Buying a business phone system should be simple. Yet there are many things you need to know to select the best business phone system for your organization.
In business, there isn’t much that is as simple as it should be. With the right business phone system provider, the process can be relatively easy.
Here are 5 things you need to know before you make your choice.
1. There are many different types of systems
The kind of business phone system that will work best for you can depend on several factors:
- Size of office
- Features you can use
- Amount of control you want
- Level of technical know-how
You’re mainly going to be selecting between Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. A third option, Key Services Unit (KSU) is an option for smaller office environments as it positions ordinary phones to handle multiple lines and make calls to other in-office extensions.
PBX phone systems are often seen at larger companies that want to communicate internally and externally, with greater access and improved calling rates. A PBX system is not as bulky as in the past, but it still means a physical system needs to be installed, configured and maintained in the office. PBX systems offer access to additional features such as call transfer, voicemail, call recording, and call queues.
VoIP services use your existing computer network and work with your broadband Internet services. Whether you choose on-premises or cloud-based VoIP, your business can more easily scale up or down business phone system services to meet demand and enjoy greater mobility as the entire phone system can be accessed for mobile or remote operations via the Internet.
2. Features make you work smarter and faster
Business phone systems today are for much more than placing and receiving phone calls. You can safely expect that your system will come with several system features. It makes sense to give some thought to which of these touted advantages will bring productivity benefits to your business. Options abound to include:
- Voicemail-to-email, voicemail-to-text, voicemail transcription
- Call forwarding
- Call queues
- Call recording
- Conference calling
- Call transferring
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Automated attendants
- Ring groups
- Extension dialing
- Internet faxing
3. It pays to plan ahead
In doing the legwork to find the right business phone system solution for your organization, don’t forget to consider worst case scenarios. No one wants to think that they might be hit by a hurricane or other natural disaster, or that their online systems might be hacked, but losing your business communications could prove costly. Before you find yourself facing a damaged brand reputation or lost sales, research your business continuity options. With VoIP, for instance, your communications can be automatically redirected to additional locations and extensions without your callers noticing any difference.
4. The data will help too
You may already have a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that is doing wonders for your retention and conversion. If so, find a solution that integrates smoothly with your CRM to gain access to even more data. With VoIP phone systems, your business gains another avenue for data analysis. Call reports can be easily accessed proving insights into who your callers are, what actions they take, and more.
5. You can be as hands-on or hands-off as you want to be
With the various options available to you, it’s easy to find a business phone solution that lets you have as much or as little control as you require. When you elect to buy an on-premise phone system, you are taking on the day-to-day management of that solution. This gives you total control of the details but also puts the burden on your people to secure, maintain, and update the system. With a hosted solution, you let your provider handle all security measures, software updates, and maintenance processes.
In comparing phone system solution prices, verify that you have asked about hidden costs, service fees, and installation costs. Also, find out about system and hardware warranties and identify who would be responsible for equipment repair. Additionally, consider reputation and quality of customer service and support to make sure you’re embarking on a partnership that makes sense for you beyond the bottom line.
Let Evolve IP customize a business phone system solution for you today. Contact one of our experts to learn more.