In the age of texting, chatbots, and social media messaging, prioritizing the right business phone system may be on the back burner for you. But it shouldn’t be, especially if you’re just starting out. While phone usage has dropped in the last decade, 71% of consumers still prefer to contact small businesses over the phone as of spring 2021. Like it or not, your business phone system is still a crucial part of your communications strategy.
So, what should you look for? We’ve compiled a list of 7 characteristics you should prioritize when wading into the sea of VoIP service providers.
7 Characteristics to Look for in a Business Phone System
1. Simple Scalability – How quickly can your system grow to accommodate your business?
When you invest in your business phone system, you should be investing in something that will last you for quite some time. To have that staying power, the system you purchase should be able to grow as you grow. Look for ones that allow you to quickly and easily add new users, hardware, and phone numbers whenever and wherever you need them.
2. Unlimited Call Capacity – Will there be limits on how many calls you can make and receive?
This point often gets overlooked by businesses. But many business phone systems can come equipped with a “call cap.” Meaning that you’re only allowed to make and receive a certain number of calls before you must purchase additional lines or trunks. You’ll want a provider that doesn’t limit your call capacity but gives you full access to their VoIP network.
3. System Redundancy – What happens if there’s an outage?
Nothing disrupts your business more than if your phones are down. Especially during emergency situations. It’s crucial to find a business phone system that offers redundancy – meaning that if your service unexpectedly goes down, your calls will be routed through another location and completed.
4. Extensive Feature Library – Does the system have all the features you need as well as ones you want?
This requirement takes a bit more research. Before you start looking for a business phone system, compile a list of “must-have” features (ones your business uses all the time) and would-like features (ones you may not need but might improve your processes). Your goal is to find a provider that can give you as many of those features as possible without hidden fees or extra charges.
5. Simple Installation & Maintenance – What’s the upfront and monthly cost in time and labor?
Even when you find the perfect system, it’s important to ask the provider about the installation and maintenance process. Ask for a demonstration of how easy the system is to use and install. Inquire about what training your employees will receive. Find out if you’ll be dealing with issues yourself or if the provider will act as your IT department for the duration of your ownership.
6. Mobile-Capable – Can your employees take their office phone “on-the-go?”
It’s no mystery why this is an important requirement. A recent Gallup poll found that 45% percent of full-time U.S. employees worked from home either part-time or full-time. These remote employees need a business phone system that can be accessed from a desktop, mobile phone, or tablet. Be sure the system you choose is equipped with call forwarding, digital voicemails, and even a proprietary app. These features will allow employees to maintain their privacy and increase their productivity.
7. Excellent Customer Service – How well does the provider take care of their current customers?
A provider can have the best offering in the world, but if their support is sub-par – that offering won’t be worth your time and money. When investigating a business phone system, look through online reviews and customer references. If you find that they have largely positive feedback on their products and services, you can trust that they will treat you well if you become their customer.
Get a One-Stop-Shop Approach to Business Phone Systems with ACI
For over 26 years, ACI has provided its customers with not only the best communications solutions but also the best customer experience. Our team of dedicated IT professionals are committed to giving you the business phone system you need at a price you can afford. Interested in learning more? Contact one of our technicians to get your questions answered today!