With chatboxes and emails, is having a business phone service still necessary?
The short answer is yes. Over 60% of customers still prefer to call small businesses on the phone than contact them in any other way. That means you need to set up a phone system for your business as soon as possible.
But how do you find the right small business phone service?
We've put together this guide to help you find out, so let's get started!
Think About What You Need
Before you begin your search for a small business phone service, you need to think about what type of features your company needs (otherwise, you won't know what to look for).
Here are a few things you should consider.
Number of Employees
Start by figuring out how many employees you have and how many of them need a phone at their desk. But don't stop there. If you plan to grow your business within the next few years (and you should), how many employees will you have in the next two to three years?
Make sure you get a phone service that has enough space for new employees or gives you the option to at least add more phone lines later. If you don't, you'll have to go through this "finding a phone service" process again as soon as you outgrow it, which costs you time and money.
What do you need out of your phone service?
For example, you can set up an auto-attendant to direct your calls to the right employees, but if you have a receptionist, you probably won't need this. If your phone lines get busy, you may want to have a voice mail system so you don't miss any important calls.
Many phone services also provide conference calling technology. Even if you don't normally use conference calling, it's not something you should overlook right now. With COVID-19 still limiting in-person business, this feature can give you a way to stay in touch with your employees from home.
Come up with a list of things you need out of a phone service and start looking for companies that'll meet those needs. If you aren't sure what options are out there, you can do a bit of online research or get in touch with a few phone services to talk about what they provide.
Working with a phone service in your area will give you more personalized attention and better customer-service. But that's not the only thing you should consider when it comes to location.
How many offices do you have?
If you only have one building, you can pick just about any phone service you want. However, if you have two or more different locations, you'll need to find a phone service that can support multiple buildings. Make sure you talk to a phone service company about how many locations you need phones for before you buy anything.
Search for Phone Service Companies in Your Area
Do a quick search online for phone service companies near you.
Google should give you several of choices, so make sure you click through them. Don't just choose the top result. Just because that company is at the top of Google doesn't mean they're the best fit for your business.
Visit their websites, familiarize yourself with their services, etc. After a bit of research, put together a short list of your top three to five choices. You can narrow these options down to one as you continue to learn more about them.
Read Reviews Online
Now that you have a few options to choose from, look up reviews for each one on third-party websites, such as Yelp. This will show you what their past customers thought about them and give you an inside look into how they treat their customers and run their business.
Stay away from any companies that have a lot of negative reviews.
Have a Conversation With Each Company
Give each company a call (or visit their office in person) and spend some time asking them plenty of questions. This won't just give you answers to those questions, but it'll also give you a better feel of how the company works. Companies that aren't willing to answer questions or explain their services may not be worth your money.
Here are a few things you should ask about:
- How much experience do you have?
- Do you have any references?
- How much do you charge?
- Can you grow with my business?
Make sure you talk to the company about your specific business needs as well. If a phone service company doesn't have good answers to these questions, you may want to look somewhere else.
After this, you can compare prices and services and narrow down the options to your top choice.
Keep in mind, you shouldn't just choose the cheapest phone service out there. You get what you pay for, and if you don't pay a lot, you probably won't get very good services. It's worth investing a bit more money into your phone service than losing customers (and, therefore, money) later.
How Voxtell Can Meet Your Small Business Phone Service Needs
Not sure where to start your search for a small business phone service? Our team at Voxtell can meet the needs of your business, and we can adjust your plan as you grow.
Don't hesitate to give us a call today to learn more or get a quote!