An office move is the perfect time to take stock of your current situation and reassess your needs. Oftentimes, a phone system audit can shed light on areas where you’ve purchased more than you need or identify additional needs your current system can’t provide. If you decide to switch providers, an office move is one of those rare moments where you can easily leave your old systems behind; the money that would have gone toward moving an old phone system usually covers the costs of implementing a new one. If you decide to make changes to your current service, you can implement changes in your new space to improve functionality and cost-effectiveness.
Here’s how to get things moving.
Step 1: Take Inventory
Review all equipment and subscriptions with your current phone system to assess whether they still meet your business’s needs. Include:
- Phone Infrastructure – If you’re on landlines or digital PRI circuits, this point is crucial. Determine what landline equipment your business is using in its current space, and whether it will be compatible with your new building’s infrastructure.
If you’re currently functioning on a landline, consider taking this transition time to switch to a virtual PBX system. Business VoIP transmits voice over the internet and does not require separate phone line infrastructure; hosted PBX systems are owned and managed by providers, alleviating businesses from the burden of managing most equipment.
If you’re already on a hosted VoIP business phone system, you won’t need to worry about your system’s infrastructure. Instead, communicate with your provider to make sure they can service you in your new space, especially if the move is non-local.
Pro Tip: Audit landline or digital PRI systems at least 30-45 days prior to a move to leave sufficient time for a potential migration.
- Phone Numbers – Check in on your business phone numbers. Do you have a number for each branch, department, employee or anyone else who needs to take calls? Many businesses purchase toll-free or vanity numbers for their main line to increase inbound calls – VoIP providers usually offer these at a small monthly fee.
- Lines and Users – Does each employee that needs a line have one? Are you paying for any lines you don’t need? Office moves are the perfect time to assess your service subscription and make necessary changes. Fortunately, adding users is cheap with VoIP PBX systems, and managers can make changes without adding grey hair; any onboarding or downsizing can be accommodated within a month with a simple subscription change. If there’s potential for frequent changes in your new location, a cloud PBX system will scale to your business rather than hinder growth.
- Phone System Assets – Tally up your handsets, cables, headsets and other equipment, and estimate how well the existing stock can handle breakage and an influx of new employees. Include other assets powered by your current phone system as well, including fax lines, alarm lines, paging equipment and door entry systems. Providers can advise on migrating these assets during a move.
Note that many VoIP providers now offer desktop or mobile interfaces that enable users to make phone calls without full handsets – onboard laptop and smartphone microphones and cameras can handle a variety of call needs. This less expensive alternative to a traditional handset is a great option for mobile workers and light phone users.
Step 2: Assess Costs
Take an inventory of your monthly bills, accounting for: service payments, add-on features, equipment rental fees, and so on. If you see anything you don’t recognize, verify the charges with your provider. Unfortunately, some providers try to squeeze money out of clients by fabricating vague fees like a “service fee,” hoping it goes unnoticed. Keep an eye out for those vague charges!
Landline fees are generally much higher than those in VoIP. Aside from the costs of maintaining aging infrastructure, landline providers often charge services à la carte, which can jack up prices quickly. VoIP, by contrast, is newer and consistently updated; most providers offer more advanced features in a standard VoIP package than you could affordably replicate with POTS (that’s Plain Old Telephone Service). Enjoy mobile phone service, seamless call routing, voicemail transcription and more, all for much less than landline service.
In addition to higher monthly costs, landline phones are more expensive to move, and usually require special wiring and third-party technicians to make upgrades. VoIP technology, by contrast, functions on internet wiring, with quality providers facilitating migration and installation at no extra cost.
Finally, check current provider contracts before signing a new lease to ensure they will service the location. Note any early termination clauses or other fees associated with a move or provider switch to be fully prepared.
Step 3: Identify Additional Needs
Review customer satisfaction with your phone services, phone-related employee performance and other KPIs to identify areas that need improvement; then, hone in on technologies that could help boost those metrics. For example, if your employees are missing too many calls, a mobile VoIP app with advanced call forwarding can help make sure someone’s always ready to answer incoming calls. Need to help a top performer speed up client communications? Voicemail transcription, electronic faxing, call recording, call monitoring, KPI reporting and texting are great ways to improve your company’s accessibility – and it’s all there for the taking with VoIP service.
Additionally, VoIP’s scalability makes it a growth-friendly option. If an office move is anticipating expansion, VoIP technology allows businesses to add lines and change settings as needed. Landlines tend to limit growth with rigid subscriptions and clunky hardware that’s difficult to maintain and slow to change. Imagine trying to justify purchasing a 32-user card simply to onboard a single new user – not pretty!
Flexibility also makes VoIP a great option for businesses with remote workers, frequent travelers and offices that need or want flexible seating. While legacy phones are wired to a physical location, VoIP functions over the internet; users can make and receive calls anywhere they have internet access and a mobile or desktop device.
If you’re experiencing significant pain points, you may need a provider change – discuss issues and possible solutions with your current and potential new providers.
Take Advantage of Transition Time with a Switch to Business VoIP
Most companies who switch to VoIP experience better service, more advanced capabilities and significantly lower costs. You’re already making big changes – why not embrace the “out with the old, in with the new” mentality and leave your old system behind for something better? Check out the 10 benefits of 4Voice’s business VoIP solutions to see how you can transform your new office and help your teams succeed.