Sam is the office manager at a local healthcare clinic. He oversees and supports all administrative staff and ensures that the clinic runs efficiently. From generating payroll to approving office supply orders, Sam covers it all. He loves his job.
Well, except one task – managing the clinic’s phone system.
It seemed easy enough at first. Fortunately, the clinic had already switched its old analog system to hosted voice over IP (VoIP) phones. Sam accesses the system via a web portal the clinic’s phone company provided. He can make changes there, but that’s not the problem. It’s knowing HOW to do what he needs within the portal that’s frustrating and time consuming. Changing the clinic’s voicemail greeting (seems simple enough, right?) took him almost a half day.
Managing a Business Phone System
Sam’s situation isn’t unique. Managing a business’s phone system typically falls on the person who “drew the short straw” and doesn’t know anything about phones other than how to use one.
But what does “managing a phone system” really mean? Here are four main requirements and some associated tasks.
- Add, Update, and Train Users
Every person with a phone is considered a user and has an extension number in the system. To add someone, the phone system manager has to order a new device, program the extension name, set the voicemail password, issue user credentials, possibly train the person on how to use the phone. They may also need to adjust the overall system programming to ensure the extension rings when a call comes in.
When there’s staff turnover, the phone system manager has to update the extension name, reset the voicemail password, issue the new user credentials, and possibly train the new person.
Users will look to them for answers regarding anything to do with their phones. Common questions are – How do I check my voicemail? How do I change my voicemail greeting? How do I transfer a call? How do I make a conference call?
- Designate and Purchase Phone Numbers
Each phone number for your business requires a corresponding address for 911 purposes, along with a CNAM entry for CallerID. The employee managing your business phones is responsible for establishing that data. They’ll also purchase new phone numbers, such as direct dial numbers for employees.
- Establish and Maintain Call Flow
The phone system administrator determines what happens when someone calls your business (AKA the “call flow”). They have to program the extensions according to when they should or shouldn’t ring.
Voicemail greetings, auto-attendants, and hold music are also part of the business phone system’s call flow. Overseeing complex call-flow structures can consume a considerable amount of your employee’s time.
- Troubleshoot and Fix Problems
As with any technology, VoIP phone systems will break. Whether a physical phone dies or the programming isn’t working correctly, the system manager has to troubleshoot and fix the issue. Or, they need to engage your phone service provider’s support team to fix the problem.
Consider the Opportunity Cost
If you’re relying on an employee like Sam to manage your phone system, consider the opportunity cost. What could they be doing instead?
Phone systems should facilitate your company’s workflow and increase office efficiency. But, can that happen if your system manager doesn’t know how to make the VoIP phones do what you want them to? Are you using the business phones to their full potential?
Every time Sam logs into the phone system, he questions why he’s the one managing it. He’s not a phone expert, and it distracts him from what he is talented at—running a healthcare clinic like a well-oiled machine.
Your Full-Service Business Phone System Provider – Lafayette, Indiana
If you or one of your employees is asking that same question, consider changing to a full-service business phone service provider, like UpLync Communications. Based in Lafayette, Indiana, they will manage the system for you, allowing you to get back to what you do best. Contact UpLync to learn more about their free business phone system management.