Even though the technology that powers VoIP phone systems is identical for both residential and business customers, business VoIP service includes features meant to improve sales, customer service, and internal processes. These are things a residential or personal-use customer would have little to no use for. VoIP has exploded in the past decade, meaning there are more providers than ever. Here’s how to find the best ones.
3 Keys to Finding the Best Business VoIP Service
1. Know Your Needs
What your business needs will likely depend on its size and its industry. A solopreneur or a very small team working at a fledgling business may be more concerned about presenting a professional image and simplifying internal communications. Meanwhile, an enterprise customer will be ready to buy dozens of IP phones and a cloud PBX to power them. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
On the other hand, it would be wise to choose a VoIP provider that gives you room to grow. If you’re not ready for the full suite of enterprise features today, don’t make the mistake of avoiding top-tier VoIP services entirely. When the time comes, you can upgrade your plan quickly to address new needs.
2. Know Your Limits
VoIP can save you heaps of money every month compared to your local phone company. However, if you’re not careful, you could wind up overpaying and end up spending more! See, VoIP providers love to lure you in with bells and whistles, fancy features you’re probably not going to need any time soon. In addition, the pricing model encourages you to pay for as many users as possible to get a better rate.
But not everybody in your organization needs their own phone number. You may be able to buy fewer lines and assign extensions to specific individuals. Companies like RingCentral even allow you to add people to your organization for free, giving them the ability to send messages and receive calls. Free users cannot make calls and don’t have their own VoIP number, but they can join a call hosted by a paid member.
3. Try Before You Buy
As a business, downtime is something you simply cannot afford. Switching over to a VoIP system is relatively easy, but the bigger your company, the harder it gets. Some people may not want to switch to a new platform, and downloading yet another app can make people reluctant to get on board. That’s why it’s crucial that you put together a small group of people in your office and use them as your guinea pigs.
Ask for free trials from various VoIP providers. If they don’t have a free trial option, purchase a single month’s service. Set your focus group up with your top three finalists, and give them a month to try each app out. At the end of the month, meet with the team and find out which app they prefer. By making this process more democratic and less of an imposition, you’ll have better adoption and less conflict.