Get a VOICE / DATA AUDIT…at Least Once a Year!
This would include a detailed examination of your Local, Toll and Long Distance charges, all Customer Service Records, 800# service, Data /Broadband Circuits, Mobile Phone and Beeper/Pager service.
Don’t pay for touch tone charges .on outside lines that are used for incoming calls only…such as 800 numbers and their associated lines or DID (Direct Inward Dial) lines.
Watch for erroneous wire maintenance charges on your Telephone bill. If your service company is maintaining your cable, there is no need to pay twice for the same service.
Maintain a Record of your Phone Bills ….they can be worth a substantial amount of money should you find mistakes in billing and need documentation. In addition, when adding or disconnecting a service and/or equipment document all Verizon service orders with a confirmation number and date.
If your company’s client base is predominantly within the same area code …as represented by the itemized call section on your phone bill, you might to be served by a carrier that offers Regional calling programs… as low as 2 cents / minute or bundled unlimited monthly usage plans.
Not all Long Distance Carriers are the same. Carefully analyze carriers for their long distance rates and service. Some Carriers offer extremely low rates minute, but charge substantial fees to get those rates… so many times we have heard low , unbelievable rates… and most of the time there were hitches to getting the rate.
Maximize volume discount on long distance service by combining all your locations ….including your parent company, subsidiaries and residential add/ons. Consolidate billing where possible as this will make administration easier to review and manage.
Ask about a BUNDLED Plan … Most Carriers offer new plans to get all services including Voice, Data, Internet, Local , Toll and Long Distance at a substancially reduced cost. Its saves time and money to only pay one vendor for all these services. They will also consolidate your multiple locations to one bill .. of course individually itemize each location. A controllers dream!
Are you still receiving bills from your previous Long Distance Carrier ? This occurs when you are still being billed a monthly service charge for a service you are no longer using or when your current carrier did not convert all of your business lines.
Stay flexible …Only sign term contracts with the ability to upgrade to newer service releases without penalty. Rates look attractive now, but rates and services have been quickly changing. Without this upgrade ability, you could lock yourself into extremely un-favorable costs.
Don’t let 800 number callers stay on hold ….or tie them up in your voice mail or automated attendant/voice mail system. Those minutes add up quickly and cost you money.
Don’t make Operator-Assisted Calls …this is the most expensive way to make outbound calls and/or to receive inbound calls. Instruct sales/service representatives to use cost-effect 800 number when calling the office. If you do not have an 800 number, contact us to see how adding this feature could save your company money and be used as a marketing tool. Cellular Phones are less expensive than calling cards.
Monitor your 800 number usage . Ask your Long Distance Carrier for call detailing which will provide you with information pertaining to where all of your 800 activity originated from. This will give you valuable management information.
Utilize the Station Message Detail Accounting (SMDA) System …. this is a feature available in most existing telephone systems. A telephone account management system has the ability to measure and monitor incoming and outgoing calls… by extension , by department, by telephone lines/ trunks. This can assist you in making informed management decisions regarding all aspects of your business, whether to add or delete lines, upgrade service, check for theft or even check for line outages…. Remember most carriers do NOT offer these services… its up to you!
Free your switchboard attendant from answering new calls . Use your existing Voicemail system to set up mailboxes with recorded announcements that dispense frequently requested information such as your mailing address, fax number or travel directions to your company.
Check your automatic Route Selection (ARS) regularly …to make sure your outgoing and incoming calls are being sent over the most economical route. Be sure all your outgoing lines and T-1 channels are interface correctly with your Automatic Route Selection and that they are working properly. Many trunks and T-1 circuits can go out of service and stat that way for months and most PBX’s do not automatically take a failed line out of service or report it as failed.
Have employees receive personal calls through an automated attendant. This lets the switchboard attendant handle important business calls from customers. You can program the automated attendant to answer one of the existing outside lines. The auto attendant can also serve as a back-up if the switchboard attendant is busy. Ask for a demonstration on how you’re business can better manage incoming calls with call handling/processing equipment.
MAKE THE CALL…
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