Landlines may sound like relics from the past. But over 140 years later after Alexander Graham Bell introduced telephones to the world, they still have their place in the modern age. With social media, chat, messengers, and other communication mediums, most businesses may think a phone system is not necessary. However, they still provide needed value that’s hard to achieve from other types of communication. So, if you realize that your business needs some type of reliable phone system, how do you choose the right one?
Many businesses prefer having a one-on-one conversation with clients, customers, partners, and vendors to maintain their rapport and accelerate the sales process. But before installing a phone system, ask yourself the following:
- Do you really need a full phone system to run your business?
- Do you need desk phones, or do you prefer a virtual system?
- Will you use a regional phone company or a local one?
- Do you prefer a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system that offers a multitude of providers?
- If you do choose VOIP, do you want your system installed on your premises, or would you rather use a service provider host?
There are a few things you’ll want to know ahead of time, and it may seem confusing. But don’t worry. Let’s help you figure it out.
We will provide you with several business phone system options that are available for you to choose from. Let’s begin.
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Yes, people are still using landlines that are supported by local and regional phone companies. Landlines are analog systems that run through copper wiring. A business landline system requires PBX (Private Branch Exchange) hardware to be installed on the property. PBX hardware makes it possible to have multiple extensions.
Despite being old-fashioned, landline phones stand the test of time when it comes to reliability. Unfortunately, many telecommunication companies are no longer offering these systems. Landline systems are best for large companies that have in-house staff.
Virtual Phone Systems
Virtual phone systems connect your customers to your services. When a customer calls the main business number and speaks to a remote customer service representative, they are connected through a virtual line that’s routed through the main office. This is an extensive call forwarding solution where incoming calls are forwarded to the employee’s home or cell phone.
Virtual Phone System Features
- Automated receptionists
- Call forwarding
- Call screening
- Toll-free numbers
- Online faxing
Virtual phone systems allow businesses to link offsite employees to customers. Through this type of system, a company can maintain a professional image by using its main office number as a contact point while allowing remote employees to handle the calls. Also, the company employees have access to the phone system’s features that their landlines and cell phones don’t offer. The main drawback is that customers may be charged for data and minutes when calling.
VOIP Phone Systems
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) uses the internet for its services and connectivity. They provide many of the same features that, in the past, only companies with extensive PBX networks could have. Today, VOIP has made these same features more affordable and accessible to companies with smaller budgets.
With VOIP, a company’s employees can access the system from their cell phones. VOIP is sophisticated but easy to install and configure. It is also considerably cheaper than landline systems.
With VOP, you have two options for connectivity: you can have it hosted on a server on your property or use a cloud-based platform. As far as drawbacks, because VOIP relies on internet technology, it is prone to the same issues, such as slow speeds and disruptions in connectivity.
VOIP phone systems are ideal for all types, including small businesses that want excellent functionality at a reasonable price.
- Your Budget and your Current Set-Up. In other words, how much can you spend, and what are the logistical challenges for your communication needs? Are you looking to connect remote workers, or are you trying to have a reliable system for a company that houses many workers under one roof?
- Call volume: how many calls are you expecting daily?
- Total budget: Not just installation costs but maintenance as well. How much have you allocated to communication?
- The nature of your employees’ work: Are they on the field, in the office, or both? Do your employees need a cell phone, a desk phone, or both?
- What types of features do you need? Call waiting, routing options, transfers, forwarding, etc.
- Does your company have a reliable internet connection?
- How will your phone system fit with other resources you may already have? For example, are you already using a mobile phone carrier for employees who do fieldwork?
As you’ll see by now, choosing the right phone system is a significant decision. Not having the right one can greatly affect your sales game and, ultimately, your reputation. Your company’s telephone system is a key framework where business transactions take place.
If you want our biased opinion, we prefer a VOIP phone system as it gives you both functionality and a budget-friendly solution. But don’t take our word for it.