October 2022 | Nextworks
Are you considering a new phone system from a large provider? Before you sign a contract, consider a few essential tidbits. We’ve written this article to hopefully save you a bit of a headache. We are a small business and value every hour spent and every dollar earned. Likely, you do too. Yes, we do sell phone systems and our incentive is for you to consider Nextworks, but we also hope that you find value in learning about some experiences we’ve encountered.
In the greater Portland, Oregon area we have worked with a lot of small businesses. Let’s examine a common storyline for companies that have 30 to 50 full-time employees. These businesses have been running legacy systems such as Avaya, Mitel/Shoretel, or Panasonic. Their IT support is often separate from their phone system provider.
During the pandemic, many have increased the percentage of their staff working from home. For this rapid transition a quick solution for a cloud business phone system was decided upon, usually from Comcast, RingCentral, 8x8, Pacific Office Automation, etc.
Unfortunately, these solutions provide very little support for small businesses. After a quick online signup and entering a credit card, here come the new phones in the mail (or links for a softphone to download and install). Phones come nicely boxed with a polished 1-2-3 guide on how to plug them in or install the software. An account is created with a portal to set up the call flow.
Facing a decision and time crunch, the manager of the business points to an employee to figure out the new system and how to use the portal. The employee is somewhat technically skilled but not enough to design a new phone system workflow in a web portal. So, he or she makes a call to the current IT vendor.
“We just got a new phone system. Can you help us?”
The IT vendor doesn’t have expertise in phone systems. While they can help get them online and/or install the software, they are unable to help navigate you through the whiteboarding of call queues, workgroups, auto-attendants, after-hours operations, etc. They don’t have the skill set to ask the right questions. Who can blame them? This is not their business. Nevertheless, they try to provide good customer service and do the minimum to help set up the new system.
The result is a somewhat crippled and incomplete system that doesn’t provide an improvement over the old system, other than enabling employees to work from home. Plus, you have a new reoccurring expense on your books. The initial fight to resolve issues fades in a few months as more important business tasks take to the front burner. Business communication suffers as customers can’t reach the right department or calls are routed ineffectively. Your system may have many useful capabilities, but your staff has never received training. Calling for technical support on your new system results in a scripted call with no understanding of your business workflow.
Don’t let this happen to you. Nextworks is a small local business, and we value every customer relationship. We will see the project through to completion and provide fast, friendly, and experienced support.