It’s smart to start compiling a MUST HAVE and WANT list for your next phone system as well as locating a new service company to sell it to you, install it and service it going forward. Phones like computers are the lifeblood to a service company.

Like buying the equipment you sell your own customers…it’s more the vendor you choose…than the type of phone system you buy. In other words, you want someone who has access to the parts, are well-trained, technically savvy and  responsive.

I’d recommend you start your investigative search by asking your fellow contractors of similar size who you don’t compete with who they’re using for their phone systems to get a couple of recommended vendors.

Today, phone systems are becoming more like computers. So, if you love your computer IT person, they can be a valuable resource and possibly the whole solution.

Here are just 10 things you’d want to make sure you have at least discussed with whomever you engage to buy and install your new phone system:

  1. Call stacking:
    Note: This is what you typically hear when you call an airline or a credit card company and the initial recording thanks you for calling and lets you know that they answer the calls in the order they came in…sort of like planes lined up for takeoff.
  2. Call hunting:
    Note: This is where the phone rings at one desk or one area like where the CSRs sit. And quickly after a set amount of rings the phone system rings the phone elsewhere in the office to alert more people that it’s time to pick up the phone.
  3. Conference calling:
    Note: Today, it’s common to participate in conference calls and webinars like GoToMeeting. A high-quality conference call with goodaudio is indispensible. This may require an external device like aPolycom.
  4. Blocking certain area codes on certain phones:
    Note: This means blocking any 900 numbers or other types of calls that would be racking up phone charges. It can also block any area codes you don’t want them to use in the office since it’s outside your normal service and support area. This typically requires a special password to unblock if you want to go out of that restricted zone.
  5. Have the ability to record calls for training purposes:
    Note: This is something that in many states must be made clear what you’re doing with the caller on the line. It’s typically a part of the callstacking message that says something like, “In order toensure quality service, this phone call is recorded for training purposes.”
    Having set phone scripts that are continually practiced by phone role-plays in the office are powerful. This is also true for the recording of calls that CSRs listen to and receive constructive coaching. We think we know what we’re saying and how we’re saying it…but we don’t.
  6. Have a ring back if on hold too long:
    Note: This is where a call has either been placed on hold for too long or they’ve been in the queue too long. Someone needs to free them from “Hold Eternity!”
  7. Make it an easy synch to your on-hold messaging system:
    Note: Your own multiple on-hold messages (at least four different ones) should be kicked in automatically after the initial call stacking has been done or any time they’re placed on hold. We don’t want them to be in here too long, but we also want them to know they’ve not been disconnected…and it doesn’t hurt to let them know all the great stuff we do.
  8. Have easy call-forwarding:
    Note: You want to make sure the sending off of calls to an answering service, or dedicated on-call person or anywhere in an emergency is seamless. You want to make sure the taking it off call-forwarding is just as simple and reliable.
  9. Make sure the phone system can track call count and time of calls received:
    Note: Really important for adjusting staffing of phones for live responses whenever possible and for valuable marketing statistics.
  10. Consider using VoIP (a.k.a. Voice-over Internet Protocol):
    Note: Using the power of the Internet can be a money saver, but the call quality and reliability can sometimes be an issue so double check that in your area it works and you have an easy exit if it doesn’t.

These Top 10 considerations will fast track you to finding the perfect phone system to fit your needs, your wants and your budget!



What’s the number one question I get asked? …

“How do I get my phone ringing NOW?”

I hear you and that’s why I took the highly successful program called Get More Calls Now and made it even more affordable by making it a self-study program. Learn more here:    

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