One crucial element to improving and expanding a business that many owners, managers, and IT administrators often overlook or do not recognise is the central role the business phone system plays in facilitating both internal and external communication. If your business’s phone system lacks functionality or modern feature sets, it’s highly likely that you are missing out either on new business (through missed or mishandled inbound calls) or on more efficient communication processes (such as lacking advanced call routing functionality provided by an auto attendant and intelligent call rules).
Here are 8 signs it’s time to upgrade your business phone system:
1. Is the manufacturer still providing support? If not then long-term support may be difficult and security improvements and feature enhancements unavailable.
2. Is your existing phone system becoming technologically obsolete?
Can it support mobility, conference calls, and basic call centre features? A business phone system that cannot support new communication features is a pretty obvious indicator that it’s time to consider an upgrade. And it’s not just about advancing technology. The cost of maintaining legacy phone systems quickly adds up, making them not worth the effort. You’re not only losing out on features and operating money, but while you are relying on a legacy phone system, your competition has already made the switch. That can put your business at a significant competitive disadvantage. After upgrading, you might be surprised how much you end up saving.
3. Are you paying too much for your monthly phone charges?
PSTN (including ISDN) lines to your business cost much more than lines delivered over the Internet and provide less flexibility. If you want to save money on these monthly charges, moving to a modern IP-based phone system is the way to go. It is also possible to retrofit an existing phone system but the money on this hardware is wasted when the system is upgraded.
4. Does your phone system allow your mobile work force to stay connected and accessible?
Today, remote workers are a common feature of the business landscape. Business phone system must have the capability to support mobile executives and road warriors, as well as employees working from home. If your current phone system cannot redirect calls seamlessly from the employee’s business desk phone to a mobile phone, a laptop, a home landline, a softphone, or an IP phone of their choosing, then you need to look at upgrading your phone system.
5. Is your phone system helping you to grow?
Growing your business is a natural objective for most, and so your business phone system shouldn’t hold you back as you expand. Is your system unable to provide you with advanced functionality like auto attendant, call recording, music on hold, call queue, and conference etc? If so, your phone system is probably outdated and in dire need of a revamp. One of the primary functions of a business phone system is the capability to handle incoming calls without missing or letting any calls go unanswered. Has your call volume outpaced the capacity of your current phone system? If your phone system is struggling with the volume of calls or is not flexible enough to be able to accommodate more callers during busy times and holding you back in terms of corporate expansion, then you should consider upgrading your phone system.
6. Does your phone system have a multi-office support feature?
One of the biggest reasons to upgrade your phone system is that many legacy solutions cannot accommodate multiple locations. Adding and managing phone line extensions to other locations should not be an overwhelming or costly task for you. For multi-site businesses, the goal is to find a phone system that can unify communications across all locations and employees, keeping all your phone numbers and services under the same IP service provider, administered from a single location. If your current phone system doesn’t allow easy multi-location support, then you should immediately consider upgrading.
7. Can your current phone system protect your data?
While hanging onto legacy systems is comfortable for your employees and might seem safe, it can open you up to significant security risks. Hackers today can easily target your old phone system and gain access to your valuable data and personal information. Meanwhile, a modern phone system integrates with your security plan and protects your network from these malicious attacks.
8. Does your phone system have a disaster management plan?
What happens if, due to an unavoidable situation, your phone system breaks down? You still need to be taking customer calls even if your system is facing downtime. It is crucial to have a thorough disaster recovery and contingency plan to keep the business going regardless of natural disasters and other unforeseen events. Modern phone systems make sure calls can be routed even if your phone system goes down so that your business does not suffer. If you want your business to run seamlessly then upgrading the phone system may the only option.
If any of these 8 points has started you thinking about “what if my phone system could do this” then seek out a trusted advisor or several to see what their suggestions may be. There is no one solution. Even two businesses in similar industries may have specific requirements.
Contact us if you would like to seek advice as to how to move forward.