At RCI, during our busiest weeks, our office is mostly empty. The techs are in the field installing cameras and telephone systems, reprogramming phones for new users, running cable, or giving IT support to the people who need it where they need it. So, we deeply understand the need for phones for field technicians.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the traditional office environment is becoming less common, but the need for field technicians hasn’t waned! And while your people are spread across the state, you need ways to communicate with them efficiently. Calling individual cell phones may work for a quick chat or text, but when needs become more complex, they don’t do the trick. That’s why you need phones for field technicians.
Here’s how we serve the phone needs of businesses with technicians in the field.
In the Beginning…
Often, when we start our businesses, we’re solo-preneurs. In that situation, we frequently rely on a cell phone. But as your business grows, you can outgrow that for two main reasons.
Firstly, when you get another employee, things get complicated. If a customer has your number but needs to reach your employee, transferring can be difficult, and giving out your employee’s number is cumbersome. If you have more than one employee, things complicate exponentially.
You may also want all employees available to answer a call. And you don’t want your employees giving out their personal numbers to clients because you want your business number to be the face of the business. It allows you to better understand who’s calling and to bill appropriately.*
If employees leave your company, you don’t want them to be able to easily take your customers with them. * Even if your employees would never intentionally cause you a problem, it isn’t easy when a customer calls not to answer a direct question (even if that question is something you’d typically bill for.)
Blowing Up Your Personal Phone
The other issue with using your cell phone as your business phone is that it becomes hard to unplug. When you’re in a service business, people will call you whenever they need service. Or worse – text you, even on the weekend or when you vacation.
For that reason, once you grow enough, it makes sense to convert your cell phone to your business number and get a new personal number.
What Do Field Techs Need?
So we’ve established when to get a new business phone line and business phone system if you started smaller. But once you get that telephone system, what should phones for field technicians include?
There was a time when if you wanted to reach your techs in the field, you’d need to provide them each with their own cell to prevent them from using their own minutes. Alternatively, you could reimburse them. Of course, neither of those solutions addressed the issues in the earlier section and required most techs to have two cell phones!
Today, you can install a virtual phone on an existing cell phone. A user’s extension is as simple as adding an app! Then, your technicians can keep using their phones but never have to give out their numbers.
This allows phones for field technicians to answer calls to the office and office users to transfer calls to technicians. Typically, these app-based extensions also enable users to have all the typical desk phone features.
These can include call recording, call reporting, voicemail, transfer, and all the other telephone systems features we’ve come to rely on in our business lives.
These phone apps are most often referred to as softphones.
What If You’re Not in the Field All the Time?
Of course, you often wear many hats when you have a small business. So, your field technician may not always be in the field. And many other positions require work both in and out of the office. So what if you want the convenience of a desk phone when you are in the office?
Luckily, you can utilize both a desk phone and your softphone without having to have different extensions for each. With a simple switch within the app, you can tell, say, which phone rings or set it to ring both!
Don’t Forget WFH
Of course, as we’ve discussed before, 2020 also led to a revolution in what working looks like, and more people are working from home than ever before. As a result, you don’t need to be a field technician to need to use a softphone!
Many users who work from home full or part-time use a softphone on their home computer. Like with the cell phone app, the softphone on the home computer works just like a desk phone and allows you to work from home without bringing equipment home with you.
Phones for Field Technicians, Traditional Offices and Beyond
Regardless of your work setup, RCI can get the features you need along with high-quality service so that your business runs seamlessly, no matter where you’re conducting it!
Let us help you with your phones for field technicians and all of your employees!