Your product might be the industry’s best, but you won’t be able to retain customers if your customer service is not up to par. Many businesses are willing to spend big in other areas, but view investment in customer service as an unnecessary cost. However, customer service is only becoming more important as consumer behaviour evolves and customers expect more.

Growing and retaining your customers is something that every business must achieve. However, some businesses fail to realise that keeping established customers happy is far cheaper than converting new consumers. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can translate to 25% greater profitability.

Happy customers are also far more likely to refer their friends and family to your business. Research has found that 72% of customers will discuss a positive purchasing experience with 6 or more people, helping you rapidly expand your customer base.

By taking a proactive approach to your customer service, you can address key consumer pain points before they occur. Considering the importance of communication in this equation, adopting a robust IP PBX system is one way to improve and take your company's customer service to new heights.

What is IP PBX?

IP PBX is a telecommunications tool that provides a central switch for phone calls in a business. Standing for Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange, this technology helps companies take control of incoming and outgoing phone calls across their network using the internet. Rather than needing many individual phone lines, your business can simply install an IP PBX system to handle its communications.

While there are several other types of PBX system solutions, IP PBX is designed specifically to manage calls to and from your business premises, plus route internal calls between workers. IP PBX services also allow users to share many phone lines and switch between traditional phone lines and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, thereby ensuring seamless communication at all times.

Past PBX systems required businesses to have distinct networks for voice and data services. However, IP PBX telephone solutions combine these two networks into one streamlined product. This means your system can manage voice calls, VoIP channels, and internet access simultaneously, increasing your customer service capacity and helping you scale effectively.

The History of PBX

In the past, every phone call had to be routed through a public switchboard where operators would direct the call to the desired receiver. However, as demand for phone calls increased throughout the mid-20th-century, this quickly led to several problems, particularly in the business world.

Although some enterprises installed separate phone lines for each department to limit congestion, the cost of making phone calls remained expensive by today's standards. Whether you were chatting to a colleague in the same building or a customer across town, the expense was hefty, even as many companies rented or bought private phone lines and switchboards.

While automated switchboards existed before the 1970s, it wasn’t until more reliable superconductors were added that many companies decided to adopt the technology. As the human operator was no longer required, PBX systems proved to be highly cost-effective.

Over the next few years, PBX systems added features like call forwarding, extension dialling, and line hunting. Around this time, computers were also quickly developing, leading to a PBX update known as Time Division Multiplexing (TDM). While these bulky and costly systems were as large as a cabinet, they allowed companies to put calls on hold with music music and expand their phone line capacity.

The first IP PBX system became available in 1997. As the technology evolved, these systems manage everything from Interactive Voice Response and Caller ID to VoIP. With lower communication costs, cloud-based reliability, and reduced hardware expenditure, countless companies around the world continue to use IP PBX to take control of their internal and outgoing communications.

How Does an IP PBX Phone System Work?

IP PBX business phone systems use the internet to send and receive calls. By changing analog voice signals into digital ones, you can transmit calls to a VoIP service provider that handles the start and end of each session. IP PBX frequently uses what’s known as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking to initiate, maintain, and terminate multiple voice lines and channels.

SIP trunks are used to link phones and hardware to the network, ensuring you can set call groups and check voicemail using the IP PBX system. If you decide to adopt an IP PBX system, you will need a VoIP provider to add your credentials to SIP trunking accounts, allowing you to direct and receive calls via your corporate PBX solution.

What Are the Key Features of an IP PBX System?

Using a dedicated IP PBX phone system in your business operations is a surefire way to enhance your customer service and internal communications. While there are dozens of advantages to using this forward-thinking system, these are some of the key benefits.

1. Call Forwarding and Transfer

If you want to keep customers happy, seamless call forwarding and transfers are essential. Rather than having to tell someone to try another number, simply redirect them to the right person.

2. Automated Attendant

If you operate a busy business, there may not always be someone available to answer the phone. However, IP PBX systems like the one offered by M1 come equipped with auto attendants, allowing incoming callers to navigate a voice-based menu system so they can reach the person who can best assist them. If no one is available, this digital receptionist can automatically redirect the caller to voicemail.

3. Call Conferencing with Recording

The pandemic means that conference calls are now more common than ever, and the importance of communication has become more apparent. With the old office lifestyle potentially never returning, being able to hold and record conference calls effortlessly in high-quality audio is a must. IP PBX business communications make it easy to discuss the most pressing matters with your team at a moment’s notice.

What if You Don't Have an IP PBX Phone System?

IP PBX phone systems are proven to be highly effective for delivering outstanding customer service. If your organisation decides to forgo a business phone system, customer service might suffer, as people will quickly become annoyed increasing wait times and a not-so-seamless customer service experience.

From online reviews to word of mouth, there is a real possibility of brand image suffering. Meanwhile, many competitors might use the services offered by a telecom solution architect, offering great customer service and ensuring customers have a viable alternative.

Why Every Business Needs an IP PBX Phone System

Modern customers expect round-the-clock availability from businesses . However, this isn’t a particularly practical or affordable. If you decide to adopt IP PBX services into your business communications strategy, you ensure none of your customers go unheard. Even after working hours, an auto-attendant will play personalised messages that provide customers with key information.

Another advantage of IP PBX phone systems is lower communication costs. With the IP-based system using VoIP to route long-distance and international calls, you can expect fees to be greatly reduced compared to traditional alternatives. Individual offices can even have their systems linked so your teams can effectively communicate for free.

Finally, the greatest appeal of IP PBX systems is they allow you to swiftly scale operations when needed. As IP-based systems allow you to add more phone lines and extensions easily, expanding your company’s communications technology becomes a low-cost and accessible process.

Use SIP Trunking with In-House IP PBX

SIP trunking allows businesses to combine their voice service and data into a single network, ensuring each of your offices and remote workers can communicate with ease. As this technology uses the internet, you won't encounter limits on the number of users or available bandwidth, helping you provide outstanding service.

As a leading telecom solution provider, M1’s SIP Trunk uses our exceptional fibre connectivity to provide offices with high-quality digital voice communication. With this business telephony service also delivering far lower costs, you can expect to save up to 70% on your monthly telephony bills. Meanwhile, it’s wonderfully simple to scale as your business grows.

With a free call forwarding service and other value-added features, including a Multi-SIP solution to prevent call redundancy, you can enhance business communications and become recognised for providing good customer service in yindustry.