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For as long as humans have been on this planet, we’ve invented communication methods — from smoke signals and messenger pigeons to telephone calls and beyond — and these tactics have undergone constant development, refining the tools we use to interact with one another.
One of those tech advancements, the PBX phone system, has ranked up as one of the fastest-developing technologies in the last 50 years.
With Phonexa’s reimagined all-in-one marketing solutions in direct alignment with that of the quick growth of the PBX, we’ve been reflecting on how far telephone communications have come, and with even greater enthusiasm, about where phone systems and the marketing opportunities tied to them are headed.
With that in mind, let’s unpack the past, present, and future of phone communications in PBX.
What Is A PBX?
If you’ve ever been greeted by an interactive voice response (IVR) system when calling a business, the chances are that you have unknowingly participated in a PBX operation.
A PBX — Private Branch Exchange — is a telephone system within an enterprise or organization that switches calls between representatives on local lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines.
PBX allows companies to save the cost of requiring a line for each customer service representative or internal office worker, allowing users to log in on an internet-based software.
The Past: Switchboards And Call Operators
When it was first introduced in the 1960s, PBX was purely a solution for businesses to avoid spending too much time and money on inefficient internal communications.
The first PBX system came with a classic switchboard that required a team of call operators to manually relay calls on a central switchboard connected to subscriber wires.
This development was a total game-changer for businesses because it essentially replaced the need to have in-house receptionists. In turn, it required hiring offsite operators and purchasing or renting a few telephone lines and blocks of switchboards. That allowed companies to use a more significant number of phones for a lower cost.
Working with a PBX system meant that businesses would work with a network, a much more efficient method of communication. Calls were received, transferred, and resolved more quickly than before, which paved the way for further advancements in the future.
Present: Up In The Cloud
With software companies constantly making new updates to PBX functionality and features, the software has increasingly moved up in the ranks of up-and-coming software during its 50-year existence.
In the past few years alone, PBX has met IP-based solutions and coiled the concept of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) — officially marking the industry’s highly anticipated shift toward cloud technology.
Current-day Cloud PBX replaces the old, stocky hardware that once took up office space and drained businesses of revenue due to its hefty maintenance costs and extended downtimes.
VoIP PBX has introduced more complex functions such as ring groups, queues, digital or remote receptionists, voicemail, and reporting. It has additionally allowed companies to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection instead of regular phone lines, which can be more costly and challenging to implement with traditional PBX.
There are numerous benefits and features to using Cloud PBX systems. Here is a breakdown of some of those advantages:
PBX All Functions Under One Platform
Cloud PBX allows companies to store all data related to inbound and outbound calls, faxes, and voicemails under the same platform within a cloud software that can be accessed from any point in the world, at any given time.
A dire need for a Cloud PBX system arose last year when the pandemic caused by COVID-19 forced companies to move away from the office and work remotely. To adapt to the new realities, companies integrated some sort of software or communication method to keep their employees connected with each other and clients.
One of these methods happened to be Cloud PBX — which allowed companies to avoid moving bulky communication hardware from their offices to their homes. Here are some ways Phonexa’s Cloud PBX system has brought changes to the industry:
- Interactive Voice Response: These menu systems allow you to interact with clients through number selections on their keypads or direct voice responses. IVR flows are specifically designed to lead clients into the call center division, where agents can best help these callers.
- Outbound Calling: This option increases conversion opportunities by dialing web lead prospects and putting them in immediate contact with a call agent.
- Call Agent Scoring: This feature tracks and scores keyword usage in conversations with clients so that your company can measure the productivity of given call agents or customer representatives. It also connects the keyword usage to total conversions, allowing for fair scoring of a given agent.
- Uninterrupted Service: The cloud phone system works from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It allows companies to outsource all or some of their customer service teams, to ensure 24/7 connectivity and service for clients.
- Personalized Smart Call Routing: Paired with an IVR conversion tool, Phonexa’s Cloud PBX uses agent scoring and agent queue availability to connect callers to the agent best suited to serve the lead’s customer’s specific needs.
Phonexa’s Cloud PBX works seamlessly with the rest of our all-in-one platforms for call and lead generation, tracking and distribution, and more, as an integrated software solution.
PBX Brings Flexible Customization At No Additional Cost
Before Cloud PBX came around, traditional PBX providers required users to set all their call customizations during the initial onboarding process without leaving much room for future updates or changes.
This often left customers with concerns about creating an effective IVR system or setting specific filters and guidelines for their PBX operation. And when companies opted to change their customized solutions, they were often charged hefty fees for service adjustments.
Now, with Phonexa’s Cloud PBX and its versatile managing system, users can independently make alterations to their phone systems and preferences without any added costs or the need for service technicians.
PBX Allows You To Add Or Replace Users, At Your Convenience
The Cloud PBX system allows administrators to add, remove, or replace users or call agents within minutes. Unlike the traditional systems, with Cloud PBX, there are no hidden functions or costs associated with onboarding or offboarding users from your suite.
The same approach goes when integrating new filters, modules, or software developments within your organization’s system — Phonexa’s Cloud PBX system has zero maintenance costs or unnoted conditions.
PBX Is An Excellent Return On Your Investment
Cloud PBX phone systems open up a world of financial gain and returns on your investment for companies of all sorts and sizes. Your ROI can come in actual dollars or incremental improvements in efficiency and productivity.
With Cloud PBX, you get both.
- No More Hardware Costs: Replacing the traditional phone or on-premise VoIP system will eliminate the costs of managing and upkeep your capital expenses for this equipment.
- Less Interruption To Business: Opting for a cloud-based phone system improves business continuity and security. Cloud PBX is guaranteed to satisfy your communication needs with greater reliability with up to 99.9% uptime service level.
- Easy Scalability Without Huge Investments: The Cloud PBX system allows you to enter remote users into your phone system without issues or roadblocks. It can also handle high call volumes and information processing.
- Customer & Employee Satisfaction: When you implement a system that streamlines work processes for your employees and makes interaction quicker for your clients, you are set for success. A system like the Cloud PBX automates some of the employee practices you have in place, giving them more time to focus on customer interaction and service quality.
Essentially, what began with switchboards and call operators, the PBX, has grown to revolutionize the world of communication. That’s not the end of it, however.
The Future: More Automation With AI
Cloud PBX is everywhere — on your computer, internet fax machine, unified inbox, PC, or any cellular device. It includes all the methods needed to ensure effective communications.
But today’s PBX functions are just a tiny glimpse into tomorrow’s PBX. We expect the following advancements to these cloud-based phone services:
Optimizing The Customer Experience With AI
Remember the IVR? It’s going to revolutionize the customer-facing Cloud PBX functions, as we expect more and more software providers to develop complete robotic IVR features that will go beyond the initial “menu” moments of a call.
Companies will prompt complete IVR flows, FAQs, keywords, and other customer-related interaction topics. The AI integrated into the Cloud PBX system will answer these inquiries based on the phrases that it catches.
This change will bring about a lot of automation within customer service departments, allowing human employees to focus on the more critical and complicated cases of customer need.
Much like the philosophy behind today’s Google Voice Recognition, in the next decade, we will see many Cloud PBX providers integrating some sort of voice recognition functionality, where customers can call in, and the IVR system will recognize their voice and streamline the process of pulling up customer information and data.
On the employee side of things, the consensus seems to be that IVR will take over everything. Keyboard and other control panels will slowly be phased out of all devices as they gain the ability to simply listen and act on our commands, which can easily be implemented into the day-to-day operations of employees.
Employees can command Cloud PBX systems to initiate mass calls, send out certain information, or respond to a customer request with complete voice recognition controls.
We’ve already started seeing so many of these functions marketed as individual products or software integrations, but the future for ringless messages remains in Cloud PBX. As we move forward, we’ll see fully developed, easy-to-use functions of completing ringless messages, all integrated within the basic functionalities of a Cloud PBX system.
This will help sales professionals call and instantly leave a voicemail without ringing the recipient’s cellphone. This means that they will automatically receive a voicemail notification without answering a call or interrupting their activities.
If there is one thing we learned from examining the rundown of PBX developments, it’s that automation and full AI integrations are inevitable in the future of cloud-based phone systems.
Will you be ready?
Schedule a meeting with Phonexa’s sales team to learn more about how Phonexa can power your next contact strategy with an all-in-one marketing suite and solution that also includes an industry-leading Cloud PBX system.