Virtual PBX systems can be a great solution for businesses in times when internal communication in companies is beginning to get strained yet remain as crucial as ever. Good business communication is key to maintaining the productivity of the business while remaining accessible to all via the internet. With businesses adopting hybrid workplace environments, virtual PBX systems are here to improve internal communication.
What Does Virtual PBX Do?
Offices have traditionally used a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to manage their phone traffic. This is a physical telephone system that transfers phone calls to intended recipients, plays music while people are on hold, gives users a menu they can access to find an extension, and so forth.
A PBX phone system (private branch exchange) within an organization allows employees to directly communicate internally using a phone line. This is different from PSTN networks that require multiple numbers for multiple users.
PBX systems use analog and digital signals to route call internally along with a limited number of outside lines or trunks, for external communication. A PBX system is owned and operated by the organization which allows them more freedom and security when it comes to internal communication.
Likewise, with the modern improvements in technology and the emergence of cloud-based technology, virtual PBX uses digital phone signals to send calls. Virtual PBX can be managed by service providers which help companies lower their overhead costs.
A Virtual PBX or IP PBX does all of this through a hosted service. The telephone system is outsourced to a private company that owns the hardware and provides phone services and call routing over the internet. Everything is automated and the system is set up to handle internal and external calls at the same time.
Features of Virtual PBX
Virtual PBX call centers can handle inbound and outbound calls and allow automation features:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR): voice automated routing system that allows callers to redirect the call to the desired party.
- Call monitoring: allows businesses that use virtual PBX systems to assess call center agent productivity and allow supervisors to provide training to improve gaps.
- Conference call: virtual PBX capabilities include conference calls to allow multiple members to communicate simultaneously.
- Softphone feature: the best part of virtual PBX systems is the ability for it to be accessed from desktops. This can allow for more mobility within your workforce and can be compliant with remote office employees.
- Software integrations: unlike the traditional PBX systems that were manual to use, a virtual PBX system can be integrated with solutions such as Customer Relationships Management Software (CRM) to help organize your customer base and streamline the customer care needs of your agents.
- Predictive dialer: allows for callers to call numbers automatically from a contacts management system or the integrated CRM system.
Benefits of Virtual PBX
The first is the overall amount of money saved by the company. You don’t need to purchase as much expensive phone hardware that has to be set up by a team of technicians. A Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) normally costs several thousand dollars and doesn’t include the substantial wiring and other required infrastructure.
Maintenance costs are largely nonexistent since the phone equipment is located off-premises. The virtual PBX hosting company is the one that makes sure that everything is in proper working condition and performs repairs on the hardware as needed. All the company has to do is pay a monthly fee that varies depending on the virtual PBX service plan that has been chosen.
Virtual PBX can also help smaller companies project a professional image to the public. The phone system is often the first point of contact between the business and the outside world, and the customer may hang up if they are kept waiting for too long or can’t get to where they need to go. The virtual PBX hosted system deals with these technical issues and helps to provide a good first impression.
Another great benefit of Virtual PBX systems are the advanced virtual PBX features they have available. Your company can have access to conference calls, videoconferencing, voicemail transcription, and an answering service when using virtual PBX. If you’d like statistical tracking of your phone calls, the virtual PBX hosting company can often provide that as well. These virtual PBX features tend to be offered à la carte, so you can pick and choose between the ones that you need.
Scalability is another advantage when adopting a Virtual PBX. You can quickly add phone lines to the office as new employees are hired, remove the virtual PBX phone line if it is no longer needed, and move the phone number to a different location if a person switches offices. This can help save the company money as it changes in size, and free up your technical staff since the virtual PBX process is usually quite simple.
Virtual PBX systems are also flexible about the type of phones that can be used by your employees. The desktop phone or softphone has to be SIP-compliant, but that is the only requirement and an extremely common feature in modern phones. You can thus choose from a wider variety of phone models than might otherwise be available to your company.
You can also get virtual phone numbers for businesses in multiple cities. This allows customers to call “local” numbers that are routed through the internet and connected to your virtual PBX phone system. The company can thus maintain a phone number for New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, or wherever is needed.
Virtual PBX systems are quickly growing in popularity and number. Virtual PBX provides a cost-effective means for small and mid-sized businesses to provide high-quality phone service, and a better chance to compete with larger businesses that generally have more money and hardware at their disposal.
To aid in selecting the best virtual PBX provider for your business, consult our virtual PBX phone systems buyer’s guide. You can compare the different competitors that are currently popular and select the right virtual PBX vendor for your business’s unique needs.