Telephones have become so commonplace in business, many take them for granted. They never really think about how much money they can save on their bills, or how their telephone system can help their business run smoother. That is a mistake.Considering that telephones have been around in business for so long it's amazing that so many businesses are making the same, horrible mistakes when it comes to telephones. Here are the 6 biggest mistakes a business can make with their telephone system.
Paying too much
Most businesses are always looking at areas they can cut costs but not many consider ways of reducing their hefty phone bill. Phone system company Digium found that 9 out 10 clients they spoke to, have no idea how much they are paying on their phone bill. Few outgoings are taken for granted as much as the telephone bill. Which is strange when it can be reduced dramatically by embracing new technology.
Switching to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can save as much as 80% on your business phone bill. The flexibility that VoIP offers (I'll cover all the features and benefits later) can reduce the actual costs of calls. Using a VoIP solution and replacing the traditional ISDN phone lines, that are still common despite being expensive, will also save your business money. Your business will save money on line rentals as well as call costs.
Ignoring the customer experience
It's a common mistake for a business to only consider how a phone system benefits their internal operations. Customers are the lifeblood for a business, so it's important to consider the customer experience. Do you need a receptionist to answer all incoming calls, or can it be done automatically by a call attendant program? How easy is it to transfer incoming calls between members of staff? (especially if a staff member is working remotely.)
Test your existing, or potential new, phone systems from the customer experience as well as internally. What kind of experience do you want your customer to have and then compare with the experience they are getting. Does it show your company in the right light? A couple of key areas to consider is how an incoming call is routed. Is that call coming to the correct department or phone? Also, what is the call quality like? Communicating with your customers is too important for these factors (and others) not to be considered.
Sound quality can be greatly improved on as well. Don't send the wrong message to a potential (or an existing) customer with poor, patchy call quality.
Using obsolete hardware
Sooner or later your telephone equipment is going to become obsolete but even if you upgrade your hardware every 5 -10 years, you will still find yourself with outdated equipment. Surely it's an unnecessary expense to update hardware more often than that? Well, that depends on how you purchased your phone equipment.
If you purchased a managed business telephone system then it's possible your provider will update your equipment every 3 years (that is what we offer at InfoTech). This type of arrangement can help future-proof your telephone systems as well. New technology is improving call quality as well as increasing the number of features your business can benefit from. The installation and maintenance of your phone systems will be taken care of as well. This will save you time and resources and will also make sure the system is set-up correctly.
Ignoring infrastructure issues
The most overlooked issue in a business phone system is infrastructure. Traditional phone systems rely on SIP trunks and ISDN lines and they can be difficult, and expensive, to add additional lines. Adding new business locations can be a nightmare with a traditional system, as equipment is required in every new location. As a business grows it can quickly outgrow its telephone infrastructure. Your system will start to struggle with increased call volumes or the extra extensions added.
Because VoIP uses your Internet, all your employees, including new ones, will be on the same IP network. That means no extra hardware is needed to add new business locations - saving time and money. Traditional phone systems can take weeks to install additional lines, but with VoIP, it can be done in minutes. This increased flexibility, as well as cost saving, makes it easy to keep your phone systems up to speed with your business growth.
Your business uses your phone system every day. Don't risk delays or interruptions to your operations because of an outdated or rigid phone infrastructure.
Settling for limited features
Surely all you need from a phone is to make and receive calls? Like all technology, modern day phone systems have been crammed with features that can increase your productivity. Want to talk face to face with a potential customer but they're halfway across the world? Today you can use video conferencing. Want your remote workers to have the same system as the office? Done.
With the right telephone system, you can increase the mobility of your workforce. Using commonly found features on VoIP based telephone systems your staff can communicate remotely or on the move.
Web conferencing can be done quickly and easily allowing your staff to hold real-time, face 2 face meetings with people all over the world. Traditional phone systems simply can't offer the features that are now readily available on other systems.
Not training your staff
Despite all the great features I just listed your business phones are only useful if your staff know how to use them. Modern business phones have many more features than previously, however, those features will just go unused if staff don't know how to use them.
Make sure your staff are properly trained on how to use your phone systems. Remember you will be getting incoming calls from customers and potential customers, so you don't want to seem unprofessional. If you use a hosted telephone solution your provider should be helping to train your staff on the new system.
How to avoid these problems?
How can your business avoid falling foul to these telephone mistakes? One popular solution is to consider switching over to a VoIP telephone system.What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and it leverages your existing Internet connection by letting you make calls over the Internet.What are the advantages of VoIP?
The chief advantage is how much money it can save your business. Because VoIP uses the internet to make calls you can make free, or very low-cost telephone calls. Your business can also save money on any long distance calls you may need to make. Your business can make a saving of up to 40% on local calls and 90% on international calls, compared with a traditional phone system.
Whilst you pay for each minute on a standard PSTN line, VoIP allows you to make calls over your broadband line. Now you don't need to worry about the time of, or the volume of, the calls you make.
Another great benefit of VoIP is the functionalities and features that are at your disposal. For more information click here to see the extra features VoIP offers over traditional phone systems.
VoIP makes installing, configuring and maintaining a telephone system easy. Because VoIP uses your current Internet line there is no hardware to install, you only need IP phones.
If you have multiple sites then VoIP is a fantastic option to consider. It's easy to connect multiple sites (as well as being low cost) and transferring calls works just like they were sitting right next to you.
VoIP uses IP phones that deliver better quality audio, known as HD voice. Your sound quality will be clearer and crisper and will make a great impression on your customers on the other end of the phone.
Communication is important
A business needs to be able to communicate. That is why telephones have been so important over the years but modern technology is moving at a rapid pace. Systems that were perfectly adequate 5 years ago are soon to become obsolete.
VoIP telephone systems are allowing businesses greater flexibility which is in turn saving them money and increasing productivity. Often a business will have to choose between quality and cost but that's not the case with a VoIP telephone system. You will increase the quality of your system, as well as saving money compared to your existing phone bills.
For more information on how InfoTech Solutions can recommend, install and manage a new VoIP telephone solution for your business, visit this page or call us on 01634 52 52 52.