It’s time to buy a business phone system. At first, it’s tempting to group all business phone equipment for office communication systems together by saying, “Oh, telephone systems are all pretty much alike.”
But that just isn’t true.
Due to technological limitations, varying degrees of integration and different levels of design proficiency, small business phone systems are far more different than they might at first appear to be. While many communication equipment manufacturers claim that their telephone systems have similar features, thorough research and investigation into business phone solutions concludes that seemingly comparable features are often radically different in actual application and operation.
1. Ease of Use
The first thing to look for when buying small office phone systems is ease of use. For example, many telephone systems require multiple keystrokes and hard-to-remember codes to perform even the easiest tasks, such as transferring calls, retrieving voicemail and scheduling conference calls. By contrast, the more progressive digital business phone systems use single keys, intuitive functions and interactive on-board prompts to help the user execute these everyday office communications tasks quickly and easily. Businesses need powerful and flexible features within telephone systems to improve productivity, efficiency and customer service; but at the same time, the telephone system must be easy to understand and simple to use.
Voicemail has become imperative for any business, and that’s why it’s the second most important thing to look for when buying a small office phone system. A convenience for both callers and employees, voicemail allows a caller to leave a recorded message for a specific person whenever the person’s extension is in use (busy) or he/she is away from their desk (no answer). By purchasing an office phone system with a built-in, reliable voicemail feature, small businesses can increase efficiency because essential messages can be relayed without both parties being available at the same time. Coupled with Caller ID, voicemail allows employees to manage their incoming calls and missed calls more efficiently. In addition, users can instantly record conversations, conference calls, intercom calls and even personal reminders to store in a digital voice mailbox for future reference.
3. Caller ID
Caller ID, the third most important feature to look for when buying a small business phone system, enables a call recipient to see who the caller is before answering the phone. The name and number of the calling party is retrieved from the local service provider and shown on the telephone’s display. However, Caller ID features vary significantly between business phone providers. With some business phone systems, Caller ID information gets lost when the call is processed through the auto-attendant or is transferred to another extension. Additionally, most office phone systems do not retain the Caller ID name and number once a call is pushed to voicemail.
When investigating business phone solutions, it is important to remember that there are distinct, discernible differences among telephone systems. It is essential to compare features and functions of various business phone systems to find out which will deliver the best long-term value for businesses.
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