As an owner, you will use your phone systems every day, and you need to choose the best online phone systems for small business.
The right phone system offers a substantial competitive advantage, whether to reach out to your clients or suppliers.
Traditionally, businesses relied on private branch exchange systems, or PBS, to manage multiple lines and automatically route calls.
However, with the advent of digitization, the new phone systems are much more advanced and rely on Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP technology.
Here your entire phone system is managed over an internet connection and does not require any additional equipment or staff to manage it.
So, how do you choose the best online phone systems for small business and know it’s the right one for your company?
This post will break down what to look for in a phone system while keeping your budget considerations in mind.
What Are Online Phone Systems for Small Business?
Understanding an online phone system for a small business is essential before choosing the right one.
When we talk about personal use, our phone system is limited to our cell phone. However, companies need many more features that a cell phone cannot offer.
In simple words, a phone system for small businesses is a telephony solution for your company, which will allow you to make and receive business calls to your clients, suppliers, or employees.
It is also used to transfer and forward calls automatically to your cell phone or other employees.
The latest technology offers the best online phone systems for small business, where you can use an internet connection to make phone calls.
These are much easier to set up and require less upfront investment. These phone systems come with software apps that you can use on your iOS or Android devices.
The VoIP phone systems are also equipped with other communication channels like SMS and instant messaging, making business interaction easier for your company.
With the never-ending pandemic and the popularity of distributed workforce, more and more people are working from their homes.
A VoIP system is perfect for you if you make many international calls to your customer base or employees that are settled in different countries. The best online phone systems for small business are much more than a device to place calls. They are all about connecting your business with clients, customers, suppliers, or employees worldwide.
When Does Your Business Need an Online Phone System?
When you are just starting your business, whether an e-commerce store or a consulting firm, you can add your mobile or landline number on your WordPress site.
While you will still receive calls from your customers, managing your business as it scales up will get challenging. Additionally, a personal phone number on the website does not look professional.
By adding an online business phone service to your company, you will be able to easily track call duration, wait times, or hold time for your customers.
The best online phone systems are equipped with caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, recording, and inbound call routing features.
With professional phone service, you will simultaneously share your phone number with users, and the auto attendant feature will route the call to the available representative.
These advanced phone systems transmit voice over the internet. This means that you can take your toll-free or local number anywhere in the world and receive business calls easily. All you will need is a high-speed internet connection.
If you are running your business and aim to grow it up, you will need an online phone system for your company.
Additionally, an online phone system would make international calling more accessible and cheaper if your clients or employees are based outside the country.
You can use them to build better customer relations with professional sales and a support system.
How Do Phone Systems Affect Your Customers?
To keep your customers happy, you need to deliver what they need and expect, and an excellent online phone system can help you do that. With the help of a modern online phone system, you can offer your clients premium support and service.
To address your customers’ needs, you will need to add a few steps into your buyer’s journey.
- It would be best if you had a strong communication connection.
- A willingness to help and support your customers.
- Offer them multiple customer service channels.
- Give a rapid response to client’s or customer’s voicemail messages
- Quick retrieval of customer’s information to offer them appropriate service
These are a few ways that can help you meet the standards and expectations of your customers. Best online phone systems for small business can help you include all these ways into your buyer’s journey.
The phone system helps you keep your customers satisfied with your business. How well you communicate with your customers is vital to the survival and success of your business.
Choosing a reliable phone system for your small business will ensure that your clients can always reach out to you.
5 Features That Best Online Phone Systems for Small Business Should Have
A sophisticated phone system is necessary to scale up your small business. Before you choose the best online phone systems for small business, you need to be aware of the features and functionalities they should offer.
Call forwarding to your mobile phones
Call forwarding is helpful if you are not always at your office. This helps you receive calls from your clients or employees directly to your cell phone, no matter where you are.
Technical issues are a part of technology, and you do not want your clients to return unsatisfied just because your device was not working properly. The call forwarding feature instantly helps you route your calls away from the device.
Additionally, adjusting the router sessions will cover up the employees who are not present for the day. This will ensure that all the crucial calls scheduled for the day were taken by another employee and guarantee client satisfaction.
A cloud phone system is one where your phone is not tied to a physical office or location. These systems offer desktop or mobile applications and allow you to make calls through the internet from anywhere in the world.
Cloud-based phone systems are easy to use and can be installed on your mobile phone or desktop without any help from the IT sector. It is as easy as downloading an application from Appstore. They offer unlimited flexibility and functionality.
Client privacy should be your top concern, whether you run your business from a small office in your garage or have offices all over the country.
If your calls involve sensitive data or information discussions, you will need an online phone system with enterprise-grade security features. Best online phone systems for small business will include enterprise-grade security will all your calls automatically.
Call recording is another helpful feature that comes in handy for small businesses.
If you usually connect with your clients on call, pitch your services, and close deals with them, recording your conversation helps you review your calls in the future.
Whether you want to analyze a call to figure out how to improve your pitch or want evidence against the critical issues discussed on the phone, the call recording feature will make that easier for you.
All your customers or clients screen calls before they decide to pick them up. An online phone system allows you to set up a caller ID and customize how your calls appear to your existing or prospective customers.
This makes your small business look professional. This feature is significant if you place many calls at work.
5 Best Online Phone Systems for Small Business in the Market
Once you are aware of the functionalities of your business and the features you need from your phone system, it is time to choose one that fits perfectly for your company.
Here are a few best online phone systems for small business for you to choose from.
Dialbad is one of the best online phone systems, which is easy-to-use and can be deployed from anywhere.
This AI-powered cloud-based business communications platform has a built-in phone system that offers high-quality audio and video calls.
It also provides call waiting and call transfer options to companies. You can easily port your numbers to this cloud-based system and integrate your phone system with Google calendar or Microsoft 365 for efficient scheduling.
The auto-attendant feature acts as a virtual receptionist that handles and direct calls in real-time based on your app settings.
Phone.com is another excellent option if you are looking for intelligent and advanced phone service for your small business.
They offer a simple yet intuitive web and app-based administration panel. This VoIP communication solution provides call forwarding, call routing, conference calls, caller ID, and video conference calls features. You can port your business number to phone.com without changing your old number. You can also integrate this phone service to third-party CRM software like Zoho and Salesforce. This advanced phone system offers affordable pricing options as well.
Nextiva is a reliable VoIP phone service offering features that benefit your customers. They offer a large set of features, a quick setup, and reasonable pricing plans.
The web-based admin panel makes it easier for small business owners to manage their communication channels. The phone service offers call forwarding, unlimited free domestic calling, online faxing, text messaging, free number porting, caller ID, custom greetings, and an advanced IVR system.
You also get access to some additional features that enhance your customer’s experience, like CRM, live chat, online surveys, and call analytics.
8×8 offers a truly unified cloud-based communication system that small business owners can seamlessly integrate and operate. They offer audio, video, and text messaging solutions to businesses of all sizes. The phone service ensures that you are always connected to your customers. 8×8 offers features like call recording, unlimited calling, SMS, and faxing options, audio and visual voicemail, call forwarding, call transfers, caller ID, and a multi-level auto attendant.
You also get access to a call analytics option to analyze the call duration and other factors to enhance your customer’s experience.
RingCentral is one of the good online phone system, offering feature-rich services. This unified communications-as-a-service solution provides many functionalities like unlimited calling, SMS texting, caller ID, call waiting, call transfer, sharing one line on multiple devices, team messaging, and screen sharing options.
This online phone system can also be integrated with third-party applications like Microsoft 365, Gsuite, and Dropbox, for efficient scheduling. The interactive cloud-based administration panel is easy to use, set up, and manage your calls.
Choose a Phone System That Meets Your Employees’ Needs
When choosing an online phone system for your small business, you should always keep your employees in mind. To grow and scale your business, you need loyal and efficient members. Keeping their needs in mind offers better customer interactions and more sales.
Usually, employees need remote work options, concise customer management tools, work on their phones with a mobile application, access to capable equipment and software, and a reliable phone system.
Your VoIP phone service should be able to meet the needs of your employees. These systems handle much more than just incoming and outgoing calls. They are a way for your business to connect with more customers. Happy employees lead to satisfied customers.
Why Upgrading Your Office Phone System Is Essential?
Your phone system is the key to the satisfaction of your customers, which will ultimately result in the growth of your small business. Upgrading your phone system does not mean buying an expensive device. It refers to investing in an overall communication solution to help you interact with your clients, suppliers, and employees more efficiently.
You also need to make sure that you are in line with the latest technology in phone systems. PBS systems are outdated and require a lot of upfront investment and maintenance.
Switching and upgrading to a VoIP system require a strong internet connection, and you are all set. Upgrading your office phone system can be the best technology investment you can make for your business. It will affect your marketing, sales, business operations, and customer service.
How to Choose the Best Online Phone Systems for Small Business
Every small business has different needs and expectations from its phone service. There is no ‘one right phone system’ for all businesses. Instead, this depends upon the type of industry your business falls under, the number of employees you have, your growth rate, and the expectations of your customers and employees.
To understand which phone system fits your business model, you need to analyze whether you need your phone system to be based on the cloud.
List all the features it should offer, such as call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls, voicemails, or caller ID. Once you understand your company’s needs and priorities, it will be easier to find the right match for your business.