Office phone systems have come a long way in the past few years. Not too long ago, the only options businesses had for their phone system were either to use a traditional landline or switch to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). While VoIP is still a popular choice for many businesses today, there are now more choices than ever before when it comes to office phone systems.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what office phone systems are and some of the different types that are available. We’ll also discuss why VoIP is becoming increasingly popular and some of the benefits that come with using this type of phone system.
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Telephony is a vital part of any business. It's how you communicate with customers, clients, and colleagues. And in today's world, that means having one of the modern business or office phone systems.
Office phone systems are telephone networks explicitly designed for use in office environments. They typically offer features and functionality tailored to the needs of businesses, such as call forwarding, voicemail, and conference calling. Some business phone systems also come with IP phones with integrated software that can provide additional features, such as CRM integration and call recording.
The business phone system can be either on-premises or hosted in the cloud. On-premises business phones are owned and operated by the business itself. This means that the company is responsible for all maintenance and upkeep of the system. Hosted business phone systems, on the other hand, are operated by third-party business phone providers. This type of system is often a good choice for businesses that do not want to deal with the hassle of managing their system. For example, if you need only a small business phone system without the upfront cost of new hardware and software, this is one great option.
The main advantage of an office phone service is improving communication within the business. A reliable system for office calls ensures that all incoming calls are routed through the same network. This improves call quality and clarity and reduces the risk of dropped phone calls. Additionally, a business phone service can offer features that make it convenient to manage calls and other communication channels into one system, such as call forwarding, video conferencing, instant messaging, and voicemail.
Another advantage of a new phone system is that it can reduce the cost of making telephone calls. By having a complete phone system for all internal and external office calls, companies can avoid paying for multiple phone lines or desk phones that have a per-user fee. Moreover, business phone services can come with features that reduce the cost of long-distance calls, such as conference calls.
So, which is the best business phone for you? Start by comparing the best business phone systems and their features.
There are two main types of business phone systems: VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and PBX (Private Branch Exchange).
VoIP and PBX are systems that allow businesses to make and receive calls internally and externally. Both technologies are proven beneficial for business communication, but they have key differences that make each more suitable for businesses of certain types and sizes. If you plan to upgrade your phone system, take note of the features and functions offered by the business phone system provider to determine which one best fits your business.
Private branch exchange (PBX) is a phone system used to make and receive inbound phone calls with employees and outbound business phone calls with customers. It is one of the most common phone systems used by companies today. Unlike a residential landline, PBX has features made explicitly for commercial telecommunication, such as call routing during business hours and having multiple line extensions to cater to different departments in a company.
Many businesses use PBX because its features make work a lot easier. Here are some of the main features of PBX:
The PBX system allows the company to have a customisable guide that includes departments, clients, contacts, and more. This means the staff can easily navigate through connections with other departments. It also enables the system to route client calls to appropriate departments to guarantee a smooth transaction.
Another critical feature of the PBX system is the ability to record from multiple phone lines altogether. This will benefit quality control when going through data or monitoring and addressing customer concerns. The system also provides a detailed list of all calls made, whether inbound or outbound and those that have been missed. This allows the company to call back their clients in case of missed calls or other concerns.
The PBX system also allows you to route calls so that clients can be transferred to another department immediately without them having to drop the call and dial another number. Furthermore, your staff can also answer calls in a queue, allowing them to juggle call lines efficiently and determine which should be prioritised more.
There are also different types of PBX phone systems used by other companies. Each system has unique features, some of which will work best in specific business settings. Let’s look at the specifics of each of the PBX phone systems below.
Analog PBX is the traditional phone system that uses analogue phone lines where all the phones and fax machines are connected through copper wirings. It works by making the calls pass through the PBX system and then routing them to the correct lines in the office or specific department. It is an on-premise phone system installed within the business premises itself.
One of the most significant advantages of this type of PBX is that it keeps its functions running even if the electricity goes out. However, the calls the company can make or receive are dependent on the number of hardware installed. For example, if four people need to make a call, only three lines will be active, so one must wait until one of the other lines is free.
Hybrid PBX is another type of on-premise PBX, which combines regular PBX with internet telephony technology. This means the business can run calls on regular lines and through an internet network. This type of PBX has excellent in-call voice quality, especially with sufficient bandwidth; this will be a great option if the internet connection is unreliable. Being an on-site system makes it easier for users to manage it directly.
Also known as cloud-based PBX, this system puts all features and services in a cloud. This PBX is a subscription service, which means that the host will take care of everything from updates to maintenance to security. This is the most cost-efficient type of PBX system because everything is already set up within a network. There is no need for upfront investment in additional hardware. This means scalability and data recovery are more accessible, and employees from different branches can efficiently connect and work together.
The VoIP phone system has emerged as one of today's most effective telecommunication technologies. It has improved on the technology offered by traditional office phone systems. For one, the traditional PBX systems usually come with their hardware. Moreover, the phones that businesses used for old systems were largely immobile and inflexible.
With the rise of the internet and the development of VoIP, however, more businesses can improve the efficiency of consumer telephony through new technologies. Below is a discussion of VoIP and how it can help your business.
At its most basic level, Voice over Internet Protocol refers to a phone system that allows users to make and receive calls through the internet instead of the local telephone lines. The VoIP system works by recording and converting a voice into a digital message sent through the internet. That data is then converted back to allow the receiver to hear and receive the message.
This might sound as simple as making any other telephone call; however, VoIP has improved the many ways people communicate, especially within a company.
Furthermore, VoIP also works as a system that the company can use to store critical data needed to improve customer relations. It helps employees manage contacts, allows employees to collaborate across branches, gives customers quality call services, and more.
VoIP for business applications is becoming more common today. Why exactly is this? A VoIP system includes numerous calling features not found in a traditional desk phone but at a lower cost. The VoIP service provider allows the client to manage their system through an online dashboard, giving users a 360 view of several business operations with just one click of a button. This allows businesses to organise contact information, record and add phone numbers, forward calls, and more.
Additionally, security is tighter and more reliable with the VoIP system. With some vendors, it can be protected from outsiders, and everything will be backed up, and you can recover essential voice data in case of emergencies.
VoIP provides businesses with various features and advantages unparalleled by traditional landline services, including the following:
One of the most significant benefits of VoIP for any business is receiving calls anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. Unlike the landline phone, the VoIP phone can be moved from one place to another. You need to connect it to the internet through an ethernet cable, and you can easily make calls again.
There is no need for concern about disconnecting and relocating wires if you move to another area in the office, for example. In addition, the VoIP provider has mobile device apps for their clients to use in the business for even more convenience. VoIP allows for mobility and access anywhere with any device connected to the internet.
Another unique function of VoIP is scalability. For example, if you open a new branch or increase the number of phones in the office, there is no need for an additional set of expensive hardware.
With VoIP, you can instantly add or modify the package features without buying extra hardware as you scale up your business.
VoIP costs less and is significantly more cost-efficient than other phone systems. Companies of any size and industry can consider upgrading to save more.
There is no need to buy extra hardware, including wires and lines and the business phone lines, since the internet connection will already power the VoIP network.
Additionally, expenses incurred every time a call is made are much lower than telecom rates for domestic calling, international calls, and more. Calls between internal company extensions can also be free, depending on your service provider.
One of the most significant differences between a VoIP phone and a regular landline phone is the sound quality. With the help of the internet and new VoIP technology, voice quality in calls is clear and reliable. Businesses can enjoy clear and smooth calls without lag or sudden dropped calls with a stable internet connection.
The VoIP system can be accessed through the mobile and desktop app. The company can still purchase a VoIP phone for the office; however, having it as an app on mobile devices is a significant advantage for accessibility and mobility. The need for less additional hardware reduces clutter and frees up desk space, and guarantees that employees are always connected to the system.
While VoIP is already on its way to replacing traditional business telecom services, the technology still carries certain limitations. However, these are issues that can be addressed with the correct preparation.
VoIP works only if there is a stable internet connection. If the bandwidth is low with your current office setup, it won’t be ideal for getting a VoIP system. Switching to a better internet service provider before upgrading to VoIP will solve this issue.
The extensive features of VoIP are also significant factors before deciding to adopt this phone system. Here are the main features of VoIP:
If your staff has to manually take hundreds of unnecessary calls, such as prank calls and simple yet time-consuming inquiries, it can create stress and poor productivity.
With an auto-attendant, calls can be answered and routed to the appropriate channels quickly without a human operator. This means you’ll save on hiring costs, and it allows your staff to focus on more critical tasks and pay attention to customer transactions.
This is another feature that will be extremely helpful for businesses that handle large call volumes daily. The system will distribute inbound calls to the departments and tiers with call queuing, depending on your preferences. This eliminates idle times when a customer calls and will allow your teams to take more quality calls.
This allows your staff to attend to business calls even when not in the office. It becomes almost impossible for you to miss an important call. Furthermore, workflow is streamlined because you can organise everything on the app’s dashboard.
Regular landline phones calculate the cost of each call according to the time spent. With VoIP, you can have as many calls as possible without racking up heavy charges for each minute on the line. This translates to more savings and more time to service customers with comprehensive solutions to their concerns. Having a toll-free phone number can boost operations in all small business phone systems.
It is impossible to talk to multiple people simultaneously in one call with a regular landline. With VoIP, you can interact with the team on the system through voice conferencing.
Another critical feature of VoIP is that it can be integrated with other systems to boost productivity. If you have CRM software, you’ll be able to organise calls and recordings much more manageable and improve workflow.
It would help if you considered multiple factors when choosing the best phone system for your business. If your company uses a traditional telephony system but has a high call volume daily, it is time to upgrade to a better system.
Moreover, if your business is scaling up and needs to improve customer communication, investing in VoIP might be prudent. The best business phone system should enhance business calls and overall call management.
Consider mobility and scalability with business phone features such as mobile phone connectivity, remote work for remote employees, and more. Upgrading to a new office phone system that is reliable, cost-efficient, and boosts customer satisfaction is a great way to improve employee morale.
Learn more about companies that offer office phone systems to choose the right one for your business needs.
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