business phone system features
In 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he had no idea what impact it would have on the world or how much it would evolve over the next 150 years. Early telephones consisted of a wire connecting two phones to each other electrically. It wasn't long before the value of multi-line phone systems was recognized and the telephone exchange based on the switchboard appeared.
Everybody is familiar with the image of young and lovely telephone operators sitting at a switchboard. A business phone system required a switchboard and operators to route calls to the correct location. Almon Strowger invented the automatic switchboard in the early 1900s and the operators took on the role of receptionists.
Fastforward several decades and landline multiline phone systems were upgraded with the advent of using the internet for calls. Efficiency and ease of use had arrived with the hosted pbx office phone system.
What Features Should I Look For in My Business Phone System?
The business phone system continues to be a critical tool for growing your company. It will likely continue to be important for quite some time.
Email and chatbots are purely internet-based tools that provide great service for a business but nothing takes the place of the ability to interact directly with a customer service representative. 66% of people feel strongly that good prompt phone service is vital to their satisfaction with a business.
Because your small business phone system will likely be around for a while, you need all the features to meet your needs.
Voice mail is available everywhere, however there are certain features that are especialy important to consider. First of all, you need to be able to access your messages from any phone to keep your response time short and optimize your customer's satisfaction.
Your voice mail should also be able to take a longer detailed message. Sometimes your customer will need to provide more feedback and getting cut off halfway through is very frustrating.
Having a single voice mail greeting can be confusing. You need to have more than one pre-recorded greeting depending on the appropriate situation. For example, you can have a greeting indicating you are away from your desk or on another phone line.
When a customer calls, they need some kind of response or they will look elsewhere and you'll lose business. With an auto attendant you can provide answers and some kind of feedback to your caller.
Some callers will just want your business hours. You can have the auto attendant have them press 1 for business hours. You can code different responses for each number on the dial pad, essentially responding electronically to your customer's needs.
An auto attendant is always on the job, unlike a receptionist. An auto attendant is also less costly than a receptionist. These are just a few of the reasons why an auto attendant is a feature of all of the best small business phone systems.
Your business probably has one 1300 or 1800 number your customers can call. You want each call in to your business to go in any number of directions. Hunt groups are used in business because it helps to direct the call to the right person.
There are several ways you can program your phone system to direct the inbound calls. You can have all the phones attached to that line ring at once until someone picks up.
Another way would be to have it ring at one location, then if the line is busy or the phone is unanswered, it goes to another phone. You can also program the calls to ring at one, then another, and so on back to the first location in a circular pattern.
Hunt groups can be logged in and out of by customer service reps as they become available.
You will also need a conferencing feature that allows all phone extensions to connect for a multi-person conference. If you have this feature, you want to be sure to check how many phones can connect at once. You should also check the quality of the call when multiple phones are connected.
Speed Dial and Redial
Speed dial is a time-saving feature you absolutely need. Your staff should all be trained to input often-called numbers to maximize efficiency.
Redial is useful, especially if there is a disconnection of a call with a customer.
This feature makes it easy to leave the office and still take the call and should be part of any good business phone system. The hunt group system can be integrated with call forwarding as well, for optimal customer response.
What Is the Best Type of Small Business Phone System?
You have more than one choice of small business phone system. You can opt for a traditional phone system that operates when connected to a phone jack, you can use a Voip phone system or you can get a hosted PBX system from Siptalk.
Here are a few of the many advantages to using a hosted PBX sytem.
Easy To Manage
You don't want to have to call on a technical expert to program your phone system. With our logically planned control panel, you or one of your team members can easily set it up and make day-to-day adjustments as required. No extensive training is required.
The phone system is internet-based, so you can be at any phone and get your calls. If you need to move your phone, as long as you're connected to the cloud, your call will come to you.
If you're having the office renovated, you can move to a temporary location and your calls will follow you. You never lose touch with your customers.
Your monthly cost for a host PBX business phone system is lower than almost any of your other options. You will pay a little more for set-up, but over time you'll actually be saving money.
There are many innovations in telecommunications since Mr. Bell first spoke the famous words, "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you". From single-connection electrical devices to the amazing innovations of the 21st century, we've come a long way.
Now, your business can benefit from these innovations with Siptalk's hosted PBX business phone system. Schedule a free consultation with one of our representatives today.