Note: There are two common types of hosted VoIP phone companies. For this blog, we focus on those that operate essentially as your newly formed phone department. They manage the system installation, modifications and ongoing maintenance. You don’t need to become a phone expert. Instead, you can continue doing what you love—running your business.
You spend a lot of time researching business phone systems in Lafayette, IN and deciding what will work best for your small business. After comparing products, prices, and services, you call the sales rep at your chosen VoIP phone company and give him the “yes.”
But, what’s next? Do you sign a contract? Write a check? How do you go from “yes” to having a shiny new phone on your desk and making your first call?
Short answer—it depends. (Don’t you just love that answer!?!) The onboarding and installation process usually contains similar steps across business phone providers; however, the order in which the steps occur may differ.
Goodbye Sales, Hello Production
After finalizing the order details, such as the number of phones and ancillary services (think faxing, texting, etc.), the salesperson will introduce you to the production department. They gather specific details for programming the individual phones and overall system. (This is where the real fun begins! Well, for the phone nerds anyway.)
Planning the System – 10,000 ft. View Down to 1 in.
Hosted VoIP phone systems are flexible and easily customizable. You can make the system as simple or complex as you like. If you aren’t the person who answers most incoming calls, consult with the employees who do. They have the best perspective on how your existing system functions and what can be improved with the new one.
Ask yourselves, “If someone calls the business, what should happen?”
With a general plan for how the system will function, you can dig down to each specific phone. The phone first needs a name and location (e.g., Front Desk, John, Kitchen, Conference Room). Then, you will decide what features to enable. Voicemail-to-email, call recording, do not disturb, and call forwarding are just a few options. Finally, given the overall system design, you can indicate when the phone should ring. For example, if it’s the Front Desk, it rings on every incoming call. If it’s John in the accounting department, it only rings if someone transfers a call to him or dials his specific extension.
Whew! Now, you get a break. You’ve chosen to work with a full-service VoIP company, so the programmers will create the system according to your plan.
Happy Install Day
When the programming is complete, it’s time to meet the install team. They will unbox and power up the new phones at each desk/location. They leave the existing phones in place so you won’t be without phone service during the process. The installation “should” be plug-and-play; however, as with any technology, there can be hurdles along the way. After testing and verifying the correct programming, they will call forward your main business number into the new system. At that time, incoming calls will begin ringing on the new phones.
They Work! Now, How Do We Use Them?
Training is key to ensuring a successful transition. It is usually tailored to your business needs and questions. Training for a business with 10 employees can differ significantly from that of a business with 100 employees. You can determine what approach you want to take.
Moving Your Business Phone Numbers
To keep your numbers, the new phone provider will “port” them from your existing phone company. This previous post describes that process.
Stay In Touch
You’re done! (Happy dance, anyone?) But, remember, your hosted VoIP phone company is available after installation day for support, modifications, and maintenance. The system is easily modified and can change as your business grows.
You don’t have to be a phone expert and manage your phone system. Contact UpLync Communications, a business phone service in Lafayette, Indiana, that also provides text and fax. Our team will guide you through the transition to a hosted VoIP phone system and be there when you need help afterward. (Added bonus: Installation and customer support are free!)