Choosing the right small business phone system can be incredibly confusing. There are lots of options and lots of jargon for features that you don’t even know you need. Let us help you choose the right small business phone system.
There are three different types of phone system solutions available to you in the market:
- Hybrid IP Pbx systems – system that offers both traditional digital handsets, phone lines as well as the latest IP technology.
- IP PBX – designed for all IP handsets and IP connectivity.
- Hosted Phone System – a IP solution that doesn’t require an actual phone system.
How to Choose the Best Small Business Phone System
What does your business need? The right small business phone system can give your people the tools they need to be more efficient. Are you located in one office or many? Do you have mobile employees? Do you need to route calls? Do you need conferencing capabilities?
The first step is to decide on which features your business needs to operate efficiently. Such features include:
- Mobile softphones, for using a computer as a phone
- The ability to make and receive calls from smartphones or tablets
- Video or web conferencing support
- Automated attendant
- Paging and intercom
- Voicemail to email
- Voicemail to text message
- Instant messaging
The Key Features Your Small Business Phone System Needs to Offer
Transferring calls. In order to manage incoming call traffic effectively you need to be able to transfer calls quickly and efficiently. Phone systems for business lets you do this at a touch, letting any handset user direct callers to the other staff with ease. And because you’ll have at least 2 phone lines someone else can be on another call at the same time too.
Hold Functionality. The most commonly used button on your new handset will be the ‘hold’ button – and with good reason. It’s essential for smooth, professional handling of calls. Cupping a hand over the mouthpiece is unprofessional. With the hold function, staff can place a customer on hold at the touch of a button, and they won’t be able to hear what’s going on in the background.
Work hours and after hours greeting. Day & night greetings ensure your callers receive a polished, professional impression of your company, first time, any time. You may also want to think about routing calls at certain times of the day or night elsewhere – to a mobile phone, for example, or to a virtual assistant. This function means that you’ll never have to miss a call because you were with a client or on another call.
Personal voicemail. Whether you’re out of the office or just on another call a personal voicemail will back you up. Voicemail is available to all system users but if required you can specify which of your staff have access to the service. Rather than having to take phone messages for colleagues, you can now simply transfer a call to the user’s voicemail system and let them leave a message. The great thing about voicemail is that both your staff and callers will already be familiar with the concept and therefore happy to use it.
Voicemail to email. For many people in small business they are often out and about and not always at their desks. No matter where you are your voicemail can now be sent to your email. This means if you have a smart phone you’ll be able to listen to your office emails on your mobile phone, laptop or IPAD. This is perfect for salespeople or remote workers.
An auto attendant is a function that will give your business a very polished edge. It answers the calls and gives options for different extensions with your company. The menu options provided can be as simple or as complex as your business requires. The auto attendant function can also be used to simply take any overflow calls you or your staff are unable to get to in time. Again, it means that you never have to miss a call.
With business being conducted both nationally and globally nowadays, getting people to meet in person isn’t always possible. You can conference call seamlessly with whoever you need to, getting a real time conversation going with parties from all over the country or globe.
User friendly handsets
Despite the power and complexity of a phone system for small business the user friendly handsets make accessing features easy. Some systems do this better than others but we can help you choose the right mix of handsets for your business.
Features like mute, redial, volume, conference and so on are very typical and offer users fast, easy access. Meanwhile, some handsets offer programmable buttons with digital labels, so that these keys are always correctly and clearly annotated. One touch speed dial is also useful for busy offices.
You may have staff or contractors who work from their office or home – not yours. With the flexibility of VoIP technology, staff can now work from anywhere and stay connected to your phone system. This means key staff travelling interstate can keep in touch with the office easily, and remote staff can be employed from anywhere in Australia.
Using VoIP, staff members can connect to your phone system anywhere there is an internet connection. By either plugging in an IP handset or using a soft phone (virtual phone) on a PC or laptop, users can instantly connect to the office phone system becoming, essentially, just another extension number.
Key advantages of VOIP
- Businesses can keep their existing telephone numbers when they move premises because VOIP allows you to transfer numbers beyond the traditional telephone exchange boundaries.
- Businesses can scale their VOIP phone systems up and down quickly and easily to meet changing demand and so can grow with your business or with projects.
- Businesses can save a lot of money on their phone bills. Typically, VOIP call charges are half that of the fixed line network today on average.
- You can better integrate your phone system with services like email and productivity tools. You can also easily access and manage clever call functionality like simultaneous ring or virtual receptionist.
Ultimately, the phone system that you choose should work for your business and its requirements. Questions about how you want to service your customers, the needs of your staff the functionality you want should be answered by a good phone system for small business.
The good news is that you don’t have to make all these decisions by yourself. We are happy to guide you through the process of choosing a small business phone system that works well for you.