PBX Starter Guide: Learn The Basics

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Nextiva is among the most versatile and well-rounded choices for utilizing a cloud-based PBX system. New Nextiva prospects can receive a 30% discount when signing up for the service.

PBX, or public department trade, is a personal phone system that makes use of {hardware} and software program to route calls slightly than forcing people to route the calls manually. Although PBX historically consists of on-premise {hardware} and software program, cloud PBX companies are rising in recognition. These companies present you all of the {hardware} and software program, operating by way of your present telephone system.

The 4 Best Business Phone Services for PBX

Selecting a PBX system is dependent upon the options which can be most essential for you. We put collectively an inventory of the most effective enterprise telephone companies that can assist you decide which service matches your PBX wants most intently.

  • Nextiva — Best for many
  • RingCentral — Best for hybrid or distant work
  • GoTo Connect — Best for getting a wealth of options in a primary plan
  • Ooma — Best for small companies needing a simple setup

How PBX Works

When choosing a PBX system, you may select an on-premises PBX or a cloud-based PBX.

Your PBX system is the interior phone community in your firm. It manages the routing of calls from exterior sources. It permits your workers to make calls to one another. It permits for outbound calls as properly. 

The PBX system gives superior calling options that make phone communications as easy as attainable. In a simplistic method, consider the PBX because the automated reply to the outdated days of getting a human operator sit in entrance of a switchboard and transfer cables among the many varied ports to route calls.

The {hardware} required to run your PBX system is dependent upon the kind of PBX you wish to use. 

  • On-premises PBX: When you choose an on-premise PBX system, you want telephone {hardware} for every person. You additionally want software program to handle the system, a server to host the software program, and PBX routing {hardware}. 
  • Cloud-based PBX: With a cloud-based PBX, additionally known as a hosted PBX, you handle your individual telephone {hardware} in your customers. The software program, PBX routing {hardware}, and server {hardware} used to run the system exist with the cloud supplier. You entry the software program by way of a high-speed web connection.

The setup course of for an on-prem PBX system might be fairly advanced. Your firm in all probability would want to rent somebody to arrange the PBX {hardware} on-site with the communications options that you simply wish to use. Some firms have system directors who’ve the expertise wanted to arrange and handle the system, however it’s a problem. 

Setting up your individual PBX might be far simpler for those who use a cloud-based PBX system. 

Advantages of On-Premises PBX

With the PBX {hardware} and software program on-site at your organization, you at all times have full management of your telephone system. You don’t have to fret a couple of cloud PBX supplier all of the sudden having an outage or going out of enterprise, leaving your telephone system inoperable. 

With an on-prem PBX, your web connection high quality doesn’t management your phone system. If your web connection is shaky or intermittent, you might have very poor telephone name high quality with a cloud PBX, and also you additionally might have frequent dropped calls.

If you want the thought of solely permitting calls to undergo the system, an on-prem PBX provides you this selection. Employees can not use the system when working remotely except you add digital capabilities (utilizing the Internet) to your on-prem PBX.

Although the on-prem PBX system typically has fairly a little bit of expense related to it initially, its value over the system’s lifespan typically is decrease than a cloud PBX. However, with an on-prem PBX system, additionally, you will have {hardware} improve and upkeep prices that it’s essential to bear sooner or later. If you will have common {hardware} failures, the price will enhance shortly.

Ultimately, some firms merely want the on-premises PBX as a result of it’s confirmed to work. Although cloud-based PBX continues to develop in recognition and works properly for a lot of firms, the on-premises PBX has a long time of success behind it.

Advantages of Cloud PBX

Screenshot from Nextiva's products cloud pbx page showing what is cloud PBX? with description answering the question.
A cloud PBX system gives phone communications in your firm throughout an web connection.

When utilizing a cloud-based PBX, your organization will subscribe to a PBX service from a enterprise telephone service, as we clarify in our Nextiva review. Some firms want the per-user, per-month subscription value discovered with a cloud PBX as a result of it’s a recognized, mounted quantity. It’s simpler to funds for the month-to-month value versus the variable prices of buying the {hardware} and software program for an on-premises system.

The cloud PBX presents various built-in options which can be attainable with the on-premises PBX however which may be tougher to make use of. For instance, the cloud PBX robotically gives assist for cell units, automated name recording, and built-in video conferencing.

When your organization’s communications wants are continuously altering and evolving, the pliability of a cloud PBX could suit your wants higher. The on-premises PBX is nowhere close to as versatile. 

You can request a rise in name capability at any time with a cloud PBX, corresponding to when you will have additional telephone site visitors across the holidays. You can then return to your unique capability as soon as your busy time ends. Adding short-term capability for inbound calls is much extra sophisticated with the on-premises telephone system.

Although you might fear about downtime with a cloud PBX system, the truth is that the most effective enterprise telephone companies declare a minimum of 99.999% uptime. A cloud-based PBX provides you almost worry-free efficiency so long as you will have a dependable, high-speed web connection.

Automated Features in a Cloud PBX

Screenshot from Nextiva's features and voip admin portal web page showing a call flow graphic with short description of their service.
A cloud-based PBX can automate many points of your inbound telephone system, together with utilizing IVR.

Beyond inbound and outbound name administration, a PBX can present various different options, ought to your enterprise want them. Some of the most effective automated options obtainable in a cloud-based PBX embody auto attendant companies and an IVR (interactive voice response).

Rather than dedicating your customer support staff to answering the preliminary inbound name, you should utilize an auto attendant that’s constructed into the PBX. The auto attendant serves as a digital receptionist for inbound calls. It solutions the decision after which directs the caller to press a button on the telephone to route the decision. 

To arrange the auto attendant and IVR with Nextiva, you may benefit from a instrument known as Call Flow Builder. The setup course of works like constructing a movement chart, so you may see precisely how totally different instructions from the caller will have an effect on the routing of the decision. By designing the decision movement with this instrument, you might be positive the IVR is sending calls to the proper location.

For a small firm with just a few locations for routing inbound calls, a primary auto attendant could serve your wants properly. However, in case you have extra advanced necessities for an auto attendant, you might wish to take into account activating an IVR along with your cloud PBX.

The IVR system solutions the decision, just like the auto attendant, however it presents extra superior options. With an IVR enabled, you may have callers press buttons on the telephone to activate actions in a menu. You even have the flexibility to let callers give verbal instructions to the IVR system to elucidate the aim of the decision.

If you activate the voice instructions operate within the IVR, the system can reply easy questions that callers could have. Rather than having a customer support staff member present your mailing tackle or retailer hours, the IVR system can present this sort of data upon request.

One last automated function typically present in a cloud PBX is name queuing. When all of your customer support staff members are engaged in telephone calls, the PBX can place different calls on maintain. It can play maintain music and allow them to know estimated wait occasions.

Training Tools in a Cloud PBX

Screenshot of Nextiva's dashboard showing various call data.
Nextiva’s cloud-based PBX gives various statistics about name quantity and the efficiency of your customer support staff.

When you wish to measure the efficiency of your customer support staff and supply coaching, a cloud PBX system may also help. 

With a cloud PBX like Nextiva, you will have the choice of robotically recording all incoming calls. Administrators can use the recordings to coach staff members on higher methods to deal with sure conditions. They can also spotlight recordings of extraordinarily profitable customer support calls.

If a dispute arises with a buyer after a name to your staff, use the automated recording within the cloud PBX to find out precisely what occurred. If the dispute might result in a authorized downside in your firm, having the recording might be invaluable.

With Nextiva, the administrator can select to have all calls recorded for a specific person, to don’t have any calls recorded, or to permit the worker to activate and switch off name recording.

Additionally, your cloud PBX system ought to present detailed analytics about your customer support staff’s efficiency on inbound calls. The PBX system can measure issues like:

  • Time per name
  • Time till the decision reached the proper particular person
  • Average variety of staff members who spoke to the shopper on a single name
  • Calls answered per day
  • Calls misplaced per day
  • Average variety of calls at totally different occasions of the day (which may also help with having the proper variety of staff members on the telephones)

You can see measurements for the staff as a complete or for particular person staff members. 

From a coaching standpoint, if one staff member is efficiently finishing calls sooner than others, you might wish to incorporate a number of the strategies that that staff member is utilizing. The statistics can also level out areas the place your IVR system could also be struggling to route calls correctly.

Managing Remote Workers in a Cloud PBX

A screenshot from Nextiva showing a mobile phone, hardline phone, and a laptop to communicate their mobile device service solutions.
When deploying a cloud PBX by way of Nextiva, you may simply handle distant staff who’re accessing the community by way of a cell machine off-site.

With many firms permitting workers to work remotely every so often, a PBX system wants to have the ability to assist these customers. With a cloud-based PBX like Nextiva, workers can use an web connection to the PBX. They can hook up with the community from a desktop pc at residence or from a cell phone whereas out of the workplace. 

The distant worker nonetheless has full entry to the PBX’s options. They can take part in audio conferences. They can settle for inbound calls and have the PBX system embody their name numbers within the analytics.

If having distant staff members use the cloud PBX is particularly essential to you, pay shut consideration to the app that the PBX system gives. Remote customers ought to hook up with the cloud PBX system by way of both a desktop or cell app. A poorly designed app within the cloud PBX might frustrate your distant staff.

Additionally, by choosing a cloud PBX system that permits distant customers to attach by way of an app, there’s no have to buy additional {hardware}. Those working remotely can use their very own telephone and desktop pc by way of the app. They don’t must buy particular {hardware} gadgets appropriate with the cloud PBX system.

When distant staff entry the cloud PBX system, having name encryption obtainable is essential. Encryption protects the information because it travels throughout the web from the cloud supplier’s {hardware} to your PBX system and to your distant customers’ {hardware}. 

With a cloud-based PBX, the commonest kinds of encryption are TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol). When both encryption protocol is in place, hackers can not intercept knowledge, audio, or video transmissions by way of the cloud PBX system.

Audio and Video Conferencing in a Cloud PBX

A screenshot of Nextiva's video conference setup process with necessary information such as data, organizer's email, how many participants, as well as various number options to join the meeting.
A Cloud PBX system, like this one from Nextiva, may also help you arrange and schedule audio and video convention calls in your staff members.

Cloud PBX techniques can typically do excess of merely routing and managing inbound and outbound calls. You might be able to arrange audio or video convention calls in your staff members by way of the PBX system.

Because your staff members have already got entry to the cloud PBX system, operating the convention by way of the software program significantly simplifies the method. Team members don’t have to obtain particular software program to hitch the convention. As lengthy because the staff members have entry to high-speed web, the decision audio and video high quality ought to stay excessive.

They don’t have to fret about {hardware} incompatibilities, both. Nearly any desktop pc or cell phone ought to work with the cloud PBX system app in order that {hardware} can also be part of the convention.

With Nextiva, you may arrange the convention name by way of a digital assembly room. Those who can attend the assembly will obtain a passcode by way of electronic mail, permitting them to hitch and preserving others out of the assembly.

When choosing a video convention, staff members can share their screens to display sure strategies. Again, there’s no have to obtain particular software program to entry display sharing, because it all happens by way of the cloud PBX interface.

With sure pricing plans, Nextiva permits you to document your convention calls. This permits staff members who can not attend the convention in real-time to return and watch it later. 

Final Thoughts About PBX

Choosing to make use of a cloud PBX provides you a formidable function set and a excessive stage of efficiency when you will have dependable web. Some smaller companies could not want the entire function set of PBX, nonetheless. They could want to make use of a VoIP phone system.

VoIP telephone techniques have a decrease value than PBX, they usually present the flexibility to simply use the telephone system off-site. The best office phone systems ought to be capable to deal with both PBX or VoIP.

Cloud-based PBX continues to develop in recognition, and it serves many varieties of companies properly. It can increase as your organization grows, providing you with a dependable telephone system that retains your prospects in fixed contact with you.

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