August 7, 2023
For many of us, it’s hard to imagine going just one day without our smartphones, and our ability to make and receive calls from almost anywhere is the least of it. Business phone systems have come a long way too, and if you haven’t updated yours in the past few years, you and your staff are, quite frankly, missing out.
There’s a lot of fluffy talk out there about the importance of effective communication in the workplace. It’s absolutely true, but when I talk to business owners, I prefer to talk in plain language about how better communication tools can help drive ROI.
Business Phone Statistics You Need To See
These recent statistics paint a clear picture of where some businesses aren’t meeting their customers’ expectations and where there are opportunities for yours to stand out:
- 60% of consumers choose to call local businesses after finding them on Google
- Small and mid-sized businesses miss about 62% of calls they receive
- Nine out of ten customers are frustrated with long hold times or having to repeat themselves to multiple people
- About one-third of consumers won’t wait on hold for customer service
Missed calls are missed opportunities. Being more responsive used to mean you needed to hire more full-time staff. But modern communication systems can do far more for a lot less.
Are Your Small Business Phones Outdated?
Your office phone system, likely the phone on your desk, still connects you to others. And if and when you switched to VoIP, its capacity to communicate in new ways increased dramatically. But are you still getting the most out of your office phone? When was the last time you examined the possibilities of your business phone system compared to what’s out there?
The best example of how far business phones have come in the past few years might be in the palm of your hand right now. Smartphones have come a long way in a short time, and so have business phone systems. If it’s been over seven years since you’ve upgraded yours, there are a few features that I find many small business owners underestimate.
What Should You Look for in a Small Business Phone System?
Here are a few features that many small business owners are missing out on that can help them gain a competitive edge.
1. Single Number Reach
With single number reach — also called mobile twinning — your clients, vendors, and stakeholders only need to deal with one number, which can ring to your smartphone, your desktop, or any number of devices. Better yet, if you’re not available, they will only have to leave one voicemail for you.
2. Instant Messaging
Instant messaging can dramatically reduce the volume of emails and voicemails you have to go through each day. Instant messaging also makes it easier to see who is at their desk and who may have stepped away, so you won’t waste time trying to communicate with someone who isn't available.
3. Auto Attendants
Most small to midsize businesses can’t answer live calls 24/7. But with today’s technology, that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate just as effectively as a bigger business. Sure, every caller would prefer to deal with a human being when they call. But at least with an automated attendant, callers can still get quick answers to FAQs, and have their calls routed to the right person.
4. Voicemail to Email
With single number reach, your customers can reach you on any device. But you’re not always in the best environment to take a call or listen to voicemail. Modern business phone systems can transcribe voicemails and send them to you by text or email, so you can still respond quickly, even from a busy airport or a conference.
Which Communication Solution Is Best for Your Business?
Years ago, there was a myth that only bigger businesses needed Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). But just like small business phone systems, UCaaS platforms have come a long way. If your phone system already has the features I listed above, but your staff is still spending too much time toggling between various communication tools or digging through multiple inboxes and communication channels to find the information they need, a UCaaS solution might serve you much better.
If you’re deciding between UCaaS or VoIP, our recent blog makes it much easier to see which platform would give you more of what you need.