The ultimate business phone system checklist 

9 steps to choose the right solution for your business communications

Assess your current phone system 

You should start by assessing your existing setup and discuss what you like and what you don’t about it.

  • What’s the call quality like? 
  • Is the system outdated? 
  • Is it expensive to maintain and/or upgrade? 
  • What functions do you use? 
  • What functions do you wish you had?

Review your business requirements 

Depending on the size of your business, your sector and business structure, you will need to consider which features are critical to your choice. 

  • What devices do you want to use? 
  • What is your call flow? 
  • Do you need to support multiple locations? 
  • Do you need to enable remote workers? 

Consider your priorities 

Some things will always be more important than others to your business. You should consider and assess your goals and priorities and how a business phone system can help you meet them. 

  • How do you manage your customer interactions? 
  • How important is flexibility to your business? 
  • How do you wish to manage missed calls? 
  • Do you need an easy-to-use system? 
  • How important is security to your business?

Think about your budget 

Once you have reviewed your business requirements, you should be able to determine your budget. Cost ultimately depends on several factors, including features required and number of users

  • Can you afford installation and admin costs?
  • Do you need a flexible, monthly contract? 
  • Are there any extra costs to consider?

Evaluate your options 

With your requirements and budget sorted, it’s now time to start thinking about the phone system options out there. You can either choose a traditional landline or a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution.

Landline: although this solution has been around since the 1800s, BT Openreach will phase it out by 2025 – making it a less than ideal choice. 
Pros: it’s reliable and easy to use. 
Cons: expensive, hard to scale, fixed structure. 

VoIP: this technology uses the internet to transfer your calls over broadband. 
Pros: cost-effective, flexible, easy to use and maintain. 
Cons: relies on internet connection quality.

Understand deployment preferences 

When it comes to VoIP, you can choose a couple of deployment options: on-premises or cloudbased. To determine which is best for your business, you should ask yourself: 

  • How much control do you want, or care to have over the system? 
  • Do you have the time and in-house expertise? 
  • Can you invest in additional hardware? 
  • Do you have the space necessary to host additional hardware?
  • Can your team manage and maintain the system?

Determine who is going to use it 

Ultimately, any system is useless if your team can’t operate it properly. You should choose a phone system that allows your team to be productive and efficient. 

  • How many users do you have? 
  • Are they tech-savvy? 
  • Do they need any training? 
  • Are they often on the go and/or work remotely? 
  • Do you have lots of churn/ temporary staff? 
  • Is your team likely to grow quickly?

Research providers 

You should now begin evaluating different providers. It’s important to choose one that understands your needs. Consider: 

  • Can you keep your current phone number?
  • Is the solution designed for businesses like yours? 
  • Do they offer 24/7 support? 
  • Do they guarantee quality of service? If so, how? 
  • What is the contract length and is it flexible? 
  • How long will it take to install the system? 

Ask for a demo

Once you have researched providers and made a list of those that might be best suited to meet your needs, you should ask for a demo of their product to understand if it can work for your business and users.

Active Voice and Data (that’s us) provides business phone system solutions designed to meet your requirements. Give us a call on 01226 704 610 today and we’ll help you choose the right solution for your business.

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