5 Signs Your Business Phone System Is Living in the Stone Age
Posted by business on November 21, 2012 in Phone Systems [ 2 Comments ]
Business phones have been integral to the smooth functioning of businesses almost since their invention. Today, although we have numerous communication methods available just about anywhere, phones are still a necessity for running a business. The great news is that today’s business phone systems have more features than ever before, and a competitive market has brought prices down. Furthermore, call quality for VoIP is much better than just a few years ago. Could your old phone system stand to be replaced? Here are 5 signs that your business phone system needs to be brought into the 21st century.
1. You have to see if the red light on top of your phone is flashing or pick up the handset and hear an interrupted dial tone to know if you have voicemail. The simplest business phone systems today work hard to connect customers and clients with employees through call forwarding and voicemail. They also often have features that alert employees whenever they have a voicemail or missed a call, no matter where the employee happens to be.
2. Making your office phone more “mobile” involves buying the longest curly cord you can find. Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever. Large numbers of workers telecommute, and many workers spend their days in the field with clients. An old-fashioned, corded phone system doesn’t come close to meeting the needs of a mobile workforce. But the latest phone systems have terrific features that are designed to keep workers in the field or those working from home from missing any calls.
3. To page a worker, you must raise your head above the cubicle wall and shout. With automatic rerouting and call forwarding, calls today can find an employee wherever they happen to be. Employees can be reached on their mobile devices without having to give out their personal phone number. And never fear: the latest business phone systems offer good old intercom paging. It’s a win-win situation.
4. The only way to make a conference call is to set the conference room phone on “speaker” setting. Conference calling is more important than ever due to workforces being distributed across numerous states — or even numerous countries. Setting up or participating in a conference call today can include employees working in remote locations and can be initiated by any employee. Nobody has to return to their desk to participate in a conference call.
5. An actual person must dial extensions from a switchboard for incoming calls to individual employees. Most of us take extension dialing for granted, but you couldn’t do that with many older phone systems. The “auto-attendant” feature present in almost all new phone systems does the work of the receptionist around the clock and never takes a vacation or sick day.
The best business phone systems today come with a suite of basic features that were either costly or unavailable for older phone systems. You can typically expect your new office phone system to have:
- Auto-attendant – for dialing extensions or specific departments
- Automated directory – for finding an employee’s extension by entering the first letters of the employee’s last name
- Back-up power to cover short power outages of up to 60 minutes
- Call hold – with music
- Call forwarding to an extension or voicemail
- Conference calling
- Intercom paging – for those times when you need an intercom to find someone
- Speed Dial
And there are many useful features beyond these basics, if you need them. If great features aren’t enough to prompt you to invest in a new phone system, you should know that the prices on today’s VoIP business phone systems are significantly lower than the prices for yesterday’s PBX phones.
Whether you’re starting a new business, opening a branch office, or wondering what your options are as your phone system nears the end of its useful lifecycle, you owe it to your company to have a look at some of the latest VoIP systems for business.
Photo Credit: Indi Samarajiva