As a business you want to appear professional to your callers. Whether your telephone is answered directly by you, or your line has multiple departments or telephone operators you will need to consider how you will use the system and how your callers will interact with it.
You want to choose the best fit for your business from the traditional PBX phone system to hosted VoIP or cloud-based phone service.
Traditional Phone Systems
The traditional option is to have the telephone system at your premises, with the most basic of features being able to put your callers on hold. You might want to do this if you are likely to leave your clients holding on the line, while you access account details, check stock or look for a member of your team etc. For a small business with one or even a few incoming lines this is possible with minimal installation.
Having a professionally recorded marketing message and good quality hold music is much more effective than leaving your caller with an annoying computer generated version of Greensleeves or worse still, silence.
The simplest on hold players connect to your phone line and play the audio continuously in a loop. Using key presses enables you to place callers on hold.
Our first telephone system worked in this way and for around £200 GBP we purchased a small PBX and on hold player. This worked seamlessly. We only had two lines at the time and the cost and setup was minimal.
Being audio specialists we are not experts with this type of equipment but our supplier pointed us in the right direction and it was quite straightforward. We used PMC Telecom for our first phone system who are local to us, but you may wish to source someone in your area.
This option uses a physical phone system to deal with your call routing and playing audio; you buy the equipment and it should run for years and years without issue.
Hosted VoIP & Cloud Based Systems
We later found that we needed more options for our incoming calls and changed over to an Internet based phone system that is administered via an online service. There are many companies that offer cloud based phone systems but we went with Numbers Plus.
Basically, we needed to provide our callers with routing options and wanted to provide other features such as voicemail, on hold, call appointments and more.
While there are many options, it was important for us to work out how we wanted our phone system to work for us and our clients. As an online company, flexibility and being able to take business calls in various locations was a key factor. Basically, we have one number that can take and route numerous calls simultaneously.
With this Internet based option you tend to pay monthly for most services.
So, to Conclude…
There seems to be two main options: having the physical telephone system on-site or using a virtual phone service that can deal with your calls digitally. While we do not claim to be experts in this area there are many companies who are and combining our audio services with a suitable telephone systems provider can really help you present a professional image.
These days you can source your phone system and audio separately and you do not have to enter into long running contractual service agreements with audio branding companies. In most cases you can control your own telephone system and on hold marketing audio by doing a little additional work yourself and cut out the cost of sales appointments and costly installations.
Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with the companies mentioned; it is just our story.