8 Things to Consider When Picking a VoIP Service Provider for Your Business
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is also known as IP telephony. It facilitates the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
In other words, VoIP technologies give users the ability to place and receive telephone calls as if they were using a public switched telephone network.
The global VoIP market size is expected to reach USD 102480 million by the end of 2026, with a CAGR of 3.1% between 2021 and 2026.
How Can VoIP Benefit Your Business?
If leveraged the right way, VoIP can work wonders for a business.
A lot of organizations are adopting VoIP to lower their phone bills. VoIP does not only lower the cost per call but also accelerates service mobility while promoting smooth client interaction.
In the remote business environment, it enhances work flexibility and productivity. VoIP also works towards unifying a business’s communication platform by combining phone, fax, voice and electronic mail, and web conferencing.
How to Choose the Best VoIP Service Provider?
VoIP services are being adopted by companies across the world at a growing rate. You too can upgrade your business with VoIP solutions by finding the one that best suits your needs.
However, with numerous VoIP providers out there, picking the right one can be tricky. Here are a few factors that you must consider when choosing a VoIP service provider.
1. Analyze Their Call Quality and Call Management
The call quality is a vital aspect of any VoIP service provider. Make sure your service provider delivers HD-quality audio. The call quality should be equivalent to traditional landlines.
Further, the calls should be consistently high-quality. Having one good-quality call out of 10 is not going to help your business. Every single call should have clear and precise constancy.
Call management encompasses IT support solutions such as service desk management and extension management.
Your service desk may receive many calls during the holiday season. This is when VoIP services can come in handy and help you with their call queuing feature. This feature distributes the calls between various extensions, based on geographic location and availability.
Extension management assists service providers in assigning extensions to each employee. The service providers should also be able to manage a name directory that integrates with the organization’s IT network directory.
2. Find Out the Total Cost
Make sure the VoIP service provider you choose discloses all costs involved to avoid paying hidden costs later on.
You can ask them the following questions for assurance:
- Do they offer only the basic features at a nominal cost?
- Do they increase their cost for additional features?
- Will they charge you for future software updates?
- Do you get absolute access to support or are there any extra charges for it?
Remember, the best VoIP service providers offer all-inclusive features such as call forward, toll-free numbers, softphone, unlimited extensions, call analytics, call queues, call routing, and call recording. They also charge on a per-seat basis. This, in turn, makes the pricing easy and flexible.
All in all, make it a point to ask your service provider for a breakdown of the costs along with the overall cost in writing. This will ensure that your monthly bills are consistent and come with no surprises.
3. Consider Their Plans and Features
You need to check and evaluate the various packages that your VoIP service provider offers. Each package must have a combination of various features. While some may provide free international calls, others might give you the option of free local calls. You can then choose the one that best suits your business needs.
Most importantly, when you look for a VoIP service provider, avoid non-commercial plans. They are incapable of handling the requirements of a commercial business.
A good VoIP service provider will do a preliminary evaluation of your business through a certified telephony expert. They will evaluate your current bandwidth, in-house wiring set up, and network structure, and only then offer you a plan that can help your business grow.
4. Learn about Integrations
The VoIP provider you choose should provide solutions that seamlessly integrate with your existing systems. For instance, if you have a helpdesk application, your VoIP service should sync with it.
Also, their solutions should integrate your preferred CRM software to streamline your business processes. Even if a VoIP service or solution cannot integrate with a specific application, it should support third-party API integrations.
5. Gauge Their Reliability
It is important to make specific inquiries from your service provider to ascertain their reliability. You must ask them about their emergency and disaster management plans. At the very minimum, they should have the ability to route calls to a landline or a mobile number.
A few questions that you should ask them are:
- Is it possible for the VoIP service provider to provide services from another location?
- How quickly can the VoIP service providers relocate and resume work in case of an emergency?
- What kind of data centers and infrastructure does the service provider have?
- What backup options does the service provider offer?
- What tools can the service providers provide to ensure the continuous working of phones?
Once you get answers to these questions, you can choose the service provider with the most reliable approach.
6. Gain Insight into Their Security Measures
VoIP will serve as the hub of your business communication. Hence, it becomes imperative to choose a service provider that can provide your business with robust security against cybersecurity threats. These threats include phreaking, eavesdropping, vishing, viruses and malware, and call tampering.
Look for VoIP services that offer end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, and biometrics. Also, make sure your in-house networking hardware is in tune with the VoIP services and is equipped with business-level security measures. You can negotiate specific security measures in your Service Level Agreement (SLA).
7. Pay Attention to Their Customer Support
If you face issues with their services, your VoIP provider should be able to give you access to an informed support staff who can provide an instant solution. If the service itself is down, they should give you an accurate time estimate of when it will begin working again.
You should be able to contact your VoIP provider via email, chat, and website. The terms and conditions of the customer IT support services should be mentioned in the SLA. From uptime guarantee to scheduled maintenance windows and compensation for exorbitant downtime, the document should mention it all.
8. Check out Their Reviews
You should check your potential VoIP service provider’s reviews and testimonials before hiring them. You can examine their past work experience by checking the feedback of previous clients. It will help you ensure that the service provider you are hiring will meet your expectations and fulfill your specific business requirements.
Your organization’s phone system is important for delivering impeccable services to your clients. High-quality voice services enable you to solve customer complaints easily and bring about instant gratification. It is, therefore, critical to analyze and understand exactly what prospective vendors have to offer. It will help you ensure that the VoIP vendor you choose provides you with optimum services such as appropriate call quality, high-end customer service, and proper uptime after implementation.