Consider several options when selecting a multi-line phone service for your business. Many reasonably priced options exist, so look beyond cost to find a solution that’s easy to use and helps your company achieve its goals. Follow these steps to choose a multi-line phone system.
List current business challenges and communication needs.
A cloud-based PBX system provides the flexibility of multiple lines without the headache of physical infrastructure and cabling. This means you can accomplish high-level goals with your communication services without a big budget. Think about issues plaguing your organization, like missed calls or ineffective meetings. How can the right multi-line business phone system make a difference?
Consider the following questions:
- On average, how many calls go unanswered or go to voicemail daily or weekly?
- Are employees using multiple applications for calling, video conferencing and texting?
- Do you or other team members need flexibility to answer calls outside the office?
- Have customers complained about long wait times or busy signals?
- Would a toll-free number increase customer trust in your business?
Identify must-have features.
The best multi-line business phone systems include basic VoIP features, like unlimited domestic calling and an auto attendant, with all plans. However, integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) programs or help desk software vary by vendor and subscription. Likewise, some work better for physical workplaces, whereas others are well suited for remote work.
Make a list of the features your company must have. Doing so will help you find the companies and subscription packages offering these tools. Then, you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.
Compare multi-line business phone services.
Once you know what you’re looking for, research vendors. Check out guides on the best business phone services for small businesses and look at user reviews. Remember to look at mobile app ratings, check the Better Business Bureau’s website and ask for opinions from those in your professional network. If you’ve narrowed your decision to a handful of companies, learn how they differ by checking out comparison guides, such as RingCentral vs. Ooma.
Tip: Go to the provider’s integrations page to see if your CRM service will sync to your business phone software. Review support documentation for instructions on how the integration works and what functions are supported.
Test VoIP platforms via demos and trials.
Now, it’s time to get into the fun part. Gather your team together for online demonstrations. Schedule calls with various vendors, and have a list of questions ready. This is your time to pick their brains and get your questions answered. Take advantage of free trials and test each feature. Involve administrators and phone users.
For example, an IVR system should seamlessly route callers to the right person or queue. On the back end, your administrators should find it relatively easy to build and design the IVR system.
Request feedback from decision-makers and end users.
After completing testing, request feedback and listen to the pros and cons. At this point, you should have interacted with the vendor’s customer support teams, tested various features and figured out your total costs. Decide how long it will take to implement and train employees, then determine which multi-line business phone system will give your company the greatest return on investment.