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Scaling Small Business Communication: 7 Questions to Determine if Your Phone System Needs an Upgrade

Like we discussed in part 1 of this series, you should think about switching out your communication system when your business encounters specific problems or needs that your current system can't handle. It's like getting a new tool when the old one can't do the job right.


To figure out if it's really time for a change, look at what your business requires now but also where you want it to go in the future. If the current communication setup isn't meeting those needs or is holding you back, then it's probably time for an upgrade. Additionally, if your system won’t hold up to future goals, maybe it’s time to consider switching. Let’s take a look at 7 questions you can ask yourself to determine if your phone system needs an upgrade.


1. Do I want my business to grow?


Hear us out. This sounds like a lobbed softball question but take a second to really consider it. Are you (and perhaps those in your circle) ready for your business to grow? This is a time to evaluate work-life balance. How can you take care of yourself before you––well, take care of business? If you are ready, a cloud-based system can help make for an easier transition and free up your mental energy for things that matter to you most––both at work and at home.


2. Do I have all the features I need to support my business growth?


Your communication needs will evolve as you grow. This can include advanced features like video conferencing, call analytics, voicemail-to-email, the ability to forward business calls to your cell phone, and integration with other business software. Transitioning to a new system can provide access to these features. If any of these would make your life easier, operations run smoother, or save you headache, it’s probably time to switch.


3. What current feedback can I tune into?


Check your user experience both internally and externally. Assessing your communication needs is a great way to tune into feedback from customers and employees. If communication is breaking down, likely other things are too. Is anyone frequently encountering issues with call quality, dropped calls, or any other kind of problems communicating? What have your customers said about their experience with you? What are your employees saying about the processes they oversee? If there are issues, a new system could help streamline operations and keep customers well taken care of.


4. Is my current phone system worth what I’m paying?


By this, sure we mean sheer number cost, but it goes deeper than that. We’re really talking about value here. Are you truly getting what you’re paying for or are you paying too much for a service that doesn’t offer what you need? If your current communication system is expensive to maintain and lacks cost-efficient features, think about upgrading.


5. Is my call volume increasing?


If your business deals with or is beginning to deal with a high volume of customer inquiries or relies heavily on customer interactions, you probably need a system that offers features like call queuing, interactive voice response (IVR), and customer relationship management (CRM) integration. Premise-based systems aren’t going to cut it for you.


6. Is my business growth stunted by geographical or physical limitations?


If your business has already adopted or plans to embrace remote work, you'll need a communication system that can connect remote employees, provide collaboration tools, and ensure quality communication regardless of location. Even in the absence of formal telecommuting, the ability to be connected to business operations from anywhere is something to consider, especially in the case of potentially expanding to multiple locations.


7. Am I satisfied with my current service both for the present and for where my business is headed?


Really, this is what it boils down to. When was the last time you sat down and evaluated the services you’re currently paying for? As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate, so if it’s been a while since you thought about your phones (and other operational costs!), take a second to do so.


If you’re currently having problems with your communication service provider, including unreliable service, poor customer support, or inadequate maintenance, it’s time to switch. If you’re having problems now, odds are as you expand, so will the issues.


If you’re not certain you’ll be able to grow, expand, and do things like add new lines, users, or features as you grow without significant downtime and cost, it’s time to transition to a more flexible system that can grow with you.


Once you’ve considered your needs and decided you’re ready to switch, it’s time to start researching your options. We’re understandably partial to our services, but we’d like to offer you a roadmap to choosing the best telecommunication company for you, whether that’s with us or not. Join us for part 3 where we lay out 7 steps to picking a VoIP provider.


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