Is your business still stuck with an old phone system? If it is, then it may be time to upgrade to a more modern system. Upgrading will not just improve communication; it will also mean saving on maintenance costs. Modern telephone systems come with a lot of features that enhance connectivity within the company, while at the same time making it easy to provide efficient customer services. But how do you know what phone system is right for your business? If you run a small business, you probably won’t need all the features that are available with these telephone systems. Check out these handy tips on choosing the right phone system for your business:
Determine what features are needed
The needs of a large organization with several locations can vary significantly from those of a small enterprise. The the first step you’ll need t take is to evaluate the needs of your business. If you’re upgrading, what are some of the pain points with the current system? What new features do you need? A few of the features you may require include: call forwarding, voicemail-to-email transcription, extension dialing, conference calling, etc. Bear in mind that the more features required, the higher the costs incurred. It is thus important to have your staff involved in this process so you can establish what features are really necessary.
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Consider future growth
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Don’t just think about the immediate needs of the business; also remember to consider the growth you expect in the next few years. How many employees do you anticipate adding in two years’ time? Are you planning on opening several locations across the country? If you expect significant growth, it’s vital that you go with a system that will scale easily to meet the demands of your growing business.
Choose between on-premises and hosted/cloud telephone systems
An on-premises system means purchasing the PBX hardware and managing the entire telephone system within the organization. This requires a huge capital investment, but is advantageous in the sense that businesses have total control of the hardware and telephone service. This solution is obviously not suitable for small businesses that do not have a sizeable budget and the IT staff to handle maintenance.
A cloud or hosted solution, on the other hand, means that all the hardware plus the maintenance work is handled by the telephone company. Only a small initial investment is required to get up and running, as you only need to purchase the IP phones. Most businesses will also find the monthly subscription fee to be within their means. The disadvantage with this setup is that you won’t have total control over the hardware. Whenever there’s an issue with the telephone service, you’ll have to rely on the provider to sort it out as quickly as possible.