There are many aspects of a BTS that must be considered before choosing a provider, mainly based on the size of a company, its expected growth, and the budget set for the system. The most common features that businesses will want their phone systems to have are as follows:
- Auto Attendant. Also called a digital receptionist, virtual receptionist, or voicemail system, this capability takes the place of a phone operator or a receptionist. It ensures that no calls are missed-day or night. Most providers offer this feature free of charge, allowing it to be a money- and time-saving feature.
- Automated Directory. This is closely linked to the auto attendant, as it allows clients to find the extension of the person they're attempting to contact without talking to a live operator. This feature should route all calls to preset destinations.
- Call Forwarding. This is an automated mechanism for rerouting a call to a different phone number or to voicemail, saving both the client and employee time, and allowing for greater efficiency. Call forwarding makes it possible to get calls while one is outside the office.
- Call Hold. This allows clients to be kept on the phone during confidential conversations or discussions without them being able to hear or listen in. It's also used for keeping clients on the phone until an operator is available to take the call, should phone lines be busy.
- Conference Calls. This feature allows multiple individuals to participate on a call at the same time. Some providers will limit the number of people who can join on one call; however, this can be discussed prior to the purchase of any package if a greater number of conference calls is desired.
- Last-Number Redial. A quick and easy way to return a call to a specific office within a workplace, or to return a call to the last client on the phone. This should always be included by a BTS provider.
- Music on Hold. Closely linked to call holding, this allows music to be played while someone is on hold. It's especially useful for companies with a large number of incoming calls, as it allows callers to stay interested long enough for an operator to answer the call. Some larger companies will use this time on hold to advertise their own business or affiliated businesses with news, jingles, or ads. In other words, it can serve as a very powerful marketing tool.
- Speed Dial. Similar to the last-number redial, this should always be included with a BTS. Speed dial provides a quick way to store frequently called numbers and dial them with a simple two- or three-digit code.