Finding the best business telephone provider is not an easy task. It is important to have the best business phone setup when you are getting your business tools together. Whether you are just starting your business or you’ve been in business for a while, you need to have the best tools possible to conduct business, like a top VoIP phone system. These tools need to be dependable when you need them so that you lower your downtime.
Communication is at the heart of good business. Without it, you cannot plan, integrate, and carry out your projects and business goals. Let’s take a look at some of the types of business phone services to see which one is best.
Multi-line Business Phone Systems
Some people use a multi-line business phone system which is capable of adding several phone lines to the central system. This avoids your employees or sales team having to use the same line and waiting on a line before they can call out. Most of these systems are also capable of conference calling, call waiting, and connections to fax machines, computers, and headsets for more versatility.
Multi-line phone systems are a quick fix for businesses that need to find a quick solution for their business communications needs, but it can be a costly solution.
The cost of multi-line business phone systems can be between $40 and $175 per handset. But it may cost over $1,000 for an 8-line system.
This is a high price point for the average business owner. It is important to shop around to make sure you are getting the most for your money. Remember that your communications system is part of your overhead and you should strive to keep it as low as possible as you build your business and work toward your goals.
PBX Phone Systems
PBX phone systems (Private Branch Exchange System), is a centralized phone system that allows many people to connect to the central system and allows several lines to be installed.
This system is based on the old-fashioned switchboard system that used to be used when you called a central number and someone transferred you to the other number. Of course, the modern version of PBX is still used today and some business owners like this system. But many of them are only continuing to use PBX because they have never tried any other system and they do not realize the power of other systems.
PBX ties you to an old method that will likely be obsolete in a few years.
Additionally, some say it is less reliable because it is prone to power outages. PBX systems can be assigned to an auto attendant and you can add call monitoring and recording. There are other features you can use with this system. The PBX system is a bit more customizable than a multi-line system but it still lacks some of the components business owners need.
Costs for a PBX system can be costly because you are purchasing the phone handsets as well as the system.
Skype is an additional type of phone service that some businesses use to conduct conference calls, video chat, and online text chat. Unlike the other two systems, Skype allows you to see a video feed of the person you are talking to while you are conversing with them.
A Skype system uses an internet protocol so you must be online to use it. The disadvantage to Skype is that it often cuts out or drops the audio. While it is generally reliable, there are times it cuts off in the middle of the conference call, making it necessary to reconnect to the person and call them back in the middle of a call. This can be inconvenient, to say the least.
The good part of Skype is that is is the least expensive. At only $5 per user per month for business plans, you can cut the cost of your phone plan by using Skype.
But the inconvenience and unreliability of Skype’s internet drop rate discourage some business managers from choosing it as their primary phone system.
You can try out Skype by getting a free personal account if you want to take the basic software for a “test drive” before you look into the business plans. Skype is considered a great chat software but it is less reliable for businesses in the long run.
VoIP Phone System
Voice over Internet Protocol (better known as VoIP), is the system of choice by a growing number of business owners. VoIP is similar to PBX because of the way it works but there are some important differences.
VoIP is dependent on having a solid internet connection much like Skype, but it is a stronger connection because of the hardware that is included in the system. Most people say “it just works better!” If you are trying to decide between internet-based systems, you are going to be better off with a VoIP system.
The biggest advantage to VoIP service is that you get many more features for the money and you only pay a fraction of what you pay with a traditional PBX type system. The VoIP system is a cloud-based system so all of your data is housed “in the cloud.”