How to Choose the Best VoIP Phone System for Your Business
For businesses, communication is essential. It’s what keeps the money flowing.
Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized companies can’t afford all of the features they want.
Instead of traditional services, a new option has become available for companies looking for top tier options without paying a top tier price. With the rise of VoIP services, businesses now have more options for their communication needs.
With the capability of improving productivity with VoIP, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of companies providing these services now. How does a business find the best VoIP phone service though?
Let’s examine what makes these phone systems best for you small business and how to choose the best for your business.
Ensure A Dedication To Quality
VoIP services run off of internet data. This can lead to problems in some cases if your provider isn’t able to ensure the best possible connection.
When looking for the best VoIP phone service, make sure that you do your homework.
Go online and look at reviews. Make sure that the company you will be using can ensure your network and internet connection can handle the VoIP service.
There are providers that can give you a voice and data package, integrating both needs into one. You should also be able to get a service level agreement, and it should have class level reliability score.
This will tell you the amount of time that the network is up and running. Make sure this number is as high as possible. 99.999% is ideal.
Also, make sure you find out how many server locations a particular company has. The higher the number of servers, the better the quality of the calls you make will be.
Know What You Need
There are many features offered by the best VoIP phone services. Many of them come with whatever package you purchase, but some of them are add-on’s and will cost extra.
Having a pre-determined list, or at least an idea, of what you will need beforehand can save you time and money. This will depend largely on the size and type of business you manage.
You should also find out if you will need to up your internet, or if the service will provide both internet and phone service for you.
Many companies will, and doing this can dramatically increase your monthly savings over traditional landlines. You should also find out if you need to upgrade your computer system before making the jump to VoIP service.
Find out if you want to use your own phones or get ones specifically designed for VoIP. The benefit of the VoIP-specific phones is that the features are more easily accessible as they are designed to be a compliment to your service.
You can see some of the best VoIP phone products here.
If you aren’t sure what you need, never be afraid to ask questions. VoIP services often specialize in providing customer care to businesses, and can generally tell you the benefits of certain features.
The Best VoIP Phone Service For Your Customers
Almost all local and national calls with VoIP services are free. There might be a few exceptions to this rule, but they more than likely will have no impact on you.
International calls are a whole other ballgame. There are some companies that charge you for each international call, and some that will give you a certain amount of minutes per month to use on them.
If your clientele is exclusively local or national, then you will be fine without worrying about the costs of calling them.
If you have a number of customers overseas, you will need to focus on how much each call will cost and if you get free minutes to use or not. For the most part, one of the biggest benefits of VoIP services is the cost.
Businesses tend to save a lot of money by making the switch. Some companies save 80% per month by switching, but more realistic savings will be somewhere between 30-60%.
By getting the best VoIP phone plan, you could be saving a lot of cash.
You want to be able to maximize the amount of money that you aren’t sending off to a traditional phone company. Make sure you ask what kind of deals they have for making calls to other parts of the world.
Make Sure There are Plans For a Loss of Service
If you’ve been to college, or ever tried to use the internet for anything at all, you know what happens:
It will go down, and likely will go down when you need it.
Luckily, the best VoIP phone services have plans for when this occurs. You will need to make sure that these plans work for you.
Think of your phone system as a highway that your customers travel down to deliver money to you. What happens if there is a wreck or a traffic jam? You detour.
The same thing can happen with VoIP service. If your office phones go down because you lose internet connectivity, your service provider should be able to forward these calls to you and your employee’s cell phones.
This will ensure that you will not miss a call. It’s called “call continuity” and is a lifesaver that you will be grateful for. Even if the internet only drops for five minutes, that could be the time that an important client calls.
Don’t Just Think About The Present
So you have decided what the best VoIP phone system is for you, taken stock of your company and its needs, and jumped in head first. You picked the best plan for the phones and employees you have, and things are going great.
Three months later, your business takes off, and you add more employees and more phones. International clients come in, and you realize that you need some of those premium features that you didn’t need before.
This could be a problem.
The problem isn’t hard to fix. Most of the time, with the right provider, it will take a few phone calls and a small amount of time. The question is why go through that?
Plan ahead. You do it for marketing, SEO, and promotions, so do it for your phones as well. After all, it doesn’t matter how well the other departments are if you can’t receive calls from potential customers.
Think about where your business is going for the next year, and if you have any major expansions planned. Use data to see if you have a growing overseas presence.
Once you determine that, you can talk to the provider you choose and they can tell you the best course of action. A little bit of effort now can save you a lot of energy and money later on.
Be Comfortable With Your Decision
Your customers want to feel important to you and you do everything you can to make sure they do. It’s what running a good business is all about. The ability to build relationships separate the good from the great in the business world.
Make sure that you expect the same from your phone service. Don’t accept second-class treatment because you will save a few pennies on the dollar. Whatever you save will cost you in the long run.
The best VoIP phone services will be able to walk you through any questions that you might have. They will suggest features and ideas for your service without attempting to oversell you.
When you call them, take note of the person on the other end. Do they sound interested and happy, or do they sound like they are waiting for you to be finished so they can take a lunch?
The initial contact before you sign up for service should be exceptional. Think about it: they are trying to sell themselves to you. If something seems off at that point, how do you think it will be when they have your money?
Also, you want a company that will provide championship level customer service. If you have a problem, you want it addressed in a timely manner and a sense of urgency.
In other words, the same treatment that you demand your customers are given is the same treatment you should demand from those seeking your business.
Take it For a Test Run
Many of the best VoIP phone companies will allow you to sign up for a demo account, which will allow you to try out some of their features.
This can be important because you can make sure that your needs will be met without having to invest money into the product first.
It’s the same as test driving a car. You want to make sure that it’s a proper fit for you before investing capital.
This will give you time to play around with the service and make sure that it has the features advertised and that it’s user-friendly. The last thing you want is to get the service and then find out that it’s difficult to use.
Let Us Help You
VoIP Service can be a powerful tool for your business as long as you know what you are getting into. Streamlining communications while saving money is always a recipe for success.
The key to proper implementation of your new system is to have as much information as possible before making a commitment. You are always welcome to contact us with any questions you may have. We are always happy to help!
For a list of things that we can do to help your business grow, check out our services here! We look forward to hearing from you.