As we hurtle through the digital age and become more and more interconnected, customer service is often expected to adapt to match it. With services being offered through methods such as text and chat windows—processes that are becoming increasingly automated—the need for speed can come at the expense of a human touch, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. While these instant gratification messaging systems may be good for run-of-the-mill troubleshooting, there’s no substitute for hearing a human voice at the end of the line when real trouble arises. Customers seem to agree: a whopping 46% of consumers agreed that speaking to a real customer service representative is preferable when dealing with issues such as making complaints or disputing charges. People want to be heard, and in order to do that, it’s crucial that a business phone system be able to keep up with those needs. Once you realize that, the only challenge then is deciding which system is right for your business needs.
If you’re an older business still relying on traditional analog phone structures, a hybrid system—that is, a system that combines both the analog phone structure and the increasingly common VoIP system—can be a good way to transition away from an infrastructure that’s becoming increasingly obsolete. Because hybrid systems support traditional telephony as well as VoIP services, they help lengthen the return on previous investments to company technologies while moving toward the future. A hybrid business phone system not only supports traditional landline calls but mobile and VoIP calls as well, ensuring that no matter how your customer is trying to get a hold of you, their voice will be heard.
If your business is considering making the switch to VoIP, the next important decision to make is whether an on-premises or hosted PBX is right for you. The difference is right in the title: on-premises hosting means hardware is hosted in your server closet onsite, where a hosted PBX maintains the data at an offsite cloud center. There are advantages and disadvantages to each system. Onsite hosting eliminates the chance for fee increases from providers and will ultimately require lower maintenance costs, while hosted phone systems offer a lower setup cost and no maintenance fees in case of equipment breakdown. In terms of drawbacks, however, onsite hosting requires a higher setup cost, while a hosted system may potentially be more costly with ongoing service. Explore which option is best for your business needs, and you’ll be connected with your customers in no time.
Ultimately, no matter which route you choose for your business phone system, it’s important to remember why staying connected is important. Show your consumers that you care by offering a reliable, consistent way to communicate with you in case a problem arises, and you’ll ensure continuing loyalty and consumer buy-in for years to come.