Communication is a vital aspect of any type of business. For one, it can improve employees’ productivity, boosts customer relationships, enhances the smooth running of a business, and encourages feedback. Additionally, good communication within your organization can minimize employee turnover rate, supports a hybrid work model, facilitates coordination, and builds a better business culture. A strong business phone system can make all the difference.
However, the level and expertise of communication in your business will determine if you’ll enjoy the said benefits.
The technology of communication is constantly evolving. For instance, today, you need more than having call agents, as it would be best to automate your calls with business phone systems like Power Dialer. For one, this can help free up your call agents to attend to more pressing issues that profit the business.
There’s more, and this article looks at all of it. It features the process of setting up a business phone system, beginner tips for choosing and using the system, and the pros and cons. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is A Business Phone System
A business phone system is a system that has several telephones interconnected to serve various purposes. Some of these purposes include handling calls, transferring calls, screening calls, and call forwarding.
Some phone systems like Drop Cowboy provide ringless voicemails or those pre-recorded messages that are sent to your recipient without them having to pick up their phone. This can help reduce the feeling of intrusiveness and helps you personalize your communication with your target customers.
Types Of Business Phone Systems
Essentially, there are a couple of phone system types you can choose to use in your business. These include:
Virtual Phone System
This phone system is mainly used by small businesses that use a hybrid work model. Using a home or mobile phone lets you get in touch with your colleagues and clients. Also, it has several features, including call screening, voicemails, toll-free numbers, automated receptionists, and others.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Instead of using wires, this phone system uses an internet connection. It’s for small businesses that want an advanced phone system but don’t want to spend much money. Besides making calls, this system allows employees working from home to access the phone system through its computer integration feature.
Landlines are also called public switched telephone networks and are supported by regional phone companies. Big companies use landlines with an IT team in charge of maintaining them. But over time, many service providers are moving away from this phone system, making it soon to be obsolete. As a result, it may be challenging to get a service provider if you prefer using this phone system.
Pros Of A Business Phone System
Below are some of the notable advantages your business can experience from having a business phone system:
In any business, cutting possible costs is essential to help boost profits. Therefore, finding areas where you can reduce how much you spend would help. One such area is communication.
Unlike traditional means of communication, such as landlines, using a business phone system powered by the internet can be a cost-effective alternative. For one, getting a new system may require you to get new equipment. But the good thing about a business phone system is you only need an internet connection and a mobile phone or computer. In most cases, businesses already have these requirements, minimizing the need to invest in more tools.
It Offers Flexibility
During the Covid-19 pandemic, most businesses looked for ways that their employees could work remotely. Working remotely was a way of abiding by the safety measures that had been put in place. However, even after the pandemic, some businesses allowed their workers to continue working from home.
For this type of work setup to be effective, you need to ensure everything runs the same. In such a case, a reliable means of communication is necessary. Luckily, with a reliable business phone system in place, you can communicate with your colleagues and clients despite your location.
Cons Of A Business Phone System
On the other hand, as much as a business phone system may be beneficial, it also has a few drawbacks. The following are some disadvantages of mobile business systems:
It Relies On An Internet Connection
Business phone systems relying on an internet connection are an advantage. But what happens if you experienced issues with your internet? No internet means the system will stop functioning, and as a result, there’ll be no communication until the problem is fixed.
Moreover, if your internet connection isn’t strong enough, you may experience challenges with the quality of your voice calls. Poor quality negatively affects your internal communication and customer service, as there may be lags in the calls.
It’s Affected By The Lack of Electricity
Electricity provides power to many devices. If there’s no electricity, many devices will stop functioning. For instance, if the computers or phones you use for your phone system run out of charge, you’ll have to pause your communication until the lights return.
Furthermore, internet connections like Wi-Fi rely on electricity. As discussed in the previous disadvantage, no internet connection means less efficient communication.
How To Set Up A Business Phone System
Now that we know the basics of a business phone system, here’s a brief guide on setting up one for your company to help you get started:
Sign Up With A Service Provider
There are various service providers you can work with to have your business phone system. And ideally, you’d want to reach out to reputable ones in the industry to get the most out of your investment. After signing up successfully and settling the fees, you’ll gain access to your administrator dashboard.
Essentially, the administrator dashboard lets you view phone system features such as call forwarding, managing your business lines, caller ID settings, and many more. Also, you get to build your team on this board. Although, note that these options generally vary depending on service providers. For instance, some may give you the option of choosing your business phone number, while others don’t.
Enable Call Management Features
Some businesses have fixed working hours, while others operate 24/7. There may also be cases wherein business operations are closed during holidays while others are fully operational with limited employees working. And so, depending on the nature of your business, you can set your working hours and set up automated features such as call forwarding or auto attendants to accommodate incoming calls after working hours. These features can also come in handy when some employees are not present in the office to take calls in their extension numbers.
With call forwarding, calls can be transferred to answering machines, which you can listen to once your business resumes operations. On the other hand, you can also assign alternative numbers to forward the call to ensure that all incoming calls are answered and accommodated.
Another way to control incoming calls is by having an automated attendant system (auto-attendant), also known as a virtual receptionist. This system greets customers and offers menu options for your business. From your menu, your customers can choose the type of service or information they need and get help without directly communicating with you.
Design A Good Call Experience For Your Customers
One of the reasons business owners decide to set up a business phone system is to improve their level of customer service. After all, how you attend to your customers’ concerns plays a hand in your business’s success. Good customer service attracts new clients and also brings returning customers.
You can provide good customer service by considering various factors when using a business phone system. Some of these factors include minimizing call transfers before a customer gets helped, figuring out what happens when a client calls using your toll-free line, and what can be done to make sales with just one call. Moreover, how information is delivered to your customers also matters. Using user-friendly language will help.
Have An Outgoing Caller ID
Getting calls from an unknown number is one of the things that most people don’t like. One of the reasons for avoiding unknown callers is they may be scammers. Therefore, customers who can’t recognize your business number will likely ignore your calls. To prevent people from missing your calls or identifying them as spam, you may consider having an outgoing caller ID for your business phone number.
A caller ID will help customers identify your business phone number. You can add periods, numbers, spaces, and letters to make your business number unique. However, caller IDs won’t work with toll-free numbers. Therefore, you won’t get to utilize this feature if you choose to have a toll-free business number.
Add Your Team
It can be overwhelming to handle all business calls alone. At this point, bringing other people on board to help may be a good idea. You can put them in charge of different departments or issues so that when a customer calls, they’ll be directed to the person in charge. Therefore, for your team to be efficient, they’ll need different business numbers for various departments.
On the other hand, you can also opt for a shared number where your team uses the same number. This option is primarily used in businesses as a customer support phone number, a central line for urgent customer support, an inbound sales number, a delivery service contact, and many more.
Import Your Business Contacts
Having your contacts on another source can be time-consuming when you want to make calls. Also, when clients call, there’s the chance of failing to identify their phone numbers. As such, it can significantly help to import contacts to your business phone system to improve efficiency. Importing will help you quickly find the contacts you need, as you can organize them alphabetically.
Don’t Forget To Turn On Auto Call-Recording
Recording calls serves various purposes. You can use the recording to train new employees for quality assessment and documentation. Furthermore, in case of miscommunication, you can use the records to settle disagreements by understanding what was said and discussed during the call. After that, you can come up with the best solution.
What To Look For In A Business Phone System
To reap the benefits of installing a business phone system, choosing the right one that meets your business’s needs is essential. With that, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
Number Of Users That’ll Be On The System
Phone systems are generally built depending on how many people will be using the system. For instance, some are made to accommodate many users, while others are only meant to accommodate small and medium businesses.
As such, as you choose a phone system for your business, ensure you get one that can accommodate your team members. It’s also recommended to take into consideration the possibility of business expansion and recruiting more employees.
Features You Want
Apart from making calls, there are other features you may want in your phone system. Some of the most common features include call forwarding, call recording, auto-attendants, call queuing, voicemail, and many more.
How much you can spend on communication tools is influenced by the level of your business. For instance, if you own a small business, you’re likely to have a smaller budget to invest in a phone system.
For example, your business level determines the number of users on the phone system and how many features you need. The more features and users, the more expensive it’ll cost you. Therefore, see to it the phone system you get does not just meet the needs of your business, but your budget as well.
Considering this is a significant investment for your business, compare various service providers’ rates and packages to ensure you get the best deal.
Beginner Tips For Using A Business Phone System
Here are some beginner tips that you may find helpful to get you started in easing into the new business phone system:
Use A Manual
In this era, most things come with manuals. In this case, business phone systems aren’t an exception. A manual will guide you on how to use the system and answer any questions you may have. And so, as a good start, it would be best if you made the manual your friend.
Move Around The System
Most phone systems are user-friendly. Therefore, it won’t be long until you understand how to use the system’s features. Besides reading the manual, figuring your way around and exploring the system as often would help.
On the other hand, it can also help to practice with your team members. Some of you can make the calls while others receive them. Practicing can help you learn what you’re doing wrong and what you can do to improve.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help
Sometimes, your service provider can best provide the information you need. In such a situation, you shouldn’t hold back from asking.
Summing It Up
Communication is essential in business. It helps in offering better customer services, enhances coordination, builds better company culture, and many more. These advantages are enjoyed depending on the communication means in your company. One way to promote effective communication is by using a business phone system.
This article has provided insights regarding business phone systems, which you can use to get started in making your communication with your internal team and clients more efficient.