Choosing a telephony system is a tricky task. In addition to being a fairly technical service that is fraught with abbreviations and complex terminology, office telephony is also business-critical. If you choose a service that does not live up to what has been promised or that cannot handle your company’s specific requirements, both customers and staff can be effected negatively.
So what should you look for when choosing a telephony provider? Here are our top 5 things to look for:
- Capacity and flexibility
- Self Service
- Additional services
Let us explain each point in a little more detail.
1 Capacity and flexibility
Whether you have a small company with a few employees or you have a large company with multiple offices in several countries, it is important to get a telephony service that offers flexibility. Both large and small companies have the need to be able to quickly add new users. So when you are looking for a new telephony system, ask what the provider’s response times are on that type of case and if they offer the opportunity to handle these cases yourself.
Ask yourself what exchange functionality you absolutely need and what is nice-to-have. Do you have a support or switchboard operator who needs more advanced functions? Do you want to be able to show different phone numbers when you make calls? Do you need foreign numbers? And so on.
However, it can be difficult to predict what functions will be needed in the future. Therefore, it is good to invest in a service with a broad capacity and flexibility in place already.
2 Self Service
Being able to solve simple matters, at the time that suits you, is more valuable than many may think. It gives you, as a user, more power over your own service. Therefore, it is good to look at the supplier’s Self Service opportunities .
Examine what possibilities there are in the supplier’s portal, if any. For example, if a colleague has forgotten their PIN or PUK code, can you easily retrieve this information? Can you easily set opening hours and response messages for the exchange? Can you create and change users yourself? Being able to solve these cases, quickly and easily, on your own, can save you a lot of time while you get more control over the telephony service you use.
Security is a must when it comes to all types of IT systems. Both when it comes to protecting personal data and being compatible with GDPR, but also when it comes to redundancy and uptime. Therefore, it may be a good idea to review the supplier’s work on this. How do they work around password management? Do they have redundancy when it comes to servers and technology? What is their uptime? Choosing a supplier who has solid security work can save you and your company important time.
4 Add-on services
As previously mentioned, it is difficult to predict what your needs will be for your telephony in a few years. Maybe you have a greater need to have services that improve and streamline customer service? Or maybe you need to be able to get statistics about call patterns and response times? Even if you are not in need of a lot of additional services when the system is purchased, you may very well have increased needs in the future, and then it is good to have chosen a supplier who already has a wide repertoire in place. In this way, you do not have to tear up the entire exchange unit and change supplier, when new needs arise.
The working day will be easier and more seamless if your different systems work together, and the telephony system is no exception. Many companies already have collaboration tools in place, such as Teams or Slack. In addition, many companies already have CRM systems they use. Surely it would be nice if these could cooperate with your company exchange? Review what different integrations the provider has in place and what their possibilities are for adding other systems, in addition to those that are already integrated. Can the supplier help you with new integrations? Do they perhaps allow you to even create the integration yourself?
The above are important things to look for when choosing a new business telephony system. It can be easy to be attracted by directly choosing the supplier who has the lowest price, shortest implementation time or who promises no commitment period. But if you make sure to do the preparatory work a little more carefully, and choose a supplier who can offer a long-term and stable solution, you can ultimately save yourself and your company a lot of time and money.