9 Signs Your PBX Needs an Upgrade

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Companies don't want to miss calls from customers, waste employee time, or overspend on outdated technology. In other words, no one wants to be stuck with an outdated PBX phone system! Here are nine signs your PBX system needs an update.

We all think we're up to date with technology until life proves us wrong. As 2020 rolled around, businesses worldwide realized their current PBX system wasn't suited to handle the new normal. Not surprisingly, organizations quickly adjusted.
It's important to know that 96% of midmarket and enterprise leaders say the COVID-19 outbreak accelerated their digital transformation strategy and 46% said it drastically accelerated it! It rarely means ripping and replacing with similar solutions. In reality, most of those enterprises migrate from an on-premises PBX to a hybrid PBX system on their way to a fully hosted solution.

There is a bright side to 2020, even if it was a rough year for many organizations. Leadership has taken the time to audit their existing tech stack and rethink their software asset management strategy. It is safe to say that upgrading your business phone system is a big source of productivity improvements and cost savings that most companies can take advantage of.
Modern companies require modern PBX systems. In particular, a system that can handle an increased call volume, a larger inventory of numbers, call monitoring, and intelligent call routing. Not sure if your legacy phone system should be replaced? You've outgrown your business phone system if you're experiencing any of the annoying issues below.

9 Signs Your Legacy Phone System is Crushing Your Growth

The following list applies to readers with any type of phone setup. Maybe you have a hosted or hybrid solution that keeps giving you problems, or maybe your on-premise PBX system isn't doing the job anymore.

  • You're slowed down by your expensive on-premises PBX system.
  • Your virtual phone system is unreliable and unsupported.
  • A new office is being opened or remote employees are being hired.
  • To manage phone numbers, you log into multiple interfaces.
  • Your ACD system does not include intelligent routing capabilities.
  • You lack real-time visibility and call coaching features.
  • The capacity of your multi-line system is reaching its limits.
  • Although your company is international, your PBX system is not.
  • It's time to resign your annual contract with your phone service provider.
  • As you read any of those signs, if your heart rate increased or your breathing became shallow, that's a good thing! We wrote this list just for you. Let's dive in to the details.

    1. You have a 100% on-premises PBX

    In the past, on-premise PBXs were the business standard, and they still have a place. However, the few advantages on-prem systems held over hosted solutions just a few years ago are disappearing as technology improves. The PBX phone systems of today are more secure than ever, and call quality issues that were once associated with IP communications are unusual occurrences when you choose a reliable provider.

    Of course, you don't have to get rid of your existing PBX. Choose a hybrid solution if you prefer the aspects of your on-premises solution. Most companies move to the cloud over time, by migrating numbers and users over to a new system or setting up a hosted phone system as a backup in case of disaster.
    The drawbacks of a 100% on-prem PBX include:

  • Higher overall costs. In addition to the costs you would pay with a hosted solution, you must pay for server maintenance, service visits, occasionally hardware updates, and more. The range of costs included with an on-prem PBX usually add up much higher than a hosted solution.
  • Headcount increase. Besides capital and replacement costs plus software upgrades, your company must maintain an IT staff to manage an on-prem phone network. The costs of those compensation packages disappear when you move your legacy system to the cloud.
  • Manual updates. Legacy phone systems require manual updates and hardware replacements to stay functional and secure. Hosted solutions are updated automatically, including regular releases of new features for customers.
  • Using the cloud for your communications offers protection against data loss since all cloud communication companies back up all of your phone records and the recording data associated with them. You have better chances of maintaining business continuity no matter what security threats or external factors threaten your growing operations.

    2. Your PBX phone system is unreliable

    Hosted PBX systems are leaps and bounds ahead of the quality of service they delivered several years ago, but businesses still encounter problems when they choose a provider who is unreliable or inexperienced with a particular use-case. If you keep running into any of these problems with your hosted PBX, it's time to evaluate other providers:

  • Dropped calls or poor connection.
  • Your analytics don't match your call logs.
  • The caller ID on outgoing calls is incorrect.
  • Connectivity issues with certain internet providers.
  • Logging in or accessing parts of the interface is difficult for users.
  • Routing rules, queue groups, and call logs are affected by bugs.
  • Permissions are not specific enough to protect sensitive information.
  • You cannot connect numbers from other carriers to your system.
  • When you need support, the wait times are long and your reps seem inexperienced.
  • Potential sales opportunities are directly related to your network coverage. Coverage shouldn't bind you when it can easily become your strength. With APIs, you can connect directly to your wholesale voice service, making their coverage yours. Hard-to-find number types create opportunities for higher margins, driving up your profits from multiple angles. In addition, customers and partners are more likely to trust you if you check the boxes for the markets they are most interested in.

    3. You are opening an office or managing remote employees

    In a survey conducted by Twilio at the beginning of 2021, 87% of companies said digital communications were critical or very important to their survival during the pandemic. As your offerings gain popularity and your customer base takes off, you’ll want to maintain the same level of personal, attentive service on which your company has so far prided itself. New sales and service agents can be set up in seconds with cloud-based PBXs.

    Furthermore, many employees work remotely due to government regulations, health limitations, or personal preferences. 2020 helped businesses see that engaging customers from afar can work, and 95% of them expect to increase or maintain their organization's investment in customer service systems after the pandemic. The traditional business phone systems aren't well suited to a remote workforce, and not all cloud-based solutions are either. Make sure that you source your provider wisely and that you can continue to attract the best sales and customer service agents no matter where they are located.

    No matter if you're expanding with a new office or managing remote employees, your phone system should make this easier.

    4. You manage phone numbers & call flows from multiple interfaces

    You shouldn't have to log into multiple interfaces to manage different phone numbers or aspects of your voice service, no matter how many carriers you have. Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) include both PBX features and unified communication capabilities. Even if you want to avoid replacing your entire existing PBX, SIP trunking with a CPaaS like AVOXI consolidates your phone number management needs to one simple interface. In either case, managing your numbers and call flow from one central location reduces errors, saves time, and creates a flexible communications environment.

    5. Your ACD system lacks intelligence

    The deployment of priority and skills-based call routing is yet another way VoIP shines for growing businesses. When someone calls your business, you want to direct them to the right person to offer a personalized experience. Perhaps this internal person is a sales representative who has nurtured a potential client and understands what factors this client is considering. Alternatively, it could be a customer service agent who is able to resolve challenges related to products. Global companies use call routing to connect callers with agents based on their time zone and schedule.

    With skills-based call routing, you find the perfect match for your inbound callers by matching their phone number to CRM data associated with that number. It then routes the call to the team member who is best equipped to assist the caller. The automated process reduces handling time while increasing first call resolution. A skills-based call routing system can match callers with agents based on common skills such as language spoken or product knowledge.

    A recent customer experience survey by The NorthRidge Group found that even though phone remains customers’ preferred channel for quick resolutions, 67% find it difficult to reach someone live, and 73% say they wait too long to talk to a business. In the field of software and technology, speed is especially important for staying on top of operations and sales. With call routing, your valued customers can bypass long phone queues and quickly connect with your team, so they can all stay on top of their business.

    6. You lack real-time analytics for sales & support teams

    The key to successful growth is ensuring that your teams continue to deliver top-quality customer experiences, even as you scale them up. It is not uncommon for managers tasked with expanding business to listen in on calls to coach their staff because they understand that they will only grow as much as their weakest member. Yet insights and coaching opportunities are hard to come by without real-time analytics and call coaching features.

    As a growing company, call monitoring provides an opportunity to use quality monitoring tools such as manual or automated scorecards that support department or company KPIs. Quality assurance scorecards assign a score to your agents’ performance and the quality of their customer interactions. Agents use them to track how they're doing in relation to their sales or customer service targets. Meanwhile, scorecards help managers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their teams, as well as where their employees need assistance.

    If you’re not taking advantage of the real-time guidance and growth call monitoring affords, it’s time to graduate to a PBX that offers these capabilities.

    7. The capacity of your multiline system is reaching its limit

    In 2021, most multi line systems are outdated by default. One benefit of a multi-line phone is that you can have one number that connects to multiple lines, so callers never hear a busy signal just because someone else is on the line. Why is that outdated? Because multiple lines is a far cry from unlimited capacity.
    Modern call management systems prioritize unlimited capacity for each number, limiting your total channels only in countries where regulations require it. Almost all of the major VoIP PBX providers include unlimited call capacity (or close to it) in their pricing, so additional fees for additional channels are rare. Why worry about channel capacity limits when solutions with unlimited capacity are readily available?

    8. Your company is international but your PBX is not

    In the business telephone system industry, unified communications have been on the rise for years and are only going to get more popular after 2020. As we discussed in Effective Sales Techniques for International Expansion, virtual communications are pushing more companies towards the global marketplace. What if you had to install a new phone system, including new PBX configurations, for every new location you opened? Worse yet, a new setup for every region employees work remotely from. That's a massive waste of time!
    Modern business PBX solutions are international systems. No new hardware or PBX setup is required at each location. International phone systems should include:

  • An inventory of ready-to-use phone numbers worldwide.
  • Simple, flexible pricing plans that work across borders.
  • Local connections in your target markets to ensure superior call quality and caller identification.
  • International offices and remote agents are all managed on a unified, secure cloud PBX.
  • There are many providers who claim their PBX solution is international without meeting the above requirements. When vetting providers, inquire about their voice network infrastructure. Ensure that they offer local voice service in the international markets you prioritize (rather than reselling another provider's phone numbers).

    9. It's time to renew your annual agreement

    Most often, system admins and call center managers make a rushed decision about their phone system before it's time to renew their annual contract. Why are so many PBX solutions requiring annual contracts (if not multi-year contracts)? Because that's what phone system giants have gotten away with for years.

    That's changing quickly, as consumers are tired of being forced into longer agreements despite working with less information than their provider. Our partner AVOXI breaks that mold by always providing customers with affordable month-to-month options. No setup fees, no minimum contracts, and no porting charges means you can change course anytime without any hassle. You can make that kind of offer when you know your product delivers on its promise and then some.

    The PBX upgrades you need, done your way

    If your current PBX slows down your business in any way, it's time to upgrade. You don't necessarily have to replace your PBX right away. Many top phone solutions work over top of your existing system!
    Migrate phone numbers and teams of agents to a new system at your own pace, ensuring things are done correctly the first time. When you are confident in your new solution, you can migrate another team or phone number block. We have found that this approach is highly effective for midsize companies and enterprises that want to transform their communications environment with the least amount of risk. Take your time when making long-term voice system decisions. If you need a helping hand while making this decision, our partner AVOXI is here to help.
    Whether you need a new PBX system right away or a partner who will help you upgrade your existing system over time, here's what you can expect when working with us:

  • Expanded Voice Service Portfolio. Partnering with AVOXI allows you to provision phone numbers from 170+ in minutes. That includes rare voice coverage other providers are missing, like local numbers in India, Nigeria, the UAE, and many more.
  • Phone Number Management Made Easy. Manage your voice features and phone numbers, including ones from other carriers, in one intuitive user interface. Take advantage of phone number APIs to automate your work and scale quickly.
  • Dedicated Account Service. In addition to 24/7 follow-the-sun support, AVOXI Flex partners have a dedicated account manager from AVOXI that understands your business model and always watches out for your needs.
  • International Porting Expertise. When other carriers say it can't be done, our world-class porting team finds a way. AVOXI removes stress from the number porting process so you can just enjoy your savings.
  • Superior Voice Quality at Affordable Rates. Better call quality doesn't have to mean higher telephony rates. Reduce costs and improve your margins with flexible subscriptions and market-leading rates.