Guide to choosing the right office phone system for your business.
Communication is an essential factor that influences the success of a business. It is common to find start-up businesses using mobile phones and single line phones to communicate with their prospects and customers. However, for growing companies, these are not enough. These only offer limited functionality and low-quality voice calls. Luckily, there are alternatives to cater for your Office Phone System needs.
What is a Business Phone System?
A Business Phone System is a multiple line phone system commonly used in business environments. They have different systems ranging from the simplest KSU (Key System Unit), PBX (Private Branch Exchange to the most complex VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
Multi Line Business Phone System
A multi line phone system is essentially a system which allows you to connect multiple telephone lines to a single phone thus allowing multiple employees to be on the phone at the same time. For example, you can receive four calls at the same time since you have four lines connected to your phone. It is a very useful feature for small business with less than 10 employees.
Multi line phone systems are used extensively in offices having a small number of employees. Some people also install such lines in their homes but this is primarily a small business oriented service. Instead of using a fully fledged PBX system, which is a lot costlier if you are a small business starting out. It may seem that multi line systems such as a four line phone systems don’t work for offices with anything more than a handful of employees but they really do great in case the office runs on a shared phone model. This means that a single telephone line is used by two to four employees. Suppose a cubicle is occupied by four people, then having a single line there would reduce the requirement for having multiple lines. A 4 way cordless telephone too might be good idea if it meets your needs in a better way.
A multi line phone system makes it possible for multiple clients to be speaking to office workers at the same time. Waiting for an open phone line would mean the loss of valuable time. This is where such a system comes to the fore. Such a four line telephone system would be supervised by a receptionist who would receive the calls and put them through to the right person by a separate line. There are systems which have an auto attendant which would put you across to the person you would want to talk to via an extension code.
What is an Internal Phone System?
An internal phone system is any given telephone line which communicates with a PBX. PBX stands for private branch exchange – the phone lines communicate directly to the system, allowing telephony functionality, as well as internal & external communication.
9 Benefits of a Office Business Phone System
Most people do not realise that having the appropriate Office Phone System can significantly improve productivity in the following ways:
- Maximizes the businesses resources
A phone system helps the company make the best use of their resources. Through its inbuilt functions and features, the business can improve their communication line locally and globally. Hence, it’s easier to reach more customers and prospects.
- Share phone lines
Without a phone system, an employee will need to terminate the line to access a call another client. With a Office Phone System, each employee will have a separate phone number, and a phone line which will be jack installed for each one. Muti line phone system such as 4 line telephone systems are very popular This way, employees can share the phone line without interrupting each other’s calls.
Have you ever dialled a business number and heard some recorded instructions to connect you to the right person? These recorded instructions come from an auto attendant. Having a Office Phone System gives you an effective replacement receptionist with an auto attendant.
- Expands sales potential
Capitalising in a Office Phone System opens communications in all directions. It makes it effortless to reach customers. Therefore, investing in the best phone system ensures you don’t miss sales. Also, it helps improve the calls you can receive.
- Abbreviated dialing
An office operating without a Office Phone System has employees who have to communicate with fellow employees by shouting or using sneakernets. In other words, for an employee to converse with another, they have to walk to the other`s desk, which is time-consuming.
With a Office Phone System, on the other hand, an employee can pick the receiver and connect with any employee with a simple dial. This can save time and increase productivity.
- Saves money during conference calling
A business can subscribe for conference bridge calls with less than £5 a month. Buying the conference bridge eliminates monthly expenses and supports several parties. On the other hand, a business using single phone lines charges higher cost for conference calling.
- No more cyclical monthly fees
A Office Phone System may be more expensive that other phone line options. However, it always pays off in the end.
Operating a business without a Office Phone System means paying a specific monthly fee to get a voice-messaging mailbox. For example, if the company has four phone lines, then the employees may end up paying more than eighty dollars monthly. With a Office Phone System, you get similar functionality without monthly expenses.
- Outgoing caller ID
Your business can achieve a better level of professionalism. By programming the phone system, all outgoing calls can have a uniform appearance on the recipient’s caller ID.
- Transfer Calls
Clients are particular about the professionalism displayed by businesses. Imagine what it would be like if a prospect heard an employee shouting to another person to pick up a specific line. With a Office Phone System, an employee can accept a call and transfer it to another employee easily and quickly. It will not only improve communication but also improve productivity, teamwork among employees, customer service, and customer experience.
Which Office Phone System Works For Me?
As a business owner, you can choose between the KSU, PBX or VoIP Systems.
KSU is the most basic system. It is suitable for businesses with less than 40 phone operators. It is simple to use as it is similar to a home phone system. However, it lacks flexibility and portability. KSU varies with KSU-Less, which has many limitations and is suitable for only ten phone operators.
PBX is a more advanced option. Offering more features; it is automated and has a programmable switching device. PBX is ideal for businesses with more than 40 phone operators. The primary advantage of this system is its UPS- uninterruptible power supply, which enables it to remain functional for long.
PBX has a modification called Hosted PBX. The hosted PBX stands out because it is not installed in the office. The telephone provider hosts its BTS. Its significant advantage is that it allows you to evade installation and maintenance costs without losing its advanced features.
VoIP is the latest business phone innovation. It works using both the computer and the internet. It is the most costly option as well. The significant advantage of this phone system is all its functions are accessible through a computer.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a VoIP
Investing in a VOIP Office Phone System like is important. However, before you purchase one, there are certain things you have to consider. They include:
What features does the phone system offer? Different phone providers offer various features. Determine the best features according to the needs of your business.
Buy a phone system within your budget. Usually Hosted VoIP solutions cost less but have monthly charges. Meanwhile, an on-site VoIP server costs more but has no monthly recycling charges. A hosted VoIP is best for a business with a maximum of 15 employees. On the other hand, business with 100 employees prefers a cloud phone system.
Unforeseen natural disasters can strike at any time. Therefore, it is necessary to have a contingency plan and a disaster recovery protocol. Choose a reputable hosted provider who can provide power, carrier connectivity redundancy, and network infrastructure.
Check your current technological infrastructure. Are you using an old system? You can determine how much money you can save in the installation by using an online VoIP calculator.
A business that chooses a cloud phone system will have a low cost of ownership since the provider is responsible for severing configuration as well as maintenance. However, you have to think about the structure and size of your business.
Hiring the wrong IT specialist may have dire consequences. You can neutralise the risk by selecting a reputable hosted provider who has the necessary resources to ensure your data remains secure.
How Much Does A Office Phone System Cost?
A KSU-less phone system is the best option for a small business with few employees. It costs between £30 and £400.
KSU has functionality better than a regular phone and is ideal for a business with 40 employees. The phone system costs between £300 and £1000.
The PBX Office Phone System is more complicated than the KSU and is suitable for business with more than 40 employees. The cost averages to £1000 per extension.
VoIP works for both small and large businesses. This phone system uses high-speed internet and costs between £175 and £200. However, if VoIP is combined with PBX, it may cost less than £1000 or more than £4000.
Choosing the right small office phone system option
The business telephone system market is saturated with companies, all vying for your business. Always read up on reviews of companies we have not listed here. Also, be wary of less reputable companies that offer packages that seem too good to be true (chances are that they are). Our advice is, if you’re putting faith in a big telephone system providers company then Mitel and Avaya are probably your best bet. If you’re looking for a personal more tailored solution, then approaching the smaller companies is a great way to get exactly what your business needs. Be aware that the more bespoke you’re needing the more likely the cost will be increased compared to standard packages.
Don’t settle for the first phone system you come across, or even the cheapest system you come across. Make sure you identify your business needs. Perhaps you need to work remotely overseas and still require your companies dedicated number? Maybe, you are going into a phase of rapid growth? When you have honed in on the specific business requirements then you can really narrow down products that fit your company. If you conduct regulated business, remember, not all companies have call recording facilities, some VOIP systems won’t be integrated with your CRMs and some telecoms companies don’t allow automated disclaimer messages. These are all significant considerations that simply getting the cheapest of first system that comes along would cause untold misery down the line.
Get a quote to start comparing small office phone systems today.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to haggle. If you have found a company that you like but is a little dearer than another company, then ask for discounts. This is a highly competitive market and customers are not easy to come by. Aside from the companies like BT that are too big to care about clientele; it is safe to say that other telecoms companies will literally chase you to obtain your business. Use this to your advantage by filling our quote form and letting the leading providers come to you.