Most businesses leverage VoIP for its cost savings, but achieving ROI with VoIP isn't about cost savings alone. Return on investment for VoIP should be evaluated through both hard dollar savings (traditional cost savings) and soft dollar savings. Soft dollar savings are intangible benefits for your company that cannot be qualitatively measured like cost savings can be.
There are various benefits from VoIP soft dollar savings:
Improved Employee Communication
When you install VoIP calling extension-to-extension becomes easier and cheaper, and company-wide as it works across several locations. This leads to increased communication between your employees, which in turn leads to greater employee effectiveness, higher morale and lower employee turnover (studies show that employees who have friends in the workplace are much likelier to stick around). In terms of increasing employee morale, workers can also have the opportunity to telecommute on days that coming into the office would be difficult, for example during bad weather or with a sick child.
By using VoIP systems your teams can begin to collaborate more on projects than ever before. Doubly so when using videoconferencing. There is nary a boss in the world who wouldn't love more teamwork and collaboration on important company projects. Collaboration however is incredibly hard to put a dollar value on, hence why it is a soft-dollar savings.
Enhanced Customer Experience and Support
Customer experience improvements are another VoIP benefit that is hard to measure. It is extremely difficult to know measure how much improvement leads to what increase in customer purchases.
Features That Lead to Soft Dollar Savings
Having a voicemail system that allows for exporting files to users' desktops gives your users a visual interface for their voicemails. With a service like this they can prioritize their voicemail box, save messages for later use and annotate the messages. They can also send voicemails to other users on or off the system. This increases productivity, effectiveness and saves time.
Call Notification and Call Forwarding
The ability for call and voicemail notifications to be sent to your employees' cellphones, or the calls themselves with call forwarding, is priceless. Whether your customers need after-hours service or you have a mobile workforce, this helps contribute to employee productivity and the overall customer experience.
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
This feature allows calls to be routed either to individual users, groups, or departments; ensuring that customers are served regardless of staff attendance and availability.
Integration with Customer Database or CRM
Being able to integrate your VoIP calling system with a CRM or customer database is another hard-to-measure element of soft dollar savings, but having these abilities improves your customer-relationships. Detailing each customer call will also help with accounts when employees transition or leave the company.