23. September 2019 Blog

How to choose the right business phone service

With such a wide range available on the market, choosing the right business phone service can be daunting. There are many factors to consider and some of the features may sound a bit intimidating. Don’t stress about it too much, though! Even if you’re not familiar with all the IVPs, ACDs and other mysterious acronyms, we’re here to help you out.

In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • why your business needs a phone service
  • what to consider when choosing the perfect business phone solution
  • what questions you should ask before you make the final decision

Ready to take your call center to the next level? Let’s begin!

Why you need a business phone service 

Alright, so why would you even need a business phone service in the first place? For a small business, isn’t a phone number enough?

Well, it might be at some point. When your business keeps growing, you’ll find yourself facing new challenges. The costs will be higher, the workflow more complicated to manage. Your team will lose track of all the inquiries and it will gradually become harder to onboard new call center members. 

Don’t wait for the sky to start falling on your head. 

If there’s a single piece of advice we wish we’d known when starting our first business, it would be developing good habits from day one. Once the damage is done, it takes a lot of effort to introduce better solutions. This is why it’s important to choose a good solution at the very beginning. Even if you’re still a small business, phone software will boost your team’s productivity and, eventually, the revenue. 

What to consider when choosing your business phone service

Landline vs. VoIP

When it comes to modern-day call centers, landlines are usually considered a thing of the past. Many call center teams are working remotely, which makes implementing traditional copper wires even harder. 

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a widely acclaimed business phone service standard. Here’s why it’s a much better choice than a good old landline:

  • VoIP is a low-cost solution – you don’t need to set up any physical equipment and pay for its maintenance. Instead, you pay a flat fee to the service provider.
  • All you need is a reliable Internet connection – just like for all your day-to-day tasks
  • It can be used from any device, anywhere, be it a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone
  • Upgrades and modifications don’t require any physical changes – VoIP service can be easily customized according to your needs 

Recording and monitoring

Sometimes you might not manage to note down everything you need. If this happens, you need to come back to a call to confirm some important details. 

It’s not that uncommon, right? If you’ve ever worked in a call center, you’re well aware that business phone recording software is essential for effective customer service. It’s ideal if the solution of your choice comes with not only recording but also monitoring and tracking software.

Important questions to ask:

Can you record all the calls?

Make sure the business phone service you’re checking records inbound, outbound and internal calls. This way, you can monitor the whole activity of your call center.

How can you access the recordings?

Recording your calls is one important thing. Having them on-hand is another. User-friendly business phone services make sure you can access your recordings anytime, from anywhere. 

Which metrics are tracked?

No need to bother with guesswork when you can make data-driven decisions. Phone statistics will help you spot areas for improvement and reduce business costs. When choosing the right business phone service, make sure it comes with in-depth analytics.

Are you happy with the dashboard?

You might have a lot of data to work with, but it doesn’t matter much if you don’t know how to wrap your head around it. It’s crucial for both the managers and the support team to have a clear, easy-to-understand dashboard with key metrics. 

Productivity

A business phone service may have important functions, data and all the perks in the world. Is it really helpful, though, if it doesn’t make you more productive? The right solution should boost your team’s morale and make their workflow more structured.

Important questions to ask:

Does it make dialing easier?
Nowadays, calling a prospect through VoIP should be as easy as clicking a button. When testing your business phone service, this should be the first thing you pay attention to. If making a call is complicated, you’re missing the point. 
How easy is it to add notes?
Spoken communication has its perks. You need to note down all the important details, and it doesn’t take much to get lost in piles of sticky notes. The best business phone services come with dedicated note-taking solutions, so you can always access the information you need.
Does it have customer cards?
When talking to dozens of customers every day, you simply can’t memorize everything about them. With the right business phone software, your customers can see all the caller information displayed on-screen during the call. This makes their work much easier and the calls much smoother. 
Can you label your calls?
Your agents need to divide calls into categories to browse them later. With this in mind, check if you can add call labels with the software you’re considering.
Are callbacks automated?
Keeping track of all the missing calls is a repetitive and boring task. The right call center tool will call your customers back automatically! All missed calls can be added to the queue and dialed without your manual intervention. Yes, it can be that clever!

Call routing 

What does it take to make sure the call is redirected to the right agent? The answer is simple – an intelligent business phone service has it covered.

Important questions to ask:
Does it offer Automated Call Distribution (ACD)?

Phone software collects large amounts of data. Based on it, incoming calls are distributed to the most qualified agents. Doing this manually would be a lot of extra work, while the right software can do it automatically. 
Can you set up an IVR menu?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a multi-choice menu at the beginning of your call. You’ve probably been asked at least once to “press 1 if you’d like to reach our complaints department”. This is exactly how IVR works. Although it might sound a bit outdated, it makes call routing much easier. If your business consists of multiple departments, you should definitely consider using this solution. 

Security

As with every aspect of running a business, keeping your data secure is essential. You’re probably aware of this, but do you know how to make sure that your business phone service maintains the right level of safety? There are some specific aspects you should always consider.

Important questions to ask:

Is the service GDPR compliant?
If you’re a European company or working with European clients, you probably already know how important GDPR is. To avoid legal issues, double-check if the business phone service of your choice is GDPR compliant.
What about data recovery?
Failures happen even to the best of us. A good phone service should be built with disasters in mind. For instance, Cloudtalk has all its data and infrastructure spread around different centers. Even if one of them fails, the rest will continue working. This way, your phone service is less prone to all kinds of errors. 
Does it offer role-based permissions?
Even within the company, not everyone should have access to the same data. To keep your information secure, make sure the business phone service offers accounts with different permissions. For example, the admin can manage all the information, while the agent can access specific areas only.

Summary

As you can see, there are many things to keep in mind when choosing the right phone service for your business. We hope that after reading this article you’re closer to making your final decision!