Buying a Business Phone System

business phone systemsYour phone system is one of the most important pieces of equipment your business owns.  It connects you with other employees and more importantly, the customers and prospects who will buy your products and services.  Business phone systems range in price and in functionality, so choosing the right system for your business today and your   plans for the future is critical.


How do you decide what features you will need?

Features bring value to your business, make your employees more effective and efficient, and portray your business in the most professional light.  You might be tempted to by all the bells and whistles, but take a step back and decide what will add the most value and save you money in the process.

Here are some Basic Features for you to consider:

Auto Attendant – This feature can be used instead of hiring a receptionist.  The phone system will present the caller with a list of options to route their call including the ability to dial an extension directly.

Automated Directory – This feature is a great complement to the Auto Attendant, allowing callers to look up an employee’s extension by entering the first few letters of the last name on the telephone keypad.

Back Up Power – If your phone service is mission critical, consider a phone that utilizes an alternate source of electricity in case of a power outage.

Call Forwarding – This feature allows you to forward a phone call to another extension.

Computer Telephone Integration – CTI capabilities allow your phone system to interact with your computer system.  CTI features tend to be found on the more expensive phone systems but for call centers, support centers, telemarketing, or other high-volume, power phone users it is worth the price.  CTI provides the ability for the phone system to interact with a computer system for call initiation, call monitoring, or customer records retrieval.

Conferencing Features – This features allow two or more callers to connect together to share in a conversation.  In smaller phone systems, the default is 2 participants but some systems are more capable.  If conferencing is important to your business, find out specifically the capabilities and limitations of this feature on the phone system you are considering.  Sometimes, conferencing is only internal (i.e. business extensions).  If you often require external conferencing capabilities, be sure you research this feature thoroughly.

Find Me/Follow Me – This technologies enable incoming phone calls to be received at different locations, on different phones.  Find Me refers to the ability to receive incoming calls at any location.  Follow Me refers to the ability to receive calls at any number of designated phones, whether ringing all at once, or in sequence.

Music on Hold – Music gives your callers something to listen to while they are on hold. It can also be replaced by or mixed with prerecorded messages advertising your company.

Paging – If your busy work day includes tracking down employees or making site wide announcements, the paging is for your.  Paging allows a user to speak into their phone and have it broadcast throughout your site.

Redial – This feature is also common allows the last number called to be redialed with the touch of a button.  More sophisticated systems will show you a list of the callers from most recent on back and allow you to call any previous caller or dialed number.

Remote Location – This feature allows connections to offsite employees or small remote offices by simply dialing an internal extension.

Speed Dial – A useful time saver for frequently called numbers, this feature is typically standard on most phones.

Voice Mail – A professional, integrated voice mail systems means you will never miss a call.  When integrated with your phone system, it allows messages to be left for employees that are unavailable or on the phone already. Most phone systems with integrated voice mail have an indicator on the phone to alert the employee of a new message.

The key component of buying a business telephone system is finding a trusted partner to help with the business phone assessment, configuration, installation, and support.  Affordable Telephone System has been serving the Austin and Ventura areas for over 30 years, helping small and medium businesses to choose the right telephone system for their small business and save money on their monthly service.  Trust your business to the experts at Affordable Telephone Systems.

Affordable Telephone Systems                866-666-9650

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