Many small businesses are still relying on antiquated phone systems, designed for a pre-digital age that don’t meet the needs of today’s companies or consumers. These fixed office systems can lack the ability to support your growth ambitions, and at worst can be damaging and costly.
The argument for a cloud-based business phone system is that it can link up your business communications to multiple locations, employees and customers via one connected solution. It can be adapted to your needs, and once installed can be managed by a chosen member of staff (the administrator) from any location. The system plugs into your router and connects to a vast data centre to extend your business way beyond the office.
With so many clear benefits to moving to the cloud, a fixed-line phone system could actually be holding your business back.
Here, we share six reasons why:
1. It doesn’t allow for flexibility or mobility
As passionate as you may be, you can’t be on site 24/7 – though your customers, wherever they may be in the world, may require you to be. Functions like the auto receptionist, employee and department extensions mean you don’t have to be. Cloud based systems give you the flexibility you need so you can run personal or business errands (or sleep) without worrying about missing an important call.
And once installed, you have complete control of the system from one device with a user-friendly interface.
2. It takes ages to install
Installing a PBX (private branch exchange) can take weeks and requires a lot of hardware and specialist knowledge. Moving your entire business to the cloud is a quick and relatively hassle-free process. You just have to decide how many IP phones and users will be connected. Additional users, groups and phones can easily be added as you grow.
3. It’s antiquated and single purpose
Being able to make and receive calls is all very well, but today many favour a multitude of alternative methods of communication. Cloud phone systems cover all bases, combining advanced phone, fax and text messaging capabilities with voicemail, email notification and call auto-recording. It can also provide HD video conferencing for as many as 50 people.
4. No scope for integration and unified communications
With the vast majority of employees now using their personal laptops and mobile devices for work, it’s clear a BYOD (bring your own device) culture is becoming the norm. By downloading free apps employees can seamlessly integrate with the system and be empowered to manage their own settings at the administrator’s discretion – saving your time and resources.
Through using their own device they’ll retain a business number and are able to make business calls, access company voicemail and join voice conferences. Cloud systems can also seamlessly integrate with your essential business software, which might include Microsoft Office, Zendesk and Google Drive.
5. No control over direction of calls
With a traditional system, if a call comes into the office and there’s no one there to take it it’ll go to answer phone, or someone who’s not qualified will have to answer. A cloud system gives you the option of re-directing calls to you or a suitable colleague wherever you are, meaning no customer will be left disappointed.
6. It’s costing you more
A traditional PBX can cost thousands to install and maintain, whereas a cloud system can be installed at minimal or no cost, with basic packages starting from as little as £9.99 per month. It’s estimated that updating your phone system could save your business up to 60% in the first year.