HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT VOIP PHONE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
If your business still uses a landline, you may want to consider switching over to VoIP.
VoIP technology operates over the internet, saving your business money on phone service while offering flexibility, mobility, and far more features than a landline or traditional phone system could ever offer.
Whether you’ve been using VoIP for a while or are just now considering the switch, an important thing to consider is what type of VoIP phone you plan to use. They’re all different and vary in cost, so it’s important to take the time to choose the one that best suits your business.
Define Its Use
In order to decide on a budget and get the most value out of your money, you’ll need to figure a couple of things out.
How Often Will You Use It?
Does your business frequently utilize your existing phone system, or is it only occasional?
If your business heavily relies on the phones you use, you’ll want to invest in the most feature-filled ones you can get, while a business that only sporadically uses them may prefer good-quality phones that get the job done without all the bells and whistles.
Even if you don’t use it often, you’ll still want to purchase a high-quality phone. It’s not worth the hassle of fixing all the problems that will arise from using a poor quality phone. What you pay for is what you’ll get.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the unique needs of your business and look for specific features accordingly, but we’ll cover that later on.
What Will You Use It For?
If you’re a customer service business, you’ll definitely want to handle large volumes of calls and be able to keep people on hold with a feature like a call park.
On the other hand, if your business has vastly varying roles, you may need to purchase multiple different types of phones for each branch of your business. (For example, your receptionist will get a phone complete with a sidecar, display, and hold features, while other team members will get a simpler model as they don’t need the extra features.)
What Capabilities and Features Do You Need?
Every business has unique needs, and every VoIP phone is different, with a variety of different capabilities.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, which is actually good because you’re free to choose the exact model you need without any unnecessary features and costs.
Look out for the features that will make your daily activities more efficient and simple, as well as the ones that increase your business’ capabilities - such as handling more customers at once without requiring extra staff.
You probably use multiple online tools and services for daily tasks. If your phone doesn’t integrate with those tools, you’re forced to either switch over to a tool that’s compatible with your phone model, or you have to get another phone.
Make sure the model that you’re considering integrates with all your current online tools and services before you make the purchase.
Ethernet or Wi-Fi?
This is a pretty simple one, but if your business uses ethernet, make sure your phones actually have a port for it - and similarly, ensure your phones have wi-fi capabilities if that’s what you’re using.
It may be a good idea to get a phone that can use both, just in case you need to make the switch from one to the other for any reason.
Not all VoIP phones need to be tethered to a desk! There are models that are portable - ideal for on-premise employees that still need to move around. This is also a feature that can be taken into consideration when choosing a phone.
If your team needs to contact one another frequently, or handles and transfers a lot of calls, you might consider purchasing phones with sidecars. Sidecars are filled with buttons that you can each program to a different number for easy access.
If a receptionist gets an incoming call, they can check the sidecar and easily transfer a call to the extension they want.
BLF or Busy Lamp Fields are light-up buttons that work in tandem with the sidecar and allow you to see which of your team members are available at a glance.
Typically, a green light means they’re available, a flashing red light means someone is calling them, and solid red means they’re unavailable/in a call. This can save you and your customers serious time and keep them off hold as much as possible.
You also might want to consider whether you want a built-in display or not.
Headphones and Speakerphone Quality
Depending on the business, you may use headphones to receive calls. In this case, you’ll want to make sure that your phone is compatible with whatever type of headphones you use - whether wired or wireless.
Alternatively, you may use speakerphone frequently. In this case, you’ll definitely want a phone with a good-quality mic.
Making the Best Choice
There are tons of options to choose from, but with some attention to the needs of your business, you’ll quickly discover what features you do and don’t need, and get the most bang for your buck.
For more guidance and information on picking the best VoIP phone for your business, contact a South-Alta Communications specialist today!