Summary: Effective communication in business is crucial to having good relationships with customers, associates and partners. A well-organized and intelligently used phone system can help a business serve its customers more efficiently, and share ideas and information with associates and partners effectively. This article explains how to pick the right phone system for your small business.
Many would think that a phone is a phone no matter and it will always do the job for you. Well that may be true if you are just looking for a residential solution. However businesses need more than just the ability to make and receive phone call. It should let businesses improve their communication stream and assist in tendering products and services.
Choosing a VOIP Telephone System is very important and business owners should be very careful and meticulous in every aspect of the solution you’re looking at. Below is a list of the things you need to consider before in an office telephone system.
Blatantly one of the most important factors is the cost. Choose a system thats affordable but not cheap and the system that will give you the most value out of your business money. Initial cost often burdens businesses because of the big bucks involved however, did you know that there are service providers out there that allow you to loan the handsets? This model is ideal for businesses that are running on a budget but desperately need a phone system as soon as possible.
Another factor that still involves money is the dial rates, it is obvious that all enterprise owners want to have the best dial rates. Most of the time it is a battle against capped calling plans, which means you only need to pay for a certain amount for unlimited calling and pay plans. Both plans are great but are indicated for different needs. If you are sure that you will be doing tons of calls then obviously capped plans will be better for you but if you are just an average use then paying just for the actual calls that you make is better.
To be called a PBX it just a must to have tons of features built onto it, features that will help you assist in streamlining your internal and external business processes. There are service providers out there that offer almost all their PBX features at no additional cost whilst other charge even for the very basic one such as a caller ID so you need to be careful in choosing a provider as it will play a vital role in your overhead cost.
Reliability and quality
Lastly you need a phone system that will ring whenever a call comes through and ensure that your call is of good quality. Choose a provider that can vouch for their quality, reliability and customer support mechanism. You can also gauge these aspects by logging in to forums and getting feedback from real users and real customers.
Phone in-built CRM system
Office Telephone System can let you manage your contacts and integrate your system with Microsoft Outlook and most popular CRM systems. They can allow users to see a ‘screen pop’ which automatically displays all caller and account information. The use of screen pop stops your customers from having to repeat information, benefits your customer relations as the customer feels valued and improves call handling time as the information is all to hand.
Software based dialing
If your company will be making lots of outbound calls it will benefit from software based dialing solution. This software will enable you to increase productivity by making more calls, allowing you to set the dialing pace and making sure you reach the right clients more often. By centrally managing campaigns on a database you can show their return on investment and you also have the ability to report on your caller activity.
Starting Business Office Telephone Solution
One solution that you might what to look into is a cloud PBX office telephone system. Unlike traditional telephony that has expensive and hard to maintain hardware in your office the system will have everything in a server. This means that your PBX will be situated in the cloud thus set up cost will be significantly lower and maintenance will be next to nothing.
Calls will also be significantly cheaper without affecting the quality because instead of using traditional protocols such as ISDN, PSTN and PRI it will use a SIP trunk. On average business can save up to 70% on their phone bills.
Apart from the savings businesses will further benefit from the cloud PBX office telephone system’s flexibility. Due to its smart programming and flexible nature you can start with as small as you want and incrementally scale it up as your business grows. This will steer you away from paying unnecessary bills every month and since you have servers instead of a hardware scaling up your phone system doesn’t require any upgrade on your end.
Improve customer support
Greeting message is a must have office telephone feature for any business. It can be considered as the window for your business and having a good and professional greeting will help in making your business seem big, professional and reliable. Additionally having such feature will remove the burden from your staff of having to greet callers again and again that may affect the overall service that they provide.
An office telephone menu system is handy for businesses with multiple departments and numerous staff. A caller will greatly appreciate it if he is able to connect directly to the concerned department without being transferred back and forth. However, small businesses with a few employees may be better off with just an automatic attendant or perhaps a real attendant especially if the work loads are being shared among the staffs.
Recording calls is a standard requirement for businesses who do heavy customer service. Not only that it will help you monitor your staff on how they perform but it will also give a sense of security and protection to your callers. However you need to bear in mind that prior to a call you need to inform your callers that the call may be recorded for quality or training purposes via an IVR otherwise you may get into legal problems.
Messages on hold
All business probably do their best to avoid putting a customer on hold or in a queue. However there may be times that no matter what you do it is unavoidable especially during busy times of the day. What you can then do is improve the on hold experience by entertaining your customers using music, trivia and the like. This will help keep their cool and lighten up when a representative picks up their call.
Toll free hotlines
Businesses with national operations must have a toll free hotline, not only that it will help improve national presence but will also help in providing quality service. Try to think like a customer, do you think you’ll be happy shouldering the cost of a support call? The combination of a good representative and a good office telephone is only a part of a good overall service.
The main goal is to meet your customers expectation. The telephone system supplies all the basic requirements as a standard one, but is affordable for any small or medium sized business. The benefits of a small office phone system are numerous.