There’s a basic rule to avoid making mistakes when getting a phone system- bigger isn’t better. Some telephone systems may work well for NASA but that doesn’t mean they’re right for your business. As a matter of fact, the opposite is the case- the new phone systems are actually smaller and much more efficient.
In the same way that a huge switchboard is no longer necessary, big phone systems are more costly, more technically demanding, and generally use up a lot of time simply dealing with operational issues. A small system can be fully upgraded with ease. A big system can take months, if not weeks, and require multiple other operational issues to be addressed, like dealing with its interactions with the business system.
Typical mistakes when buying a business phone system are:
• Buying a non-standard platform- This is murder with a price tag. The non-standard systems are usually hybrid systems with Brand X servers and other largely cosmetic bells and whistles. It’s debatable whether they have any place in the modern business phone market. They’re aptly considered the “bargain bin” class of phone systems, because like bargain bin software, they may or may not run. Technically, they can be horror stories, requiring a lot of support which may or may not be efficient.
• Over complicated business phone systems– The same applies to some of the supposedly “upmarket” phone systems. They’re expensive, and they also provide a range of functions you’ll never need, but you’ll still be paying for them under contract for years. Some of them also don’t provide very basic things like the special dedicated servers that you do need for a modern business phone system.
Let’s get this straight- What a business needs is phone system capacity and efficiency. You need call quality, smoothly operating services and capacity- Anything else is just a cost.
Comparing a good phone system to a bad phone system
The comparison is important, because you can see what’s practical and what’s just costing you money:
Good telephone systems provide:
• VOIP- This is the best option for business. It’s simple, efficient, and cheaper. Using dedicated phone server systems makes a lot more business sense than tying up money in expensive services.
• Private servers- A good option from both the privacy and the functional operational perspectives. Private servers deal with their workloads independently of the main system, handling your calls and messaging and taking the load off your business phone system servers.
• Voicemail- Another standard feature which saves time and money.
• Queue management- Yes, you can manage those auto systems which drive customers mad. All you need is a good service provider.
• Contact centers- These invaluable things are brilliant for extracting calls out of your primary call stream. They’re used for projects, promotions, and other standalone business operations, and they pay for themselves in time efficiencies alone.
• Mobile operations- Also called “mobile solutions” in the telecommunications industry, these services are for mobile operations and fleet management. Again, they’re independent operations, a great way to compartmentalize and streamline your mobile operations.
The comparison is simple enough- Bad phone systems don’t provide these very useful, customized operations. Use the good system functions as your guide to getting the system you need, and you’ll never go wrong.