Best Small Business Phone Systems in 2019
The evolution of technology has changed the way people communicate. One notable invention, in particular, is the telephone. For more than 140 years, the phone has revolutionized the way people interact with others near and far…
Can you imagine if telephones did not exist? We would not have a way to hear from family members or to answer vital questions from a company. You can forget about smartphones, too!
One of the tech advancements that succeeded is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Sitting on top of existing internet technologies, VoIP solved a need for instant communication. For one, it doesn’t need an existing telephone network.
After proven among residential users, VoIP has set the business environment ablaze for its lower costs. Before VoIP, businesses needed to set up expensive communications equipment and miles of wiring to every phone.
Business leaders embraced VoIP because it helps them stay in touch with customers and employees on a budget.
However, can you imagine if businesses didn’t have phone service? Customers would have to lick numerous stamps and sign many checks to buy products. Think about the sheer amount of commerce happens because of the phone system. It’s mind-blowing.
It is no longer the 1860s. Business happens instantly. From executives to the front line staff, everyone needs to have access to a reliable phone network.
Likewise, companies also share a need to direct calls to specific departments or groups. For instance, when customers need help, they pick up the phone and expect a live human to answer. Office phones are no longer a luxury—they are necessary business equipment.
Why You Need an Office Phone System
An office phone system is a game-changer for a company set out to grow. Even non-profit organizations benefit from a phone system because of its affordability.
Early adopters leverage VoIP phone systems in their offices to scale their communications and do it on a tight budget. In layman’s terms, they can grow their workforce and serve customers around the clock.
Office phone systems have evolved significantly from their introduction to the workplace. They do so much more than completing phone calls. Such phone systems have thankfully matured from proprietary equipment to more universal solutions.
Let’s break down the types of office phone systems.
- Multi-Line Phone Systems – Some companies use these systems to run several phone lines through the same unit. People can answer multiple calls or send callers to voicemail. They vary in complexity and date back to legacy phone solutions.
- VoIP Phone Systems – Many businesses utilize their internet connection to carry their phone calls. These phone systems offer modern features that traditional phone lines can’t deliver. Implementing a VoIP phone system is much easier since everything operates in the cloud requiring no additional equipment.
- PBX (Private Branch Exchange) Phone System: A private phone network that handles internal calls and directs outgoing calls through a fixed number of traditional or VoIP lines.
Here are five useful functions you can expect in an office phone system. There are many more capabilities, but most users would benefit from implementing these for their company.
Top Functions in an Office Phone System
- Greetings and Announcements – Welcome callers with an informative message or an enticing offer, so they become eager to buy from you. Such recordings can also inform customers about holidays and times when you’re unable to answer their call, so they aren’t surprised later. It prevents loss of sales leads.
- VoIP Softphone Functions – When your employees work from home or have to travel on business, provide them access to your company’s business phone service with a softphone. Users can transfer and receive calls no matter their location. They only need access to a strong Wi-Fi signal or use their cell phone’s existing data connection. Alternatively, they can also direct calls to another person who can handle them with ease.
- Custom Hold Music and Messages – Tailor the messages you want to share while a person is waiting on hold. Consider adding upbeat music, so they know you’re there. Think about different ways you can serve customers by providing helpful tips and suggestions to get the most out of your product or service.
- More Than Voicemail – For the most part, everyone understands how voicemail works, but you no longer have to punch digits on your phone to hear messages. Callers can leave a message, and your office phone system can instantly send messages to email where people are more likely to listen to the voice message.
- Linking Multiple Business Locations/Offices – Link to multiple offices and remote workers together using scalable SIP Trunks or equip your staff with VoIP phones. Trunks can breathe new life into existing IP-based PBXs and deliver voice communication affordably. With a cloud-based VoIP phone system, you can intelligently route calls and set up redundancies for always-on reliability and performance.
These five notable office phone system features can improve a customer’s experience and grow your business. You likely asked yourself, “what is the
?” Great question. There are numerous phone systems with strengths and weaknesses, which we’ll cover below.
Best VoIP Office Phone Systems
Before selecting a phone based on price, you want to make sure you have support for all the functions to meet your team’s needs today and tomorrow. Let’s dig into several options to power your company’s phone service.
Nextiva is a reliable VoIP phone system that is full-featured, affordable, and backed by their friendly and knowledgeable customer service team. The company’s primary offering is a top-rated business phone service solution designed for businesses of any size.
Unlike other office phone systems, Nextiva complements their phone service with CRM, analytics, surveys, and more in a package named the Business Communication Suite. This solution means that for the same price as phone service, you also get CRM, helpdesk, website chat, surveys, and automation features that no one else has. It’s not hard to see the cost savings when you replace various apps with Nextiva.
Simplify your workspace and improve customer support with Nextiva. The company’s VoIP service package starts at $20 per month, per user. When you think about all the professional features included, Nextiva is a top solution every company should consider for their office phone system.
Here’s a run-down of the top features Nextiva includes:
- Unlimited calling to in U.S. and Canada
- Text Messaging
- Nextiva Mobile App
- Video Calls
- HD Phone Calls
- Call Queuing & Routing
- Team Chat Rooms
- Real-Time Analytics
- Toll-Free Numbers
- Local Phone Numbers
- Conference Calls
- Video Conferencing
- 999% Uptime & Reliability
What stands out about Nextiva is the excitement found in customer reviews about Nextiva. Read verified customer reviews to see firsthand how customers feel about their company’s phone system.
OnSIP offers businesses an out-of-the-box VoIP system. They route calls to avoid too many hops for an improved calling experience. It’s the company’s approach to require customers to set up their service themselves.
The company’s pricing packages often charge for features often included other office phone systems and can result in additional fees. OnSIP’s unlimited plan starts at $18.95 per month for every user.
In their unlimited plan, top features include:
- Auto Attendants
- Call Parking
- Call Recording
- Ring Groups
- Busy Lamp
- Dial By Name Directory
OnSIP knows that investing in a phone system is expensive. They want to cut down your costs to help you get a VoIP service that fits your business needs. If you have basic needs, they might be a decent option, but be mindful of the costs for advanced features.
VoIPstudio is a scalable VoIP communication solution. They don’t lock you into features your business does not need, but charges for usage by the minute.
Reach out to employees or make conference calls on the other side of the world. VoIPstudio is an attractive solution due to its third-party CRM integrations and a variety of phone features available. Calling packages start at $19.99 per month, per user for 2,000 minutes.
Top features their website mentions include:
- 24/7 Technical Support
- Auto Attendant (IVRs)
- Call Queues
- Call Recording
- CRM Integration
- Free Number Porting
- Outbound Calls to One Country of Your Choice
For a micro-sized business or solo business owner, you might like the pay-as-you-go plans, especially if you don’t use the phone all that much.
Ooma wants you to stay connected to what matters to your business most. The company’s VoIP services help companies save on money. You can have them provide your new phone, along with a guided setup of the system.
Some phone systems Ooma offers transform analog phones to a VoIP phone with adapters. To upgrade to an IP phone, you can select from IP phones they support. The company doesn’t offer contracts, so additional savings can be harder to realize.
Some Features Include:
- Call Park
- Forward Calls During Outages
- Virtual Receptionist
- Extension Dialing
- Mobile App
- Music on Hold
- Local and Toll-Free Numbers
- Analog Phone Support
- Call Log
- Unlimited calling in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Ooma is a decent option if you are on a budget and are comfortable setting technology up yourself. Some of the company’s desk phones can become costly.
Mitel is an all-in-one communication, collaboration, and contact center solution geared for larger organizations. Move your phone system to the cloud to save on traditional phone equipment costs. If your company has significant communication needs, Mitel offers sophisticated VoIP phone system options for you.
Mitel has technology that fits the needs of larger groups like government and in education. The pricing for Mitel starts at $20.99 per user every month.
Some of the company’s communication features include:
- PBX Features
- Voice and Video Collaboration
- Conference Calling
- Instant Messaging
- Email integration
- OfficeLink App
- Voicemail to Email
- Admin portal
Your employees will have the convenience of mobility, such as logical routing of calls between people or devices. Mitel tends to cater to much larger businesses, which has its benefits depending on the size of your organization.
As your small business grows, it becomes much more challenging to switch office phone systems. However, if you choose a phone system that grows with your business, you’ll thank yourself later.
VoIP phone systems are the norm with no plans of slowing down. Unlike old phone systems, VoIP uses advanced technology that gets better with time. For instance, with just a firmware update, numerous VoIP phones received HD Voice capabilities using the same hardware.
Three reasons you should consider a business phone system:
- You’re Adding New & Remote Employees: The speed at which you can onboard a new employee with their equipment helps the business grow. Wasting time setting up phone service cuts into productivity.
- Your Existing Phone Provider Disappoints: We’ve all been there before. After waiting on hold for several minutes, you question whether this company is the right one for your business. You find that you have to threaten to cancel to get treated right. Of course, if your call quality is degrading, callers get busy signals, or other service interruptions, no one can blame you for looking elsewhere.
- Calling Costs are Skyrocketing: As your company has grown, so has its communication costs just to speak with customers and prospects. Companies with a global customer base stand to save even more with discounted international calling. VoIP offers super affordable calling rates, including unlimited calling to select countries.
Business phone systems help businesses like yours get organized and serve customers better. Some of the best small business phone systems offer more than phone service. Such solutions are a better fit for growing companies since it’s one platform for their phone, CRM, surveys, chat, and even helpdesk ticketing needs.
Maximize your investments that improve your communications. It does not matter what size your business is, whether it is as big as a multi-state franchise, or even a local law firm that needs phone service.
VoIP services grow with your company. VoIP is more cost-effective than other advanced phone systems.
When selecting a business phone system, be sure to gather feedback from your team to understand exactly how they communicate with their phones. The results might surprise you. Use that information to evaluate VoIP services. Additionally, think about where your company will be a year from now, maybe even three. That will help you make wise and calculated decisions versus thinking about the “right now.”
Lastly, be sure to go with a provider that has friendly support staff. Give them a call and see how genuinely helpful they are. Check into customers similar to your company by asking about case studies or other references, too. Like hiring a new employee, you ought to check those references, too.
The best small business phone systems in 2019 include more than VoIP services and features. You will need to consider which VoIP phone to use. Think about the different ways people will use the phone such as meetings, private calls, or on the go.
That said, VoIP phones generally fall into the following categories:
- Desk phones
- Conference phones
- Retrofitted analog phones
VoIP Phone Number
You won’t need to worry about changing your number, either. VoIP providers will switch it over with number through a process known as “porting.” It does take a short amount of time to make the switch. Until your business phone number is ported, you will get assigned a temporary phone number.
Don’t worry; customers won’t even notice the change since your old number will forward until everything is confirmed to be working correctly.
You may need or want to use a softphone for your business telephone system. A softphone is a software-based phone that functions on your computer or smartphone. Taking calls is as easy as signing in.
For optimal audio quality, consider using a wired or Bluetooth-powered headset. You’ll thank yourself for this modest investment later. Such headsets are usually compatible with VoIP apps on your PC, laptop, and cell phone.
A modern VoIP phone system can make your small business have a trusted presence, such as a toll-free number, and select professional features. Thankfully, the cost of business phone service and VoIP equipment have become super affordable. Entrepreneurs rejoice over their newfound productivity and significant cost savings after switching to VoIP.
The right phone system can do amazing things for your business. Besides the obvious, it creates first impressions, builds relationships, and brands your business for growth.
Who would think that a phone system could be so powerful? When you choose from our best small business phone systems, you can do anything you can dream of.