4 Considerations When Searching For a VoIP Provider
Ah, the age-old story of the sleazy telecom salesman. You get sold on a feature-rich product at low cost and sign the contract only to experience constant service disruptions, poor quality and end up paying through the nose for features that you believed to be included. To top it all off, your point-of-contact who was hounding you for months seems to have disappeared. Unfortunately, thousands of companies have been burned by VoIP providers before. However, not all VoIP providers are created equal. When searching for a new business phone service provider, look at these 4 considerations to avoid any mishaps.
Traditional analog systems and VoIP solutions have different pricing models. While you will be paying per month under a subscription-based platform, your UC solution will actually result in tangible cost savings as maintenance and hardware are already included in the packages. Investing in a platform that’s meant to streamline your team’s communication and increase productivity should be able to yield concrete results. When you remove redundant technology and replace it with a centralized communications platform, you’ll gain access to an abundance of features and functionality that will improve efficiencies which will ultimately result in cost savings. Explore our Evaluation Guide to see which features are included under our partner providers’ plans.
A VoIP platform is built to facilitate the exchange of important personal and financial data. Therefore, it’s important to ask prospective providers how they protect your data. In addition to ensuring that your VoIP provider is not opening your business to risks such as hacking and viruses, you also need to ensure that the data is securely stored in facilities located within the same country your business operates in.
While innovative technology and low prices are major selling points for any VoIP provider, service reliability remains the top priority. Traditionally, the telecom industry has been notorious for overselling their product and leaving their clients high and dry when a challenge occurs. Signing on with a new vendor is a chance to break away from this practice. Before signing the dotted line, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the pricing clear and straightforward or are there additional fees?
- Are there “surprises” between the quoted price (verbal or in print) and the contract price? Are there differences, and if so, can the provider explain the reasoning behind them?
- Does your provider report and notify clients with regards to network issues that may affect the business like outages and downtime? Your service provider should be able to outline a contingency plan in the event of an unforeseen outage that ensures your organization can continue to operate with minimal disruptions.
It’s important to look beyond the technology and consider the kind of service and quality that your provider has to offer. Thankfully, VoIP platforms are far more intuitive, failsafe, and easy to implement than traditional systems. However, you will inevitably come across something that needs troubleshooting, or simply need help resetting your password. Whatever reason it may be, you want a provider that will readily have a team on hand to attend to your questions and concerns.
Few things are more frustrating than sending out a question via email only to get a reply a week later, or being put on hold and bounced around for hours before getting an answer to your question. Ask Prospective providers if they have 24/7 customer support. Better yet, put them to the test! Call their technical support line and see how long it takes to reach a live agent.