Different Types Of Switchboards

Revised: May 6, 2011

Telephone switchboards are, essentially, electronic panels that allow for calls to be transferred from one telephone to another, or to be put on hold. Telephone switchboards are a necessity in any business as they make your business appear more legit and professional, and give you control over your calls, so as not to lose potential sales.

Telephone switchboard manufacturers are involved in the manufacture of the different types of telephone switchboards, and in some cases a telephone switchboard manufacturer is also a supplier of telephone switchboards.

Throughout this article, “telephone switchboards” will be referred to as “switchboards.”

Types Of Switchboards

There are two basic types of switchboards, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD). Virtual switchboards will also be discussed, although they are technically not switchboards.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) switchboards are popular switchboards for small businesses, where the typical situation involves a caller needing to speak to someone specific in another department or section of the company, for example the human resources manager. The receptionist is usually the person who answers and transfers the call to the relevant person. The caller can also use voice commands or select different options on the keypad. There are three types of IVR switchboards:

  • Inbound IVR switchboards give businesses the option of routing calls, managing queues, recording greetings, securing leads, and providing information.
  • Outbound IVR switchboards give businesses the ability to give out invitations to events, reminders for appointments, alerts and updates regarding inventory and shipments, and satisfaction surveys to customers.
  • Inbound and outbound IVR switchboards, which is a combination of the functions of inbound and outbound respectively.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) Switchboards are also computerized, but are designed for large businesses, typically those who make use of call centers. They work by the distribution of calls to the first available operator, who work with dashboards and computer screens, which they can view data on. This system helps to reduce the time a customer waits for their call to be answered. They make use of caller ID or automatic number identification to get and store the customer’s telephone number.

Virtual switchboards gives businesses access to the features of a switchboard without capital expenses, such as installation, rental or maintenance costs. This system works through virtual switchboard operators, whose job it is to place a callers on hold and alert you that you have a call for a specific department. The call can also be diverted in the case of the phone being disconnected.

Buying Switchboards

When purchasing a switchboard it is essential to evaluate your needs so as to not purchase a system with features you won’t need. 3Q can help you to find switchboards companies and switchboards manufacturers that can supply you with a quote on a switchboard for your business.

Simply choose the category you’re looking for (such as switchboards), fill out the form, and switchboard companies will contact you, find out what you need, and quote you accordingly.

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