Part 1 talked about the differences between hard and soft savings, as well as specific examples of hard indicators. Hard savings or hard ROIs refer to figures that business owners can bite on — increased revenue or savings in the form of dollars and cents. Hard ROI is universally measured via financial metrics, and it generally stays the same from industry to industry.
Soft indicators or soft ROIs are qualitative markers of an investment’s return, and are specified depending on the industry or nature of business of the organization. These are less easy to measure in figures and are selected depending on the specific nature of business the organization takes.
Because of this, soft ROI is best taken hand-in-hand with hard ROI because the former can validate or further express the monetary gains of the investment, be it in the form of lowered expenditure or raised earnings. For example, soft indicators such as greater ease in properly handling data can result in higher productivity and lower error rates.
For instance, the healthcare industry measures the soft ROI of outsourced HR by looking at the quality of new hires, quality of training, and improvement of employee morale. These measurements are difficult to boil down to a numerical figure, but they do provide insight on how beneficial the outsourced HR is to the healthcare organization. In contrast, hard ROI for this example involves reduced per capita cost of healthcare or increased revenues from certain types of healthcare provision such as lifestyle medicine.
Here are some soft indicators you should consider:
- Ease of use
- Customer satisfaction
- Positive employee feedback
- Improved worker morale
The examples above can help you gauge whether your unified communications’ (UC) benefits go beyond its nominal value. Dollar improvements are great, but holistic solutions go beyond savings and earnings. They improve the quality of the work environment for you and your employees.
Connecting soft ROI with financial results
Conducting research on the well-being of your employees, stakeholders, and community before and after the implementation of a UC — or any investment, for that matter — can paint a better picture of the connection between soft and hard ROIs. If the soft and hard indicators are consistent with one another — if they both point towards common positives — it means that the investment was a sound one, and that it had already begun to pay off. In this regard, common positives often come in the form of positive financial impact (hard ROI) and improved operational flow (soft ROI). Soft and hard indicators that are inconsistent with one another may need adjustment, fine-tuning, or plain acceptance, and should be taken on a case-to-case basis.
Improved communications and information access
Unified communications improve collaboration. SinglePoint’s UC offering integrates email, customer relationship management applications, intra-office chat, call, and video into one platform. Having a single platform means all information can be consolidated into one program, and can be retrieved and shared easily.
Switching between platforms to use different communications applications makes it difficult to keep everyone on your team on the same page. Having one portal for phone, messaging, presence, conferencing, screen sharing, and virtual meeting rooms makes everything seamless and easy, allowing everyone to be more efficient and less prone to costly mistakes.
It also eliminates the need for employees to install multiple applications on their computers, which can be a welcome development for organizations that use a bring your own device (BYOD) setup.
Improved customer service
This gains you new clientele and keeps existing ones loyal. SinglePoint’s UC service makes it easy for your customers to get in touch with the correct people for their concerns. With auto-attendant, call-screening, and forwarding options, you can be assured that your business is always on top of every call. These services help ensure that your clients deal with the correct departments or employees, and in a timely manner. Furthermore, strong and effective communications — as facilitated by our UC solutions — improve your business’s value to its stakeholders, helping forge stronger business relationships along the way.
Quantifying true ROI of your UC solutions may be complicated, but SinglePoint Global’s solutions aren’t. We can help you save money while improving your business experience. Contact us today.