And that's why we have researched and compiled these 16 important buying criteria to make it easy for you to evaluate and shortlist the right business phone systems for your organization.
Let’s jump into the content…
1. Choose the business phone system type
Business phone systems are available in multiple types, hence it is necessary to choose the right one that can accommodate your business communication needs.
There are two different types of office phone systems you can choose from, one is VoIP phone systems and the another is PBX phone systems or landlines.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, VoIP is commonly used by today's businesses as it is more advanced and cost-effective than old phone systems.
Here is an overview of VoIP and traditional phone systems,
VoIP phone system: VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems are a modern alternative to traditional landline phones. Often cheaper than traditional phone systems, as they rely on the internet rather than physical infrastructure. They are highly flexible, allowing users to make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection using the app. Comes with advanced features such as automatic call routing, virtual phone numbers, unlimited calling, voicemail-to-email transcription, and video conferencing.
Landlines/old phone systems: Landline or PBX phones are often more expensive than VoIP phones, as they require physical infrastructure and maintenance. They have limited long-distance calling capabilities, and international calls can be expensive. It’s not remote-friendly like cloud PBX (VoIP) as users can only able to make and receive calls within the on-premises or office.
For small businesses and startups, VoIP phone systems are highly encouraged for conducting internal and external communications.
2. Size of the company
When choosing a business phone system, it's important to consider how many users will use the phone system. Most providers package their pricing plans based on the user limit. Some providers allow more users for a basic plan and some require a plan upgrade for adding more users.
Only a few cloud telephony providers like TeleCMI support unlimited users on all plans for a flat fee which means you don’t need to pay for each user. As a result, you can save more money compared to other cloud phone system vendors.
When it comes to mobility, VoIP phone systems are the go-to choice as they come with softphone and mobile and desktop apps which allow employees to make and receive calls from any location they are in.
But it’s not the case with landlines and PBX phone systems as staffs are tied to desk phones and they can’t manage voice communications outside the office.
4. Call volume
Call volume has its place when choosing the right phone system. Look for business phone system providers who can offer higher talktime minutes for the lowest fee. Some providers like TeleCMI also offer unlimited local and international calling plans which can be more cost-saving for businesses.
Evaluate how many calling minutes you're currently using or you plan to use in the future. And compare the voice plans of all providers. Based on these, partner with the right business phone system provider.
5. Budget and costs
Consider the upfront costs associated with the phone system. For example, a premise-based system typically requires more upfront investment than a cloud-based system.
Research other costs such as subscription fees, service charges, and usage charges. Some systems offer flat-rate pricing, while others charge based on usage.
Some features may come at an additional cost when you choose a different provider. And some providers offer unlimited features on all plans.
Consider which features you actually need and which you don’t need when choosing a business phone system.
6. Communication channels
Choose a business phone system that supports the communication channels your business needs such as voice, SMS, team chat, video meetings, and eFax.
Consider whether the phone system can be scaled up or down to accommodate the growth or contraction of the organization.
For example, the ability to add or remove business numbers and users, scale up or down the number of calling minutes, upgrade or downgrade voice plans, etc.
Make a list of the features your business need, such as voicemail, call forwarding, conference calling, and automated attendants.
Ease of use is an important consideration when choosing a business phone system, as a system that is difficult to use can negatively impact productivity and user adoption.
Look for a phone system that has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.
Choose a phone system that offers training and support to help users get up to speed quickly. Look for systems that offer online resources, tutorials, or live support to assist with any questions or issues.
You can also opt for a free trial and product demo to witness the dashboard and UI in action.
Consider whether the phone system is compatible with the types of phones you already have in place, or whether you will need to purchase new phones. Some systems require proprietary hardware, while others work with standard IP phones.
Most VoIP service providers give the facility to connect with IP phones and desk phones you already use.
Determine whether the phone system can integrate with other software and tools used by your organization, such as CRM systems, email tools, and messaging platforms.
Look for phone systems that use strong authentication mechanisms, built-in firewall protection, ISO-certified network infrastructure, and advanced encryption technology to protect voice and data traffic. This help prevents eavesdropping and ensures that sensitive information is kept secure.
13. Call quality
You need to check the quality of the incoming and outgoing calls to ensure clear, uninterrupted, and echo-free calls.
Because high-quality audio and reliable call connections are essential if your business relies on phone calls for sales or customer support.
14. Reporting and analytics
Consider whether the phone system provides detailed reporting and call analytics, such as call volume, call duration, and missed call rates, to help you optimize your communication strategies. These are very useful for businesses that run outbound and customer service call centers.
15. Vendor reputation
Research the reputation and track record of the phone system provider, including customer reviews, case studies, and industry awards.
16. Contract terms
Read the contract terms carefully, including pricing, cancellation fees, and service level agreements (SLAs), to ensure that the phone system meets your business needs and budget.
By considering the above factors, you can choose a business phone system that aligns with your company's goals, values, and culture, and provides a reliable and effective communication solution.
Try TeleCMI Virtual Business Phone System
The perfect business phone system doesn’t exist except TeleCMI virtual business phone system. Our VoIP phone system comes with unlimited calling, unlimited users, and unlimited features used by 1000+ brands like yours. Test now with a 10-day free trial or get a
free demo from our team.