Telephone systems

TELEPHONE SYSTEMS

An essential communications hub at the heart of any business, our range of analogue, DECT and hybrid telephone systems allow you to simply create a vital link with your customers.

 
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  14. Yealink Base DECT W80B

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  24. Orchid Telecom PBX 416+ 4-Line Telephone System

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Business telephone systems: the must-have for your business

What are business phone systems?

The company’s telephone reception is a key factor in its success, as it needs to reflect a positive and professional image to customers and other stakeholders, such as suppliers or sales leads. How could you possibly guarantee customer satisfaction without a dedicated business telephone system? Would you ever let sales leads go directly to voicemail whenever you are taking other calls? 60% of the population today still prefers contacting a company by phone rather than by other forms of communication. A company's reputation is built on the small details, and making a good impression from the first moment of contact is absolutely essential.

This is where the business phone systems come in! Also known as telephone exchangse, they connect all of the workstations in your organisation. They therefore manage multiple phone lines simultaneously, dealing with both inbound and outbound calls. The standard model is best known for its multiple features, which include:

• Call transfer: you can manually transfer calls from one station to another by passing on the caller to the relevant person. If the relevant person is out and about, calls can be automatically transferred to their mobile, allowing employees to keep in contact throughout the day.

• Hold music or a message while you wait: encourage your caller to stay on the line by playing music that will make their waiting time more pleasant and feel less long. It has been proven that 8 out of 10 people prefer listening to music while they wait rather than wait in silence. You could also take advantage of this time by including information about your business with a quick message, perhaps sharing recent company news or your opening hours etc.

• Interactive Voice Response (IVR): give your callers the choice of dialling a number in order to be connected with a particular service (e.g. "to speak with a member of the sales team, please type 2"). The benefits of IVR are twofold: you save your customers time as they can directly interact with the best qualified person to answer their request, and you boost the productivity of your business. With an automated service, you no longer need to assign one of your employees to run the telephone reception service.

Which business telephone system should you choose?

Choosing the right business phone system is crucial for a company, whatever their industry or their size. This choice will largely depend on your budget, the number of employees you need to set up, the type of phone lines you already have, the size of your business and the features you would like to have.

There are three types of business telephone systems:

• The classic phone system (PBX or IPBX): this model includes a terminal, which can vary in size, which is directly installed at your office. It can process inbound and outbound calls internally. It is best suited to medium-sized and large companies, who require a larger number of telephone lines and who are happy to pay higher installation costs. Depending on the requirements of your business, the costs of installing a PBX or an IPBX may be more or less expensive, and the equipment will also require maintenance as years go by. The PBX is connected to the analogue network, while the IPBX is connected to an IP line.

• The mini-telephone system: this device looks like a conventional telephone set, but it has many additional features. It is the ideal solution for small and micro-enterprises. Its features are similar to a conventional PBX or IPBX, but it is much easier to install (as it does not need wiring), it takes up less space and does not require installation and maintenance costs. There are 3 types of mini-phone system which are tailored to different types of telephone line: analogue (which allows you to transfer up to two calls simultaneously) digital (ISDN T0, which allows you to transfer up to 4 calls simultaneously) and IP (which allows you to also transfer 4 calls simultaneously and communications are transferred using the internet).

• The virtual or hosted IVR: this option is also known as Centrex and it is the firm favourite of UK companies due to the many benefits it offers. It offers businesses the option of having a highly professional telephone system, without having to install large and expensive equipment in your premises. The equipment that is required to function is installed in your network servers. All you need is an internet connection in order to be able to access your telephone system and all of its features. Within your business itself, only the telephone stations need to be connected.