business. It’s a downward spiral that can seriously impact small business viability.
Experts say cutting costs and boosting productivity are the antidotes to inflationary pressures — similar to throwing extra luggage overboard in a boat that is taking on water. The less weight on your business, the safer it is in turbulent times.
In a Harvard Business Review article, four business analysts looked at which companies best weathered the Great Recession in 2008, and found the global companies that cut costs to improve productivity achieved higher shareholder returns (27% median) than companies that took less action. You may not be a global company, but the lesson still applies. The more money you keep on reserve, the better you’ll be able to respond quickly and confidently when a need arises in your business.
Cost-effective, Cloud-based Communications
A logical place to look for savings is your telecommunications plan. Many businesses have antiquated and expensive service plans that either offer more features than operators can practically use, or don’t offer the modern communications features and channels they do need.
Cloudli’s cloud-based communications platform gets it just right by letting you tap into the power of the internet to work from anywhere. Plus, you don’t compromise on quality and reliability thanks to advancements in digital signaling. Most importantly, Cloudli can help you trim costs and boost efficiency to weather the down economy. Here are four reasons that’s true:
1. Single Subscription
Cloudli gives you a unified, affordable solution that combines business voice, business texting and answering service in a single subscription. That saves you from having to pay separately for individual products.
Cloudli Connect costs less than half the cost of leading business phone service providers. You can choose from out-of-the-box plans, which run as low as $19 per user per month1, or build your own custom plan with only the features you need – and only paying for what makes sense for your business.
Similarly, Cloudli TalkNText provides you with combined voice, texting and answering service for as little as $35 per month2 for two users, an 81% savings over comparable third-party providers.
2. Operational Efficiencies
Cloudli’s cloud-based services minimize the need for expensive equipment like hosting servers, a PBX or telephone equipment. You can use any mobile phone or tablet, or provide your workers with affordable, cloud-enabled desk phones.
You don’t even necessarily need office space, since VoIP allows your team to work from anywhere. Connect multiple sites or individuals anywhere in the world without having to pay expensive international rates. You can even set up an international toll-free number for your customers abroad, while still having those calls addressed by your local call center staff.
These types of efficiencies help you do more with the staff and equipment you already have.
3. Flexible Plan Options
With Cloudli business phone solutions, you pay only for the services and users you need. You start with voice, texting and voicemail and then mix and scale features based on your business requirements and budget. Some options include:
A no-contract monthly fee means you can also adjust services as needed to accommodate seasonal needs. What’s more, a money-back guarantee policy gives you the assurance that you’ll get your first month of service refunded if the solution doesn’t meet your expectations within the first 14 days of service.
4. Automation to Streamline Customer Communications
Cloudli offers features that maximize the efficiency of your support staff. For instance, Cloudli TalkNText offers Auto-Attendant, which uses call queues to control call volume and allows customers to find their way to the correct agent for their particular needs. The app also includes ring options that enable you to manage how your incoming calls are handled and which team member can answer them. You can configure ringtones for when your number is available, muted or outside of business hours.
Cloudli Connect’s optional Contact Centre module offers capabilities like virtual call queues to allow clients to hang up and get a call back, and skillset-based routing to get them to the correct agent faster.
You gain total call control while improving the customer experience with better service.
Make the Inflation-busting Move
You don’t have control over inflation, but you do have jurisdiction over your budget and where you spend and save. Switching to cloud-based telecommunications is a simple first-step to take.
1Savings and feature claims based on comparison of monthly pricing plans for 10 users published on competitor websites or other publicly available sources as of January 19, 2022.
2Savings and feature claims based on comparison of pricing plans for four users, published on competitor websites or other publicly available sources as of January 24, 2022. Some competitor plans may include additional features, including but not limited to video and audio conferencing, and direct dial numbers for each user.