Choosing a Business phone system
Below are five questions that should be answered before you make your decision. Without the answers to these simple questions you could end up with a phone system that won’t work for your business.
It’s true that, not long ago, large corporations with huge budgets seemed to have exclusive rights to feature-rich business phone systems. But with the fast paced, technologically driven society where more people have cell phones than a toothbrush, business phone systems have become imperative to any sized business looking to be successful in the 21st century. The great news is that, provided you select the right telephone system for your specific needs, implementing a business telephone system has become a lot more friendly to the budget.
To make this process easier, below you will find 5 very important questions that every business owner should ask themselves before signing up for a telephone system plan.
- Does the company you’re considering have a good reputation? Certainly the brand reputation of your telephone system is very important, however it’s also very important that the company you’re considering hiring to assist with your phone needs is a well-regarded and professional business. Read online reviews, and ask for referrals. If you should find a negative review of the company online, ask them to explain the circumstances of this review. Many times the methods used by companies to negotiate this kind of question will provide more information than you could possibly get from only hearing positive reviews.
- Do you already have a phone system? What issues do you require your new phone system to resolve? A phone system outage lasting a few hours, or even minutes can cost you leads, sales and produce some angry customers. What specifically is the problem with your current or ageing business telephone system? Maybe it won’t operate smoothly or requires frequent costly maintenance. Your old telephone system could be antiquated, forcing the employees to use their cell phones to use modern features. Noting what’s lacking in your old phone system will assist you greatly in selecting a feature-rich system specifically appropriate for your business office.
- Do you require a hosted telephone system or a premise-based system? Some companies prefer to purchase and manage hardware and software. Remember though that this option will require initial capital investment, plus trunk charges and telephone company line charges, in addition to any recurring costs which will accrue for the smooth running of your new system. You would probably want to use a local phone company who would be responsible for providing ongoing maintenance and take care of the installation process.
The other option is hosted or cloud services. This option does not require any upfront capital because there is no purchasing of phones or systems necessary. Also, it’s not your responsibility to be concerned about software updates. A hosted phone system will ideally be managed by your local cloud system reseller off site. It is a good idea to make sure that your hosted or cloud system will be installed by a local certified reseller rather than the hosted or cloud services company shipping your system to you and expecting you to connect and configure your system. This option only requires a one time professional installation fee and then a nominal monthly fee per user. Also, note that with the cloud system, your phones and software will automatically be upgraded.
It’s important that you take scalability into account. Before making a decision, think about how your company might grow in the coming years. With a hosted system it’s simple to add or remove users, however with an on premise system you would have to either purchase a larger system or purchase additional expansion for the existing system.
- What budget are you working with? Before purchasing a phone system, do some research and find the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and see if it’s within your budget. Include capital expenses, installation charges, maintenance charges and training charges while coming up with the TCO. There are so many options available that you’re sure to find the perfect system for your budget. Consult with your local reseller to see which options work best for your specific needs.
- What are your specific goals that you are looking to satisfy with this new business telephone system? Write them all down. Perhaps it’s to make your business more accessible to newer markets thereby increasing your profit margin; or maybe you’re wanting to improve your customer care – perhaps you need your new telephone system, and your employees, to be able to receive a greater volume of telephone calls. Also, write down the specific functionality your telephone system should have. Some suggestions are: automated attendant service, caller ID, call forwarding, voice mail, intercom, paging and conferencing features. Knowing your goals or “wants” will make it easier for you to find that perfect match.
By doing your research and by taking some time, you’ll be able to find the most appropriate phone system for your specific business. If you need any help or would like a professional recommendation, please give us a call. Our experts are waiting to help you.
Why might Northwest Telecom Systems be your best choice?
Whereas many other companies don’t provide you with multiple options, our alliances with a variety of telephone and internet providers afford us the opportunity to make the most precise recommendations for your specific needs. The result: the best service at the best prices. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call today, on 503-243-2255.
Northwest Telecom Systems Inc. was established in 1989 and has a great reputation for providing top-quality telecommunication products and services in the Portland Metro Area. Unlike many telecom companies, NW Telecom, isn’t tied to one carrier. This means they can help you find the best option for your business telephone service and system.
Northwest Telecom Systems, Inc
10824 Southeast Oak Street
Milwaukie, OR 97222