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How To Choose the Best Business Phones and Systems

The best business phones and systems can keep your crew connected and simplify operations. However, determining the right service can be a challenge, especially when over 75% of workers are now hybrid or remote.

Our team has spent three decades solving communications issues for businesses like yours. Consequently, we have the key information to help you select the best business phone system and equipment.

Review critical factors that will help you pick the right service.

Companies need business phones and systems that meet the needs of a hybrid workforce.

Key Takeaways:

  • Calculate the return on investment for different business phones and systems to help you set your budget.
  • Determine the features and equipment you need, as well as the regulatory requirements of your industry.
  • Review case studies and check the quality of a provider’s onboarding and customer support before settling on a vendor.

Determine Your Budget (and Return on Investment) Before Shopping Business Phones and Systems

Money is always a concern for small and medium-sized businesses. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to get excellent business phones and systems.

Top-tier plans with a full set of features can run you less than $30 a month. Of course, you also have the choice to add additional features as necessary.

How much should you spend on your communications system? Don’t just look at the expense of your monthly bill. Consider how vital communicating with employees, customers, and suppliers is to your business and how much time and money you’ll save with a professional service.

For example, a business phone system could save you the high cost of losing a customer. Consider if a team member who uses a personal line for professional communications leaves your company.

You could easily lose the valuable contacts that the associate had, making it difficult to reach those clients and maintain valuable relationships. A unified communications system keeps your contacts in-house and under your control, providing a priceless ROI.

Understand the Types of Business Phone Systems

You have multiple options in business phones and systems. Typically, your decision will come down to how much control you need over your service and the features you require.

For instance, most businesses cover their needs with a cloud-hosted system. The reason is voice over internet protocol technology gives you the lowest cost with the most features. Your provider houses, maintains, and upgrades your servers.

In addition, VoIP lets you avoid the upfront time and costs of installing extensive infrastructure. You can use your existing high-speed internet connections for high-definition calls, and teammates can connect to the system through apps on their own devices.

Alternatively, you could opt for a landline system and install your own servers. Bear in mind that these systems are expensive to install, maintain, and upgrade. You would have the ultimate control over your lines, but you would also be responsible for all security.

Some companies opt for a hybrid on-premises and cloud-hosted system. It’s usually best to discuss these choices with an experienced vendor to see which fits your organization.

Determine the Essential Features You Require

Your provider should offer an array of features that allow you to remain productive. Cloud-based business phones and systems offer a wide range of components to keep things running smoothly.

Look for the following functions in your phone service:

  • Auto attendants: Welcome callers with an automatic greeting and forward them to the correct person to handle their reason for calling.
  • Presence: See the real-time activity of your crew to monitor and evaluate performance.
  • Hunt groups: Reduce hold times with automated rules that help customers reach an agent more quickly.
  • Integrations: Boost efficiency with a system that lets all communications channels work together with your business productivity apps.

List the features your company needs and ensure a potential vendor offers them all.

Decide if You Need Dedicated Equipment

Even if you settle on internet business phones and systems, you might still determine that your team needs company-approved devices. Such up-to-date equipment ensures high-quality connections.

If so, investigate compatible phones and peripherals. Plug-and-play headsets, cameras, and conference phones can ensure everyone is using a device that projects a professional presence.

Ensure the Phone System Meets the Needs of Your Industry

Security is a concern for every business. You have to ensure you can keep internal matters private and client details confidential.

Look for worry-free security that provides comprehensive protection. Also, review any concerns for regulatory compliance for your industry, especially if you’re in finance, health care, or legal. 

Research how a provider meets the needs for security for your emails, voice calls, and video conferences so that data is secure in transit or at rest. Then you can avoid the costs of non-compliance.

Secure business phones and systems help you avoid the costs of non-compliance.

Read Case Studies and Testimonials

Another vital consideration for business phones and systems is the vendor’s track record. Verify that a provider has a history of success by reading stories from other customers. You can understand the challenges that a similar company faced and how the provider resolved issues.

For example, Mesa Systems serves various states and locations in the transportation industry. The company struggled with managing a mobile workforce and the cost of an on-premises phone system.

The business’s director of IT reviewed many systems and settled on Intermedia’s unified communications platform. The team reported a smooth conversion with a user-friendly dashboard that delivered an outstanding ROI.

Watch how another business benefitted by switching to Intermedia’s UC platform here:

Look for Omnichannel Customer Support

Cloud-based business phones and systems are simple to set up and manage. However, challenges will spring up occasionally. When that happens, your provider should be ready to help you at a moment’s notice.

The service should have highly qualified specialists with all-hours availability. Additionally, find a company that lets you choose your contact methods. Phone calls are not always convenient, but the help desk should be able to notify you on whichever channels you prefer to keep you in the loop.

Discover the Superiority of Intermedia’s Business Phones and Systems

Finding a vendor who delivers everything you need out of a phone service doesn’t have to take too much time. One provider is able to meet all of these preceding qualifications and more. 

Talk to a representative at Intermedia to investigate our business phones and systems. We can help you create a custom professional phone plan that meets your needs.

About Rob Gold

Rob is the VP of Marketing Communications for Intermedia.