It’s an exciting time to talk about phone systems for small businesses. Features that were once only accessible to large companies are now available to small and midsize businesses, and cost much less each month than a traditional landline system.

Whether you’re researching a new phone system for your small business or wondering how to get the most out of your existing system, I’ve put together a comprehensive list of must-have features, and what they can do for your organization.

VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lets you make phone calls using an internet connection instead of a traditional landline. The fact of the matter is that landlines are already obsolete. So unless your business is in an area without a reliable internet connection, VoIP is probably a much better option. You can save anywhere between 40% – 80% by switching, and boost productivity by 20% thanks to the additional tools and features VoIP systems offer.

If you have concerns about migrating to an internet-based system, you should know that, by and large, concerns about quality and reliability have been addressed in recent years. Call clarity has improved significantly, and most VoIP providers now guarantee at least 99.99% uptime.

AUTOMATED PHONE ATTENDANTS

There’s no question that most people who call a business would prefer that their call be answered by a friendly human being. But even if you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford a full-time receptionist, having an auto attendant can still reduce call volume for simple requests, like confirming an appointment or offering business hours and location information.

Furthermore, even full-time receptionists aren’t available to answer questions 24/7. But an auto attendant can still offer a professional greeting, route calls to cell phones if desired, and offer answers to common customer questions.

PROFESSIONAL TEXT MESSAGING

With VoIP text messaging, you can respond quickly to simple requests without having to give out your personal cell phone number. It allows you to maintain a professional image to your customers while setting healthy boundaries between your business and your personal life.

MOBILE TWINNING

Mobile twinning lets you link a cell phone number to a business phone extension, so any call to that extension will also ring on the linked cell phone. It’s an extremely handy feature for remote workers, but it’s also a godsend for frequent business travelers and busy small business owners. Mobile twinning offers some significant advantages that are hard to overlook:

  • Move freely around your office without missing an important call
  • Save money on data
  • Get business calls while traveling
  • Work from home (or elsewhere) seamlessly
  • Use WiFi to save on international calls
  • Access Outlook from your cell phone
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