Top 7 Essential Features of Business Phone System
Read this before you buy a business phone system.
As a budding business, it is absolutely critical that your office phone system features are set up to give the best chance of success, and to keep your customers speaking to the right person.
Contrary to what many believe, business phone systems were not created equal. They differ in terms of costs, capabilities, and features.
Therefore, one of the tasks you face is making sure that your chosen business phone system has the necessary features to improve your communication and overall business functionality.
This article is your guide to the business phone system features that you need to know about.
By the time you are done reading, you will:
- Have a comprehensive understanding of your business communication needs.
- Be able to make beneficial and effective purchasing decisions regarding your business phone system.
So let’s get down to business!
Business Phone System Overview
Every savvy business owner knows that business phone systems are an essential part of a business, as it provides a method of communication between your clients, suppliers, and employees. The right business phone system improves your business capability and interconnectivity, while simultaneously cutting down on your phone costs.
It is no secret that business phone systems can do way more than regular personal phones. They offer business-specific features that solve your communication issues, improve your caller experiences, and get you quick results with cost savings.
Furthermore, a business phone system should be able to scale as your business grows. Luckily, most do. VoIP and other software-based systems give you the option to easily change or upgrade their current features and services, in order to suit your new requirements.
Here’s the point: business phone systems are an essential tool for your business growth and success.
So keep on reading, and you’ll soon know all you need to about business phone systems and their most important features for your business.
Business Phone System Types
Before diving into the essential features of business phone systems, it is important that you are aware of the the two main types of systems: PBX and VoIP.
The reason is that when you understand the differences between PBX and VoIP systems, you will also recognize the reasons why certain features can (or cannot) be used with a certain system. You will also gain a solid idea of what type of system you want, which helps narrows down your options further!
PBX business phone systems, also known as Private Branch Exchange, are traditional automated phone systems where your telephone network is private within the company. You are able to use PBX systems to control both internal and external communications, ensuring that you get the most out of your solution.
However, PBX phone systems are comprised of software and hardware such as office phones, which each employee will need. This means that the additional cost of purchasing the necessary hardware to operate your PBX phone system, may result in it not being a cost-effective solution after all. Especially when you need to purchase extensions for each employee, the costs will keep on adding up.
Nevertheless, a PBX phone system is also one of the most reliable and durable telephone solutions in the market. Since they don’t rely on an Internet connection in order to function, you won’t have to worry about communication or sound quality issues due to a bad connection.
You’ll also find modern and modified versions of the PBX phone system, such as the IP-PBX hybrid and the Hosted PBX solution. Both have been developed to offer more essential telephone features for businesses, while maintaining the durability of the traditional PBX system.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a software-based business phone system that uses an Internet connection and IP network to deliver your communications including voice, video, and data.
For example, when you make a phone call using a VoIP system, it digitally encodes your voice signals, transmits them through your broadband Internet connection, where it is then decoded on the receiver’s end so that they can hear you.
VoIP systems are the biggest competitor to landline and PBX business phone systems, since they not only offer the same core services, but also more useful features that you can choose from. What this means is that you have the ability to customize and tailor your own communication solution for your business.
But keep in mind that since VoIP technology depends on a stable, high-quality Internet connection, your calls are susceptible to issues caused by bad connectivity and slow broadband speeds. Therefore, if you are shopping for a VoIP business phone system, make sure that it has some form of protection against these risks.
Top 7 Features
At this point, the overarching question still remains:
“What are the essential features of business phone systems?”
Below you will find 7 different features of business phone systems that you need to know about. Some of them such as Voicemail, are crucial to running a business, while others such as Unified Communications, have the potential to greatly streamline business communication, increase productivity, and improve caller experiences.
An automated attendant, or auto attendant, is a popular business phone system feature that demonstrates your business’ professionalism and modernity. Essentially, it is a virtual receptionist that effectively provides a clear voice directory and even a customized greeting, to incoming callers.
Your customers and suppliers will be instantly directed to the appropriate person within your business, which drastically saves you time and effort. Communication becomes much more efficient and streamlined, with no space for human error since you control the programming of the directory menu.
Essentially, auto attendant is the most helpful if your business experiences a large quantity of incoming calls. It becomes a useful tool for you to improve caller experience, strengthen relationships, and increase productivity.
You’ve probably already guessed this one, but voicemails are arguably one of the most important features of business phone systems. They allow you to stay up to date with your employees, clients, and supplier, even when you are unavailable.
Here’s something you’ll want to know.
Modern business phone softwares also offer an additional feature known as Voicemail to Email, which as the name suggests, automatically sends your voicemails to your email. What this means is that even if you aren’t physically at your business premises, you still have the ability to receive important voicemail messages through your email.
As long as you have a mobile device, you can still remain on top of your business operations and communications.
Unified Communication (UC) is the current hot topic with business phone systems. It integrates various communication tools and applications such as phone calls, video conferencing, instant messaging, and mobility services, all onto a single platform. All in all, UC allows you to use and manage a wide range of communication services from any connected device.
Effectively, UC improves your business’ flexibility, collaboration, and communication. Since all of your communication tools are now connected and operate on a single platform, your business has greater potential to run seamlessly and efficiently.
What’s more, UC has been proven to be directly linked to increasing the productivity, collaboration, and efficiency of employees. They find that UC makes it easier to manage responsibilities, communicate with clients, and work with increased flexibility.
Caller ID and Speed Dial
It is easy to overlook the importance of Caller ID and Speed Dial features in a business phone system. Still, both of these features are two of the most simple yet effective methods to streamline and improve your business communication.
Caller ID immediately lets you know who is calling, so that you are prepared to answer them with a personal greeting, and also have an idea of why they are calling. Modern versions of Caller ID will also give you more information on the incoming caller, including their company information and any other data you input.
Furthermore, you have the ability to automatically screen incoming calls for a number of purposes, that ultimately saves you a large amount of time and resources.
For example, you might want to screen calls to prevent certain numbers from reaching and disturbing your business. This includes telemarketers, “demon diallers”, and any other unwanted parties.
But on the flip side, Caller ID and screening can also automatically direct incoming calls to the right person in your organization. You can easily create answering rules for incoming calls, so that If one of your employees is the assigned contact for a certain client, they are able to directly reach them by simply calling your business phone number.
The best part is that you can even customize your own outgoing Caller ID and choose what information is displayed to recipients of your calls.
Speed dialing is a convenient tool for you to keep track employees, clients, and suppliers with automatic dialing shortcuts to reach them. You won’t need to focus on trying to remember hundreds of phone numbers and extensions, which leaves you to effectively run your business stress-free.
Throw out your previous standards for high sound quality and listen up!
Don’t make the easy mistake of assuming that every business phone system offers the same sound and voice quality, or that your phone’s sound quality can’t get better. Remember, not all phone systems and providers were created equal!
HD Voice is a safe, and extremely important, feature for your business phone system because it guarantees that all of your calls to and from your business always has the highest possible sound quality.
If you want to give your callers the best experience and keep them coming back, then it’s a no-brainer that you should consider using HD Voice for your business.
Call parking is a creative feature of modern business phone systems that offers an efficient alternative to call hold and transfer.
A caller phones into your business phone number looking to reach a certain employee, and the following ensues:
- The receiver puts the caller on hold
- The receiver calls the employee to let them know to expect a call
- The receiver gets back on the original incoming call and finally transfers it to the intended employee
Wouldn’t you agree that the above process is simply too much of a hassle?
You’re just in luck because Call Parking solves this inefficiency by streamlining your business communication. When someone calls into your business line to contact a specific employee, the receiver simply ‘parks’ the call, while the intended employee dials the ‘parked’ extension to answer the call.
Click to Call
Click to Call is another essential feature for business phone systems that also applies to businesses from any size and industry. If you are a savvy business owner, chances are you have a company website that lists your business phone number for interested parties to call.
Simply put, Click to Call allows someone to literally click a button or keyword on your website in order to immediately place a call to a customer representative at your business. It maximizes your caller’s experience by offering an additional mode of outreach.
So why not take advantage of modern technology and demonstrate to potential clients that you are a smart, accessible company?
What Should You Consider?
Now that you know the essential features of business phone systems, you are probably itching to get started in your selection.
But not so fast!
There are some important things that you need to keep in mind when you are deciding on what features to get for your business phone system.
Before you make any decisions, ask yourself whether the business phone system features:
- Meets your current AND future business communication needs.
- Improves internal AND external communication.
- Enhances caller experience.
- Improves relationships with clients and suppliers.
- Is a cost-effective communication solution.
- Increases the productivity and capability of your business.
- Increases customer outreach.
- Scales with your potential business growth.
Although that may seem like a pretty long list, as long as you tick most of the above boxes then you have got yourself a great feature for your business phone system.
You have made it to the end of this guide to the essential features of business phone systems, and you are now ready to begin choosing the best features for your business.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.