Senior Writer: Nidhi Neeralkatti
Telephony is the backbone of every office, whether it is small or big. That’s why, besides other obsolete technologies, telephony has only evolved in the past years. And the fact that humanity is directly or indirectly dependent on technology proves the business phone system is here to stay. As we evolved, so did the technique we used, and one of the technologies is the phone system.
We have moved ahead from the long-wired landline phones to the chic and tech-savvy virtual phones that are cloud PBX. No wiring, no hardware, and no extra staffing are required.
What Is A PBX System?
A PBX is a cloud-based business phone system or technology that allows you to transmit voice and multimedia content via the internet rather than a traditional phone line. What does PBX stand for? It stands for Private Branch Exchange, is also an ideal replacement for traditional PBX and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) systems, which require hardware and human support?
Compared to on-premise PBX systems, virtual PBX provides a range of advantages, including advanced features, a cost-effective solution, interactive voice response (IVR) support, and exceptional portability, among others. All of these elements combine to make hosted PBX the most sought-after business phone solution favored by businesses. But what exactly is PBX virtualization? What makes it special? Let’s find out in the following section.
What Is PBX Virtualization?
People often get confused between hosted PBX service and Virtual PBX. Although the two terms appear to be pretty similar, there are significant differences between them. By PBX virtualization, we mean a method or a process by which a system or software is used to establish a one-stop server for multiple applications and tools used by the organization.
( Source: sarvosys )
Sounds confusing? Let us look at an example to grasp it better. Assume you have a dedicated server for each activity, such as one to store employee data, one for customer data, one for call records and voicemail, and so on. As expected, managing all of these servers individually is not only time-consuming but also expensive.
This is where PBX virtualization will come in handy. Using virtualization, you may consolidate all data on a single server, lowering management costs and streamlining the process. Overall, “virtual PBX” refers to a component of a hosted phone system, whereas “virtualization” refers to the process by which on-premise phone systems condense resources to a single server.
Now, let’s look at how a virtual PBX works.
How Does A Virtual PBX Work?
The primary distinction between a traditional PBX system and a virtual PBX phone system is how they function. On the one hand, whereas traditional phone systems or on-premise PBXs rely on telephone lines and hardware to operate, a hosted PBX does the same task more effectively by utilizing cloud-based software, the internet connection, and a VoIP system.
( Source: Ringostat )
Moreover, the cloud technology eliminates the need to deploy a physical PBX box or private branch exchange in your office. Overall, the operation of a virtual PBX is nearly identical to that of a traditional PBX, albeit in a more sophisticated and cloud-based approach. However, this minor modification in functioning makes a significant impact and allows the hosted PBX phone system to provide several benefits.
Different Types Of PBX Phone Systems
If you are convinced that getting a PBX cloud solution is the big break that your organization has been waiting for, it is surely time to take the plunge. However, before you take the transformational decision for your organization, it is important to be aware of the various types of virtual PBX phone systems available in the market.
Upgrading from a traditional phone system is a smart move in the current competitive business ecosystem. Find out about the various types of cloud-based PBX platforms so that you can choose the most ideal solution for your business requirements:
1 ) Digital PBX System:
A digital PBX system is a highly versatile solution as it has the capability to deploy a traditional analog PBX network as well as internet protocol (IP) phones. The main advantage of digital PBX phone systems is that they offer superior sound quality, much higher than analog systems that are generally used for small-scale home businesses. Most digital systems have basic functions such as extensions and call transfers. They can also be configured for more advanced features such as call forwarding, virtual voice assistants, and voicemail. Digital PBX systems work well for companies that have older wiring, unsecured networks, and erratic internet connections.
2 ) On-Site IP PBX System:
On-site PBX systems are also known as VoIP PBX systems and require a robust and reliable internet connection for maximum viability. On-site PBX platforms use internal business networks to call stability and better audio quality. They give the users access to all advanced features of unified communication and have essential features such as voicemail, video calling, conferencing and mobile applications. On-site PBX systems are now one of the most common and popular communication forums and the pricing of the PBX systems is economical and highly functional in nature.
3 ) Cloud-Based PBX System:
One of the most dynamic inventions in the telecommunication field, the cloud-based PBX phone service has the ability to store all data in the cloud. In a cloud-based PBX solution, all voice applications, features and calls are billed once a month under one single invoice. Companies need to choose a credible service vendor who will host their system, and provide all-important maintenance service and ongoing software upgrades. It includes many diverse advantages for business organizations such as a collaborative workplace, easy disaster recovery, and a range of novel communication features.
It is high time for all kinds of businesses to make the transition to a cloud-based PBX system. An organization can gain more insights into the back-end functioning while outsourcing the function of the hassles of day-to-day routine maintenance.
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13 Best Features Of Virtual Pbx To Improve Business Performance
Let’s take a quick look at each one.
1. Auto Attendant
The auto-attendant feature should be at the top of your priority list when it comes to cloud PBX features. As the name implies, this feature delivers automated call replies, greeting messages, general business announcements, and so on. For businesses that receive a high amount of customer calls daily, auto-attendant is a must-have feature to look for when picking a virtual PBX system.
( Source: freshdesk )
The auto-attendant provides various benefits, including the ability to minimize call traffic, segregate calls based on their queries, build a professional image of the organization, and save costs.
2. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Incoming callers can obtain information via a voice response system with pre-recorded messages without speaking to an agent Using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). During times of high call volume, an intelligent interactive voice response system can assist customers in finding answers and conducting simple tasks themselves, reducing hold time.
A well-designed IVR software solution can also help raise customer satisfaction and improve call center operations and KPIs. For these reasons, IVR should also be there on the “best cloud PBX features” list.
3. Business Tools Integration
One of the best features of virtual PBX that you must have in your PBX system is– Business Tool Integration. This feature enables your virtual business phone system to communicate with and integrate various business tools and utility software with utmost ease. This integration will result in a more efficient system and a centralized repository for all of your company’s operations.
You can get all of the data you need from here in real-time and process or analyze it if required. For this reason, ensure that the virtual PBX system you select has an advanced integration feature.
4. Mobile & Desktop Applications
It is essential that the virtual PBX system you purchase has a mobile and desktop application. These applications provide system portability and ease of use. However, ensure that the mobile or desktop application has an easy-to-use and interactive user interface so that even non-technical people can handle it with ease.
For this reason, you must include mobile and desktop apps in your list of the best features of virtual PBX to look for when shortlisting.
5. Audio And Video Conferencing
It is expected that your “Top Features of Virtual PBX” list will include more than just call-related features. For example, it should also provide audio and video conferencing functionalities. Moreover, it is expected that the video conferencing functionality would include a slew of other essential features such as screen sharing, unlimited recording, HD video, and so on.
Likewise, ensure that the audio and video conferencing feature is supported by multiple devices so that it does not hinder its use.
6. Voicemail To Email
The 6th name on our “13 Best Features of Virtual PBX” List is– Voicemail to email. It is a feature that sends voicemail recordings to the recipient email inbox. When a voicemail is left on the receiver VoIP line, they will receive a notification as well as an email with the MP3 or Wav file.
The recipient can then download the file immediately from their email and play it on their smartphone or other devices at their convenience using a media player. Some service providers also provide voicemail transcription. It will send the same voicemail, but you will also see a transcription of it in plain text and audio format.
7. On-call Coaching
This is one of the best features of virtual PBX since it allows you to join an ongoing call without being noticed or interfering with the call. In addition, this feature enables customer service representatives or any other member to discuss with their employees or senior team members while on the phone with a customer or client without disrupting anything or anyone.
For example, if the newbie customer service representative does not comprehend the customer’s query, they can ask the senior representative to join the conversation and assist him. This will not only protect the company’s reputation but will also aid in the training of new employees.
8. Call Routing & Call Queuing
Call routing and call queuing should also be among the best features of virtual PBX. This is a function in which incoming calls are routed to a specific individual or group of persons based on pre-established rules and parameters. As a result, a sound call routing system not only optimizes agents’ time and saves caller hold times but also directs callers to the person best suited for the call.
For example, suppose a German customer calls your customer service. In that case, it is expected that the call will be routed to the German-speaking customer representative rather than the Spanish-speaking customer representative.
9. Call Recording
The business call recording feature is essential for several reasons. For example, it can assist you in providing training to new employees, recording what commitments you have made or what customers have said in the event of a dispute, and analyzing which parts or verbiage your representatives are making mistakes or using incorrectly or in the wrong order.
( Source: atlassian )
Moreover, you may replay and assess which sales scripts work best and which do not. For all of these reasons, make sure the call recording option is on your list of the best features of virtual PBX.
10. Call Forwarding
As the name implies, the call forwarding feature redirects calls from one destination to another. For example, if a customer calls your sales department in California but the team is unavailable for some reason, the call will be routed to your other sales team, i.e., sales team Texas. Besides, the good part is– the customer on the other end of the line would not be aware of the redirection.
The advantages of call forwarding include:
- Never missing a call.
- Maintaining client loyalty.
- Handling calls 24 hours a day.
- Make your organization appear professional.
11. Music On Hold
Music On Hold is the 11th best feature on our “Best Features of Virtual PBX” list. MOH is a business practice that involves playing recorded music to fill the silence that would otherwise be heard by phone callers who have been placed on hold. This ensures that the customer on hold does not become bored and hangs up the phone. Moreover, Music on Hold is a fantastic approach to inform your customers about new products and services that you will be introducing soon. You can also stir their interest by informing them about an upcoming contest and reward points.
12. Call Encryption
The security of your company’s and your customers’ data must be at the top of your priority list. For this reason, you will require advanced virtual PBX features such as call encryption. Call encryption feature ensures that all of your inter-team communication, as well as your client communications, are entirely secure. For this reason, we have included this feature on our “ Best features of Virtual PBX” list.
We suggest that you always choose a virtual PBX service that provides two layers of security: Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP). Both of these protocols will ensure that all of your calls are entirely protected and that hackers cannot eavesdrop or break the system.
13. Call Reporting & Analytics
Call reporting and analytics is the last name on our list of the 13 Best features of Virtual PBX. Call reporting is a tool that provides real-time information about how many calls are in the queue, how many are rerouted, how many callers are repeated, how many customer service representatives are on break or absent, and so on.
5 Signs Your Business Need A Hosted Pbx Service
- Your phone bill is astronomical
- You are planning to expand your business
- You want to free yourself of the hefty hardware
- The legacy telephone system is hurting your productivity
- You fail to collect and leverage the voice data
But all this gaga isn’t just because of ease of calling. There are quite a few pros and cons of a hosted phone system apart from seamless global calling. Let’s take a peek at them. Shall we?
( Source: smarttask )
Benefits Of A Hosted Pbx System
Adapt or die, they said! Netflix, yellow pages are a few examples of successful businesses that knew the right time to adapt. It’s your turn now!
Today, a business that can manage the blows of the market and adjust accordingly is the one that paves the way to the top.
Want to scale up your team for a particular campaign? Need to create a local presence without actually being present somewhere? Do your teams want to work remotely? And the list will go on. But you can put an end to it all.
A cloud-based platform, a hosted PBX, allows you to access the software anywhere, considering you have any smart device and decent internet connectivity.
Expand your teams overseas in any part of the world, with grounded communication infrastructure. Be it a temporary or a permanent expansion, local or international, you can extend the same communication infrastructure with little to no extra cost with a hosted PBX solution.
Profit is what keeps a business going. Therefore, every business, irrespective of its size, uses a strategy to make its processes more cost-efficient. A hosted PBX service allows you to accomplish the desired results with the least amount of resources, be it monetary or human.
5. Save up on the costs of hardware
Its space, and maintenance. The old systems required much room for data to be stored and to stay up and running. Cloud-based systems let your business operate with very little to no investment. It easily enables organizations to implement the BYOD system as well. All you need is good internet connectivity and the software itself.
6. Save up your person-hours
Human resources are the most valuable asset, and no other software can compensate for the value they provide. With an intelligent system in place, you can automatically direct calls, lead basic conversations with the help of AI, and free your employees from monotonous tasks.
7. Pay only for the services you avail of
Every business is unique in its way. No one solution/ plan fits all. Most of the best-hosted PBX service providers customize their plans or have various plans to offer. You can evaluate what your business needs and choose accordingly. It is also easy to switch between plans whenever your business needs evolve.
Small businesses saved 68% on average from bundling their uses into VOIP usage-based plan
With businesses growing at an unprecedented speed, it gets more challenging to keep track of all the business processes across the globe. This is where you invest in a hosted small business phone system, where you can easily track and manage your business.
Real-time call monitoring and analysis help you better understand your customer behavior, evaluate employee productivity, view missed calls, ongoing calls, and ultimately optimize your business processes.
Above all, you always have a single point of contact – your virtual number, irrespective of the behind-the-scenes of your organization and can deliver Fabulous communication. A hosted PBX system gives you the power to manage your global presence from anywhere.
9. Improved Services
The extensive and intelligent set of features provided by a PBX phone system to transform a business communication platform. Data analytics, customer management, better voice quality, 360-degree view, on-hold music, AI-empowered conversation in the end work towards a single goal to enhance communication.
Most of these features are available at no extra cost with the service.
- Plan your campaigns backed by relevant data
- Delight your customers with lesser time on hold
- Uphold a consistent form of communication
And, the list goes on. It is about how well you can implement the service.
The best part of this service is that it isn’t complicated to use despite having such advanced features. You employees can use it with minimum training or by simply going through user documentation. This plug-and-play system is adaptable, scalable, and easy to use.
Why is Virtual PBX better than other phone systems?
Due to the lack of flexibility and unwanted bills, traditional phones have lost their importance almost everywhere. To top it all, the increasing popularity of cloud PBX features in startup businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs, or even small owner-managed businesses. It has scalability and esteemed quality communication service that, too, at a limited cost, is best suited for small businesses. If you want to know about the different types of virtual PBX phone systems, get in touch with CallHippo for a free product demo.