Effective business communication is key to the success of businesses, and often overlooked, this includes office telecommunication systems.
How do you make the right phone system choice for your business? How do you find a system that encompasses all your essential communication functions without draining your IT resources?
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While there are many factors to consider to ensure that your phone system has the features you require without utilizing much maintenance, here are five factors that you must evaluate.
1. Do you have multiple locations?
Many businesses today have more than one location or have future growth plans that will increase the number of offices and locations served. One of the most valuable features of modern business phone systems is the ability to integrate different locations under the same phone system. If you operate in multiple locations or plan to expand geographically, consider a phone system that is highly scalable and easy to integrate across locations.
2. Do you have virtual employees who require mobility?
According to the State of the American Workplace by Gallup, 43% of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. A lack of effective technology leaves remote employees missing business calls or messages, disconnecting them from clients, vendors, and coworkers. Having a phone system that adapts to the needs of a remote workforce ensures that all voice communications are centralized to a single device, simplifying the process for you and your employees.
3. Do you have the resources to host your phone service on-site, or will it need to be hosted by a provider?
Landlines through a local or regional phone company require on-site hardware to route the phone lines and connections, requiring significant IT support and maintenance. VoIP systems use the internet as opposed to traditional telephone lines to make phone connections. This solution requires stable internet connection to be effective. The internet functionality also requires you to choose whether you have the resources necessary to host the system on-site or if you will use an external provider to host in the cloud.
4. Are usability and ease of adoption important to you?
Having a phone system that is easy to use and simple to train employees on is important so that your IT personnel can focus on business-critical tasks. Finding an intuitive system that makes it easy for users to find and call their coworkers is an important factor that will help increase user adoption. Your directory should provide complete and accurate information so users are confident they are calling the right person. Common features of your phone system such as making, receiving, and transferring calls should be easy for users to execute.
5. Do you require customization or standardization that can be easily updated?
Business phone systems typically require customizations to company standards such as greetings, caller groups, and call routing. With most VoIP options, you can change the greeting through the virtual receptionist – a feature that isn’t as simple to update with hardware through a landline. When evaluating phone system options, consider the time it takes for installation and maintenance due to your required customizations. Typically, the more complex the usability of the phone system is, the more labor is required from your IT team.
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These five factors will help get you started when evaluating phone systems for your business. While there are many factors to consider, it’s important to make sure that the phone system you choose has the features, simplicity, and benefits that your business requires for effective communication.