27 Jul Is It Really This Hard to Buy a Phone System?
Telephone systems like any other office equipment require a lot of research to be done before settling on the perfect one to buy. As the telephone system will be the face of the company to the outside world, customers and non-customers calling the business, it needs to be able to handle the calls promptly and efficiently.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to deciding on which business telephone system to purchase for your business. All departments of the business have to be consulted before coming to a conclusion as different departments may have different needs and requirements. The sales department may have teleworkers on the field that will need the full support of incoming and outgoing calls; training department may require conferencing facilities whilst purchasing department may require validation of accounts thru CTI (Computer Telephony Interface). Will it be a VOIP phone system, a hosted VOIP phone system, on-premises VOIP System or PABX telephone system? Then, of course, the telephone system is no good on its own, it should be together with the best phone plans to provide the business with the best telecommunication services.
The features available on a telephone system are equally important. Some of the common features and descriptions that are important for businesses are:
- Auto Attendant – Replaces the receptionist and routes the calls based on the options selected by the caller.
- Conference Features – Allows multiple extensions to be connected to multiple outside callers to share the conversation with multiple participants within the company and outside the company. Check on the call and extension limits.
- Voicemail – allows callers to leave messages when the called party is unavailable or on the phone. Some systems can also email a copy of the message to the called party.
- Automated Directory – This allows the calling party to look up extensions by entering the first few characters of the name.
- Music On Hold – Music or advertising is provided to the callers when they are holding for someone to answer the call.
- Call Forwarding – This option will forward the calls to another extension, voicemail or to an external number.
- Speed Dial – Frequently used numbers can be saved and dialled by push of a button or two.
- Paging – A handy feature in large offices or warehouse where the employee can be paged for attention.
- Redial – This feature will redial the last number that was dialled.
Also, look at the advanced features the system may have that would save time for the various departments. Some of these features are:
- Remote Logins – Allows simple connection with teleworkers or salespeople by dialling an extension number.
- Follow me – This feature will call the various numbers programmed in the string in an effort to reach the called party.
- Computer Telephony Interface (CTI) – This feature will allow the telephone system to interact with a computer system. The interface is commonly used for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Customers’ phone number is used by the software to bring up their details before the employee answers the telephone to be efficiently able to answer their query.
Once you have identified your requirements from different departments in terms of telephone system you will need to shortlist the equipment providers and understand what type of telephone systems, various equipment providers will be able to provide you in your environment to meet the business demands. If you are leaning towards the hosted system then you will need to include the hosted system providers on your list too.
When choosing a telephone system provider for your business, it is important to find a service that not only has the tools and features you are looking for in a phone system but also offers the superior level of customer service and support to complement the system. If you are considering a hosted VOIP system you need to very seriously look at the service providers’ up-time. Uptime refers to the percentage of time the service is up against the total available time during the month. When speaking with providers ask for their up-time statistics and ask them if there are any guarantees that will provide you with rebates if the statistics are below the guaranteed minimum. When the system is down you will have no access to your telephone service and if you are reliant on telephone-based sales this would be loss of revenue for the time the service is down.
You have spoken with the shortlisted business telephone system providers and have received detailed proposals and explanations of how the various systems operate. Comparing the different systems will not be easy as it will not be apples for apple comparison. It will be necessary to have a breakdown of the costs of different features to be able to compare various phone systems. This way you will be able to arrive at your decision on what would be the most beneficial and cost-effective system for your business.
If you are still worried about what to look for and how to purchase the telephone system for your business, please speak with one of our account managers on 1300 865 426. They will be able to assist you in making a decision on the best telephone system for your business. Carrier1 Telecom provides a full range of telecommunication services, NBN, NBN ready telephone systems, multifunction printers and CCTV Camera Systems. It is 100% Australian owned and all the services are from within Australia.
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