Although no one would argue that your business communications are not important, it typically takes a compelling event before change happens. New clients and customers usually contact your business by phone. Missed calls mean lost revenue, unhappy customers or both. Your business communication needs are too important to leave to chance. However, most companies are not really eager to make a change to their business voice service unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
The majority of other business decisions are made proactively based on saving money, saving time or improving overall productivity. With hosted cloud-based Unified Communications service, you could very easily achieve some or all of these objectives even though that was not the original intent. Again, most decisions are made reactively based on a catalyst event and are not typically made proactively.
Below are the top compelling events that typically lead a business to change or consider changing their business voice service:
There are a laundry list of items to plan when moving your business; office furniture, space allocation, layout planning, paint, signage, power supply, cabling, conference rooms, common areas and new vendors for service. One thing you don’t want to forget about is your phone system and service. There is often a lead time of several weeks to port your phone number to a new provider, if necessary. You also don’t have to spend thousands of dollars in upfront capital expense to get an onsite phone system either. Instead of choosing an onsite phone system, consider a cloud-based hosted voice provider with Unified Communications (UC) where you don’t have to pay for onsite equipment other than desk phone handsets. After all, moving is expensive enough and creates its own set of challenges. Why not make your phone system as turn-key as possible? The benefits of UC including lower overall TCO, no maintenance fees, predictable pricing and more features will continue long after you have settled into a new location.
Growth can lead to new employees which in turn leads to needing more service or perhaps even a different type of service. For example, if you are adding sales or field staff, you might need to consider different solutions that better support a mobile workforce. How easy and seamless is it to communicate with field staff and vice-versa. Many companies are adopting a BYOD policy as the solution for communication for field staff but even that flexibility won’t necessarily create a more seamless experience for customers and could create a different set of problems for your business. Even if you aren’t adding off site employees, more and more companies are offering a work schedule that includes working remotely from time-to-time. With onsite phone systems, you might have to purchase new onsite equipment. Traditional phone systems must be upgraded in multiples of 4’s, 8’s, etc. One more employee can cost a lot if you have reached your traditional phone system’s capacity. With hosted Unified Communications there are often no contracts so you can add (or remove) users and only pay for what you’re using. You also don’t have to add more equipment to add more users except for the desk phone itself.
If you have an onsite phone system, you are responsible for ongoing maintenance and repair. Although you might have spent thousands of dollars in upfront equipment, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to spend additional money to upgrade and maintain your system over time. Repairs to an existing onsite phone system can be expensive to fix. One part of the phone system that often breaks is the voicemail system. With cloud-based hosted Unified Communications, your provider hosts your system and is responsible for repair and maintenance fees. Why spend time and money on your phone system? Wouldn’t you rather be able to focus on your core business instead?
With an onsite phone system, maintenance is your responsibility. Maintenance includes things like adding new users or just general work needed to keep the phone system up-to-date and working properly. Ongoing maintenance isn’t always a small task. Depending on the situation, the person or company who provides maintenance can be around a lot; almost as much as a full-time employee. Maintenance work is usually done in conjunction with your IT staff because a company’s phone closet often also houses other non-phone equipment as well. Once again with hosted UC, there is minimal onsite equipment and maintenance is handled by your provider.
Your business is growing and your team is getting more diverse. Many traditional onsite phone systems have all the basic desk phone functions but don’t have softphone through mobile app or web portal which allow users to do almost anything they can do on the desk phone either on their mobile phone or computer. This includes making calls using their work phone number and not their cell phone number.
There are two potential pitfalls that might make a business want new phone service. One is poor customer service. This includes long wait times when calling customer service for billing or general questions. Waiting 15 minutes or more is not uncommon. Once your call is answered, depending on the complexity you might have to speak to several different service level tiers before you can get your service resolved. Sometimes even after reaching the correct person, the change isn’t made or isn’t made correctly. The other is poor quality of service. There are lots of providers who offer VoIP solutions but not all of them are created equally. Some are so focused on providing a low price point that overall customer service or quality suffers. When looking for a new business voice provider, don’t make the mistake of just focusing on the cost. Pricing between providers can be deceptive. It is often difficult to compare services apples-to-apples. Some providers list a price but tack on have hefty taxes & fees that can increase the price by as much as 25%. Also consider the costs associated with poor customer service and/or poor quality of service.
Level365 offers a complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution with enterprise voice that is customized and scalable for your business. Our service provides seamless integration of business communications among desk phones, computers and mobile devices to support remote teams and provide flexibility for on-site staff. The UC platform extends beyond voice communications with Unified Messaging, Presence, Analytics, Chat/SMS, Cloud Faxing, Business Systems Integration and more.
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