Gone are the days when a business’s phone system was limited only to landline networks. Today, with the help of new technologies, there are now so many ways in which a business phone system has greatly improved. This means having a multiline virtual phone system, which can be set up in a matter of minutes, setting up cost-free calls for your customers, and other call services essential to your business. Typically, to have one that works well, all you’re going to need is a good and stable internet connection.
Phone Systems Are Essential To Businesses
With the competition that businesses face today, a good business phone system setup is a must-have. This doesn’t just mean having a phone that rings whenever a customer has queries, but it has to go as far as ensuring that every time your phone rings, there’s always someone—be it a human being or an automated network—that picks up.
Given the important purpose that it serves, it’s also safe to say that a good working business phone system is one of the best tools or equipment to consider as an asset for every business. If you don’t have one, then you’re missing out, and it’s about time that you should set up one.
With that said, this article provides you with a comprehensive guide on how to set up your business phone system.
1. Prepare Your Phone Lines For Scalability
Scalability means that your phone lines should also have that ease of growing as your business grows. One common mistake in phone system installation is that it isn’t prepared for scalability. This means that it only addresses the current needs of the business, without looking at the company’s potential for growth.
Remember that as your business grows, this also means that you’re going to be hiring more staff. When your staff increases, then so will the need to use your business’s phone system. If you don’t have to meet the needs of your staff and also that of your clients, then you cease to be effective as a business. Your phone system can’t work efficiently, as the waiting time would potentially belong, and this might hurt your customer service in the long run.
Therefore, from the beginning, you’ve got to set up your business phone system in such a way that adding new users shouldn’t be a problem. It should be as easy as plugging the new phone line into your existing network, and then you’re good to go.
That said, here are some tips on how to scale your business right from the very beginning:
- Keep your business phone system as simple as possible, so it won’t be hard for new hires to get acquainted with your system.
- Ask for the opinion of your employees, especially those whom you know are better versed with phone systems, just so you’ve got more opinions as to which business phone systems are going to work well for your business.
- Don’t take any shortcuts, as one shortcut early on could mean to your employees and customers that you’re compromising in other aspects of your business.
2. Sign In And Set Up Your Admin Dashboard
Once you’ve successfully completed signing up for a business system provider, the next step is to start setting up your admin dashboard. This begins with understanding which system features you should include in your system so you can check to see how you’re going to apply these to your business.
Before you even let your team use your new business phone system, getting yourself well acquainted with your new phone system’s features is important. By doing so, you can iron out whatever kinks and glitches the system may have with your point of contact before rolling out the system to your team and your clients.
Here are some examples of the system features that your business phone system should have:
- Advanced Call Management: This refers to your system’s ability to block, prioritize, reroute or hold any incoming calls.
- Anonymous Call Rejection: This prevents prank calls from wasting your team’s team that would’ve otherwise been spent with customers who have real and valid concerns.
- Business Text Messaging: Refers to the business texting capabilities of your phone system, should you prefer to send a text for now and not a call.
- Call Forwarding: This makes sure that all the important calls aren’t left unanswered.
- Call Parking: This refers to your system’s ability to allow any member of your team to enable call waiting until the right customer service representative can answer the phone.
3. Set Up A Backup Landline
Most business phones of today are already founded on the internet. But this doesn’t mean that the internet is reliable 24/7. Do note that the internet is also susceptible to many failures and delays usually brought about by a bad connection. On the days when this happens, you can’t afford to shut down your entire business phone system. Otherwise, you could lose customers.
Any astute business owner knows the value of a backup landline, even in the internet age. In doing so, if you’re currently experiencing intermittent internet connection, then you’ve still got your landline to keep the system running well.
That said, here are some reasons why you should also set up a landline as your phone system’s backup:
- It ensures good quality of calls, especially during days when the internet connection is bad.
- Since a landline isn’t as dependent on power, as in the event of outages, landline cords can often be connected to any other power source.
- Landlines are more dependable because of their simple, straightforward use and installation.
4. Pick Your Business Number
No business phone system is ever complete without a business phone number. Nowadays, business phone numbers usually come as 1-800 or toll-free numbers. When you sign up for toll-free numbers, this makes it easier for your clients to remember what your phone number is than having to memorize numbers similar to mobile numbers.
Most importantly, toll-free numbers are an advantage for your business as it widens your reach to more customers. Your customers would no longer have to spend for a call that they make to your business. When they dial your toll-free number, they can reach your business and even make an international call, as it’s your business that gets charged for this call and not their personal number.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you really should sign up for a toll-free number, these reasons should be convincing enough for you:
- It makes your business seem more well-established and professional.
- It unifies your image and your brand, especially if you’ve got multiple branches, interstate or overseas.
- It’s convenient for your customers as they can make their calls anywhere they are, free of charge—and convenient for you too as you can answer the call with any cloud device connected to the system.
- It’s scalable as it’s easy to connect new lines when your business grows.
5. Set Your Business Hours
While you may want to have your customers’ concerns addressed 24/7, if you’re still a small business, in many cases, this might not be doable. Of course, you’ve got to be realistic about the limitation of your business size and capability. The key to doing this is setting your business hours. That way, your customers won’t end up disappointed when they make calls outside of your business hours and then no one picks up.
A good way to compensate for these fixed business hours is to enable a chatbot system on your website or your social media accounts. That way, these chatbots can first answer their queries, in the meantime, outside your business hours.
6. Identify Your Call Volume
When it comes to setting up and scaling your business phone system, there’s a metric known as ‘call volume.’ This refers to the size of your calls—that is, the number of calls you’re regularly receiving.
Determine early on how many calls you’ve been receiving in a day and how this might change in the coming days or months as your operations expand. That way, you can configure your business phone system early to cope with the call volume that your business receives. If not, then your business phone system may not be able to keep up, and some of your clients’ calls might remain unanswered. You wouldn’t want your customer service to suffer that way.
In closing, remember that it’s very important to go through each step of setting up your business phone system as thoroughly as possible. Don’t take any shortcuts as surely you also wouldn’t want to cheat on your business’s ability to perform well when it comes to your customer service. Along with applying the steps and tips above, remember that choosing a good business phone system provider is very important. If you undercut yourself in that respect, then your phone system may not perform as efficiently as you expected it to, even if you go through each of the steps above as comprehensively as possible.