Upgrading your business’s phone system may seem like an unnecessary expense. But phone system functionality has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade to adapt to the demands of your customers and is much more than just a service for receiving phone calls.
Yet it's still critical for your customers to be able to connect with a live person when they need support, and for you to be able to rapidly respond to voice messages from prospective customers -- otherwise you risk losing business.
Including your phone system in your critical IT infrastructure enables your business to create efficiencies and ultimately reduce operating expenditures. It also allows for more extensive business continuity and disaster recovery planning for reliability and security standards.
Here are 10 signs it’s time to upgrade your phone system:1. Your phone system hardware and software have reached end of support.
Aging hardware and software could be the most obvious sign that you desperately need a phone system upgrade. If your service provider no longer supports your phone system, or even worse, your business’ phone units are no longer being produced – it’s time to upgrade. An unsupported phone system can also open your business up to potential vulnerabilities.
Don’t put your business operations at risk. When you notice that your phones and other hardware are no longer functioning, take a step in the right direction and upgrade.
2. Your legacy phone system is expensive to maintain.
A legacy phone system, in reality, consists of outdated technology that is very expensive to maintain. It does not deliver modern features, like mobility. Typically, these legacy phone systems use traditional phone lines (connected to the phone company), and are not IP-based.
3. Your employees are chained to their desks to receive phone calls.
Roughly 85% unanswered phone calls will not call back. If you ever received complaints from customers who can’t easily contact you because your employees are not at the desk to take them, this should ring an alarm that your phone system is in need of an upgrade.
Today, employees are far from tethered to an office desk, they may spend a lot of time on sales visits, client meetings, or now, working from home. If they don't have the option or flexibility to use a desk phone, mobile phone or desktop to take business calls and can't transfer calls to another team member regardless of their location, the missed calls will remain a problem and eventually affect your productivity.
4. Your employees struggled to stay connected when COVID-19 work-from-home mandates went into place.
If your users were unable to connect to your business phone system from their home office during COVID-19 or, if they turned to their personal cell phones as a much more efficient solution or workaround, this is a big sign you’re system is out of date. With a cloud-based phone system such as Microsoft Teams, your users have a unified experience, and can make calls or answer them from anywhere.5. You have different phone systems across different sites.
The capacity to handle multiple offices is crucial whether you already have an established secondary location or if you plan to open one in the future. If you're required to implement different systems across your locations, this can present many challenges, such as complicated administration and maintenance. It’s also not a smart fiscal choice to cling to a traditional phone system when adding a new location. For multi-site businesses, the goal is to find a phone system that can unify the communications among all locations and employees, keep all your phone numbers and services under the same umbrella, and be administered from a single location.6. Your phone system is vulnerable to system outages.
It’s a necessity to have a thorough disaster recovery and business continuity plan to keep the business going regardless of natural disasters and other unforeseen events. Cloud-based phone systems provide system redundancy to make sure calls can be routed even if your phone system goes down -- so that your business will not go dark. Normally, on-premises solutions entail maintaining extra backup equipment, while cloud-based phone systems are managed off-site to keep your business communications up and running.7. You’re unable to get the functionality you want on your phone system.
Even if your current system is working properly, it might not have enough features to keep up with the needs of your operations. New systems have a host of features that include everything from advanced call routing, voicemail to email, HD voice for communications clarity, video integration and even the ability to track and monitor calls. If you do not have these features, it's time to evaluate your options.
8. Your phone system cannot support your call volume.
Has your call volume outpaced the capacity of your current phone system? If your phone system is struggling with the volume of calls or is not flexible enough to be able to accommodate more callers during busy times, then you should consider upgrading your phone system.
9. You don’t get any data and insights.
Do you know key pieces of information, such as how many calls come into the business and each department? How many calls go unanswered? Who never answers the phone and who could be more productive if they weren’t fielding so many calls? Simple metrics like these can give you real insight and vision into your operations and many phone systems don’t have the capability to provide the data or it’s very costly.
Data and information are an asset within any business. If you can’t analyze your call statistics quickly and easily you are probably missing out on key data and information that can improve your business operations, sales and customer service.
10. You’re Making Business Decisions Based on What Your Business Phone System Can and Can’t Do.
Be wary of being held back by legacy technology that you’re sticking with because your employees are comfortable, rather than because of what it allows you to do. It’s easy to justify decisions in the short term. However, over time, these things add up. The result can be a stifling effect on innovation and creative thinking. If you’re making business decisions simply because your equipment is outdated, you’re going to have serious trouble keeping up with the competition in the long run.
is needed to support your customers and keep your employees productive. It allows you to bring all of your communications - from video, voicemail, email, text messages and internal chat - into one place and saves you a ton of time (and money) because you don’t have to root around to find information the information you need. You gain the flexibility to get your data when and where you need it without having to set up a complicated call-forwarding scheme.
If you’re using Office 365, you are probably already familiar with Teams. But did you know that Teams has a great phone system integrated into the application so you can easily achieve unified communications for your business?