The growth of the internet has seen how we communicate vastly increase, with email and social media just a few of the different ways available for us to connect to businesses at times that are convenient to us. This is why, despite the internet giving us more choice, having a good phone system for any business is vital. It enables customers to actually speak to a member of its staff. It also enables a business to handle a large volume of calls instantaneously, and with ease. If you’re looking for a business phone system for whatever reasons, here are some suggestions about what you need to consider.
1. Know Your Business
This point is mainly for businesses to assess what phone system they’re currently using to speak to customers and suppliers. By making a list of needs, you’ll be able to make a cost-effective decision, without being distracted by other attractive features that may cost more and aren’t something your business needs. In turn, this list can act like a checklist to ensure that the phone system you use has everything to meet your business’s requirements.
2. Consider Your Business Needs
You need to observe how many calls your business receives, and how they’re dealt with, i.e. is there currently enough members of staff to answer every call? If not, is there a voicemail or call waiting facility? This is just for your customers, so what about your staff?
What are the different ways your staff communicate? Are there times they’re calling outside the office? If so, you may want to compare business mobile phone system to yours. However, you also should consider whether they prefer to use another method of communication, like instant messaging, and whether this can be provided by your phone system provider
Your answer to these questions will affect the type of phone system your business would benefit from. For instance, if you regularly have a high amount of both inbound and outbound calls, your business may benefit from the stability of an analogue platform.
Alternatively, if your business will expand at some point in the future, or you need a bit more flexibility or greater control, Voice Over Internet Phone (VoIP) may be the better option. By choosing hosted phone systems you will ensure your employees call all over the world without any issues. It will cost you significantly lower than the calls without it. A huge number of companies provide VOIP services, so the price will vary and depend on your requirements and needs. An IP-PBX system will be a cost-effective investment in the long run that may be worth your consideration.
3. Test Your Internet Connection
If you’ve decided to go for an IP-PBX or cloud-based PBX system, then you’ll need to make sure your internet connection is both fast and reliable. Without this fundamental aspect of your telecommunications, calls will be of poor quality and may even drop in and out. Speed checkers are widely available for you to check your business’s internet quality, so it’s a good idea to make use of them to find out if your business’s internet connection will be able to meet the demands of your new phone system.
It’s easy to get carried away with all the new technology that a cloud based VoIP system has, but will you use them, and how often? This is why that list we mentioned earlier is so important to have because after making it, you should divide it into essential and useful functions. This way, even though you may have a need on your list, it may not be as important as you think when it comes down to making a purchase, especially if you have a budget.
If your business operates at different times of the day, around the world, or has flexible working hours, meaning employees can work at different times in different places, a cloud based VoIP system may be a good choice.
5. Listen to Your Staff
Before you make a decision, it’s important that you speak to all of your employees that make or receive calls, via your telephone system. Let’s be honest, it makes no sense for them not to be consulted if they’re on the phones more than you and regularly for longer periods of time. You could send a short questionnaire around, get team leaders or supervisors to ask their teams for their feedback or even speak to different departments yourself, if you’ve got the time. If there are problems or suggestions for a new phone system, these will be the people who will know what’s working, what’s needed and what’s not worth using.
Your phone system is one of the most integral aspects of every business as it’s the foundation of communicating to people, internally as well as externally. It becomes even more important according to how your employees operate and when. You never want to lose a business call because of a poor phone system. Our suggestions to find a phone system to meet the needs of your business is a great starting point to making such an important decision. Once you’ve got that list, you’ll be on your way to improving how your business communicates, which is great for your staff and customers, alike.