Office Telephone Systems Have to Be Dependable – Here’s What You Need to Know
An interoffice phone system that replaces traditional single-line telephones can increase productivity. It reduces time spent hunting for phone numbers and increases call reliability across short distances. There are several options to consider when selecting a phone system for your business.
Multiline or PBX
Multiline telephones are designed for small office settings where a receptionist or answering machine is present. A central phone system links to up to ten other individual phone lines throughout an office and separates them by extensions like “Line 3” or “Line 4.” When someone calls the central telephone number, a receptionist can forward callers to the appropriate “Line” to complete their call.
Phone branch exchange (PBX) systems work by automating the process of forwarding calls with a prerecorded message or ability to dial an extension during menu options. PBX systems are better suited to large businesses who will continue to add additional lines and will need to digitally forward multiple calls across departments.
Multiline telephones are cheaper than PBX systems because of their simplicity. Multiline systems allow for each telephone to have their own phone number, or be routed through a central phone that a receptionist can forward. If the separate phone number rings and the line is currently busy, the caller will be directed to voicemail.
Depending on the business type, multiline phones sometimes feature the option to use “rollover” calling. Rollover calls are when multiple incoming calls occur simultaneously. As calls come in, if the current telephone line is in use, the second or third callers will be passed on to the other unoccupied phones on the system. This feature is most commonly seen in customer service offices where the next available representative takes calls in the order that they’re received.
While PBX systems are more difficult to install than a multiline telephone, the benefits and reliability of their service is unmatched. PBX telephones use a buffer or electronic message to prompt callers. They are given menu and dialing options and oftentimes the extension can be dialed at any time during the message.
It’s also possible to call the central office number with the extension amended to the end of the telephone number to be immediately connected to the person you’re trying to reach. PBX makes it easy to make interoffice phone calls by using the same extensions that outside callers would use. While multiline phones require each individual phone number to be working properly, PBX uses a single phone line to make phone calls within an office by routing all signals through the central phone number and using personalized phone extensions instead. To function properly, PBX systems use “dial out” numbers that must precede outside phone numbers to get outside of the PBX internal system. This is heard commonly as, “dial 9 to get out” in office environments.