Doing business in 2021 involves adapting to technological trends and leaving unproductive practices behind. For instance, you may need to digitize your business if you’re still using a pen and paper system. Moreover, you may need to build your online visibility if you want to expand your business to other regions or even other parts of the world. With such strategies, do you still need a business phone system?
Before you can answer this question, you first need to understand the different types of business phone systems and their benefits. This way, you can gauge if you’ll need to change your old system or not.
Top 3 Types Of Business Phone Systems
Business phone systems allow large enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses a better way to manage inbound and outbound calls. Unlike residential phone systems, business phone systems can handle multiple phone calls at once using a power-dialer and other similar services featured in cloud-based phone systems.
That being said, the three main categories of business phone systems include VoIP, KSU, and PBX. All three can help your business, but they offer different features. Here are the significant differences between the three:
1. Voice over Internet Protocol
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of the latest advancements in business phone systems. VoIP allows customers to talk to the business staff despite being in two completely different countries. That’s because it can function through a computer or a softphone and the internet. So, the primary benefit of this system is that it’s easily accessible anywhere.
On top of that, VoIP is cloud-based. This means that it doesn’t require on-premise installation since the service provider hosts the entire system virtually, making maintenance significantly lower. What’s great about platforms like Drop Cowboy and other VoIP service providers is you can use them in marketing by sending ringless voicemail or mass text messaging to your target audience. You can read more about its features and benefits below.
2. Private Branch Exchange
Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is another business phone type. This type uses programmable switching devices, enabling the automatic transfer of incoming calls. PBX is significantly more advanced than its KSU predecessor. That’s because it’s a large automated system, making it the most suitable for organizations with more than 40 employees.
Additionally, PBX provides a ceaseless power supply that lets organizations maintain workflow for a time, even without electricity. However, a PBX doesn’t use a data network, which means your target reach may be limited to your locality. You may use it to call internationally, but it could entail significant costs.
3. Key System Units
The third on this list is KSU or Key System Unit. This is the simplest and most basic phone system out of the three, making it only applicable to small businesses with a maximum of 40 phone operators. The good thing about KSU is that it’s user-friendly and comparable to a regular home telephone. KSU contains all the basic features of a phone system, but it lacks portability and flexibility.
Another modification to this phone system is the KSU-less, which offers the same features as the KSU version. The main difference is that KSU-less is portable since it doesn’t contain any wires or a central switching unit. However, it does include some significant limitations.
Unlike KSU, KSU-less only allows for no more than 10 phone operators. On top of that, KSU-less isn’t sold in a retail store; you must go to the service provider directly and ask for a phone.
Business owners with smaller businesses without the objective of expanding the company might favor this system. But it’s definitely not for companies that are planning to expand in the future.
Benefits Of Business Phone Systems
All businesses require good communication, may it be internally or externally—with clients or vendors. Business operation thrives when communication between staff, customers, and other outside parties is excellent. Thus, a cloud-based telephone solution like VoIP paves the way for better customer support and happier customers. You can set your business to be leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors simply by using a professional telephone system. As such, the list below enumerates the most common benefits of having a business phone.
1. Advanced Features
The first major benefit of having a business phone system is it provides you with access to valuable features that make your business workflow more efficient. You can take tabs on essential clients and meetings and access a customized voicemail and caller ID with a good business phone. These features may seem unimportant to some, but they allow small businesses to get more things done. Here’s a more elaborate explanation of some features that business telephone systems have:
- Centralized Device Management: Traditional business phone systems require a lot of leg work from the users’ end. It often includes cumbersome setup procedures. However, modern business phone systems are much more user-friendly; developers have found a way to make the system easier to use for its clients. Most modern business phone systems come with centralized device management portals where users can configure the system quickly.
- Unified Communication Through Desktop, Mobile, Or SMS: With a unified communication system, employees can easily communicate with coworkers or clients with their desired platform. Employees can choose between platforms like desktop, mobile apps, or SMS. And since many workforces are switching to mobile operations, better collaboration and communication tools are needed to maintain the same competitive work attitude. Certain business phones like VoIP can be integrated into software like Microsoft Outlook or Office365 to make way for other existing systems. Moreover, because this is cloud-based, employees who aren’t reporting to work can still make and receive calls and voicemails through emails.
- Recording Call Details And History: Call records and activities are essential in making detailed reports. Pulling down details such as placed calls, parking, hang-ups, and many others can be tedious enough. But organizations can now record calls for further improvement simply by using a professional business phone system. VoIP can record your calls in the cloud, making it easier for you to save and find them.
- Auto Attendant: Business phone systems offer an auto-attendant feature that minimizes wait times and abandoned calls. With an auto-attendant, calls are immediately transferred to the next person available in the respective department. Custom greetings and other announcements or dialogue can be recorded and attached to the auto attendant feature. There’s no longer any need to hire a traditional phone operator who’ll handle and transfer incoming calls.
- Transcription Of Calls: Many business phone systems offer a voicemail or call transcription feature. This way, recorded calls or voicemails can be reviewed by the phone operator later in text format. Another cool feature is converting recorded calls to a .wav file that can be downloaded or attached to an operator’s email. With this feature, you can easily know what calls to check.
- Conference Bridge: Many organizations refuse to pay an extra fee to access a conference bridge. Acquiring a conference bridge is also a hassle since everyone on the team has to download an external third-party app. The good thing about VoIP is that it can seamlessly integrate conference bridges into the system itself. This is a much more effective and cost-saving solution since they no longer need third-party apps to conduct conferences.
2. Shared Phone Lines
Traditionally, businesses that use a non-phone system will need to terminate a line on an individual’s phone for another staff member to access a specific phone line. Alternatively, businesses that are looking to provide separate numbers to different employees will have to acquire one phone line and install a jack for each employee. The whole process isn’t only tedious but also very expensive—something that not all businesses can afford.
By using a business phone system via the cloud, each employee can enjoy a shared phone line. The phone system gives access to every line, allocating a specific extension for each employee without the need to install a jack or extension for each person. Your customers or any other people trying to reach your line will no longer have to wait until the first caller finishes their call.
Your business can continue assisting clients on the phone by only using one business phone number. As a result, you can lessen clients who can become impatient and disgruntled when waiting for lines to become available. The more you keep your customers happy, the more likely they’ll keep on doing business with you.
3. Low Cost-Per-Call
Since modern business phone systems use the internet and cloud-based servers to make and receive calls, the cost for each call is significantly lower. Unlike traditional phone lines, modern phone systems convert the data into packets that are then submitted to the IP network. Your company’s IP network could be the same internet connection you use. It could also be the IP network provided by your service provider. The good thing about this is that the quality of service coming from your phone service provider is guaranteed.
With traditional phone lines, a single call is placed on a single line. Calls that are made through landlines, especially if they’re long-distance, are costly because so many lines need to be installed. That’s where the internet comes in. Internet-based calls overcome this problem, making the cost for calls less expensive. Calls placed using modern business phones like VoIP are cheaper or sometimes even free regardless of the distance between the caller and the recipient.
4. Client Retention
As mentioned, clients who are happy with your customer support are more likely to come back and refer your business to others. You can also boost this aspect with a cloud-based business phone system to project a professional image. Especially if you don’t have enough resources but have many tasks for customer support, using VoIP can help. You can take advantage of the advanced features mentioned above to continuously assist customers.
For instance, even if you have a small business, an auto attendant can help you portray an image that you have more departments. As a result, your clients will see perceive your business as a big company with efficient operations.
Moreover, you have to keep in mind that your customers nowadays are more diverse. Some may use their laptops, while others use their smartphones to call a business. You can respond to your customers’ needs regardless of the platform they’re using since VoIP has a wide range of communication channels. These include a contact form and live chats that can help engage your website visitors. As a result, you can make their customer experience more satisfying.
Concentrating on your customer service can attract more repeat customers, as they already know how you communicate with them.
Most importantly, you can bring your business anywhere with a business phone system. You won’t have to worry about missing a call when you’re away from your office, especially if you love to travel. Since you can use a cloud-based phone system, you only need the internet to keep you connected with your employees and clients. They can reach you using only one phone number wherever you are.
With these systems, you can also hire employees from across the world. You can keep communicating with them via the conferencing tools included in most business phone systems. And you can do so anytime, too. The availability of these features will depend on the internet connection you’re using.
Moreover, you don’t need to change your business phone if you’re relocating your business. For instance, you may originally be based in New York and you’re moving to California. Traditionally, you have to change your business phone number to the one in the state where you’ll be relocating.
However, with a cloud-based phone system, you can use a virtual phone number from wherever you are. This is important because changing a phone number may affect your ability to respond to existing clients. Clients may already be familiar with your existing phone number. So, when you change it, some may lose contact with you, especially if you don’t notify them that you have new contact details.
By retaining your existing phone number, you can avoid losing your current clients.
With the benefits above, do you think it’s still worth it to have a business phone system in 2021? If you want to optimize your business operations and develop a professional image, you should consider it. Moreover, a business phone system is vital in expanding your business. These systems will enable you to communicate with your clients, employees, and partners wherever you are.