Business Phone System Installation: Steps to Set Up in Minutes
By Veronika Bučková
| 14. May 2024 |
Business Phone System
By V. BučkováVeronika Bučková
| 14 May 2024 |
Business Phone System
    By V. BučkováVeronika Bučková
    | 14 May 2024
    Business Phone System

    Business Phone System Installation: What You Need to Know

    The telephone remains the most common customer service channel with a global usage rate of 77%. So, business phone installation remains an important consideration and, fortunately, it isn’t as complex and time-consuming as it used to be.

    If you’re a startup looking for a new business phone system or an established business seeking an upgrade, you may be wondering how phone system installation for your business works. 

    Here’s everything you need to know.

    Key takeaways:

    • Businesses must choose between traditional on-premises phone systems and VoIP-based solutions.
    • One of the key differences between the two systems is that VoIP-based solutions are typically quicker, easier, and cheaper to install and set up. 
    • With a cloud-hosted platform like CloudTalk, you can get started in just a matter of hours by subscribing to, downloading, and customizing the software.
    • Onboarding and training staff to use software-based calling solutions is also often far quicker and simpler than introducing them to an on-premises setup.

    What Is a Business Phone System?

    A business phone system is a communications tool that lets you handle inbound and outbound telephone calls with customers, colleagues, and stakeholders. 

    Depending on the type of system you use, you can also perform other functions like text messaging, call transfer, three-way calling, and more. The type of business phone system also significantly impacts the installation process.

    Different Types of Business Phone Systems

    Business phone systems can be categorized into two main types: Traditional landline-based systems and VoIP-based systems. The length, complexity, and cost of installation varies significantly depending on which one you choose. 


    Before we get into that, let’s quickly look at VoIP vs landline:

    Traditional Landline-Based Phone Systems

    A traditional landline—also known as an on-premises—system is an analog phone setup that’s connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). It works by converting audio into electronic signals that are transmitted via copper wires.

    Despite its longevity, the traditional landline has critical flaws. Not only does it lack modern features and functionalities, but it’s notoriously difficult to install.

    VoIP-Based Phone Systems

    A VoIP-based phone system is a digital communications solution. It uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to enable you to make and receive phone calls over an internet connection. It can also transmit video, text messages, and other multimedia.

    It works by converting voice data into digital signals that are transmitted over the internet. So, it doesn’t require copper wiring. 

    Most VoIP-based phone systems are hosted cloud solutions. This means that the phone system’s infrastructure, hardware, and software are housed in the cloud by a third party (your VoIP provider).

    The Challenges of On-Premises Phone System Installation

    Businesses are increasingly moving away from on-premises systems to embrace VoIP. One of the reasons for this mass migration is how difficult and expensive on-premises systems are to install.

    Not only do you need to purchase high-cost hardware, software licenses, and server rooms, you also need to hire specialized experts to perform the installation and configuration. Why? Because traditional landlines are complex, which creates another challenge.

    The complexity of installation means that it takes a long time to set up. This increases your chances of service disruption, hindering business productivity and lowering customer satisfaction. 

    With a VoIP system, your provider houses your hardware and takes care of most of the installation process for you. So, installation runs a lot smoother.

    How to Set Up a Business Phone System the Modern Way

    Enterprise and small business phone system installation alike are much easier with VoIP. There are, though, still some key steps and best practices you should follow if you want it to be as painless as possible. 

    To help you get it right, we’ve created this step-by-step guide:

    #1 Clearly Define Your Business Needs

    There’s nothing more frustrating than choosing a phone provider only to find out later down the line that it lacks essential features. 

    So, begin the process by sitting down with stakeholders and teams. Collaboratively, work to establish exactly what your business needs from a phone system.

    Consider the following: 

    • Features: Are there any must-have functions that you absolutely need to meet your goals? Create a business phone system features checklist to refer to during your research.
    • Budget: What is your business phone system budget? Consider the initial set up as well as long-term costs.
    • Internet connection: Establish your internet speed so that you know whether it meets the recommendations of your chosen provider. While most VoIP calls use around 100 kbps upload/download speed per line, you’ll ideally want—at the very least—1Mbps download/upload speed per line. 
    • Users and phone numbers: How many users and phone numbers do you need? Will you need international numbers? Consider your short and long-term needs to account for scalability.

    Integrations: If you want your phone system to integrate with your other business tools, like your CRM or helpdesk, then clearly define what your integration requirements are to ensure your provider supports them.

    #2 Thoroughly Research and Test Potential Systems

    Armed with your clearly defined business needs, do your research into the different VoIP systems available from different providers. 

    This process should take time, as you’ll need to compare and test various factors: Some of the main things to look into include: 

    • Features: Does the solution offer the must-have features and functionalities you need? Refer to your essential features checklist to determine which providers and packages are fully equipped to meet your needs. 
    • Pricing plans: Providers typically offer tiered pricing plans. So, take a look at each plan to determine which one has the features and functionalities you need. Compare similar plans across providers to see which one offers better value for money.
    • Customer support: If you have a question or issue, how easy is it to contact customer support? What channels can you reach them on and when?
    • User-friendliness: Is the platform intuitive and user-friendly enough to swiftly onboard your agents? 

    You can verify factors like feature quality and ease of use by taking advantage of the free trials and/or demos typically offered by providers. For example, you can try out CloudTalk’s full 14-day free trial to test out all of its main features.

    Software comparison sites and third-party reviews from existing users will also have some insights, so make sure to check those out, too.

    Find the Perfect VoIP Package for Your Business

    #3 Sign Up With Your Chosen Provider

    Once you’ve found a provider that best suits your business needs, go ahead and sign up for the subscription package that you want. 

    Remember, with a VoIP system, there’s no physical installation happening. You don’t even need to purchase desk phones. You can start straight away with the PCs, laptops, and mobile phones that you already have.

    #4 Configure Your New Business Phone System

    Now let’s walk through how to install a business phone system and configure it to your needs quickly and easily.

    Download Software and Apps

    VoIP-based phone system providers will have a softphone app that you can download and install onto your devices. Softphone apps turn computers, tablets, and mobiles into fully loaded business phones that you can use remotely, empowering your team to work from anywhere on their preferred device. 

    You may also need to download the correct browser and any browser extensions. Your provider should guide you in this area. 

    Port and Acquire Phone Numbers

    Changing your business phone number is a hassle, for you and for your customers. Most providers offer a number porting service that migrates your existing phone numbers over to your new phone system. 

    CloudTalk can port your local, national, mobile, and toll-free numbers in as little as 2-3 weeks. All you need to do is make a request and our team gets to work straight away.

    Source: https://www.cloudtalk.io/number-porting/

    And, if you need extra VoIP phone numbers or international numbers you can get those too. CloudTalk offers 160+ international numbers, so you can establish a local presence in every country you serve.

    Add and Organize Users

    Your chosen provider should have a centralized dashboard where admins can add new users to your account. Once you’ve added your users, organize them into groups depending on their department, team, tasks, and more. 

    For example, you might create different groups for marketing, HR, sales, customer support, and finance.

    Set Up Key Features and Functions

    Now it’s time for the fun stuff—setting up your features and customizing them to your unique needs. 

    Here are the main tasks that you should focus on:

    • Design call flows: Map out a call flow that visualizes what your customers’ calling journey will look like as they travel from connection to issue resolution. CloudTalk has the perfect tool for this—an interactive Call Flow Designer—that lets you create custom flows to truly optimize experiences.
    Source: https://www.cloudtalk.io/call-flow-designer/
    • Set up call routing: There are lots of different ways to route calls: Skills-based routing, round-robin routing, least-idle routing, and more. Set up call routing rules for each of your groups in alignment with their unique needs. 
    • Record voicemail messages: Record a message that greets your customers to your voicemail inbox and invites them to leave their details. If you’re an outbound call center, it’s also worth setting up a feature like voicemail drop, that allows you to pre-record voicemail messages that are automatically sent to prospects.
    • Set up business hours: You’ll need to configure your business hours in the phone system so that it knows what to do during off-hours (for example, sending the call to voicemail). Adjust off-hour routing rules for your specific offices and numbers, and set business hour exceptions for holidays.
    • Assign extensions: Assign unique extensions to specific employees, teams, or offices so that colleagues and customers can quickly connect with the right person.

    As long as you’ve chosen a provider with an intuitive platform and flexible offerings, all of these features and functionalities should be fairly simple to set up. We recommend CloudTalk for this very reason—and so do CloudTalk users:

    “CloudTalk’s essential benefit is its unparalleled flexibility in handling our requests. Whether we needed new numbers, verified caller ID or setting up number porting,  they made it incredibly easy and efficient. Their streamlined processes and quick response times saved us a lot of time and resources, allowing us to focus on our core business operations.”

    Ibrahim Imam – Co-Founder, Group Co-CEO, CEO MENA & APAC at PlanRadar

    #5 Onboard and Train Your Teams

    Once everything is set up on the system, you can begin onboarding your staff. The goal is to do this as quickly as possible to maximize value and productivity early. 
    Once again, CloudTalk excels when it comes to  ease of use. Not only is it designed to be intuitive, but we also have an entire onboarding portal with in-depth advice and video tutorials.

    From guides on how to install your business phone system to videos walking you through how to use specific features, we have everything covered. So, even agents who lack IT and tech experience should be able to pick it up with no problem.

    How Much Does Business Phone System Installation Cost?

    The bulk of your installation cost will come from your business phone system subscription. VoIP-based phone systems run on a subscription model, and they’re paid either monthly or annually. 

    Be aware—costs vary wildly depending on the provider and package you choose. 

    You can see from our business phone system pricing guide that packages start at around $3.99 per user/month and skyrocket upwards of $140 per user/month. 

    Most providers offer tiered packages. The lower-priced packages are more suitable for smaller businesses, while the more expensive packages cater to larger businesses.

    Generally, the more features and functionalities included in the package, the higher the price.

    How much you spend will be determined by your budget, business size, and feature requirements. For example, while providers like Skype and Microsoft Teams offer the cheapest subscriptions, they lack the business features needed to keep up with modern communications. 


    CloudTalk has four plans ranging from $25 – $50 (€25 – €50) per user/month billed annually. With lots of features and functionalities to suit different business sizes, we’re one of the most cost-effective phone system solutions around.

    Aside from that, purchasing your phones is the only other setup cost. And here’s a tip: implement a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy to let employees use their personal devices as business phones. This can save your company even more money. 

    But how does traditional business phone system installation pricing compare to VoIP?

    To set up a traditional system, you’re looking at investing thousands of dollars into hardware alone. On top of that, you’ll need to hire specialized experts to install and configure the system for you. 

    And then you have software licenses and the cost of your telephones (you can’t just allow a BYOD policy like you can with VoIP).

    Business Phone System Installation Is Quick and Easy

    Whether you’re switching from a traditional landline or looking for the perfect communications system for your startup, business phone system installation is seamless with the right provider. 

    If you opt for CloudTalk, you can set up an entire contact center in just five minutes, right from your web browser. 

    We handle everything from configuration to number porting, so you can focus on the interesting stuff (like creating call flows and routing rules). And thanks to our softphone app, your employees can use the devices they already have—no need to blow your budget on desk phones.

    But don’t just take our word for it. Try CloudTalk for yourself with our 14-day free trial—no strings attached.

    FAQs

    What Should I Consider When Choosing a Business Phone System?

    As you’re researching and comparing providers, consider the features and functionalities they offer in their respective packages. Verify that they provide the must-have features you need—call analytics, call monitoring, or IVR, for example.

    Other things to consider include pricing plans, ease of use, integrations, and customer service availability.

    Can I Set Up a Business Phone System Without a Landline?

    Yes. VoIP phone numbers don’t require landlines, which is what makes phone system installation for small business use so quick and cost-effective. As a startup, all you need is an internet connection, desktops/mobiles, and a business phone system provider.

    Can I Keep My Old Number if I Switch to a Cloud Phone System?

    Yes. Most providers—CloudTalk included—offer a number porting service that lets you transfer your old number to your new cloud system.