Do I need a VoIP Expert to Configure My PBX?

From my experience simply buying the latest-and-greatest PBX system does not always guarantee the benefit to a customer. It’s like getting a health club membership but not making a lifestyle change necessary to take advantage of your membership.

What I have been observing here, at DLS, time after time, is that even after making a decision to subscribe to our hosted PBX service, the first order of business for most clients is to imitate the way the old system worked.

This sounds like a great idea from the prospective lowering the incline of a learning curve and quelling the unrest of users who are less receptive to innovation (regardless of whether it’s good or bad for business). Unfortunately, many companies get stuck in that “transitional” configuration and never bother to move past it.

Can you greatly improve your customer’s satisfaction or employee efficiency by upgrading to a new phone system or hosted VoIP service? Absolutely! But if you don’t configure your new PBX properly then it could very well deliver mediocre results similar to those of a decade-old clunker you’ve been keeping together with duct-tape.  Really, it is hard to unleash full ROI potential when your new PBX setup imitates the old one.

Another problem is that an unfortunate number of small business owners have no idea how to best configure or provision their new phone system setups even after spending a few days on administrator and user training sessions.

Hire a Consultant

Configuring a VoIP system your customers will love may not seem like rocket science, but it’s more complicated and subject to subtler forces than you probably imagine. Instead of wagering your customer’s satisfaction on overconfidence, hire an expert who already knows what they’re doing and knows exactly how to match up your new hosted phone system’s advanced functionality with your business’ particular needs.

In addition to the knowledge and experience they bring to the table, your VoIP consultant will assist your business in an even more powerful way- they will push you to implement beneficial features and network changes you would never accept on your own.

There’s nothing more common than a business buying a new, advanced VoIP solution and then using that system or hosted PBX service in the exact same way they used their old, out-dated telephone system. People naturally fear what they don’t understand, and when confronted with the host of fresh, initially perplexing features provided by their hosted PBX or premise-based VoIP system, most business owners avoid tapping these complex powers for fear of causing unforeseen problems.

This issue isn’t going to resolve itself anytime soon. In fact, as phone systems become more complex, these fears will only increase in coming years. Rather than attempting to wait out the problem, it’s better to just go ahead and hire a consultant to assist you with the configuration and provisioning of your new VoIP PBX service or system before it is installed. Having a properly configured service will expedite your ROI in a new VoIP phone service or system.

VoIP Provisioning

When switching from the conventional to hosted VoIP, the first order of business is to ensure that your local network is up to accepting VoIP traffic. Without getting too much into the details in this article, I can safely tell you that improperly provisioned network can and will make your phone experience miserable. Appealing to your VoIP service provider for help after the fact means that a VoIP provisioning mistake is already made and consequences have been endured.

As a first order of business, VoIP experts typically evaluate your existing communications requirements, assess potential of using new features and help you make necessary changes and/or investments needed to accommodate voice traffic on your data network.

Why Take Advantage of Advanced Features?

Many businesses fail to take advantage of their hosted PBX’s advanced features and pay the price with low customer satisfaction scores. If your office is understaffed at times then there’s not much you can do to file down your customer’s wait time, but the right implementation of advanced VoIP features can quell their disconcertment. For example:

  • You can configure your VoIP system to announce hold times while your customer’s wait.
  • You can configure your VoIP system to tell your customer’s where in the queue they stand as they wait.

While it’s always important to attach your customers to a live operator as quickly as possible, ultimately it’s subjective feelings of unpredictability and being out of control that can cause customer ire more than objective wait time.

Advanced VoIP configurations give you all sorts of tools to improve your customer’s experience. For example:

  • You can assign primary or secondary status to menu options will make your company’s priorities clear. Frontloading your auto-attendant with sales options could alienate your customers far more than letting them know your main priority lies in offering them support.
  • VoIP systems allow for much greater flexibility in digital music-on-hold and other positive aesthetic features.
  • Modern phone systems allow you to set priority service for certain customer numbers identified by your internal caller ID.
  • Unlike traditional PBX systems, VoIP systems make it easy to “hunt down” employees with a cascading stream of user-programmed selective call forwarding to find-me/follow-me feature. For example, if a customer calls for Employee A and Employee A is not at the desk, after a pre-determined number of rungs your system will automatically forward this call to Employee A’s cell phone.
  • Implementing a complex IVR menu and having it make certain choices based on the inbound caller-id.
  • Understanding VoIP security threats and properly implementing security features.

These are just a few examples. Pretty great, huh? But how confident would you feel implementing these features on your own? With the help of a VoIP expert consultant you can take advantage of everything an advanced VoIP PBX has to offer.

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