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How do you know it is time to upgrade your office phone system?

Two cans with dials and small screens connected by a string

The saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is not wisdom to adhere to when it comes to office phone systems. Although your outdated system might still place and receive calls, you could be spending more money than necessary on a phone system that's not serving your business all that well.

Almost everyone carries a smartphone with them wherever they go and regularly upgrades to the newest version to get the latest features. With office phones, it's a different story. Since this niche category of phones isn't heavily targeted by marketing efforts, it's harder to learn about newly available features that could be making your work life a lot easier.

If you're an office manager or someone in charge of IT, it's good to know the indicators when you need a new phone system. The following information might surprise you and show you that your business could be significantly improved by an upgraded phone system.

Why you need a better phone system ASAP

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, a technology that turns a phone call into a digital signal so that you can send phone calls through a telephone or any device with data or internet. Although this may sound like a simple concept, VoIP systems can have a significant impact on the cost and effectiveness of your small business’s phone system.

Wrong. Your office phone system may be the first thing a new client will interact with, so it needs to give an excellent first impression on your callers. You can't afford to waste the time and energy of your employees and customers with a system that drops calls, leaves customers waiting on hold, or doesn't connect your company efficiently.

Upgrading to a new, well-designed office phone system can be a real game-changer in your company's workflow. A sound system will give you a way to reliably communicate with customers and employees

Needlessly inefficient calls

A phone system should not waste the time of your customers nor your employees. If your office phone system has been sending calls to the wrong line, routing calls to an employee who is out, or leading your caller to a busy signal, it's definitely time for an update. Your phone system should increase customer satisfaction and productivity, not debase it.

Employee complaints or confusion

Questions or complaints from your employees about the phone system should not be taken lightly. They are tuned in to what does or doesn't work well in their workflow and may have trouble staying productive if the system isn't easy to use or if it's different among different locations. Upgrading your office phone system gives you the chance to streamline your system across the entire company to improve communication and productivity.

A man in his office yelling into a phone while sitting at his desk

Connection issues and dropped calls

A dropped call could potentially mean a lost customer, so there's no room for connection issues in your phone system. If your employees have reported any problems calling in to a meeting or dropping calls with clients, it's definitely time to upgrade to a more reliable system. The update will give your employees more confidence in their ability to get their job done and show your clients that you're always there to take their call.

Remote employees

Telecommuting is more popular than ever. If you have employees working from home, this might be the right time to upgrade to something like a VoIP system. These types of systems let you set up call forwarding services so that you can link your central office phone system to employee cell phones. This way, employees can take calls from anywhere, via laptop or phone.

Irregular billing

An office phone system shouldn't cost you something different each month. If that's the case, you may be overcharged and could likely save money by upgrading to something like a VoIP system. This type of system includes both internet and phone on one bill and is inexpensive to install, set up, and maintain.

Your extensions aren't efficient

Ahead of upgrading, there are a few things you should consider to get the best setup for your office. Start by looking at your business's current incoming call patterns. Is there a department that has been taking a lot of calls on a particular subject? If so, it might be a good time and an excellent reason to add a new department and extension to your system. Look at your records and evaluate why customers call you the most, then plan your extensions based on these customer priorities.

You have more inbound calls than you can handle

Consider the volume of your inbound calls. If your company is receiving more calls than employees can handle, you might be leaving your customers waiting on the phone. The last thing you want is to upset a customer with an unnecessarily long wait time. You can imagine how this would make them feel like they weren't a top priority

Upgrading a phone system gives you the chance to avoid making your customers wait. You can install an automated office phone system that will direct callers to the correct department where they can speak to a live operator and quickly get what they need. This way, your phone system can work more efficiently for both you and your customers.

Your business has recently added a location

Adding a new location is an exciting step for a business. However, to make the most of your new branch, you'll want to upgrade your office phone system to one that can link the different locations together. When you have the right phone system in place, your team members will be able to communicate more effectively, transfer customers between departments in different locations, and improve productivity and customer satisfaction.

You expect your business to continue growing

If your business is moving forward with lots of momentum, you'll want a phone system that can keep up. Upgrading to a flexible office phone system is an excellent idea so that you can adjust things like your extensions and outbound messages as you need to. Without upgrading to a more versatile and flexible system now, you will only need to pay more money to change your system in the future.