The recent advances in IP telephony have opened up a world of new opportunities for the business phone users. This development has allowed the small and mid-sized businesses to enjoy the attractive features of a right business phone service that were used only by the big budget organizations not so long ago.
Also known as voice over IP (VoIP), IP PBXs, or IP telephony systems, IP phone is highly preferred these days for high-fidelity sound and reliability. IP phone system users find it much easier to get connected to the right person, thanks to its distributed workgroups, auto-attendant, and other top class phone system features for office phone system.
The IP telephony industry, unfortunately, is known for its blatant use of acronyms and technical jargons. As a result, finding out the right business phone service can become quite difficult at times. Here are some simple tips to help you make the right choice.
- Identify the problem areas: Try to figure out the problems you are facing with your existing phone system. Are you using an outdated phone system that is expensive to maintain? Do you find it difficult to communicate because of using different telephone systems across locations? Are you spending too much on the conference calls for your business? Are your customers complaining about spending too much time on hold or voicemail? Is your business phone system struggling to keep pace with the current mobile workforce? You need a good IP telephony system if you are facing any of these issues.
- Create a business case: Quantify your expected productivity from the new business phone service by building a return on investment (ROI) model. Your productivity measures may include both qualitative and quantitative attributes such as increased volume of calls, time saved by employees, improved customer satisfaction, increased productivity of the end users, etc. The correct phone system will deliver a return on the investment within just one year.
- Decide between in the cloud or on-premise: On-premise IP telephony users are required to purchase their own hardware and software, and manage the phone systems. In addition to an upfront capital investment, these systems also involve operational expenses for the system. However, a cloud or hosted service is both managed and hosted by the service provider in an offsite location. Most of the businesses now prefer these systems to eliminate the high capital expenditure and technical issues.
- Evaluate your need for features: Today’s IP phone systems come with a plethora of advanced features. Before opting for your business phone, figure out which are the features that you need.
- Ease of use: The business phone of your choice must be easy to use, operate, manage, and maintain.
- Running cost: Select a phone system with low total cost of ownership. Some components of this cost include capital expenditure, training, implementation, network, systems management, and other relevant expenses.
- Reference check and test drive: Conduct a test drive to find out whether the phone system is able to address all your business communication needs. Also, don’t forget to check the company’s customer reviews.
Hope these simple steps will make it a breeze for you to choose the business phone service that you have been missing so far.