If you own a business, you may appreciate your telephone system as the link to your suppliers, your customers, and the rest of the world. It’s therefore imperative to have a telephone system that makes it possible to communicate efficiently within and beyond the organization. The wrong phone system may come with significant ramifications, such as communication with suppliers and customers breaking down. So how can you tell what telephone system is appropriate for your business. See if the tips below will be of help:
Consider staffing plan
How many staff members do you currently have? About how many do you think you’ll have in the next two to three years? Knowing how many employees need phones now and in the near future is important. It’s important that you choose a solution that will scale without difficulties if you expect your business to grow quickly. This is so that you can avoid the high switching costs in case the old system is unable to scale accordingly.
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Decide on the features you require
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What features are going to be essential to your telecom needs? Do you need an auto-attendant feature to connect customers to the person they’re looking for? Would you also like to have call forwarding and conference calling features? How about a voicemail-to-email feature, so you can get transcripts of voice messages in your inbox? Talk to your employees about the functionality they require most. Keep in mind that some of those features may not be needed and will only serve to inflate the cost.
Select telecom technology
You’ll need to decide between PBX systems and VoIP phone systems. PBX systems use a centralized piece of equipment to route calls to the correct person or department. These systems are more expensive to buy, and will require an expert to program them. Their main advantage is that they scale well as you only need to buy additional handsets, which are relatively cheap. VoIP systems do not have that centralized piece of equipment. They are easier to use, and are the best option for businesses with several locations. The cost of each handset is however relatively high. When deciding between these two system, you’ll need to take into account your long-term staffing plans.
Choose between Hosted/cloud and on-premises systems
There are many companies today offering hosted or cloud-based telephone services. The good thing about this solution is that it requires a low capital expenditure–you only need to purchase IP telephones, as the rest of the infrastructure is handled by the service provider. You’ll then need to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the service. The chief downside to this arrangement is that you have no control over the phone service so you’ll have to wait for the provider to fix any technical issues that may come up.