Imagine trying to run your business without the ability to make phone calls. Email and in-person meetings may be able to take the place of some communication, but it would be a major struggle if your customers were unable to reach you on the phone.Your business phone system is your business's lifeline, which means that you want to be sure you are engaging with the right service providers. But unless you are already an expert in Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP), it can be hard to know how VoIP providers are different from one another. Following are a few questions you can ask a provider before you sign on for any VoIP upgrade.
Do I Have the Necessary Bandwidth for VoIP?
Chances are your office already has the necessary capacity to use VoIP services. The reason that it is important to ask the question directly is to ensure that your VoIP provider does an assessment of your bandwidth and capacity needs before pressing forward with a VoIP installation. A provider that can’t answer this question is definitely problematic.
How Long Have You Been Providing VoIP Services?
VoIP is no longer new technology, so most likely you will want to choose a provider that has significant experience installing VoIP systems. Ultimately your best choice will be a company that can point to a track record of successes and offer you references before you commit to their service.
Do I Need Cloud VoIP?
Cloud, On-Premise, and Hybrid VoIP solutions are all available. Be sure to consult with a new VoIP provider not about which option is cheapest, or flashier, but about which option makes the most sense for your individual needs. A provider that puts your business goals first rather than trying to sell you on an option that doesn’t match your needs.
Will This System Scale Up Easily?
Choosing a VoIP provider can be an important step for a growing company. However, if your staff is expanding and will continue to grow, you will want to know if you can easily scale up your new phone system.
What Can I Expect My Monthly Costs to Look Like?
VoIP provider costs will not be the same across the board, but it is important to get a clear picture of what costs you can expect before making any commitments. Be sure that the provider you are evaluating includes any costs in their quote, including usage, licensing, and support.
Will I Have Access to Customer Support When I Need It?
As with any service provider there will inevitably be times when you need to reach your VoIP provider. Find out when they are available and if there are any additional costs associated with ongoing customer support.
Are they Experts in VoIP Integration?
If there is a piece of software that is integral to your business functions, such as a CRM, you will want to be sure that your new phone system will work in harmony with that software. The right VoIP provider will be able to offer an integration solution for your most important software.
Will My System Stay Online if my Internet Goes Down?
Disaster recovery is an attractive feature of VoIP systems, offering continued connectivity in the event of widespread network issues. Be sure to ask your new provider whether disaster recovery solutions are included in the plan you are considering.
Evaluating VoIP providers can seem a bit daunting if you have never done it before but armed with the right questions you can find a provider that gets you what you need for reliable, effective VoIP service.