A VoIP business phone service can provide your company with a secure, convenient way of handling business on the phone. This increasingly popular communication technology makes phone calls cheaper and more efficient, as well as providing data on calls that can be useful in growing your business.
Interested in taking advantage of this exciting service but not sure which provider is right for your business? Here are some questions you should ask yourself as you consider different VoIP providers.
Comparing VoIP Business Phone Service Options? 8 Questions to Ask
1. What Costs Are Involved with Getting Started?
As with any decision that you make for your business, how using a VoIP business phone service will impact your bottom line is an important consideration to make. Comparing costs offered by different providers is a good first step to take, but be sure to look into the details of any offer you see. Some providers might not be up-front about costs for activation, set-up, equipment fees, or other additional charges.
Some providers may waive charges for things like set-up, so be sure to ask to find out exactly what you’re obligated to pay for each providers’ services. You should also find out the exact level of support that each payment option a provider offers gives you. For example, some providers may be willing to assist with setting up your phone to varying degrees for higher price points.
2. Is There a Contract Involved in Your Services, and What Is Involved in It?
As with any deal that you make on behalf of your business, you want to know the full details of what’s involved with doing business with a provider before signing up with one. While some may advertise an attractive introductory price, you should also find out what you’ll be paying going forward as you continue to utilize the service, and exactly what services that fee will get you.
As with any service, there is a chance that the VoIP provider you go with won’t end up being a good fit for your business. That’s why it’s important to know what the process of terminating your services through a provider would entail. Know exactly what you’re getting by finding out if there is a trial period you can take advantage of, or if there are any termination costs associated with cancelling your services.
3. Do You Assist with Installation and/or Training?
Getting the technology associated with your VoIP system operational can be difficult no matter what your familiarity with communications technology is. That is especially true if you have a number of different lines for your business VoIP that you want to set up. Find out if the provider you’re going through for your VoIP service will help you with getting started to take some hassle out of set-up.
There’s also the matter of making sure your employees are all on the same page when it comes to using the new VoIP service. Some providers may assist with giving your employees the technical know-how to navigate the system. You should also find out if the old phones you were using can be integrated into the new system in order to make the transition as easy as possible.
4. How Long Will Porting Take?
Any amount of downtime can affect your business and your bottom line. New FCC rules have shortened the time it takes to port a phone number to a new service to as little as one business day, but it won’t always be this quick. There will be a period that you have two phones using the same number, so be sure to learn the specifics about whether you can continue using that phone in the meantime.
You should also ensure that both local and long-distance services are both carried by your VoIP service provider. The rules for porting on these two different services can be different, and you want to make sure you’re completely aware of any rules you’ll have to abide by while switching over to your new VoIP business phone service.
5. What Devices Is Your Service Compatible With?
In addition to finding out if you’ll be able to integrate your old phones into the new VoIP system, you should also find out what other devices your new service will be compatible with. Many modern VoIP services offer a mobile app for their services, so you’ll want to know if that app is compatible with the operating systems that you and your employees use.
It’s also important to know if your potential VoIP service works over wi-fi networks, and what types of networks it operates over. That could potentially give your employees the ability to use their VoIP service on the go, allowing your business to stay productive no matter where people are working from.
6. What Do You Offer in Terms of Customer Service?
Even with the best services, there will inevitably be some issues that arise at some point in using it. You want to know that you’ll have dedicated professionals ready to assist you with any problems that arise to keep your business running smoothly. Even a few minutes of downtime in your phone service can result in lost business for your company due to a temporary loss of communication.
Find out if the provider that you’re considering for your VoIP solutions provides 24/7 customer support, and find out what timeframe is associated with contacting that support. You should also find out what different avenues the provider offers you for reaching their customer support. While some prefer traditional phone support, email and live chat are also possibilities that you may prefer for a variety of reasons.
7. What Redundancies Are Available If Your Service Goes Down?
Any business owner knows how disruptive an interruption in critical services can be for their day-to-day operations. There can be confusion or lost business caused by customers being unable to reach you for any length of time. That’s why it’s important to know how reliable a providers VoIP service is, and how frequently outages occur.
In addition to knowing how frequently interruptions in service may occur with a given provider, it’s crucial to know what contingency plans are in place to keep your business running during at outage. VoIP providers can utilize multiple servers in multiple locations so that if one server crashes, back-up servers can continue handling your business’ needs. Find out about these redundancies before choosing a provider.
8. What Other Services Do You Offer?
When you’re running a business, streamlining any services you receive so that you aren’t contacting multiple providers to keep your services running can save you time and energy. That’s why when considering a provider for your VoIP business phone service, you should find out if that provider offers any other services. If anything else your business needs is available through that provider, you can get everything you need with just one point of contact.
There are other factors that should be considered before making your decision. Our service specializes in matching your business needs with the VoIP provider that offers the right set of services to match those needs. Contact VoIP Virtual today and you’ll know you’re making a well-informed decision.