What is it you will really need though?
A virtual phone system is a low cost solution that may be exactly what you need when setting up a Small Business Phone Systems.
The introduction of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and cloud-hosted options have given businesses more choices when it comes to selecting a office phone systems.
There are a few key questions you will need to ask prior to purchasing your new business VoIP service:
- What features will work for you? – Most small businesses don’t have the luxury of IT departments to help with installing a new Small Business Phone Systems. Selecting a voip phone system for a small business with features that work to your strengths is a practical solution and a simple plug and play system may be ideal.
- What is your current setup? – Because VoIP requires less equipment and installation, it often helps businesses cut costs.
- Are you growing? – Traditionally, PBX systems come with specific telephones. This could mean that to change the phone system, you would need to buy all new equipment too.
- How is your internet quality? – Since VoIP systems run over the internet, even distance calls can be crystal clear. But if you live in an area where the signal is poor or unreliable, PBX may offer the most peace of mind.
- How mobile are you? – If you or your staff spend a lot of time working remotely, hosted (or cloud) phone providers will help to keep you connected.
- What type of calls does your business make? Does your business makes predominantly local, national or international calls, assess if they’re mainly inbound or outbound calls.
- Where will your phones be located? The phone will need to be suitable for the location, job type and requirements which will all need to be factored into your choices.
What else should be considered?
Your phone number is the first thing to consider and will be how your customers communicate with you. A phone number isn’t just an innocuous sequence of digits, it’s a sequence of digits that says a lot about what kind of company you are.
Choosing a memorable business phone number is the first step in implementing a communications system for your small business.
Using a 01/02 Number allows you to compete locally in any town or city across the UK. Calls can be automatically diverted to a chosen landline or mobile number.
Additionally, 0800 Numbers are available as freephone numbers. These numbers are not specific to any particular region of the UK.
The great thing about a virtual phone system is that no matter where you work, you can have your business number forwarded to any number on any phone a home office, out and about or hot desks.
If you are out of the office it makes sense to have a virtual number. When a potential customer calls, you won’t have to worry about missing the call because you can simply forward it to your mobile phone.
When thinking about your telephone systems for a small business, determine if you are going to need to add extensions.
If you have employees, you are probably going to want to give them their own extension with their own voice mail box. More importantly, if your employees are not located in the same place, it is even more important that they be able to have their own extension that can be forwarded to their phone.
This is probably the biggest factor when choosing your actual virtual phone system plan. Once you’ve calculated what number of minutes you require you can then select the plan that best suits you. You may just be making a lot of outbound sales calls so reviewing your phone bills can help identify how many minutes you require. Future proofing may also be needed to be taken in to consideration depending on your business model or development plan.
If you don’t want to miss a crucial business opportunity then Call Routing is the thing for you. Call Routing solutions can divert any incoming calls to a UK landline or mobile.
You can be very specific about where certain calls go at certain times. For example, you can set your business open hours to between 9am and 5pm, with all calls made in this window diverted to a chosen landline or mobile and any calls made outside these hours diverted or put through voicemail to email.
Interactive Voice Response
First impressions count, on the phone or as much as in person. You know when you call through to a service and the first thing that happens is that you’re given a selection of options/ buttons to press: that’s an Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
And to ensure absolute professionalism at all times, the greetings and messages can be recorded by a professional voice artist. We recommend using a service like Fiver.
Rather than having multiple diverts, extended wait times or no answer at all, IVR is professional and easy to install; enabling you to reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction.
You can also tailor the solution for different departments or branches and can be used with any different type of number.
Small Business Phone Systems can do much more than make and receive calls. The best systems integrate messaging, conferencing, and more.
When choosing a phone system for your business, there are many factors to consider. We break down everything you need to know before you choose a provider. You can find further advice on requirements and installation on our VoIP FAQs page.
No longer are business phone systems used solely for making and receiving calls. Today’s systems allow for a more unified communication experience by combining messaging, conferencing, and mobility options for businesses and their employees.