We all use a variety of software programs everyday – from mobile apps, to web browsers to word processors. Some of them we tolerate. Some we despise. Some we like so much we’ll get defensive of them if anyone disagrees…
But with so many options on the market to pick from, how can you ensure you choose the right software package for the right task every time?
This post will focus on how to choose the best software for your answering service, but many of the tips below will also apply to other software decisions you will make when taking your business forward.
Software can be like a fine wine: better with age. Bugs are worked out. New features are added over time. User-interfaces are refined.
Jumping on new software can be exciting, but anyone who installed Windows 10 on day-one knows how risky that can be. Choosing a mature product instead will result in higher reliability, and a more predictable experience.
It’s imperative you check if software is still undergoing regular development. You may find a great product that ticks all the boxes, but it will be of little use if it is not updated to work with current operating systems.
It’s also worth enquiring about compatibility. Ideally you should integrate as many of your systems as possible. For example, your ideal software should fully support your telephone system.
Tried and tested
If you’re looking at niche software (such as answering service software), it’s useful to see who’s currently deploying it. A vibrant user community can be incredibly helpful, as well as strong communication channels with the developers.
Read as many testimonials and case-studies as you can to get an idea for the usual clientele, and to see if their comments resonate with you and your business.
How much should you spend on software?
It’s probably for the best if you spend as much as you can afford, and avoid cutting corners. Certain programs can dramatically improve user efficiency, increase profitability and allow your business to scale with ease, so it’s smart to think long term. You get what you pay for.
Also, try to avoid picking a product based on the best ‘special offer‘. It’s quite common for software providers to slash the pricing for the first 6-12 months and put the real eventual costs in very small print!
It’s easy to pick the most popular, most established, and best reviewed products. But your business is unique, so making your own decision might reward you down the line.
Also, if you pick the product you feel most passionate about, you will find it easier to transition your staff over to the new software, and introduce new ways of working.
You may consider commissioning the development of bespoke software. There are many positives to this, but do be careful. The price will be exponentially higher, and the ongoing costs of supporting your custom product will only increase as you build and further develop the package.
There are many other things to consider, but hopefully this post will provide you some guidance when looking for the best software for your answering service.
If you are looking for a high-quality answering service software package, look no further than nCall – call handling software for telephone answering services and virtual receptions.