Your business phone system is your company’s lifeline to suppliers, customers, and the world. It also remains as one of the simplest ways to communicate within a workplace and beyond the company’s walls. That’s the reason why it’s crucial to choose the right and best business phone system as it can have operational and financial repercussions if you use the wrong one for your business.
Making the right decision about the best business phone system requires doing some planning and looking ahead, just as you would when looking for an office space. Working with the right provider can make a difference to your chosen phone system. If you want better communication within your business, here’s what you need to know when choosing a business phone system:
Know The Different Types Of Business Phone Systems
In previous years, installing a costly fixed line phone system, as well as paying rental and call charges every month was the only option. But, because of the existence of the Internet, everything has changed, including the phone systems, which now provide greater flexibility at an affordable cost.
At present, there are several types of business phone systems you can choose from, and these include the following:
- Cloud-based phone system – It uses VoIP technology to take and make calls via online or an app.
- Internet protocol private branch exchange (IP-PBX) system – It comes with SIP-enabled hard phones, which use VoIP to receive and make calls.
- Traditional PBX – This phone system uses fixed lines with hard phones.
Match Your Needs with The Current Technologies
How you intend to use your phone system can play a big role in your choice of provider and device. For instance, PBX or also known as landline offers more reliable service and stronger connection, but it can be expensive compared to VoIP or virtual phone systems.
When compared to other phone systems, VoIP for small businesses takes advantage of the Internet to provide countless features including call recording, automated voicemail, and conference calls. It also works on computers, less expensive, and can be easily integrated with other software programs.
Virtual phone systems are a good option for businesses with some employees working in different locations. It works on an employee’s home phone or mobile network while providing many features.
Even if the Internet is improving communication among customers, employees, and businesses through VoIP phone systems, you must be cautious of the service providers you select. The reason behind it is that cases of phishing attempts, malware, and fraud may surprise you, which can affect both big and small businesses these days.
By prioritizing security and choosing a reliable service provider with encryption and authentication measures, you can be assured that you won’t experience such issues with your phone system.
Your preferred cost structure has an impact on your chosen hosting option. With an on-premise system, you’ll have to pay for the installation, equipment, and license fees upfront.
The prices may start at a few thousand dollars and may gradually increase, depending on your preferred equipment and the number of employees you have. This is why it’s vital to set your budget first and shop around for the different charges of various providers for you to choose the right business phone system suited for your needs.
If your business thrives on outbound sales, you must look for several ways to integrate other technologies into your phone system. Some of these may include softphone apps, which enable sales staff to make calls via their computers over the Internet.
There are also some apps for Android and iPhone that enable wireless devices, and which can be used as an office line. Even if calls start at a desk, they can be switched to smartphones in case that salespeople have to get off to another appointment.
Depending on the type of phone system you prefer, there are others that also provide businesses with the ability to integrate programs so they’ll know the history of incoming callers and how the interactions went with the customers. If your business uses various apps or programs, like CRM, choosing a phone system that integrates such apps with ease is always a great choice.
No matter what kind of system you get, whether or not you prefer a cloud-based phone system, ensure that you choose the most reliable and suitable for your business.
Consider the data centers, uptime, redundancy, number of call carriers the provider works with, and how it ensures you won’t lose service.
When it comes to selecting a phone system for your business, reliability is a critical aspect that you must never forget to get the best value for your investment.
Speak To Your Staff
Before you start searching for any service provider, make sure to speak with your staff first and understand what they need in a new business phone system. If possible, discuss the available options and features of every type of phone system. This way, you can be assured that your staff won’t have a hard time operating a new phone system, which can help you avoid any inconvenience in the long run.
Nowadays, phone systems can let businesses access a variety of calling features that were only available to big companies in the past.
In fact, most phone system providers now offer more calling features, which often include the following:
- Missed call notifications
- Voicemail to email
- Automated voicemail
- Call logs
- Call recording
- Call screening
- Call forwarding
All of those features are beneficial to ensure better communication within your workplace and to provide excellent customer service to all your clients.
Scalability of a good business phone system means being able to add websites and users quickly, as well as being able to remove user accounts that you don’t use. With an onsite phone system, adding websites and users may require software and hardware licensing, and it won’t be possible to scale down in user count. For this reason, choose a business phone system that’s easy to scale and will continue to be useful to your communication needs.
Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all phone system for all businesses out there. You have to consider a lot of factors, such as the support, security, reliability, features, and cost. Other than that, always prioritize your growing needs when choosing the right business phone system to experience nothing but efficiency.