While it is easy to find lists that rank the top 10 business phone systems in Australia, these aren’t always a reliable way to compare new phone systems for your business. Aside from rarely mentioning why some systems did not make the list, there’s always a chance that you will gloss over or ignore the downsides or cons of the ranked systems. And this could mean ending up with a system that isn’t right for your business.
However, these lists do tend to focus on specific points, which means you can consider these points when looking at new phone systems for your business. Because the top business phone systems in Australia have these in common, though each should be weighed up in relation to your business, and what you need.
Range of Features
The top business phone systems include a range of features, but some more limited than others. However, it isn’t always about the number of features included. Focus instead on the features you need or could use as your business grows. The type of features the system offers will also depend on whether you are looking at a basic business line or a hosted PBX system. They could include:
- Core Call Features - any business phones system, even a basic one, should include call hold, call transfer, call forwarding, line hunt groups, and call waiting. Sequential and simultaneous ringing are excellent features to also have but aren't always available on basic phone systems.
- Voicemail to Email - voicemail is essential, but with a PBX system you might prefer Voicemail to Email, allowing you to receive voicemail messages wherever you are and to archive them for future reference too.
- Auto Receptionist - instead of having a dedicated receptionist, you can set up an automated process, allowing customers to select from predefined options to direct their call to the right person or department.
- Softphone Computer or Mobile App - calls can be made and received using a computer or mobile phone instead of a physical handset. Can also be used in conjunction with handsets.
- Music on Hold - you can choose to either play music for callers while they’re on hold, or custom announcements promoting your products or services.
- Fax2Email - incoming faxes are converted to PDF files and sent straight to a dedicated email inbox, reducing paper waste.
- Online Portal for system management and reports - a hosted or cloud-based PBX should include a web-based portal that allows you to manage specific features of the system and access various reports.
Having more features doesn’t make one business phone system better than others unless you would use or have a need for all of them.
Ease of Setup & Use
If there are any installation requirements for a new phone system, the provider should be able to assist or recommend a third-party cabler. Of more concern should be the ease with which the new system can be set up and used in your business to avoid disruption. It shouldn’t require extensive training to be able to use it and configure the system to the needs of your business. Any new system would have a learning curve, but it should be shallow. A steep learning curve won’t only be disruptive, it could also result in you not using all the features of the new system.
Most new phone systems in Australia are VoIP enabled, with VoIP technology replacing the old copper line phone network as the nbn™ rollout continues. And VoIP technology uses an internet connection for making and receiving phone calls. So, one component of reliability is your business having a suitable nbn™ connection and plan. If you have different providers for your phone system and nbn™ connection, consider switching your nbn™. This would limit the need for dealing with two providers for support.
However, you should also look at the support offered by the provider of your new phone system. How easy is it to get help if anything is not working as it should? Are you limited to online support only, or is there a support line you can call? And is support available during standard business hours? Finally, also look at whether the system can still work during a power outage, and if any backup is offered for nbn™ outages. This would include support for the addition of a battery pack, the use of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and 4G backup.
When looking at the cost of a new business phone system, don’t focus only on the cost of the system–including hardware. Other costs would include those related to each phone plan or line you need, the cost of calls¬–unless the plans include unlimited calls–and the cost of specific features that aren’t included with the system by default. Systems that don’t force you to sign up for a long-term contract sometimes include a once-off upfront fee, but this can be mitigated through the freedom to upgrade the system or change your plans without the prospect of early termination fees for cancelling a contract before the term is up.
Your needs as a business will change over time and with it the need to scale or upgrade your phone system. From switching to a hosted PBX system from a basic phone line, to adding more handsets and lines, the best business phone systems support easy scaling. And scalability should include being able to accommodate your business growing from a single location to having multiple branches or offices, and from handling a few hundred calls a day to managing thousands of calls.
Commander’s business phone systems offer all of the above and more, with systems suitable for small businesses, growing businesses ready for their first PBX system, and established businesses with an on-premise PBX.
Speak to our business phone experts to help decide which system is perfect for your business.