A reliable phone system will be the cornerstone of your business, facilitating both external and internal communications and ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as can be. Not all business phone systems are the same, however: different providers will offer different benefits. This guide lays out the key points to look for when choosing between different business phone providers.
Do you want a corporate or a local provider?
A local, independent provider is typically the best option, as they tend to source their engineering and customer service personnel from the local area. As a result, if you call to report a fault in your telecommunications system, the engineering company will be close by and thus able to arrive and rectify the problem very swiftly. If you wish to call and ask a question, when you call a corporate provider you will usually spend a long time waiting for your call to be rerouted all over the country before you talk to a 'salesperson' who is not personally engaged with your concerns. The experience is usually much more positive with a local provider, as the customer service professional that you speak to will be able to provide you with a personal, timely response that addresses your needs as a member of their own community. They will provide you with a much more personalised service and they will usually be more than happy to customise a solution for you so that it suits your specific needs.
A key benefit of any business phone provider will be the ability to walk you through the various options step by step and show you how to use your new business communication system. Some providers go over and above this, giving you a free initial consultation where you can learn about - and demo - the different telecommunications systems that they offer so that you can select the one that is perfect for your business. Look out for business phone providers that offer this initial consultation service, as they make it much easier for you to find the phone system and telecom solution that is right for you.
Customer service and maintenance
Good customer service and prompt, professional, effective maintenance services are a must. As mentioned above, you are more likely to get these with an independent, locally based business phone provider, as they will provide you with a more efficient and more personalised service. When your business relies on its telecommunications system to disseminate information among employees, engage in telephone marketing, get in touch with clients and clinch business deals, even an hour or two of downtime can lose you a lot of revenue. As a result, it is very important to opt for a business phone provider who can offer you excellent customer service, with fast response times, as you never know when a problem might occur.
The range of services that are on offer
Broadband, phone lines, mobile phone contracts, PBX systems and cloud based telephony services are the main services that a good business phone provider can offer you. PBX stands for 'private branch exchange', and it consists of your business's very own telephone system installed at your premises. PBX systems can either be analogue, digital or IP based. Alternatively, it is also possible for a business to opt for a cloud based telephony solution, which doesn’t require a system to be installed on site. Each solution has its advantages, so it is crucial to know which solution works best for your business and then find a business phone provider that can install these services for you. – Every business is different, and thus each business has its own individual telecommunications needs.What is important is ensuring you have the right telecom solution to begin with, so that you have the flexibility to make changes to your solution as your business grows or evolves.