If you own a busy business, shopping for a new phone system can get overwhelming fast. In addition to resolving customer concerns and counting incoming deliveries, you might find yourself trying to make sense of technical jargon to figure out which type of phones you really need. However, deciphering the sea of phone features doesn't have to be difficult. Here are two things you should consider as you shop, and which features might prove useful:
1: Your Business Volume
Before you start worrying about sleek handsets and nifty multi-line capabilities, it is important to consider your overall business volume. Do customers call your business all day long, or do you mostly use your phone system for simple business-to-business calls? If your employees handle a large number of calls each day, or if your business is growing rapidly, these two features might help you out:
- Auto Attendant: Do your customers wait patiently on hold while your employees try to route calls to the right department? Believe it or not, one study found that 60% of customers hung up after being on hold for as little as one minute. Fortunately, auto attendant services can help customers to find the department they need, without them ever talking to an employee. When a customer calls, they will be greeted by a recorded message that issues a simple menu of your departments. By simply pressing a number, customers will be connected to the department of their choice.
- Visual Voicemail: If you have an answering machine, you understand how difficult it can be to make out customer messages, track important information, and return calls in a timely manner. However, visual voicemail can transcribe your messages and collect important data about the call, so your employees can skim for important information quickly. In addition to converting the call into an easy-to-read text format, visual voicemail systems also track phone numbers, call times, and location information.
In addition to improving your workflow, auto attendants and visual voicemail services might also reduce your labor costs. When you don't have to pay a receptionist to manually route hundreds of calls, and employees are able to return calls more effectively, you can keep your business in the black.
2: The Configuration of Your Office
Another important thing to think about is how your office is set up. Do you have a single room filled with cubicles, or are your company offices split up between several buildings in a business park? Although it might seem impossible to keep all of your employees connected, these features might make things a little easier:
- Set-to-Set Calling: Are you employees constantly running down the hall to relay messages to other coworkers? If you need a fast, private way to keep your employees in touch with one another, consider looking for a system with set-to-set calling. By simply dialing an office extension, your employees can discuss confidential matters in the privacy of their own office.
- Intercom Capabilities: Do you ever find yourself shouting announcements to your entire building? If you want to announce that incredible stock price or company merger without embarrassing yourself or holding a company meeting, ask about phones with intercom capabilities. These systems contain an outward speaker on each handset, so that you can address all of your employees at once.
- Mobile Extension: Do you allow employees to work from home? Do your salespeople travel frequently? If so, you might be looking for a way to keep your workers in touch with the customers that call your office. Fortunately, some phone systems contain mobile extension services, which can forward calls to cell phones.
By being familiar with the best business phone system features, you can shop a little more effectively—so that you can get on with your day. Click here to learn more about business telephone system options.