Congratulations! You’ve decided to upgrade your business’s phone system. However, finding the perfect phone system for your business can be ’the hard part.’ When choosing a new business phone system, you need to decide which features are important to your employees and which system (traditional or virtual) will support those features. So, what should you look for when choosing a new business phone system?
New Business Phone System: Which Fits Your Needs
As you may know, a cloud-based phone system can come with a plethora of features and functions, and traditional phone systems have their own positive qualities. This can be very confusing. However, a little guidance can help in a big way. Here are a few questions you should consider when making sure you select the right solution:
- Full system. Do you need desk phones, or can you use a virtual service that uses mobile devices?
- VoIP or Traditional. If you need desk phones, would you consider a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution that runs over the Internet and has a number of providers to choose from? Or do you want to use a traditional phone system which is provided by a local phone company?
- Hosted or on-premises. If you go the VoIP route, do you want to host on-site or do you want your provider to host it (cloud-based).
New Business Phone System: Landline vs. VoIP
You may be wondering why more and more businesses are ditching traditional phones for cloud-based phone systems. It could be because traditional phone systems are more expensive and difficult to upgrade, and the POTS are slowly being phased out. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know some key differences between a landline system and VoIP:
- Uses copper cables to transmit sound/data
- High installation and add-on costs
- Stable and reliable
- Need to be on-site for inbound/outbound calls
- Frequent and sometimes pricey modifications
- Upgrade to access advanced features
- IT staff to support
- Uses Internet connection to transmit sound/data
- Monthly subscription rate with many features included
- Redundancy provides a stable service
- Make calls anywhere
- Add-ons are easy to turn on using an online dashboard
- Video conferencing, chat, mobile apps
- Provider supports hardware/upgrades
Now that you’re aware of the differences, here are the factors to consider when choosing a new business phone system.
New Business Phone System: Audit Your Current System
Technology advances at a rapid pace. What worked for you two years ago might be outdated now. How long has it been since you evaluated or upgraded your current phone system? You may be experiencing rapid employee growth or supporting a remote work environment, your current phone system may not be supporting your employees. Tracking any gaps in your system will help you start the evaluation process. It’s the best time to note which features your current system has and where you may have gaps.
New Business Phone System: Reliability
To run an effective business, you need a reliable way to receive and make calls. Not only do you need a reliable phone, but you also need multiple ways for your customers and partners to reach you. A cloud-based solution might be the way to go. In case of an emergency or natural disaster, a traditional phone line could be rendered inaccessible. With a cloud-based solution, your team can still connect and receive calls no matter where they are. Providers run their services on servers and data centers all over, so if one goes down, another jumps into action to pick up the slack.
New Business Phone System: Costs
Cost shouldn’t be the first factor, but let’s face it, businesses run with budgets. You also need to consider the value a new business phone system will provide. It may be worth spending more up front if the system has the features your employees need to be productive. Cheaper isn’t always worth it. If you cut out features, you risk disappointing valued personnel.
Pricing can vary based on models and features included. You also need to factor in users and hardware. Costs are minimal for a cloud-based solution and less expensive to operate than a traditional phone system.
New Business Phone System: Advanced Features
As a business owner, you may not use all the features of a phone system. Keep in mind what’s not important to you could be considered an essential feature for a team member. You may not use chat, but it may improve the productivity and efficiency of your customer service representatives. Do you have the call data to make informed business decisions? Do your employees need calls routed to their mobile device?
Jot down the essential features when comparing the different phone systems. Some features may seem cool, however, you need to nail down the must-haves. Once the essentials have been selected, then decide on the wants.
Excel Telecom for Your New Business Phone System
At Excel Telecom, telephony is our passion, and we want to exceed your expectations when it comes to a telecom provider. Whether you’re installing a new system or migrating your current phone system, Excel is here to help. Contact us today, and let’s start the conversation on how we can help achieve your business goals with a new phone system.