With So Much Confusion in the Market, Which Brand of New Phone System is Right for Your Business?
If you need a phone system for your business, chances are your search will include the following:
- Word of Mouth
- Internet Searches
- Consulting with your existing vendor
Of course, there are other ways of doing your own research, such as reading trade publications, attending tech conventions, etc, but the above three are, from our own research, the top ways customers learn about new phone systems. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Word of Mouth
Whether it is talking to colleagues, doing a Twitter search, or asking your Facebook friends, word of mouth is a powerful way to find influence for your opinion. Many business owners will ask their partners, or even competitors, in other areas what they have experienced or used. This can be a great way to learn about the good- and the bad- experiences that others have had, and to potentially learn from their mistakes. Two common experiences that we hear about which contribute to a poor experience are first, not allowing enough time for an install, IE: waiting until a catastrophic event to make a decision, and second, not giving the installation or programming team enough information to install properly. What are the ways to minimize this? Do your research ahead of time and make a decision before a major failure. Consult with your employees and the stakeholders such as Reception, Department Heads and also the people who use the phones the most such as call center agents, assistants, or on call techs; this will minimize the chance that a major item is missed or an opportunity to maximize the changeover with a new feature is not lost.
Internet Searches for New Phone Systems
The internet is a vast storehouse of information, dynamic in that it is constantly being edited and added to, but also potentially unreliable, with pages filled with exaggerations, misinformation, and outright lies at their worse. We here at CSM definitely do recommend that customers do their own research on the web, hey you are reading this on the internet right now! However, be aware that what certain pages promise may be far from reality. Be wary of hosted phone system sites- many of these appear to be sizable companies who could offer services that will keep your company running, but are actually very small organizations, often run out of a home or small storefront. While probably not run by unscrupulous individuals, they are usually too small to offer services or the type of response time most businesses have become accustomed to. The best way to get quality information is to go to the manufacturers websites. www.avaya.com, www.shoretel.com, www.phonesuite.com, www.grandstream.com are some of the sites that we frequent.
Consulting your Existing Vendor
Working with your existing vendor, is one of the underutilized resources that are available to a business looking to buy a new phone system. Perhaps the buyer is afraid that htey will just be given a sales pitch, or maybe they had a bad experience in the past. In any case, we would recommend at least browsing the website of the vendor for the following information:
- What products are they selling?
- Do they have more than one technician?
- Is the website updated and fresh? Are there broken links or outdated information? if so, chances are the company is not long term viable for your purchase.
While the above may not give you a wealth of information on a specific product, they can help you decide whether the vendor your intending to speak with is informed, honest, and up to date on current product offerings.
The Wrap Up
So which brand of phone system is right for your business? Unfortunately the answer is highly subjective. Perhaps more important is choosing the right vendor to work with you on the purchase, programming, and implementation of the new phone system. We hope that CSM can be a resource to you and that ultimately you will choose to work with us, located in Tampa and Austin, we have you covered!