New technology, easy delivery and a host of customized features are just three reasons why many businesses are rethinking their phone service options. If your business needs an upgrade too, here are five tips that will help you to find the right phone service.

1. Know your needs now… and in the future

Quite simply, what is your current phone service not doing for your company? Understanding your business pain points will make matching the best phone service to your business much easier. They type of phone service for your business must provide services you anticipate in the future as well, like your geographic location, whether the number of employees and offices will change, and features that you can see requiring in the near future. Ensure that your choice can easily accommodate your growth.

2. Choose the type of phone service

This is a key decision that affects how you manage your business and the kind of investment you want to make into phone service upfront. For an IP system, many companies will purchase their own software and hardware so they can run their own systems.

Even though the cost of buying your own IP system covers a pretty wide range, for many smaller businesses the investment is not cost effective even after comparing. Therefore, if you want to forego the time and expense of buying your own, then an off-site phone system might work best for you. They can include everything from traditional land-line phone companies, to VoIP hosting. Using an off-site phone service requires only the initial installment fee and monthly fees. You can add or reduce the number of lines or services, and you are not responsible for maintenance or upgrades.

3. Keep it Simple

There is little use in switching to a phone service that is overly complicated for your business profile. If it includes a lot of function you don’t need and will never use, you are likely paying too much.

The phone service must be both low maintenance and provide an ease of operations. If your employees need to be mobile, then ensure that they can work wherever they are, on laptops, tablets or smartphones in and out of the office. Or if your office personnel will be adding and deleting users, pick a system that makes these tasks considerably easier than what they are doing now. Finally, think about the costs and turnaround time of training employees to use the system. Some systems are more complicated than others, requiring more training investment and resources that could better be used, elsewhere.

4. Think about your customer, too

Many phone service options might not be user friendly for your customer base. Do you need to rely on toll free with one designated number? If so then the PBX (private branch system) or traditional phone companies might work better since they work from one main number and branch off into extensions. IP systems, on the other hand, provide separate numbers for each employee. Your phone system needs to be accessible and easy for your customer base, too.

5. Do a run through

Choosing a phone service can be a best guess, so take the guess work out and bring the system to your offices and see how it fits with your business. Ask your IT to ensure that the features work as promised and will enhance your business workflow as you expect it to.

While you are testing it out (or before) do your due diligence on the phone system and the phone company. It’s easier than ever to get online and see if customers are happy with the product and if the company is reputable with excellent ratings in customer service.

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