As business communication today is evolving rapidly with technology, having a functional business phone is a must to stay competitive among the competitors.
In order to meet the communication needs of customers and for employees to remain connected, a business phone with functional features is a must. According to statistics, 40% of employees believe inefficient business phone systems are the cause of poor communication and collaboration. So, having an efficient phone system is a must for businesses to manage communication.
Also, nearly 65% of potential customers reach out to businesses over the phone system, so businesses must have an up-to-date phone system to guide customers, provide better calling experiences, and deliver better customer service.
So, in this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of a business phone system, things to know before purchasing a phone system, and some of the must-have business phone system features in 2024. So let’s start without any delay!
What is a Business Phone System?
A business phone system is a telephone infrastructure that facilitates voice communication within an organization or company. This telephone system is also known as PBX (Private Branch Exchange), allowing employees to communicate with each other and make phone calls to customers efficiently, increasing productivity and efficiency and providing better customer service by creating a professional image of the company.
Business phone systems typically consist of features like call handling, call transferring, call forwarding, routing, voicemail, conference calling, and other functionalities that directly help businesses manage and streamline their telephone communication or business communication.
Business phone systems are of two types: traditional hardware systems, which are installed on-site, or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems, which are hosted in the cloud. Recently, most businesses have shifted to VoIP phone systems due to their cost-effective solution and better features and functionality. Since the VoIP system runs over the internet and cloud platforms, it provides flexibility and scalability, which is indeed very beneficial for businesses today.
A brief overview of the importance of a Business Phone System
In today’s interconnected world, communication is the key factor that drives the success of any organization. Having a reliable phone system helps businesses communicate efficiently with customers and employees, manage calling operations, and demonstrate professionalism.
Having a functional phone system helps businesses enhance customer experience, streamline internal communication, increase mobility and scalability, reduce costs, and gain competitive advantages over competitors. Moreover, a business phone system helps employees stay connected, delivers a better customer experience, and boosts productivity; that’s why a business phone system is important.
Also, features like call forwarding, call routing, voicemail, and integration allow employees to communicate and collaborate better. Using VoIP phone systems for business allows for remote access, flexibility, scalability, and function to meet changing dynamics in the workplace. So, having a phone system will directly boost operations, communication, and collaboration and help deliver a better customer-calling experience, which is a must for any business. Thus, business phone systems are important.
What to Know Before Getting a Business Phone System?
Getting a business phone that meets your business communication needs can be a game-changing solution for business. So here are some of the factors you need to know before getting a business phone system:
Business Type and Size
Before getting a business phone system, knowing about the size and type of your business is crucial. It will help you determine what kind of phone system your business requires, what is your call volume, what features are required and what type of phone number does your business require?
If your company is small or a startup and you have low call volumes, you can get a business phone that’s cost-effective and flexible, while established businesses might prioritize service reliability and scalability. So, you can choose the best phone system that suits your business size and type based on these factors.
Budget and Cost Constraints
Knowing about the budget and cost also greatly impacts the phone system selection in a business. Consider choosing a traditional phone system if you’re willing to pay a larger upfront fee. If you want to pay the same amount for Internet, software, and other services, a VoIP system is a good option.
Additionally, choose a business phone system that fits your organization’s budget and communication needs.
Integration needs and required features
Make sure to consider integration needs and features before getting a business phone system. Identify what features your business requires, such as video conferencing, call forwarding, voicemail-to-email, call routing options, interactive voice response, or integration capabilities.
VoIP systems offer a more comprehensive set of features, so a VoIP phone system might be better if you are looking to integrate CRM or email systems.
Security and Compliance Requirements
Make sure you consider security concerns and how to protect your communications before getting a phone system. If you have to communicate sensitive information over the phone regularly, choose traditional phone systems, as VoIP systems require additional safeguards, depending on your industry. Since VoIP runs over the internet, it can be vulnerable to cyber threats, but by using safety measures and some features of VoIP, you can encrypt and communicate, so consider getting a phone system that is convenient for you.
Note: If security is a priority, make sure you choose a system that is compliant with HIPAA or General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
If You use VoIP, you need to have a strong network connection. Furthermore, you need to have a reliable backup in case of an emergency. If you choose a traditional phone system, however, neither connection nor backup will be required, so consider these factors before getting a phone system for your business.
Must-Have Business Phone System Features
Having a functional business phone system can drastically improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the business. So here is a list of the top 15 must-have features that your business needs to communicate, collaborate better, and provide a better calling experience:
Call queueing is an exceptional feature of a business phone system as it makes a virtual queue when there is a large volume of incoming calls and the agents are not available. The customer’s call is switched to the waiting queue when the agent is busy, which plays music or provides information until the agent is available. This will indirectly help customers to be engaged and reduce frustration.
This queueing system helps to manage a large number of incoming calls and minimize calling wait times while ensuring that your queries are directed to the right person as smoothly and efficiently as possible. With the queuing system, you will be able to respond to 100% call rates and boost agent productivity.
Interactive Voice Response is a must-feature for any business phone system. IVR is a virtual phone operator that interacts with humans using computer technology and pre-recorded menus. Customers who call IVR will hear a prerecorded message that assists them with services. For example, pressing 1 for bill payment and pressing 2 for technical support will assist them with their problems. Using numbers, customers can get in touch with the appropriate department without any hassle by pressing numbers.
Through this system, customers can manage tickets, check their balances, select options, or manage their accounts on their own without assistance from an agent. It has add-on features like customizable pre-greeting and menu options. Plus, with IVR in your business phone, your business looks professional, helps improve agent performance, and provides 24/7 support.
💡You might find it interesting: How to Use IVR to Improve Call Center Efficiency
Auto attendant is a very handy feature of the business phone system. With a virtual receptionist, it helps customers connect to the right agent without any human assistance. It works as a virtual answering service where incoming calls are efficiently routed to the appropriate departments based on caller input.
This feature helps create a professional image of the business as it greets callers with customized greeting messages. With auto attendants, the call handling process is automated, which saves time for both callers and employees as users can navigate to the right department easily by interacting with a virtual receptionist. Thus, an auto attendant helps handle calls better, provides first-call solutions, saves time for both customers and employees, and never misses a call.
Call recording and transcription
Since most sensitive business communication is done over the phone system, keeping call records is crucial for any business today. Furthermore, with the increasing use of technology, fraud and scams are also on the rise, and call recording is key to preventing fraud scams. It allows businesses to record live inbound and outbound calls for quality assurance, future reference, and evidence purposes. As call recording records real-time conversations, it helps businesses monitor agent performance, provide the necessary support, and solve disputes and compliance.
Call transcription is also a trending feature of business phone systems, which transcripts phone calls and meetings into a written format. Businesses can keep records of phone calls in text form for legal compliance and administrative purposes to enhance customer service, provide multilingual support, and provide in-depth analysis for quality assurance and training. Further, you won’t miss any important details with this audio transcription in written format.
Call monitoring is the process of monitoring call activities. Supervisors monitor the live calls to check the performance of the agent. You can also give silent instructions to the agent or barge indirectly if necessary.
This call monitoring feature is a must-have for any business phone system as it helps a business monitor live calls, improve first-call resolution, provide personalized customer service, analyze and provide feedback, and assist in maintaining a top-notch customer experience. Plus, it allows managers to provide agents with guidance and support whenever necessary.
Call routing is one of the advanced features that every business phone system must have. Call routing routes the call to reach the right agent or department based on predefined criteria. Through an IVR menu, the call is routed to the appropriate agent based on the customer’s information and criteria.
This call routing feature helps minimize wait times, solve customer queries better, manage calls, provide excellent customer support, and boost customer satisfaction by connecting to the right agent who has the skills of solving customer queries with first call resolution.
Integration with business tools
Business tools are a necessity for modern business, it keeps systematic records of call logs, messages, and notes. Integrating your phone system with your CRM software or business tools streamlines your customer interactions and gives you access to call history and notes instantly. This helps businesses to deliver personalized customer service and enhance the customer calling experience.
Not only that, but integrating your business phone system helps businesses maintain data accuracy to make data-driven decisions and facilitate real-time collaboration among team members, boosting efficiency and productivity. This is a must-have feature since it optimizes workflows and improves customer interactions, ultimately contributing to the success and efficiency of a business.
With changing technology, business communication has evolved. So businesses today must be able to communicate with both employees and customers from anywhere. So softphone integration feature of the business phone system is an essential tool for modern business communication. Softphone integration technology helps businesses receive and make calls directly from internet-connected devices such as PCs, mobile phones, and tablets, allowing businesses to communicate easily despite location. So, employees should not stick to one side of the corner to communicate or use the old bulky phone system; they can communicate, collaborate, and connect seamlessly from anywhere.
The use of softphone integration enhances mobility and remote work capabilities, allowing businesses to work, communicate, and deliver better customer service from anywhere and anytime without missing any details.
Call and video conferencing
Business communication has evolved with technology; call conferencing and video conferencing are vital tools for businesses today to communicate. Call conferencing allows multiple callers to connect in a single line, and so do video; these features help businesses save time and minimise repetitive tasks. Also, it facilitates information sharing between multiple remote parties in a single platform.
Team members can quickly address issues, make decisions, share information, and collaborate through video and voice conferencing. Also, it improves communication collaboration, reduces calling costs, and enables global connectivity, which ultimately takes business communication to the next level. Also, it helps to provide better customer service, provide training, and connect employees to boost productivity.
In this modern business era, call analytics is a very important feature that every business phone system must have. Call analytics is a powerful tool that provides valuable insights about call data. These call data are valuable assets for businesses to analyze and interpret phone calls, more over these data help to make a data-driven decision and improve the communication strategy of business.
Call analytics helps businesses measure various call metrics, like call duration, call abandonment rates, queue time, call volume, and response times. With the help of these metrics, businesses can better understand their communication patterns, identify peak call times, and allocate resources to manage call flow more effectively, resulting in improved customer service and boosting the engagement and productivity of the employees.
Since businesses are globalised today, customers around the world reach out to businesses at various times, so businesses must be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To fill this gap, Voicemail comes into play. By using voicemail, you ensure that your customers can reach you 24/7. Voicemail helps you to handle all calls without missing calls effectively.
Businesses can also handle peak-hour traffic without spending money on additional agents or infrastructure by using voicemail. Moreover, when the agents are not available, voicemail allows callers to leave messages so that important messages are not missed, and agents can reach out to the customer after they are available. Having a voicemail helps businesses demonstrate professionalism and helps customers reach out to the agent in cases of unexpected events like power outages or emergencies,
A business phone system must have a power dialer since it automates the dialing process to reduce errors, improves call management, and enables better follow-up and analysis. By using a cloud-based power dialer, you can maximize your contact rates and decrease agent downtime while reducing customer and agent waiting time.
Power dialer adds numbers to agents’ calling queues and dials them in sequence adds numbers to agents’ calling queues and dials them in sequence so that agents can spend less time making outbound calls, allowing sales agents to focus on other high-priority tasks, such as generating leads and meeting with clients. As the whole process is automated, it maximizes customer engagement. Additionally, it helps businesses improve efficiency, save time, increase connection rates, customize, reduce errors, and manage campaigns better.
Some people prefer calling, while some people prefer texting to communicate. So, having multiple communication platforms like SMS, call logs, call history, and voicemail integrated into a single dashboard can help businesses communicate efficiently and never miss a customer. The unified communication feature of the business phone is a handy tool that allows integration with different business tools, enabling employees to connect and collaborate seamlessly from any device.
This will significantly improve customer service, the productivity of the agent, and the provider’s better calling experience.
Furthermore, Unified communication tools facilitate collaboration among team members, regardless of their location. It promotes teamwork and enhances communication.
Scalability and flexibility
Having a scalable phone system can be a reliable tool to compete in this ever-changing business environment. Modern business is changing at a rapid pace and so is customer demand and communication expectation. Scalability features help businesses scale up and down to meet the communication needs of business. So if your call volume is increasing, then you can add up additional phone lines easily just by a few clicks without any hassle and additional charges. This helps business meet the customer’ need easily and provide better customer service.
Also, the flexibility feature allows businesses to communicate seamlessly without being struck to a single location. flexibility enables remote working so you can communicate and collaborate seamlessly despite the location. You can connect seamlessly around the globe over the Internet.
As technology is rapidly changing and many businesses are shifting towards cloud platforms, security has been a prominent feature that every business requires. Since many businesses communicate sensitive information over a business phone system, having robust security features in a business phone system is important to safeguard sensitive information.
Therefore, businesses should utilize security features such as encryption, authentication, multi factor authentication, firewalls, and others in order to maintain the overall integrity of communication, clients’ and customers’ trust, and ensure compliance with data privacy laws. With these security features in business phone systems, businesses can be safe from data breaches and cybersecurity threats and lower the risk of unauthorized access.
A sticky agent is also a must-have feature in a business phone system, as It allows callers to connect with the same agent who has engaged before. Callers who call the customer support team for the first time usually report all their concerns and problems to the agent. Sticky agents help connect and engage with the same agent who is familiar with the issue.
Using a sticky agent reduces the time and effort involved in repeating the same information. By resolving customer queries quickly, it increases customer satisfaction. Moreover, sticky notes allow businesses to provide top-notch customer experience, faster resolution, improved first-call resolution rate, and enhanced overall productivity, resulting in better customer service.
Call logs are a valuable feature for any business phone system as they systematically record the important information of callers like ID, time, duration and status. The systematic record of the calls help business to analyze the calling pattern and buying behavior of the caller, analyze the activity of the agent, and track the calls, which can be very beneficial for business for marketing purpose.
Also, the call logs are important because they provide busines with necessary metrics like call time, first call resolution, and average call handling speed, which can help businesses improve business communication. Businesses can also gain a deeper understanding of customer needs by analyzing call logs. This information allows businesses to improve their service and support and generate leads.
⚡Also, This might be helpful: 7 Most Essential Call Center Software Features in 2023
To conclude, having a functional business phone system in 2024 is a must to compete in this interconnected business environment. Since most of the business communication takes place over the business phone system, the phone system must have better features to deliver better customer service and meet the expectations of the customer.
Businesses today must have a global presence, so make sure you choose a phone system that allows for global calling, allow for remote access, flexibility, scalability, and mobility options, as well as call management capabilities. These features will help businesses communicate, collaborate, and stay connected.
So hurry up and get a functional business phone system to enhance productivity and communicate efficiently, delivering better customer service.
What is the importance of a phone system in a business?
In any business, a phone system is crucial. Here are some of the importance of phone systems in business:
- Improves communication efficiency
- Streamline communication flow and operations
- Boosts productivity
- Demonstrate professional image
- The cost of hardware, maintenance, and long-distance calling will be reduced.
- Fosters collaboration among team members
- Offers features like call forwarding, call screening, and call logs
- Skilled-based call routing
- Deliver a better calling experience
What are business phone systems?
Business phone systems are telephone infrastructures that enable voice communications within a business or organisation, allowing employees to communicate with each other and call customers efficiently, improving productivity and efficiency and providing better customer service.
What are the advantages of mobile business?
The advantages of mobile business are:
- Flexibility and Accessibility
- Global reach
- Improved customer interaction
- Cost saving
- Real-time updates
Can I use a cell phone for business?
The answer is yes; it is possible to use a cell phone for business. In fact, many small businesses and entrepreneurs do so exclusively. Cell phones can be an excellent way to stay connected with customers and employees, particularly if you are travelling or have a limited budget.
Using a cell phone for business may have some drawbacks, including the difficulty of keeping your personal and business calls apart, as well as the lack of features offered by a traditional business phone system.
What will be the must-have features of business phone systems in 2024?
Here are some of the must-have features that your business will require in 2024:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Call Analytics
- Softphone integration
- Unified communication
- Integration with a business tool.