Support – The Most Important Feature of a Business Phone System
When you look at the feature list for a business phone system, the one feature you rarely see listed is “support”. If you proceed with the purchase of the phone system, you will of course learn what support is provided and what it costs. But you probably won’t know very much about the quality of the support until you need it. Almost every business considers the proper operation of their phone system to be critical. If your company has suddenly lost the ability to receive and place phone calls, the need for a fix is urgent!
There are several factors involved in providing great support of a business phone system. The most important factor is the competency and commitment of the support team. Another factor is preparedness for whatever problems may occur so that they can be overcome as quickly as possible. Finally, preventative measures to avoid problems before they occur can help provide the best support by simply managing to skip the drama completely.
A highly effective support team must not only be competent, they must share the customer’s sense of urgency when a problem has occurred. This may seem obvious, but we work with many phone service providers on behalf of our customers and I can assure you that there is no universal sense of urgency among these support groups! FacetCorp’s support engineers understand the need to solve the problem quickly and will stay engaged even when the problem is with the phone service and not with the FacetPhone system. Except in obvious cases where service is completely out, the phone service provider will usually initially report that “everything looks good on our side”. We can provide the evidence to the phone company to identify the problem and stay on them to get it fixed. When the problem is with FacetPhone, we’re on it until it’s resolved. When it is a critical problem, we quickly put together a team to work on it. This brings us to the next factor in great support, being prepared to do something about a problem quickly once you identify its cause.
The FacetCorp support team has a secure connection over the Internet to every customer’s phone system. This connection is established as part of the initial installation of the phone system and it is maintained so that we can connect quickly when a problem occurs. When there is a serious problem, we can usually have a diagnosis of the problem in a matter of minutes. How quickly we can resolve the problem depends on what it is. If the FacetPhone server has had a major hardware failure, there might be nothing to do but replace the server. This is where a little preparation and a modest investment by the customer can make a big difference. FacetPhone supports having a backup server that keeps itself synced up with the master server. If the disk drive has crashed on your server, this can make the difference between having the phone system back up in a matter of minutes versus however long it might take to get a new disk or server and get it restored with the phone system configuration and fully functional. We highly recommend a backup server to anyone who is going to be stressed if their phone system is going to be down for a day or more! If your phone service is down, and going to be down for some time, we can quickly setup SIP trunks on your system using your existing Internet connection. You can forward your number to this service and you are back in business quickly while the phone company fixes their problem (cables do get cut by backhoes underground and brought down by ice above ground).
Finally, there are preventative measures that we take to avoid problems before they happen. Our phone servers evaluate various aspects of the system every night and email us with any potential problems such as running low on disk space, not being in sync with a time server, failure to do a nightly archive of recordings, etc. We also nightly fetch a copy of our customers’ phone system configuration for safe keeping here. This serves two purposes. First, we find out if connectivity to a customer’s system is not working before we need to access it in an emergency. Second, this provides us a way to restore a customer’s configuration if they have a catastrophic failure and do not have a backup server. We do not copy customers’ voice mail, so they will lose that in a catastrophic failure if they do not have a backup server. We’ve been doing this for over a decade and you would think we have seen every problem by now. But with so many factors in play, we still occasionally encounter new problems and after they are resolved, look for a way to prevent it in the future if possible or know how to fix it next time if not.
So, even though we strive to build the coolest features into FacetPhone, we know that we’ll never come up with anything more important to our customers than our legendary technical support!