When upgrading your phone system there are a multitude of options, and numerous considerations. Today the vast majority of SMB’s are choosing a hosted phone system – these phones connect to the provider over the Internet and function exactly as you would imagine a business phone should, but the phone system running those phones is located in the cloud rather than the cupboard in the basement.
Management and configuration of the systems occurs through a web-based portal, and Hosted systems such as Horizon Hosted Voice include a long list of features.
For SMBs, some of the most commonly important features you should be considering include:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, “Press 1 for accounting, press 2 for the White House…”
- Hunt Groups and Call queuing, where systems distribute incoming calls to specific recipients based on what the caller wants, extensions dialled, or other criteria.
- Hold music or audio, which should offer both a default option, as well as the ability for you to upload custom music or audio.
- Extension assignments, meaning an administrator on your side of the relationship should be able to assign internal extensions as desired.
- Number porting so you can use your current business phone number with the new service.
- Call recording so you can use phone experiences for training, sales, and marketing intelligence purposes.
- Voicemail to email, so your employees can listen their voicemail from wherever they receive email.
- Smartphone app so calls can be made and received away from the office.
- Integration with your CRM system, and click to dial capability.
- The right connection – enough bandwidth for the number of simultaneous calls you require, and the ability to prioritize voice traffic over other Internet traffic in order to maintain good call quality.