Small business owners often want to know why they should upgrade their phone systems. People ask: “Isn’t our tried and trusted landline connection good enough to handle incoming calls?”
Simply put, the answer is no—it’s not good enough anymore. The truth is that the communications landscape has changed significantly in recent years, with the customer experience (CX) emerging as a major business driver. Relying on an old landline connection is a recipe for disaster.
Why Small Business Phones Matter To Customers
Customers, in other words, don’t care whether your company is small or large—they expect flawless service, all the time, no matter what. And if your system can’t provide it for them, they will almost certainly seek out the services of a competitor.
Customers today want:
- Around the clock support, through live agents and virtual assistants
- Efficient interactive voice response (IVR) systems
- Low wait times
- Customized service
As such, companies of all sizes are now going to great lengths to implement agile, reliable, fast, and efficient communications systems—raising the bar for customer service in the process.
How To Pick The Best Small Business Phones
So, what are some of the top things to look for in a small business phone systems? Here are some of the most important features to consider.
High Quality VoIP
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) will allow your business to send and receive calls over a broadband connection, instead of the publicly switched telephone network (PSTN). VoIP works by converting analogue voice signals into digital signals. This way is much more cost-effective than using a traditional landline system for the majority of your calls.
Robust Unified Communications (UC)
A unified communications system can centralize all of your communications such as your voice, video, chat, fax, email, text, and more. With UC, your employees will have a single, centralized portal to communicate with customers and other employees. Make sure to look for a UC system that can link with your existing customer relationship management (CRM) systems, so that your employees will have access to critical customer data during interactions. With a UC system powering small business phones, it dramatically enhances the productivity of workers using even the simplest desk phone.
Your business may be small now, but if you aim to grow you don’t want to be confined by your communications system. Make sure that you purchase a phone system that can offers an unlimited number of lines, so that you can scale up or down as needed. The last thing you want is an unexpected capacity pinch.
Simple Call Recording
Customer interactions can be very valuable. They can offer a world of insight about how customers feel about your brand, what they want to see from your company, and even clues about what they will purchase in the future. As such, calls should be recorded and analyzed periodically. So you’ll want to look for a phone system that will make it easy to record and store calls in a user-friendly dashboard.
Disaster Avoidance & Recovery
Your phone system is a direct connection to your customers. When the system goes down during an unplanned outage, it’s as bad as hanging up a sign that says “closed” on your front door. Unplanned network downtime is a business killer for small organizations, and should be avoided at all costs. Look for a system that offers “five nines” of connectivity, with full disaster avoidance and recovery. This should be a deal breaker when sleeking a phone system for your small business.