When it comes to choosing the right phone system for your business, you definitely want to make a smart decision that allows you to take the shortest path to value and ROI. To ensure this outcome, here are 3 BIG mistakes and how to avoid them:
Mistake #1 When Choosing the Right Phone System for Your Business: Not Focusing on SERVICE
Frankly, this article could begin and end with this mistake alone, because it is so important to know about and avoid.
Here is how the trap is set: a smooth, fast-talking phone company sales rep (or sometimes a whole bunch of them) assures a business that they will be taken care of after the phone system is installed. Everything seems great. There is a lot of smiling.
But then, sooner or later something needs to be changed, upgraded, replaced and resolved. That’s when the party ends. Instead of getting the “comprehensive support” they were promised, businesses face delays and one excuse after another. This is not just extremely frustrating, but also disruptive and costly. A phone system is not a “nice to have” option in business. It’s an essential requirement.
How to avoid this mistake when choosing the right phone system for your business: as you evaluate different vendors, pay very close attention to SERVICE CAPACITY and SERVICE COMMITMENT.
Concerning the former, you want to confirm that a vendor is local and that their Support Team is composed of dedicated full-time employees and not part-time contractors. Phone systems are complicated, and expertise is a must! And concerning the latter, you want to review 100% verified testimonials and reviews to confirm that a vendor will ensure your success long after you sign on the dotted line.
Mistake #2 When Choosing the Right Phone System for Your Business: Getting Dinged and Dented by EXTRA FEES
We’ve all experienced this (and those who haven’t can easily imagine): you check out of your hotel expecting to get the great price that you were promised and are presented with a bill that has A LOT of strange costs. Stuff like internet access, housekeeping, tourism tax, resort fees, local improvement tax, and the list goes on. All of a sudden, that great deal doesn’t look so great anymore. Instead, it looks awful.
A similar scenario is widespread in the phone system industry. Many vendors advertise what appears to be exceptional prices, but buried in the small print of the agreement are all kinds of extra fees — all of which are either optional (i.e., the vendor could pay them but chooses not to), or completely fictional (i.e., the vendor is just lining their pockets but making it look like a legitimate charge).
How to avoid this mistake when choosing the right phone system for your business: confirm that any vendor that you are considering DOES NOT charge any optional or just plain made-up fees. Here is a quick list of fees that you should NEVER pay:
- Additional County and Sales Tax
- Telecommunications Sales Tax*
- Regulatory Recovery Fee*
- Regulatory, Compliance, and Intellectual Property Fee*
- Federal Universal Service Fund*
- E911 Tax (in excess of the legally-required minimum)
- E911 and Information Service Fee
* The fees marked with an asterisk are real, but phone system vendors are NOT legally required to pass these fees onto their customers. The majority of them do however. We invite you to read this article for a closer look at these excess fees. This is so you can know precisely what they are and why you do NOT have to pay them.
Mistake #3 When Choosing the Right Phone System for Your Business: Not Choosing a Vendor with a Rock Solid BACKUP PLAN
According to FEMA and the US Small Business Administration (SBA), 40% of businesses do not reopen after a major disaster. And of those that manage to survive the initial crisis, 25% fail within a year, and a staggering 90% are gone within two years. The moral of this terrifying story? Having a 100% rock-solid phone system backup plan is essential. It is not a matter of IF the next major disaster will occur, but WHEN.
However, some businesses choose a phone system vendor whose backup plan is ineffective — or in some cases, basically non-existent. Unfortunately, when this truth comes to light it is the business that pays the price in lost productivity and reputation damage, and not their vendor.
How to avoid this mistake when choosing the right phone system for your business: choose a vendor that checks ALL of the following boxes:
- The vendor provides extensive maintenance operations and supports customers throughout the crisis. They can do this because they have dedicated full-time employees, and not part-time contractors.
- The vendor has multiple data centers located in various geographic areas. They should all have battery backups and generators that can support operations for weeks without needing to be recharged. This ensures FULL geo-redundancy for all voice and messaging services.
- The vendor offers a free mobile application. This should allow employees to receive/make calls (and access other features like instant messaging, call history, etc.) using their smartphones. In most cases, these devices remain operational during a local power outage. This is with the exception of when the cellular service itself goes offline. This is rare as cellular companies have extensive geo-redundancy measures in place to maintain service at all times.
The Final Word
Choosing the right phone system for your business should be invigorating — not intimidating. If you wisely avoid the three big mistakes described above, then you will go a very long way toward ensuring that your decision is rewarding, and not regrettable!
Choosing Carolina Digital Phone as your business phone system vendor is smart and safe! We have over 20 years of experience. Our reputation for delivering the industry’s BEST LOCAL SERVICE is unsurpassed, we NEVER CHARGE extra fees of any kind, and we OVER-ENGINEER our infrastructure so that it is always ready to handle major disasters (such as Hurricane Ian in late September 2022).
Schedule your free, no-risk, and no-obligation consultation and demo of our all-in-one phone system. We can visit you on-site, or connect with you over the web if you prefer. Call us now at (336) 544-4000.