What to know before you upgrade your office phone system
Upgrading a business phone system is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Your office phone system is the front-line communication between you and your clients in many cases. Your phone line is how customers and clients can reach you, and it’s often the first impression callers have of your business.
Before you upgrade, you want to ask yourself the following questions to make sure you find the right solutions for your needs:
- How Many Phones or Extensions Will You Need?Upgrading your system is an ideal time to reevaluate how many extensions or departments you should have. If you find that some departments are getting large numbers of calls about a specific topic, this may be an ideal time to create a separate department or extension to address that particular subject area.Evaluate how and why customers and clients contact you. What are their specific needs? What are the most common questions you get asked? Determining this can help you evaluate how many extensions you require.
- Do You Want to Invest in Desk Phones or Use Soft Phones or Mobile Apps to Make Calls?With so many people using cell phones and many businesses relying on more flexible work solutions, not everyone is sitting at a desk all day. Additionally, when considering whether to invest in desk phones or other solutions, consider longevity. Desk phones, when they need to be updated, require considerable investment in hardware.
Are you willing or able to make that expense work with your budget? Using mobile phone and apps may be easier to update in the long run and may give you more flexibility at your business.
- Do You Make a Lot of Long-Distance Phone Calls?If you do, land lines can be one of your more expensive options. Internet-based phones and cloud-based services can help save you money. Also, when considering long-distance charges, think about whether customers tend to phone you from different locations in the country. If they do, it might better to offer them a toll free number they can call so they don’t accrue long-distance charges trying to reach you.
- Do You Have High Inbound Call Volume?If you do, you don’t want callers to face long waiting times or busy signals. An automated phone system that allows callers to reach specific departments and quickly leave a message or reach a live operator can help reduce client frustration and can make your workday more efficient.
- Do You Have Multiple Business Locations?If so, you may need more phone extensions. You will want to pair these with a system that links multiple locations together so your team members can communicate effectively.
- How Many Employees Do You Have Onsite?In general, each person on your team may need an individual file extension as well as additional phone extensions for each department.
- Do You Need to Tie-in Remote Employees and Use Their Cell Phone as Their Extension?If this is the case, you may need call forwarding services and programming to link your central phone system to employee phones.
- How Many Employees Use the Phone at Once?You may need a system which is sturdy enough to handle multiple calls and tasks without missing a beat.
- Is Your Business Growing?A flexible solution is important if your business is growing. It allows you to change your outbound messages, the number of extensions, and more. If you choose a static system, you will need to pay significant amounts to have the system updated. A more flexible solution that allows you to make changes can be more efficient if your business changes rapidly.
- What Is Your Budget?Any money you invest in your phone system contributes to your overhead. Looking for budget-friendly solutions is important to keep your cash flow healthy.
If you’re looking for real, viable, and flexible phone systems designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses, AccessDirect can help you find the solutions you need. For affordable monthly rates and no investment in hardware, you can get a phone system that allows you to get as many extensions as you need as well as robust features which allow you to use your phone more efficiently.