Published on August 6th, 2021 | by Sunit Nandi0
How To Set Up A Business Phone System
For the startups, customers and clients can reach your business with your personal or a separate phone number. However, when your business starts to grow, setting up a business phone system will eventually become a necessity to function well.
Understanding Business Phone System
A phone system for businesses consists of multiple interconnected phones with professional features such as call holding, call forwarding, call transfer, and more. Business phone systems can be as simple as two phones connected to each other or as complex as hundreds to thousands of interconnected phones across offices in various locations.
Advantages Of Business Phone System
In general, you can simply use your personal mobile phone number or landline number to receive calls from your customers. However, this would make you look unprofessional and won’t allow you to have effective communication with customers. Here are just a few benefits of adding a proper business phone systems charlotte has to offer:
1. Improve Communication
Obviously, business phone systems can help improve communication, not only with your customers and clients but also with your internal communications. Employees can easily connect, communicate, and collaborate with each other which helps increase productivity and teamwork. As a result, this extends to improve customer service and an overall positive customer experience.
2. Maximizing Business Resources
Business phone systems of today can help your brand to make the most out of your resources. With built-in functions and advanced features such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration, you can improve your communications dramatically, reaching more potential customers, pushing sales, and improving overall customer satisfaction.
3. Minimizing Expenses
A quality and reliable business phone system isn’t free. It comes with a cost, but it’ll be all worth it in the end. For one, modern business phone systems require no on-premises installation unless you want to have your own server in order to handle the input data. It also eliminates the need to purchase new hardware for every new employee.
Lastly, business phone systems can help in reducing communications costs. Modern business phone system uses the internet which helps reduce communication cost, unlike traditional phone calls that charge per minute of every call.
4. Reduce Pressure on Employees
A modern business phone system, either a cloud version or on-premises, comes with the support and help of a vendor. This means that you don’t have to train your employees beyond basic troubleshooting. Also, you don’t have to worry about finding a trusted IT technician.
In addition, the advanced features of most business phone systems such as queue or auto attendant can help employees focus only on answering calls and providing proper information.
4 Steps To Setting Up A Business Phone System
As you can see, a business phone system can be beneficial and is something that almost every business owner will have to do at some point. With that said, here are the steps to follow to effectively set up a business phone system:
1. Choose The Right Type
Before you can go with the technicalities, you first need to choose the right type of phone system that you need for your business.
Since they don’t work the same, various phone systems have different types suited for different types of businesses, depending on their specific needs. Here are your options:
Short for Private Branch Exchange, PBX is the most common type of business phone system of today. It powers businesses by providing the functionality needed to offer numerous communication features and tools such as automated attendants, extension dialing, and ring groups.
Since it’s a largely automated system, this kind of business phone system is most suited for companies with over 40 employees. One of the best benefits of a PBX system is that it offers an uninterruptible power supply. This means that your organization can stay functional without electricity for some time.
There’s also a modified system called hosted PBX. The only difference with such a system is that the programmable switching device isn’t installed on-premises, rather it’s hosted by the telephone provider. It helps your business avoid some maintenance and installation costs that come with the standard PBX system while maintaining all the advanced features.
The latest innovation of business phone systems is the Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. As the most advanced phone system so far, VoIP allows an operator to communicate with a potential client even if they’re on the other side of the globe.
This system works with the use of both a computer and the Internet. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive type, with the cost depending on the number of employees who use it. However, it’s beneficial, especially for remote workers. It also provides capabilities such as integration to different kinds of business software such as CRM.
Also, you don’t need a physical business phone unit to use it as it’s connected and work over the internet. Plus, calls can be routed directly to any telephone and mobile device you want.
Like PBX, VoIP phone systems can also be hosted. This version offers the same benefits as the basic VoIP system but with less maintenance and installation involved for your business since the service providers will be responsible for maintaining and hosting the main telephone system.
2. Pick The Right Provider
Once you’ve already decided the right kind of phone system for your business, you’ll need to pick a reliable service provider. There are various considerations when choosing the right provider:
First off, you need to take a look at the features included in the provider’s plan. Does it cover all the necessary functionalities and features your business needs? Does it have any advanced features that can help your brand to grow? You also need to check with the vendor for extra fees for specific tools.
Every phone system service should have a non-negotiable feature for your business. Common features that a provider should offer are:
- Caller ID
- Automated directory services
- Call blocking, forwarding, and logging
- Custom greetings
- Distinctive rings
- Hold options
- Speed dialing
- Transfer capabilities
- Multiple lines
Consider the various procedures that occur within your business, both from the client-side and internally, and mapping out what features are most needed and used as well as advanced options that could help simplify and streamline processes.
As with any service provider, you also need to check their customer service response, their service hours, and ways to contact them. This helps you determine the level of services that you can offer in case something goes wrong. For instance, it’s more appealing to work with a local vendor that offers 24/7 onsite and web support— particularly if you do business on weekends or at night where waiting until morning or their service hour isn’t an option.
If your business grows, what will be the cost of adding new hires to your business phone system plan? You want to think not only in terms of equipment but also paying for the extra service.
Since business phone providers may assess fees to install equipment, add new users, or changing existing agreements, you want to check those costs as well. This way, you can have a better idea of the costs of scaling your business’s phone system.
3. Select Your Business Phone Number(s)
Once you’ve found the right provider, you’ll need to sign up for the service. From there, you can go about choosing the phone number for your business.
If you want to provide your customers an easy-to-remember and free phone number, then pick a toll-free number. If you want to call specific audiences based on specific areas of the globe, choose a local phone number so that the number has the same area code as your target audience.
In addition, you can even select a vanity number that’s relatable to your business. You can do so by picking digits associated with the letters on the phone keypad. If you wish to keep an existing number, you can also do that.
4. Set-Up Features
The next thing you need to do is to choose the features that your business will benefit from and set them up. Some of the common features you’ll need to set up include:
This allows you to give individual extensions for executives and employees. You can even add department extensions for larger businesses. This way, when a customer calls, they can have the option to call a particular extension in order to reach a specific department or person or search by name.
This is the message that customers will first hear when they contact your business phone number. So, you want to record a professional and well-versed message.
This means configuring different numbers into one so that when someone calls, all configured pre-programmed phones will ring at the same time. Whichever phone you pick up first will get the call.
This is a call management system feature that allows you to automatically distribute incoming calls according to specific criteria that you have set. It helps connect your customers to the most suitable employee or department they need.
5. Start Receiving Calls
After all the above steps, you’re now ready to receive calls from your customers or in improving internal communications. Setting up a business phone system has never been easier, thanks to modern technology. So, what are you waiting for? Follow our guide and have a phone system installed for your business right away!