If you’re anything like most business owners, you understand the importance of staying connected. As more and more customer interactions take place online and over the phone – your communication solution needs to match the new standard.
In today’s fast-paced world, having a reliable phone system is guaranteed to boost your business efficiency and productivity. A multi-line phone system is one sure way to get that done.
What is a Multi-Line Phone System?
It’s a telephone system that consists of several lines (usually anywhere between 2 and 20) connected to a central control unit aimed at handling a large volume of calls. Multiple phone lines are assigned their own number, and an automated call routing helps to direct a caller to the correct extension.
It can be located in a separate room, or integrated inside the office’s existing telephone system, or even hosted in the cloud. Typical examples would include a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) and Key System Unit (KSU).
Types of Multi-Line Phone System
On-premise and cloud-based VoIP systems are two most common ways to set up multi-line phones for your business.
An on-premise system is installed and located on the physical grounds of the organization it serves. That means that the system and its components are owned outright by the business, and it is solely the company’s responsibility to maintain and upgrade the system as needed.
On-premise PBXs are still very common and they offer a wide range of features designed to support the needs of a business. At times, PBX infrastructure can be complex to install and maintain. However, it offers advantages for large businesses like greater control over features, customization and more importantly – increased data protection.
A cloud-based setup is an entirely software-based phone system that’s hosted off-site, in the cloud. Thanks to this option, you don’t have to worry about managing or maintaining any on-premise PBX equipment.
Cloud setups are generally more affordable than traditional PBX infrastructure, easy to set up and use, and don’t require broadband internet connection. Instead, they can work with Wi-Fi.
How Many Phone Lines Do You Need?
Ultimately, the number of lines you need will depend on the type of business you have and your communication needs. Here are the types can you get on the market:
Available in corded and cordless models, these are a perfect fit for small businesses and home-offices for startups. This way, there are dedicated lines for business clients, as well as shared lines for personal conversations.
4-line phones are still perfect for small businesses, but they offer additional flexibility with regards to call handling. You can place the client on hold or transfer them to your colleague. Cordless variants are especially beneficial in this case as they allow employees to move around freely while still being accessible.
6+ Line Phones:
They’re very versatile and are ideal for medium and large businesses that receive a high volume of calls. These devices are also frequently better equipped in terms of chipset and memory and have additional features to handle the call flow more efficiently. However, these models are also more expensive, and may not be a fit for every budget out there.
Pros and Cons of a Multi-Line Phone System
Before committing to any business decision, you should weigh out the pros and cons that are associated with this set up. Below you can find the key pointers to stir you in the right direction.
Multi-line VoIP phone systems are extremely cost efficient. You will be able to move away from costly PSTN bills, copper wiring and frequently expensive installation and maintenance. To replace that, you will have a much lighter setup (especially if you are opting for a cloud solution) that you can easily upgrade in a click of a button. It is also by far the cheapest option when it comes down to long-distance calls.
2. Advanced Call Handling
Besides active savings, the system proves to be a cost-effective solution over time. Thanks to the more efficient call handling and a likely boost in customer experience and satisfaction, you are more likely to maximize your overall sales.
When dealing with the incoming callers, you have the option to place the caller on hold, or use the park feature so that another colleague can take over the client request later. This comes in addition to direct call forwarding and routing that help provide more instantaneous client assistance.
3. Digital Receptionist
A multi-line solution may sound like a blast from the past, but it actually comes with some pretty advanced features that are designed to improve productivity and efficiency. For instance, most multi-line systems now come with a digital receptionist, which can answer and route calls just like a human receptionist. They can also be equipped with call queues, so clients can be placed in a virtual queue and automatically routed to the next available agent.
In addition to skillful call handling, multi-line phone systems usually make it possible to access important call analytics. Besides the overall volume, call reports provide insights into the number of unanswered calls and their average duration. This practice helps analyze the performance, as well as make tweaks and adjustments to improve the overall business efficiency.
5. Reliable & Secure
The system uses a multi-layered approach to encryption, which makes it extremely difficult for anyone to intercept calls. In addition, it’s designed to be highly redundant, so that even if one or more lines go down, the others will still be operational. And should a power outage occur, the battery backup will keep the phones working for hours.
However, just like with any system, you should also take into account the potential hurdles you may encounter.
1. Hardware Costs
Multi-line phone systems are a great investment for any business that wants to improve communication between their clients and employees. However, the upfront cost of hardware and the ongoing maintenance charges can be a deterrent for some companies. Luckily, VoIP minimizes the overall telephony cost and cloud alternatives further eliminate this spending.
2. Poor Contracts
Even though there are many multi-line phone providers around, you should be careful before making your final pick. Too often, they lock their customers into long-term contracts with high fees. Keep an eye out for early termination fees, service charges, and other hidden costs that make it nearly impossible to switch providers without incurring substantial penalties.
A multi-line phone system is a great investment for any business that wants to improve their customer service. It offers critical features to elevate agent and customer experience, including queueing and call handling practices. However, it is evident that despite trying to destabilize the existing PSTN monopoly, your business is still vulnerable to schemes that may lock you into an unfavorable contract.
Check out VoIP-Security.Net.org and choose a provider who is more likely to have flexible, customer-friendly deals.
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