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Eight Tips for Choosing a Phone System

Businesses lose money when they dont communicate effectively with customers. Telephone systems assist in initiating and maintaining contact with consumers and partners. One of the most important factors involving a phone system is choosing a provider. Pricing and resources available can vary amongst vendors, so companies should assess their needs in addition to following these tips.

1. Running the numbers. The amount of phones and equipment needed must be assessed first. There are two important things to consider: number of employees and extensions needed for fax machines, modems, credit card terminals, etc.

2. Preparing for the future. Its a good idea to consider the future when shopping for a phone system. Its inconvenient and expensive to upgrade to a bigger system, especially after only a short time. Many businesses make forecasts about the growth of their business in the years to come. Increasing staff, mergers, and acquisitions must be considered before making a major purchase.

3. Voice over Internet Protocal (VoIP). VoIP enables a business to place and receive calls over the Web. This is both convenient and cost effective. Many companies use the Web on a day-to-day basis, so they should choose a phone system with VoIP capabilities. VoIP is perfect for companies that have several offices in remote locations because it allows the use of a single extension system, which allows for easy call transfers.

4. To buy or rent? Often, businesses dont know that they can either buy or rent a phone system. Regardless of their particular situation, companies can benefit from renting. It enables a business to create a short-term solution without having to make a huge investment or having to pay a lot to upgrade to a newer system.

5. End of the quarter purchase. Some providers offer deals at the end of quarters to make way for new phone systems or to improve numbers before the quarter ends. The end of the quarter can be a great time to purchase phone systems, letting employees begin the next quarter with improved equipment and a fresh outlook.

6. Compatibility with other equipment. Making sure new equipment can be integrated with existing office technology is a necessity. New phone systems must be compatible with any headsets, conferencing tools, voicemail, and call forwarding systems that are going to remain in place.

7. Checking references. Businesses should check the references of potential phone system vendors and look for a provider that has experience working with their particular industry. Inquiring about how the vendor in question treated other businesses they have serviced doesnt hurt, either.

8. Shopping around. Many phone system vendors are available. Companies should consider at least three to five vendors before making the final choice. A spreadsheet displaying the advantages and disadvantages of each provider enables businesses to easily make the best decision.


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