The small business phone line is far from dead. Even in the age of email, chatbots, and social media, the phone remains the preferred method for consumers when they need to contact a small business. In fact, about 60% of consumers prefer using the phone to other methods.
It’s not hard to understand why; phone lines remain a secure and reliable way for customers to contact small businesses. Phone calls are also one of the fastest ways to get information. Compared to waiting for an email or chat response, handling a difficult issue over the phone is efficient. Talking on the phone is also more personal, which many customers crave in today’s digital world.
In short, a small business phone system provides a human connection that your business can count on.
How small businesses use phone lines
Being able to talk to your customers, partners, and vendors on the phone can have broad impacts on how your business and your brand is perceived. Take customer service for example: over a third of US participants in a survey stated that having the opportunity to speak with a human agent can make or break a customer service experience. While many customer service methods have gone completely digital, a phone line offers a direct human connection.
How to choose a phone system for your small business
Begin by assessing your small business needs. You may need phone systems for internal work and external work. Then determine which members of your team will need to use the phone and how frequently.
If your team handles a high volume of calls on a regular basis, it may be worth considering adding another phone line. Multiple phone lines help your team communicate efficiently, both externally (with customers, vendors, and partners) and internally (fostering better collaboration). These systems allow more than one person to be on the phone at any given time and allow your team to transfer calls quickly.
Dedicated phone lines are beneficial when your customers or clients have dedicated point-of-contact, like an account manager or real estate agent. Your customers will no longer be caught in the loop of trying to find the right person and being transferred indefinitely. Additional phone lines will provide a more catered customer service experience to get customer needs taken care of.
Solopreneurs may work out of the home and adding a second phone line can help you keep business and personal calls separate, helping you work more efficiently. You may also be able to use that extra line as a tax deduction, especially if you only use it for business calls.
Keep in mind that if your team needs to send faxes, uses point-of-sale (POS) systems, or your office has a security system, you may need a dedicated phone line to support those tools.
Different phone solutions
A small business phone system can come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some of the options to consider:
Traditional phone lines
Traditional phone line systems are reliably clear and the most secure. With virtually no delays or lag time, this type of business phone lets you communicate with your customers in real-time. This phone system usually includes voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and call forwarding.
Multiline phone systems
Similar to a traditional phone line system, multiline systems use telephone wires to transmit calls. But these systems have the added benefit of allowing more than one person to be on the phone at any given time.
Digital phone options
Digital phone systems, like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), leverage your internet connection to send and receive phone calls. This is a great option for small businesses with high speeds. These systems also allow your team to instant message, share files, or videoconference. Note that if your current internet has low bandwidth, a traditional phone line system will be the best option because there won’t be enough bandwidth to support your phone needs efficiently.
As your business adapts to new circumstances and situations, you may find that you need a phone solution that can too. At CenturyLink, we offer small business phone lines with crystal-clear, high-quality calling, and a range of features. To learn more, visit our website or give us a call.