Choosing the best telephone system is an important step in growing your business.
Professional phone systems can be complicated and there are seemingly endless options to choose from. While making the choice may feel overwhelming, there are a few tips you can use to make the choice simple and painless.
Read this guide on how to choose the best phone system for your business.
The Importance Of Choosing The Right Telephone System
A business telephone system may just seem like a basic office necessity, but it’s much more than that. The telephone is a source of communication with your clients and with the companies you use to run your business effectively. Any source of communication is an essential part of your business.
If you think about the last time you tried to call a business and were not able to get through, you likely felt a sense of frustration, even if other contact options were available. Nothing can replace speaking to an actual person without the delay of email or even an online chatting service.
For these reasons, choosing the right telephone system is important to keep your business running smoothly and your customers or clients happy. You’ll want to choose a system that is affordable, reliable and can grow with your business.
Step 1: Assess Your Business
The first step to choosing the best telephone system is to assess your business and determine what you need.
Are you a small business with a handful of employees that needs a simple, yet reliable phone system? Are you running a large and busy office that gets many calls per day? Are your plans for growth in the future going to require a more sophisticated system?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to choose a system that is best for your business, now and within the next several years.
Step 2: Set Your Budget
While you’re probably looking for an affordable option, it’s best to set a reasonable budget so you can get a great system without breaking the bank. You can set a budget by taking the assessment you completed in step one and determining the average amount you can and are willing to spend based on the business needs.
You should be setting a budget based on:
- The number of employees you have now
- Options for remote employees
- Hardware and installation charges, along with any other fees
- Your business growth projections
Once you have all of the necessary information, you can determine a reasonable budget for your new phone system.
Step 3: Choose Your Phone System Type
There are three, main options you’ll want to consider when choosing a telephone system.
Landline: the classic system that uses a private branch exchange (PBX) to have several extensions and basic features like a phone directory, hold, transfer, forwarding, etc. These systems are reliable but outdated, which may cause maintenance issues in the future.
Virtual: a phone system that uses the main number to reroute calls via an internet connection. This type of system is ideal for entrepreneurs and small businesses who don’t have an office but need a professional number without any bells and whistles. The drawback is if you experience local network issues, you will not be able to use the system.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): this is the most common system used today. It’s a combination of the basic features of a PBX added to the network connectivity of a virtual system, plus all the bells and whistles.
Similar to a virtual system, you’ll need a strong and reliable internet connection to use a VoIP system but there are many benefits to using this type of system.
If you are wondering about how complicated it is to set up a VoIP phone, read more for setup instructions.
Step 4: Determine The Features You Need
After choosing the type of system you will use, the next step is to choose the features you want to have on your new system. This really is where you can tell which telephone system is the best fit for your business.
Many basic features come with a business phone but beyond that, you may also need:
- Smartphone capabilities such as being able to download an app that allows an employee to use all the features of the phone system on their mobile phone.
- Voice-to-video conferencing, a modern take on the classic conference call.
- A personalized, and customized “call-me-now” link that can be added to text messages and emails for a hassle-free return call from a client, colleague or other essential people.
While these features may only be required for certain employees within the company, they can help improve customer experience, customer service, and reduce some phone-related stress for employees.
Step 5: Final Considerations
Choosing a good telephone system is about usability. You can have the best system ever made but if it’s too complicated to learn, it’s not a great fit for you and your business.
One way to encourage usability is to provide each employee with the type of phone that will best fit their needs. For instance, the employee at your reception desk will likely need the most sophisticated phone because the reception desk is the central hub of the business, while an intern may need a basic phone with just a voicemail function.
Mixing and matching will allow you to ensure usability across your office, which will boost productivity and help you get the most benefit out of your new phone system.
Step 6: Make Your Choice
Ultimately, choosing the best phone system does not have to be complicated.
Once you have all the information you need, you can confidently make the decision that is best for your business. Choosing a system can be as simple as deciding what you need and choosing the one that is the best match.
Choosing The Best Telephone System For Your Business: The Bottom Line
By implementing the advice in this guide, you’ll be on your way to choosing the best telephone system for your business in no time.
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