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How to Upgrade Your Office Telephone System

How do you choose a business office telephone system that is right for you?

How to Upgrade Your Office Telephone System

Phones still crucial for business success

Since the first call was made by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, telephones have evolved and are still one of the most important methods of communication, particularly for businesses. Growing businesses cannot simply rely on email, they need to keep in touch with customers, suppliers and colleagues with an effective and robust telephone system. A stronger relationship can be built between your business and your companies as their ability to contact you, when they need you, will improve customer service. Your phone systems allow you to add a personal touch to your service. So when you’re choosing this integral tool for your company, what do you need to consider in order to make the best decision?

Selecting a phone system that’s right for your business

The vast array of options out there, along with the complex technical terms used, means that you could struggle to pick the system which suits your business needs. If you’re a start-up business with a small number of staff, you don’t want to spend over the odds for a top of the range system which will contain a whole bunch of functionality that you’ll never even use - that’s just throwing money down the drain. On the flipside, if you just purchase a simple two-line business phone when you’ve got a growing workforce, your employees could end up waiting for each other to finish on the line, passing it around the office and eating into productivity. So it’s important to reach a balance between spending too much on a system you don’t need and going for something too basic and falling into the trap of a false economy.

Staffing plans, receptionists and other considerations

One of the leading factors which should inform your choice of business office telephone system is the number of staff you have at present and how much you expect this number to grow by over the next couple of years. You should also consider the number of jobs where phone access is business critical (eg. sales staff). You’ll need to ensure that there are enough handsets to go round to avoid the scenario of employees sitting around waiting to use the phone.

Also, have a think about the process of phone usage within your company. Do you have a dedicated receptionist who manages all the incoming calls and diverts them to a relevant member of staff? In this case you’ll need to invest in a system which has effective call transfer functionality. Do you need voicemail functionality on an individualised basis, or can you manage with a centralised answer phone service? What about the capability to hold conference calls? All these factors should be considered when selecting an appropriate system.

Simplifying the options

Here at IT Farm, we believe that keeping things simple is the best way to understand what is right for your business. We don’t confuse you with technical jargon such as VoiP. Instead, we listen to your needs and focus on two elements: the types of phone handsets you require and management of the system. You can choose between us hosting your telephone system or having one of our trusted partners install or manage a system in your office. Whatever you decide to go for, we can guide you through the process, ensuring that your new business office telephone system meets your needs precisely.

Now that you’re prepared for the telephone system, learn about IT by downloading your free eGuide: Top 6 small business IT mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Dr James Huntington Managing Director

James is the Founder and Managing Director at IT Farm. His background in Computer Science help lay the foundation for IT Farm to become one of the UK's first Cloud Computing Companies.

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