So here are a few features you should expect in a new phone system for your enterprise in 2016. I will proceed from the necessities to some nice to haves.
- Internet Browser based administration. If your phone vendor indicates that your new phone system requires management software to be on a PC in order to maintain the system then it means you are looking at a digital phone system and not a modern day VoIP system and you may need to look a different system. Being able to simply click on a URL to administer your system from any browser should be expected. Yes, by all means, you can go the other route and it may work for a while. But in the end the PC that has the management software will have issues or the software will get out of sync with your phone system. Your phone vendor will like this since they will get more service dollars from you in the end. Newer systems also offer end users the ability to browse to their profile so they can change their call routing, check voicemail, etc.
- Record Call – The ability to record an external call on an ad hoc basis at no extra cost is a feature that be priceless in regards to providing good customer service. Recording technical data, an interview, a conference call, or a customer issues list or dispute can be the very item that puts your company back onto the road of profitability.
- Music on Hold – A good and custom music on hold can help sell more of your company to your customers while they are being serviced. So any new phone system should allow you to upload a two to five minute .wav file with your custom message so you can update your customers with your new offerings, reminders, and promotions.
- Flexible call handling – You should be able pre-schedule your business hours, holidays, and customized schedule so that your customers know that your office is open or closed and why. Some systems like ShoreTel offer a on-hours, off-hours, holidays, and custom scheduling for its automated attendants so you can present up to four greetings to your customers informing them you are open, closed for the day, closed for a holiday, or a custom greeting to provides a different menu of options based on the time of day and day of the week. Old systems typically only offer two schedules (open or closed). Additionally, modern system should offer hunt groups, work groups, and contact center as a means for you to determine how intensively you want to handle customer calls.
- Marketing and Branding –You should have the ability to put your companies logo on color phones. This is huge for marketing conscious enterprises that want their brand to be visible on most everything. And what better than to have your brand image on one of your high-tech appliances to show that your company is current and a player in the marketplace.
- Collaboration – Modern systems should provide you the option to activate an audio or web conference or a chat (instant messaging) session with an individual or a team.
- Mobility – At a minimum all modern systems should provide a find me / follow me feature that will simultaneously ring your smart phone when your desk phone is dialed. The more advanced systems will offer a mobility application that will allow you to make and take phone calls from your smart phone without broadcasting your smart phone number. And the best mobility systems will allow you to do this over wifi or the cellular network seamlessly.
- Redundancy and Resiliency – present day phone systems should provide your phones spare resources to use in the case of a component failure without the requirement of purchasing twice the number of resources or license. N+1 redundancy allows you the ability to purchase enough extra resources so that phones can still operate in case a component fails.
- Flexible delivery model – you should have the ability to purchase a phone system where needed but also utilize cloud services when and where appropriate. And you should have the ability to combine your premise based users with your cloud users into one single collaborative enterprise.
- No reboots !! – you should not have to constantly reboot your system in order for changes to take effect.
We have the ability at High Country Workplace Technologies to provide you such a system. Please call or email us to learn more.