How to choose a business phone system?

One could argue that ever since email & social media took over, there’s no need for an open business phone line. Of course, that would be pretty far from the actual state of things. Every business should possess a dedicated phone number/system. It’ll need to have the features, functionality, and flexibility that will guarantee clients don’t end up without crucial information in the least amount of time. In other words, you’ll greatly increase your conversions with a solid & reliable phone system. Anyway, today we’ll help you out on the subject of business phone systems. In other words, we’ll show you how to choose a proper business phone system. Stay tuned!

Different types of business phone systems

Before we introduce you to the main idea behind this article, it’s important that we consider the basics first. Therefore, we’ll have a little chat about different types of business phone systems out there.

An orange vintage phone.
You’ve got three different types of business phone systems to choose from.

We’ll start off with an obvious statement: the internet changed the way we see business phone systems. To phrase it differently, it has equipped us with systems that offered much greater flexibility than fixed-line phone systems and at a much lower cost. Anyway, today – we’re able to differentiate between:

  • Traditional phone systems. It’s the good old fixed lines & hard phones combo.
  • IP-PBX (Internet Protocol – Private Branch Exchange) phone systems. These systems have SIP-enabled hard phones that use VoIP.
  • Cloud-based phone systems. These ones use VoIP technology to make and receive calls through an application or the internet on a PC.

Now that we’ve counted them all, let’s check their main characteristics in a more thorough manner.

Traditional phone systems

Okay, so a traditional, PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone system relies on using telephone lines and classic phones to handle the calls. These systems, of course, don’t demand you have an internet connection in order for them to function. Because of their independence, they’re mostly safe & secure. However, there’s one downside: they’re a bit more costly to install & maintain than other systems we’ll talk about.

Therefore, they’re the best option for larger corporations that have the budget to host such an option. Also, big-game players have an in-house IT crew to handle and maintain them. Lastly, these systems are an absolute necessity for companies without high-speed internet access.

IP-PBX phone systems

A VoIP telephone.
IP-PBX phone systems are ideal if you want total control, relying on your in-house IT crew for handling issues once they occur.

As we’ve already said, these systems use SIP-enabled hard phones & VoIP technology. By using these systems, also known as on-premises phone systems, all the gear (even the PBX hardware) is hosted within your company. Needless to say, IP-PBX phone systems will demand a large capital investment, as you’ll be buying the necessary gear upfront. Also, you’ll be paying monthly bills for your SIP trunking or PRI circuit. To translate this into English: it’s what allows you to have this kind of setup. Lastly, your IT crew will “enjoy” the responsibility to maintain, repair (if needed), and upgrade the phone system.

So, who will benefit from the system we’ve described above? Well, if you’re running a company and don’t feel comfy using a cloud-based system, this might be the ideal option for you. This way, you’ll get absolute control over the system. Of course, as we’ve said, you’ll need an in-house IT team ready to react whenever necessary.

Cloud-based phone systems

Lastly, we’ve got cloud-based phone systems that manage your company’s calls via a PC/mobile app provided by the supplier. They route the calls to your company and act as a virtual exchange. Also, they’re very flexible and offer their users a certain level of control over all aspects of your phone requirement (if the system goes down, however, you’ll have to rely on the provider to fix the issue). Not to mention that call costs are surprisingly low (sometimes even completely free). Still, you’ll probably have to pay a monthly per-user fee. Just as was the case with the systems we’ve talked about in the paragraph above, you’ll need a high-speed internet connection for this kind of setup.

These systems are fantastic for fast-growing companies that don’t have an in-house IT crew.

So, how do you choose a business phone system?

Here we’ll introduce you to some tips on choosing the correct phone system for your business. So, shall we begin?

#1 Ask some questions

The first thing you’ll want to do is to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • What are your company’s objectives in terms of phone service? 
  • What’s the system you’re using at this moment? (If you’re using one at all, that is.)
  • What are you looking for in a phone system?

The answers you’ll get will guide you further. As you’re probably aware, a “simple” question like “how to increase sales on my website?” can propel things forwards.

#2 Consider your internet connection

You’ll need to figure out whether the speed & quality of your internet connection is alright for VoIP solutions.

#3 Also, consider your budget

A pile of dollar bills.
Before opting for a business phone system, consider the money you can invest in it.

That’s right! You’ll also need to figure out how much money is your company willing to invest in a phone system. That way, you’ll know what you’re working with.

#4 What about scalability?

Also, you’ll want to think about scalability options in terms of future company growth since it’s highly recommended that you opt for a service that matches your plans.

#5 Scan the market

Next up, you’ll need to inspect the market in order to find a callback software that matches your operational needs and, of course, the budget you’ve designated for a new phone system.

#6 Do some additional research

Research a certain provider’s track records and reputation. You’ll want to pay special attention to reliability and customer support.

#7 Consider your competitors, too

See what kind of service are they opting for. Also, check what industry leaders use.

#8 Shortlist & ask for demos

Lastly, make a list of all the companies that match your picture and ask for demos. Before signing up, you’ll definitely want to test out the service first!

Final thoughts on how to choose a business phone system

There you go, folks! These were some of the tips intended to help you choose a business phone system. By following the steps we’ve shown you above, we’re sure that you’ll have no issues choosing a service or a provider that suits your need perfectly. As you could’ve read, it’s not a hassle once you know what to look for!

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