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Telephone Answering Systems

business allows office calls

No matter what business you are in, one of the most important decisions you will make as business owner is which telephone answering system is best for your company’s needs. Telephone answering systems come with many options and in all price ranges. Since every business has different needs, only you can determine which system fits your needs, but here are some pointers to make that decision as painless as possible.

1. POTS or High Tech?
Many small and start-up businesses start with the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS). Your telephone company can set up several lines and provide you with a simple answering machine that will be used during non-business hours. The downside is that you will need to hire someone to man that phone during business hours. The newer, more advanced telephone answering systems work with ISDN, mobile phones and VoIP.

2. Consider your needs
Let’s say your company has moved beyond POTS. You have “free range” employees without work stations, who are on the go with mobile phones and laptops. They check in remotely throughout the day, occasionally meet clients in the office, and use the office as a home base. You are definitely going to need a more advanced telephone answering system. Fortunately most packages include multiple extensions and such basics such as remote voicemail pickup and route-to-fax. But what additional features will save you money and keep your customers satisfied?

Virtual PBX allows callers to key in a specific number that corresponds to their reason for calling (i.e. technical difficulties, billing, etc.) or search for an employee’s extension by their last name,

Auto-Attendant answers every call and allows your front office to perform less menial tasks.

Call Hunt automatically forwards calls to another employee rather than sending the caller to voicemail.

Text To Speech allows customers to text your employees, then reads the texts aloud to the employee.

Redirecting capabilities can send incoming calls to employees’ and owners’ office, home or mobile phones.

800 Numbers are sometimes included free in with telephone answering systems. And look for plans with free nationwide calling and faxing.

Click to Dial allows you to dial a number with the click of a mouse.

Call Logs keep track of all incoming and outgoing calls, which allows you to quickly, easily return calls in conjunction with Click To Dial.

3. Make sure your system is expandable

Hopefully your company will grow, so consider telephone answering systems that can grow with you.

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