5 Questions to answer before you decide
Without the answers to these simple questions you could end up with a phone system that won’t work for your business.
There was once a time when feature rich business phone systems seemed exclusive to big businesses and large corporations with massive budgets. But with the fast paced, technologically driven society where more people have cell phones than a toothbrush, business phone systems have become imperative to any sized business looking to be successful in the 21st century. The good news is that, implementing telephone systems in a business has become much more budget friendly, provided you choose a system specifically for your needs.
To make this process easier, below you will find 5 very important questions that every business owner should ask themselves before signing on a phone system plan.
1. What special goals are you trying to achieve with your newly acquired phone system? Write them all down. Perhaps it’s to make your business more accessible to newer markets thereby increasing your profit margin; or maybe you’re wanting to improve your customer care – perhaps you need your new phone system, and your employees, to be able to receive a greater volume of telephone calls. Also, write down the specific functionality your phone system should have. Some suggestions are: automated attendant service, caller ID, call forwarding, voice mail, intercom, paging and conferencing features. Once you’ve established your ‘wants’ or your goals, then finding your perfect match becomes simplified.
2. Do you already have a phone system? What issues do you require your new telephone system to resolve? A telephone system outage lasting a few hours, or even minutes can cost you leads, sales and produce some angry customers. What exactly is your pain point with the current or old business telephone system that you own? Perhaps it’s not operating correctly, or needs regular expensive repairs. Is your old phone system so antiquated that your employees are forced to use the more modern features of their mobile phones. Noting what’s lacking in your old phone system will assist you greatly in selecting a feature-rich system specifically appropriate for your business office.
3. Are you looking for a premise based telephone system or a hosted telephone system? Some businesses much prefer to manage their own hardware and software. Remember though that this option will require initial capital investment, plus trunk charges and phone company line charges, in addition to any recurring costs which will accrue for the smooth running of your new system. Also, you will want to work with a local business phone company who will provide the ongoing maintenance and installation for you.
The alternative option is cloud or hosted services. With this option there are no upfront costs because you’re not responsible for the purchase of the phones or system. Also, it’s not your responsibility to be concerned about software updates. Ideally your hosted telephone system would be managed off-site by your local cloud system reseller. It is a good idea to make sure that your hosted or cloud system will be installed by a local certified reseller rather than the hosted or cloud services company shipping your system to you and expecting you to connect and configure your system. With this option you’ll only pay a one-off professional installation fee, followed by a nominal monthly charge per user. Also, note that with the cloud system, your phones and software will automatically be upgraded.
Another issue to remember is scalability. Envisage how your company will grow in the future before you make a final decision. With hosted phone systems, you can easily add or remove users, but with an on premise based phone system, you will either have to purchase additional expansion for your system or potentially purchase a larger system.
4. What budget are you working with? Do your own research before purchasing a phone system and work out the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to ensure the system is within your budget. Remember to include installation charges, capital expenses, training charges and maintenance costs when establishing the TCO. With the variety of options available, there is a good chance to find one within your budget. Consult with your local reseller to see which options work best for your specific needs.
5. What is the reputation of the company you are considering? Certainly the brand reputation of your telephone system is very important, however it’s also very important that the company you’re considering hiring to assist with your telephone needs is a well-regarded and professional business. Read online reviews, and ask for referrals. Note: If you find a negative review online, or otherwise, ask the company to explain. Often the way a company handles this kind of question will give you more information than you could get from just hearing the good things.
With a little bit of time and research you will definitely find a telephone system perfect for your business. You are more than welcome to give us a call should you like a professional recommendation or if you require any assistance at all. Our experts are waiting to help you.
Why is Northwest Telecom Systems Your Perfect Choice?
Whereas many other companies don’t provide you with multiple options, our alliances with a variety of phone and internet providers afford us the opportunity to make the most precise recommendations for your specific needs. The result: the best service at the best prices. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call today, on 503-243-2255.
Established in 1989, Northwest Telecom Systems, Inc. has a legacy of providing high quality telecommunication services and products for businesses in the Portland Metro Area. While many telecom companies are tired to a specific carrier, NW Telecom is not. This independence gives them the freedom to suggest exactly the right solution for your business telephone requirements.
Northwest Telecom Systems, Inc
10824 Southeast Oak Street
Milwaukie, OR 97222