Voice Over Internet Protocol VoIP phone systems are increasingly being adopted by call centers and businesses. The shift is driven by the benefits offered by this type of communication system compared to analog phones. The value added by a VoIP system to the company can not be overestimated.
Right from the lowered cost of communication infrastructure and calling rates, to the improved communication mode and the efficiency offered by the system, the VoIP phone system is the way to go. Most call centers have already shifted gears from analog to VoIP. The same trend is being replicated by SMEs at all levels.
While shifting from analog to VoIP might have many benefits, some of the advantages vary depending on the type of VoIP service provider used. Keep reading this article to learn more about choosing the best VoIP service provider.
What is a VoIP Provider?
A VoIP service provider is a company or business that offers VoIP services directly to consumers. Those who need VoIP communication solutions have two options; they can either purchase VoIP infrastructure and set up their communication system or they may opt to use the services of a VoIP service provider.
VoIP service providers make it possible for small businesses to enjoy the benefits of advanced communication systems without having to invest heavily into infrastructure. The service provider runs the server and allows businesses to use their server to make communication through a simple smartphone or desktop applications.
How to Choose a VoIP Service Provider
The criteria used to choose the right VoIP service provider primarily depends on the party involved. Different entities have diverse communication needs. For instance, a multinational corporation may be in more need of making calls than a small company that operates locally.
Below are the key factors to consider when choosing a VoIP service provider:
Write Down Your Requirements
The needs for a VoIP system vary from one company to another. For these reasons, writing down your company’s specific needs can help determine the features to look for. Among the important factors to consider when writing a shortlist of company needs are as follows:
Requirements to consider in choosing a VoIP system:
- The need to lower communication costs must be considered from all angles, with the focus being on long-term cost reduction.
- The need for efficient communication with an all-in-one integrated system.
- Consider the other services that VoIP offers that regular analog systems cannot provide.
- The system should offer advancement without the need for advanced learning.
In the end, the system utilized should offer solutions that the company needs and not add a communication burden. With the solution provided, it is also crucial to ensure that the cost of communication is kept minimal.
The Cost of Communication and Upgrade
The other factor that counts and must be considered is the cost of the upgrade. The cost of installation should not be huge. The beauty of VoIP systems is that they do not need heavy investment in infrastructure. As a result, the upgrade to VoIP is cheaper and adds value to the company.
VoIP lowers communication costs in the following ways:
- Most VoIP lines can run at as slow as $20 to $30 per month. This can be quite efficient and cheap, especially for small businesses that do not want to invest heavily in communication
- Most VoIP service providers offer toll-free minutes. When choosing a VoIP service provider, look at their packages to determine those that do offer unlimited minutes.
- In most cases, a VOIP system can be installed on available hardware such as desktops and smartphones. If the company will be forced to purchase new hardware, a cost comparison to the existing system should be made.
The cost is an important part of any upgrade in business. With the upgrade to VoIP, cost should not be a big problem, since most systems can work well with existing hardware.
Look at the VoIP Features Provided?
Different VoIP service providers offer varied features. Besides calling and receiving calls, other features are applicable. Further, the charges applied to different features vary from one service provider to another. Consider all the features before making a choice of a VoIP service provider.
Key features to consider when choosing a VoIP service provider:
- Automated Attendant: This feature is vital for call centers since it allows automatic call answering and response even when the attendants are busy.
- Call Forwarding: This is another feature that guarantees that all calls never go unanswered.
- Call Analytics: Call analysis helps in collecting data about the number of calls received, the volume of calls based on clients, and geography among other factors.
- Softphone: Softphone applications are vital since they allow the use of the communication system from any part of the world.
These and many other features should be looked at when choosing the Ideal VoIP service provider.
Consider Customer Support
Finally, it is very crucial to consider the customer service offered by the available VoIP service providers. Online reviews can give a hint of the customer service offered by each brand. The available communication channels also help determine the best communication channels.