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How to Plan a Phone System for Your Business
Office telephones are so pervasive that they are taken for granted in the same way that desks and chairs are taken for granted. After all, how much work could get done without desks, chairs and telephone systems? Yet those little dark gray boxes that look pretty much the same from office to office and company to company conceal all sorts of technology, features and choices.
When it comes to selecting an office phone system, the objective is to make sure that it delivers everything that users expect and need without making them think about it. In other words, it should be so functional and so easy to use that it is taken for granted. To that end, here are some points to consider.
Fit Phones to People, Not People to Phones
On the other hand, a new phone system may have features that, once introduced, will be quickly adopted because users perceive a benefit, for example, increased convenience or increased productivity. So, do not shy away from new features just because they are new.
At the risk of stating the obvious, one of the best ways to find out what people want is to ask them. This can be done by chatting informally or by sending out a survey using a Web-based query tool, or soliciting input via the company news bulletin. A short survey with simple questions is best. Even when people cannot articulate what they like best or least about the current system, or what function they would like to have in an updated system, there will be a high rate of satisfaction simply because they were asked for input.
From Wish List to Plan
Physical and organizational constraints run the gamut from tapped out lines
in executive office suites to organizationally-mandated spam filtering and
voice mail archiving to legally mandated encryption of data transmissions.
Phone system planning is about much more than just the conduit from the wall
to the instrument on the desk.