There are many important things to consider when choosing a VoIP phone provider for your business. The simple list of tips provided below will help you decide which cloud VoIP provider offers the best virtual business phone solution for your enterprise.
When a business considers making a move to a VoIP phone service, one of the first considerations is price. However, it is a mistake to make price your top priority when comparing providers. There’s stiff competition among VoIP providers in the marketplace today, and the price differences between them usually on varies by a few dollars per month, for the same level of service and features. It’s more important to focus on other things, like the VoIP phone provider’s available features, the support they provide and other factors that make a big difference to your business.
Finding a reliable company is the most important factor of all, when choosing a VoIP service provider. It makes no sense to go through the process of moving your current enterprise phone services to a new provider, only to experience problems with poor call quality and poor customer support. VoIP phone providers are not all the same, and it’s easy to get lured in by the cheap prices offered by some smaller, less established companies. Before deciding which VoIP provider to switch to, you need to do your research, to find out how long the company has been around and how reliable their services are.
When a business decides to move their enterprise phone system to the cloud, there’s a wide range of configuration details and technical issues that may crop up, which need to be ironed-out, to get your VoIP services up and running properly. Therefore, the level of support that’s available is a critical factor to consider, when it comes to switching your company’s phone system over to any VoIP provider’s platform. A quality VoIP provider will offer nothing less than 24 hour / 7 days per week support. Your company should also look into the training that different VoIP phone providers offer, so your system users can get up to speed quickly on the new phone system.
4. Size & Reputation
While there are some small VoIP phone providers to choose from in the marketplace who provide quality services, it’s usually a safer bet to pick a larger VoIP phone provider with an established leadership position in the industry. The worst case scenario for your company is choosing a small VoIP phone provider that suddenly goes out of business, leaving your organization without a working phone system, and in the position of having to find another VoIP phone provider, to get your operation running again. As a general rule, larger companies have more resources to devote to management, technology and customer support. This makes it easier to resolve any potential problems that you may have with your company’s VoIP phone services, which leads to happier customers and a stronger likelihood that the provider will stay in business.
5. Satisfaction Guarantee
It’s also very important to find out about any guarantees that VoIP phone providers offer on their services, before getting locked into a contract with them. Otherwise, your company could get stuck with a low quality phone service, and may be forced to pay a penalty, if you decide to leave your provider to get better service elsewhere before your contract ends. To avoid this scenario, you should make sure that any VoIP phone provider that you choose offers a 30 day customer satisfaction guarantee that allows you to cancel your contract, without a penalty.
6. Plans, Features & Equipment
VoIP Providers offer a wide range of service plans to choose from. Features such as call forwarding, call waiting, conference calling, caller ID and voice mail should be included in any service plan that your VoIP provider offers, at no additional charge. Options like unlimited local and long distance calls, as well as unlimited international calls are offered by most VoIP providers on some service plan levels. Other features, like the ability to establish phone numbers with different local area codes are also an important consideration for any business with more than a single location. You also need to find out what your choices are for phone equipment. Many VoIP phone providers offer different options, like the ability to use you existing phone handsets through a cloud gateway, while others may require your company to purchase or lease new IP phones for small business.
7. Emergency Dialing (E911)
Companies that are replacing a traditional phone system with a VoIP phone system need to know that emergency dialing doesn’t work the same way as it does with land-line phones. You need to check with any VoIP provider that you are considering, to makes sure that enhanced (E911) emergency dialing services are available. This feature allows your business to register a physical address for each of your phone lines to ensure that emergency services are properly dispatched to your different office locations, when someone dials 911..
By doing a little research upfront, your company can find the right VoIP phone provider and avoid many of the common pitfalls that businesses face when choosing to move their enterprise phone system to the cloud.