How to Compare VOIP Providers
If you’ve landed here, you are probably one of the smart small business owners looking to experience the benefits of a hosted VoIP telephone system. You know that a traditional system either isn’t making financial or productivity sense for your business anymore. But with such a massive amount of choices out there today, you know you will need to do a VoIP comparison to determine which option is the right one for your particular business.
Here are some helpful tips to help you conduct your VoIP comparison:
Tip #1: Know What Your Needs Are
Telephone systems today can do pretty much anything aside of making you a grilled cheese sandwich, but that doesn’t mean you need every feature they can provide. Additionally, each of those features can cost you more money, so you will want to invest your resources into the functionality that is going to deliver the biggest return for your business. Think about what features you will actually use during your day-to-day operations, and if you know you probably won’t use most of the options that particular system provides, you may want to lower your price point. (That’s a good problem to have though, right?!)
Tip #2: Ask Questions
The market is saturated with VoIP providers today, obviously some of them are good providers and some of them are not. You need to be able to identify the good from the bad, and the best way to do so is to ask some questions. One of the biggest concerns you should identify is the ability of the provider to have an infrastructure that can effectively support your phone system. The hardware and software used must be robust, secure and adaptable to the changing needs of your business.
Here are some questions to help you determine if the VoIP provider is capable of supporting and improving your system as needed:
- “What does your network infrastructure look like?” (Who owns it, who services it and who to call with issues)
- “What redundancy structure do you have in place?”
- “If disaster strikes, what are your recovery processes?”
- “Do you have your own Softswitch?” (The software used to bridge the network and the VoIP services)
- “Does your system come with any technologies from a third party?”
- “Will new features be developed? If so, how will we be informed of them?”
- “Will you assist with the system implementation?”
Tip #3: Talk With Current Customers
You probably already know the best recommendation for your own business is a current customer, and the same should be the case when comparing VoIP providers. Find businesses that are similar to yours in size and number of employees and ask them what provider they are using. Ask them to highlight some of the challenges they’ve had with their particular system and how they’ve overcome them. Case studies from your top companies can also be a great way to see if there are satisfied customers out there who are happy with their services.
Tip #4: Know Their Support Process
When your system is down, the biggest priority is how you can get it back up as quickly as possible. Although this probably won’t be a common occurrence with a VoIP solution, it is still a possibility and you want to know exactly who to call to get it repaired quickly and easily. You should know if the provider offers 24/7 customer service or if you will have to leave a voicemail and wait for a return call.
Also ask the provider if they are able to provide you with a Service Level Agreement (SLA). An SLA confirms in writing exactly what level of service the provider will deliver, as well as what they are prepared to compensate you with if they are unable to meet that level. Also, ask for detail regarding their performance and reliability statistics to see the previous track record of stability for the system.
At Millennia Technologies, we believe that your VoIP comparison will reveal that we can be the best service provider for your new phone system. We know that if you can’t trust your provider to deliver reliable and robust services from the start, then you are far more likely to face frustrations and costly problems in the future. Contact us today to see how we can implement a reliable and powerful VoIP phone system that’s the right fit for your business.