The VoIP Communication Triumvirate: Planning Ahead for a Positive VoIP Experience Part III - Your Phone System

We complete this series by exploring the steps you can take at each stage of the life of your phone system to ensure the highest return on your investment.

Get the Most Benefit Out of your Phone System

Your phones system is a strategic asset for your business. Make that asset work for you by following two requirements:

                  1) Set up the system to take advantage of its capabilities.

                  2) Use the capabilities of the system. 

There are several steps you can take to ensure that your system is set up to optimally use all capabilities. At the outset each user should properly record a professional greeting and voice title. Also, it is best to set a company standard for passwords and require all users to set their unique passwords based on the standard.

Finally, when you purchase your system, your vendor should set up an auto attendant, work groups and call routing paths for you to ensure calls land where needed. Alternate Access provides this service to all new customers. If your needs change over time, be sure to update your routing structure (Alternate Access can help you or do this for you) so that it is most efficient for your business needs.

Alternate Access also offers its customers a variety of resources to further their phone system knowledge. For instance, we offer new user and refresher training courses for the phone and graphical user interfaces of our phone system products. These courses ensure that you and your staff are using the system’s full capabilities from day one, and are helpful if you have new employees coming on board who need to be trained.

We also distribute a monthly e-newsletter to all customers, providing tips that offer suggestions to use their VoIP phone system more efficiently to enhance customer service, increase employee productivity and reduce operational costs. Also, most of our phone systems offer additional knowledge resources, such as “Tip of the Day” features or online help components.

Whatever type of resources are available to you, encourage your staff to share their knowledge with each other. The more you use features of your phone system, the better it will serve your specific business needs.

Finally, listen to your staff and customers. Sometimes it is the silence that tells us what we need to know. If callers are getting through to the right person efficiently; if your staff returns calls on a timely basis; if your sales people are making or taking the requisite number of calls—then you can be assured that your communication asset is working for you.

Assessing Older Systems for Life Expectancy

If your phone system server is over 3 years old, it may be time for an evaluation to determine how soon a complete system upgrade is required. Like all technology, as your phone system ages the chance of system failure increases, markedly. Furthermore, the telephony boards in many older systems are being retired, making the boards and their replacement parts no longer available. So, if these boards fail for any reason, you may not be able to replace or repair them in a timely manner – or worse, at all.  Why get stuck? Avoid costly repairs and the potential of extended downtime. Be proactive in selecting and implementing new technology before you are caught in a jam.

Of course, if you are facing an upgrade, you will want to choose a system and supporting hardware that meets your business needs today and provides room for future growth. Alternate Access takes the time to learn your business needs, and our staff will help you select the best phone system to reach an optimal return on your business investment – whether you are a small operation in a single office, a multi-site business requiring interconnectivity, or a bustling call center with 100 agents.

Realizing How VoIP Enhances Your Total Business

VoIP phone systems in general offer a breadth of functionality that traditional phone systems do not. Features that cost extra on traditional systems, such as unified messaging, are integrated into VoIP systems – providing users increased functionality at a fraction of the cost.

Businesses with VoIP also experience greater flexibility in how they access their phone system. Whether working from your company’s headquarters, your home office, a laptop softphone, or a cell or other phone while traveling, VoIP gives you access to your system’s functionality wherever you are located.

A VoIP phone system will impact all areas of your business – from the receptionist to the sales team to the most top-level executive. So, no matter the age of your system, follow the recommendations in this article to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck across the board.