If you run or invest in a company where telephone communication plays a big part in sales and the smooth running of the business (hey, which business doesn’t?) then it’s really important to get a quality business phone package from a provider you can rely on.
Here we take a look at some top tips to ensure you get the right service for your startup.
Quite a few ‘new kids’ have appeared on the telecoms block in the last few years and some of them may look very tempting with offers of super cheap business calls and great package deals.
However, if the service is unreliable or they can’t offer all the features you need then it could prove to be false economy. There is nothing quite as maddening to a startup as sitting in an office waiting to get the phones working or the broadband operating. I know, I’ve been there and done that!
So, the first thing to check out before you sign up to any new telecoms / broadband contract is the service level agreement and what kind of support you can expect if something does go wrong with your phone system.
If your phones are down for even a couple of hours during the day and your customers and clients can’t get through when they need to, you know it is going to end up costing you a lot of money, or at the very least annoying clients who need to get hold of you ASAP.
As a young business, you need to deliver an image of solid reliability and fully functioning phones is too important to not get right. Equally, as a business angel, you’ll want to know that phone problems is not going to distract the team from making the business a success.
Another tip is to ensure that the company you go with can guarantee you that an engineer will be on the case as soon as you report the problem and that you have the confidence that they’ll work hard to get you up and running again as quickly as possible. If in doubt, don’t sign and go with a more reliable company, even if it will cost a bit more in the long run.
The third thing to consider is obviously the cost of your calls, and this will be particularly important if you make a lot of outbound sales calls on a daily basis.
Find out what sort of call bundles the teleco will offer you and whether you can get a discount for very large volumes for local, national or mobile calls. If you deal with clients overseas or you have an office in another country then obviously a discount on international calls (or calls to a particular country) will be essential or you will face a pretty hefty phone bill every month.
Lastly, if your business relies on customers picking up the phone and calling you then it might be a good idea to consider a toll free number or even a reduced rate number. It’s good customer service and let’s your customers know that their call is indeed important to you – so much so that you’re happy to pay for all or part of it.