Which kinds of businesses benefit most from a good phone system?
All businesses can benefit from a good phone system, though not all businesses will benefit from the same type of business phone system. Communicating with your colleagues, customers and clients in a professional manner is critical. That’s why relying solely on personal mobile devices can cause problems. You want to make a great impression on your customers. A greeting from an automated attendant via a business phone system is a great first step; it shows your company is a legitimate operation.
Businesses that don’t need a traditional office phone system should at least consider investing in a virtual phone system. These allow you to present a professional image while still using your mobile device as your main communication tool. Virtual systems include automated attendants and a host of other valuable features. In addition, when you make outbound calls, your business number, not your personal mobile number, is displayed to the person you are calling.
For larger businesses, business phone systems not only help you present a professional image to your customers but also give your employees all of the communication tools they need to do their jobs well and keep in touch with co-workers. Mobile apps allow team members to take their business lines with them wherever they go, and video conferencing services ensure they can connect with anyone, regardless of where they are and how they want to communicate.
What is unified communications?
Unified communications is the ability to access all of your communication tools from one platform. Many of today’s business phone systems are unified communications systems. While these systems still offer traditional phone service, they include other communication tools that professionals now commonly rely on.
The additional features in unified communications services include audio, video and web conferencing; instant messaging; and text messaging. Previously, to have all of these communication tools, organizations had to use a different vendor for each one. Unified communications streamline the process by allowing you to access all these features from the same provider. This not only boosts employee productivity, but can also be a significant cost-saver for businesses.
What is the best business phone system?
Since every business is different, it’s hard to say one business phone system is the best solution to fulfill every company’s needs. That’s why our recommendations for the best business phone systems are based on different use cases, like best for small businesses, best for remote employees and best for voice intelligence.
For each use case, we examined the functions and tools that different business types need from a phone system. We then compared and contrasted the various phone system providers based on those criteria, seeing which platform could best serve a particular situation, whether it be a scaling business or a company prioritizing customization capabilities. You can read specifics on our selections in our in-depth reviews.
When is the best time to invest in a good phone system for your business?
In today’s highly competitive market, it’s never a bad time to invest in a business phone system. There are so many providers seeking new customers that they are always offering some type of discount or incentive to sign up. This could be a few months of free service, free phones or discounted rates.
That said, we have noticed that a lot of vendors ramp up their incentives near the end of each quarter. As they close their books on the quarter, providers want to have the best sales numbers possible, so they may offer extra incentives to get more sign-ups. Consider this time frame before you start talking to companies.
What is the difference between a business phone service and a business phone system?
There aren’t many differences between a business phone service and a business phone system. Both provide you with all the tools you need to effectively communicate with those inside and outside of your office.
When you’re evaluating which one is best for your business, look at how well the system runs. Is the phone service reliable? This is especially important for cloud-hosted PBX systems. Traditionally, business phone services were based on landlines. Reliability was rock-solid because everything was hardwired and there was no internet to deal with. Today, as cloud-hosted PBX business phone systems have become increasingly popular, finding a business phone service that offers the same reliability as a landline system is crucial.
One of the key factors you can use to determine reliability is uptime statistics. Uptime is how often a cloud-based phone system is up and running. One of the most critical elements of a business phone system is the promise that you can pick up the phone and make a call whenever you need to and that whenever someone calls you, they can get through. The best business phone services and systems have uptimes of 99.999 percent. This means service is down for only a handful of minutes each year. Some business phone providers go as far as to guarantee their uptime — if it ever falls below a certain threshold, they will reimburse you.
What are the main differences between phone systems for small businesses and phone systems for large businesses?
What makes today’s cloud-hosted unified communication systems so appealing to small businesses is that they provide the same functionality as systems large businesses use.
Before the advent of VoIP and cloud-hosted solutions, large companies were typically the only ones that could afford the expensive on-site equipment needed for a robust phone system with features like automated attendants, extension dialing and call queues. VoIP, specifically the cloud-hosted VoIP phone system, has leveled the playing field. The point of entry is no longer expensive, so small businesses can easily implement these systems in the same way large businesses can.
One difference, however, might be in the service tiers small and large businesses choose. While small businesses might select a lower-tier plan that doesn’t offer every feature under the sun, larger businesses may be able to afford the more expensive plans that give them access to everything the phone system provider offers. Some packages are geared to smaller, larger or even midsize businesses based on features and pricing. But there’s nothing stopping a small business from signing up for the most feature-rich option — unless the vendor has user minimums.
How much does a phone system cost for small businesses?
The costs and pricing structure of a small business phone system depend on where the system will be hosted. If it’s hosted in the cloud, all you have to worry about is ongoing monthly fees for each user. Prices are typically $10 to $60 per user per month, depending on how many features and tools you want. However, $20 per user per month will usually get you a basic phone system with plenty of modern call handling and integration capabilities.
If you want to host your business phone systems on premises (inside your physical business location), you need to plan for one-time upfront costs. For the equipment and installation, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars. In addition, there will likely be recurring monthly payments for your actual calling services.
How do you set up a small business phone system?
The setup process depends on the kind of business phone system you choose, but a huge benefit of today’s systems is how easy they are to implement. VoIP solutions are completely managed from an online portal. Administrators can log in to the portal to assign business phone numbers and extensions, add new users, delete users and turn features on or off for individual users. You can access this portal from anywhere with an internet connection. On-premises implementations are more involved, naturally.
Who benefits most from VoIP office systems?
Employees often benefit most from a VoIP business phone system. These systems provide workers with valuable tools to facilitate all of their communication and collaboration needs. Voicemail-to-email, call recording, instant messaging and call forwarding are some of the features employees can typically access with a VoIP system.
Additionally, VoIP solutions allow lots of mobility. Many vendors offer their own mobile apps that give workers the freedom to answer and make calls to and from their business lines via their mobile devices. This helps ensure they never miss an important call.
Small business owners also are big beneficiaries of VoIP office systems. These platforms give small businesses access to features and tools that were previously affordable by only larger organizations. The ability to install these systems for a relatively low price is a huge advantage for smaller companies.
Can you use a VoIP phone as a regular phone?
Technically, there are IP phones and analog phones. Most of today’s VoIP phone systems use IP phones. These phones plug directly into your internet router and are essentially ready to start making and receiving calls immediately. In order to use an analog phone with many of today’s VoIP systems, you need a special adapter that allows these phones to connect to your network.
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