The business phone system you select for your company must match the size, needs, and business model you have. It’s important to ensure the appropriate system is put in place, which can help improve communication for your customers while handling the day-to-day needs of your employees.
According to a recent Gartner study, over 75% of all customer communication will be through the cloud or hybrid solutions by 2023. But, this shift can lead to high implementation and server costs for companies.
A smart option is a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system, which can help you avoid outages, high server costs, and replacing components that are no longer made.
The challenge is to find the right PBX for your business. When trying to choose the right PBX system, you must consider several factors. The best way to understand the factors and find the best PBX option is by using the information here.
Best PBX System Options
PBX systems for small businesses aren’t considered a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s a good thing since your business likely has unique needs.
You can find several different types of PBX systems to choose from, which can help ensure you get the right one. These include:
Traditional PBX System
A traditional PBX system uses landlines and transfers callers to the proper extension or department. With this system, you must have landlines, and you will have to install certain equipment. You may also have to pay more, especially for long-distance calls.
It’s also necessary to have IT services for this system. Not only that but they must be properly maintained and updated. Adding more phone lines can be a challenge, and your business may limit the total number of lines your business can install.
Today, this system isn’t very popular, but some businesses still use it.
Related: PBX and SIP: Learn the Basics
When to Choose Traditional PBX Solutions
There are a few situations when a traditional PBX solution is right for you. These include:
- Potentially unstable internet connection. If your business is located in a rural area or has unreliable or spotty internet service, using an older landline phone system rather than your internet connection.
- You provide emergency communications. Another situation to choose traditional PBX is if you provide critical emergency communications. You can implement backup systems to ensure you are prepared to handle an outage.
IP PBX System
Rather than using landlines, the IP PBX system uses VoIP. Calls are made with an internet connection, which reduces the cost of calling long distances. No subscription is needed, and you have control over how the system is managed in-house.
The biggest drawback of this option is installing a network and ensuring it is properly maintained. This can be expensive. However, if you have enough bandwidth, you can add more phone lines.
When to Choose an IP PBX System
There are a few situations when an IP PBX system will make more sense. These include:
- You want to reduce costs. The cost savings is one of the most appealing and motivating factors for a business that makes a switch to business internet phone service. Traditional PBX systems may cost up to $1,000 per employee. It also requires hardware purchases and professionals to install it. With the IP PBX system, you can expect costs of about $25 to $35 per user. Even better, many providers offer unlimited minutes, no installation costs, and no contracts.
- You want to avoid hardwiring. If you have a cloud-based phone system, the phone provider handles all maintenance. This means you don’t have to worry about it. It also means that your business can avoid complex phone switches. All you need is a power outlet to add a new phone to the business in some situations.
- You want scalability and flexibility for your business. In the modern, fast-moving workforce, you must ensure your business’s infrastructure remains flexible to meet operational demand. If you need to add new employees or off-site sales agents, you can expand your phone system to include these off-site individuals. The technology that powers the modern IP-PBX ensures you stay flexible and can adapt to changes that occur. You can add new lines with ease and the technology helps your team remain connected across countless situations.
Virtual or Hosted PBX Systems
With this system, you don’t have to worry about installing equipment. An off-site service provider operates the system. All your business must do is request the service and then pay the monthly fee.
These systems are budget-friendly and feature-rich. Today, it is the most popular option for small businesses, and there are no large setup fees you must pay upfront. You don’t have to deal with complex equipment or maintenance fees, either.
PBX vs. Other Communication Methods
PBX, which is also called TDM (time duplex multiplexer), or Key Systems, is an on-premises phone system that isn’t connected to any data network.
The main competitor in business communications is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system. With a VoIP system, voice is converted to data, put in a packet, and sent over the data network. VoIP systems can be hosted or on-premise.
VoIP systems are newer than PBX systems, however not necessarily better for your business.
Current Industry Trends and Modern PBXs
In 2017, the global hosted PBX market had a value of $4.19 billion. By 2023, it’s predicted that this amount will reach $9.5 billion.
The hosted PBX segment is poised to become the fastest-growing area of the bigger VoIP market. Between 2019 and 2025, it’s expected to grow by approximately 15%. Also, hosted PBX makes up 18.1% of the total PBX market, which is up 3.6% from 2010.
For organizations with one to 20 employees, the average cost for IP PBX services is around $16,867. This increases to more than $1 million for any organization with over 2,500 employees.
Benefits of the Right PBX for Your Business
If you are trying to find the right communications system for your business, there are more than a few reasons to consider a PBX phone system. Some of the top benefits include:
PBX systems will help your business save money when compared to more equipment and hardware-intensive landlines and systems.
Professional Call Handling System
With the best PBX system, you can position your business as an authority in your industry. That’s because the system will ensure all incoming calls are answered quickly and that calling customers never have to deal with an annoying busy signal.
As your business develops, a PBX phone system makes it easy to adjust your capabilities. This is all possible thanks to the use of a mobile app or an intuitive web interface.
Any changes are made easy to outbound messages, which means you can easily explain business changes or new offers and even insert seasonal greetings.
You can also easily add new team members and departments to the system without the need for technical training or an expensive professional.
Efficiently Manage Calls
During busy periods, it can be virtually impossible to handle all the incoming calls manually. A PBX system can manage a high volume of phone calls and ensure customers don’t encounter frustrating and annoying busy signals. The system can also help eliminate the possibility of dropped calls.
With the best PBX system, all calls will be handled efficiently and effectively. They will also be transferred quickly to the right team member or department in your business. During busy times, your PBX system will handle all the calls and allow you to focus on the work you need to do.
Ability to Use Softphone Technology
With PBX, you have access to softphone technology. This doesn’t require any additional devices for you to make phone calls.
Instead, you can use your IP phone or computer to dial your customers directly. All business collaboration and communication features are offered in the one PBX software solution provided.
Utilize Modern Communication Channels
Modern PBX phone systems are referred to as the bedrock of unified communication and the creation of a collaborative ecosystem for your small business. More advanced PBX solutions will also feature other abilities, such as call forwarding, voice mail, click-to-call, speed dial, voice log, video calls, and more.
If you choose an IP PBX solution (described above), the IP telephony allows you to access business-grade IP solutions, no matter the size of your business. With the direct IP link, you will never have to worry about missing a customer call again. You can reach your customers directly, without any significant delay.
Increased Employee Productivity
You can improve overall employee efficiency using real-time analytics and built-in automation solutions when you have a business phone.
Making and taking phone calls is an important part of your business’s success. You want to ensure you aren’t restricted by month-to-month call limits or are dealing with a high bill because your team went over. Try to find a phone plan that provides you with unlimited minutes. If you work internationally, find one that provides affordable long-distance rates, too.
You should find PBX phone systems that provide you a mobile app. This ensures your team can remain connected even if they aren’t at their workstation. With an app, you can forward calls to mobile devices, transfer calls to someone else, check voicemails, and more.
There’s no need for you to have a large business for phone call automation. Some PBX systems offer integrated virtual receptionists, which means incoming calls are routed where they need to go without extensive waiting. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses when it comes to productivity.
Call Center Solutions
Does your business seem to be growing quickly? If so, it’s a good idea to plan for the features you may require down the road. Try finding a PBX provider that will help you manage larger calls and offer call routing and data-based analytics.
Finding the Best PBX Service
To ensure your business experiences all the benefits mentioned here, you must find the best PBX system. Take time to get to know the service providers, which will help you choose the one that best meets your needs.
The best way to narrow down the options and find the PBX phone system that best suits your needs are to know what to look for. When you have the right communication system in place, your business can run more efficiently and ensure your customers and employees have the superior level of communication they want and expect.
Since it is up to you to find the right PBX service, be sure to take your time and consider the above factors. Doing so will pay off and ensure you get the desired results.
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