Phone system technology has advanced considerably in recent years. Innovation within the telecom industry now means the way we communicate both at work and in our social lives is now almost unrecognizable from just two decades ago.
It wasn’t too long ago that a multi line phone system was one that had to operate from a switchboard that directed the caller to the right phone line. An alternative multi line system was simply the placement of multiple phone sockets around an office space.
However the technologies that now support modern day multi line phone systems offer greater flexibility, improved call quality and no requirement for vast amounts of equipment. This is a huge advantage for small businesses looking to compete with larger competitors with the use of a multi line system.
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What Benefits Are You Looking For In a Multi Line Phone System?
As a business owner, your organization may receive many calls over the course of the average day but the requirements of your business will vary greatly depending on the size of your enterprise and the industry you operate within. Some businesses receive more calls than others and larger companies have even greater demands for a phone system. A multi line phone systems are beneficial for businesses that:
Require each employee to have their own extension with a direct dial number
Would like all of your employees to have the ability to make an external call from their phone handset on their desk
Would like to provide your customers with dedicated numbers to reach certain departments
All of these options and more are now available with modern day phone systems. Whatever requirements you have a small business telephone system should have the capacity to grow with your business and be scalable in line with your growth strategy.
One important consideration to make when choosing the best multi line phone system for your small business is to remember it often doesn’t matter how many lines you have into your business, the important factor is integrating your phone system with key business processes. A system that is surplus to requirements or doesn’t support your business as you want it to will not only cost you a lot of money but it will waste resources too, something no small business can afford.
Working with a dedicated phone system provider will help you understand your business processes in detail and what type of system you would benefit from.
Advantages of Multi Line Phone Systems for Small Business
The key advantage to a multi line phone system is that your business open a number of communication channels with key stakeholders at the same time. There is nothing worse for your customer service standards than to have an irritated customer calling to find they are met with a ‘busy’ tone.
One of the main benefits of a multi line phone system is that you can connect several lines to each phone allowing colleagues to transfer calls or switch phone lines with a simple press of a button. If you need to make an urgent telephone call but a colleague is already on the phone, all you have to do is press a button on your telephone to take up an available line.
Call waiting features are also available on many multi line phone systems. Employees can place a caller on hold while also taking an incoming call. Call forwarding can be set up so if a member of staff is away at a meeting or annual leave, their calls can be re-routed to another colleague during their absence.
The setup of a multi line system is super simple. No complex hardware to maintain and a customizable user interface, small business owners are in full control of their systems.
Traditional telephone systems have a dedicated line so moving premises means a whole new set of phone numbers which can cause problems. With the multi line phone system, your phone numbers go with you as many of the systems use IP connectivity.
There’s nothing worse than having a poor quality line when you are having an important conversation with potential customer. With a multi line system, clarity is improved which significantly enhances the call quality for both you and the caller.
How Multi Line Phone Systems Work
Multi line phone systems operate in a similar way to a regular phone, but the lines have been split. Once the lines have been split it allows a business to connect two phones into the same telephone but each function independently. A multi line phone features an extension so additional phones can be attached. In the majority of instances, both phones will ring at the same time and the call can be picked up at either location. Some systems allow for one phone to ring and the other to display a flashing light.
Using a multi line splitter, the phone line will be separated into two or more lines so more phones can be added. A splitter is connected at the telephone socket and requires nothing more than some additional cables.
Choosing the Best Multi Line Phone System for Your Small Business
When managing a small business you need a phone system that you can rely on but there are several things that you should take into consideration. This could be something as simple as the telephone number right or how much it’s all going to cost through to addressing more complicated business requirements such as supporting your business or incorporating features such as voicemail, call divert and caller display.
Any type of multi line phone system whether it’s has a two line or four line capacity would bring a number of benefits to your business because they can significantly improve communication channels, support your existing processes and are flexible enough to adapt as your business grows.
Cost – Any small business understands that every penny counts. With a multi line phone system, the cost of calls are usually much lower than a standard phone line, this is usually because many of the multi line systems now operate through the internet. In addition, telephone numbers are hosted in the cloud so you don’t have to pay costly line rentals and all the system hardware and maintenance is taken care of by the provider leaving you with more time to focus on your business than worrying about a complex technical glitch with your phone system.
Increased productivity – Multi line phone systems can be routed quickly which increases customer satisfaction and frees up employee time so they can work on other things.
Professionalism – A small business is rapidly changing. With a regular phone system this can lead to problems, but with a multi line system it will support a busy entrepreneur whether they are working in a shared office and require their own line or from a spare room at home. When a business needs to grow, more lines can be added to the system without having to install a whole new phone network. It also conveys a greater degree of professionalism having a dedicated phone number that customers can contact rather than simply a mobile number.
Functionality – Many multi line systems are extremely flexible allowing businesses to add or remove numbers, integrate voicemail, set up call forwarding and much more, offering a far greater range of services than a standard phone system.
Collaboration – If you have a remote team, a multi line phone system can improve collaboration and maintain communications. Calls can be re-routed to their mobiles meaning that calls don’t go unanswered.
Customer Service – Using a multi line phone system gives customers confidence. They will recognize that you have a good set up and a strong team who are responsive to customer service requests. Phone lines can make a significant impact on your day to day business operations.
Two Line Phone Systems
2 Line phone systems are ideal for a small company or home based business owner because they feature a range of functions such as voicemail and call forwarding but they can keep business and personal calls separate. A 2 line phone system will have two separate lines with two telephone numbers.
These systems operate by having two separate telephone lines connecting to the same device. Popular with start up businesses or companies who are in the early stages of growth, two phone lines can prove crucial to enhancing customer service and improving communications.
A 2 line phone system will offer a range of benefits to both small start up businesses and medium sized enterprises. A business can enjoy multiple benefits associated with such phone lines because there are multiple ways of handling and processing calls allowing a business to deal with two calls at the same time. This not only facilitates multitasking but it makes a big difference when handling your day to day operations. 2 line phones are also popular with home based businesses because they allow business and home life to be kept separately.
As technology continues to develop, telephone lines are becoming more advanced with the 2 line system being just one of the many improvements in telephone communications. As the years progress, VoIP technologies will continue to develop and other systems will be launched which offer a greater choice of options to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers.
Small business owners are more likely to use a 2 phone line system because these types of business are usually in the early stages of starting up and may either use a small home office to manage the day to day operations or work within a shared office. A 2 phone line system will avoid receiving work phone calls on a personal home telephone number.
Larger businesses are able to use a two line phone system to manage different areas of their business such as one for general customer enquiries and then another line to handle technical queries. Within a larger business it is not unheard of for there to be a four, six or even twelve line phone system which has been installed to serve the complex communication requirements of a larger business.
Four Line Phone Systems
4 line phone systems are often used for larger businesses or those with small teams, so that each member of the team can have their own telephone line and make use of it when other people are also making and receiving calls. A 4 line phone system could allow 16 telephones to be used, managing 4 incoming or outgoing calls at the same time. It is important to understand how many phone lines your business needs before you start purchasing anything so you are not investing money in something that you don’t need or paying for extra lines that are going unused.
The Best Multi Line Phone Systems Comparison
Business phone systems are an essential piece of kit for any business. Multi line networks can offer greater flexibility and with dedicated lines, business can come across as being more professional and organized which leaves a great impression with customers.
Below are five reviews of the top multi line phone systems currently available to help take your business communications to the next level.
Editor Rating: Price: $119
This multi line phone system includes the DECT 6.0 technology offering businesses clarity in terms of communication and long range coverage. Supports a 2 line answer system and features a caller identification and can store up to 14 minutes of digital recording on each line.
With a convenient and practical tilt base it has an easy viewing angle to clearly see who is calling and who has called.
Two line operation is great for a busy household or a home office worker allowing you to store 50 contacts. Intercom facilities are also available.
Editor Rating: Price: $160
The Panasonic KX-TG9541B offers a number of built in featuring including the integration with Bluetooth offering a hands free feature and it can transfer up to 600 contacts from a mobile device that is compatible with the software. With a functional voice equalizer you can also adjust the tone of an incoming call to enhance clarity and make calls easier to understand. A built in dual answering system can record up to 40 minutes of messages.
Also featuring DECT 6.0 Plus technology, this Panasonic model offers business owners the reliability they need and call quality that customers expect. Supporting a good range and optimum clarity as well as digital cordless handsets this is a great product for any business owner.
Editor Rating: Price: $169
With 30 minutes recording time and a large LCD for caller ID, this phone makes an ideal addition to any busy office. Other features include 100 contact phone book and an extensive 50 number dialed history along with third party conferencing, message waiting light and speakerphone allowing seamless business operations.
Making and receiving calls has never been easier with the Uniden model. A two line cordless phone, it has an advanced answering system, can easily manage a frequency range of 1.9GHz to ensure optimum levels of security and clarity.
Editor Rating: Price: $60
Businesses and callers can enjoy the advanced call quality and it won’t suffer from any interference with wireless networks or other devices and it includes all of the latest security features too. With caller ID features, call waiting and a host of other useful functions, this phone is an ideal choice for any business.
A leading brand in the electronics world, the VTech phone is both expandable to incorporate 12 handsets and comes with DECT 6 technology.
Editor Rating: Price: $60
The phone can easily switch frequencies to meet the requirements of the call and it will deliver clear calls with long range and no interference. A dual keypad and 50 caller ID, this practical and convenient office phone can effortlessly manage your calls. Manage four way conferencing and integrate it with Wi-Fi networks, this phone has all the features that you would need for your business or home office.
The Panasonic model is a reliable handset that businesses can count on. With a 5.8GHz cordless phone it makes managing your calls fast and simple.
6. AT&T ML17939 2-Line Speakerphone
Editor Rating: Price From: $79
The AT&T ML17939 2-line phone is designed for small businesses, providing a range of features that improve productivity and the overall communications process of small operations.
Highlights for Small Businesses
Make and receive calls on two different lines
Automated answering system
Caller ID & Waiting
Automatic line selection
100 contact phone book directory
A cordless 2-line phone system offers added flexibility for small businesses and can aid collaboration with callers no longer confined to their desks when making or receiving calls.
7. Vtech DECT 2 Line Cordless Phone
Editor Rating: Price From: $65
The Vtech Dect 2 line cordless phone system combines both a traditional office phone technology with cordless options for communication on the move.
Highlights for Small Businesses
Option to expand to 12 handsets
Increased security with encrypted calls
Mail box for each separate line
Caller ID & Call waiting
Handset message retrieval
A popular range with solutions for a range of budgets, from one of the largest and most respected business phone manufacturers.
8. AT&T 1070 4-Line Phone
Editor Rating: Price From: $129
The AT&T 1070 4-line phone is an easy to use, simple to scale phone system that is perfect for small businesses looking to grow quickly and improve their communications structure.
Highlights for Small Businesses
Easy to expand system
Lighted line indicators
Last 6 number redial
A 4-line phone system offers a lot of flexibility for startups and small businesses and with this expandable network of phones it is also easy to add to your telecoms system if you need to add more handsets.
9. RCA 25423RE1 4-Line Speakerhone
Editor Rating: Price From: $99
Expandable up to 16 handsets the RCA 4-line phone system model offers small businesses a feature rich handset as well as added flexibility and enhanced sound quality.
Highlights for Small Businesses
Option to expand to 16 handsets
Cordless handset available
16 Number speed dial
Line switch feature
A stylish design means this handset won’t be out of place in even the most modern of offices. This along with a range of top features and great price point make it highly cost effective.