Office telephone system

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An employee using an office telephone system

Every office needs the right telecommunications system. The telephone is the portal between you and your customers. It creates the space to form meaningful relationships and customer loyalty. Essentially, it helps you meet your business needs.

With older systems like ISDN no longer being supported, companies need to ensure they have a long-lasting, effective solution in place.

All businesses need to be able to communicate with customers and clients. It’s equally important, too, to have employees that can communicate between themselves effectively. An office telephone system ensures that both of these things happen. 

There’s nothing more frustrating than crackly phone lines, difficulties connecting phones to the right people and missing important phone calls. The right office telephone system will provide a streamlined office environment and enhance the workplace experience.

Why an office telephone system is good for business

An office telephone system is essential in any business. That’s whether you have a call centre, several offices with hundreds of employees, or you run a small business from your own home. The following reasons explain why every business needs the right office phone system.

Communicating with clients and customers

First and foremost, a good business should have a way for clients and customers to get in contact. While emailing, social media channels, and chatbots are becoming increasingly popular, nothing beats the social element of a phone call. Some people find it easier to communicate their thoughts via speech instead of through typed messages. Having a unified communications solution lets you talk with customers however they'd prefer.

Speaking over the phone also allows you to form deeper connections with clients and customers. Clients, for example, often stay loyal to a company because of the rapport they build with the business owner or another employee. It’s often easier to dial a single phone number for a person you know than scroll through hundreds of email threads.

Customers often stay loyal because of the similar rapport they have with a sales or service rep. Connecting with customers and clients is an essential part of successful business communication.

Employee communication

A virtual phone system is mobile and desktop

Your reputation

Most offices have receptionists, who work as a port of call for the business. The receptionist will be the first person a caller speaks to if they phone in, and they’re responsible for call transfers through to the relevant member of staff. In some ways, they are the face—and certainly voice—of the company. A rude or unhelpful receptionist will tarnish your reputation—especially if you’re a small business. 

You wouldn’t hire any person you found on the street to be your receptionist. So why would you pick any random office telephone system? Just like a receptionist, an office phone system is pivotal to the success of your company. This is even more true if you use an auto-attendant to handle incoming calls.

When your telecom system isn’t working properly, a customer or client will give up and go elsewhere. It’s that simple. An office telephone system helps to create a good reputation for your business.

Types of office telephone systems

So, we’ve established that office telephone systems are important. But which one should you get? Are all office telephone systems the same? How do they differ? 

Here are some of the different types of office phone systems to choose from.

1. Cloud based VoIP systems

Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP, makes calls over the internet. How? It takes your analogue voice signals, converts them into digital signals and then sends them as data over your broadband line. 

There are plenty of benefits to a VoIP system. For one thing, they tend to be a lot cheaper than landlines, and international calls may even be free. You can use VoIP phone systems with a dedicated IP phone, or a computer. They are also great for remote working, as any employee can use it and connect on mobile devices via an app. 

VoIP systems have lots of advanced features which are often included in one plan. These include things such as call routing, call forwarding, messaging, call recording, voicemail, and many more. You can still use all the standard equipment, such as headsets, desk phones, and cordless handsets. 

It’s a great option for small businesses who might benefit from everything being in one place and a little extra support from their supplier. All you need is an internet connection, which makes a cloud based VoIP system a cost effective option.

2. On-premises PBX systems

An on-premise private branch exchange (PBX) is a private system that sits on your company’s premises. This means it will need to be installed by your provider. It works with multi-line phones, and calls can either go through traditional telephony systems like PSTN or VoIP. 

VoIP service providers have begun to offer more options in IP PBX products and services. Alongside the standard phone and email, they now offer multimedia features including IP telephony and voice over broadband, voice-messaging, fax, and SMS text applications. 

PBX phone systems offer many similar features to a cloud based VoIP system. The main difference with an on-premises PBX system is where it is located. With an on-premises PBX system all hardware is located on site and the maintenance will be your responsibility, whereas with a cloud-based VoIP everything is hosted in the cloud.

3. Mobile-based systems

Mobile-based systems are great for functionality. They perform like a mobile phone but think like a telecommunication system, merging both nicely. How do they work?

Simply replace your desk phone and mobile device with one device that switches you seamlessly between the office and mobile networks. Meeting all your business needs, they're cloud-based and require minimal on-premises equipment, like a cloud-based VoIP system.  

While mobile-based systems are definitely growing, more companies—and especially small businesses—tend to opt for a VoIP system, mainly because of the additional support from the provider.

RingCentral office telephone capabilities

Colleagues having a meeting through cloud PBX software

At RingCentral, business phone systems are what we do best. We know the importance of getting your office telephone system right, and want to support small businesses. 

Communication is key, so we ensure that our systems are streamlined, high-performing, and well priced. This gives you the time to get on with what matters most: keeping your customers and clients happy. 

We offer a cloud-based VoIP system with everything you could possibly need. All of our plans include the following features:

  • Our RingCentral Phone app for desktop and mobile
  • Voicemail-to-email
  • Call logs
  • Glip collaboration tool (for instant messaging, chat rooms, and file sharing)
  • Call recording
  • Integration with Microsoft, Google, Box, and Dropbox

Alongside our plans, we also offer excellent services. These include:

  • A free 14 day trial: allowing you to test our office telephone system and see if it works for your business. This creates the opportunity to see the features for yourself and determine whether they work better than your current system before committing to any plans. 
  • Upgrades: you can always upgrade your plan to include additional features such as  call analytics, interactive voice response (IVR), call monitoring, video conferencing, and internet fax. We also offer the ability to integrate with Salesforce, Zendesk, Desk.com, and others. Just get in contact and we’ll talk you through any additional features when you want them.  
  • 24/7 customer service: if you need our help, we are available at all hours to take your calls and provide assistance. We know that smaller businesses need a little extra support.

By switching to our cloud based VoIP system, you will not only save money with cheaper calls, but you’ll save time. This is because, when you have a query, you’ll only need to phone one service provider instead of a number of different ones. Everything is in one place, making for a smoother, more streamlined business telephone system.

Frequently asked questions

What is an office telephone system?

An office telephone system is the system you have in place to make calls, answer incoming calls, send messages, host conferences, and much more. Essentially, it’s how you communicate externally, aka with customers and clients, and internally among your employees. 
Office telephone systems need to have multiple functionalities. As your business grows, it isn’t simply about answering the phone and saying, “hello?” You need voicemail-to-email, call forwarding, caller ID, and much more. You need integration with your CRM to know who is about to call, who is currently calling, and who has already called. That, in a nutshell, is your office telephone system.

What is the best phone system for small business?

Small businesses need excellent communication to compete with bigger names. A cloud-based VoIP system, rather than physical telephone lines, is the best option for a small business, as it allows for all options. Employees can work remotely and be contacted on route to client meetings. 
Small businesses also need to save money wherever possible, making a VoIP system the best solution. With no expensive hardware and cheaper calls, it keeps costs down while providing an excellent service. And, with RingCentral’s VoIP system, small business owners can be assured that we are available 24/7 to provide extra support.

How do I set up my office phone system?

Setting up an office phone system isn’t difficult. Simply contact us at RingCentral and we can get you set up. Simple.