All you need to know about the good ol’ PBX

If you are a growing business on the look-out for optimizing your call center experience, you are on the right page. Here's what we've got for you on the world of PBX systems.

What is Virtual PBX?

What is PBX?

Here’s the thing about complicated technical (read dull) abbreviations, no matter what, it’s a ritual to first know what they stand for! And we are going to do exactly that. :D

PBX (or Private Branch Exchange) is a business centered phone set-up that doubles up as a convenient way to talk to customers (external) alongside communicating with colleagues from within the same org (internal).

But, you can ask, why can’t I use my personal phone (aptly called: Plain Old Telephone System) to make these calls. How difficult can it be?
All you probably need is a different SIM card for your business contacts right?
Well, unless you are a business, minting money or does business as a hobby, you might want to know what a PBX phone system is and save some bucks ;)

How to make the best use of a PBX

Whether you are a small business that can typically fit within a closet or a swiftly growing business where bumping into a lot of new faces becomes the norm, home telephones will not be able to keep up with your growth and call load.

So, let’s see what exactly adapting to a PBX brings to your business and how to do it best.

Better communication:

Be it the comfort of dialing a colleague sitting several rooms away or quickly redirecting a needful caller to the right department, a PBX works like a patch of tempered chocolate—smooth, perfect and bang on. PBX helps the internal communication within your organization fall in place with very minimal constraints.

Since a PBX can be customized to accommodate as many users as possible, you can have your entire team connected well w.r.t calls that come in and the ones that need to be transferred. This kind of neat communication would eventually give your customers a well-rounded experience consistently.

Contextual conversation:

Except for the dear old radio and possibly a bunch of classic records, no one likes to explain themselves over and over again. And when it’s a customer who calls you up, they sure are desperate for a quick solution. But there is only so much that one can do with a bunch of traditional phone systems. That’s where a PBX helps each agent in your team be in sync with every other customer call that comes in.

With being able to access contextual information through power features like call recording and automatic call logs, a PBX nails it in terms of taking the customer experience a notch higher than usual. This not only saves so much time but also makes your customers delighted with how you work.

Professional semblance:

Be it a first date or a first hello with a customer on call, the first few seconds define a lot on how their relationship with your brand builds on. It’s always classy to come by as a brand that’s professional in handling your business. With a well-fitting PBX to support your customer interactions, you don’t have to worry about being all over the place.

Missing out on calls, messing up with unorganized call transfers and long wait times can be thrown out of your system with the smart features of a PBX—call routing, conferencing, auto receptionist, and call back options to name a few. This way it becomes easier for you to replicate good customer experience often and with style. This will keep your customers coming back to you your brand for a long long time.

Long term cost saving:

A PBX is more or less like a good old bottle of wine. You’ll see its effect add up most, over the long run. Even though the initial setup might be a little daunting in terms of adapting to change and all the work involved, it is a one time investment. With a fully functional PBX in place, your employees can work with a specific number of shared phone lines as against the traditional ones that demand a separate line for each employee.

Also, with a traditional phone system, every call made—even if it’s to a colleague working right across the floor, the call goes all the way to the local exchange before connecting through and is treated as a brand new costing you plenty. But, for a call made through the PBX, you’ll not be charged at all. This way you get to save big, both in terms of hardware and resource.

Smart resource utilization:

On what would you like seeing your call center agents invest their time? Looking up directories and call log sheets to spot the right phone numbers to dial up, or get down to business, pick that call up and sweep your customers off their feet with some really good quality support. Well of course, it all comes down to business at the end of the day.

So making use of the right technology (a good PBX) to minimize all the manual work and creating the right environment for your phone team is important. This eventually helps them focus more on a call and its quality rather than being worked up with logging calls and other operational tasks. Make the right use of every resource at hand and leave the rest for the PBX to take care of.

Streamlined call management:

With a PBX in place, you have the luxury of knowing the number of calls that step in and out your business phone system without having to wait till the end of the month for your bill. A more frequent analysis of call volume in a PBX gives you the possibility of reorganizing your entire phone team to work better.

With this analysis you’ll also get to know the most busy line from the leaner ones. You can now move some of your agents to the lines with more demand. This way you can ensure a healthy work environment where no single agent is over or under worked. This way you can very cautiously streamline your call center operations.

What type of PBX to choose for your business

Eeenie meenie miney mo? No. There has to be a better way of doing this. Let’s see. Now that we’ve weighed out on how much better a PBX is for a business, we need to move to the next important question—what are the different types of PBXes up for use and how are they different from each other.

Traditional on-premise PBX (The sedentary workaholic)

What is it?
Being the first PBX to come into use, these systems “traditionally” use the age old landlines to facilitate business calls. You can think of them as the Netflix and chill type who love to be glued to the work desk. Meaning, these PBX systems are fitted to your work desk and can’t be moved around or answered from where ever you wish to.

What are its pros and cons?
Even though these PBX systems are the best in terms of reliability and voice quality since they have dedicated phone lines, they have their drawbacks. These PBX phone systems involve a good amount of hardware, wires and physical labour to operate with. Hence, their maintenance, set-up and configuration costs are mighty.

So, what’s the verdict?
If your business has already been using an on-premise PBX and are comfortable paying the expenses that come with it, you can continue using them. But for someone looking to move to a PBX newly, it’s better to opt for ones that are easy to set-up and maintain.

IP PBX (The progressive hitch-hiker)

What is it?
These are PBXs that don’t use much of hardware but still use a physical phone or a software to carry out their call center operations.

What are its pros and cons?
The best part about this type of PBX is its flexibility in being able to connect over the internet and do all this from your company’s computer network. You don’t have to invest in a separate provider like in case of a traditional PBX. Also, since this allows you to operate over a single provider, your billing and licensing concerns are simplified.

So, what’s the verdict?
These systems are ideal for a team who needs a physical phone as a matter of habit and convenience and yet want to save big on the cost and step back from the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep.

Virtual PBX (The free-spirited explorer on the Cloud)

What is it?
Now, this PBX is the most forward and most recent of PBXs where there is zero hardware and installation required. The whole PBX setup is hosted virtually over the cloud.

What are its pros and cons?
You don’t have to worry about the bulky hardware or the complexity of an on-premise system tying you to your desk. You have the freedom of working from the comfort of where ever you want. All you need is a laptop with good internet connectivity. All the data and operations are maintained by a third party provider and you won’t be responsible for upkeep and maintenance.

So, what’s the verdict?
This is a very convenient and low cost option that’ll make your whole call center experience elegant and convenient, helping you focus on the more important things. And especially if you are a small business who really don’t have to worry about the call load and team size, this is your best bet.

Freshcaller, the best PBX system for small business

Freshcaller is a virtual PBX using which you can purchase local and toll-free phone numbers in 50+ countries. Traditionally businesses have always been worried about the technical know-how required to implement these solutions. With Freshcaller, you can set up your business call center in two minutes.

  • You can start with the $0 plan while being able to add unlimited team members.
  • You can upgrade whenever based on the complexity of the phone system you need and your team size.
  • You do not have to invest in training sessions since the software is simple and easy to use.
  • There are zero maintenance charges as there is no hardware involved in your call center solution.

Freshcaller being a cloud-based call center software ensures that you do not have to download any software to start phone communication. It also means that your data will never be lost owing to local failures or natural disasters occurring at your office location. Rest assured, there will be no single point of failure for your call data.

The preferred call center software

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