Are you still using a traditional landline for your phone lines? If so, you’re doing things the old way. Reports show that 61% of businesses now use VOIP services for their communication.
The problem is that VOIP systems can be more complicated to set up and learn when you don’t have experience. That makes finding a great provider challenging for someone looking to upgrade their company’s phone systems.
If you’re having problems choosing a VOIP provider, this post will help. Below are six of the top factors to consider when looking at your VOIP provider options.
1. Feature Set
VOIP services aren’t like a traditional phone line. They can do much more than allow you to make calls and occasionally conference someone into a group call.
VOIP phone lines use the internet to work. That means you have many more service options that add value to businesses that need more from a phone service.
Look through all the additional features offered by VOIP companies. The chances are good that some features will benefit your company. Compare the features offered by different providers to determine which one provides you with everything your company needs to thrive.
2. Mobile App
The great thing about VOIP phone lines is that you don’t need to stay in a single location to use them. Since you’re using the internet to connect to your phone service, all you need is the correct software to connect to your VOIP provider.
Many VOIP companies offer mobile apps that connect to their services. That means your team can make business phone calls with their company numbers from anywhere globally and not appear as if they are using personal phones.
It takes a lot of work to create a great mobile app, so look at what each app offers to customers. You need to ensure that the mobile apps provide reliable service from anywhere and provide all the features someone would get when making a call from the office.
The other great thing about internet-enabled phone lines is connecting to other software. The chances are good that you use other software in your business. Some of that software may be able to use the data from your VOIP service.
Look to see what integrations your VOIP provider offers. For instance, a customer relationship manager can use call logs to track your employees’ time talking to customers and log it in your CRM program. You can then use this data to track customer progress and optimize your sales process.
There are many other use cases for VOIP integrations, so look through everything a provider offers. You may even get new ideas for software that can be useful for your company.
VOIP is a software service, first and foremost. That means that there isn’t a standard pricing structure like you’ll see with products that use physical materials.
That makes looking at all the pricing options available when looking for VOIP providers. Comparing VOIP service costs allows you to take into account all the features provided by a company to see if they provide enough value for the money.
Luckily, you usually don’t need to do much work to see how much a VOIP service costs. Most providers display their monthly and yearly rates on their website and show you how much it will cost to scale your services. Look through as many options as possible to see what pricing makes the most sense and fits into your company’s budget.
The amount of service you need today may not be what you’ll need in the future. As your organization grows, you’ll need to expand your VOIP capabilities along with the rest of your company’s services.
The question is, will your VOIP service be able to meet your needs? Ask a VOIP provider how much they can upgrade your VOIP system. They need to be able to handle all the bandwidth your company needs and let you increase the number of business phone numbers included in your plan.
You’ll also need to learn how your pricing will be impacted when you start scaling your service. Some providers start cheap but charge a lot more money when a company needs more resources. Look for someone with fair pricing when you need to scale to ensure you don’t overpay for your phone service.
6. Customer Reviews
One of the final steps to decide on your VOIP software is to look at reviews from past customers. Reading online reviews is a great way to learn about the pros and cons of a VOIP system. Customers are free to speak as they wish when reviewing products, so you’ll learn the unfiltered truth about how good a company’s service is.
You can also check the BBB website to see the big complaints from customers. The great thing about the BBB website is that the company has a chance to respond to customer complaints and resolve issues. You can see how willing a provider is to work with an unhappy customer to make sure their concerns get addressed.
If you still can’t find the information you need from online reviews, try to reach out in person to current and past customers. Speaking directly with a customer can be more informative than reading what people post on the internet.
Choosing a VOIP Provider Isn’t Always Easy
You can’t afford lousy phone service when you run a business. It’s unprofessional and can interrupt critical business conversations. Make sure you do your due diligence when choosing a VOIP provider to find a company that gives you the phone service your business deserves.
Do you want to learn more tips that will help you find other business services? Head back to the blog to see what other technology and tools your business can use.