When it comes to business technology everyone talks about the latest computer devices and software. But what few people realize is that the true unsung hero of any successful office is a reliable phone system. Business phone systems serve as main line of communication both internally (between co-workers) and externally (between you and your clients). Customers who visit your website or social media pages expect to see an active phone number posted. So, it is important to choose an office telephone system that is secure and reliable.
Below are our tips for how to choose a business phone system that is right for you.
Determine Necessary Functionality:
After deciding what you can afford to spend on your office phone system, you’ll need to consider what phone features are most important to you. Examine the regular internal and external communication procedures of your company. From there you can determine what features would help streamline those processes.
Company phone features to consider include:
- An Auto Attendant
- Announcements (aka Greetings)
- Blocking Calls
- Caller ID
- Call Forwarding
- Call Logs
- Do Not Disturb
- Directory Services/Options
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Hands-Free Options
- Hold Options
- Internal/External Call Transfer
- International Calling
- Instant Messaging Integration
- Multiple Device Support
- Multiple Lines
- Ring Groups
- Speed Dial & Redial
- Unified Communications (UC)
- Video Calling
Different phone plan options include different features. So, make sure the plan you choose has most of the features you need. If you want to add features, check with your phone service provider about the cost of adding specific tools.
Consider the Future:
While it is important that the phone solution you choose meets your company’s current needs, you must also consider future growth. You may have a small business now, but in a few years your business could grow. In the case that your company grows you will want a scalable phone system. It’s important to understand what fees are associated with adding new lines/users, installing new equipment, etc. You also need to consider the location of your offices and whether or not you will have employees working remotely.
Choose a Reliable Partner:
Beyond pricing and technical features, the most important aspect of choosing an office phone system is the vendor. When considering what phone service provider is right for you, ask:
- Are they able to provide all of the phone services you are looking for?
- Do they have a good track record?
- Will they be a business partner rather than just a supplier?
- What is their technical support response time?
Kapp Communications has been providing office phone service to Pittsburgh businesses since 1984. Our comprehensive business phone services include: high-quality equipment, cost effective solutions, professional installation, and reliable 24/7 support. Contact one of our sales representatives today to start working with a phone service provider you can trust.
Understand Your Options:
In general, there are four options for office phone systems: landline phone systems, virtual phone systems, VoIP phone systems, and cloud-based phone systems.
Landline Phone Services:
A landline or analog phone system is the most traditional option. Using copper wires and a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to route calls, makes this a stable and reliable solution. However, this is not a full-featured phone system. Which means, that although it may be a good option for small businesses on a tight budget, it is ill-suited for business in the digital world.
Virtual Phone Services:
A virtual phone system is a software-based solution that allows you to make and receive calls via the internet. So, when someone calls your business, they aren’t necessarily calling a dedicated number. Instead, they are forwarded to the number you specify, allowing you to be reached anywhere at any time.
Virtual phone systems are a great option for very small business or for freelancers/contractors. However, this system typically only works for a company of one or two people. It is better as an add-on for a more advanced phone service.
VoIP Phone Services:
VoIP phone systems transmit voice communication via the internet, instead of relying on copper lines. For on-premise VoIP systems you must purchase equipment and either maintain it on your own or work with a trusted tech support partner. While this may seem expensive VoIP systems are actually quite affordable. Plus, a wide-range of features and software integrations makes this system both reliable and flexible.
Cloud-Based Phone Services:
The only difference between an on-promise VoIP service and a cloud-based phone system is where the PBX is hosted. Cloud VoIP services are delivered through the cloud, and hosted by the provider. This means that your service provider handles all software updates and new features, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Cloud-based VoIP phone services also tend to be less costly. However, if you prefer to maintain greater control of your communication systems, then the on-premise VoIP may be right for you.
Compare Price & Value:
Once you have considered all the available options, it is important to consider both price and value. For example, while an analog system is less expensive than a VoIP system it is also less valuable. This is because a landline will only serve your present communication needs and offers limited features. Whereas, a VoIP phone system offers a variety of features and can grow with you.
Most cloud phone solutions for small business are affordable. However, you must also consider the price of equipment, hardware, installation, and regular service charges. Above all, when selecting the right system, remember that this is an investment in your company’s future. Which means you will want to see a positive return on investment (ROI). The goal is to see savings even within the first month of ownership.
For more information about affordable office phone services, contact Kapp Communications today!