Good communication is the cornerstone of business success. A reliable and efficient phone system ensures improved communication, collaboration, and customer service. These are the things that are needed for business success. Nonetheless, given the multitude of choices, deciding on the most suitable phone system for your business can feel overwhelming.
We are here to solve that problem!
In this blog post, we will help you understand the aspects and features to consider when choosing a business phone system. In addition, we will discuss a range of features, from calling functions to more advanced collaboration tools. Let’s start.
What is a Business Phone System?
A business telephone system is a network for communication that is specifically designed to help with voice communication within an organization. It acts as a hub for managing both external calls, offering important features that improve connectivity and foster collaboration among employees.
In simpler words, business phone systems are systems with multiple telephones that are interconnected to allow for activities like call transferring and handling, conference calling, call metering and accounting, and private and shared voice message boxes.
Types of Business Phone Systems
There are a number of different business phone systems which are available in the market. However, not all these different business phone systems are commonly used. So, our experts have listed the three best types of business phone systems.
1. Key Service Utility (KSU)
A key telephone system, or KSU, uses a central control unit to manage and control multiple individual telephone lines and extensions. This phone system is suitable for smaller businesses.
The KSU system does not typically offer many features beyond making and receiving calls, but it may offer basic features such as on-hold, speakerphone, and intercom. KSU is a landline-based system, which means this phone system can only support a limited number of phone lines.
Compared to other modern phone systems, this system requires on-site hardware installation, setup, and maintenance, which can be costly for businesses and have issues with scalability options.
2. Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
Next on the list is Private Branch Exchange or simply PBX. The PBX system is a hardware-based solution for managing internal and external calls. As the name implies, a PBX facilitates the routing and switching of calls between business locations and the telephone network.
It is highly scalable and caters to businesses of all sizes. In addition, it has more call management features than Key Telephone Systems, like automated attendants and call recording. Finally, this phone system can be set up on-site or hosted in the cloud.
3. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Voice over Internet Protocol or simple VoIP refers to a cloud telephony system that uses the Internet to enable voice, video, and messaging services. In simple terms, users can communicate and connect with anyone anywhere in the world with a device and good internet connection. The device can be anything from smartphones to desktop computers.
It is highly scalable, making it suitable for businesses with changing needs. Moreover, it has the most call management features among the three business phones. Finally, it helps save costs for businesses and individuals.
What Are the Main Features of a Business Phone?
The need for features of a business phone highly depends on the nature and type of business. However, here are some general features that are required in a business phone.
1. Call Management Features
Call management features are the most important features of a business phone. These features enhance the communication and connection between the employees and other parties within or outside the business. This includes features like Call forwarding, Call routing, and Call transfer.
2. Call Features
Next on the list are call features. These features enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of phone calls. Different businesses might need different call features, which means providers must customize their service to cater to the specific needs of the businesses. Some of the most important call features include:
- Call Recording
- Call Monitoring
- Call Analytics
Integrations are also very crucial for improving the quality of communication in a business phone system. It includes software integration and mobile integration. For instance, your business phone system must be compatible with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), while the features should also be accessible on the user’s mobile phone.
4. Security Features
Last but not least, your business phone system must have security features to protect user data and privacy. For example, it must have IDPS (Intrusion Detection and Prevention System) and firewalls.
There are hundreds of VoIP service providers in the market. Every provider offers different services at different prices. Some providers might be ideal for your business, while others might not have the same level of performance. So, you must pay great attention while choosing a VoIP system.
To make it easy for you, we have listed some factors which require key considerations.
First and foremost, consider if your phone system is scalable and if it can address your business growth. Most Voice over IP providers have scalability options for free. So, if your provider does not offer this option, it might be best not to choose it.
In addition, also, check how easily you can increase or decrease the number of phone lines and users. If the scaling process hampers the operation of your business, consider other options.
B. Features and Functionality
Assess and identify all the features and functionalities that your business needs. Moreover, it is always better if the service provider offers you customization to create a phone system that aligns with your business needs.
For example, you might want to consider some basic features like:
- Call Forwarding
- Call Routing
- Call Monitoring
- Call Analytics
- Wi-Fi Calling
- Unified Communication
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Video Call
- Conference Call
Next on the list is the cost of acquiring and implementing a VoIP system in your communication. List and compare the costs of all the VoIP service providers that are available to you. While checking the price, also assess if there are any hidden costs, additional fees for extra users or features, and costs for set up. Avoid these providers if possible.
Finally, calculate the total cost of ownership for each provider and opt for the one that aligns with your budget.
D. Integration with Other Systems
Last but not least, consider the integration options with other systems. First, check the compatibility with your existing system and software. It can be costly if you have to change the systems. Moreover, check the integration option with tools like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and helpdesk, which can enhance communication in the future.
Is VoIP Worth It for a Small Business?
Considering the investment and processes required, you might wonder if VOIP is worth it for small businesses. In short, Yes! VoIP is really worth it for a small business. VoIP brings a number of benefits to the table for businesses of every size and nature. However, let us focus on how this communication marvel really caters to small businesses in particular.
1. Lower Communication Charges
One of the biggest factors for any small business is the cost factor. Small businesses are always on the lookout for reducing their cost and expenses. These businesses can save a huge sum in communication by opting for VoIP.
First, VoIP does not need telephone lines and physical infrastructure for operation, which means that businesses can save a good amount on wiring and installation. Likewise, VoIP offers international and long-distance calling at an affordable price, which also leads to lowering communication charges.
2. Wider Range of Features
A traditional telephone system has a limited number of features other than making and receiving calls. A limited number of systems offer features like call hold and forwarding. On the other hand, the VoIP system offers advanced features such as video calling, conference calling, call monitoring, routing, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), and caller ID.
3. High Call Quality and Reliability
While using VoIP, the quality of your calls will be excellent as long as your business has a strong internet connection and adequate bandwidth. Furthermore, your business can adjust the settings to create the sound it wants with VoIP using a headset or microphone.
Unlike traditional phone systems, the quality of VoIP is not affected by factors such as issues in telephone lines and infrastructure.
4. Scalability Options
It can be very challenging for small businesses to determine the potential growth and number of phone lines. So, if they opt for a traditional phone system, it can be difficult for them to scale the phone system as per the requirement.
This is where VoIP comes into play. Given that VoIP does not require an intense setup process, small businesses can easily add or remove phone lines. To make it even better, VoIP doesn’t require additional expenses when adding or removing users. So, you can seamlessly continue your business operation, whether your business is expanding or downsizing.
Summing up, there are many factors to consider when choosing a business phone system for your communication needs. First, you must understand the types of business phone systems. In addition, look out for the features and your business needs. This can help you make an outline of what you must look for while choosing a business phone.
Finally, you can go through the points mentioned above on the key considerations before you make any decision.
What should I look for in an office phone system?
You should look for the following factors in an office phone system:
- Scalability Options
- Security and Data protection
- Advanced Calling Features
- Good Customer Service
- User-friendly interface
How do I set up a small business phone system?
Here is a step-by-step process on how you can set up a small business phone system:
- Assess your needs
- Research and Compare available Service Providers
- Choose the provider that best fits your need
- Purchase the service and system
- Configure and Set up the System
- Implement the System
- Train your Employees
- Monitor the System
What is a VoIP phone for business?
A business VoIP phone refers to a telephone system that employs Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology for making and receiving calls and messages. Voice over Internet Protocol, or just VoIP, uses the Internet to transmit data, which makes it an affordable and reliable means of communication.