Every small business owner wants what is best for their enterprise. But when it’s time to invest, most put their money into product development, company talent, online marketing, etc., which is still great and helpful for your business’s growth. However, if you want to ensure that your enterprise can compete with others, along with the big picture, you will also need to look at the small details holding you back.

Picture displaying common reasons for business failure.
Source: Jigsaw Metric

For example, great customer support is crucial if you want to keep your clients happy. You will need more than professional, trained employees to provide quality customer service. Small business owners have to also invest in the best technology equipment not to offer their clients a poor call experience.

Not being able to handle too many calls at once will cost you sales and damage your reputation. If, with your business’s growth, you also have a growing number of simultaneous calls, it’s time to put money into a multi line phone system. A multi line phone system such as a VoIP provider is the best approach for customer calls. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about multi line phones, including:

  1. What are multi line phone systems
  2. Why choose a cloud-based phone system?
  3. Features of multi line phone systems
  4. Types of line phone systems
  5. 10 best multi line phone systems for your small business

What are multi line phone systems

The difference between phones with a single line and multi line phone systems is that they can maintain more than a phone call at a time. When the call center agent is in line with a customer and another one dials your number, callers will be directed to another agent, a voicemail, or a busy signal.

But a multi-line phone system does much more than just hold calls. It can also dial internal and external numbers or return to the line. Multi line systems have one caller ID assigned to them. You will also not need phone jacks.

The two main ways to set up a multi-line telephone system are:

  • On-premises multi-line phone system—This type of line phone system requires telecom hardware and some technical experience to be managed in the right way. It is the more traditional, standard phone line. Some types of on-premises phone lines systems are Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or Key System Unit (KSU).
  • Cloud-based multi-line phone system—This is a more modern, recent version that needs less on-site hardware and offers more scalability. Examples of cloud-based systems are VoIP phone services and a few IP PBXs.
Cloud-based phone systemOn-premise phone system
On-site controllability
No installation costs
Flexibility
Easy Call Management
Stable voice quality
Comparison table between cloud-based and on-premise phone systems

Why choose a cloud-based phone system?

This phone system is the most used because it is more flexible, less costly, and has more features. There was a time when only huge enterprises could afford the more traditional system as it needed more room and was more expensive. The cloud-based phone system made it possible for small businesses to offer customer support.

A cloud-based phone system converts calls into data and then proceeds them to a local data center. This business communication solution saves you space because it is hosted in the data center and doesn’t take up space like the bulky hardware of traditional phones. It doesn’t even need physical landlines as it exists in the cloud and uses virtual phone extensions.

On the contrary, an on-premise phone system requires more maintenance and extra repairs. The hardware upgrades require additional expenses, and the new extensions need new cabling and installation. Even the implementation is expensive and complex. Only people specially trained for it can help with its maintenance.

Preview image of how cloud-based phone system works.
Source: Calncall

Meanwhile, a cloud-based phone system doesn’t require dedicated personnel to help with its maintenance. Changes can be done instantly, and upgrades are done automatically. Even the installation is quick and only takes you some minutes.

You won’t need to be in the office to answer calls because the VoIP phone system can even be accessed from anywhere through a personalized account. The service provider connects the calls to the recipients over an internet connection. This allows customer service agents to work from their homes remotely.

Another benefit of the VoIP system is that it provides unlimited phone lines and doesn’t need on-site users to reach a dial tone. Despite the differences, a VoIP provider offers great call quality, just like the on-premises phone system.

Features of multi line phone systems

When choosing a multiple line phone company, be sure to pick one that offers all the basic functionalities.

1. Call forwarding

A multi line phone system can automatically transfer calls to another user or device. Some VoIP providers even allow you to forward calls to your voicemail or desk phone. It is beneficial when you are out of the office to transfer the call to another coworker and not suffer from missed business opportunities.

2. Call recording

Call recordings are much needed to train your team and provide insights into the customer’s most usual problems. New agents can listen to calls made by more experienced employees to understand what to do and what not to do in a call with a client. They are also helpful for call quality controls.

3. Toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers don’t charge the person calling the line. They are also helpful for long-distance customers that want to reach your business but don’t want to pay fees for the call because they are out of your area. The US 1800 numbers help you build trust within your audience.

4. Voicemail

It may happen that you can’t pick up the call on time. In this case, you can allow the client to leave a voicemail and even get transcripts of it sent to your email. This helps you not lose a possible customer that can turn to your competitor if you don’t answer their request for insights.

5. Call analytics

The best decisions you can make are data-driven. Call analytics can help you by providing track metrics average wait time, number and percentage of missed calls, average talk time, total cases, etc. Call recordings are also not the only feature that helps value the quality of a call because call analytics show volume patterns as well.

6. Call routing

This feature directs callers to the correct department that can answer their questions. You can define the criteria for which person to answer specific calls. You can choose skill-based routing, chronological order routing, etc.

Types of line phone systems

There are more types of line phone systems than just one. Which one you should buy for your small business depends on the number of employees in your customer service department, how many calls a day your company has, how much your agents can handle, etc. Most small businesses use up to four lines.

2 line phone system

This is the most common type for small businesses that have just started. This system is also used by people who want a personal number separate from their business number. This helps add a more professional tone when a customer calls. Independent contractors or freelancers use this phone system the most because they answer business calls themselves as they are in a moderate volume.

4 line phone system

This system is used by medium-sized enterprises with a team answering calls regularly or for contact centers. A four-line phone system is helpful for employees that need a dedicated line and the rest of the team that needs shared lines. This phone system is also used by receptionists who need to put calls on hold and use call routing.

6 line phone system

Most small businesses don’t need a 6 line phone system as bigger enterprises use them. But some SMEs may need a dedicated line for the fax machine, a phone line for each member, and a phone line for the manager.

10 best multi line phone systems for your small business

Since there are plenty of multi line phone systems, it may be a bit difficult for you to choose one. That’s why we have made a list of the best multi line phone systems and their most essential features. Choose one phone system from the list below:

  1. Ringblaze
  2. Nextiva
  3. RingCentral
  4. Ooma
  5. eVoice
  6. Google Voice
  7. Freshdesk
  8. Phone.com
  9. Grasshopper
  10. Dialpad

1. Ringblaze

Preview of Ringblaze's landing page.
Source: Ringblaze

Ringblaze is one of the best VoIP providers that can manage multiple phone numbers effortlessly. We are an optimized phone system that supports effective sales and customer support collaboration.

We help your team to communicate with customers in real-time. Ringblaze is easy to use, affordable, and supports many devices.

free trial

Our advanced infrastructure ensures that your business runs 24/7 without missed calls, so the customer’s perception of your business won’t be affected. You can use Ringblaze’s dashboard to set up multiple phone numbers. Admin controls let you assign calls to owners and even add comments to save time.

Ringblaze also offers excellent support that is quick to reply and can assist you through email or chat support. You can also check our Help Center to learn more on how to use the Ringblaze app, get started with Ringblaze, fix a problem, manage your account, etc. Another great thing about Ringblaze is that our services are affordable. You can access all our great features for $15 a month, billed annually. We even offer a free trial.

Check out Ringblaze and help upscale your business.

Ringblaze features:

  • Call forwarding
  • Unlimited minutes to US and Canada
  • Call history
  • Call recording
  • Assign calls
  • Customer timeline
  • Shared contacts
  • Call widget
  • Shared call inbox
  • Custom voicemail greeting
  • Call recording
  • Call controls like mute and transfer
  • Business text messaging for all users
  • International calls
  • Call comments
  • Group calling

2. Nextiva

Preview of Nextiva's landing page.
Source: Nextiva

Nextiva is not only a VoIP system but also offers models of desk phones that can handle multiple lines. Its best desk phone is the X-835 model, perfect for businesses that need more than four lines and offer more customization options. Nextiva’s VoIP system is also great and has all the standard features a VoIP software should have. That’s why Nextiva is ranked second as the best multi line phone system.

Nextiva offers three packages, the Essential, Professional, and Enterprise package. The last one with all the needed features is the most expensive, costing $27 per month, way more than Ringblaze. All packages offer 24/7 support, but the Essential offers limited features.

Some features of Nextiva’s Enterprise package:

  • Free local and toll-free numbers
  • Unlimited audio and video messages
  • Business text messages
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Call recording
  • Voice analytics
  • Single sign-on management

3. RingCentral

Preview of RingCentral's landing page.
Source: RingCentral

RingCentral is an all-in-one communication service that also offers unlimited video calls and conference calls and unlimited calls and messaging. You can contact their customer support in many ways, by phone, email, submitting a ticker, and more.

RingCentral is a bit more expensive than the other options. The Essential package is the cheapest one but starts at $30 per user per month. The most expensive plan is the Ultimate package, and to have access to it, you need to pay $53 per month. It also has two other packages, and all of them come with a free 15-day trial except the Ultimate package. Their Video Pro package offers video meetings with up to 100 participants.

Some key features of RingCentral’s Ultimate package:

  • Unlimited business SMS
  • Document sharing
  • Integrations with CRM
  • Call flipping
  • Call routing
  • Call transferring
  • Toll-free numbers
  • International calling

4. Ooma

Preview of Ooma's landing page.
Source: Ooma

Ooma, like Nextiva, is not only a VoIP multi line phone system but also offers a desk phone that connects wirelessly. You can purchase these phones from Ooma to set up your employees. It is simple to set up your line phone system with Ooma, but it also lets you keep your previous business phone number.

If you need any help, you can contact them at their US or Canadian phone number. Ooma offers Ooma Office, which you can buy for $20 a month per user, and another package with more advanced features Ooma Office Pro that you can get for $25 a month per user.

Some of the Ooma Office Pro features:

  • Digital receptionist
  • Ring groups
  • Voicemail
  • Call transfer
  • Call log
  • Forward calls during device outages
  • One virtual fax per user
  • Call blocking
  • SMS messaging

5. eVoice

Preview of eVoice's landing page.
Source: eVoice

The eVoice company, which is also known as eReceptionist in some regions, offers communication solutions for your small business. It provides a virtual receptionist to make managing your business’s calls more flexible. Their automated phone system ensures that your customer’s calls are instantly routed to the person they need to speak to.

If you have any questions, you can contact them by email, phone, post, or simply have a look at their FAQ page. They offer four plans, with the cheapest one starting at £7.50 (per user) per month, but this package doesn’t include minutes, and you pay as you go. Their most popular package is the Startup+ package which costs almost £20 a month.

Some features of the Startup+ package:

  • 750 minutes per month
  • Local, National, 0800 international numbers
  • Conference calling
  • Call recording
  • Free professional welcome greeting
  • Sequential or simultaneous ringing
  • Call screening
  • Call transfers

6. Google Voice

Preview of Google Voice's landing page.
Source: Google Voice

The technology giant Google has a long list of products and services created. One of them is Google Voice, a VoIP multi line phone system that lets you make and receive business calls and messages. It is designed for any small business that wants to make communication with clients more accessible and easier.

Google Voice is free for personal use, but you will need to purchase one of its packages for business-related calls. The Starter package costs $10 a month per user, the Standard package costs $20 a month per user, and the Premier package costs $30 a month per user. The most preferred package is the Standard one. All packages have 24/7 support included.

Some features of the Premier package:

  • Free calling to the US from any Country
  • Free calling to Canada from US
  • Call forwarding
  • Multi level auto-attendant
  • Ring Groups
  • Desk Phone Support
  • eDiscovery for calls, voice mails, and SMS records
  • Voicemail transcription

7. Freshdesk

Preview of Freshdesk's landing page.
Source: Freshdesk

Freshdesk, formerly named Freshcaller, offers way more than a multi line phone system. Its services include solutions for email management, workflow management, integrating web forms, and much more. It also helps you answer support calls effectively with features that allow you to reduce call wait time and improve call productivity.

You can contact their customer support via phone, email, or by submitting a ticket. To get fast answers to your questions you can also engage in their community or read their FAQ sections. They have four plans and one of them is free but with very limited features.

Meanwhile, their most expensive plan. The Enterprise plan costs $79 a month per agent billed annually or $95 a month if billed monthly.

Some features of the Enterprise plan:

  • Skill-based Routing
  • Sandbox
  • Agent Shifts
  • IP Range Restriction
  • Audit Log
  • Knowledge Base Approval Workflow
  • Email Bot 
  • Helpdesk Report
  • SLA & Business hour
  • Custom Email Server

8. Phone.com

Preview of Phone.com's landing page.
Source: Phone.com

Phone.com offers many communication solutions for your small business, including a multi line phone system. Their local call minutes include Canada and some European countries, which makes calling out to those countries much cheaper. They also offer video conferences with up to 100 participants.

They provide a US-based bilingual support team that is live 24/7. They offer three plans with the cheapest one, Basic Users, costing $10.39 a month per user if billed annually.

The other plan, Plus Users, costs around $11 a month, and the most expensive plan, Pro Users, costs $24 a month.

Some features of the Pro Users plan:

  • Call Recording
  • Call Analytics
  • CRM Integration
  • Video conferencing with 100 participants
  • Conference calls with HiFi transcription
  • Business text messages

9. Grasshopper

Preview of Grasshopper's landing page.
Source: Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a cloud multi line phone system only available in the US and Canada. Even though it is a great app with plenty of features, it still won’t allow you to make outgoing calls. It has both a Desktop and an App Store/Play Store app.

You can contact their 24/7 support line, send a letter to their address, or browse their knowledge-base pages. Grasshopper pricing starts at $24 per month and offers one number with three extensions. If you purchase three numbers, the cost will be $49 per month, and for five numbers, it will be $89 per month.

You will also need to pay a $25 set-up fee.

Some key features that Grasshopper offers:

  • Voicemail transcriptions
  • Business texting
  • Call forwarding
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Incoming call control
  • Transfer calls
  • Instant responses
  • Voicemail
  • Business texting

10. Dialpad

Preview of Dialpad's landing page.
Source: Dialpad

Dialpad is an Ai-powered communication platform that offers a multi line phone system. It offers solutions for different industries such as education, healthcare, real estate, technology, professional services, legal, etc. It can be used by both big enterprises and small business owners.

If you have any questions, you can chat with their sales team, submit a ticket, check their help center or contact them via phone. They have nine offices around the world that answer calls. You can purchase their Standard plan, which costs $15 per user per month if billed annually and offers limited features and one license minimum. Their Pro plan costs $25 with a three license minimum. To get a quote for their Enterprise plan with a 100 license minimum, you must contact them.

Some features of their Enterprise plan:

  • Unlimited office locations and ring groups
  • Azure integration
  • IAM/SSO integrations
  • Data retention policies
  • Local number support in 70+ countries
  • CRM integrations
  • Unlimited meeting recordings

Conclusion

We have come to the end of our article and hope we have helped you find the best multi line phone system for your small business.

We started this article with an overview, and then we explained what a multi line phone system is. After explaining this concept and the two ways to set them up, we stopped at the advantages of a cloud-based system and why you should choose it over more traditional phone lines.

We then touched on the essential features of a great multi line phone system so you will know what to look for when choosing a communication platform for your small business. We also discussed the types of line phone systems and ended the article with a list consisting of the 10 best multi line phone systems. Our tool,  Ringblaze, which is on the list of the best VoIP providers, can help you effortlessly manage multiple phone numbers. We hope this article was of help and, of course, it’s up to you to choose the best phone system for yourself, based on your needs. 

Ringblaze app for desktop and mobile

FAQ

How do you set up a multi line phone system?

There are two ways to set up multi line phone systems. You can use an on-premises multi line system that requires telecom hardware and technical experience like the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or Key System Unit (KSU). You can use the less traditional type, cloud-based multi line system like a VoIP service. They are a more recent innovation, need less on-site hardware, and offer more scalability.

What is a multi line telephone system?

Multi line phone systems can handle more than one phone call at a time. When a team member is in line with a customer, and there is another dial, the call will be directed to another member. If all agents are busy, the call will be directed to either a voicemail or a busy signal.

How do I choose a small business phone system?

To select a great, flexible phone system for your small business, you will need to choose one that offers essential functions like forwarding calls, call recording, voicemail, call analytics, call routing, toll-free numbers, etc. Some VoIP services offer even more advanced features.

What is a 4 line phone system?

A four-line phone system provides four analog or landline call lines through your office. Small or medium-sized businesses mostly use it. It is helpful for team members who need a dedicated line and for the rest of the team who need shared lines. 

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