The adoption of IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Business Exchange) phone systems is on the rise. More and more businesses of all types and sizes are switching to cloud IP PBX to cut down communication and infrastructure costs and enhance productivity.
In such a scenario, the demand for the “Best IP PBX software for small businesses” is very high. But it takes more than just an internet search to find the right IP PBX Software for your business needs. This blog post discusses the features of the best IP PBX software as well as the benefits and how to choose the right software for your business.
Features of best IP PBX software for small business
While selecting the right IP PBX software, you need to make sure that it comes equipped with the right features. Some of the must-have features of the best IP PBX software for small businesses are:
- Auto-provisioning: This feature manages users’ access to applications, data, and other systems within an organization. It can provision your IP PBX phone system remotely.
- Automatic call distribution: This feature routes all incoming calls to suitable agents based on their department and relevant skills.
- Audio conference: This feature allows multiple users to communicate with each other in one call. It’s extremely useful for remote organizations where meetings and training sessions are mostly virtual.
- Barge-in: This feature enables managers and supervisors to intervene in a live call and provide accurate and trustworthy information to customers and guide them the right way.
- BLF and presence: This feature, short for Busy Lamp Field and presence, enables managers and supervisors to see the number of agents who are busy as well as those who are available for calls at any given moment.
- Blind and attended transfer: The former instantly passes the call to the destination, while the latter connects the call to the transfer destination at the outset.
- Call forwarding: This feature allows customer service representatives to forward incoming calls to another system or device. This enables them to forward incoming calls to their mobile devices when they are away from their desks.
- Call park and pickup: This feature enables customer service agents to park incoming calls in a ‘parking lot’ where their colleagues can answer the calls.
- Call screening: This feature enables agents to screen calls and decide whether or not to answer them. This is useful at a time when spam and scam calls are at an all-time high. And yes, the customer service departments of small, medium, and big businesses aren’t immune to that.
- High concurrent call volume: This is one of the most important features as it determines how many calls an IP PBX phone system can handle at any particular time. Some reliable and reputable IP PBX software for small businesses can support more than a thousand concurrent calls.
- Click to call: This is a type of web-based communication where a person can click a button to request an instantaneous real-time connection with another.
- Find me/follow me: This former feature helps customer service representatives in receiving calls at any location and the latter enables agents to receive incoming calls at any number of designated phones.
- Multi-tenant: This feature is extremely important in an IP PBX phone system as a single instance of its software as well as its supporting infrastructure serves several customers. This can enable your IP PBX system to generate more revenue.
- Multilevel IVR: This feature provides a wide range of self-service options to customers and helps them to connect with the right department as well as the right customer service representative with relevant skills and expertise.
- Multi-lingual: This feature enables customers to choose different languages and converse with customer service representatives who are conversant in that particular language.
- Real-time analytics and reporting: This feature enables customers to monitor KPIs (key performance indicators) and generate real-time reports.
- Voice logging: This is an important IP PBX feature, which records all inbound and outbound business calls and stores the voice files in the phone system.
- Video call: This one is self-explanatory. It enables customer service representatives to make and receive video calls as well as video chats.
- Whisper: This feature enables supervisors and managers to help customer service representatives in emergencies without letting the customers know about it.
- Call return: Call return enables a customer to dial a code, which detects the last incoming call.
Benefits of selecting the best IP PBX software for small business
Once you select the best IP PBX software for your small business, you will get many benefits such as:
- Reduced communication costs: IP PBX phone systems can reduce monthly communication costs by more than 50 percent. Compared to their on-premise counterparts, cloud-based IP PBX phone systems are much more cost-effective as they don’t need any additional hardware and installation costs.
- Higher flexibility and scalability: Being extremely adaptable, flexible, and scalable, sophisticated IP PBX software enables small and medium businesses to scale up and down their customer service operations as per demand. In peak seasons, businesses can easily add more agents to deal with the increased call volumes. In lean seasons, they can do just the opposite.
- Reliability: IP PBX phone systems are extremely reliable compared to any other type of communication system. The cloud-based systems cannot be impacted by inclement weather and natural calamities.
- Ease of use: Despite their sophistication and cost-effectiveness, IP PBX phone systems are extremely easy to use. Both small and large businesses can easily install and use IP PBX software as per their needs.
Tips to find the best IP PBX software for small business
Handpicking the right IP PBX software can mean the difference between success and failure. When it comes to finding the best IP PBX software for small businesses, these tips can be immensely helpful.
1. Determine the purpose and list the features you want in the software
Before you decide to look for the best IP PBX software for small businesses, ask yourself why you need an IP PBX phone system in the first place. Is it because you want to reduce your communication costs? Is handling a large volume of concurrent calls the main reason? Or is it because of all the benefits you can get by switching to a sophisticated IP PBX phone system?
Once you are clear about your purpose, list the features you need in your IP PBX phone system. Apart from helping you zeroing on the right software, it will also help you in setting a reasonable budget so that you don’t invest more or less in the software than you should.
2. Research top IP PBX software providers
To find sophisticated IP PBX software for small businesses, you’ll need to use the internet to find the most reputable and reliable software providers in the market. Use high-intent search words such as “best IP PBX software,” “best cloud IP PBX software providers,” “top 10 IP PBX software for 2023,” “top 10 IP PBX software providers,” “IP PBX solution providers,” “best IP PBX systems,” and others.
If you are looking for IP PBX software in a particular country, then use some location-specific search terms such as “best IP PBX software provider in the US,” “best IP PBX software provider in the UK,” “best IP PBX software provider in Canada,” “best IP PBX software provider in Australia,” “best IP PBX software provider in South Africa,” “best IP PBX software provider in India,” and so on.
3. Visit top websites and look at features, prices, and ratings
After getting search results, visit the websites of different software providers as well as aggregators. In the former, you will get to know a lot of things about different software providers, know their stories, and take a closer look at their products, features, and what their customers say about them. You can also get their contact information and contact them directly.
In the latter, however, you will get a closer look at different software providers, their software, their features, their ratings and reviews, their pros and cons, and more. After browsing a few websites, you can shortlist some software providers that can meet your needs.
4. Contact shortlisted software providers and ask about the free demo
After shortlisting some IP PBX software providers, contact them and ask them more about their pricing plans and if they provide free demos. Most reputable and trustworthy software providers provide free demos (anywhere from a week to a month) to enable their prospective clients to use their software and make informed decisions. If a software provider declines to provide a free demo, move on to the next one quickly. Eventually, you’ll get a free demo and it will help you to take your team members’ feedback and make an informed choice.
If you are looking for the best IP PBX software for small businesses, you need to determine what you are going to achieve with the software and what features should be there. If you find all (or most) of the features from a reputable and reliable IP PBX software provider, then contact its team and request a free demo.