Market musings

Which Features Are Essential for Small Business Phone Systems?

by Sasha Viasasha
February 22, 2018

Two decades ago, small business phone systems got the enterprise class PBX phone features thanks to the introduction of voice over IP (VoIP). This led to a burst of entrepreneurship and reset customer expectations about how a small businesses should sound when you call them. VoIP is certainly more affordable, but voice quality depends on affording a reliable network with plenty of bandwidth and an on-call IT specialist to handle changes or breakdowns. In 2018, the next generation of phone systems has arrived for small businesses, stripping away unnecessary VoIP phone features that don't need and don't need to pay for. Which features do small businesses need most right now?

Major capabilities for small business phone systems

Shopping for small business phone systems used to be confusing, to say the least. Most business phone systems are designed with large, inter-departmental enterprises in mind.

For larger businesses who can host their own server and install a fiber line, VoIP can be customized to serve the changing needs of a growing company, especially those who require an in-house call center or an outbound sales boiler room.

Many businesses, especially those unwilling to make a large Capex expenditure on business phone system hardware, have opted for hosted VoIP, which may offer less flexibility and can harbor hidden charges along with the associated rate increases.

These off-the-shelf solutions often end up costing your business, as you’ll likely end up paying for features and services that you don’t really need or use. For example, VoIP can add in a “Whisper” feature, where managers can coach employees on the call in real time without the caller hearing what is said. Another popular VoIP feature for sales organizations is seamless integration with CRM platform so sales reps don’t have to re-enter as much data.

The downside is that for companies with remote workers, distributed teams, and a multi-city presence, VoIP telephone solutions can be very tricky to successfully implement. Employees end up defaulting to an informal BYOD solution that isn’t well supported by the native system. 65% of employees already give out their personal mobile number out to clients and 75% are forwarding their desk phones to their mobile numbers. For modern companies working out of a shared office space, or out in the field, mobility is the first consideration.

Even local companies who own or rent their own space can find themselves left behind by VoIP systems that don’t deliver the quality, flexibility and affordability they need.

The power of simplicity

Most small businesses phone systems don’t have nor need a lot of the bells and whistles that VoIP carriers bundle into their service agreements. Growing companies just need a reliable business phone system that does a few things well:

  • Assigns a central phone number for the business that can be picked up by various team members.
  • Defaults to an AI assistant when no one is available to answer the call.
  • Keeps a dynamic company directory updated in real time that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. 
  • Tracks missed calls and keeps a log of which ones got a return call by which team member.
  • Delivers excellence in a voice quality, not the echoes, buzzes and dropped calls that still plague VoIP.
  • Is extremely affordable for cash-conscious companies.
  • Is simple enough to install and maintain without any help from technical talent.
  • Allows easy conference calling and on touch call transferring.

All of those features are packed into the Spoke app, turning any group of mobile phones into a next-generation business phone network. Come visit our FAQ page to see how Spoke saves 88% off the cost of a traditional phone system while giving you maximum operational flexibility. Or look over our Features page to see what Spoke can do now and which capabilities are coming online in future releases. In the end, you’ll never really know how Spoke simplifies your life until you see it action, so we invite you to try Spoke for free.

The ideal business phone system may already be in your hands, literally. Spoke has condensed everything a small business needs into a beautifully designed solution deployed on the phones that your employees already love using.

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