Buying a new business phone system that meets your company’s business needs is a significant task. Especially, since each brand is different and the phone system you choose will serve your company for quite some time. If your company is buying a new business phone system or needs a business phone system upgrade, it pays to do your homework. Understanding business phone system features that will bring value to your business by connecting it to the world is the key to choosing the right business phone system. In Part I of our “Choosing the Right Business Phone System,” series, we discuss some of the more common features available on a business phone system so you can decide if it will add value to your business.
If you are looking to save your company money on its payroll, then an auto attendant feature might be right for you. An auto attendant is when customers call into the phone system and it presents a list of options and routes their calls. In some cases, the phone system allows callers to directly dial their party’s extension. If your company intends to purchase a business phone system with an auto attendant feature, you’ll also want to inquire about the automated directory feature as well. This feature allows callers to look up an employee’s extension by simply entering the first few letters of their name.
Another feature many business phone systems have is audio conferencing. This feature allows two or more extensions to connect in order to share in a conversation. In most cases, the default is two and some systems only support internal extensions for conferencing. Be sure to ask what the maximum number of participants is and if the system supports external conference calls if your company requires this additional feature.
Because companies never want to miss a call, voice mail is a necessity. But this feature isn’t the same on every business phone system. Some business phone systems can interface with separate third-party voice mail equipment while others can’t. If you’re looking to save money by using a third-party voice mail system, be sure and ask if the business phone system you’re considering will interface with your voice mail carrier’s equipment.
Included with most business phone systems is the ability to put a call on hold while the user attends to other matters. What isn’t always included is music or prerecorded messages that advertise your company while your customers are on hold. Be sure to ask what’s included.
If you or other employees at your company are frequently in meetings and don’t want to miss an important call, you’ll want a business phone system with call forwarding. With call forwarding, you can forward calls to another extension, cell phone or temporarily to voice mail.
Two-time saving features on a business phone system are speed dial for frequently called numbers and redial which allows you to redial the last number called with the touch of a button. These two features may seem rather commonplace but don’t come with all business phone systems.
For businesses with a workspace that’s spread out, paging is a must. A business phone system with paging allows a user to locate an employee who has a phone call or to make an announcement over the phone system or an overhead public address system. Overhead paging is ideal in warehouses and the most efficient way to let employees know they have a phone call or are needed elsewhere.
Finally, if your company is located in an area that experiences storms and frequent power outages, you’ll want a business phone system that has backup power. With a backup power source, the phone system provides an alternate source of electricity for 10 to 60 minutes in the event of a power outage.
Clarus Communications is a leading, national provider of telecommunications technology. Clarus specializes in providing over 60 telecom provider options to businesses that need dependable, scalable and innovative technology solutions. Since 2001, Clarus Communications has been successfully helping clients make the best decisions regarding their phone service, phone systems, wireless and data needs. For more information about Clarus Communications, please visit www.clarusco.com or call toll free 855.801.6700.