Here is an unbiast no-holds guide to choosing a VoIP provider that won’t let your business down. It’s important that you do your homework and due-dilligence before making a decision to swtich telephone providers. With a small investment in hardware, your business can switch to VoIP with ease. There is no down-time and your operations will not be impacted during the transition. It’s reletively easy to switch from traditional phone lines to VoIP services. Let’s talk about some questions you should ask your new VoIP provider before moving forward.
1. How much will it cost?
We’re not talking about the obvious monthly costs. We’re talking hidden fees like setup costs, additional features, toll-free numbers etc. Insist on understanding all costs upfront. How much for cancellation? Do they offer on-site technician appointments, if so, how much does it cost? Although you may not need additional services today, you should have all the facts before you decide.
2. Do they share your values when it comes to customer service?
Aside from quality, VoIP provider customer service is the most important differentiator when making your decision. You may be pampered during the sales process, but what kind of support can you expect afterwards? Does your new VoIP provider have easy to access customer support via telephone & email? What are their hours of operation and are they willing to come on-site if quality issues persist? Ask the tough questions before choosing your VoIP provider.
3. Where are their VoIP servers located?
When considering your new VoIP provider, find out where their servers are located. Are they close by? This is extremely important when ensuring quality and voice delays during telephone calls. The closer the VoIP servers are to your location, the better your voice quality will be. Don’t assume that because your new VoIP provider is local, their servers are in the same city. This is often not the case.
4. Do they have contracts?
If your new VoIP provider requires a contract what are you getting in exchange? Are they supplying free VoIP telephones or monthly discounts? Who ownes the hardware after the contract? What happens if you cancel services or they fail to deliver high quality telephone services? Be cautious before signing any kind of contract that doesn’t have a trial period & clear financial benefits for your small business.
5. How many customers do they have?
What is the average size of their customers and where do you fit into that space? If you are their largest customer you may be dealing with a lack of experience, if you’re their smallest customer you might not be given any attention.
6. Is business VoIP telephone their primary service?
Many I.T. & technical service companies are now offering business VoIP as an add-on service for customers. Unfortinetely many of these companies don’t have the experience or in-depth knowladge of telecommunications services. Their networks are not sophisicated and will result in quality issues. When given the option, always choose an expert. Organizations that don’t have focus or the deep committment to doing one thing great will cost you money.
7. Is your new provider local?
Although not necessarily considered a ‘deal breaker’ we recommend choosing a VoIP provider that is local and willing to come to your office if issues arise. You are also more likely to get more personalized service with a company that is down the road vs in another country.
There you have it, an unbiast guide to choosing the best VoIP provider for your business. Our team would be happy to answer any of the above questions, and any others you have about the potential of VoIP Telephones and Hosted PBX for your small business.