There comes a time when every organization needs to invest in a phone system: you’re buying a new phone system for a new location, upgrading from an older system or adjusting to a new normal with a distributed workforce. Regardless of the reason, you need to make the change.
Your phone connects you to your constituents, so you need it to be reliable. You want it to have a specific set of features (such as voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding, conferencing, recording, etc.) and you want your investment to be supported for years to come. The question you have is, “Where do I begin?”
First and foremost, finding the right phone system can be a pain.
Doing research online leaves you sifting through site after site as you look for answers only to find way too much information – and most of it isn’t worth your time.
As an organization, you’re ready to invest in a new phone system, so you want to know you’re getting what you pay for. Unfortunately, the phone system business is a competitive one, which means it’s hard to find websites, reviews and data that isn’t biased or skewed in some way. There are countless websites featuring deals that aren’t really deals, or websites hosting reviews sponsored by a phone service provider. This isn’t helpful.
So, what is helpful? Here’s what you need to know.
Phone systems tend to be very similar. There may be a few features that vary from system to system, but most VoIP systems will all have the most important features demanded by businesses. The best plan is to define your phone needs before you start searching for a system. Chances are it won’t take long to find what you’re looking for – if you ignore the clutter.
What you really want to find is a stellar VOIP provider. You might get caught up in trying to find the best phone with the best features, but none of that matters if you don’t get good service to go along with it. You need someone who will be with you every step of the way, from setup and installation to configuration and support.
You need someone you can rely on. That way, if anything goes wrong or you have questions, you have someone you can call. The fact of the matter is that most people aren’t and never will be VoIP or phone system experts. Organization leaders have too much on their plates to learn – from scratch – about a new phone system.
This leads to the questions you should be asking before you commit and buy a new system:
- Who is setting up my new phone system?
- Will they customize it for my specific needs?
- How do I get help if my phone system stops working?
- Who do I call if I have additional questions?
As you vet potential vendors, get exact and direct answers. If they don’t answer you directly, that’s a red flag. They should be able to answer all of your questions in a language you understand. If they don’t answer your questions, or you aren’t happy with the answers, find a different vendor.
There are many vendors who will send you a system and leave the rest up to you. If you know what you’re doing and have the time to set it up, it’s no big deal. But that isn’t most of us.
Selecting a VOIP system is a service that RoundTable regularly provides to clients. Our experts know the technology, and will work with you to ensure that you pick a system that meets your needs and environment.
If you don’t have an IT provider, we urge you to do your research. Ask questions, get answers and be confident in your decision before signing onto a contract.