How to choose a small business phone system?

IVR business

There is nothing small about small businesses. It takes years of hard work and planning to set up a small business. There are several decisions that small business owners have to make when it comes to selecting the right business solutions that enable the business to perform better and faster in today’s competitive market.

Almost every business needs a phone system to operate with convenience. There are several companies that offer different kinds of telecommunication services. It can be a traditional PSTN or modern VoIP technology. In this blog, we are going to learn more about how to choose a small business phone system?

In order to choose the phone provider, you must have answers to the following questions first.

How many users will need the phone system?

If you are a small office and would like to have phone lines established, you must define the number of users in each department who may require the phone system with a local phone number. This will help you in getting the right quote from the phone system providers.

What features would you require?

It’s important to understand the capabilities of the phone system and then decide which all features will you required for your team to function efficiently. This will help you in selecting the right plan. Some of the basic features available in the virtual phone system are Welcome message, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), Voicemail, Call Hold, Call queueing, Call recording, etc.

How many calls would you make or receive?

In most cases, you will find companies offering unlimited calling with a virtual phone number. However, unlimited calling may be based on a fair usage policy. These policies are created to dodge hackers and spammers. It is also important to know the ratio in which you will make or receive phone calls. This will help you negotiate better with your service provider.

How many phone numbers do you need?

Typically, the virtual phone systems come with the facility to acquire unlimited phone numbers including toll-free numbers, vanity numbers and local phone numbers from both the US and Canada. Virtual numbers can be acquired instantly without a delay. You will need to calculate the total numbers that you and your team will need to operate smoothly. In most business cases, businesses would like to get more extensions rather than a  personal number for each individual.

What type of phone number do you need?

It is obvious that phone systems cannot work without a telephone number. Your service provider will provide you the option to choose from different types of numbers such as local numbers which are state or city-specific. In case you want a fancy and easy to remember number then you can choose toll-free or vanity numbers. Vanity numbers are very rare and are often highly-priced as research and acquisition cost is high.

Pro Tip- Always look for a business phone system that provides you a trial.

Do you need desk phones or softphones?

Desk phones are what we see in almost every office. It’s like legitimate hardware that costs more than the softphones. In desk phones, you will have to connect with cables or LANs. However, when it comes to softphones, you can simply make or receive phone calls from your laptop, smartphone (both iOS and Android).

Would you make international calls?

These days most entrepreneurs are interested in taking their business internationally. If that is the case, do check the per minute call cost for both outgoing and incoming for the country that you will require to call. The prices may change from provider to provider. Call pricing change because of their own margins.

What type of support will they provide?

We not only have to look for a good product company but also a good service company. You must ensure that the support staff is approachable when you need it. You must check the service level agreement for urgent and normal queries. There should also be a dedicated email and phone number for you to reach them in case of any technical assistance.

That’s it. these were the few questions that you need answers to before you decide to purchase a small business phone system for your organization. Once you are done with this analysis, it will be a piece of cake for you to find the right solution.

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