How To Assess Your Company's Phone System Needs
When most business owners or CEO’s talk about the success their organization has seen, they often attribute it to their hard working staff. While that usually is true, it’s really only part of the story. (Don’t get me wrong, our crew here at Canquest is a big part of our success; we do, after all, have the most talented technicians and IT specialists you’ve ever met). Being leaders in the IT industry though, allows us to also see how important your phone system is to your business.
We hear about commercial attacks as well, ransomware has crippled many businesses big and small. This is why some organizations run virus and security checks daily now. Since malware can change so quickly, our security architecture is also continuously improving. This article will explore the more recent developments and tips that you can use for your cyber-security system, whether you’re protecting your home or your business.
That’s why (even though I love my team here at Canquest) we’re dedicating this article to the unglamorized, unpublicized, hidden member of all our teams… your company’s phone system.
PHONE SYSTEMS, THE SILENT HEROES
Most people wouldn’t think twice about their company’s phone system, at least, not until it fails. If you’ve ever dealt with a phone that suddenly didn’t function properly, then you’ll understand how stressful that can be. Suddenly, your business has lost its primary source of communication between its customers, its employees, and its partners. If your phone system and your internet system are tied together, then it really heightens the problem. There are several considerations that need to be factored in when choosing a new business phone system or provider.
For many organizations, price is the most important consideration and that's ok, especially if all of your needs are being met. To help ensure that, follow these tips when deciding on your budget:
- Determine how many phones will be needed immediately.
- Review your business plan to help predict how and when you might expand your business.
- Make note of how many new phones you think will be required over the next few years.
- Factor in how many employees will telecommute or job share as these could reduce the number phones needed.
- Add in costs for repairs or upgrades down the road.
- Find a telecommunications organization you can bundle your internet with for more savings.
In addition to the equipment investment or any install fees, you’ll want to consider plans. Many businesses in the Chatham area prefer a long-distance plan with unlimited calling across Canada and the U.S.
A toll-free (1-800) business line is an important feature for businesses that have long distance customers or partners. It’s often an additional fee but is a convenience that many consumers have grown to expect and could be a reason for not calling a particular organization. Canquest is happy to offer this service for only $9.95.
While you’re working out your budget, you’ll be able to determine your approximate usage along the way. It might not be necessary for all employees to have their own extension or voicemail. Meanwhile some employees who don’t work in office may still need their own line, either for forwarding or voicemails.
The features of your phone can be what makes or breaks the entire system for you. While working on your budget, consider features that are non-negotiable. Then think of the additional features that will improve everyone's experience but aren’t a priority.
Some commonly appreciated features include:
- Caller ID
- Call forwarding
- Automated directory services
- Call logging
- Custom greetings
- On hold music or messaging
- Hold and transfer capabilities
- Multiple lines and voicemails
CONSIDER THE CUSTOMER
Try calling your own company. Go through the process that your callers experience to be sure you’re happy with it. Your phone system is a representation of your business. Keep that in mind as you listen to the attributes of the prompts and its automation. Was anything annoying? Did something sound unprofessional, or were there too many steps involved?
It’s also worth calling other companies and experiencing their phone systems. Was there anything you liked or didn’t like? If something stands out as cutting edge, do you want it for your system?
ONE LAST THING...
if you’re an existing business that is switching providers, ensure your new provider will migrate your old system over to the new system. That's an incredibly important part of the process, which is why Canquest is proud to ensure it’s included with every new business client, during the installation process.
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