A phone system is vital for any business. In recent years, an exaggerated emphasis has been put on digital forms of communication, but they lack the personal touch that comes from an actual conversation. Reading written communication can be difficult to interpret accurately as it is hard to convey tone. Not every potential customer or client has access to a digital connection either, making it even more important to have alternatives.
After all, communication is the most critical factor of any business. Verbal communication allows for nuance. There are many scenarios in which a misunderstanding can devastate a working relationship. However, it is harder to misconstrue information during a real conversation than it is when reading a text or an email. This is in conjunction with the security risks associated with texts and emails; hacking is becoming far too common. Unfortunately, texts and emails leave a lot of detailed information behind. Yes, phone calls can be recorded, but this usually a lot less common. Phone calls allow people to speak freely.
Without a phone system, you are limiting the capabilities of your business; for example, you would not be able to hold a conference call which can be crucial in the running of a business. Conference calls allow the whole team to connect in real-time, eliminating waiting times and trying to decipher long and confusing email threads.
Simply put, a business needs a phone system if they want to communicate to any level of success internally but also with clients and customers.
What Makes a Phone System Obsolete?
It can be hard to imagine that telephone systems are becoming obsolete, but that is the truth. The majority of models for office phones can only make and receive calls, and that is it. They do not suit the needs of the business anymore. When you compare what a smartphone can do with what most office landlines do, it becomes clear that they are indeed archaic. Phone systems, like all technology, improves over time.
If your office phone system fits the following criteria, it may be a sign that you need to upgrade:
- Firstly, the easiest way to tell if the phone system you are using is obsolete is to catalog its features. Does it lack features that you need in order to make your business more productive?
- Do you find that you often experience congestion within your phone network? This could be incredibly detrimental, especially if you foresee your business growing, meaning that the call volume will rise.
- As stated above, you need a system that can grow with the needs of your business. If your system cannot deal with an uptake of users, it is probably time to upgrade.
- Since Covid more and more business are finding themselves with remote workers, does your existing phone system allow you to connect it with your remote workers’ mobile devices? IF your business receives a call, it should be simple to patch that call through to the appropriate person whether they are in the office or not.
What Should a Business Phone System be Able to do?
It can be hard to try and find a new phone system for your business as each business is different and has different needs. Take the time to think about what features would be beneficial to your business. How many extensions and phone lines would you need? How is the system to be used?
Most businesses would benefit from a call management system which is something that allows you to customise your system to your needs. Some features that your phone system could be lacking are things like voicemail and email linkups so that you can receive voicemail messages on the go straight into your inbox. Or perhaps your business needs an auto attendant to transfer calls without the need of an actual operator or receptionist. Are the wait times for your business high?
Do you need hold music to keep callers engaged whilst they wait? Conference calls are a given but are you able to patch into one from anywhere using your mobile device? Some phone systems allow you to link all the business capabilities to a mobile device.
Finally, what about call accounting? Would it be helpful for you to have access to all of your phone records, usages, and costs? One such system that has all these features and more is Nexgen. Australia had the national broadband network rolled out to provide better access to the internet, and it also has a vast array of professional elements, which is why the NBN is good for business.
When should I upgrade?
Upgrading can be costly, and some people prefer to upgrade when their office relocates or upsizes as it is more convenient and can be cheaper to install a whole new system rather than try to upgrade an old one. It can also minimise downtime between systems. However, this is not practical if you are not planning to relocate in the near future. Research is imperative when deciding what system you want, but it can also help to unearth cheaper providers and installation, so shop around before committing.
Telephone communication may indeed be slower than the digital alternatives, but it is still incredibly important. Phone calls are the best way to receive a personal response, and they are immediate. There are no halts through the process as there is with emails.
They are also far more private and confidential than texts or email. Some issues can be sensitive and need to be handled delicately and appropriately, which can only happen effectively through a phone call or a face-to-face conversation. Bluetooth devices allow for more business to be conducted safely while mobile; for example, it is far safe to use a hands-free device whilst driving than it is to attempt to respond to an email. Phone systems remain a vital part of running a business successfully, and so it is essential to choose the right one.