As we have looked at previously, there are three categorically different types of cloud business phone system companies in the marketplace: do-it-yourself mass market vendors, carrier service providers, and established cloud solutions providers.
Clearly, you want to partner with a cloud solutions provider, and steer as clear as possible from the other types of companies — because your happiness, success, ROI and shortest path to value all depend on it.
To help you make this critical choice — and filter out companies that are unworthy of your time from those that deserve your consideration — here are 5 questions to ask prospective cloud solutions providers before you sign on the dotted line:
1. Do you specialize in business cloud phone systems?
It’s vital that any vendor on your shortlist specializes in business cloud phone systems. It cannot be something that they “dabble in” as they focus on other product and service lines. They must be legitimate experts in the field who understand the technology inside and out and have several years of verified experience.
2. Are you independent and “brand agnostic”?
A qualified and experienced cloud solutions provider will recommend certain technologies and brands for items such as managed routers, back-up power supplies, certified IP phones, and so on. However, these recommendations will be based on evidence and experience — not on any self-interest, ulterior motive, or hidden agenda. You need to know that any advice you receive is based on what’s best for your unique business, and you’re not being pushed and prodded into buying something that you may not want or need.
3. What is your service commitment and capacity?
The importance of this question cannot be underestimated. If you have a question, concern, issue, or simply want to learn more about a certain aspect or feature of your business cloud phone system, you need to know that your cloud solutions provider is committed to addressing your needs and that they have the in-house capacity to provide responsive support. Instead of leaning backward after the sale, your cloud solutions provider should learn forwards to ensure that you are getting optimal value from your investment, and reaping ALL of the rewards — not just some of them!
4. Can we see testimonials and talk to your customers?
An experienced and credible cloud solutions provider will be delighted to provide you with testimonials, and connect you with customers so that you can have a private conversation (or email dialogue if you prefer) to discuss their experience. Any cloud solutions provider that hesitates to provide you with “social proof” that they keep their promises should be crossed off your list.
5. Will you help our team use the system?
Some employees love new technology and are the first to embrace it. Others can be somewhat less enthusiastic, while some can be outright resistant; not because they are anti-technology, but because change — even the positive and progressive variety — can trigger uncertainty and anxiety. It’s vital that your cloud solutions provider is ready, willing, and able to provide your team with the training and support they need. This includes working with employees who are not excited about or adept with technology, and who therefore need to be introduced to the cloud phone system from a more fun and functional perspective vs. a technological one. It may also include training “super users” on your team, who serve as on-site support resources, and who facilitate routing questions and issues to your cloud solutions provider.
Carolina Digital Phone: 5 for 5
At Carolina Digital Phone, we proudly answer the bell on all 5 of these questions. Specifically:
- We are recognized experts in the field with nearly 20 years of experience, which is far more than most companies in the marketplace.
- We are 100% brand agnostic, and only provide advice and recommendations that are best for our customers — not for us or for hardware manufacturers.
- Our commitment to service before, during and after implementation is unmatched. We don’t succeed unless and until our customers do.
- We love sharing testimonials and recommendations from our roster of satisfied customers. Upon request, we’re also happy to connect prospective customers with existing ones, so they can have a confidential and private discussion about anything they deem necessary.
- We know that a cloud business phone system is only an investment if employees USE it to its full potential. We provide full training, and we have the seasoned ability to take fear, confusion and anxiety out of the experience, and replace it with clarity and confidence!