Hosted PBX – Benefits for Startups and SMBs
Are you struggling with the limitations of an old-fashioned fixed-line phone system, or trying to get away with only using mobile phones to run your business? Fortunately, there is a simple, affordabl...
Are you struggling with the limitations of an old-fashioned fixed-line phone system, or trying to get away with only using mobile phones to run your business? Fortunately, there is a simple, affordable solution that can take your communications to the next level and provide your customers with an efficient, professional service.
It’s called Hosted PBX and it gives you access to the cost savings, reach, and flexibility of Internet telephony – all without investing your capital or trying to run a phone system on your own premises.
PBX, which stands for Private Branch Exchange, is the box that usually takes up space in a cupboard or in the corner of the office. It takes incoming calls and routes them to the appropriate extension. If you want one of those, you’ll also need a technician to set up, maintain and upgrade the system.
But, take a hosted service and the equipment and the hassle of operating it disappears. A service provider owns, operates and maintains the PBX for you in a secure data center. You pay an affordable monthly fee to the provider, and you access the system via an Internet connection.
Hosted PBX is one more example of a cloud service that helps startups and small businesses get on equal terms with their bigger rivals and enjoy the same benefits of the latest telecommunications technologies.
If you decide to move to a hosted service, you’re not just gaining access to great technology, you’ll open opportunities for a wide range of business benefits.
For a start, you can look forward to significant cost savings. You won’t have to buy any equipment or hire a technician because that’s all covered by the monthly fee. So, you can put your capital to better use and hire people that will add more value to the business.
Your call costs will be cheaper, particularly over long distances, because the calls travel over the Internet, rather than the public telephone network. And you can continue to use your existing fixed and mobile phones to make and receive calls, so no additional expenditure there.
Improve call handling
But, it’s in call handling that the real benefits show. For many small businesses, call handling is the responsibility of any individual who happens to be available. And, if those individuals work from home or use mobiles, customers might have to work their way through a list of numbers before they reach someone. Not very professional.
A hosted PBX service does the call handling for you. Customers, and any other callers, dial a single number. The PBX responds with a professional greeting and offers them the option of reaching a specific department or individual. The system then routes the call to the right person. But, they don’t have to be at a desk. You can set the system to route calls to mobiles or home phones, as well as office extensions.
Stay in contact
That’s great if you and your colleagues are frequently out of the office or working from another location because you can stay in contact wherever you are. And, just in case you’re not available to pick up the call on one type of phone, you can program the system to forward calls to other phones or to colleagues. That way, you can be confident customers will always get a response, and you won’t miss important calls.
Make recruitment easier
The reach and flexibility of a hosted PBX service can also be helpful when you’re trying to expand the business but don’t want to hire too many full-time people or move to larger premises.
You could grow by recruiting part-time employees working from home or contractors who provide specialist services when you need them. By routing calls to them through the hosted PBX, you can treat them as part of the business and give customers the impression of a much larger operation.
Expand phone capacity easily
If your business does grow and you need more phone capacity, that’s not a problem. You won’t have to wait for the phone company to install additional fixed lines, just ask the service provider to add more capacity and it’s available almost immediately. If you run a seasonal business or suddenly find call volumes increasing, that can be a big advantage.
Migrate to advanced communications
Looking ahead, hosted PBX is a good move for the long term. It provides immediate financial, operational and business benefits, but that’s just the start. It brings your business into Internet communications and provides a platform for a later move to an advanced solution like(Voice over Internet Protocol) or Unified Communications.
Hosted PBX is at the heart of those systems, so you can migrate smoothly at your own pace, rather than go through major change and disruption. Then, you can benefit from great productivity features like a single inbox for all your messages, sophisticated collaboration tools like web and video conferencing, and integration with applications like customer relationship management (CRM) systems to enhance customer service even further.
So, take the first step to advanced communications now with a hosted PBX service. You’ll save money and take your business to new levels of efficiency and service.