The 1-2-3 Guide to Retail Phone Systems

March 24, 2023

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The excitement of starting or expanding your retail business comes with the challenges of staying in contact with vendors, customers, and your team. How can retail phone systems fill the need?

You might be considering forgoing a phone system or just relying on personal cell phone services. However, 71% of customers prefer to contact small businesses over the phone, and personal lines do not give a professional appearance.

Find out how setting up a phone system benefits your company.

Key Takeaways:

  • Phone systems for retail businesses no longer require installing complex in-house systems and equipment.
  • Online systems improve your customer service, boost employee productivity, and save you money.
  • The best features of a cloud-based retail phone system include integration with your business software, call routing, automation, and an easy setup, among other benefits.

The Background and Future of Retail Phone Systems

Retail phone systems used to require elaborate installations. In-person telephone commerce requires various communications capabilities, such as multiple phone lines, call holding with music and messages, and call routing.

If a sizable team works in a large facility, you need a secure internal connection to reach each other in different departments. A company-wide system is ideal for connecting distinct locations in different cities and countries. The infrastructure to install and maintain these features adds up quickly.

On top of that, modern phone systems need to be able to do more than before. Companies now need to have traditional features that integrate with email, online chat, text messaging, and business apps. 

Security and privacy are also more of a concern. For example, team members need to be able to speak to each other about confidential business. Additionally, payments occur over your communication lines and need to be secure.

In addition, retail companies often need to handle video conferencing, three-way calling, simultaneous ringing, and outgoing calls for sales. You must have all of these features while preserving speed and efficiency.

The Advantages of Cloud-Based Retail Phone Systems Over Landlines

Old retail phone systems were expensive because they required the infrastructure and cost of installing physical lines. Expanding a business with traditional services requires a significant investment.

One of the primary benefits of online phone service is you can scale your business quickly without worrying about finding space for new hardware and systems. You can even save on the expense of equipment because the team can connect through communications apps on their personal devices

Additionally, cloud-based systems put few limits on how far your retail business can grow, even overseas.

You also have more flexibility in where you locate your company. You already have to plan for foot traffic, security, and inventory control, and every bit of your space is precious. Making additional room for the equipment for an on-premise public branch exchange can be too much. You don’t have to worry about any of that with cloud-based solutions.

Simple automated features mean employees can focus on more important work instead of the tedious labor of accepting and routing calls. Plus, security and backup guarantee you practically no downtime so you can keep serving your clientele consistently. 

Cloud-based retail phone systems also allow your business to interact with customers in their preferred communication method, whether that is voice calls, messaging, or video, within one unified system.

The Top Features of Online Retail Phone Systems

Excellent retail phone systems can make the difference between keeping customers and driving them to the competition. Which features are most important? 

Productivity Suite Integration

Customer relationship management software and inventory management software are critical to retail businesses. You can lose a lot of time taking orders and gathering details, only to miskey an entry in a costly mistake.

Integrating your communications software with your productivity apps simplifies data entry and facilitates accuracy. Your whole team can be on the same page for orders and fulfilling customer requests.

Simultaneous Ringing

A missed call can mean a missed sale. With simultaneous ringing, top retail phone systems allow a call to ring multiple devices to ensure a rapid response. You will impress your customers with your speed and attentiveness.

Uptime and Backup

If your system is down, you can’t do business. Reliable retail phone systems provide you with a 99.999% uptime guarantee. That means you won’t lose more than six minutes of phone time in an entire year.

Cloud-hosted systems also let you transfer calls to personal devices, meaning a downed broadband connection does not impede servicing your clientele. 

Off-site data centers with redundancy provide security and backup to ensure you don’t lose any vital information and your customer transactions are safe.

Interactive Voice Response

An automated solution can handle many situations without sacrificing your employees’ time. Investigate retail phone systems with interactive voice response technology that offers a menu to deal with common requests and forwards a caller to a human only when necessary.

Simple Setup

Retail is notoriously busy, and you have little time to sacrifice for setting up a new phone system. Traditional retail phone systems are costly and complex, requiring on-premise hardware and in-person technical support.

Hosted options in the cloud are quick and simple. As well, if you already have a legacy public branch exchange, a top-notch communications provider can offer seamless migration with a hybrid system if you wish.

Other Excellent Features

There are numerous features of retail phone systems that can take your services to the next level:

  • Unlimited calling
  • Call forwarding
  • Call transfer
  • Call recording and virtual voicemail with transcription
  • Spam caller protection

Investigate which attributes will serve you best with a communications provider such as Intermedia.

An Easy Solution With Intermedia Retail Phone Systems

Find out why U.S. News and World Report ranked Intermedia as the best small business phone system. Our retail phone systems can meet every need for retail operations. Call or message our team to learn more.

Mariel Santos

Mariel Santos is the Director of Marketing Communications at Intermedia

March 24, 2023

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