Archive for July, 2010

 

What do you need from your business phone equipment?

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Business phone equipment may largely be ignored in a company – until it goes wrong or cannot cope. That’s when some business owners may decide to look for a new system or upgrade their old one.

But if you are in this position and are still reluctant to spend any money on getting more phone equipment, you may wish to consider:

  • whether you are losing business or customers who cannot get through to your staff;
  • whether your staff may be able to work more efficiently with an upgraded system;
  • what impression a poorly functioning business telephone system may give customers; and
  • how your current business phone system may cope if your company expands.

Advice from an expert
Until you actually come to think of it, you may not realise how much thought and consideration may need to go into choosing business phone equipment. It is more than a question of getting some shiny new phones. Rather, you may wish to ask yourself: how do you want your business to work?

Can you envisage a future where your staff can get hold of each other in different office easily, and work seamlessly together regardless of location? What about an environment where customers can get straight through to the person they wish to speak to, without spending hours on “hold”? Sounds great, doesn’t it?

A good deal
If you think that a decent business phone system has to cost a fortune, don’t worry. There may be ways of reducing the bill. For instance, you may wish to recycle equipment from another site, and use refurbished gear. Some refurbished equipment may be in such good condition that you may never be able to tell that it has been pre-used.

There may be other ways of saving money too. Just because a business telecoms expert may have suggested new systems and functionalities, this may not mean ripping out what you have already and starting from scratch. Depending on the quality and age of your current business phone equipment, a telecoms engineer may be able to adapt or connect into what you already have.

What else is on offer?
Finally, when your business phone equipment has been installed, you may wish to ensure that your staff are fully trained on it. Finally, you may also want some maintenance support in place, to make sure that your system is always working as well as it should for you.

Summer newsletter

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

You can read our summer newsletter by following this link …

Summer 2010 Newsletter

Summer Customer Draw

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

The summer customer draw has now taken place and we can announce that the winners are ……..

Emma Bryant-Funnell at Mokrynski International and Helen Doherty at Fashion Personnel. A M&S gift card to the value of £50 awaits you both. Simply email Lisa at
lisa.settle@telcare.co.uk to claim your prize.

We were delighted to hear that a recent winner of our customer draw put her M&S voucher to good use by using it to buy her wedding cake! Congratulations to Nicola and Valentim, who were married on the 8th May 2010.

Our customer draw takes place once a quarter and is in recognition of your loyalty.

The autumn draw will take place in October, to register your name just email Lisa at the above email address.

What do you want from a business telephone service?

Monday, July 26th, 2010

If you run a business, your main priorities may include making some money whilst providing the best possible product or service you can. These considerations can occupy your mind on a day to day basis, whilst you may simply “cope” with whatever telecoms systems you have in place. But when you pause to think about it a better phone system may improve your productivity and speed up the way in which you work. So what do you want from a business telephone service?

Your business needs
Whether your business is a small doctors’ surgery, a school or college, a large factory, a medium sized shop, or a two-man band, your needs may include:

  • sophistication;
  • capacity;
  • reliability;
  • flexibility; and
  • value for money.

What do we mean by this? Let’s take each requirement in turn and explore the issue.

Sophistication
No two businesses are the same, so off-the-peg solutions may not be appropriate for all of them. A good business telephone service may be suitable for all of the uses you have for it, whether that involves phones, faxes, internet and data exchange solutions. A sophisticated system may not involve fancy or showy handsets – although if that is what you want then that is what we may be able to provide!

Capacity
Is your current system man enough for the job? Inability to process your customers’ calls could lose you time and money, which means that having your business telecoms system overhauled may be more important than you think.

Reliability
The reliability of a business telephone service may depend on a combination of factors, including the age, quality and fitness for purpose of the equipment. Having a relationship with your own dedicated telecoms engineer before something goes wrong may mean that you can nip any problems in the bud before they become catastrophes.

Flexibility
Does your business work in the same way that it did two years ago? Perhaps you now need to send more data, or speak to staff in a different building? Given that home working is a growing trend perhaps your staff need remote access, or maybe customer feedback has suggested that direct dials may strengthen the relationship between your staff and your client’s relationships?

Businesses grow and change – that’s normal. So when you are choosing telephone services, you may need to consider something flexible like a Siemens business telephone system that can be adapted to accommodate the way that your business works.

Value for money
Finally, as a business person you will not doubt be concerned with finding a business telephone service that offers value for money. This is where we can help. We make sure that we fully understand what any potential client may need from their office telephone system, whether starting from scratch or enhancing an existing one, and will suggest the solution best suited to their budget.

The unsung hero – your small business telephone system

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

If it is functioning correctly, you may not take much notice of your small business telephone system. But this system is really an unsung office hero, because it:

  • connects you with your customers;
  • connects you with your colleagues;
  • connects you with your suppliers.

But rather than ignoring your telephone systems and waiting until something goes wrong, why not have a professional look over your business telecoms equipment?

Preventative medicine
As a responsible business owner, you may regularly inspect the goods that you produce. You may even wander around your business premises from time to time to make sure that everything is as it should be.

But even though your telephone systems may not be as obvious as your products or premises (being hidden under office furniture and under the floor), it may benefit from being shown to an expert. Whether your small business telephone systems are a day or a decade old, you may find that an expert may be able to spot potential technical hitches before they arise (and no doubt cost you time and money). An expert may also be able to suggest improvements in the way that your system is configured in order to speed up or improve its performance.

Growing pains?
Is your business growing? Has your small business telephone system stayed the same? The fact that your small business is not so small any more may mean that the days when your original telecoms solutions was more than adequate may be numbered.

Essentially, in the situation you have two options. You could either:

  • put the issue at the bottom of your to do list and hope for the best; or
  • be proactive and contact a business telephone systems expert.

The first option may come about because of the pressures of work. Sometimes it may be hard to juggle tasks when you are managing a business, and unless you have a dedicated facilities manager, the phone system may not be your top priority.

But choosing the second option of getting in some expert telecoms help may pay dividends in the long run, not least because the engineer may be able to suggest changes that may improve your business’ performance.

Keeping your telephones fit and healthy – maintenance
As a technical system, your small business telephone set up may encounter problems from time to time. Accordingly, you may wish to have someone – if you’ll excuse the pun – on the other end of the phone to help you. Over time you may build a relationship with your telecoms engineer to such an extent that they may be able to train your staff to deal with smaller problems.

What to consider when choosing an office telephone system

Friday, July 9th, 2010

No matter whether you are starting from scratch and setting up a brand new branch; updating your existing office telephone system; nor whether you are a small business consisting of just a few employees; or one that has several hundred - making the right telephony choice is important.

What do you need?

For instance, have you considered the following issues?

  • how many lines you may need;
  • what sort of answer phone service you’ll need;
  • whether you need data exchange technologies;
  • whether you need non-geographic numbers (do you want everyone to think that your staff all work in the same place?);
  • what kind of telephone backup system you may need to have in place;
  • whether you need conferencing solutions (and with the rising cost of oil, some companies may be under pressure to cut down on travelling to see people and discuss things on a conference call instead);
  • whether you need video phone capabilities; and
  • whether you need any call re-routing capabilities to redistribute calls from the public when your staff are busy.

As you can see, there may be more to choosing an office telephone solution than meets the eye. Accordingly, you may wish to consider getting a specialist to come and advise you before you place your order.

Our service offers a free audit of your needs. This way, you have the benefit of professional advice on the state of your current system, with suggestions of how it may be improved and what you may need in the future should your business expand.

Or, if you are starting out, we can discuss your immediate needs as well as your long term business goals (eg expansion plans) and suggest the most suitable business telephony solution for you.

Doesn’t have to be new
Did you know that refurbished office telephone equipment may be available? Given that modern equipment may be well made and have plenty of years’ life in it, there may be no reason to buy new. This does not mean that you only have archaic-looking handsets to choose from. Some refurbished systems may be indistinguishable from brand new equipment!

What happens after installation?
After the business telephone system has been installed, what happens then? Ideally, your staff may be trained by the company who installed the system, and should feel comfortable about using it to its maximum potential.

There may also be the option of taking up a maintenance agreement – such as the ones we offer. This may mean that any problems that may arise may be dealt with as quickly as possible, with minimum interruption to your business. We offer different levels of service agreements as well as the option to build your own plan, meaning you only pay for what you need.

Do you need a new telephone system?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

If your business is growing, then so will the volume of calls you have to take. From a customer’s perspective, imagine the frustration of not being able to get through.
Would you just hang on a busy line, or dial the next business of the same kind in the phone book? If your telephone system is not up to the job, it could be losing you customers and therefore losing you money.

Investing in a new business telephony solution or upgrading your existing one may be the next step.

Getting a new telephone system
The first step in getting a new telephone system may include working out what you need. This may depend on:

  • how many employees your business has;
  • whether you need any faxes/internet connections; and
  • what your current system is like.

Ideally a telecoms system engineer would listen to what your requirements are and suggest a strategy that will suit your business. Our engineers can offer you a free onsite audit, so that they can assess what your business needs and how the equipment would fit into the business premises you use.

A system for expansion
Who knows how successful your business will be in a couple of years’ time? Perhaps your marketing will really pay off, or a product or service you offer will really grow in popularity.

This has to be taken into account when your business telecoms system is being planned. Rather than needing total replacement of the system when you hit your sales targets, you might ideally have something that can accommodate your growing business. Something like a modern Siemens business telecoms system may be exactly what you require because it may be flexible enough to accommodate your growth.

The physical installation
What are your business premises like? Whether you work in a busy surgery, a quiet block of offices or something a little unusual, this has to be taken into account when your telephone system is being planned.

When your new communication system is being installed the job needs to be done quickly and efficiently, so that your staff can take new orders and service existing customers’ needs as quickly as possible.

Maintenance
Finally, after the system has been installed, it should work swimmingly. However, all systems need maintenance to respond and adapt to the demands that may be placed on them.

This may involve having an external company on hand to fix any problems that may arise with your telephone system, and training your own staff to do so - or a combination of both. It may be better to have help lined up before a problem crops up rather than scrabbling to find someone to help when your phones are down. The good news is that we can provide affordable maintenance contracts that can be tailor made to meet your needs and your budget. So, why not get in touch today to see how we can help you get the most from your business telephony solution?

Quarterly Customer Draw

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Our summer newsletter is due to go out at the end of this month and as usual will include the winners of our quarterly customer draw. Two names are pulled from our customer base each quarter and each has the chance to claim a £50 M&S gift card. The winners are announced in our newsletter and in our online blog. So look out for your name as you will have a month to claim. If you haven’t got your name in the draw yet, email Lisa at lisa.settle@telcare.co.uk and she will make sure you are included. Good luck!