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15 Must-Have Business Phone System Features for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

There’s a lot that a business phone system can do you for your company. But exploring every single feature can be overwhelming.

With a cloud-based business phone system, you can start with the basic phone features you need and then add additional features as your business grows.

In this post, we walk you through basic and advanced features as well as some great add–ons you might want to consider. With a free checklist, we also give you a few tips on how to talk about your business phone needs with potential providers.

Primer on Types of Business Phone Systems

There are many types of business phone systems. A cloud PBX phone system is today’s most requested and popular.

In case you have an older PBX phone system, don’t worry. You can either keep your current system and integrate some of these cloud-based features via SIP Trunking, or you can ask us about what it takes to transfer your current system to the cloud. 

It may sound complicated, but that’s our specialty. We are here to walk you through the process. Wondering what a good implementation process with zero down time looks like? We have you covered! Here’s what a successful implementation looks like.

So, here is a list of the top 15 business phone features most small and midsize companies need today, along with a breakdown of each feature and why it may or may not be right for your company. To skip to the checklist, you can download it here.

The Top 15 Business Phone System Features

Basic Features of Broadvoice b-hive

1. Call Forwarding (Busy Line and Don’t Answer)  

When a line is busy or set to Do Not Disturb, this feature allows a user to redirect incoming calls to a specified phone number. For Call Forwarding Don’t Answer, this same feature redirects an incoming call if the phone is not answered within a certain number of rings.  

2. Find Me/Follow Me  

You get the power to choose how to hand off calls based on the status of busy, available, and away. A simple but important feature for small companies because you can set up your own ring flow.  

3. Web-based Portal (For Admin and Users) 

Imagine the ability to sign into your business phone system and make calls directly from your desktop? With a web-based portal, administration can access settings, along with reports, ring strategies and user settings.

With an online portal, your employees have access to their personal voicemails, faxes, messages, team, contact centers, reports, and presence settings. Since access to the portal is via the web, this feature opens the door to hiring remote employees who can work from home.

b-hive Pro (Basic Features Above, Plus…)

4. Virtual Fax 

With virtual fax, your company can send and receive faxes from the business phone system through the web-based portal and via email. With this feature, you can eliminate the need and cost of a fax machine.

 5. Chat System 

A business phone system that comes with a web-based chat system is ideal for staying connected with teams and getting work done. For Pro Seat subscribers, b-hive offers Communicator that integrates b-hive call handling features with chat, text and presence.

6. One Number 

Looking for a single phone number for all your business phone features? One Number makes it possible for one specific DID to receive calls, faxes, and text messages.

b-hive Add On Features*

7. Call Transfer /Extensions  

This valuable business phone feature allows you to transfer a call from one business line to another staff member or department without losing the customer on the phone. Professional and vital to any new or established company.

8. Auto Attendants 

This feature bypasses the need for a telephone operator or receptionist and provides a voice menu that allows callers to be transferred to the appropriate extension. Ideal for start-ups and new businesses that want to give the impression of an established or growing business.

Buyer’s Tip: If you’re interested in this feature, ask the service provider if they offer recordings for auto attendants, eliminating the need for you to find a third-party company to record it for you.

9. Voicemail + Voicemail to Email 

A must-have phone feature, voicemail today is sent to both the phone and email, providing the user with caller ID information and an audio recording. If you’re requesting this feature, make sure to ask about the storage that comes with the account. For example, b-hive voicemail comes with 500MB of storage with each box, and more storage is provided with more seats.

10. Mobile App 

One of the most popular questions from customers today is: how do I connect my business line to my mobile phone? This is because the mobile workforce is growing and most companies have employees who work while on the road, from real estate agents to professional service companies. With b-hive, this feature is free and easy. Simply download the app and start using your mobile phone to make and receive business calls with your business line.

11. Call Analytics  

Marketing can now see their marketing efforts and justify ROI with built-in analytics. b-hive, for example, allows administrators to easily track inbound calls and campaigns associated with inbound numbers. With call analytics, your business can check the number and breakdown of calls received for the day/month/ year, see a map of where the calls originate and view demographics that show top cities, states, and calling devices.

12. Hold Music 

Provide a professional and pleasant customer experience with hold music. Make sure to have the option to upload different music for different groups. Even better, ask if the phone system comes with pre-recorded music you can choose

13. Conference Calls  

Most companies rely on conference calls to get work done. If your company is one of them, make sure you can hold conference calls with an unlimited number of attendees. With b-hive, for example, the user gets a Conference Extension and Conference Pin. The business will need a DID to associate with the bridge (not included). Customers can upload custom greetings and music on hold. Conference calls can be recorded.

14. Intercom  

Intercom enables a user to page a specific person in the office through their speakerphone; it then opens the intercom for a two-way conversation.

15. International Calling 

International DIDs are available from the list of countries listed at the bottom of our product features page. All calling originates from the United States, not the international destination. For a list of international rates, please visit broadvoice.com/global. Rates are updated monthly.



Picture of top 15 business phone features checklist snippet

All in One Business Phone System (UCaaS)

What if you could have all the basic business phone systems above plus more in one product? What if it was a software as a service, which means that you’d get new features and updates automatically?  

Broadvoice’s b-hive unified communication as a service (UCaaS) is just that, featuring a suite of enterprise level communications capabilities that combine voice, instant messaging, presence, and mobility. The result is a seamless user experience from the desktop to mobile.

Understanding the Benefits of b-hive for Your Business 

Ready to dive into the details? We’d love to talk to you about the business phone features you’re looking for, and give you a snapshot of how b-hive can be customized to meet those needs.  

To learn more, check out some of our Case Studies from real customers just like you: 

  • Read this Case Study on how Arkansas Bar Association benefited from b-hive’s online portal, auto attendant menu, and the mobile app.  
  • Want to know how b-hive enables your remote workforce? This Case Study on Chroma Systems Solutions breaks it down for you.  
  • Ready to enhance employee hiring and retention? This Case Study talks about how Wilshire Refrigeration and Appliance accomplished just that and more with b-hive.  

Learn More About b-hive

2019-10-16T16:34:47+00:00