Voice Over IP (VOIP) is the backbone of business communication today. The end of the analog phone line is finally here. Despite that, only 36% of American businesses are currently using VOIP. The majority of these are larger businesses. But small businesses are able to take advantage of VOIP. They have to if they want an affordable, streamlined business communication system. So let’s take a look at the things a small business has to consider before setting up this system.
How Much is this Going to Cost?
The biggest consideration is cost. Like with anything new, it’s common for small business owners to believe that upgrading their communications systems like this is expensive. But one study revealed that companies can save $35 per month by making the switch. So by switching from an old style method of communication you can get a better service and save money. The key to saving money is making sure that you’re choosing a provider that offers you the service you need without compromising on quality. We’re not going to offer recommendations here, but we do advise you to document your needs and do your research.
Why Your Internet Connection is so Important?
One of the biggest tech mistakes made by business is trying to set up a new VOIP system without checking their Internet connections. The reason why this system is cheaper than traditional options is that it uses your Internet connection, rather than anything separate. Without a strong, reliable Internet connection it’s pointless to install this system. If you need to switch Internet providers, now has never been a better time.
What Image Do You Want to Project?
This type of communication is special because it can create a certain image for a business. It’s quite possible to project an image of a bigger company by simply personalizing your system in the right way. For example, you can connect to a personal employee or reroute calls through a formal greeting and a transfer to the relevant ‘department’. It might sound silly to an outsider, but crafting an image is important for netting a certain type of client. Keep this in mind when setting up your new VOIP infrastructure.
Do You Have the Right Headsets?
Don’t just think about the infrastructure. Consider how your employees are going to use it. Most providers of these services will have a number of options regarding headsets. Go out of your way to look over the various options. You can have desk phones, links to the conference room, handsfree headsets, and more. Remember that the industry standard is to answer at least 80% of calls within 30 seconds. Have the tools to support this target. Think about the needs of your company and your employees. Ask them what they would prefer before making a decision.
Do Employees Have the Right Training?
In spite of the rise of this technology, small businesses can’t assume that their teams are going to know how to use it. Are you going to learn about the system first before teaching it to everyone else? That’s likely not practical. You should make sure that your new provider has a suitable training program. Most reputable providers will offer a training session immediately after installation to show employees how to use it.
The Right Support
Additionally, you should have a point of contact should you have problems with your system or you need to ask any questions. Will they reply in good time? If you have an urgent problem you shouldn’t have to resort to asking Google how to solve it. This wastes a lot of time and causes a lot of damage to your day to day business. Sometimes you’ll have to pay extra for instant support. Compare different providers to find out more about this. You should even look at online reviews to find out what other businesses think of the service in question.
Can You Use the Cloud?
It’s estimated that 49% of businesses have delayed cloud deployment because of various reasons. You shouldn’t do this because you’ll be missing out on one of the biggest benefits of using VOIP for business in 2018. The phones can be connected to your existing internet service , and you can also monitor and manage your new phone system on the fly. You’ll gain access to an app on your smartphone or desktop, which can be used to manage all major functions wherever you happen to be. All you need is a working Internet connection.
Last Word – Plan Before You Execute
Arguably, the biggest mistake businesses make is they don’t have a proper plan for deploying new systems prior to execution. They solve problems as they come across them, which is inefficient and costly. Don’t make that mistake and have a plan in place first. Do you think that this new system is ideal for your small business?