Even though most of the communications today are done on the internet, owning a reliable telephone system is still a very important thing for your company. Sure, for some basic negotiations and not-so-important scenarios, online chat or Skype call is a viable option, but for the more serious deals, a telephone takes the first place as the most formal and professional way of communicating.
Technology is constantly evolving, and we keep seeing new devices and gadgets with each new year. Even though telephoning is something that appeared a long time ago, it doesn’t mean that inventors are not trying to upgrade and improve the devices with each new release.
If you purchase something that was considered a great phone system about four years ago, today it is probably worth about ninety percent less of your actual buying price. Why? Because things keep moving forward, and technology is probably the fastest-advancing area out of all others that we know of.
In this article, we are going to talk about a few ways that you can shop for a reliable business phone system. Things that you should look out for, important details and prince ranges, as well as a few extra tricks that we’re not going to reveal just yet.
If you are currently in the process of purchasing one, or you are simply curious to hear what we have to say, why not stick with us until the end? Let’s take a look.
Determining your budget
Whenever you want to purchase something, the first thing that you do is determining your budget. This will allow you to immediately eliminate all of the options which are outside of your availability, so you can ease up the process by quite a lot. If this is the first business-phone system that you’re going to purchase, you might want to spend some time researching the prices, just to know what you are getting into.
Usually, the basic variants without way too many fancy features cost around two hundred dollars. Then, you have the “mid-rangers” which can be somewhere between three hundred and a thousand bucks, and you have the high-end systems that are from eight hundred bucks and above, usually the PBX variants. Feel free read this if you want to learn more.
What kind of features do I want?
Just like we said earlier, telephone systems come with new features and look with each new release, and when you are in the process of purchasing one, it is very important to set up a clear picture in your mind about what kind of features you need for your business. Let’s take a look at the ones which are used the most.
- An Auto Attendant
If you’ve ever phone-called a company and a sweet lady picked up, telling you to press a certain button depending on your needs, it was either a real person, with a position called “a receptionist”, or it was an auto-attendant which is a robotic feature that completely replaces the need for a receptionist.
This is a feature that most modern telephone systems have, so it is up to you to decide whether you want it or not.
- Voice Mail
A voice mail is something that people tend to use a lot, and it’s a pretty useful feature as well. Leaving a voice mail will save a situation many times, and it will make a huge difference in some scenarios, but your phone system needs to support this feature for you to be able to use it.
This feature is also very advanced compared to what it was a few years back, and now you have devices that can automatically forward it to the e-mail of the person that was supposed to receive the call, meaning that you’re still going to reach them one way or another.
- Call Holding
This is something that happens very frequently in the corporate world, and luckily almost every device has it. For those of you who don’t know what it is, this feature allows you to put the call on hold while asking if another person is free to answer, for example, without hanging up on the other person that’s waiting. Most modern devices will allow you to play music while the call is on hold, simply to entertain the person that’s waiting and give them something pleasant to hear instead of that beeping noise.
- Forwarding Calls
Sometimes a person just dials the wrong number, and instead of hanging upon them, you redirect the call to the right place, leaving them satisfied and without unnecessary confusion. You will also save time by not explaining that this is the wrong department that they called, so simply forward the call and you’re done in less than a minute.
Different brands will have different products, and all of them will have different functions. We cannot tell you which brand is the best one, and you will have to bring this decision yourself, based on either previous experience or things that you’ve heard from your friends and family.
A great way to know if a product is good or not is to read reviews, but you shouldn’t read the official reviews by the website, because most of the time they only list the positive ones. Instead, try to look for user-made reviews on external reviewing sites, and try to dig up some information there.
The best way to know, however, is to try a product yourself. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, the next time you’re going to choose a business phone system, buy from another manufacturer.
Looks and Size
Sure, this is not a car that you are purchasing, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about looks. This thing is going to sit on your office desk in the next couple of years, so why not make sure that it’s a great looking one? Size also matters, and some devices are larger than others, so if you and your employees have smaller desks, you might want to pick a more compact system instead.