VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has become the preferred choice for businesses looking to reduce their telecom costs. In addition to offering lower rates, a VoIP service provider also offers other benefits such as mobility, security, and ease of deployment.
VoIP is a type of telecommunications service that uses IP networks instead of telephone lines. The main advantage of using VoIP is its ability to provide high-quality voice calls at a low cost.
Choosing a VoIP provider can be challenging because there are several options out there. This guide will help you narrow down your choices and select the best solution for your business.
How do I Choose the Right VoIP Provider?
There are many options for choosing a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider. You’ll find everything from free calling apps to traditional landline companies.
But how do you know which one is best for you?
Here are some things to consider when selecting a VoIP provider.
1. Know the kind of VoIP service you need
When thinking about your company and your VoIP needs, there are some important questions to consider. First off, what type of business phone number do you need? Will it be a local or international number?
And how many different locations do you operate? These factors could play a role in determining whether you need a single unified communications solution or multiple solutions.
If you’re looking to keep costs down, you might want to opt for a hosted PBX system over traditional telephone lines. A hosted PBX allows you to use a central server to route calls rather than having to install expensive hardware at every site. This makes it easier to manage and maintain.
You’ll also want to think about your future growth plans. Are you planning to add additional offices soon? Or maybe you already have a large network and now you want to expand internationally. In either case, you’ll likely need to upgrade your existing infrastructure to accommodate the increased demand.
Finally, you’ll want to think about your current communication needs. How often do you call customers or vendors? Do you primarily communicate via email or text messages? Do you need to handle both types of communication simultaneously?
You’ll also want to take note of your employees’ preferences. Some people prefer to work on mobile devices while others like to sit at a desk. Understanding these differences can help you choose the best VoIP solution for your business.
2. Look into the Features offered by Each VoIP Provider
Chances are you won’t find the same feature across all VoIP service providers is the same. Before choosing a VoIP service provider, you must be sure they can provide the best VoIP features like:
- A different VoIP number for every user
- Quick install and set up
- The ability to port your existing number
- Video conferencing capabilities
- Text messaging services
- Transcription of calls and more
Besides UC solutions, a good VoIP service will provide a range of additional features, including:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems to manage the call flows from incoming customer inquiries
- An automated attendant to inform callers who are currently on hold about their current status in the queue
- Content to improve the customer experience, whether it‘s promotional offers or service updates.
- Integrations that let you connect your phone system to your customer relationship management (CRM) software so you can get a better understanding of your customers.
- Connections between voice over IP (VoIP) phone conversations and AI tools like chatbots
3. Consider the provider’s Customer Support
Your VoIP tool allows vital customer and colleague communications to take place. If anything doesn’t go according to plan, then you want to make sure that it gets fixed immediately.
Some companies outsource their customer service to third parties so they can provide better customer service at any time of the year. Most VoIP providers, however, usually provide phone support during regular working hours.
It’s critical for both residential and business VOIP services to have good phone support available at any time. So, if you want to be sure you get the best service for your business, then you need to be aware of what kind of support you’re going to get from your hosting provider.
Here are some additional things to consider when choosing a VoIP provider:
- Simplicity — Apart from routing phone calls to multiple agents, the wait times during a call are something users should look to shorten as much as they can
- Live representatives — An ideal customer service option because they’re readily available to talk through any issues with you. Talking to someone will help both parties clarify things better.
- Self-Service Options — Self-service options are great because they allow you to resolve issues without having to contact someone else first. You can use these options to troubleshoot problems yourself, such as checking your voicemail inbox or using a self-help guide. Offering a good quality support experience will go beyond just providing an online chat option. These include online forums, videos, tutorials, FAQs, etc.
4. Check the Provider’s Reputation
Reputation is everything when it comes to choosing a VoIP provider. It’s important to know how well the company has been rated by other businesses. This way, you’ll know what kind of reputation the company has built up.
You also want to check reviews of the company on sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There are many ways to find reviews of a particular company. For example, you could search for “reviews of ” + the name of the company. Or, you could simply ask around among friends and colleagues who’ve used the service before.
To get good reviews, look for reviews by companies that are similar to yours in terms of size, type of company, or needs. See if there are any examples of providers who have transformed their clients’ communication infrastructures.
It can be more useful than just looking at a provider’s overall star ratings. Make sure to look at both the provider’s site and third-parties’ review sites like Trustpilot before making any decisions.
5. Look into the Provider’s Pricing Plans
Pricing plans are one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a provider. The pricing plans offered by different providers vary widely. Some offer unlimited calling while others limit calls per month.
You may also want to compare prices across different providers. A lot of providers offer discounts for signing up for longer periods of time. However, this isn’t always the case. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of each plan before making a decision.
6. Choose a Service That Fits Your Needs
The last thing you want is to end up paying more than you need to. Choosing a VoIP solution that fits your needs is key to getting the right price.
For instance, if you only make a few calls a day, then you don’t necessarily need a high-end package. On the other hand, if you make hundreds of calls every week, then you might want to opt for a higher-priced plan.
The Best Choice for a VoIP Service Provider
There are many different types of VoIP providers out there, each offering something unique. Some offer free trials while others charge monthly fees. But regardless of what type of provider you choose, it’s important to understand how VoIP works.
As you can see from our guide it all boils down to these 3 questions.
1. What Are Your Needs?
Before you sign up for a VoIP plan, think about what you want to do with it. Do you just need one number? Or maybe you’re looking to expand into multiple locations. If you’re planning on adding more phones, you’ll need to look into a multi-location package. On the flip side, if you already have several lines, you might find yourself wanting to consolidate them.
2. How Much Does it Cost?
If you’re thinking about signing up for a VoIP service, you’ll probably want to know how much it costs. Most plans start around $10 per month. However, depending on the features you select, you could end up paying upwards of $50 per month. Keep in mind that most companies offer discounts for longer-term contracts. So, if you decide to go with a long-term contract, you could save money.
3. Is It Easy to Use?
Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not the system is easy to use. Many people struggle with learning how to set up a traditional telephone system. Luckily, VoIP systems are very simple to use. All you really need to do is plug everything in and turn it on. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to call anyone in the world.
You can see our list of the best business VoIP service providers.