Small business Phone Systems: Digital vs VoIP vs Hybrid

Picture of Max Tomaszewski

Max Tomaszewski

Marketing Coordinator

So you’re looking for a new phone system for your Small Business?

Here are some of the popular reasons businesses look to upgrade their Phone System:

  • Your current Phone System is old, unreliable or not fit for purpose any more.
  • Your line(s) are often engaged because you’re often speaking on the phone, and you could be missing business opportunities.
  • You’d like to take advantage of modern benefit’s like listening to calls through Call Recording or playing professionally recorded On Hold Marketing messages to improve the customer perception of your business.

Those are all great reasons to upgrade, and in this concise article, we’ll outline (in a very simple manner) the differences between Phone Systems that are available to small businesses.

What is the Best Phone System for Small Business?

In 2017, the three most popular types of telephone systems available are:

  • Digital Phone Systems
  • Internet Phone Systems (VOIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol)
  • Hybrid Phone Systems (the best of both worlds)

I’ll briefly introduce the main differences between the three, and give you some benefits and disadvantages.

Digital Phone Systems for Small Business

A digital phone system is a physical telephone system, which is installed and located in your building. They’re small boxes (around the size of a large A4 book) which are usually mounted on a wall or placed in a cabinet. Your phone lines connect to the system, which can connect up to multiple handsets – both cordless (DECT) and fixed desk handsets.

One of the main benefits of a digital phone system is its reliability. This system ranks #2 out of the three in reliability. It also offers many useful features like Professional Business Voicemail, Call Transfer, Hold, Call Logging (a list of missed calls) and much more.

The main disadvantage of a Digital Phone System is that it is restricted to physical phone lines (Digital or Analogue phone lines). Which means it’s not that future-proof.

Internet (VOIP) Phone Systems for Small Business

An internet or VOIP phone system is a virtual phone system, which unlike a digital or hybrid system will not be located in your building. Instead, it will be located in a data centre somewhere in the world.

One benefit of VOIP systems is that they can save money on call charges. Plus they offer loads of useful benefits, like Professional Business Voicemail, Call Transfer, Hold, Call Logging (a list of missed calls) and much more.

Two disadvantage of purely VOIP systems are: 1. If your internet goes down, you will not be able to use your phones – at all. 2. You’ll never actually own the system, so you’ll be paying for the rest of your time in business.

Hybrid Phone Systems for Small Business

The Hybrid Phone System is a blend of a Digital Phone System and an Internet (VOIP) Phone System. This means you can call out using VOIP Lines, Digital Lines, and/or Analogue Lines. The system will be located in your business and it offers flexibility with your choice of both cordless and fixed handsets.

The main benefit of a Hybrid Phone System is that they offer more reliability than both VOIP and Digital Phone Systems. If one type of line fails for you, it can automatically route calls in and out from a backup line.

A secondary benefit is that there are flexible options, usually over 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 years in which you pay off the system (in a fixed monthly price), and at the end of the term you own it. So you don’t need to pay for it anymore. That’s a huge advantage over a pure VOIP Phone System in the long run.

Hybrid Phone Systems also offer more functionality than both Digital and VOIP Phone Systems.

Hybrid Phone Systems don’t really have any disadvantages… They are truly the best of both worlds.

Conclusion: The Hybrid Phone System is the Best Phone System for Small Business

If you’re a larger business, and you already have a Leased Line (dedicated high-speed fibre connection which cost £300-1,000 per month), it’s a close decision between the pure VOIP and the Hybrid Phone System.

If you’re a smaller business and want the most reliable phone system you can buy, plus want lots of functionality to help improve communication, the Hybrid Phone System is a clear winner!

Call us on 02382 146115 to find out more information.

The Hybrid Phone System offers a wide range of other useful features for Small Business. Some of which listed here.

Professional Voicemail – (Day & Night)

Impress and inform callers when you can’t answer the phone, due to being closed or busy with clients. Whenever someone leaves you a voicemail, your Hybrid Phone system will instantly email a recording of the message to you! Handy eh?

Call Waiting

Rather than clients getting an engaged tone while your reception team are on the phone, your phone system will automatically greet clients, notify them that you’re busy on the phone and then play them some music or marketing while they wait for you. This keeps your patients interested and on the line, rather than calling the next dental practice, they find on Google.

Call Logging

Never let an unanswered call turn into a missed opportunity, bad impression, or an upset client again. You may miss calls when you’re busy on the phone, helping patients, or even closed, but with the Yo Telecom Hybrid Phone System, you can easily WOW your callers by returning your missed calls, so they don’t turn into missed opportunities or frustrated clients.

Call Recording (NEW!)

Make calling your business a positive experience, always. Improve and monitor the way your staff speak to clients over the phone. If a caller has a bad experience, it can be damaging to your reputation and lead to a loss of revenue.

With Yo Telecom’s Call Recording you can listen to any call that has been made or received, and use it to guide and help staff to improve. It also comes in handy if you ever need to re-listen to information clients or suppliers give you over the phone.

Call Transfer

Help callers speak to the person they need to, fast. There’s no need to run around the building to pass the phone to someone, with the Yo Telecom Hybrid Phone System it’s one simple touch of a button to transfer a call to any other handset (cordless or fixed handset). And, you can even transfer calls to an outside phone line or mobile if you ever need to – such as a director or managers mobile.

On Hold Marketing (or Music)

Make waiting on hold enjoyable & entertaining, or informative & interesting, or a mixture of the two – your choice depending on what your goals are. Some businesses like to entertain callers with iconic music like Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, while other businesses prefer to inform callers about services, social media or upcoming events. Either way, we’ll source the music, or create you a professionally recorded and personalised on hold marketing message, with some soft music in the background to add to the experience.

Smart Inbound Call Routing

Impress your callers with fast service by smartly sending inbound calls to a phone or a group of phones. If the person who usually answers calls is already busy on the phone or doesn’t answer quickly enough, the call will automatically be sent through to another phone, or group of phones. Saving your callers time, and keeping them happy.

What do Small Businesses say About Yo Telecom Hybrid Phone Systems?

“We are very happy with the service we have received from Yo Telecom and we would recommend them to every dental practice! Derek, Jess and engineer James looked after us extremely well from the very beginning. They were very clear about the options and there were no hidden charges or terms.Their system is amazing and it took our business to the higher level of customer service.

We are really happy! Thank you Yo Telecom! Keep up the good work :)”

— Weronika Korkosz, Manager

“5 * service from Yo Telecom. From initial set up to ongoing maintenance/service everyone provides excellent customer service. Any new work we have done has been to improve our system and at each step they have been there with us. I cannot recommend this company high enough. We are extremely happy we moved from our previous provider where we always had issues and now we have none.”

— Kevin Evans, Director

You can find more happy customer testimonials over on our YoTelecom YouTube Channel.


I hope this has been simple and easy to understand for you. I’ve purposefully kept it as simple as possible.

If you’d like to know more about anything discussed in this article please call us on 02382 146115 or email [email protected]!

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