Are you looking for a future-proof, inexpensive business phone system provider for our Milton Keynes business?
Business phone systems today are far more than just a channel for conducting voice communication. They’re unified communications hubs for tying together all forms of digital business contact: voice, social and collaborative.
Investing in the right business phone system that matches the dependencies of your team can result in much saved time, ‘frictionless’ customer connections and conversion of new revenue opportunities.
With the best fit business phone system you can:
✅ lower your telephony costs and overheads
✅ scale your phone network affordably
✅ reduce call waiting and missed calls
✅ integrate phone activity with other systems
✅ improve sales performance, increasing revenue
With a business phone system that is intuitive for your staff to use and offers advantageous features that promote productivity – you can experience significant return on investment.
Our in-house consultants are available to feed you with all you need to know in buying the best business phone system for your Milton Keynes business.
What is a business phone system?
A circuit of multiple phone lines all networked together for use within an office set-up.
The underlying technology is often what any particular phone system is named after i.e. key telephone system (KTS), private branch exchange (PBX), or voice over internet protocol (VoIP), for example.
KTS multiple phone lines
At the least technologically advanced end, a KTS is the traditional solution and suitable for businesses with about a dozen or so users. A KTS enables each user to select from a handful of available lines which one to answer or occupy.
Calls cannot be switched as such and therefore KTS is considered quite limited and constrained.
PBX call switching
PBXs are exchange systems. So, by nature, they are able to switch calls between users. This is a distinct advantage over KTS offering flexibility of delivery. Calls can be passed on and re-routed with ease.
The first PBXs were more a feat of mechanical engineering. Physical switches controlling the flow of calls through the exchange.
Today, IP PBX systems use virtual lines and digital switches programmed within software to direct call routing.
VoIP (cloud or internet phone)
Basically, phone calls using the internet to transmit the voice signal. This now takes business phone communications into the cloud.
Wherever there is an internet connection – phone calls can be made or received. No need for physical phone lines.
The results of using a cloud-based business phone system for any office-based team is more affordable, greater productivity and smarter call management.
Benefits of buying the right business phone system
Telephony advancements have broadened functional possibilities for businesses through modern phone systems.
There are so many combinations of what you can do at your fingertips now. This exaggerates the potential bottom line benefit of your investment decision.
With the right balance of cost/benefit your business stands to make significant return from executing the right choice.
In the current market, VoIP (cloud) is the present and future. With a switch-off of the old plain old telephone system copper line by 2025 – there is a legitimate urgency for businesses still hardwired to upgrade to digital.
The following are just some of the benefits of using a VoIP phone system over the old copper wire (PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network) business PBX systems:
Lower your cost
VoIP phone systems are cheaper to maintain than PSTN. Because they ride on the existing internet network, there is no need to pay a phone provider for the maintenance of a separate technological infrastructure.
Savings on such maintenance contracts in many cases are enough to financially justify the switch over to VoIP.
Support call handling and performance management
VoIP phone systems are littered with so many business related functions.
Smart routing, auto attendant and on-hold messages are all value added features that will improve your audience engagement over the phone.
Room for growth
Thanks to VoIP, adding lines or extensions to your IP PBX is simply and painless (in every sense).
The cost is negligible and you have no physical constraints. Add as many users as you like at any stage without being financially penalised.
Call recording is a critical took in cases such as the insurance industry, for example, where deal commitment is under scrutiny of legal compliance.
Lower call waiting time
IP PBX systems offer a wealth of call routing rules and options.
With just a little thought and preparation, you can program a highly efficient exchange flow that vastly cuts back caller waiting times.
Better customer satisfaction in the long run will definitely pay you back so many times over.
Increased response success
More calls answered, fewer calls dropped.
VoIP business phone systems have so many automated workflow possibilities for switching calls. This means (so long as you have enough operatives covering your network terminals) you can always provide an outlet option.
Video enhanced customer service
Businesses like jewellers or florists gain great advantage for expanding client based beyond the immediate geographic territory with the aid of video conferencing.
Clients get to see the composition coming together from afar and consultations can add value to the final presentation.
This is easily done via VoIP phone.
Leaner workflows through integration
Linking your data and activity in the phone system to other business systems like CRM (syncing phonebook with customer profile, for example) reduces data entry and admin effort.
Less time performing lower value tasks, more time adding real financial value.
What is the best phone system for a small business?
There are literally hundreds of options out there.
And this makes the recommendation of ‘Best phone system for a small business’ difficult to say the least.
However, much like an awards ceremony perhaps it’s best to appoint category winners first and then an overall winner to finish.
Here is our recommendation for best small business phone system:
Most Comprehensive Business Phone System: BT
BT have got it all.
Not surprising though, they’ve always been the UK market leading incumbent. They own infrastructure, dominate the UK’s physical connectivity landscape and are nimble enough to provide some very user-friendly phone packages.
On a business phone front, this is what you can expect:
- Unified communications and collaborative platform
- Leased lines for dedicated delivery
- Cloud based phone system
- On premises phone system
Plus: deskphones, 24/7 support, reliable network and world-class security.
Most Beginner Friendly Business Phone System: Nextiva
Nextiva are the beginner’s hope of making sense of modern phone systems.
They make it ABC simple to understand which will help you arrive at the most profitable decision quite quickly. Videos, guides, tutorials and glossaries help to add layers on to your understanding. From scratch, you’ll soon find the confidence to take the plunge.
Here are some of the system highlights:
- Call pop: instant call ID pop-up
- NextivaOne Phone App: for remote working ease
- Sales tools: automation & CRM sync
Nextiva has solutions for all sizes and modes of small business from micro-entrepreneurs to call centers. A very versatile solution.
Future Proof Business Phone System: HiHi
HiHi is one of the most elegant small business phone systems. It’s unique selling point is the desktop phone comprising a docking station and built-in (yet removable) tablet.
Combined with a charging station for your mobile phone the HiHi is an all-in-one office savvy set-up that favours a sales focused user. Great for you if you’re a remote worker or virtual assistant who is tired of running a business off a mobile phone.
A great hybrid device solution.
Here’s what you can expect:
- HiHi deskphone
- Mobile phone apps
- CRM integration
- On-hold marketing
- Call reporting
- Call recording
The kind of phone system that you’ll make up excuses to have to use.
How much should a business phone system cost?
Here are a few points to consider regarding the affordability of your next business phone system:
If you are committed to a current contract with a provider, you should find a provider who can buy back the value of unused services and reward you with the benefit.
This way you don’t lose out on the overlap of duplicate fees for two services, when only one will do.
Price per user, per month
Modern business phone systems follow the typical software-as-a-service pricing model:
Per user, per month.
Why? The SaaS business model builds into it’s pricing great affordability which is funded by monthly recurring revenue and pricing tiers to assist clients grow.
Call and SMS tariff
There will be a price per call in various contexts:
- premium rate numbers etc.
Factor in these usage-based costs when budgeting for your business phone system.
The core offering will be augmented with add-on features. Often these add-ons are use-case related.
Each add-on will impact cost. Often add-ons are sat in packages, so depending on the add-ons you want – you’ll be required to select the appropriate package.
Common add-ons are:
- Call analytics
- Video meeting
- CRM integration
- Advanced call handling
- Automated workflows
Choose carefully and always think of a directly quantifiable ROI when making feature related decisions.