We’ve previously looked at what type of phone system is right for your small business and why VoIP is the perfect choice if you’re after something that’s simple yet powerful. Next, we’ll outline what you need to keep in mind when comparing all the cloud-based phone systems that are currently available.
Finding a phone system: the features
What do you need your phone system to do?
Each phone system you consider will have pages of features and functionality. It can be a little overwhelming to look through, especially if you’re looking for simplicity. Before you need to worry about all the additional bells and whistles, there are a few features that are essential. If one of these is missing, it’s time to look elsewhere.
- Call redirects – can you easily redirect and transfer calls to other users, teams or external numbers?
- Call recording – GDPR-compliant call recording improves team performance and customer service.
- Customised voicemail and menus – set custom greetings to ensure callers reach the right person at the right time.
- Out of hours routing – help customers get the support they need 24/7.
These features should be available as standard, not after you’ve reached a certain threshold of users or chosen a premium package. You’ll need to cut through the noise and determine whether a specific system has the tools your business needs.
Your sales team will appreciate a simple and intuitive user experience, rather than countless features that hinder productivity. Look for clean menus and simple navigation when choosing between potential options.
Finding a phone system: support
As with any tool or software, at some point you’re going to have questions or issues with something not working as intended. When choosing a phone system for your business it’s important to look past the actual system and instead focus on the support that’s available.
Is there technical support from experts who can talk you through the issue? Troubleshooting forums, video walkthroughs and FAQs are all useful resources to have to make sure nothing slows your business down.
If you’re expected to just figure it out as you go along, then it could be that your money is better spent elsewhere. Anyone trying to promote a phone system to you should be just as accessible once the deal is done.
Finding a phone system: setup
We know you’re busy. You don’t have time to enter a lengthy installation process that’s going to take time and attention away from equally important aspects of your business. Speed is of the essence and that’s exactly what you should keep in mind when deciding between phone systems.
Setup shouldn’t be a time-consuming or complicated process. In fact, CircleLoop customers can get started in a matter of minutes and that’s the standard you should expect. When signing up with CircleLoop, you’ll receive expert guidance to ensure everything is up and running quickly and effectively.
What can slow down the setup process is poor integration between your new phone system and the other tools you rely on. Things like your CRM and accounting software should work cohesively with the new system to avoid awkward bottlenecks that harm productivity. Before you even start the setup process, discover how a prospective phone system will sit within your existing tech stack.
Finding a phone system: price
Let’s not pretend like pricing isn’t one of the most important deciding factors when it comes to making your final decision. There are inevitably going to be options that are more expensive than others. Depending on the size of your business, you might be more willing to pay extra for something that has the functionality you need to grow.
Whether you’re looking for cheap and cheerful or top of the range, what you do need to avoid is being tied into lengthy contracts. It’s 2022, there is no good reason for you to agree to a long-term contract that’s difficult to get out of.
Pay as you go subscription models give you the flexibility to change your mind about a system after you’ve used it for a while. Long-term contracts aren’t for everyone so consider the benefits and drawbacks carefully before signing on the dotted line.
Finding a phone system: reviews
If you were booking a hotel or buying a car, you’d look at reviews created by others who’ve had first-hand experience. The same should be true of any software that your business is considering. Trustpilot, Google and other review sites give you valuable insight into the experience of others who’ve used a system you’re considering.
Case studies are similarly valuable sources of real-life opinions into a prospective phone system. Keep in mind that they’ve usually been cultivated by the system provider, and they’ll make sure it’s the very best representation of their product.
Finding a phone system: a free trial
You can do hours of research into different systems and learn everything there is to know but the very best way to see if it’s right for you is by getting your hands on it. See if there is a free trial available and take advantage of it while you can.
Utilise all the available features and act as if this trial is in fact a permanent addition. Really put it to the test and have your team provide feedback on its performance. If they’re happy and noticing an immediate improvement in how they work, then you’ve found your winner.
CircleLoop is available on a seven-day free trial basis with no credit card required. Get started right now and discover why so many businesses like yours chose CircleLoop when they were finding their new business phone system.