Large office phone systems are the heart of any business industry; clients and employees must communicate effectively for the best sales possible. However, current phone technology offers so many different features and modules that it can be difficult to sort through the myriad of options. A few key considerations should be evaluated before deciding on a system; many sales can turn sour if a client feels uncomfortable with the level of communication and support through the phone system
Big businesses will normally have a main calling number and subsequent extensions for each employee or department area. These phone trees must be properly installed and maintained to prevent any dropped calls and unhappy customers. When you are shopping for large office phone systems, it is a good practice to stay with a wired configuration; wireless use within a building can generate a lot of interference. Multiple wireless phones feeding off of one phone system can easily become static-filled, effectively preventing a civil conversation between parties. Large wired phone systems have permanent lines that are not prone to interference, regardless of the phone quantity in a small area.
Features and Considerations
The overall system should be user-friendly to callers. If a computer response must be used for incoming calls, the system should be configured to allow the caller to choose a particular extension or offer the option of listing extensions by employee name or department. However, there should always be a choice on all large office phone systems to speak to a receptionist; the human element provides an out for the caller if they cannot pinpoint the needed department. As a result, the receptionist will be fresh for callers needing help instead of routing hundreds of calls that can wear down the person’s genuine greeting throughout the day.Every phone system has dozens of features; a business should make sure that the basics are always included: caller ID, call waiting, and voice mail. Depending on the phone system’s manufacturer, the caller ID display should be programmable. Personnel should be able to add client names and virtual phone numbers to the system so that they are immediately identified as an important caller. For example, an employee is on the phone with a colleague. The call waiting and caller ID alerts the employee that an important client is calling. As a result, the employee can communicate with the client, rather than missing the call altogether.
Before deciding on one of the many large office phone systems, the business should make sure that they have an administrator to oversee the network. The installing phone company should train the administrator, as well as the employees, during the sales process, but day-to-day operations will be the responsibility of a phone administrator. Voice mail access problems and dropped calls may need to be troubleshot immediately to keep the day’s communication lines open.Does your business have a lot of international calls? Long distance charges with a local telephone provider can add up quickly and effectively wipe out any monthly profits. Luckily, modern technology has an alternative: VoIP. Voice over Internet protocol allows people to use an Internet connection for communicating throughout the world, rather than using the basic telephone wires strung across the world. As a result, long distance charges are removed from the monthly phone budget. In addition, VoIP service is typically less expensive than local telephone access since physical wires do not need to be maintained by the phone entity.
Another factor to large business phone systems is the installing and maintenance company’s treatment of their clients. A business does not simply hire a phone installer for a basic install and then never contact them again. In fact, your company will work with them a lot for hardware and software upgrades, as well as any repair issues that may arise. A good rule is to talk to other large businesses about their phone installation experiences; many times, you can find a good contractor by word of mouth.An effective installing company will listen to your business needs and implement the features that match well with the requests. They should offer initial training and periodic continuing information sessions; software and hardware updates should also match with another training period so users are familiar with the new modules or phone procedures. Lastly, business managers should verify warranty coverage for all hardware and software portions of the system to ensure a safety net if there is a major failure.In the end, each business should shop around for different quotes from a variety of vendors. Your best deal can be found when companies compete for your business.