A new telephone system may be exactly what your business needs to usher in more growth and flexibility. Why so? No matter what angle you look at it, voice communication is essential for your business success. You need voice communication to coordinate with potential and existing customers, to foster communication within your company, and to conduct other business functions. Simply put, voice communication is integral to your success.
You probably already have a telephone system in place, one that utilizes public telephone lines from telecommunication companies.
If you’re an owner of a small business, then your phone line is probably a landline. Now, this can be tricky if you want to expand. Let’s assume for example that from your current 20 employees, your number of employees grew to 80. You’ve created more departments and teams, and you need a line for each department. If you need 50 individual lines for the key personnel in your office, you can either get a central line and give each person an extension, or you can opt to get direct lines for each department. Choosing the first option creates a need for a switchboard operator who can connect the calls to your employees.
This is where having a new telephone system may work to your advantage. Instead of using the old switchboard, you can invest in a new system called Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. It works similarly to a traditional phone line, except your calls are routed through the Internet. What’s more, you can complement your VoIP phone system with a sophisticated communication program that will enrich your communication abilities.
The benefits of getting a VoIP phone system
Small businesses are able to take advantage of business-class features without having to go overboard their budget. What’s more, they can capitalize on this technology without the need for an expensive upfront investment, as the technology has a lower cost structure.
Below are a number of benefits you can expect when you invest in a new telephone system:
- Reduce Costs
You can reduce your overhead by utilizing a VoIP phone system since an integrated telephone system eradicates the need for multiple phone lines that you would be paying individually for. You can also easily review your monthly charges and identify any unwanted calling patterns, such as an employee who is using the company phone to call relatives abroad. What’s more, you can do away with an actual operator as all the calls would be transferred seamlessly to their intended recipients automatically.
- Shared Resources
When you use a VoIP phone system, your employees would no longer have to share telephones. Imagine how difficult it would be to have a sales team of 10 vying for a slot in your company’s three phone lines. Instead, all your employees will have their own lines that they can use with ease at their own workstations. Furthermore, you will increase efficiency and productivity, as it also minimizes the need for your employees to walk from one end of the office to the other, just to receive a phone call. How so? Using a new telephone system enables your employees to transfer calls to each other. This is an innovation that is often understated, but just imagine how much time you would save, and how easier it would be for your employees to communicate.
- Positioned for Growth
This also gives you the flexibility you need to grow, as you will be able to control your costs. For instance, during your start-up phase, you can just use three or four lines. Then as your business continues to grow, you can then invest in a larger system that can accommodate your new employees. Once you decide to upgrade, then you can also invest in more advanced features to make your communications capability easier and more fluid.
These are the most obvious benefits to getting a new telephone system, but they’re just lip service unless you can see what you can do with its integrated features. With these features in place, you’ll be able to see a significant improvement in the way you do business.
What features can I add to my telephone system?
While VoIP on its own is already formidable, it is a telephone system that is best utilized with unified communications. Unified communications refer to the sophisticated integration of real-time communication services that maximize your VoIP system. This means that your telephone line is not just made to make or receive calls – you can streamline your processes with it too!
Here are some of the unified communications tools you can pair with your VoIP system.
1. Send voicemail messages to email inbox and to transcribe voicemails
This feature is very handy for those running call centres as it streamlines the communication process and reduces the need for you to manually transcribe your voicemail. Should you miss a call after office hours, you would receive the message in text or audio format (or even both, depending on your setting) via email and see what you want to do with it. You can forward the entire message to a concerned colleague or decide if it is a priority that you need to see to as soon as possible.
2. Record and review calls
Another important function to those who have call centres, this feature ensures that your employees are performing up to par with the rigorous standards you have set for them. You can review what they say to your clients, see if they are able to address the problems presented to them, and see if they are helpful in any way. Likewise, you can use these recorded calls for a number of reasons, such as disputes or evaluations. What’s more, your employees would be more mindful of what they say if they know that they are being screened meticulously. This therefore ensures that you will have a high level of customer service!
3. Capitalize on the “Hold” function
Your new telephone system can capitalize on your “Hold” functionalities. For instance, most companies use their “Hold” time to listen to music or a recording saying that their calls are being attended to. You can actually give your clients new information, such as your latest offerings, promo and discount codes, or even have them participate in your online activities. This way, your customers won’t be as bored, and you’ll be able to get additional sales.
4. Explore mobile capabilities
An added benefit to getting a new telephone system is that you can seamlessly integrate your existing communications systems with mobile functionalities. You can forward the calls you receive on the company’s line to your own mobile number if you are on the go; likewise, you can make calls on your mobile, and it would appear as if you are using the company’s line. This is also applicable for remote call back, or when you return calls after receiving a voicemail from a particular number.
This also has the added benefit of strengthening your employees’ resources if you allow telecommuting. Through a soft phone, your employees can make and receive calls directly on their laptops or computers even when they are away from the office. This minimizes your communication costs particularly for long distance calls, as well as ensures the quality of calls your employees make.
A new telephone system is also advantageous when it comes to sales. Just imagine how many potential clients your employees may be missing because they are away from their office desks. Rather, your telephone system can facilitate simultaneous ringing so that the business phone rings with your employee’s smart phone at the same time. This ensures that every single call will be patched through, although you can disable this feature if you want less intrusion. Rather, you can set it on command when it would be most convenient for you to be on mobile.
5. Promote multitasking
Another key feature of getting a new telephone system is enhancing your ability to multitask. Your VoIP system can give your employees the option to call, video call, or fax their correspondents even while they are on your email client. Your employees can take advantage of instant messaging, as well as making and receiving calls right at their desks. Therefore, your employees will be able to do more while performing simultaneous duties, which pave the way for increased and enhanced productivity.
6. Create a more collaborative environment through teleconferencing
Given that you are able to support your mobile employees, give them the opportunity to communicate efficiently with clients and their contemporaries, and to boost their productivity, your new telephone system can also foster a more collaborative environment. You can share learnings and new insight from your global office to your regional office, or cascade information to your remote employees through video conferencing. Therefore, you will be able to share information without needing to invest in transportation and travel expenses.
All these and more are the additions you can explore when you get a new telephone system. However, it’s not enough to just decide that you need a new system – you also have to find a compatible business provider who can give you these solutions at a price you can afford.
Benefits of getting a new telephone system:
- Reduces overhead and saves money
- Shared resources
- Positions you for growth
- Offers more flexibility
- Boosts productivity and promotes multitasking