Small business phone systems are constantly being upgraded with new features and functionalities. Staying ahead of the curve is a skill that some industry professionals have mastered, but it’s a skill that can be very hard to master for the small business owner looking into getting a new cloud-based phone system.
There are so many models and brands – how can you make the right decision? Central Telephone, a business phone installation firm, is here to help. Though, when push comes to shove, only you know what’s right for your business.
Here are a few useful features of a small business phone system for you to consider.
It’s The Little Things That Count
While it’s important to have a phone that can serve basic functions, such as receiving and making calls, you’d be surprised by what added bells and whistles could do for your workers’ productivity and your firm’s business efficiency. Added features make transferring and retaining information faster and easier, which is the purpose of almost all communication technologies.
Choosing the right phone system for your business depends on what features might best help your company.
Essentially, this feature puts voicemails your firm receives into text format, which converts it to an email that will appear in the corresponding worker’s inbox. This might make information more easily accessible for some differently-abled employees.
Voicemail transcription also cuts down on the amount of time others spend with the phone to their ears, which leaves them free to accomplish other tasks.
While our email is readily accessible from any device with an internet connection, the same has not been historically true for phone calls. However, call masking technologies – such as mobile apps and mobility options - make answering phone calls almost as easy as checking your email. With mobile apps, all connected phones can answer calls to a single given number. This means it has become possible for employees to make, and receive, business calls no matter where they are as long as they have an internet connection all while displaying the business phone number.
While our email is readily accessible from any device with an internet connection, the same has not been historically true for phone calls. However, call-forwarding technologies make answering phone calls almost as easy as checking your email.
With call forwarding, all connected phones can answer calls to a single given number. This means it has become possible for employees to take business calls through their home or cell phones.
Voice Call Digitization
With this type of technology, phones and computer systems can work together to manage calls. This makes important communications accessible from multiple devices and enables the recording of calls under certain circumstances.
What Telephone Features Does Your Business Need?
When you are ready to outfit your new or existing business with a professional-grade phone system, there are several things you must consider before making your purchase:
How Advanced Does the System Need to Be?
Do you need a complete phone system that includes physical phone hardware, or would your business operate within a virtual phone solution that employs smartphones instead of traditional, on-the-desk telephone hardware?
Either option can provide a robust set of communications capabilities, so it is a matter of considering ‘how’ the system will be used (in-office, on the road, a combination of both, etc.) and who will be using it (service technicians, office staff, management, etc).
How Many Lines?
Hybrid and cloud-hosted VoIP systems do not typically limit the number of lines you can connect, even those accessed outside the office per a smart device. Adding new lines to these modern systems is easier than ever, and as you add new lines, you pay less for each line. For larger companies, per-user costs are much lower than traditional local and regional phone systems.
What Type of Service?
If you determine that there is a need for office telephones, you must next ask what type of service would be preferred. You can select between a traditional landline telephone service provided by a local or regional phone company or a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system, which utilizes the Internet for communications.
What Performance Options Are Required?
Within the realm of physical telephone equipment, several performance options exist. We can help you decide which features would benefit your organization most. We offer basic office phone systems and complete, large-scale communications solutions for large companies–as well as Call/Contact Center operations.
Remote or On-Site Employees?
Most phone systems could work for your staff if you have a traditional in-office workforce. But if you have remote employees, you must ensure that you communicate as a team, no matter where they might be.
Remote, in-office, and hybrid employees – how we work is changing. Business VoIP systems offer smartphone applications and mobility features while enjoying the complete functionality of desk phones from home.
Business Telephone Systems Should Match Your Work Style
Does your team like to be constantly connected, or are they of the more traditional, don’t-bring-work-home-with-you type? Both have merits, and a small business phone system should complement them.
Teams that like to keep their work close might benefit from phone systems with Smartphone integration, whereas others might find use in a premise-based phone system.
More Features Aren’t Always Better
The right communication tools for small businesses aren’t always the most expensive or feature-heavy. Though plenty of offices might find great use in assets such as, for example, remote collaboration capabilities, if your company doesn’t frequently deal with remote workers, this might simply be extraneous.
Don’t let a provider of small business phone systems try to match you with business phone features that sound fancy but really aren’t for you. Go with a company like Central Telephone that takes a more personalized, customer-first approach!
Business Phone Systems Should Be Easy to Use
With how quickly technology has advanced, you should never have to waste employee time and settle for a cumbersome office phone system. At the very least, a small business phone system should make for a simple onboarding process. You owe that to both yourself and your staff!
3 Types of Business Phone Systems to Consider
Fortunately, there is a range of types of phone systems for your business. Each has its benefits and disadvantages, use of technology, and features. So before you consider whether one type of business phone system is best for your business, take a moment to understand each one better.
Cloud-Based Phone Systems
Cloud-based phone systems are VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Essentially, you get phone services via an internet connection. Cloud-based phone systems help your business – no matter its size – to communicate effortlessly. They use a singular network, cutting infrastructure complexity and increasing efficiency.
One of the advantages of cloud-based phone systems is that if the internet goes down at your office, you can switch over to using the mobile app and stay connected to the phone system over cellular internet. This allows you to continue working and communicating with co-workers and clients, even while the business or home internet is inaccessible.
Premise-Based Phone Systems
A premise-based phone system is a hybrid, also known as PBX or private branch exchange. It can be configured into a digital, VoIP, or analog system – or a combination of the three.
It is a unified communication system, so premise-based phone systems have all the features and advantages of cloud-based phone systems. While there is more room for issues like slow internet connections and IP address conflicts, premise-based phone systems are easily managed using a web interface.
Digital phone systems also support “station relocation,” which means you can move your phone system where you need it most.
Distributed Antenna Phones Systems
DAS, or distributed antenna systems, help your business achieve a uniform cell signal throughout the building. Considering the DAS phone system, an indoor cellular solution may be your best bet if your internet connection is less than stellar on location.
A DAS system boosts cellular signals throughout the building for a more reliable, consistent signal. In particular, Central Telephone works with Cel-Fi, an excellent solution for businesses in the Twin Cities.
Overall, DAS improves internet connectivity and cellular signals and maintains critical communications.
Is VoIP the Right Match for Your Business?
If VoIP seems to be a better fit, there are a number of possibilities as you drill down into the details. VoIP can be self-hosted, based at your business location, or can be cloud-based, meaning your service provider hosts it.
Central Telephone Sales and Service will listen to your questions and provide tangible answers and recommendations for any business communication requirements you may have. We have the expertise and experience to provide and install a reliable system that addresses all of your company’s communication needs.
Central Telephone Is Here to Help!
Our Plymouth team would be delighted to help your business step into the modern world with new phone technologies. For innovative wiring solutions and cloud-based installation services, give us a call at 763-550-2000 or message us online today.