Multi-line Phone Systems
Purchasing a telephone system for your business, whatever size it is, can be a daunting, costly and time consuming task. It's therefore worth taking a closer look at what's out there.
Which Multi-line Phone System?
Residential telephones generally work by a single line entering the building which is then wired in to one or more outlets. As the telephone rings any member of the household can pick up the phone, at any extension, to speak to the caller.
Two telephone lines entering the house is also fairly common especially if a business is run from home and the calls need to be kept separate. For business purposes, multi-line or PBX systems are most commonly used. These work in different ways. Multi-line phones are the simplest to use. Using a single phone, a maximum of 8 to 10 lines, which all have a separate telephone number, can be answered across a working environment. Users can be allocated a specific line number to answer. A light blinks alongside the line ringing and if the caller is busy the line will give a busy signal or go to voicemail.
Multi-line phones require a manual operation so in larger businesses a receptionist can be used to divert and transfer calls. PBX systems use automation to transfer calls without the requirement of a manual operator. This works by the caller either knowing the extension required by keying it into their own telephone keypad or by listening to an automated list of options and choosing the appropriate one.
Larger businesses tend to use these systems to direct callers to the correct department thus avoiding receptionists.
What Multi-line Phone Systems are Available?
There are many companies that sell multi-line phone systems. Examples of these with prices you can expect to pay are as follows:
Panasonic offer a wide range of multi-line telephone systems ranging from the basic 2-line phone up to 2 and 4 line expandable systems.
Shipping of the product is around 1-3 days and customer support provisions can be found on their website. Products come with a 12 month warranty which is extendable for up to 3 years for a small charge from their SquareTrade protection plan.
The basic 2-line KX-TS208W is Hearing Aid Compatable (HAC), has a 16 digit LCD screen and has 20 one touch stations for frequently dialed numbers. It currently retails at $45.
For around $100 the KX-TS4100B is available. This is a 4-line integrated phone system with speakerphone facilities which can be expanded to a 16-line system.
If answerphone capabilities are required the KX-TS4300B has a 60 minute digital answering system.
This model, which currently costs $160, is a 4-line integrated system and is also Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC). It also has a speakerphone among its many other features.
Read more: Panasonic
Mitel are a company that offers multi-line system solutions to a wide range of businesses. They provide a toll-free telephone service for customer support, sales and service alongside online chat and e-mail. Products available include:
MiVoice 5312 - A multi-line IP phone for desktops, this model is suitable for offices providing customer sales and support, teleworkers and support staff.
It has many features including 12 programmable function keys and a 20 character LCD screen. The 5312 currently retails at $175.
For $250, the MiVoice 5320 IP phone is available. This is an entry level multi-line phone system for businesses that require enhanced applications.
The top of the range Mitel MiVoice 5360 IP phone costs in the region of $600. Among its many high specification features it has excellent sound quality and a large touchscreen display with easy to use access to the system's features and applications.
Read more: Mitel
Prices vary greatly between companies, so when seeking the right telephone system solution for your business it's always worth shopping around for the best deal and after sale support.