Best Multi-Line Phone Systems For Small Business

Multi-line phone systems enable your small business to level up your communications. You open the door for multiple people to take calls at the same time, and also get access to a suite of tools designed to improve efficiency. In this post, our independent experts have reviewed the top 5 providers in the UK for 2022. If you want to know which multi-line phone system is best for your business, click the button below for a free comparison quote.

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Landline Replacement

Best for: up to 3 lines

Phoneline+ is marketed as a business landline replacement service, but in truth, it's much more than that. Small businesses looking to upgrade from their traditional telephone lines can get one or more "virtual phone numbers", unlimited calls, and the ability to take calls on their mobile, desktop, or even through a web browser. Perfect for any company with just a couple of staff, Phoneline+ gives you an excellent multi-line phone system for less than you're paying for your existing landline.

Top features and benefits:

  • Easy to use, minimal learning required
  • Supports up to 3 lines
  • Take landline calls via a mobile app
  • Voicemail to email
  • Transfer calls between users
  • Out of hours routing
  • Unlimited calls to UK mobiles and landlines
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Top-rated phone system

Best for: businesses that may grow

Horizon is a market-leading multi-line VoIP phone system from UK telecoms provider Gamma. It's a powerful solution perfect for any small business that might outgrow lessor options. It can support anything from 1 to 500 lines, and as it's priced per user, you only pay for the capacity you need. What's more, it's comparatively priced compared to some of the other multi-line solutions in this review.  

Top features and benefits:

  • Generous free call bundles
  • Unlimited VoIP numbers
  • Excellent pricing
  • Choice of Polycom and Cisco Handsets
  • Includes mobile and desktop apps
  • Advanced call routing
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Music-on-hold
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Most flexible

Best for: flexibility and features

3CX is one of the only multi-line phone systems featured in this guide that you can actually have on your premises if you wish. You can of course have it hosted in the cloud too, but for some businesses, the flexibility that 3CX gives them is invaluable. Perhaps the biggest advantage of 3CX is that it works will ALL IP phones, which means you're spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your handsets.

Top features and benefits:

  • Choose where it's hosted
  • Supports all IP phones and headsets
  • Create voice apps to automate repetitive tasks
  • Call recording and monitoring
  • Call queuing and routing
  • Live chat for your website
  • Excellent auto attendant (virtual receptionist)
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Best for: 1-4 lines

BT's Cloud Voice Express is a great choice for small businesses that need a simple solution and don't mind paying a bit extra to go with a household name. With BT, you get virtual geographic numbers (not non-geographic, however), 24/7 helpdesk support, and it's easy to get started. 

Top features and benefits:

  • Self-install
  • Easy to add users
  • PAYG or unlimited call options
  • Simple solution
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8x8 8x8

Best for: international businesses

8x8 are one of the world's leading VoIP providers and their solution is especially good for companies that trade overseas. Yes, it costs a lot more than other options on our list, but it gives you the ability to trade internationally with ease. 

Top features and benefits:

  • Multi-national phone system
  • Proactive self-serve options
  • Excellent IVR
  • Predictive dialler, great for outbound
  • Call & screen recording
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How to choose the best multi-line phone system

When you start looking for your new small business phone system, it's important that you consider several things to ensure you get the best system for you.

How to choose a multi-line phone system

1. How many phone lines do you need?

If there is a chance you will need more than three in the future, then it might be better to go for one of the more advanced phone systems, like Horizon, so that you can scale when you need to. Contrary to what you may think, these bigger systems don't always come at a higher price.

2. Do you need physical handsets?

Most multi-line phone systems use VoIP, which is the technical term for phone calls over the internet. While many of the leading systems give you the option of having physical desk phones, you also have the ability to take calls on your mobile or even a laptop if you'd prefer!

3. What features do you require?

Multi-line phone systems usually come with a wide variety of features to choose from, all of which are designed to give your business the edge and improve your communications. Here are some of the things you can expect with most of the leading systems:

  • Voicemail to email
  • Call recording
  • Call transfer
  • Out of hours call routing
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Music-on-hold
  • Hunt groups
  • Video calling
  • Video conferencing

These are just some of the features you can choose from, and there tend to be lots more too, so when you speak to your VoIP provider, be sure to check which features their system has.

4. What is your budget?

Of course, how much you can afford to spend will have a bearing on the phone system you choose to go for. In our experience, a budget of around £20 per line is usually sufficient to get an excellent phone system with all of the features you need. To give you an idea, some of the lesser multi-line phone systems may come in at under £10 per line, but as you want to access more features, you can expect to pay more.

5. Do you have any existing numbers that you need to transfer?

Finally, if you already have a business phone line, it's important to choose a multi-line phone system that will allow you to transfer your numbers over. Not all do, so when you speak to your telecoms partner, check with them to ensure you don't lose your existing phone numbers.

Who are T2k, and how can we help?

T2k is an independent VoIP provider based in Bournemouth, Dorset. We help businesses of all sizes with their telephony. As we're independent, we're able to provide you with impartial advice on finding the best multi-line phone system for your business. We've been in business for over 25 years and have built a reputation for providing excellent service to all of our customers. If you would like to speak to us about your requirements, please don't hesitate to call us on 01202 854111.

Lee Clarke
Sales Director

Having worked for T2k for nearly 25 years, it's fair to say that Lee is an expert when it comes to all things telephony and business communications. Overseeing the commercial side of the business, he has helped the company evolve and grow through the decades. In recent years, and with the advent of VoIP and hosted telephony, Lee has made sure that T2k is at the forefront of technological developments. With a firm interest in helping businesses navigate the world of telecoms, Lee is responsible for the majority of the content on this website.

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