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The Ultimate Guide for Small Businesses to Switching to Digital Phone Systems

May 30th, 2024 | 8 min. read

By Marissa Olson

The Ultimate Guide For Small Businesses To Switching To Digital Phone Systems

As a small business owner or office manager, you know that communication is critical to the success of your business. A modern, reliable business phone system is crucial for communicating with your customers and clients. 

Digital phone systems offer many benefits, including advanced features, improved call quality, and increased flexibility. However, switching to a digital phone system can seem daunting, with the potential for common problems like lack of technical expertise, compatibility issues, and cost overruns. 

This guide provides everything you need to know to quickly switch to a digital business phone system.

Switching to a digital phone system can be a game-changer for your small business. Here's everything you need to know to make the switch with confidence.

Assess Your Needs

Before making the switch, it's essential to assess your business needs. This includes the number of employees using the system, the number of calls your business receives and makes, and the features that are important to your business. 

By understanding your needs, you can choose a system tailored to your business requirements.

Choose the Right Provider

Choosing the right provider is crucial when switching to a digital phone system. Look for a provider with experience working with small businesses, comprehensive support and training, and a proven track record of reliable service. 

To find the right provider for your business, consider reading online reviews and asking for referrals from other small business owners.

Plan for the Transition

Proper planning is essential for a successful transition to a digital phone system. This includes identifying potential challenges and creating a plan to address them, communicating the changes to your staff, and testing the system before going live. 

A well-planned transition can minimize disruption to your business operations and ensure a smooth switch to the new system.

Invest in Training

Investing in comprehensive training for your staff is crucial for a successful transition to a digital phone system. This may include online tutorials, in-person training sessions, and ongoing support. 

Ensure your staff understands how to use all the new system's features and encourage them to provide feedback on improving its usability.

Common Problems When Switching to a Digital Phone System and How to Avoid Them

While switching to a digital phone system can bring many benefits, it can also come with challenges. Here are some common problems and how to avoid them:

Lack of Technical Expertise: Work with a managed service provider (MSP) specializing in digital phone systems.

Compatibility Issues: Research your new system thoroughly before switching and plan to upgrade your existing hardware and software as needed.

Lack of Training: Invest in comprehensive training for your staff before and after the transition.

Loss of Functionality: Carefully review the features of your new system before making the switch.

Cost Overruns: Understand all the costs involved in the transition process upfront and leave room for unexpected expenses.

Additional Tips for a Successful Switch to a Digital Phone System

In addition to the tips outlined above, here is some additional information that can help you make the most out of your new system:

Consider Cloud-Based Systems: Cloud-based phone systems are becoming increasingly popular among small businesses due to their flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

Prioritize Security: Look for a system with advanced security features like encryption, multi-factor authentication, and intrusion detection.

Optimize for Mobile: Look for a system that offers mobile apps and features like call forwarding and voicemail transcription to improve productivity and flexibility.

Leverage Analytics: Use advanced analytics capabilities to track call volume, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to improve your business performance.


While switching to a digital phone system, remember that communication is vital. Communicate the changes to your staff, provide them with the necessary training, and encourage feedback to ensure the system meets your business needs. 

Additionally, keep an open line of communication with your provider to address any issues that may arise and make necessary adjustments.

When it comes to choosing a provider, take the time to research and compare options. Consider factors like cost, features, support and training, and reliability. Look for a provider that offers flexibility and scalability to meet your business's changing needs.

Finally, remember to review and assess your digital phone system's performance regularly. This includes monitoring call volume, call quality and system functionality.

By monitoring these metrics, you can make necessary adjustments to improve the system's performance and ensure it continues to meet your business needs.

Making the Switch: What’s Next? 

In conclusion, switching to a digital phone system can significantly upgrade your small business, but it requires careful planning and preparation. 

By following the tips outlined in this guide, including assessing your needs, choosing the right provider, planning for the transition, investing in training, and addressing common problems, you can make the switch confidently and enjoy the benefits of a modern, reliable system.

If you want to learn the next steps when switching your phone systems, read our article about the associated costs: How Much Does A Cloud Phone System Cost With AIS?


Marissa Olson

A true southerner from Atlanta, Georgia, Marissa has always had a strong passion for writing and storytelling. She moved out west in 2018 where she became an expert on all things business technology-related as the Content Producer at AIS. Coupled with her knowledge of SEO best practices, she's been integral in catapulting AIS to the digital forefront of the industry. In her free time, she enjoys sipping wine and hanging out with her rescue-dog, WIllow. Basically, she loves wine and dogs, but not whiny dogs.