The communication of a business often dictates if that company will succeed or not. The communication with customers, vendors, and other employees will be done greatly over the phones. You will have to consider all of the options out there and then decide which one you want to use. Your needs are going to be different than other businesses, so the phone system you need might be different. Here are some tips to help you sort through all the different options out there to make the best decision for your business.
Before you start looking, you need to figure a few things out depending on if you are replacing your current system or starting fresh. You may be able to use a virtual phone service with cell phones instead of physical office telephones. You will need to know about the different ways to have a physical landline. A landline can be provided by a local phone company or a company that runs over the Internet. A VoIP system is a phone system that provides service over the internet. You can set up a VoIP system at your location or use one that is cloud-based.
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There are pros and cons to either way you decide to go. Your business can be connected to employees in the field or at home with a virtual phone line. When a customer calls the business’s number, the call can be directly sent to a specific, individual phone. Automated receptionists, voicemail, call-forwarding, call screening, and online faxing are all options with a virtual phone line. Your phone can have the same features as an office phone, even if you are working remotely. You will be charged by your cell phone or home phone for the calls made since it is connected to that phone. This phone system is best for companies that utilize a lot of remote workers or sole-proprietorships.
If you go with a traditional landline, you will be working with your local phone company. Copper wiring is used on these analog systems. You will need on-premises hardware in order to allow for multiple extensions and other features like call transferring and call directories. These have less bugs that pop up from time to time because they have been around the longest. The drawbacks are that they are more expensive and require more upkeep than other options. These systems work well for companies that are large and have an in-house IT staff to maintain them. If your business doesn’t have access to high-speed internet, then this would also be a good option for you.
A VoIP system can be either self-hosted or cloud-based. A self-hosted system gives you complete control over your service. This means you can configure it how you like, and you are not relying on anyone else to repair it. Since you have to buy the equipment there is more upfront cost. Work will need done on the system, so you will have to hire someone to do that. You don’t have to buy or take care of hardware with a cloud-based system. You aren’t in control of the hardware this way, which means you have to wait for someone else if your system goes down.