If you own a business, having a reliable small business phone system is essential. Without it, customer service goes out the window – along with sales leads.
There used to be only one choice, but these days there are several options. Sure, it’s easy to stay with the tried and true traditional system. But perhaps a more modern system may be better for your needs.
Let’s take a look at some of your options to find out.
Business Phone Systems Basics
Most businesses use a business phone system. It consists of a calling network infrastructure that manages all the communications. It is designed to handle the complex needs of companies, customer service calls, and the call routing that carries calls to the correct person.
Some of the more useful features available in a business telephone system include the following:
- Call Transfer
- Hold Music
- Dial-by-Name Directory
- Call Detail Records
- Call Handling Rules
- Text Messaging
- Many more
Types of Business Phone Systems
In a traditional business phone system setup, a local PBX (private branch exchange) system is needed to manage multiple lines. Physical lines connect these and then link them together within an on-site network. This system is often installed and maintained by an external company, such as an IT consultant or PBX reseller.
Extensions are created for each user by assigning to them one of the local PBX lines. In most cases, extensions are associated using a three or 4-digit number used to route calls to a specific person’s desk.
Extending this system as your company grows requires additional hardware to be added. It also takes time to have the changes made, which makes this process costly and time-consuming.
- Able to handles hundreds of lines
- Doesn’t need an internet connection
- Offers on-site or hosted options
- Expensive to upgrade or reconfigure
- Costly monthly phone bill
- Needs frequent maintenance and servicing
Virtual Phone Systems
Modern business phone systems go beyond tradition; they are full-service virtual solutions for small business communications that utilize high-speed internet connections and hosted software. A virtual phone system can have all the same features as an old-fashioned PBX without all the equipment.
These phone systems are specifically designed to meet the varied needs of a growing business. They allow teams and employees to keep in touch seamlessly using a bevy of powerful tools. Virtual phone systems are powered by VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology.
The handling call routing and signal processing all done remotely, requiring only a small monthly fee, thereby saving you loads of money and time.
VoIP systems are a good choice for any business, but most especially small businesses. The main reason for this is its flexibility. Adding new users and features as your business grows is easy and instant.
Since this system uses cloud technology, it works well with mobile phones. That makes it ideal for businesses that have virtual offices, remote employees, or a need to keep employees connected to customers on the go.
Having a virtual office phone system doesn’t mean “mobile-only.” You can have a virtual phone system that works with traditional handsets, computers, as well as mobile phones. These systems quickly adapt to your needs.
Here are some of the critical advantages of using the cloud for your phone system:
- Save the cost associated with housing the equipment on-site
- As it is hosted on a third-party server, you don’t have to think about maintenance—your provider handles that
- Since it is super easy to expand, your virtual office can grow or shrink as needed
- Usually, monthly phone costs are a lot less than a traditional phone system
- It is easy to install without the need for outside consultants
- Works with smartphones and other internet-connected devices
- You are free to choose whatever area code you want for your business
- Callers enjoy HD call quality
One of the main concerns people have about switching to a virtual phone system is that they’ll be relying on the provider to ensure the system is up and running, rather than their own I.T. team. That’s why it is critical to make a smart choice when you select your vendor.
What are the Key Points for Buying a Small Business Phone System?
When you are shopping for a small business phone system, there are a few things that help define your search. When it comes to finding the best fit for your business keeps these in mind:
- Budget: Make sure you understand all of the initial and monthly fees for the set of services that you need.
- Reputation: Because the market for virtual phone systems is so hot, there are a lot of vendors on the scene. Make sure you pick one that’s been around for a while and has a good reputation for customer success. (Fun fact, our founder, Alon Cohen launched the world’s first VoIP product way back in 1995.)
- Fit: Some vendors are focused on servicing giant corporations. If you are a small team, they may not be working on the kinds of features that are important to your type of business. You don’t want to pay for the development of features you will never use, so choose a vendor that is focused on the needs of customers like you.
While all these features are essential and saving money is awesome, at the end of it all the best business phone system is the one the fits your business. If you still aren’t sure about the best one for you, we can help.