Business phone system: 5 compelling reasons they're essential for any SMB

Business phone system
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All businesses need to deliver timely, effective communications both internally and externally. Failing to do so can stifle team-wide productivity and engagement, alienate existing and potential customers, and impact relationships with other key stakeholders across the business. 

While many different communication methods exist on the market today and the way businesses communicate is constantly evolving, private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems remain a highly powerful and popular means of communication for businesses globally.

PBX solutions are an excellent option for business users because they enable internal and external communications via analog, digital, and internet-based phones. These systems also offer a wide variety of features you can’t get on traditional landlines and mobile phones, such as direct-dial extensions, call forwarding, call transferring, call tracking, call recording, the ability to set business hours, music on hold, call queuing, international and local lines, and much more. 

The other great thing about PBX phone systems is that they’re no longer just suitable for large enterprises with massive budgets and lots of space to store bulky telecom equipment on-site. Many PBX solutions are now cloud-based, easy to set up and maintain, and affordable, making them viable for small and medium-sized companies. 

There's a range of reasons why a PBX system is an essential requirement for any small or medium-sized business, whether it’s greater scalability and flexibility, enhanced internal and external communications, cost savings, robust security and privacy, data and reporting capabilities, and more. Read on to find out why your SMB needs a PBX phone system.

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Improved internal and external communication 

Having a B2B phone system installed in your small or medium-sized business will improve communication with customers. It’ll enable you to set up direct lines for different people and departments across your company, allowing customers to reach the right people quickly. 

At the same time, allowing customers to contact you via telephone means they can get quicker and more direct responses to any questions or issues. As a result, they don't need to wait for a reply to an email. Of course, this also means employees can quickly get in touch with customers. Overall, a B2B phone system will enable your company to attract new customers, retain existing customers, and ultimately increase sales. 

But the best business phone systems don’t just allow firms to contact people in the outside world. They also allow different employees and departments within a company to communicate with each other more effectively. Thanks to direct lines, you can easily contact a specific person or department in your company. 

Another handy feature provided by many business phone systems is call transferring. So if you receive a call from a colleague or customer and feel like it would be better suited to someone else in the business, you can easily transfer that call to the right person. Many business phone systems also offer conferencing abilities, allowing you to hold meetings with several colleagues via telephone. And with call recording, you can easily record the entire call instead of taking manual notes while in a meeting. 

Advanced reporting capabilities 

With a normal phone system, it’s a lot harder to keep track of all the calls being made to people inside and outside your business. But what’s great about business phone systems is that they provide a range of analysis and reporting tools.

With these, you can find out the amount of time different employees and teams are spending on phone calls, whether or not they’re answering calls on time, the number of abandoned calls happening throughout your business, why phone calls were abandoned, and many other useful metrics. 

Ultimately, this information will help detail the steps you can take to improve your phone calls in order to keep customers and other stakeholders happy. It’ll also show whether or not you need to increase the number of telephone agents in the business to cater for growing demand from customers. These reporting capabilities can help your organization identify and fix technical issues affecting the business phone line, too. 

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Greater scalability and flexibility 

A certainty for every small and medium-sized business is growth and as your business continues to grow, you’ll no doubt be communicating with more customers, investors, and other vital stakeholders regularly. Because business phone systems are highly scalable, you can quickly implement new telephone lines across your entire organization to ensure no call goes unmissed as the business expands. 

What’s more, many business phone system providers are cloud-based and allow employees to answer company phone calls from their smartphones. So, whether you’re at the office, working from home, or traveling to a meeting, you’ll always have access to your business phone system and won’t miss any important calls. This degree of flexibility will be valuable for any fast-growing business. When your business grows and needs change, you can easily add new features and capabilities to your corporate telephone system.

Time and money savings 

Once upon a time, PBX systems were only feasible for large enterprises because they’d cost large amounts of money to implement and maintain over a long period of time. In addition to this, a business would require a large amount of real-estate space for storing all the technical components that form a traditional PBX system. For a small or medium-sized business, such systems were simply too expensive and impractical. 

In this day and age, lots of business phone systems run on the cloud and over the internet. Therefore, they’re a lot easier to set up and maintain, and you can simply do these things yourself without paying for expert assistance. Because PBX systems tend to be remote nowadays, you won’t need to worry about finding additional room to store sizeable technical components on-site. Furthermore, modern PBX providers typically provide a range of subscriptions that suit the needs and budgets of all businesses. In short, you’ll be saving a lot of money, time, and energy by investing in newer PBX systems. 


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Business-grade security and privacy 

One of the big challenges of using standard landlines and personal phones in the workplace is that they pose many different privacy and security challenges. Can you imagine the privacy nightmare if you’ve been using your personal phone to ring customers and it gets stolen? If the thief unlocks your stolen phone, they could easily access the phone numbers of customers and other business stakeholders by simply heading into your call logs.

And what if an employee who’s been using their personal phone for work calls is suddenly fired or takes a new job? They'd still be able to access customer and business information, creating a major privacy crisis. Should this data be breached as a result, your business could possibly face legal action and hefty fines. That’s not something any small or medium business wants to experience. However, by using a business-grade phone system, you can mitigate these serious security and privacy problems. Today, the best business phone systems provide built-in security features to keep sensitive data out of the wrong hands and protect all business stakeholders.  

Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan!