Choosing the Best Phone System for You

For many businesses, their phone system is vital to their success. Not only do you use it to communicate with customers, but its also important for keeping all your employees on the same page. Today, business phone systems offer different features and companies can choose between various technologies.

While these choices makes it possible for every business to find a phone system that fits its needs, they can also make it difficult to get started figuring out which system is right for your company. This guide will break down everything you need to know to help you compare business phone systems and determine what’s right for you.

Pros and Cons of Business Phone Systems

If you’re asking yourself whether your company even needs a dedicated phone system, consider this. 92% of all customer communication occurs over the phone, but 85% of customers say they’re not satisfied with their phone experience. Clearly, the stakes are high.

At first glance, it seems like a good idea to simply use personal cell phones as business phones without a system in place. However, dedicated systems offer several advantages over this option.

A company phone system conveys professionalism and inspires trust in your business. If a customer calls you to inquire about your company’s services and they get an unprofessional voicemail message, they may doubt the legitimacy of your business or even think they called the wrong number. A branded, business phone system will inspire much more trust in your company.

Business systems also offer functionalities that cell phones can’t unless you’re using a virtual phone system — more on this later. You can’t transfer someone to another line via cell phone, use a virtual receptionist or provide business information.

Business phone systems do have some potential disadvantages, but they can usually easily be remedied. There’s always the chance that you could encounter technical difficulties or your system could go down entirely. If you use a provider that has quality customer service, however, they should be able to help you get set back up.

Cost can be another concern for businesses looking to set up a business phone system. Your cost will depend on the type of technology you use and the features you purchase. If you look in the right places though, there are plenty of small business phone system options that come at a reasonable price.

When deciding if a business phone system if worth the price in your case, consider all associated costs as well as the return on investment you’ll get. Typical costs include set-up fees, the price of equipment you need to purchase as well as training and maintenance costs. Then estimate the return you expect to see through increased call volume, more sales and improved customer satisfaction.

Identifying Your Business’ Needs

Before you can choose a phone system, you’ll need to identify the needs of your company. What are you looking to gain from a new system? Figuring out what problems you’re having with your current system, if you have one, can help determine what you need.

If your company is just started out or has never had a company phone system, you’ll need to start from scratch. Try to figure out what you want to get out of your phone system and go from there. If you’re looking to expand your current system, note what capabilities you feel you’re missing and look for those.

You’ll also need to figure out if you want a mobile option or one that is based out of your office. If your employees are often on the road, a virtual system may be the best choice, because it allows them to use their cellphones. If your job is office-based, another option may make more sense. In some cases, a combination of the two might be ideal. You’ll also need to consider whether you want your system to be hosted on location at your office or virtually in the cloud.

Phone systems today include more features than just calls and voice mail. Systems that operate via the Internet, known as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) systems, often come integrated with additional capabilities. VoIP systems can include the ability to make video calls and send instant messages. Business phone systems, Internet-based and otherwise, also sometimes come with call recording, conferencing abilities and call monitoring.

Types of Systems

Communications companies offer business phone systems based on several different technologies, including traditional landline, VoIP and virtual. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so the right choice for you depends on the specific needs of your business.

Traditional Landline Systems



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