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The Complete Business Phone System Features Checklist

We’re here to make it easy for you to find the ultimate phone system for your business. Learn about the features that you HAVE to have in 2022.
Olivia Maier

Olivia Maier

10 min read

What we have for you today:

We are here to help you determine the best business phone system for you and your team. We’re going to start by going into the basics of business phone systems, as well as the different types of phone systems available today. From there, we’re going to give you a features checklist that will help you compare a variety of business phone system providers. That checklist will be broken down in four categories of features, and you will want to make sure that you are able to access features in all of the categories we mention.

We’ll even show you how to use the checklist as we compare some of the best business phone systems, including:

  • Yodel.io
  • Aircall
  • Dialpad
  • RingCentral

If that sounds good to you, then we are excited for you to read and become an expert on business phone systems, and to have the tools to make informed comparisons between providers.

What are Business Phone Systems?

A business phone system is a telephone system that is set up to allow multiple lines on the same business phone number. The phrase “business phone system” is a broad term that can describe many different types of phone systems.

When you think about modern phone systems, you probably think of cloud based phones. These phone systems are able to live in the cloud, meaning your business isn’t tied down to expensive servers and software. These phones are also internet based phone systems, which means that your calls are being transmitted over the internet instead of relying on old fashioned telephone cables. This can help you access a high quality, crystal clear form of voice communication.

Cloud phone systems use the latest technology and can offer extremely affordable options for your team, especially when compared to traditional systems. You can enjoy taking advantage of next generation features that have been typically reserved for large enterprises, no matter the size or style of your team. That is why today we will be focusing specifically on cloud based business phone systems, as these systems can offer a robust selection of features for your team while still being an attainable and attractive option.

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Complete Features Checklist:

We wanted to make it easy for you to understand the different features and components we will be discussing, so we have broken this list down into the following categories:

  • Enhancing your call experience
  • Organizing caller information
  • Improving your scalability
  • Facilitating collaboration

We will be discussing our top 16 features, four per category, that your team shouldn’t be living without. This checklist will also give you a brief description of each feature, as well as why we think these categories should be included as you consider different providers.

Let’s get started!

Enhancing your call experience: Improving the call experience for your callers and your team is probably one of your TOP phone communication priorities. These features can help you do exactly that, so make sure that your business phone provider is offering some or all of these options to your team:

  1. Welcome messages:

    Make sure that every interaction starts off with a customized greeting to keep your business communication feeling personal.

  2. Text messaging:

    Let your clients reach you, however it is most convenient for them! Make sure to take advantage of business SMS communication.

  3. Voice based IVR:

    Skip the old fashioned menu options, and instead route your callers accurately based on what they are saying in real time.

  4. Call button on website:

    Give your website visitors a way to directly call you, by implementing a clickable call button!

Organizing caller information: When it comes to your business phone system, you should ensure that caller data and information is easily accessible to your team, while always staying securely stored. Stay on top of your valuable information with the following features:

  1. Call tagging:

    Add customizable tags to your call log, so you can easily search through, sort, and aggregate information. This way you can easily access summaries or descriptions of completed calls.

  2. Voicemail transcriptions:

    Sometimes audio files aren’t convenient, and simply reading information would be easier. With automatic voicemail transcriptions, you can read voicemail messages at your convenience.

  3. Shared address book:

    You and your colleagues should always have one shared address book, to help prevent confusion across users. The best address books will come with contact synchronization capabilities.

  4. Encrypted calls

    Make sure that your callers and your team can rely on securely stored data and information. This can give everyone involved an additional peace of mind, while enhancing your ability to organize important information.

Improving your scalability: Your business phone system should be able to grow with your team. This means that it can be adopted whether you are growing your team size, locations, product offerings, and more!

  1. Pay per user:

    The best cloud business phone systems will offer payment plans that allow you to pay per user, per month. That way you are able to easily change the size of your team without having to worry about massive increases in phone communication expenses.

  2. International phone numbers:

    Whether you are expanding internationally, or simply want a local number in a variety of locations, you should consider virtual international phone numbers. There is no need to be PHYSICALLY in a location to take advantage of a local area code, and this will make your business more accessible to customers in that area.

  3. Flexible devices:

    Your team may already be using hardware phones, or be providing work computers to your team. However your team likes to operate, the best and most scalable phone systems will be accessible from a variety of device types. Especially look for mobile apps, desktop apps, web browsers, and hardware phone capabilities.

  4. Unlimited concurrent calls:

    Your team may grow in size, or receive a larger number of calls. Don’t set arbitrary limits on your phone capabilities, and instead opt for unlimited concurrent calls which will allow for unlimited parallel calls on the same phone number, at the same time.

Facilitating collaboration: Your team should be able to lean on one another when it comes to voice communication. Look for features that improve your ability to support one another throughout the phone communication process.

  1. Ring groups:

    Set up customizable groups who will all get notified of relevant incoming calls, such as creating a “support” ring group who can handle all relevant incoming inquiries. This way your calls can be distributed equally, and handled by available team members.

  2. Conferencing:

    Give your team the ability to join in, or just listen to, any of your incoming or outbound calls. This way you can keep everyone in the loop when necessary.

  3. Call whispering:

    Call whispering features will allow your team to “whisper” to one another while on a live call. This way you can communicate without the person on the other end of the call hearing or being confused by multiple agents handling their call.

  4. Smart integrations:

    The best way to keep everyone on the same page is to have your phone accessible across the business tools you are already using. Look for smart integrations with the tools your business is already using to enhance your collaboration capabilities.

This checklist should help you as you sort through a variety of cloud phone providers. Just by having this checklist, you are even closer to finding the perfect solution for your team.

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The Best Business Phone Systems

We’re going to apply our checklist to a few of the TOP business phone systems that are taking advantage of cloud technology.

We will discussing how each provider is able to help you as you search for features in the four categories we discussed early, which are:

  • Enhancing your call experience
  • Organizing caller information
  • Improving your scalability
  • Facilitating collaboration

While some business phone systems will be able to offer multiple features that were listed under each category, we are pointing out the features that each system is especially known for, or places more emphasis on. If you are looking to compare the checklist to any of these providers for a one to one comparison, we recommend going to their “Features” page to see a comprehensive list of what each provider offers!

Yodel.io

  1. Enhancing your call experience: Yodel is able to excel in this category, due to their incredible Voice IVR system. This system is able to accurately and efficiently route callers, helping to reduce waiting times and assisting in quicker call resolutions.
  2. Organizing caller information: Yodel is able to offer both voicemail and incoming call transcriptions. This way you can easily read through and sort important caller information in an accessible format.
  3. Improving your scalability: Yodel is able to offer best-in-class international virtual phone number offerings, which can include toll free options! This way as you grow, you can easily reach clients around the globe.
  4. Facilitating collaboration: Yodel is able to offer endless integration options, and is especially known for their native Slack integration.

Aircall

  1. Enhancing your call experience: Make your experience a little more personal with customizable greeting messages as well as custom music on hold.
  2. Organizing caller information: Aircall is able to offer a virtual call center platform, which can help larger teams organize their internal information effectively.
  3. Improving your scalability: While AIrcall is one of the more expensive options for cloud based business phone systems, they are able to offer pricing per user, per month making it a scalable option for your team.
  4. Facilitating collaboration: Aircall’s call monitoring features allow you to support your team, while enhancing the experience for your callers.

Dialpad

  1. Enhancing your call experience: If you are a part of a larger team, you may be interested in Dialpad’s Call Operator capabilities, which allows you to designate a team member to manually handle call routing.
  2. Organizing caller information: Caller information can be made available across team members and offices through a shared address book.
  3. Improving your scalability: Dialpad is accessible from multiple types of devices, which includes mobile phones as well as tablets. You can also take advantage of hardware devices you already are using.
  4. Facilitating collaboration: With Dialpad you can access live coaching and collaborating features helping to improve the quality of your sales teams.

RingCentral

  1. Enhancing your call experience: RingCentral is able to offer customizable call greetings as well as music on hold options to curate your call experience.
  2. Organizing caller information: Look at RingCentral’s call logs where you can access information such as the name of the caller, time, and date of the call.
  3. Improving your scalability: If you are a larger enterprise, you may benefit from RingCentral’s suite of products which can help you scale across multiple types of communication tools.
  4. Facilitating collaboration: Easily set your presence to show if you are currently working, away from the phone, or on a current call. This way your team will stay on the same page and know who is currently available.

In the End…

We hope that you can take advantage of our complete business phone system features checklist as you search for your new phone system. As we said, we recommend looking at cloud based systems as they are able to offer some of the most robust systems at some of the most accessible price ranges.

With this checklist in hand, you will be able to easily search through long lists of features to ensure that the tools your business needs will be within the provider you are looking at. You may even find some new and exciting features that fit within each of the categories we mentioned. Remember, our checklist is a great starting point, but you can always search for more features that will fit your needs best!

If you are looking to get started with a business phone system that can give you access to ALL of the features mentioned on our checklist, then test out Yodel today! You can get started with a free trial, as well as receive personalized advice through one of our demo calls.

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