What Is VoIP?
Also known as Voice over IP, VoIP is a standard method for transferring real-time voice data over the internet. Your regular telephone service takes your voice and produces an electrical signal that travels down the phone line until it reaches the receiver on the other end. While this has worked well for over a century, it’s a rather simple system.
Your business needs something better. When you use VoIP, you can leverage the power of the internet to get more features and more connectivity than any landline could offer. Want to use the same phone number on your mobile app and at your desk? You can do that with VoIP! Need detailed reports of your calls, including whether your client sounded happy or angry? That’s possible too!
Best of all, VoIP service can save you a ton of money over time. You don’t even need to splurge on the best VoIP phone services to get a great deal. VoIP is easy to set up, easy to use, and superior to your landline phone in every way.
What Do You Need to Use Voice Over IP?
A Voice over IP system, as its name implies, requires an internet connection to work properly. We always recommend that you pony up for the best high-speed internet connection available. Although VoIP doesn’t consume a lot of data, when you have an entire office full of devices trying to use it at the same time, it’s a good idea to have plenty of bandwidth for everyone.
Once you’ve got the internet flowing through your business’s veins, you’ll need to choose from one of the many VoIP solutions available. VoIP service providers give you virtual phone numbers or let you port your existing number onto their service. They’ll also give you unified communications software so you can use that number anywhere and access other features.
What Is a VoIP Phone Service?
VoIP phone services give your business VoIP communications in a variety of ways. Most VoIP providers will give you the ability to make VoIP calls from your computer or mobile device using a mobile app. They almost always include a text messaging service that you can use to keep your employees connected.
More advanced VoIP providers will have what’s called a “Cloud PBX” that lets you assign extensions to any device in your office. These VoIP providers also offer VoIP phones that sit on your desk and use the internet to place calls. You don’t have to use these, but if you’re looking for a complete VoIP phone system, look for that feature.
VoIP Providers typically have much better customer service than your standard phone company. The phone company covers a massive geographical area and they need to constantly maintain their infrastructure. Meanwhile, VoIP providers simply provide a service that works through the existing internet infrastructure, so they can focus on you!
Save Money With VoIP
We’ve all been there. You call and call and then get smacked with a bruising bill at the end of the month. Your phone company loves to weasel money out of you with long-distance charges and extra fees for calling customer support out to the office. VoIP providers, however, shatter this system and provide a phone service with fair pricing and plenty of savings.
On the internet, there are no long-distance fees. Your email doesn’t charge you more for traveling further, so why would your VoIP call? Better yet, almost every VoIP provider has unlimited calling and messaging. The best VoIP providers even have unlimited calling to certain international destinations, or they can give you an international number for next to nothing.
If you’re a business that has branches scattered about or one that frequently has to call remote locations, then switching to a VoIP phone system should be your top priority. You’ll save a fortune.
Replace Your Business Phone System With VoIP Phones
Some businesses are hesitant to swap out all of their existing phones with Voice over IP phones. But you don’t have to completely replace your hardware to rely entirely on VoIP services. All you have to do is install the VoIP software on any device and it instantly becomes a VoIP-ready phone!
Isn’t it annoying when you’re on your PC, headphones on, and a phone call comes in and you have to practically get undressed to pick up the phone? Never do that again. With VoIP software, you can have high quality calls on any of your devices, even your cell phone.
And that’s just the beginning. Your business can save money by becoming more efficient thanks to the incredible VoIP features that service providers have to offer.
Get Powerful VoIP Features
Your phone company probably offers a bunch of useful calling features that you just never use because it’s a pain to set them up with the phone company. Things like call forwarding or routing require calling the company and configuring it over the phone. VoIP providers let you configure everything through their website by logging into your account.
If you opt for some of the best VoIP service options, you’ll even get futuristic features like artificial intelligence. This can listen to your calls and help you analyze them, making your business operate better and provide better customer service. You can record calls and save them in the cloud so you can listen to them later for performance reviews, or to protect yourself from being sued.
While your phone company tends to offer one plan for everyone, VoIP providers give you a variety of options. Many of the best VoIP companies even give you the option of customizing your features by contacting their customer support staff.
Choose the Best VoIP Plans
If you don’t need the fanciest features, don’t pay for them! VoIP service providers typically offer several plans with distinct features and prices. Just about every VoIP phone service charges you per user per month, so you can decide exactly how many people in your company need VoIP features and pay accordingly.
VoIP plans are also extremely flexible. You can add more users at any time just by going online and logging into your account. Try getting another phone line put into your office in 5 minutes: good luck. The best VoIP services even slash their prices as you add users, so you might even start saving more money when you expand your business VoIP plan.
Get Started With VoIP
So, are you ready for high-quality VoIP calls, unified communications across your entire company, and a phone service that won’t let you down? You can set up a VoIP phone service in minutes, but before you do, take a few moments to consider these three points.
Upgrade Your Internet Connection
If you don’t have high-speed internet, you’d better get it installed first. You can use VoIP over Wi-Fi, while those VoIP desk phones may require a hard line, depending on the model. Make sure you have internet coverage in the right places before you switch.
Although you don’t have to worry much about your voice calls consuming a ton of data on your plan, you do need to be mindful of how many users you have. Your business still needs plenty of internet bandwidth to do its usual tasks and to let Frank check Facebook during his lunch break. A good rule of thumb is 3-5Mbps per user.
Decide Which Features You Need
Don’t pay for features you aren’t going to use. Do your research and figure out which ones are best for your company. Since you can usually add features later by upgrading your plan or by adding on features, don’t be afraid to go with a full-featured company’s cheapest plan for now. Get started and see what works for you.
You can often get a free trial from a service provider before you commit to a long-term plan. Keep in mind that prices are usually cheaper if you pay for the whole year up front. Before you make that investment, give it a test drive and make sure it works for you.
How to Choose the Best VoIP Provider
One search for a VoIP phone service provider and you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed. There are tons of them out there, each with its own set of features. It can get complicated quickly. But don’t let that discourage you!
We’ve actually done several breakdowns of different service providers to help you choose the best VoIP option for your company. You can check out our lists of the best providers for 2022, for example. Bookmark the site and keep coming back to stay up to date with the latest developments.