Keeping up with today's constantly changing technologies is top of mind with many businesses - for a good reason. Many small and midsized businesses are revisiting their computer systems, digital presence, and even their phone systems. New hosted VoIP solutions are feature-rich and appealing. Even traditional, on-premise phone systems are capable of integrated expanded features.
But when it is time for a phone system overhaul, many businesses are hesitant. Here are some considerations for your next phone system upgrade:
1. You can still use your Message On Hold.
The Message On Hold program that you're using on your current phone system will translate beautifully and seamlessly to a new system.
Another Message On Hold consideration is the possibility of updating. If it's been a little while and a few things have changed at your business - like current promotions, new operating hours, or expanded products and services - it's probably time to revise your Message On Hold program all together.
2. How robust is the documentation for new technology?
If you're considering a solution that's more technologically robust than your current phone system, check to see how much support and documentation is available to you. Does your new provider offer telephone, chat, and email support? Is there a website with help documents, or a forum with good participation? It's important to make sure that help is available to you, if and when you need it.
3. You might want to update your Voice Prompts/IVR Announcements
Although your old voice prompts, auto attendant greetings, and IVR Announcements will work the same ways as your current Message On Hold program, and you'll be able to use existing prompts, it might be the right time to review your system and replace any outdated information. Your new system might allow for more menu levels...or fewer. There might be different kinds of interactivity available to you, which require you to change certain prompts. Review what you currently use as a starting point, and move forward from there.
4. File Formats may change
Different phone systems require different audio file formats - it's just a fact of life. If you already have recordings for your phone system, it's possible that you'll need a different format for your new system. If you've worked with a reputable audio production company (wink, wink), your original (high quality) files should have been archived, so you can have them converted to a different format without quality loss.
5. What's their Customer Support like?
Sometimes, when our Client Relations Department instructions clients to contact their phone vendor, a typical response is, "PLEASE don't make me call them!!" We've found that many businesses aren't happy with the amount or quality of support that their vendor provides, despite phone systems being a very important part of their business. To combat this, try to find out what kind of service you can expect before making the purchase. You can try searching online reviews, asking friends and family if they have any experience with this company, and investigate the support options on their website. Is their phone number easy to find? Do they offer live chat? Is there a specific email address you can reach out to for support? Be sure to check out the level of support before signing any kind of contract. If you're not comfortable with it, move on!
Have you recently upgraded your phone system? What did you learn in the process? Let us know in the comments!