Communication is an integral part of life that humans use to interact, connect, and understand each other. With the advent of technology, communication has become more diverse and convenient. For businesses, phone systems play a huge role in connecting organizations with each other and their external counterparts, customers, and business partners.
With that being said, choosing a reliable communication tool like a ringless voicemail or other phone system solutions is crucial. Always keep in mind that communication is the lifeblood of any business. So, by streamlining your interaction processes, everyone in your company can easily work together and meet the needs and demands of your clients.
If you’re looking to modify your business phone system, use this guide to help you set up a decent and reliable one:
Select The Best Kind Of Business Phone System
Before you get into the nitty gritty details of installing a phone system for your company, you should get familiar with the different types available on the market today. Choosing from the various business phone systems on the market is the first step in getting your system up and running. Some business needs may require different systems since they all operate differently. Therefore, it’s critical to select one that’s suitable for your workflow’s nature and processes. That said, here are the different phone systems to choose from:
Basic Key Telephone System
A key system unit (KSU) is a conventional phone system in the past that’s been used by many small businesses to manage incoming calls. Typically, these calls are routed through a central switching unit. Today, some traditional companies still use this phone system. This key system includes a device that comes with buttons that allow users to select incoming calls, transfer calls to extension lines, and view the status of calls and lines.
Due to its ease of use and standard set of telephony functions, this system has gained significant popularity. It’s a basic technological gadget with valuable features like voicemail and call forwarding, and it doesn’t require any special training to operate. However, the downside is that it won’t work for large businesses requiring more phone lines or many phone users.
Multi-Line Phone System
Multiple calls can be handled simultaneously by this type of phone system. And since they are all routed to a central system, you can transfer calls to respective departments via established business lines. Just like key systems, it also uses copper wiring. Moreover, it’s been called multi-line because of the ability to handle two or more calls at the same time. This feature allows operators to hold calls, dial internal and external numbers, and so on. And because you can make multiple calls simultaneously, this is better for small businesses than single-line phone systems.
Like key systems, this is very basic, reliable, and easy to use. However, since they’re similarly traditional, they might not be what you’re looking for if you consider updating and upgrading your communication solutions. With this phone system, you may set up a toll-free and local business numbers. Thus, it’s still accessible to use for all your local clients.
VoIP Phone System
Next, you can choose the voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) system. This is more advanced than the other two systems mentioned. A broadband internet connection is used to connect this phone system to business lines instead of traditional copper wiring. You don’t have to struggle to keep maintaining your physical landline wires or pay up utility phone bills every month.
These systems are fast and reliable due to the availability of internet access throughout the world. Nevertheless, anyone from anywhere with an internet connection can easily contact you. If you’re shifting to the global field, this phone system will earn you extra points to prospects.
From one office, you can manage multiple business phone lines and numbers. Additionally, it offers the capability to integrate your other professional software and tools into your phone lines. Also, it doesn’t require physical landline phones, such as those that need to be wired with copper lines. Notably, this is the ideal phone system for your telecommuting employees who may work and accept calls on their mobile devices.
PBX Phone System
Lastly, you can choose the private bank exchange (PBX) phone system. While PBX systems have the same functionality as multi-line systems, they differ in one significant way. The key distinction is that PBX may be accessed via the internet. In addition, you don’t need a single telephone unit to transfer and process call data, as a centralized device or PBX software can handle this.
Since it’s a personalized phone system, this option is highly customizable. Therefore, it can make doing business easier and more efficient by providing various customizable features.
Ensure High-Quality Internet Connectivity
During the installation process, you should evaluate your internet connection and bandwidth. This is a common mistake made by many business owners out there. They often overlook their connectivity issues, thus affecting the phone system’s quality. When you choose internet-operated systems like VoIP or PBX, this step is more than necessary.
An internet connection is required to operate these phone systems. A stable network benefits inbound and outbound calls. Furthermore, a high-quality internet connection will yield clearer phone calls and conversations, keeping your employees and customers satisfied.
To make audio calls, a minimal amount of bandwidth is required, which is offered by most internet service providers. For instance, a speed of 100 kbps should be sustainable for a call. However, the more calls your team makes, the more bandwidth your internet connection should have. Hence, large organizations should use the most efficient and stable internet connectivity. In addition, aside from the bandwidth, ensure the consistency of internet usage distribution, as phone systems are not the only ones that require internet access.
Create Your Account With Your Service Provider
After selecting the ideal phone system for your business, you should select a service provider. Sign up with them and create an account. You can access your administrator dashboard after subscribing to and registering with your provider. After doing that, check their system or software to familiarize yourself with the features, interface, and widgets. You can inquire with your supplier about the purpose of each function to ensure you have what you require.
Using your phone system dashboard, you can manage your business lines and build your team. In other words, you should decide which team in your organization is in charge of your phone system.
This next step merits a mention in this handbook, as some business owners overlook it. Keep in mind that it’s crucial to sign a contract with your phone system provider. A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a vendor and a customer. This important legal document will protect your rights and the opposition.
The service level agreement specifies the service standards that the provider must meet. Before installing a phone system, small businesses should review the SLA to ensure fair treatment. You should modify according to what terms you’d like and clarify those that you feel are unclear or unfair to your business. If your provider offers you desirable support, you won’t have to worry about long-term issues.
Choose Your Business Number
Once all other important factors get settled, you can choose your business number. Toll numbers offer the advantage of letting your customers call you for free. This is one reason many companies come with a toll-free number.
Otherwise, go for a number that’s easy to remember and associated with the number on the phone keypad. Additionally, using numbers with simple patterns makes it convenient for callers to remember or memorize.
Modify Your Business Hours On The System
Like your real-life business operations, you should also decide on your business hours while on the line. Whether you choose a fixed daytime schedule or 24/7 round-the-clock availability, you have to modify this business hour on your phone system. This step aims to set clear expectations about your business’s hours so your customers and partners know when to contact you. Consider your target audience’s time zones when setting time, especially if you’re operating globally.
You can also set a message for callers who dial your number after hours, so they’ll automatically know that you’re offline. Using this voicemail message, you can inform your callers when you will be at work again. Doing so will enhance the customer experience, and save them time contacting you for nothing.
Integrate It With Your Other Software And Tools
Companies typically use more than one software tool, so your phone system must be compatible with all of them. Note that third-party tools integration can simplify your communication flows. The idea here is to choose a provider that allows you to integrate your phone with all the business tools you use. Therefore, whether you have conversion rate optimization tools or project management, it’s best to integrate them with your phone system.
For example, many companies use customer relationship management (CRM) software, so you should ensure that the phone system can also function with this software. You’ll find that such integrations will result in optimal work productivity, such as allowing you to log call details or initiate calls straight from your CRM.
Customize Your Phone System’s Features
The next step now is to customize the features of your phone systems. While your service provider promises numerous features, you can modify, get rid of, or add any feature that will benefit you. Here are some features worth adding to your phone system:
With this feature, you can listen to live calls between sales and support agents and train them accordingly. Companies need this for call audits and analyzing customer concerns and complaints.
Every call should come with a greeting, so these features allow your operator to greet the user without manually repeating it.
Voicemail Converted To Emails
Ringless voicemails can be converted to emails or texts that can notify the user. Whether they are online or offline, they’ll realize that a message is sent their way.
Using this feature, you can automatically dial numbers from a list of contacts. Many cold callers need these online dialers features to make their outreach and prospecting more efficient.
Automated Call Distributor System
This allows you to transfer calls to the correct agent, or place callers in a callback queue when agents are unavailable. This is beneficial for companies that come with numerous callers in a day.
Make sure you select features that your business will benefit from. Finally, ensure that they’re flawlessly installed into your phone system software so everyone in the team can use it. As soon as you choose your business phone features, you can begin giving out numbers and answering calls.
Organize And Import Contacts
Unlike conventional phone systems, internet-based ones have the advantage of importing your contact list. Your VoIP phone solution can be configured to import your business contacts. The PBX or VoIP systems may offer cloud storage where you can place all contact information of clients, vendors, and suppliers. This improves your organization when it comes to making outbound calls. Also, this is the easiest way to update and modify changes when contact information has been changed.
Invite And Train Team Members
Now, it’s time to take your phone system off the ground. And in doing so, you should invite and train all team members on the program. Setting up a VoIP phone system for a small business with more than one user is simple. And by issuing email invitations, you can convert business VoIP apps into multi-line phone systems.
They can accept the invite, install the software on their work desks or mobile gadgets, and easily take advantage of the phone systems’ features anywhere. Workplaces can now be connected remotely, thanks to advanced phone system technologies. You can assign new team members a free phone number or let them pick their own. Some can also share one line to handle the same client pool.
Depending on the phone system you use and subscribe to, some packages allow an unlimited number of users. This is an excellent service because everyone in the company can have their own telephone line. This means one phone number for each user in your workplace.
Furthermore, it’s worth emphasizing how training is very important to ensure success in your phone system usage. It is a good idea to get your employees acquainted with the business phone system before deploying it. Next, allow the Human Resources department to conduct a system-specific training program for this system. Show your employees how to use the product to understand how it works. And finally, organize a day for hands-on training and system launching.
Business phone systems have evolved significantly over time. While copper wired phone lines are still available, more businesses nowadays use internet-based ones. To set up such phone systems, you only need an internet connection and a computer. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with valuable insights so you can maximize the use of phone systems in your business operations.