Have you ever been stuck messaging a website’s virtual assistant, talking in circles and getting nowhere? We’ve all been there! It’s frustrating not to be able to solve issues promptly and efficiently–especially in today’s modern world, where we’ve all come to expect quick solutions and top-tier customer service.
This is why telephones are still crucial for small businesses. AI chatbots and help articles can only do so much. Sometimes, a customer’s issue requires the help of a real person.
But how do you decide which small business telephone system suits your company? This article will break down the most important considerations for small businesses choosing a telephone system so that you can make the right decision!
1. Types of Small Business Phone Systems
There are three main types of telephone systems for small businesses:
i. Traditional System
A traditional phone system is exactly what it sounds like–physical hardware. With a traditional system, you will have physical wires, phones, and a routing system that sends calls to the right place.
ii. VoIP System
A VoIP phone system gets rid of the physical hardware required to run a traditional system and replaces it with software that does much of the same thing. In a VoIP system, call routing takes place via the Internet.
Because it doesn’t need hardware or physical routers, a VoIP system is the best choice for businesses that work remotely. Any phone can be hooked up to the system to answer routed calls, so your employees do not have to be near their landlines in the office.
iii. SIP System
A SIP system, also called a hybrid phone system, is a mix of traditional and VoIP systems. It uses existing hardware, but instead of routing calls through a physical router, it does so through the Internet.
This system often uses integrated services digital network, or ISDN, protocol. This may be an issue with the upcoming 2025 ISDN switch off; here is a video guide if you haven’t heard of it: Switch Off 2025
2. How to Choose the Right System
There are a few questions you should ask yourself when it comes to choosing the right phone system for your small business:
a) What Features Do We Need to Keep?
Different systems offer different features that can change how your business is run. If your small business currently has a phone system, determine the features you cannot live without and ensure your new system can provide them!
It’s a great idea to get your employees involved in this process. First, ask them what their favourite and most-used features are, and then consider those when choosing a new system.
b) What Features Do We Wish We Had?
Here’s another opportunity to get your employees involved! Dream big–are there any features you wish your current phone system had? Look for them in a new phone system.
c) Potential for Growth
A small business naturally grows and evolves as time goes on. Are you finding issues with your phone system that you didn’t have when you started the company? Don’t worry–this is incredibly common.
You should find a phone system that can grow and evolve with your company. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with just as many problems down the road as you have now, and you’ll have to switch systems again. Save yourself the hassle by making sure you have room to expand!
d) Types of Use and Users
How will you and your employees be using your small business telephone system? Are you just taking calls in the office, or would you like to be available outside the office, too? How much traffic will your phone system see daily?
These are essential considerations when it comes to choosing a phone system for your small business. You must make sure that your phone system offers the features you need while also being able to handle your workload without a problem.
e) Look at the Potential Providers
A phone system is only as good as its provider. Therefore, you must ensure you pick a great provider!
You can pick a great phone system provider with these tips:
- Research the company
- Look at past and present clients
- Read reviews from trusted review sites
- Speak to existing clients
With these tips, you can be sure you’re picking the right phone system provider for your small business.
Choosing a new phone system is a big commitment. There are many options to choose from and lots of considerations that go into the process. You must get it right so that your business can grow and evolve with ease!
With the tips outlined in this article, you’re ready to pick the perfect phone system for your small business. Don’t wait! Make sure you aren’t missing out on profit by switching to the perfect phone system today.