How to Choose a Business Phone System

Every business needs a phone service. You have customers to call, vendors to bargain with, and teams to coordinate. Sure, you can use email, smartphones, and messaging apps. But nothing really comes close to a reliable, always-on phone service purposely designed to optimize voice-based communications and help your business keep in touch with people who matter. A phone system adds a layer of credibility, accessibility, and privacy to your business. For one thing, people expect to see actual phone numbers on the website or social media page of a legitimate business. Customers or partners sometimes need to speak with you right away and picking up a phone makes that possible.

How to Choose a Business Phone System

However, solely relying on your own and your staff’s cell phones greatly undermines your privacy and exposes confidential matters to a lot of security risks. A phone system solves pretty much all of these challenges.

Not all phone systems are the same though. To know which phone system works best for your business, you have to ask several key questions:

  1. Should I use a traditional landline or subscribe to a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service?
  2. Should I use full phone systems that come with desktop hardware or just virtual phones that can be activated on any computing device?
  3. If I use VOIP, should I get it hosted in-house or go for full cloud-based?
  4. What’s the best business phone service in terms of industry, budget, employee count, office locations, and customer base?

Here’s a simplified comparison table that describes key characteristics of the two main phone system types — the traditional landline and the internet-based systems:

Identifying the Right Phone System for Your Business

When deciding to install, upgrade, or replace a business VoIP phone system, you need to consider several key factors. First, consider your business activities, expected call volume, goals, and budget. Does your business heavily depend on voice calls or does it run fine with a minimal telephony requirement? What are your plans for strategic growth?

Do you employ a hyperactive sales team? Do you need to integrate a phone system with your digital/software resources? If you need to engage more customers to expand, then a reliable phone system is a baseline necessity.

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