Modern business phone systems go far beyond making phone calls or call forwarding options. They use sophisticated technologies, including video conferencing, instant messaging, and mobility, to provide exceptional communication experiences.
Now, with so many providers out there, it may be difficult for you to understand which solution meets your company’s needs the best. There are many factors you should consider before you make your decision. Here are some of them.
1. Choose the Type of Connection
First, you will need to choose the phone system based on the way it is installed and delivered to your company.
Analog phone systems
Analog landlines have been around for decades.
Even though they are reliable, analog phone systems are ill-suited to modern business environments. To use a traditional phone system, you need to invest in expensive equipment and maintain it regularly. You will also need to invest in a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) that routes the calls to the right department. Unlike cloud-based phone services, the PBX system is often placed in a server room.
Unlike analog phone systems, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone services are built on the cloud and are delivered via the internet.
Over the past few years, numerous businesses have switched from landline phones to their online counterparts for a simple reason. Using an online business phone system will reduce your initial expenses, as it requires almost no hardware. You pay for what you use.
Most importantly, VoIP service providers include maintenance and fixes into their monthly subscription plans, while traditional phone service providers would charge for these ongoing costs.
Virtual phone services are perfect for remote workers, especially for solopreneurs and freelancers. When someone calls you, they are not dialing your company’s dedicated phone number. Instead, they would be forwarded to the phone number you specify, such as your employees’ mobile phones or your home phone number.
2. Consider the Type of Hosting
There are two options to choose from – on-premise phone systems or their cloud-based alternatives. Analog phone systems are always hosted on-premise, while VoIP services can be delivered in either way.
On-premise hosting means you will need to invest in hardware components. As the services are hosted within your organization, you are the one responsible for the system’s maintenance and upgrades.
On the other hand, when investing in cloud-based phone systems, you will not need to worry about hardware investments or updates. As all of the equipment is hosted in the cloud, the provider is responsible for the maintenance and upgrades.
3. Employee Collaboration
Modern phone systems go far beyond making and receiving phone calls. They provide a wide range of features that will facilitate workplace communication and employee collaboration.
With cloud-based technologies, your employees will communicate effectively, no matter if they work side-by-side or remotely. For example, online business phone systems offer comprehensive employee collaboration suites, including real-time chat, screen sharing, and video conferencing options. Above all, they provide noise-canceling microphones, allowing your employees to minimize distractions and improve the quality of calls.
That trend may change your hiring practices. With sophisticated employee collaboration tools, you are not limited to hiring local staff anymore. You can now cast your net wider and start onboarding global top talent.
4. Mobility and Flexibility
For businesses allowing remote working arrangements, ensuring business continuity and uninterrupted communications is critical. That is why they prioritize the mobility of phone systems.
That is where online business phones beat analog landlines, as they provide greater flexibility. As they are delivered over the internet, they are available to your team members, irrespective of their location. All they need to have to make and receive phone calls is a fast internet connection.
5. Call Tracking and Analytics
Just investing in marketing is not enough to generate qualified leads and convert them into paying customers. You need to continuously test the effectiveness of your marketing channels. Now, unlike digital marketing channels, tracking the results of a traditional call center may be challenging. To overcome this problem, many businesses decide to replace their analog landline phones with their online alternatives.
VoIP phone systems provide multiple benefits for businesses, both large and small.
First, they offer comprehensive customer relationship suites that include advanced call analytics features. For example, you can integrate your VoIP system with your CRM software to map out customer journeys and keep track of every move a customer makes along their buying journey, from a website visitor to a paying customer.
Second, when integrated with your CRM, your phone system will provide your agents with real-time popups with customer accounts, data, previous purchases, historical inquiries, etc. When talking to customers, your teams can make conversations more personal and relevant.
Third, you can stay on top of customer experiences and their satisfaction with your brand. With the help of call recording and analytics, you can measure their sentiment and evaluate the effectiveness of your call center.
Finally, call tracking features will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. With their help, you can track the marketing sources of your phone calls and, therefore, understand what channels generate most of your leads.
Over to You
Choosing a phone system is the investment in the long-run. There is a wide range of factors to consider, from the type of connection to additional features like call analytics and employee collaboration. I hope these tips will help you make the right decision.