For some providers, selecting products for their service is intimidating. Knowing which manufacturers to carry and support takes strategy. For your customers, identify which phones will:
Enhance the user experience;
Help your users adopt and integrate your services;
Limit the scope of technical support you must provide.
So what criteria must you assess to choose the best phone equipment for your customers? We've highlighted four primary considerations below.
Pricing varies between manufacturers. Many factors justify these differences: hardware quality, warranty, features, video screen and more. Depending on the services you sell, you should know how much your customers will spend on new phones. You should also recognize which phones pair with your business. For example, an enterprise phone system needs reliable, robust products.
Just because a phone supports a feature does not mean the user can take advantage of it. If your system does not offer a feature, seek phones without it. Otherwise, you may dissatisfy users when they discover what your business cannot do.
For example, BLF (Busy Lamp Field) is a feature whereby a light shines or blinks when an extension is in use. This allows agents to see when other users are on a call. Some VoIP systems do not offer this feature, meaning the phone cannot either. Same goes for different transferring methods like voice whispering.
Understanding your customers' usage will reveal what types of phones you should provide. For instance, an outbound call centre needs more extensions than a small business. If your customer base comprises both low and heavy users, then you'll need a wider range of products. Alternatively, you can stock phones with add-ons like extension docks.
Usage aside, think about implementation. Do your users control their own networks? Do they have POE (Power over Ethernet) or Wi-Fi? Moreover, do they need cordless phones, headsets and other free-range products? Answers to such questions will guide your product selection.
The phone experience should match your customers’ familiarity with the technology. Customers accustomed to landline phones need devices that resemble analogue. Thus, touch screen displays and advanced menus might confuse such customers. Conversely, tech-hungry customers want the latest and greatest. Consider how such demands align with functionality and price.