Making Sense Out Of Technology

Talking Telephones: Choosing A Commercial Phone System

As a small business owner, you have unique needs in terms of your phone system, communication tools and overall infrastructure. Most commercial telephone systems are often created for larger businesses and corporations, which makes it tough to scale them properly for a small business. If you can't afford the investment and you're not sure how to make the most of your phone system plans, you'll want to consider the features you really need. Here are some things to think about as you narrow down your choices.

What's In a Number?

Your company's phone number is a key part of your brand identity, because it's one of the main things your customers will use to communicate with you. Before you invest in any kind of phone system for the business, you'll want to think about what you need from your phone number. Do you already have an existing number that you don't want to lose? If your customer base recognizes your phone number already, you'll want a system that lets you keep it in place.

You might also want to think about the accessibility of 800-number service. If you're looking to offer your customers a toll-free way to reach you, that requires a system that supports 800-number calls. When you choose your 800-number, think about getting one that spells your business name or product. That makes it easy for customers to remember and sets your brand apart.

What's On The Record?

For many businesses that handle customer service calls and consumer complaints, having the ability to record calls for training, documentation and legal record-keeping is vital. If you need to know that you have a record of the calls from your customers, you need a telephone system with recording and archiving functionality.

These recorded phone calls are great for training new employees as well as for legal protection purposes. They also make it easier to monitor your customer service staff's performance and interaction with your customers. For accurate employee reviews, this is useful. And, with the archiving functionality, you have the ability to pull previous phone calls and evaluate them in the event of a customer complaint about one of your employees.

What's The Location Situation?

Do you work from one primary location, or are you spending time in several different places on a regular basis? Think about where you work the most. If you're in your home office or on the road with customers as often as you are in the office, you need a phone system that moves with you. Virtual telephone systems allow you to route calls to any line, so you can direct your inbound calls to whichever line you have accessible at the time. If you spend your time in the office primarily, though, a standard landline should be sufficient.

What's the Growth Potential?

One thing that every small business owner needs is a phone system that will grow with the business. After all, the goal is for your company to be successful and to grow larger over time, so you need a phone system that can adapt to that as needed. If you need to add an employee or two, having to call a technician to install new phone jacks and lines can be time consuming. Opt for a system that's scalable and easily adjusted instead to save time and money.

Don't underestimate the importance of your company's phone system, no matter how big or small your operation may be. Make sure that you have the phone system that you need by considering these things and working with a commercial telephone system specialist. The more proactive you are about addressing the features that you might need in a telephone system, the longer your phone system investment will last.