So you’ve decided that a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system is the best move for your small business—but now the real decision making begins. In recent years, VoIP has become so popular that carriers and vendors have flooded the marketplace, offering a huge array of plans, equipment, accessories, etc. How can you figure out the best solution for your company’s needs?
The following brief buyer’s guide should help you narrow the search.
Compare Carriers and Plans
Just as with conventional phone companies and telecommunications providers, no two VoIP carriers are quite alike. Some offer cheap plans at the expense of quality and service, while others offer packages loaded with expensive extra features you’ll never use. A simple Google search should provide you with a list of local VoIP service providers. Look over their plans, pricing, review and ratings. Our advice is not to shop on price alone, but to look for the best package and features to suit your business’ needs for the price.
Questions to Ask
Once you’ve narrowed down your “short list” of VoIP providers to 1-3 carriers, it’s time to do a deeper comparison. You can either find answers to the following questions online, or ask a sales representative directly:
• How many phone lines do I get for the price?
• What features are standard, and which are add-ons?
• Is the needed equipment included in the package? If not, how much extra will I pay?
• Can I customize features, number of phone lines, etc.?
• What is your “uptime” guarantee? (Since you can’t run a business if your VOIP is down, don’t say yes unless a provider can promise to be operational 99.9 percent of the time.)
• Whom do I contact if there is a problem, and what is the expected response time? (A company with good customer service should offer a quick, detailed answer to this question. Make sure you’re satisfied with the answer.)
• Is there a setup fee?
• Is there a termination fee?
• Is there a contract? If so, what is the penalty for breaking the contract or changing the service?
Consider Working with an IT Service
While many VoIP packages are available, chances are no specific provider will already have an existing, perfect solution for your business. For best results, consider working with an IT professional who can assess your company’s needs and recommend a set of solutions tailored to your small business. To find out more, call 1-877-NetServ today.