The Basics Of Small Business Phone Systems

phone system business

phone system business


Jan. 2 2024, Published 6:25 p.m. ET

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Phone systems are crucial for small businesses, whether they want to separate business calls from personal ones on team members’ cell phones or create a centralized call center. Modern solutions like VoIP and cloud systems allow small businesses to expand their call functions without massive upfront investments.

What is a Business Phone System?

A business phone system allows several callers to share a single line. It is designed to improve the flow of internal communications and external customer interactions. It offers advanced calling features like intelligent call routing, call waiting and voicemail-to-email that send digital versions of the audio recording or transcription to employees’ email inboxes so they can listen to messages even if they are unavailable or out of the office. You may choose a wireless phone system for small business, which eliminates the need for fiber optics or copper wire cables by connecting to local cellular networks. Providers offer a variety of wireless business phone plans that cater to various small business needs. Small businesses that can get by without onsite desk phones may want to look into a virtual phone system connecting the main business number to employees’ mobile devices. This business phone system is especially well-suited for remote and freelance workers.

VoIP vs. Analog

Unlike analog systems, which require multiple cables and switches, VoIP (voice over internet protocol) business phone systems connect over the web. All employees need is a computer, office phone, or a mobile device with a dedicated app to make calls. VoIP is a cost-effective solution with the added benefit of geographical flexibility. Calls are routed over the Internet, eliminating costly copper wires and making long-distance and international calls much more affordable. Using VoIP, your business can expand its reach without installing new hardware or hiring professionals.

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Additionally, PBX systems with integrated voicemail allow users to access their messages via a desktop or mobile application. Businesses with remote staff or personnel that travel frequently find these features extremely helpful. With these features, employees can stay connected no matter their location, increasing productivity and efficiency. In addition, a digital PBX system will also eliminate expensive maintenance costs associated with landlines and help businesses save up to 60% on their local call rates.

Analog vs. Digital

Despite the popularity of instant messaging apps and email, the telephone remains integral to any modern business. It is often the first point of contact a customer has with your company, and you want to ensure it provides them with a professional and positive experience. Traditional landlines are analog, using copper wire cables to transmit audio signals. This technology has been around for decades and is still used in homes and many businesses, including small and medium-sized ones. Analog systems are inexpensive and easy to set up but are limited in features. They also lack flexibility; for example, relocating extensions requires a technician to rewire the system. Digital phone systems, on the other hand, use advanced technology that converts audio signals into digital numbers. Then, those numbers are encoded and decoded to maintain the audio quality. This type of technology is also found in everything from satellite dishes to VCRs.

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Cloud-Based vs. On-Premises

In this day and age, when email and instant message apps are a staple of many workplaces, the telephone is still an important communication tool. With that said, a business needs to have a robust phone system that offers the features its customers and employees need. Cloud-based PBX systems allow users to connect to the system via the Internet, eliminating the need for additional network equipment. It makes them ideal for businesses looking to conserve IT resources or start-ups without in-house IT resources. These systems are also easy to expand, allowing users to add devices and handsets with only a small incremental increase in monthly costs.

Moreover, they are backed by geographic redundancy, so they can continue working even if one server experiences downtime. Some cloud-based PBX systems offer advanced call management tools such as call monitoring (allowing managers to listen in on agent-customer conversations) and call whisper (letting managers advise agents during live discussions without the client hearing). Additionally, these platforms often include customizable and pre-made reporting templates for insights into customer and employee performance.

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