Your phone system can make or break your business.
But with all of the options out there, how do you know which type of phone system is right for your business? Keep reading for our top 5 factors to consider when choosing a business phone system.
1. The type of phone system
Before choosing a business phone system, it’s important to understand the different phone system types. You also need a clear idea of what features you can’t live without and which ones might be less important. Let’s take a look at three different business phone system types.
Traditional phone systems
A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system is a private network that uses a server maintained in your office. With this type of system, you can communicate internally within the company and with the outside world.
Traditional phone systems tend to be expensive to install and support, but they offer some pros as well. This option tends to be the most reliable because it does not depend on a connection to the internet. This means that it will work even if the power is out.
Traditional phone systems also offer excellent sound quality.
The downside? This system doesn’t offer as much flexibility as your other options.
Virtual phone systems
Virtual phone systems are a great option for remote businesses without a physical location.
This type of system works by purchasing a virtual phone service from a provider. The system is similar to a hosted web site service.
Your virtual phone system provider will provide you with a local phone number or a toll-free number. These virtual phone numbers are yours to use in advertising campaigns, on your website, and on your business cards.
Virtual phone systems are the most scalable option because your costs will depend on your usage. You can customise your plan to the number of extensions you want and how many minutes you need.
Virtual phone systems also offer a variety of features. These include:
- Options for multiple extensions
- Automatic call distribution
- Call forwarding
- Call planning
- Interactive voice response
The only real downside to choosing a virtual phone system as that there can sometimes be a lag time when transferring calls.
VoIP phone systems
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems work by converting audio signals into digital signals. Phone conversations are transformed into digital signals that travel by fibre optic cables over broadband internet.
This type of phone system is often the most cost-efficient option. You’ll also get all of the features offered by a traditional phone system and more.
VoIP systems offer a number of advanced features. These include the ability to make and receive calls as well as listen to your voicemail from your mobile devices like laptops, computers, and tablets.
When choosing a business phone system, you need to have an idea of what you want to spend. Developing a communication system for your business is a major investment. Making the wrong choice can cost you a significant chunk of time and money.
The amount of money you are willing to invest in a business phone system will help you determine which option is right for you. Costs related factors to take into consideration include:
- The initial set up cost
- Hardware costs
- Licensing costs
- Installation costs
- Internet bandwidth costs and connection charges
- Subscription fees
Traditional phone systems require a significant initial investment. VoIP systems require the most internet-related costs. Virtual phone systems require the least upfront costs and few maintenance costs but require a subscription fee.
3. The reliability of your internet
If you’re leaning towards an internet-based phone system, you need to evaluate the reliability of your office’s internet connection.
Fortunately, most businesses have access to a reliable internet connection. This is important for the function of an internet-based phone system. Your internet connection should have a good upload and download speed.
If you don’t have a reliable internet connection, a traditional phone system might be better for your office.
Another factor to consider when choosing a phone system is how compatible it is with your other business tools.
You’ll want to choose a phone system that can easily be integrated with your other tools such as call scripts, CRM software, live chat, ticket management software, and email.
Take into consideration the work your employees do and how they accomplish their goals. Your phone system should help them meet business needs.
As we mentioned before, getting a new business phone system can be a huge investment. You must take into account your future business goals.
The size and spread of your business can determine which type of phone system is your best option. For example, if you plan on growing your business in the near future, you need a phone system that offers scalability.
If your business is large or plans to grow, you may need more lines. Planning ahead can save you money in the long run by helping you choose the best type of phone system for your business plan.
Do you need a new business phone system?
A business phone system can improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction. The hardest part is choosing the right type and the right provider.
When choosing a business phone system provider, choose a company that offers superior customer service. The best business phone system provider will help you evaluate your current and future business needs and develop a solution that works for you.
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