Best Practices for Ensuring Your Phone Goes Ring-Ring
By: Kevin Cook IT Administrator, HealthCARE Express When you first decided to open your Medical Practice business, I bet the question, “Which phone system do I need?” didn’t even make the top 10 list of things to worry about. I know it’s a boring topic. Let’s face it, everybody has a telephone, every business has lots of them, so really, phone systems aren’t difficult. Or are they? Choosing the right phone system and deciphering through all the options can be overwhelming if you don’t have a technology background. Yet the decisions you make regarding your phone system will undoubtedly impact the quality and level of customer service you can provide. Tip 1: Who You’re Buying From is Just As Important as What You Buy Before you decide which brand to buy, study the different resellers in your area and find out how well they take care of their current customers. Companies that get rave reviews by other businesses in your area, as well as the ones that advertise many years of service, are the ones you should ask to quote your new phone system. Always get at least three quotes, and make sure each business knows you are gathering quotes from other companies. Often times knowing there is competition can reduce the amount of an initial quote. Tip 2: Take Time to Evaluate Your Needs vs. Options Offered Another thing you should consider before you get a quote on a new phone system is what options do you need? Options include everything from how many programmable buttons you need to the type of voicemail system you want to have. You’ll also need to decide if your network will need to connect to other locations and if you want an automated attendant to answer each call. Most phone system companies will run additional lines in your building and set-up your phone and network wiring in the initial construction of a building. Having the same people do all of this can save you both headache later and also a little money. The more you buy from the same source upfront, the more inclined they may be to give you a discount. Tip 3: Ensure Training Comes with Your Phone System Before you accept any quote and agree to purchase a new phone system, find out what the company’s policy is on training once the system is setup. Some companies will only make time to teach one person how the phone system works, while others may be willing to show your employees how to use the new handsets and setup their voicemail greetings and passwords. Tip 4: Buying vs. Leasing a Phone System As with most large equipment purchases for your Medical Practice, your phone system will come with a buy or lease option. There are pros and cons to each. New systems can cost between $3,000 and $20,000 depending on the size of your business and the options you select. If you can bundle that cost into your initial equipment purchase loan for the building, buying the system outright may be the best option for you. Leasing a system rids you of the initially large upfront cost and may provide you with a cheap buyout option at the end of the lease. However, a typical lease period is around five years, at which point, you may need to upgrade to a new system. A lease can also ensure a safeguard against equipment failures. Before you sign a lease, make sure it includes a clause where broken or damaged equipment is replaced during the lease period.