Unfortunately, like many essential business tools (particularly technological ones), the business phone system is one of those things that most companies would rather not think about, preferring to leave well enough alone. In fact, the only time most businesses are actually thinking about their communication technology is when it’s not working!
But the problem is that in such a rapidly changing marketplace, where business success moves at the blazingly fast pace of technological advance, this sort of “set it and forget it” mindset can actually be doing your company more harm than good, particularly if your communication system, your company’s primary point of contact, is not up to scratch.
Of course, replacing or upgrading your business phone system is a significant investment, and not one to be done lightly. But with the ever-growing list of essential business communication tools now available, you have to ask yourself if your phone system is able to keep pace with today’s technological change. Moreover, is it ready to meet the communication challenges of tomorrow?
Take a look at the checklist below. If you find that one or more categories reflect the state of your business, it could mean your communication system is not adequately meeting your business needs.
1. Escalating Expenses
Of all the ways an inadequate phone system can harm your business, escalating expenses is the most damaging. If you have to manage multiple vendors and service contracts, if you’re paying for lines you don’t use or need, or if you’re grappling with onerous maintenance or upgrade fees, chances are you’re not dealing with the best technology the business phone system industry has to offer. Not only that, but many legacy communication systems add increased expenses through inefficient energy use needed to power aging equipment and maintain optimal operating temperatures.
2. Time-Consuming Administration
For most businesses, the reason they don’t want to think about their business phone system is that it always occupies so much of their time when they do. With many legacy systems, gleaning the necessary analytical information about business communication is often a difficult and onerous process, so much so that many companies aren’t even able to utilize the tools their older systems offer. Not only that, but oftentimes the information provided still needs to be compiled manually or compared to other multiple reports, making the process time-consuming and frustrating.
3. Reduced Productivity
Business phone systems are supposed to make business easier, but oftentimes certain systems just seem to always make things more difficult. If recurring phone issues drive your business to a halt, if your staff struggle with the added responsibility of maintaining the equipment, if your phone system doesn’t work well with the rest of your business technology, it may be time to consider an upgrade. In fact, if your phone system is limited to your physical office space, you’re already missing out on the increased productivity that is accompanying the rise of the remote worker, where employees are now able to operate effectively from any location on any device (BYOD).
4. Poor Customer Service
If nothing else, your business phone system exists to help improve your company’s customer service, but the fact of the matter is that if your customers are experiencing dropped calls, longer hold times, and inaccurate call routing, your legacy phone system could be doing far more harm than good. In today’s marketplace, customers expect easy-to-use, self-service menus that allow them to effectively navigate your company, as well as multi-channel service portals like email, web chat, text and Twitter. If you’re communication system can’t offer these services, you’re definitely missing out on the latest in communication technology.
5. One-Up Competition
Finally, take a look at your closest competition. Does their business phone system look and sound better than yours? Over the years I’ve found that something as relatively menial as the auto-attendant voice can have a significant impact on your business, and choosing the wrong one is often enough to send potential customers into the waiting arms of your competitors.
With all the options available you’ll be amazed at the power of today’s business communication technology, systems that go beyond the phone call and deliver a myriad of features that can improve productivity, collaboration and overall business performance.
But if you’re struggling to decide what system is best for you—hosted (cloud), premise, or hybrid — give us a call. Our expert Digitcom team is here to help you make sure your phone system is your greatest asset, instead of a potentially damaging liability.