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Subpar office telephone systems: Is there a solution?

Who offers the best telephone solution for businesses?

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I've read this question on numerous boards, forums and public Internet sites and found that it's become an often-used methodology of a marketing firm trying to gain the reader's attention and get them to sign up for a vendor's "free telephone system report" or evaluation. Several companies sponsor these marketing campaigns, and the reports are designed to convince the reader that one of the reported solutions is, in fact, the best telephone solution since sliced bread.

In answer to your question, here are my questions in return: What are your needs? What shortcomings do your existing office telephone systems/solutions present today? And what value can a solution bring to your business to improve any process or service that your company can offer your own customers and even to suppliers?

In short, customers need to be in the know in terms of what they expect to accomplish. Why? Because this gives the customer leverage. Otherwise the results are apples, oranges and eggs, and you can avoid having any of them proverbially thrown at you because your solution isn't the right fit.

This was first published in August 2012

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