If you’re like most people, you probably use your phone for both personal and business purposes. But when it comes to running a successful business, having the best business phone service is essential. After all, first impressions matter!
There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing the best business phone service. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 desktop phones that are sure to give you an edge. So whether you’re looking for features like call forwarding or voicemail, or simply want something reliable and easy to use, one of these options is sure to be perfect for your needs.
Best Business Phone Service: What to Consider
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the specific needs of your business.
However, some factors to consider when choosing a business phone service include the quality of the call connection, the features offered, the price, and the customer service.
Top Business Phone Systems
No matter how big or small your business is, you can find a phone system that’s right for you.
If you’re looking for a business phone system, you should consider a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system. VoIP systems are much easier to set up and manage than traditional landline systems, and they’re also more affordable.
You can rest assured that your calls are secure and you won’t have to worry about maintaining any expensive equipment on site.
How to Pick the Best Business Phone System Type
Not all small businesses have the same communication requirements, which is why it’s important to determine what type of phone service will best suit your needs before looking into different service providers.
1. Determine Your Budget
When you’re looking for a business phone service, there are a variety of different options you can choose from. This enables you to find a service that fits your budget as well as your business needs.
A free phone service such as Google Voice, which is a popular, low-cost provider, will allow you to make unlimited, high-quality, long-distance calls for no charge. However, you will miss many of the more advanced features.
While generally, the per-line cost of a VOIP provider is lower than that of a landline, as you add more phone lines, the cost per line tends to go up.
These VoIP services often offer features like transferring, forwarding, and recording phone calls, which are typically offered as add-ons by traditional phone companies.
2. Determine Your Hardware Needs
Purchasing an on-premises business phone solution can be pricey. You’ll have to decide whether you want to buy the hardware, such as a desk phone, upfront.
Some phone systems require extra hardware, such as IP phones, which will need to be installed in your office.
If you’re looking into a cloud-based phone solution, you may have questions about pricing. Typically, you would pay a monthly fee for PRI or SIP trunks, which allow for 23 simultaneous calls and data connections.
The hardware requirements to run a cloud-based phone system are minimal, but there are a few.
If you want to take advantage of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), you’ll need to have an internet connection. This can either be a hardwired connection, or one that’s wireless.
To set up your business phone system, you’ll need a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone and an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA). You’ll also need a wireless router.
3. Determine Your Internet Speed
If you live in a rural community, you may want to use a traditional landline phone over internet-based systems. This is because some rural areas may not have the internet speed required to run these types of services.
Types of Business Phone Systems
When choosing a new business phone service, you have to decide whether you want a landline, a voice-over-IP (VoIP) system, or a virtual one.
Do you want your call handling software to be hosted on your servers or would you prefer it to be hosted by the service provider?
All modern telephone systems are called Private Branch Exchange (PBX). The hardware is what provides all of the features, such as voice mail, and extension capabilities.
The type of phone system you use will affect where that equipment is located.
On-premises VoIP requires your IT team to install the equipment and maintain the servers, while hosted services have the servers and hardware maintained by your service provider. Hosted service, therefore, means less work for IT.
With the cloud-based VoIP solution, your IT department can focus less on managing the underlying infrastructure and more on developing the system’s feature set.
Check out an overview of each kind of business phone.
1. Traditional Landline Phone Systems Become Obsolete
Traditional phone systems used to be connected to an analog PSTN, or the public switch telephone network. These ran on copper wires and were maintained by the telecommunications companies.
While these systems were very reliable, they were very expensive. In addition to the copper wire that had to be run through the building, they also needed very costly PBX hardware.
The phone system is the component that switches your calls from your business to the telephone network and back again. It’s essential for features like voice mail, conferencing, and auto attendant.
All of this phone equipment and the hardware needed to run it would be kept on-site at the business and stored in a room, usually a server or storage room.
Today, analog multiline landline phone systems are becoming less common. Many telephone companies are no longer developing new analog systems or providing updates to the systems they used to offer.
As traditional landline phone systems become increasingly obsolete, it becomes more difficult to find IT professionals with the skills to keep them running. Telephone companies have largely shifted their attention to VoIP technology, making it difficult to find support for older systems.
Some phone systems now combine both traditional phone lines and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Instead of using the traditional telephone wires, businesses can tap into an outside phone line using the internet.
Unfortunately, businesses in areas with no access to high-speed internet are stuck with using traditional landlines.
2. Voice Over Internet Protocol
Almost all new telephone systems are using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Instead of using traditional copper wires like older telephone networks, these systems are run over the internet.
It’s the same internet connection that most businesses have.
When you make a call on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), your call is converted from a voice signal to a digital information package that travels over the internet.
When you use a VoIP system, you’re able to tap into an existing data connection and avoid the expense of installing and maintaining phone lines in your office or store. This can save you a significant amount of money and hassle.
VoIP systems are beneficial for small businesses because they are cheaper and less bulky than traditional PBX equipment. This allows small businesses to access phone features that they previously couldn’t afford, like auto-attendants, conference calling, and call recording.
Like a traditional phone system, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system lets you choose a local or toll-free number.
The VoIP system’s compatibility with computers is a great advantage for businesses, as it allows employees to make calls from their own devices and have voicemails sent directly to their email inboxes. This can be extremely beneficial for businesses that use CRM programs, as the two systems can work together seamlessly.
VoIP phone systems are extremely user-friendly and can be easily scaled to fit the needs of your growing business. By logging in to the system’s online portal, administrators can assign phone numbers or extensions and turn various features on and off. This flexibility makes VoIP an ideal solution for small businesses that need a reliable, yet affordable, phone system.
Adding new users with VoIP is quick and easy. Administrators can log in to the portal and add new lines as needed. This makes it simple to set up new employees with their own phone lines.
This streamlines the setup process for new employees who have their own phone numbers.
When Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) first came out, many people were concerned with the quality of the phone calls. Some people thought the sound quality was poor, while others had problems where they’d lose connection.
The audio quality of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone calls has significantly improved over the years. So much so that most traditional telephone users cannot tell the difference between a VOIP and a traditional phone call.
This is great news for businesses who use the technology, as it enables them to offer the same quality of service to all of their customers, regardless of what kind of phones they use.
Almost all Americans use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to make phone calls.
The only businesses that can’t benefit from a hosted PBX are those without reliable internet access or in communities that don’t have high-speed internet.
Did you know that a huge factor when choosing a business phone solution is how you’d like the telephony hardware to be set up?
There are two main options for hosted PBX: cloud-based and on-premise, though some providers offer a hybrid setup.
3. On-Premises VoIP
An on-premises VoIP system gives you the ability to keep a few traditional landlines working alongside your SIP-trunked VoIP lines. Your IT team is responsible for securing and maintaining the PBX equipment, as well as upgrading it when necessary.
This can be helpful if you need to maintain compatibility with older phone systems or want the option to use a landline in case of an internet outage.
On-premises phone systems are exactly what they sound like: the hardware and software are physically located at the client’s business. The equipment is stored in a “server room” or “closet”.
On-premises VoIP gives you complete control over your phone system. You don’t have to rely on anyone else to make sure it’s running, and you can configure it to your exact specifications.
While having your own IT team handle all repairs can be convenient, it also means they have to take care of all upgrades and maintenance.
On-premises phone systems are expensive to install, and you’ll need to lease a circuit or install VoIP to get connected.
One of the benefits of an on-premises VoIP system is increased security. With on-premises systems, all data is stored within your business, so there are no cloud-based security concerns. You can also configure your firewalls to protect your phone system from any type of intrusion.
You can set up your firewall exactly how you want to protect your phone network from any kind of outside interference.
On-premises VoIP is the best option for businesses that have highly sensitive phone data and can’t entrust it to cloud-based phone providers. With on-premises VoIP, businesses can keep their phone data completely under their own control, ensuring that it remains safe and secure.
Large corporations that can afford the upfront costs and businesses that want a system they can customize extensively are well suited for on-premises phone systems.
4. Cloud-Hosted VoIP
Cloud-hosted phone systems are a great option for small businesses. With this type of system, the equipment is housed in the cloud by your service provider, which handles all maintenance and upgrades. This can be a great option for businesses that don’t have the resources to maintain their own on-premises phone system.
The only piece of equipment you’ll need is the phone itself.
Cloud-based VoIP systems are very easy to set up. All you need to do is activate your service and plug your phones into any Ethernet port. You will then be able to make and receive calls with ease. The only downside to using a cloud-based VoIP system is that you are relying on the provider to keep the service up and running.
The potential downside to cloud-based solutions is that you’re relying on the provider to keep your service up and running.
Most top-tier VoIP providers build in several redundancies to their systems, such as multiple data centers. This way, if one center goes down, the data can be automatically transferred to another center with no interruption to your business’s communications service.
When considering a cloud-hosted VoIP system for your small business, be sure to consult your internet service provider about the necessary bandwidth to support the new service. With the right amount of bandwidth, you can ensure clear call quality and reliable service.
Most providers require 100 Kbps per call for optimal quality, so be sure to factor that into your estimate. You’ll also need to take into account your internet needs for other devices and equipment, such as computers, servers, and Wi-Fi-connected devices.
Cloud-based VoIP systems are an excellent choice for small businesses. The low upfront costs and consistent monthly charges make them easy to budget for, and they don’t require trained IT experts to keep them running. You can add new users and features through a convenient online portal, and cloud-based options also easily support multiple locations.
The average uptime for the providers we examined was 99.99%. This means that their systems are down for only a few minutes each year.
Even though most VoIP providers have an uptime of at least 99.99%, it’s always best to install backup equipment. This way, your business calls can be rerouted in the event of a power outage or internet issue.
5. Virtual Phone Systems
A virtual phone number differs from a regular business line in that it is not necessarily dedicated to a specific phone in your office.
Instead of you having to answer every phone call, virtual phone numbers route the phone calls to employees wherever they are.
A virtual phone number is essentially a forwarding system. Each employee has their own dedicated line, and your business has a main line.
Rather than having customers transferred to an office employee, a virtual phone system will transfer the call to the employee’s mobile phone and their home number.
The employees of your business can control which numbers your business’ phone calls are sent to and in what order.
In addition to having virtual phone numbers, a virtual phone system also offers features like an automated attendant, a voice mail, fax, and a call-forwarding service.
A virtual PBX system is a great option for businesses that don’t need a full-fledged phone system. This could include solopreneurs who work out of their homes and don’t want to give out their personal phone numbers to clients, or small businesses with remote employees.
6. Desktop Phones
Once you’ve decided which kind of system you want to use, you’ll need to choose which actual phone models. (This doesn’t apply if you’re using a virtual PBX.).
Most VoIP providers offer adapters that allow you to use your existing office telephones with their service. You can likely use any telephone equipment you already own.
There are a variety of styles of VoIP phones to choose from. There are both wireless and wired options, and you can choose between conference and office models.
The cost of the phones can range from $50-$1000. The analog adapter for each phone can cost up to $60, and a traditional fax-machine adapter costs $100-$150.
If you’re not interested in purchasing phones outright, some providers offer monthly rental plans. This can be a more cost-effective solution, depending on your needs.
The main benefit of buying your IP phones from your phone system provider is that the phones will come already configured and ready to use as soon as you plug them in. If you were to buy phones from a third-party source, then your IT team would need to configure the phones to work with your specific system – which can be time-consuming and may cause compatibility issues.
If you’re able to afford it, upgrading your phones makes sense from a business standpoint. However, if new phones aren’t in the budget, weigh out how much time and money your company will spend on workarounds in the long run.
If you’re looking for the best business phone service to help power your office, look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the top business phone systems that are sure to give you an edge. So whether you’re looking for features like call forwarding or voicemail, or simply want something reliable and easy to use, one of these options is sure to be perfect for your needs.