So, you’re thinking about breaking up with your phone system provider because its bad for your business, but you need to be sure that you can do so without harming your profits even more. In this article, we will discuss how to make sure that breaking up is the right thing to do, how to achieve this amicably, and how to ensure that your next relationship with a phone system provider is a long-lasting success.
No company should be forced to deal with a phone system that limits their options, makes them look unprofessional, or can’t adapt to their business needs. If you are facing any single one of these issues, then you should and probably have started to think about switching providers. Change is often scary though, even if it will be the correct decision in the end, so it’s vitally important to be as certain as possible that the correct decision is being made - particularly when it comes down to something as important as your business communications.
Know the reasons why you want to break up
Your phone system is letting you and your business down, and there’s no sign of anything changing. The damage has been done and your mind has been made up to move on to new pastures but is the grass always greener on the other side and what’s to stop the same mistakes being repeated? We’ve made a list of five key areas in which your phone system may have been a disappointment. Identifying which of these issues apply to your business and your current provider should help to inform you about where things can be improved in future relationships.
1. Is it reliable?
Stable and clear communication available at all times is likely to be the number one priority of any phone system. Landline phones have historically provided the most reliably high-quality call experience, but unfortunately, they lack many features of newer software-based alternatives. Decide if you require your new phone system to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Quality of Service (QoS) parameters on your router, as well as checking what measures they will take to keep your lines active during outages.
2. How flexible is it?
Are you okay with being quite literally tied down to a desk phone, or do you need the option of being able to operate your phone system when working remotely from home, on a business trip or on holiday? Cloud-based phone systems can function anywhere where you can connect to the internet whereas landlines restrict your movements to the office, so think about how flexible you need to be as for location. Native mobile apps can also provide additional functionality and benefits that you might be interested in seeking out from your new provider.
3. How simple is it to use?
Chances are you want your phone system to be as user-friendly as possible, without compromising on its capabilities. You should think about how easy it is to perform onboarding, adjusting call routing and even change your voicemail message, for example, on any new phone system that you are considering.
4. Is it integrable?
It’s important for any phone system to work well alongside other components of your business, with modern systems often being able to connect directly to various Helpdesk, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and admin platforms. Setting up such integrations allows important information such as notes and call recordings to be automatically shared between tools, which in turn helps to reduce manual tasks and have more information at hand to be able to provide an improved customer experience. Sounds good? Then you should make sure your new phone system can be integrated with your current operations.
5. What do the analytics tell you?
Making important business decisions should be made based on all of the statistics and information at hand, rather than relying on gut instinct alone or using spreadsheets. Modern phone systems can report precisely on call duration, wait time, time-to-resolution and missed call rate, etc., allowing important trends to be analyzed and issues identified before they reach crisis point. The more data you have available from your phone system, the more informed your business decision-making process will be and the greater your chance of getting it right.
Understand your own business first before finding a new partner
By answering the above questions you should now have a good idea about what it is you’re looking for in a new phone system, but it’s also crucial that you figure out what kinds of solutions are actually possible to fit within the context of your business. It’s definitely worth thinking about your answers to the following questions:
- Where is your business based and where will you call and be called from - can you provide local numbers?
- What is the size of your team(s) and how active are your phone lines?
- Can a phone system complement other tools in your workflow?
- What is your network architecture - do you have a strong internet connection?
- Who will you need to help you with installation and who will that impact?
- What are the financial details of your current agreement and what are your ongoing costs?
Try before you buy
You should now have it clear in your mind what you want and how that should fit into your business, but it’s natural to have worries and skepticism about any changes. These can be easily addressed by requesting a personalized demonstration from any potential new phone system provider, which will help you make an informed decision. You can and absolutely should do this before committing to it since it will allow you to get a hands-on feel for the new system and discuss with the provider about your needs to assist you with getting the most out of it.
A test run can last between one and three weeks or a fixed amount of calls, and you should have it set up as close to your normal business workings as possible. Setting up call routes and voicemails etc. requires an investment of time for the trial period, but it will be worth it to get a true picture of the new system and it won’t be wasted at all if you decide that it’s the one. It’s also a good idea to ask about different pricing and subscription offers during the demo, and remember that lower risk monthly plans can often be upgraded to longer commitments later if things are going well.
Be prepared to port your old numbers
Now you’ve tested the new phone system and you’re happy that it’s right for your business. The phone numbers that you have been using with it are some of your most valuable assets. Since they will already be familiar to many of your customers and appear in various publications in print and online that will be time-consuming or impossible to edit. Fortunately, they belong to your business since you’ve already paid for them, so they can and should be transferred over to your new provider, even though the process can require some time and effort.
Porting involves your business, a network carrier, and both your old and new providers. The process requires completing some paperwork, but your new provider will do most of the work as long as you tell them the names of your previous phone provider and the account owners of each number, the addresses associated with them and a copy of the latest bill. Provided a Customer Service Record (CSR) will also help to expedite the process. A Letter of Authorisation (LOA) will then be submitted to your old provider and porting requests will be scheduled by the carrier, you’ll just have to hold tight for the full transition to take place in up to two weeks time.
Enjoy a strong and successful relationship!
By following the advice in this article you are now surely at the beginning of a beautiful and long-lasting journey with your new phone system provider. Let’s hope that this will one last the distance and contribute to growing the success of your business. If you want to be sure, though, why don’t you give CloudTalk a try?