Think of all the phone companies you know. Let’s see…AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink…is that it? In this scenario, perception isn’t reality. The market has significantly changed, and there are many new phone companies available for businesses.
Waiting until your existing phone system is on its last leg or your contract is nearly finished is too late to start the process of choosing a new phone company. To avoid any outages in your service, you need to allow enough time to evaluate exactly what your current carrier can offer, and then weigh it against the competition.
The amount of time you should allot yourself for this evaluation primarily depends on the goals you are trying to reach. Will your projected growth require new equipment or capabilities, like more mobile options for remote employees? Every company is unique, so this anticipated amount of time will likely vary between companies of different sizes, industries, etc. However, if your current phone contract is expiring, you should allow yourself a wide enough window to take these steps:
1. Outline Your Goals
Pose the following questions when considering what your business needs from your phone company in Lafayette, IN.
- Do you need an entirely new phone system?
- Is there a capability or feature you’re looking for? (e.g., cellphone integration, voicemail-to-email, texting from your business number, etc.)
- Is cost reduction a top priority?
2. Consider and Communicate with Your Employees
The working environment and culture of your business drastically affect the phone plan needs of your employees. For example, if your employees are becoming more mobile, your company may want to consider reducing the number of desk phones and phone lines in the office. Many VoIP phone providers offer cellphone apps that transform an employee’s personal cellphone into their desk phone while masking their personal number.
Make sure you continue to communicate with your team regarding your phone system. Use their opinions to narrow your choices. It may be advantageous to designate department representatives who can try each piece of equipment and then offer feedback. Most importantly, communicate with your team and discuss the upcoming changes as well as any training that will be provided.
3. Offer Your Current Phone Company a Final Chance
Now that you are aware of the rates offered by other providers – schedule a meeting with your current provider and talk about the details. It is possible that a vendor will meet or match your needs – even your budget requirements. If they are not willing to do so – it may be time for a switch.
4. Dig a Little Deeper
There is no “one-size-fits-all” in this industry, as many vendors offer tailored, personalized solutions for your business. Many VoIP providers are willing to be flexible with contracts, offering short-term contracts or eliminating the contract in favor of a month-to-month agreement. Many providers also offer demos so you can better understand the product and decide if it’s right for your business. Inquire about the support and training measures offered for staff members, and always make sure you get everything in writing. Finally, look at the company’s client base. Often, reputable phone companies in Lafayette will be able to provide you with contacts or testimonials from clients who are willing to tell you about their experience with the services. Call two or three and ask about their personal experiences with features like support, equipment, and customer service.
5. Take Your Time
Once your company has chosen a phone company in Lafayette, it’s crucial to take the time your team needs to learn the new technology and system features. Some employees may take longer to absorb and familiarize themselves with the technology – so make sure you allocate the time and training needed.
Whatever path you choose for your company’s phone service, make sure your employees feel fully involved and informed about the process. As always, the team at UpLync Communications is here to answer any questions you may have! We can’t wait to hear from you!