Even in the digital age, when emails, videoconferences, texts and social media have taken on high-level everyday importance, phone service is still critical in the business world. After all, while all of the previously mentioned communication platforms are important to business success, sometimes nothing is quite as powerful as the immediacy and personal connection that come with a phone call.
Further, with a high-quality business voice service in place, companies can empower their employees to easily, efficiently and effectively manage their voice communications with customers and colleagues alike. But with so many options available, selecting the right business phone system can be a challenge as the best choice for one company might not be a winning pick for another.
To help in the selection process, here are seven top factors for companies to consider:
- Business functionality: Some businesses, and especially those with a large number of employees working remotely, might be tempted to rely on employees’ residential or mobile phone lines for business purposes. This can, at times, be sufficient for employees who have limited contact with customers, but client-facing workers typically need the unique, business-focused features that only a business voice system can provide. For the business, these powerful features can deliver a range of advantages such as ensuring that no potential customers’ calls are ever missed. And for the customers, such features can reduce caller hold times and deliver an overall improved customer experience, which also provides a clear advantage for the business.
- Needed features: Once a decision is made to go with a phone service, selecting the right fit for a particular business will largely depend on the nature of the firm and its communication needs along with the phone features required to meet those needs. For example, a business with a large number of remote employees might want to seek out a business voice service offering a Call Forward feature that, when activated, automatically sends incoming calls to certain employees directly. The same feature can be extremely helpful for businesses with workers who spend a lot of time out in the field yet need to quickly respond to incoming client inquiries. Numerous other features of a service that can deliver big benefits for business communications include:– Answering Service: when activated, forwards calls to an answering service where a live operator answers 24/7;– Call Forward Remote Activation: allows users to activate Call Forwarding on the line from another phone, including wireless;
– Call Hold: allows users to put callers on hold while they finish handling another call;
– Conference Calling: enables businesses to stage conference calls for numerous participants at a time as well as to record and save the calls for future reference and training;
– Find Me/Follow Me With Simultaneous Ring: allows users to be “found” by a call with multiple lines ringing at once when a call is received at the number designated for the feature;
– Multi-Line Queue Hunting: allows for incoming calls on systems with multi-line hunt groups to be placed in a queue when all lines are busy with callers connected to the first available line based on their position in the queue;
– Personal Ringing: sounds distinct rings for calls to different users at the business, so employees can recognize who a call is for;
– Three-Way Calling: enables users to add a third party to an existing conversation;
– Three-Way Call Transfer: enables users to establish a three-way call and then exit the call, leaving the other two parties connected;
– Trunk Hunting (aka “rollover”): enables incoming calls to “roll” to another number if the first line is busy;
- Call volume: Companies that regularly receive large numbers of calls at once need a robust system that can handle all incoming calls simultaneously. Otherwise, if the phone service is not adequate, it can create negative impacts on call quality and system functionality. Further, this can even lead to lost business when potential customers are unable to get through to a business representative as needed.
- Pricing: For smaller businesses and/or startups with a limited budget but big communications needs, phone services like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Hosted PBX can provide powerful and scalable business phone solutions at a highly competitive price. These offerings accomplish this by harnessing cloud technology that uses the internet to deliver highly scalable voice services, along with collaboration tools, mobility and calling features, across a range of business locations.
- Scalability: Especially for companies that anticipate future growth, having a voice system that can grow with them without major hassles and substantial added costs is important. Having a highly scalable business phone service enables businesses to add lines and features easily as needed without the headache of having to switch phone services.
- Customer support: When workers or management have issues with their voice service, they want to be able to get them resolved quickly and easily. Otherwise, any problems that arise can lead to lost productivity and even lost business. With that in mind, companies with a substantial dependence on their telephone system should ensure that the service they select offers fast, readily available and around-the-clock customer support along with a good track record of customer satisfaction.
- System backup: When the power goes out, the business world rarely stops. So organizations that want to remain available to customers even during such outages should seek out a system that offers some sort of backup system, such as battery backup that can keep phone service running for extended periods during an outage.
Need a reliable phone service that meets all of your business’s and employees’ needs? Visit ftc.net/business to explore FTC’s full lineup of Business Voice Plans along with the calling features and other productivity-boosting tools available from FTC. And to get local, expert IT help for your business in a number of tech-related areas, including Managed IT, Cybersecurity, Hosted Services and more, visit FTC IT Solutions today.