8 Features to Look for in a Call Center Phone System

By Emily Arnold

The idea of upgrading to a new call center phone system can be daunting. Having dedicated call teams, like sales and support, whose entire jobs revolve around inbound and outbound calls adds a new level of complexity to your migration plan and places additional importance on the ongoing system maintenance required. Selecting a contact center phone system that is easy to configure and maintain will save you a lot of headaches and wasted time in the future.

If you are searching for a new phone system and want to be confident that you are purchasing one that is easy to maintain, here are eight signs to look for:

1. Setting up new users takes minutes, not hours

Being able to add new phone system users quickly helps to minimize downtime during the initial call center phone system upgrade, and it also reduces the amount of IT resources required each time a new employee is hired. Onboarding employees should not be a burden on your IT team. Look for a call center phone system with a browser-based admin portal that allows you to log in from anywhere and quickly select the options you need. Some phone systems, like Switchvox, even allow you to create templates for the different types of users, such as sales reps, customer service agents, or administrative assistants, which help to speed up the user creation process by only showing the options that are relevant to that specific user type. Also, choosing IP phones that offer plug-and-play deployment with your system will drastically reduce the time it takes to set up a new user.

2. Remote and mobile workers are included in the phone system directory

Today, many employees are choosing to work outside the office walls. While this trend has been growing for years, several call center phone systems still are not equipped to gracefully handle these types of employees. Look for a phone system that includes all employees in one directory regardless of their location and that offers a mobile app. These two attributes will give you one central location for you to manage all users as well as a seamless user experience for employees and a united front for callers.    

3. Employees use the same password as other business systems

Any seasoned IT admin knows that system password management can be a hassle. Employees oftentimes forget their passwords and need them to be reset. Or, they write passwords down,  exposing themselves and the company to security issues and other risky, time-consuming scenarios. To avoid these types of hassles, look for a call center phone system with an integrated centralized security solution, such as Microsoft Active Directory or LDAP. This will allow employees to use the same password for both their phone system portal and other business systems, giving them one less password to remember and you one less password to maintain.

4. Automatic backups can be scheduled

Many organizations require their systems to be backed up on a regular basis, including their phone system. As you know, having to remember and schedule manual backups can be an unreliable process that often results in undesirable consequences. Look for a call center phone system that allows you to set up an automated backup schedule to the FTP server of your choice and that allows you to create immediate backups when needed.

5. Logs and reports are easily generated

As organizations evolve, so do their telephony needs. Being able to quickly analyze usage trends and historical data will allow you to understand how employees are using the phone system and any problems callers may be experiencing. Look for a phone system that gives you easy access to call logs and allows you create reports as needed or on a scheduled basis. This will allow you to make data-driven decisions about your phone system.

6. Call center managers can make changes without IT’s help

Call center managers are continually working to improve the caller experience. This requires tweaks and changes on a regular basis that could quickly become time-consuming for IT staff members. While the IT team should make big changes to a phone system, look for a call center phone system that enables contact center managers to update call queues, IVRs, greetings, and other configurations easily and without your help.

7. The entire phone system is from one vendor

It is important to determine whether a phone system manufacturer provides only some or all of the components necessary for your call center –  the PBX, the IP phones, and the connectivity you need, such as VoIP gateways and SIP trunking services. Selecting a vendor that provides one, complete solution can make it easier to pinpoint the problem if anything ever goes wrong because all components are housed under one support umbrella. And, it can speed up the time to deployment because you only interface with one vendor, and all of the components are guaranteed to work together. Look for a call center phone system manufacturer who offers an end-to-end solution that seamlessly integrates together. For example, Digium’s IP phones include plug-and-play deployment with Switchvox, and Digium gateways auto-discover Switchvox to set up call routing rules.

8. Around-the-clock technical support is available

Many contact centers have dedicated call teams working 24×7. If you are offering customer service at midnight, look for a phone system vendor who also offers support at that time. If something goes wrong with your phone system in the middle of the night, you can’t wait until the next morning to resolve the issue without serious impacts on your business. You should be able to rely on your manufacturer to provide you with the assistance you need to keep your call teams going even in the early morning hours.

Next Steps

If you’re looking for a call center phone system with advanced features that is easy-to-maintain, check out Switchvox now.

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About the Author

Emily Arnold

Emily is the Product Marketing Specialist for Digium. In this role, she helps to develop demand generation programs for products that enable custom communication solutions built on open source Asterisk, as well as assist in driving awareness for Digium’s partner program. Prior to joining Digium in 2013, Emily worked with engineering and e-commerce companies to develop their SEO, social media, and content strategies. She graduated with honors from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a BSBA in Management and Marketing.

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