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Choosing the right phone system for your business

Choosing a phone system can be a pretty daunting task, with so many choices available making it difficult to decide which is right for your office. What features you opt for will depend on the size of your team and your company’s needs, so take a look at our tips to help you choose the right phone for your business.

What features are you looking for?

Long gone are the days when you simply used phones to talk to clients or customers, as they now come with a whole host of features to aid your business needs. Here are just a few to choose from:

  • Hold music – While not necessary, having pre-recorded music playing as you put the caller on hold gives them something to listen to. You could even record some information about your product or service instead of music to further advertise yourself to whoever’s on the phone.
  • Voicemail – This is a standard feature on business phones, and is useful to have when the lines are busy or the office is closed and no-one can answer the call. It ensures you do not miss any leads on a sale, as the caller can leave a message for you to ring back.
  • Conferencing – For large companies with offices in different locations, having a phone system that provides conference calls is a must. This function enables you to talk to several people in various places at the same time, with speakerphone allowing the call to be heard by all those in the boardroom as well.
  • Auto attendant – If you have a big business with several departments, it is a good idea to get a phone system with an auto attendant. This works by having a pre-recorded message on the phone to direct the caller to the right department. Alternatively, you could choose to have an auto attendant feature on your system if your company is small, as it helps when the receptionists are out of the office, such as during their lunch breaks or after the office is shut.
  • Directory services – This is a more advanced system of auto attendant, giving the caller options to choose from – such as extensions to dial – so they access the right person.
  • Call forwarding – Of course, any company with several employees should look to have a call forwarding feature on their phone. This simply enables anyone who picks up the phone to forward the call to the right person, so the potential client or

Things to consider before choosing a phone system

You might know which features you want from your office phone, but you should take a look at other factors to determine whether it is the right system for your business.

These include:

  • Efficient support service – When the phone system goes down in any business, it is vital it is fixed right away. That is why having good maintenance support from the network is essential, so the time your phone line is disrupted is as short as possible.
  • Good maintenance – Similarly, you need to ensure the network’s support service you receive when it comes to installing the phones, training your employees to use it, and dealing with any problems is adequate.
  • Allowing you to expand – Whether you are only starting out or you expect your business to grow significantly over the next few years, it is wise to invest in a phone system that can grow with your team. Having one that provides more features than is necessary now might be a good move, enabling you to take advantage of more advanced functions when you need them in the future.
  • Total cost – As with all business expenses, the total cost of the phone system is an important consideration. Take into account the price of the phones, additional features, the software, the service and training from the network provider. For better deals, it is worth looking for phone systems at the end of the quarter when prices tend to drop.

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