Small businesses have the same needs as big businesses in many ways; regardless of business size, requirements to provide stellar customer service, ensure that mobile and remote workers can stay connected, and enable efficient productivity to deliver on business goals remain constant.
Updating an outdated small business phone system is a no-brainer when it comes to fulfilling these goals. A pay-as-you-grow Unified Communications (UC) system can affordably deliver integrated voice, video conferencing, unified messaging, mobile clients, presence technologies, and chat from the cloud—features that were once accessible only to large enterprises. This kind of update sparks collaboration among employees, improves business processes, and saves money in the long run.
A UC solution can bring several “must-haves” to small business phone systems. Here are our top four:
Far from simply enabling cheaper calls via VoIP, UC brings the benefits of integration to the mix. This includes unified messaging where voicemails can be sent to email, emails can be accessed in a chat window, or faxes can be sent electronically with the click of a button. UC can also integrate calendars and scheduling tools within a presence window, so that colleagues are accessible whether they are in the office, in a meeting, on the road, or working from home.
One of the challenges that small businesses face is locating and retaining talent. Very few can afford to offer relocation services, for example, and even when recruiting from the local area, job “perks” are a key tool for wooing talent to your fold. The ability to let people work from home two or three days a week can be a tipping point for attracting talent—and UC means these remote workers can access the same tools as their in-office counterparts. UC also provides reporting and tracking, as well as presence information, so managers can have peace of mind when it comes to employee productivity. Remote working also means cutting back on expensive and outdated landlines.
Many small business employees are constantly on the go, often out on customer visits, outside meetings, and the like. The ability to access work content on a smartphone or tablet becomes part and parcel of effective company operations. Mobility features include one-number messaging where voicemails can be accessed on desk phones or smartphones, unified mailboxes for emails and chats, and even instant messaging and video across screens.
Small businesses may not have extensive travel budgets, but there is no reason they can’t scale their business geographically, thanks to the power of an updated small business phone system. Modernized conferencing can bring together partners, prospects, customers, and employees using the same types of tools available to larger businesses. Online meetings with screen-sharing can be escalated to HD video conferencing with the push of a button. Recording a conference or sharing important documents with all parties allows enhanced collaboration. These and other features are invaluable tools for small businesses looking to up their game.