How Outdated Phone Systems Are Killing Businesses

Thriving in today’s economic climate requires unified communications

Yep, those old traditional landlines are on their way out. In 2017, almost 90% of phone numbers were connected to mobile devices or internet-enabled phones. And some experts have predicted 2020 is the year that landlines finally become obsolete. (To be honest, they probably won’t disappear that fast. After all, there are still people out there using analog modems, believe it or not.)

Yet still, even with landlines falling out of favor, many businesses rely on traditional private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems for day-to-day operations.

Their trust in these systems makes sense: landlines aren’t susceptible to remote hacking (though analog lines can still be hacked locally through good old wiretapping), they usually still work when you’ve lost power, and they’re based on-premise, which gives the owner total control. Owners love total control over anything that impacts their business, especially things that affect the bottom line.

But the world of work is changing rapidly, and for any business to succeed in this moment, they need a better alternative – unified communications.

How old phone systems hurt businesses

Older PBX phone systems in today’s business environment have some pretty serious limitations. Some of those are business-impacting and result in:

  • Poor customer service: Leaving a voicemail and waiting for a response is so ’90s! In fact, most consumers expect to communicate with businesses online, be it online ordering, email, text, or live chat. If the only way to reach your business is by phone, you’re likely missing out on a major opportunity to handle service problems quickly, retain customers, and boost your reputation.

  • Internal miscommunication: Old phone systems can be frustrating for office employees to use. Imagine leaving a voicemail about an urgent issue for your boss and not receiving a response for hours or days. Relying on outdated technology makes employees feel less productive, which can spiral into other issues.

    According to a 2018 Unisys Corporation study, these frustrated employees are 450% more likely to quit than employees at companies with better tech solutions. Though this study sounds pretty far-fetched, and it is quite possible that the presence of outdated technology is an indication of a bigger problem with the business. Nevertheless, this questionable study supports the narrative that old technology can cause serious problems within a company. Thus, it is worth mentioning. Clearly, updating your system and improving communication for everyone beats recruiting and training new employees.

  • Less versatility: As many companies have made the switch to remote work, they’ve found landline phone systems to be far less versatile than VoIP-based PBX systems. Landline systems are tied to a specific geographic location and connect to the company’s separate phone network through phone hardware (e.g., phone cables, phone wall ports, etc.). Thus, they can’t be easily integrated with computer software applications, SMS and MMS messaging, video calling, chat apps, and other cool features required to make remote work easy. In contrast, a unified communications system supports all of these tools, making it super easy to onboard remote employees.

  • Difficulty diagnosing problems remotely: Diagnosing and fixing problems with traditional PBX systems requires troubleshooting from the IT department (if you have one, that is) or a technician from the phone system provider. The process involves testing connections, assessing internal and external parts, and likely fumbling with equipment on your building’s exterior. This means scheduling a day and time for the repair, and in the meantime, your system remains down, causing you lost revenue.
    On the other hand, to address problems with cloud-based systems, you have access to round-the-clock tech support that can tap into your system and get things back up and running quickly. No appointment required.

  • Hard to grow: When your business grows, it’s quite difficult to scale your old phone system up. Usually, with every batch of new users, you will have to add a bunch of new hardware. This hardware is usually proprietary, costly, and likely has to be installed by a skilled technician. Web-based phone systems are much easier to expand.

Why your business needs unified communications

As an alternative to your old phone system, it’s time to embrace unified communications. Generally speaking, this is a comprehensive service that enables all employees in your company to communicate in a way that delivers the best business results. Most unified communications components are based on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which gives you the ability to communicate from any location using the same phone number, extensions, and features.

And looking more specifically at a VoIP PBX system’s benefits over an old phone system, there are several advantages. You have the option of using both physical phones and “soft phones”, which are computers or mobile devices that use specialized communications software. VoIP PBX systems also connect to all of your business locations, enable you to respond to messages and requests in a timely manner, and can easily be scaled up or down at any time. In short, a VoIP PBX system moves and grows with the ever-changing needs of your business. Your old phone system limits your options to serve employees and customers, and it ultimately cuts into your profits.

Set up your Virtual PBX system today

Work with us to introduce cloud-based phone systems into your day-to-day business operations. Our VoIP PBX system helps you cut costs, connect all your business locations into one communications domain, send free SMS messages from business phones and desktops, and access free 24/7/365 tech support. Contact us today to discuss your needs and explore the best options for your company.