You know you need a new business phone service, but where should you start your search? There are so many options available in the market today that it can be overwhelming. As a starting point, it is important to learn the difference between a traditional phone system, often referred to as analog or on-premise, and a cloud phone system, also known as a hosted or VoIP phone systems.
Technology is rapidly evolving. Can you imagine life without your computer, cellphone or email? These things have made life easier in many ways, and your phone system should do the same for your business. There are endless benefits to using a cloud phone system for your business communications, but we’ll focus on the top four.
Knowing the total cost of ownership of each system is essential to truly understanding how much it will really cost your business. Traditional systems have many costs associated with them that you may not even think of because they don’t appear on your monthly invoice.
Traditional phone system costs include:
- Cost of an IT person on staff or contract
- Service fees
- Maintenance fees
- Long distance charges
With a cloud phone system, you get:
- Flat monthly fee per user
- No additional service or maintenance fees
- No IT staff needed on site to fix an issue
- Always have the latest technology
The price on your invoice rarely tells the whole story. You need to evaluate the total cost of each phone system. Also, remember to factor in lost revenue when your system is down. With a traditional system, you often have to schedule an on-site maintenance visit that may be days away. With a cloud phone system, you only need to call in to your provider’s support team and they can generally resolve the issue you’re experiencing in one phone call.
2. Reliability & Security
You need a reliable phone system so customers and team members can get ahold of you. This goes back to lost revenue mentioned above. With a traditional phone system, if a natural disaster or power outage occurred your phone system would go down. This would not happen with a cloud phone system. You can set up your service to automatically forward all calls to an external number or mobile device so your customers can still get in touch with you and you don’t experience any downtime.
But what if your Internet goes down? Just like the example above for a power outage or natural disaster, you can set the number(s) you’d like your calls to forward to when the system detects a lost signal. Also, if an incident occurs and you need to communicate a specific message to your customers, you can quickly swap out your Auto Attendant greetings in your online account portal. A cloud phone system enables you to have a back up plan no matter the circumstances.
Mobility is more than being able to make and receive calls from multiple locations. In today’s business environments, customers expect to be able to reach you at all times of the day. With an analog phone system, you need to be in the office, using a desktop or cordless phone to make and receive phone calls. A cloud phone system provides you with a variety of mobility features that allow you to conduct business no matter where you are.
Additional mobility benefits of a cloud phone system:
- A mobile app, such as the Nextiva App allows you to use your cell phone or other mobile device like your desk phone. You can also take advantage of additional features like video conferencing, presence, chat and instant messaging capabilities, etc. to increase your team’s productivity and efficiency.
- Call continuity allows you to start a call on your desk phone and transfer it to your mobile device without interrupting the current call. The person on the other end will never know you are no longer sitting at your desk.
- Eliminate the need to give customers multiple phone numbers because you can receive calls made to your office number on multiple devices.
Your business is constantly changing and evolving. You may be growing, adding more employees and locations, or maybe it’s a slow time of year for your business and you’re temporarily downsizing.
With a traditional phone system:
- It would require a significant amount of time from your IT staff or consultant to add or remove these lines of service.
- Your system would need to be reconfigured and you may even need to run more wiring.
With a cloud phone system:
- You can add lines or put lines on hold in seconds in your online portal.
- You can easily connect remote workers and multiple office locations by updating call routing features.
- Integrate with 3rd-party applications such as your CRM, Outlook, calendar, etc.
As you can see, there are many reasons a cloud phone system will benefit your business. We’ve only scratched the surface in this article, and there are many more benefits including advanced features such as Voicemail to Email, Auto Attendants and Shared Call Appearance, that provide your business with a new level of flexibility you can’t experience with a traditional phone system.
Cloud phone systems will be the standard for business communication in a few short years, but get ahead now and solidify your place as the leader in your market.
To learn more about how a cloud phone system will revolutionize your business communication and save you money, visit www.nextiva.com.