Hampton Tel knows choosing the right phone system is essential to any Monmouth County business.
A company’s telephone system is its lifeline to customers, suppliers and the world. It remains one of the easiest ways to communicate within a company as well as beyond the organization’s walls. Selecting the right business phone system is an important decision that can have financial and operational repercussions if the wrong system is chosen. Making the right decision about the phone system means looking ahead and doing some planning, just as you would when investigating office space or furniture.
1. Make the staffing plan. Look at your business plan and decide how many staff members will require a phone three or four years from now. A simple two-line business phone purchased at any electronic store can support four or five staff easily, but if your plan is to hire additional staff, that solution will quickly become unacceptable.
2. Decide on essential features. Will your company have a receptionist or will callers use an auto-attendant to reach individuals? Do you require conference calling or call forwarding? Is voice mail a necessity? Make a list of your essential features and use it when comparing systems.
3. Examine your company’s geographic locations. Multiple locations demand a solution that is quite different than one that needs to operate just in a single office. Many phone systems require a piece of expensive hardware in each physical location. If the locations vary in size, you may need to buy a different types of systems for each office.
4. Select your telecommunications technology. Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems place the phone technology primarily on a piece of hardware that accepts the phone lines from the phone utility. When a caller dials your number, the PBX system routes the call to the correct department or individual. Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) phones don’t use phone lines or a central piece of equipment. Each handset is essentially a small computer that plugs into an Internet connection. PBX systems can be expensive and are often hard to program, but they scale well, as additional handsets are inexpensive. VOIP systems are easy to use and can be spread across many locations, but each handset is expensive, making them a pricey option in larger offices. Long-term staffing and location planning is necessary to compare the two systems and decide which is right for your company.
5. Test your options before purchasing to determine how simple they are to program. How simple is it to add new lines, program new features and remove ex-employees from the system? Many key systems are notoriously tough to program, with companies forced to pay service technicians to program fairly typical requests. Choose a system that is user-friendly to reduce ongoing service costs.
– Five-year business plan
– Ask for references from companies that are using the phone system in question and see how they like the system.
– Ask for a demonstration to see how easy it is to add a new user.
– Don’t make a decision without weighing future growth.