You already know what a business phone is. It keeps you connected to coworkers and customers, and it takes messages when you’re not around. But what about a business phone system? What makes a business phone system different—and more importantly, how can a business phone system help your small business improve your customer experience, be more productive, and save money?
Standard business lines are great for voice calls, but a complete business phone system encompasses so much more. Imagine a small business with 10 employees. Chances are, everyone’s day-to-day responsibilities are pretty specific. With just one person away at an off-site meeting, 10 percent of the workforce is gone. A business phone can send calls to voicemail while someone is out. A business phone system on the other hand, offers many more options for serving customers and getting work done, even while employees are outside the office.
For example, flexible routing options can send most calls to another employee and automatically allow important customers to reach someone who’s away via their mobile phone, tablet, or even a laptop computer. As we’ve seen, bring your own device (BYOD) policies can be tricky, but a phone system with integrated features accommodates both the mobility that employees need and the data security your business requires. Mission-critical calls will always get through, no matter where the recipient is located, and your business can protect data from getting lost on personal devices.
A business phone system looks and feels more professional, too. Instead of using personal mobile numbers, employees can use your business number to make calls and send business SMS messages from their own devices. Advanced notifications via email, SMS, and mobile/desktop apps keep employees on top of incoming messages so that nothing gets lost. An integrated platform easily routes calls between employees using multiple devices across locations. Your customers get the best service, and it’s completely transparent to them.
Beyond basic calling, an integrated system also offers collaboration features that simple phone lines can’t beat. Use video and teleconferencing solutions to extend your team’s productivity. Easy online meetings, and team collaboration tools turn your phone solution into an all-in-one communications solution and features integrations with popular business applications like Microsoft Outlook®, Salesforce®, and Dropbox.
Of course, managing costs is crucial to any small business. An integrated business phone system helps with the bottom line as well. Traditional hardware PBX systems require sinking a lot of money into hardware, training, and ongoing maintenance. On the other hand, a cloud-based communications system offers a complete, integrated, affordable business phone system that works for you. As your business grows, a cloud-based business phone system is flexible and agile, growing with you. There’s no need to call a technician to add, remove, or re-route extensions. In fact, your entire phone system can be administered from a mobile device, saving both time and money.
Business phone systems offer a range of benefits, especially for SMBs. Whether you’re looking to improve your customer experience or productivity, or save the expense and time associated with traditional systems, an integrated business phone system can streamline and improve all of your business communications.
Originally published Nov 16, 2016, updated Aug 31, 2020