I have been selling for the telecom industry for a little over a decade and one technology that is growing in popularity with my customers is E-fax service.
The attraction for most of my customers is the ability to send and receive faxes using their e-mail account rather than keeping a traditional fax machine attached to a landline. Not only do some of my customers find this more convenient (it’s pretty much the same as sending a regular e-mail), it does usually offer them a significant cost savings (as much as $20-$30 per month).
However, as is often the case with technology like this, it isn’t a product that will work for every business. This is why, whenever I have a customer ask about this service, I give them a list of three questions they need to answer.
First, are you attached to your fax number? There are still quite a few phone exchanges that can’t be ported to an E-fax. And, if your business happens to have one of those exchanges, you more than likely would need to get a new fax number. This isn’t a big deal for some businesses. But, your company advertises your fax number, it can create an inconvenience.
There are, of course, some ways around this (such as setting up a remote call forward number). However, those options do carry a separate price tag and might reduce or even eliminate any savings.
Second, how much do you use your fax? Each E-fax company is different but most have some sort of cap on the number of pages you can send and receive in a given time period. If you don’t use your fax very often, this isn’t going to be a big deal. However, if you are using your fax machine a lot, it’s very possible you could face overage charges that exceed what you are paying for the more traditional landline.
This is why, before making a change, it’s best to estimate how many pages you send and receive each day. That way you can verify how many pages you are allowed with an E-fax service and what you’d be looking at for overage charges.
Last, are you getting the same privacy? Many E-fax providers take the extra steps to make sure sent and received faxes are confidential. Others, however, don’t. If your business requires a certain level of privacy (such as standards set up under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), then it’s important to take the time to verify this.
As I said before, E-fax service is a technology with lots of potential for business customers. But, if you don’t take the time to ask these questions, it also may end up being the wrong choice for your company.