These days, with the growth in smartphone capabilities, it’s tempting for businesses to try and move away from traditional phone systems. Small businesses, especially, have gravitated towards ‘cellphones-only’ in an attempt to cut costs, like equipment and in-house IT staff expenses. However, one of our small business clients recently shared with us some of the pains they experienced with relying on cellphones alone.
1) Smartphones don’t have directories.
Often, if someone is trying to reach your business, the first number they call leads them directly to the person they are trying to reach. Whether it’s a new client who doesn’t have everyone’s direct numbers or a potential lead trying to reach the right salesperson, not having a directory lowers their chances of getting in contact with the right person.
When one cellphone number is used for the main company line, not having a directory to route incoming callers is one of the biggest disadvantages to cellphones. Without a directory, a caller can’t choose exactly who they want to speak to, or even get the right number automatically. This means they will waste their time trying to speak to the right person.
2) Smartphones don’t allow you to transfer calls among the team or from an individual to a conference room.
A big pain point for our client who was relying strictly on cellphones was that they could not transfer calls using cellphones.
How many times have you got a call that a coworker is better able to handle? If that call is taking place on a cellphone, you’ll have to ask the caller to hang up and wait for your coworker to call them back. This time switching between cellphones ruins the efficiency of your system and makes the caller anxiously wait for the right person to get back to them.
Additionally, when clients are calling in for a meeting they will often call the number that is most handy. If that number happens to be your main line, which could be attached to someone who isn’t scheduled to be on the conference call, they will have to either take their cellphone to the conference room or end the call just to have someone else call back. That doesn’t reflect well on the professionalism of the conference call.
3) Smartphones don’t allow corporate control of voicemail
Voicemail has come a long way from the machines that sat next to your phones. Nowadays with smartphones, you can carry voicemail in your pocket. But for a business, not having control of incoming voicemail messages can lead to confusion and loss of information.
Having corporate control of your voicemail allows your business to store and manage the voicemail messages coming in. This functionality allows you to share voicemail messages with other coworkers and make sure they don’t get lost in the shuffle. With cellphones, you have to rely on the person receiving the message to check their voicemail regularly and then accurately relay the information to anyone else who may need it.
From client experience, chaos and miscommunication often stem from smartphone hosted voicemail.
4) Smartphones have batteries that need to be charged. Smartphones have batteries that need charging. Did we mention smartphones have batteries that need a charge?
We’ve all done it, forgotten to charge our phone the night before or left our charger at home and then by midday your cellphone is down to 20 percent. When you rely solely on smartphones for your business communication, then the pressure rises for everyone in a company to have their device charged. That can be difficult for one person to manage, let alone a whole team.
5) Smartphones don’t have extensions and team members don’t always want every client to have access to them and their cell 24/7.
With technology, people today are accustomed to being connected at all hours. But studies show that healthy work environments allow employees to disconnect from work during their off hours. Instant email notifications already make this difficult to do, but when your clients access your team via cellphones it makes it nearly impossible to step away from work.
There’s nothing like getting a call from a client at 6 a.m. to start your day off, or better yet, getting multiple calls from a client who believes in working late into the evening.
We get it. Why buy a phone system when everyone already has cellphones? But as the 5 disadvantages above demonstrate, cell phones aren’t the most efficient, or even the most convenient, option for your business’ telecommunications.
Even if you’re a small business, with 1-5 employees, a managed services phone solution could be a better solution for you. Want to know more about managed services? Download our guide: