Bracing Yourself for a VoIP Phone System
Posted by Matt Krautstrunk on July 5, 2011 in VoIP [ 4 Comments ]
It’s time. After numerous hours working with VoIP vendors and shopping around for the best prices, you have made the executive decision to embrace VoIP technology. Good decision; VoIP not only will lower your monthly phone bills, but it will allow you to add additional features to your phone systems.
However, for some business owners it’s not the costs they are worrying about, it’s the transition. The time, and man hours it takes to switch from a traditional landline phone is the most common barrier to entry. To brace yourself for VoIP adoption, know that the hassle of your system installation depends heavily on the scale of your solution, and whether or not your VoIP system is hosted or server based.
Is Your Network Ready?
Since VoIP phone lines run on your existing Internet service, you will need to determine if you have enough bandwidth to support it. As a rule of thumb, you should set aside at least 50% of your bandwidth for VoIP. So if you are currently lagging at 5MBPS, you may want to up your service to 10 MBPS to brace yourself for VoIP. Always try and plan for more with your dedicated cable lines, because you may experience call quality issues and network outages with lower speeds.
Managing the Flow of Calls
Your business gets a variety of different inquiries (sales, accounting, maintenance, etc..); often times these are ones that require routing to different extensions on your phone line. One of the most common mistakes when implementing a VoIP phone system is not properly planning for where these phone calls will go. Are you going to have an automatic attendant that will route calls based on skills and specialties? Where are your phone calls routed when nobody is in the office?
Sales and customer service are two business segments that prosper under skills based routing. It not only shortens downtime, but you are able to improve customer experience by routing your customers to the right person immediately. Understanding the logistics of your VoIP installation will help you get most of your system.
Educating Your Employees
Your frontline employees are the ones using your new VoIP line the most, set aside sometime to explain to them new features, and how VoIP will change the way you do business. Sometimes, businesses just want a minimal impact with their VoIP system, they just want to lower costs and not have additional features, however, for more strategic businesses, the decision to switch to VoIP offers added functionality with computer integration. Either way, give a brief training seminar, to help support employee adoption. They should be well versed in how take and route calls.
A VoIP system is an exciting purchase for your business. After the initial installation and familiarization, you will be better suited for the future. Remember to educated your employees, prepare a plan for the flow of calls and prepare your network.
Image Credit: VoIP Service Blogspot