Modern business telephone systems cater for a wide range of requirements so it is important to choose one that is right for your specific needs.
Being hasty in choosing a telephone system for your business can result in disappointment and unnecessary expense, so here are a few features you should look out for.
The management of incoming and outgoing calls is obviously important, particularly if many employees will be relying on adequate handling features on a daily basis.
This means you need to check which features are offered by the business phone system in question, because not all solutions are created equal.
A call forwarding facility allows you to put people through to the right member of staff even if they happen to be away from their extension. You should also look out for systems which include facilities such as voice mail and auto attendant, so that you don’t miss important calls.
Many systems allow you to play music to callers on hold while some larger organisations use the waiting time to play a recorded advert for a particular product or service.
Collaboration between colleagues and business partners is an important part of any streamlined business process, so you may want to invest in a business phone system that can support advanced conferencing features.
Some systems providers may say that a conferencing facility is included but you need to make sure that external numbers can take part in the conference. Some systems support internal conferencing only.
A conference facility can quickly pay for itself by saving your business money. It cuts down on both travel time and expense, allowing staff to be more productive.
You will want to make sure that any new business phone system is compatible with VoIP services, since VoIP is overtaking analogue connections as the solution of choice in the enterprise market.
VoIP has a number of benefits, including the ability to make free calls to other VoIP users. This is excellent for companies that want to make it easy for colleagues to stay in touch without generating substantial bills in the process.
VoIP services are completely backwards compatible with traditional landline and mobile numbers so you can also make and receive calls to all types of phone.
The unified communications market is growing so this makes it worth thinking about investing in a business telephone system that can be combined with other communications services.
For example, you might want to be able to convert inbound faxes to voice files or PDFs. You might also want to enhance your conferencing capabilities with video as well as voice, which can further increase engagement and complement existing platforms.
It is important to remember that the best phone system for your business is the one that fits in with your needs, not the one that looks the most appealing on paper.
Research the options available and make a checklist of the features you can’t live without. Think about whether you might need to extend the system in the near future and if so, look for a system that offers flexibility and expansion at a reasonable cost.
Once you know exactly what you need to get out of a new system then you will be in a good position to choose wisely.
Make sure that you work with a provider who understands your needs and is happy to provide help and advice. If you don’t understand technical jargon then ask them to explain a system’s capabilities in layman’s terms.
Finally, ensure you are comparing like-with-like and check on any extra costs such as installation or servicing agreements.
About the Author: The author, Jamie Garner, works for Daisy Group, a leading UK provider of business telephone systems and unified communications services.