Business Phone Systems: How Old is Too Old?

Business Phone Systems: How Old is Too Old?

A business’s phone system acts as the primary method for communicating with clients. Uprooting the current system and replacing it with a new one is a delicate matter, so it’s tempting to go with the old adage—if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. However, just because something still works doesn’t mean it’s doing what it needs to be doing. Old phone systems may be draining more money out of your business than they’re generating.

Telecommunications technology is ever evolving, but what remains the same is a business’s need for a reliable communication tool. Yet when it comes to upgrading that 10-year-old push-button phone sitting on the desk, people tend to hesitate. Knowing when or if you should upgrade your phone system can be a complicated decision. Here are some signs that it’s time for an upgrade.

Adding or Moving Locations

If your business is moving to or opening a new location, installing an older phone system can be detrimental to your finances. The costs of uninstalling, transporting and reinstalling an older communication system can be significantly more expensive than the price of a brand new system. For this reason, alternatives to POTs (plain old telephones) are becoming more popular.

Experts say there will be over 27 million VoIP users by the year 2020, which means that a universal upgrading is practically inevitable. Alternative communication systems, like VoIP, are attractive because they offer substantial cost-saving incentives for business. You’ll find a single installation of VoIP across multiple sites is a bargain compared to implementing POTs.

You may also be in need of an upgrade if the current system isn’t able to link up with multiple locations. Often, businesses who use their older systems run into the issue of needing more phone line extensions, slowing down communication between team members.

Features and Functionality

By design, older communication systems are transparent, in that what you see is what you get. Receiver, cord, buttons. Simplicity, however, can be a positive or negative depending on the needs of your business. On one hand, older systems are easier for employees learn and use. On the other, older systems can stunt business growth and success by having limited capabilities.

In today’s market, businesses need their communication systems to have more features and functions to stay competitive. Purchasing a dedicated teleconferencing solution to supplement an existing landline telephone system is not only pricy, but it’s also not as effective; reason being upgraded phone systems, like VoIP, can support teleconferencing, conference calls, and other add-on features seamlessly. Upgrading is also cheaper than purchasing multiple types of software and hardware. Not to mention, integration is easier, as well. So, if your phone systems most advanced feature is call waiting, it’s too old.

Customer Experience is Affected

Your phone system isn’t only how your clients reach you it’s also the first impression most people will have of your business. Older phone systems are more likely to have technical issues. When a call drops repeatedly, has poor audio quality, or the line is always busy it reflects poorly on the business.

On average, companies only hear back from 4 percent of buyers who have had an unsatisfactory service interaction. Customers and leads will disappear after waiting for an unreachable vendor. If your phone system has these symptoms, adding a line or two could be a short-term solution, but upgrading would be a cure with lasting benefits.

Each business has its own unique set of needs and goals. If your current phone system is meeting those expectations, an upgrade might be hard to justify. However, if you fall into the category where your business is being constrained by the current phone system, an update may unlock hidden potential and give you the competitive edge you’ve been searching for.