When it comes to choosing a cloud phone system for your organization, naturally you will focus on things like features, functionality, installation/implementation, quality, scalability, flexibility, security, and of course, price and total cost of ownership. All of these factors are essential and need to be part of the evaluation process.
However, there is another critical aspect that you simply cannot afford to overlook — because doing so means that your investment in a new cloud phone system will turn out to be regrettable instead of rewarding. What is this all-important piece of the puzzle? SUPPORT!
It doesn’t matter how many employees you have or what your organization does (or where it does it): it is a foregone conclusion that you will need support from your cloud phone system vendor. Perhaps you will require advice on how to integrate your cloud phone system with another platform in your ecosystem, maybe your employees will need guidance on how to take full advantage of a feature — or anything else that may come up.
Regardless of the reason(s), you will definitely need your cloud phone system vendor to provide outstanding support. And to make sure that you get it, here are five support-related questions to ask as part of your evaluation process:
The importance of local support cannot be overstated. Yes, many issues can be resolved and answers can be provided remotely (phone, video conference, email, SMS, etc.). But there will come a time when you need your cloud phone system vendor to come on-site. Furthermore, local support means that you will be communicating with an expert in your time zone and who is familiar with local details and dynamics — not someone half-way around the country or world who has never set foot in your state or city!
Have you ever spoken to a customer support rep, and realized that you actually know more about the product or service that you’re contacting them about than they do? Believe it or not, this happens quite a bit in the cloud phone system field, because many vendors hire staff who have very limited knowledge. All that they basically do is read from a script. If your issue, question or scenario is not familiar, then they cannot help you. To avoid this major pitfall, only choose a cloud phone system vendor whose support team is composed of experts who understand the technology inside and out.
A cloud phone system is an essential business platform. If you need answers, advice or action, then you can’t afford to wait days or weeks — you need it ASAP. Choose a cloud phone system vendor who is highly responsive, and will make your support issue a top priority.
An online help portal gives you two very important benefits. First, it establishes precisely when you submitted your request. Second, it allows you to track the progress of your request. Frankly, if you come across a cloud phone system vendor that doesn’t offer you an online help portal, then it’s because they don’t want you to track and evaluate their support offering — since it’s awful.
Support resources like videos, how-to articles, and discussion threads provide your organization with the option to get answers, insights, and “tips & tricks” on-demand. Obviously, these resources should not replace live technical support. But it’s important to know that they are available if and when you need them.