No matter what type of company you run, having a professional office phone number is crucial for establishing your legitimacy and ensuring customers can get in touch. Before the development of VoIP technology, it was a lot more challenging for small businesses to adopt the same kind of professional solutions as larger corporations. Feature-rich, professional office phone systems relied on costly landlines and required additional staff to answer and transfer calls.
Today, newer technology has vastly expanded the possibilities for small business owners. Even small or one-person companies can access an incredible amount of premium features at an affordable price. If you’ve been exploring the latest options in digital phone systems, you’re probably wondering if there is a solution that will fulfill all of your needs.
Here are some helpful tips for how to find an office phone system that will meet all of your unique work setup requirements. Find out exactly what digital phone systems are, when the optimum time is to think about upgrading your current system, and how to accurately determine your business and communication needs. An understanding of what your business needs to thrive will help you to feel more confident in selecting the right communication solution.
What Are Digital Office Phone Systems?
While businesses of all sizes need reliable communication solutions, small businesses come with unique challenges that will strongly benefit from the latest technologies.
Virtual or digital office phone systems operate using voice over internet protocol (VoIP), which is a type of technology that transmits voice communication over the internet. These systems allow users to make phone calls from any internet-connected device, including smartphones, computers, and even IP desk phones.
One of the main reasons why this technology is so valuable to small business owners is that it provides access to a large number of professional features in a range of affordable price points. The best virtual office phone system providers have created a robust portfolio of features that effectively streamline communication, such as:
- Direct lines and extensions
- Dial-by-name directories
- Hold music
- Voice messaging
- Call recording
- Data analytics
- Video conferencing
- Mobile app integration
What’s more, these solutions are typically offered in a range of packages, so that you’ll only have to pay for the features that you know your team will use. But how can you determine what your needs are?
Knowing When It’s Time To Upgrade Your Work Phone Setup
Adopting a virtual office phone system is a fast and easy way to bring added professionalism to your business and access all the modern features of an enterprise phone system at a great price. It might be time to switch to a cloud-based VoIP solution if you:
- Know you need a more professional option than using your personal phone number as a business phone
- Travel away from the office and don’t want to train and pay additional staff to answer phones
- Need an effortless way of getting in touch with staff members who work remotely
- Want to improve your business’s image with professional features
- Want to streamline your calls, videos, and conferences all on one platform
If you’re ready to put these benefits to work for your company, read on to discover how to find the perfect fit for your needs.
Finding Your Perfect Phone System: Determining Your Needs
Modern digital office phone systems come in a range of packages, with customizable options so that you can choose the features you need. Let’s take a look at the biggest considerations business owners should take into account before deciding on a solution.
One of the most important aspects of finding the right new office phone system is identifying one that gives the features you need at a cost you can afford. The best companies will offer multiple plans tailored to the needs of differently-sized businesses. If you’ll be eliminating a landline phone number, don’t forget to factor in the savings you’ll have from that.
In addition, check if any of the additional features you’ll be gaining can replace other services you currently pay for. For example, if your new system comes with secure video conferencing, you will be able to streamline your services by canceling your old service provider.
When your small business is growing, you need an adaptable solution that will be able to effortlessly scale according to your needs. This can mean supporting an ample number of video conferencing participants, providing multiple call forwarding options, offering access to dial-by-name directories, and other options. Even if you only need a limited amount of support at the moment, be sure to verify that a provider will be able to meet your future needs as well.
Integration with Your CRM System
If your business uses a customer relationship management (CRM) system to store customer information and manage account information, then finding a new office phone provider that can integrate with your platform a benefit. Verify that a potential service provider offers call analytics and review their capabilities. The best companies can help you track and organize lots of customer data, such as:
- Call duration
- Time of day of calls
- Number of incoming and outgoing calls by number or extension
- Number of new and returning calls
Ease of Activation
Adopting a new office phone system might feel like an overwhelming task, but with the right company, it can be a lot less effort than you might think. One of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether to keep your existing phone number or select a new, local number to use.
The best-in-class virtual phone service providers offer an option for transferring your existing phone number into their system after your account is activated. In addition, consider whether you’d like a vanity number that represents an easy-to-use word or phrase. This is a great option if you’d like your business number to be more memorable.
Advanced Call Management Tools and Special Features
Since virtual office phone systems offer so many more capabilities than a traditional landline, it’s important to understand all of the possibilities available to you. For example, if your business is in the healthcare field, you’ll want to ensure your service provider offers HIPAA compliance. Certain companies partner with compliance experts to ensure secure cloud-based video conferencing and calls.
In addition, if you frequently make international calls, you’ll want to verify a service provider’s rates and ability to meet those needs. You’ll also want to consider whether you need additional features like:
- Professional hold music and greetings
- Fax-from-phone capabilities
- Schedules for routing incoming calls to different numbers based on the time of day
- Voicemail transcription
- Number porting, if you wish to continue using your existing phone number
What to Look for in an Office Phone System Provider
Now that you have a better idea of your needs and the features that are available, how can you be sure that you’ll be satisfied with a potential service provider? There are a few things you should look out for to be certain you’re partnering with a company you can trust:
- 24/7 customer support. Be certain that an office phone system provider is easy to reach when you need help. The best companies allow you to speak to a real customer support representative, no matter what time of day it is.
- Free software upgrades and access to new features as they’re released. Don’t get locked into a system that doesn’t change with new technology. A great company will offer access to new features as they’re available.
- Web-based administration panel. Make sure that your new system is simple to use and easy to navigate—from anywhere.
- No contract. Look for a provider that doesn’t require a contract or long-term commitment. Their features and benefits should keep you coming back.
If you review potential service providers with these factors in mind, you’re sure to find a reputable company and a service your business will be satisfied with.
Start Implementing Your New Office Phone Setup Today for Better Communication
Virtual phone systems are transforming the way that small businesses operate. The high-end features that used to be out of reach for many companies are now easy to implement and simple to use. By taking the time to consider your needs, it’s easier than ever to reduce costs and streamline how your business functions. Even advanced call management tools and CRM system integration are now achievable with the right service provider.
At Phone.com, we help businesses across all industries communicate better, with our powerful technology features and world-class customer service. We offer several plans and billing options, allowing you to pick the features essential to your business. All of our plans come with video meetings, voicemail, free conference calling, voice tagging, and much more. To begin implementing a better communication solution for your business, review our product offerings and get started today.