How Do Multi-Line Business Phones Work? An In-Depth Guide

Multi-line business phone systems are among the greatest workplace tools available since they allow you to handle multiple calls concurrently. With these types of phones, employees can now manage calls more effectively and efficiently.
Multi-line business phone system concept

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When it comes to running a small company, selecting a phone system can be a complicated and time-consuming process for the proprietor. The sheer number of phone systems on the market, along with the numerous and varied feature packages available, makes it easy to get overwhelmed.  That only serves to make choosing the most appropriate system even more difficult. 

Multi-line business phone systems are among the greatest workplace tools available since they allow you to handle multiple calls concurrently. With these types of phones, employees can now manage calls more effectively and efficiently.

In addition, multi-line business phone systems are cheap. Each model of the phone unit performs the same tasks and works on the same principles.

For example, an executive office and a reception desk might share a phone line. A multi-line company phone system keeps you in touch with everyone. Your old desk phone isn’t good enough anymore.

Purchase the best multi-line business phone system for your business and see how much more efficient and communicative your employees can become. 

How Businesses Are Switching to Multiple Phone Lines

Why your company needs a multi-line phone system - Infographic

Like a regular one-line phone, a multi-line phone sends audio data packets through telephone cables to the receiver. But multi-line phone systems may send two, four, or more lines. Phones with several lines utilize a cordless extension (or phones).

If you simply require a second line, a line splitter can be used to divide the phone line into two lines. Plug the splitter into the phone jack, then into one of the ports.

Non-multi-line systems are ideal for new enterprises that are still building their consumer base. If you have a growing workforce that frequently communicates with clients, a multi-line phone system may help keep your procedures professional and your operations seamless.

You lose out on cooperation and productivity when you don’t have a multi-line system to handle several customer or conference conversations simultaneously. When you can’t easily handle business communications, whether incoming or outgoing, it’s easy to squander time and resources.

As your company expands, you will likely need to use a multi-line system. In the end, a multi-line system is more about “when” than “if.”

A Multi-line business phone is a standard, fundamental small company tool that can perform a variety of different tasks. Do keep in mind, however, that this system is reliant on the conventional landline phone network, which is less flexible and portable than other available alternatives.

Multi-phone Business Services Provided for Today’s Modern Offices

multi-line phone systems for modern offices

These days, telephone services go beyond just making calls and are tailored especially for companies, as opposed to personal lines and mobile phones. Using today’s multi-line phones is simple and flexible.  They perform many tasks using the same internet-based capabilities that are available on mobile phones.  You can easily upgrade to more sophisticated features at a later date.

Customers have high expectations.  Managers understand that it is possible to offer even better service to your clients if your business is equipped with a modern phone system.

To satisfy customer requirements, you must fold the following factors into the buyer’s journey:

    • Reliable communication methods
    • Voicemails are returned as soon as possible
    • The ability to get customer information on time. Willingness to provide a helping hand and offer aid
    • Offer convenience, features, and options.
    • Increased availability of human-to-human communication through the internet or in-person
    • Offer multiple ways to communicate with customer support.

Keeping up with customer expectations might be as simple as following the tips listed above. If you do so, your organization will find it easier to acquire pleased customers. The purchase of a high-quality multi-line business phone system may be beneficial to any company, regardless of its size to make meeting these service tips easier.

Customers want seamless, quick, and pleasant interactions.

If your business is to survive and flourish it is in part dependent on your ability to connect with and understand your customers. Make certain your company phone system is reliable so your customers know how to reach you when they need you. 

What To Consider When Choosing Your Multi-line Business Phone

Choosing your multi-line business phone system

Type of Multi-line Phones To Choose From

If you are considering the purchase of a multi-line business phone system, you should first decide why a specific system would be a good fit for your needs and what specific features you need as part of the phone service you order.

2-line phones:

Although not great for larger enterprises, 2-line phone systems are excellent for small businesses. For example, if you operate a home-based or small company with just a few workers, a 2-line phone system may be ideal. According to Frontier, a 2-line phone is needed if you are a solopreneur and require one line for business and one for personal calls.

4-line phones:

If your firm is larger than a sole proprietorship, you might require a 4-line phone. In other words, if you have two full-time or part-time workers, each of whom needs a phone line, you probably need a two-line phone. For example, a small insurance agency may require a 4-line phone.

5+ line phones:

If your company has several full-time workers, you may need a 5+ line phone. For example, a telemarketing firm with 3 or more staff might need a phone system with at least 5 lines.

6-12 line phones:

Compared to regular cell phones, these feature quicker chipsets, more memory, and even more customization options. They provide sophisticated features, such as line presence and softkeys, at this level of service.

These will be the most suitable options for your company’s requirements:

  • Executive assistants who filter calls need to know the status of their executive’s phone line.
  • Team supervisors are responsible for monitoring many calls at the same time.
  • Senior account executives who need to consult with management about inventory and price issues.

Businesses that use a Hosted VoIP PBX benefit from all of the features and functionality of a traditional PBX without the significant expense of equipment upgrades, and maintenance. 

By making use of the wide variety of possibilities provided by a Hosted PBX, small businesses may create the appearance of being part of a large centralized operation.

How Do You Figure Out How Many Phone Lines Your Small Business Needs?

figuring out how many phone lines required for your office

These days, almost every company has a phone system in place to communicate with customers and employees. Customers are understandably alarmed when they attempt to call a company that does not have a phone number since a business phone system is so prevalent these days. 

Eventually, every company must begin to consider the possibility of updating or completely replacing their phone system. In order to decide how many phone lines your company needs, you must consider many variables, including cost/billing, workers, purposes/functions, and call flow (or volume).

The good news is that finding the best pricing is simpler than ever, so opting for 6 lines rather than 2 may be a no-brainer at today’s low prices.

Here are some examples of how you can allocate a phone line in your company, taking your business strategy and objectives into consideration:

1. Number of Employees

Do each of your workers, or a particular subset of your employees, need continuous access to a phone system? If this is the case, your estimate for the number of phone lines you need depends on the total number of workers (also known as users) that need phone access.

2. Number of Phone Lines

If you’re in the market for phones, you might be able to choose the number of lines you need based on the number of phones you require. For example, five conference rooms, each of which has a real phone, would be counted as five lines.

3. Number of Simultaneous Calls

It is possible to consider a single incoming or outgoing call as constituting a line, which means that a phone line is “in use.” 

To estimate the number of lines you need from this situation, consider the maximum number of simultaneous incoming and outgoing calls that your business can manage at any one moment. 

Consider the following scenario: if your call center is to be capable of handling up to 50 incoming and/or outgoing calls at the same time, your company will need 50 phone lines.

4. Number of Phone Numbers

In the case of companies with numerous locations, you can think of each location as having its own phone number, which you might call a business line. 

Alternatively, if your company has a single location but can be contacted by calling a variety of phone numbers, each of these phone numbers may be regarded as a line in the accounting system.

The price of a business phone system may vary greatly depending on the company’s needs.

Per-user/per month price and a flat monthly cost are the two most prevalent pricing structures in the VoIP industry, respectively.

The per-user/per-month pricing model may be advantageous for small to mid-sized companies since you are only paying for services you use. Additional users can typically be added to these plans with relative simplicity, ensuring that you are not left in a bind as your company grows.

Flat-rate plans are often employed by bigger companies due to heavy use and a continuous variation in the number of users on any given day. Overages on these plans are often charged at a higher rate if the company exceeds a monthly cap on the number of minutes allowed.

The features included in your plan, as well as the duration of your contract and the conditions of your payment, will all affect the price of your phone system.

How Many Phone Lines Do You Need?

how many phones do you need?

It is important to ask yourself these questions before you take any action:

  • When I say “business line,” what exactly do I mean? Is it possible that my concept of a “business line” will evolve over time?
  • How many lines will I need in the next six months? What business model am I using to run my company? Do I need a strong system for handling a contact center? Will a basic setup for a small business be enough?
  • What is the total cost of this project? What is my spending limit?
  • What aspects of customer service are critical for my company?
  • Prior to deciding on the number of business lines you need, think about the following considerations. Don’t forget to use the knowledge of your VoIP provider as well. Reputable service providers will work with you to determine your needs if you ask for their help.

Consider these factors:

If you are considering the purchase of a multi-line phone system, you should first evaluate why you believe the system would be a good fit for your needs and what particular features you want from the system.

    • A multi-line phone system is an excellent choice if you want to provide each of your workers with their own dedicated phone number and if you have a large number of employees.
    • You get a large number of incoming calls, and you also have personnel that makes outbound calls.
    • You’d want to allocate certain numbers to specific departments or individuals inside your company.

Follow These Easy Steps to Set Up Multi-phone Systems in Your Office

Multi-line phone example

Setting up a multi-line business phone system is quick and easy, no matter the size of your office or small business. After you’ve researched which system is right for you, select your pricing and/or packages and providers, you can configure your phone and finalize any hardware or software needed to get running.

Step 1 – Junction Box

This is the plastic junction box your local telephone company has placed on your property.  It is usually situated on the exterior wall of your house or business building. 

The junction box is responsible for connecting the incoming telephone lines from the telephone company to your internal telephone lines and finally to your telephone. When looking for the junction box, you should follow the telephone cable that goes from the utility pole to your residence.

Step 2 – Removing Insulation From the Cables

Remove 2 inches of insulation from the cable’s end using diagonal pliers. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from each wire using a wire stripper, then straighten the exposed twisted wires. 

The red and green terminal screws located within the NID may be loosened using a screwdriver. A phone’s ability to function depends on the presence of two wires.  You will need one red and one green terminal screw per incoming phone line that you intend to connect.

Step 3 – Wiring

Each wire should be wrapped around its matching terminal post in a clockwise direction, and each screw should be tightened. Make use of the red terminal screw on a three-line phone and connect its blue wire with a white stripe.

Step 4 – Connecting Wires

Connect the white wire with the blue stripe to the green terminal screw on a multi-line phone with three incoming lines. Connect lines 2 and 3 by connecting the white wire with an orange stripe to the green screw on the first line and the orange wire with the white stripe to the red screw on the second line. 

Join the white wire to the third line green screw, the green wire to the fourth line red screw, and the green wire with white to the red screw on the fourth line, respectively.

Step 5 – Installing the CAT-6 Cable

Install the CAT-6 cable inside your house or business and route it to the wall closest to where you want to install your multi-line telephone. Use cable staples to attach the phone line to the baseboard, but do not run the wire in a straight line parallel to an electrical power line. 

Step 6 – Measuring and Straightening the Wires

Measure one more foot of wire and cut the cable into a square shape. Using diagonal pliers, remove two inches of plastic insulation from the attic wire. Straighten the twisted wires and use a wire stripper to remove 1/2 inch of insulation from each wire, revealing the bare copper conductor underneath the insulation.

Step 7 – Removal of RJ-25 Jack’s Faceplate

Organize your time and resources. Remove the RJ-25 jack’s faceplate and loosen the terminal screws behind it. The red terminal screw should be connected to the white wire with blue stripes on line 1, and the green terminal screw should be connected to the blue wire with white stripes on line 2.

Line 2 has a yellow termination screw; the orange and white wires go there. Line 2 has a black terminal screw, and they go there. Line 3’s connections are established by connecting the white wire with the green terminal screw to the blue terminal screw and the white wire with the green terminal screw to the white terminal screw.

Step 8 – Tightening Of Terminal Screws

To ensure the connections are secure, tighten all of the terminal screws. The jack should be attached to the telephone outlet box with the screws that came with the jack. Connect the modular connections to the NID located outside your home to complete the connection to the phone jack located inside your house.

Step 9 – Connect and Test The Line

Connect a multi-line telephone set to the newly installed RJ-25 jack. To test the line, press line 1, wait for a dial tone and then make a phone call to line 1. Test the other phone lines in the same way as you did the first one, and then repeat the process.

Multiple Calls and Multiple Ways To Make Work Easier

multiple calls and ways to answer customer inquiries

It is possible to make numerous calls without requiring cumbersome equipment or extensive training that was required in the past. Call waiting, conference calls, and sharing voicemails with teams can all be done in less time and with less effort using these shortcuts. Numerous applications need phone networks with two, four, or six lines.

A great multi-line phone system is the foundation upon which your customer service and sales activities are constructed. To achieve this, you cannot compromise on the functionality of the phone system that you implement for your team.

Some of the tasks you can perform with the call flow are as follows:

    • Create automated phone menus, often known as auto attendants, to welcome your callers and direct them to the appropriate person or department.
    • Insert announcements during wait periods to give information such as company hours, address, and so on.
    • Customers may see your business name and phone number on their caller ID if you use caller ID implementation.
    • Implement search groups that route calls to workers or teams in a certain sequence. 
    • Use a defined strategy for routing calls based on the time of day, the season, holidays, and vacations, for example.
    • Add call queues that put an infinite number of callers on hold until the next employee is ready to respond. Calls may be recorded and the caller’s place in the line shown.
    • Install the mobile app on workers’ phones and give them the option of selecting the outgoing caller ID number.
    • Send voicemails to email and create shared main voicemails for your business or yourself.
    • Enable transcription of voicemail messages so they can be read by the recipient as text.
    • Control access to system components, such as call records and billing, by defining user permission levels.

Is the difficulty inherent in selecting a phone with a fixed number of accessible phone lines? If so, you must first understand your business’s communication requirements and anticipate future requirements.

Regardless of the number of lines your business utilizes, it is always preferable to have phones that are capable of handling more. It’s important to note that these phones need just one cable, which simplifies installation.

What if you need four phone lines for most of the year but up to 10 at the busiest times of the year?

You cannot rapidly grow your call volume with standard phone systems. Additionally, if you are recruiting rapidly, you will need to add additional lines and purchase new phones.

The use of a cloud-based or VoIP multi-line business phone system that allows you to host all of your data in the cloud eliminates the need to acquire real or conventional phone lines, as well as the need to purchase extra gear. 

With a cloud-based phone system, you can supply services to workers who work in different locations. To make and receive calls, your workers can use any device of their choosing, including tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and mobile phones, among other options.

The fact that your provider will handle issues like troubleshooting, security, and maintenance is another advantage of using a cloud-based multi-line phone system. As opposed to conventional phone lines, you won’t have to arrange, wait for, or pay a technician, as you would with VoIP.

Best Multi-line Phone Choices for Businesses in 2023

Best multi-line phone for businesses

A multi-line business phone system is an investment in the communications infrastructure of your business. The most expensive versions operate similarly to tablet computer and have web browser capabilities.  However, they may be overkill for small companies with modest call traffic requirements. Staff might benefit from simpler versions since they are less expensive and have shorter learning curves.

In the end, of course, the final decision comes down to your company’s requirements and budget. Keep in mind that if you choose an older or reconditioned model of phone, you should verify the voice quality first since older phones may have less bandwidth than modern versions.

If your company receives and makes a high number of incoming and outgoing calls, or if you are on the verge of increased call volume, you will benefit from a multi-line phone system.

Learn about the best multi-line phone system for small companies and services that are available to businesses in the United States, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, here.

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