Businesses and consumers are ditching the traditional telephone landline in droves, and trading up to VoIP systems. Voice Over Internet Protocol services usually confer all the usual perks of having a landline with dozens of benefits. These include costs savings, some as high as 70%, providing the opportunity for telecommuting, and even improving access to call analytics. As a matter of fact, it’s such a growing trend that analysts predict that VoIP will grow in market share all the way into 2024.
But many VoIP providers know this, and competition between them is running hot! It’s not easy to find the best VoIP provider, and often the biggest differences happen in the small print. Many companies, from DID service providers will offer different add-on services, charge different costs, and may have company-imposed limitations.
Make Sure You Understand the Tech
How does VoIP technology function? Do you know? Always make sure you understand the technical specifications of VoIP integrations before committing! For example, VoIP requires a stable internet connection. If you commonly have internet connectivity issues or denial of service, VoIP might not be for you! It’s also important to factor in the additional informational load which VoIP may add to existing internet plans, so always be prepared to upgrade.
Look Out for Hidden Fees
Some VoIP providers will charge a flat fee per month; and others will charge a fee per minute. Compare both types to determine which offers the most savings! And read through the fine print to determine if there are hidden charges for setup, for call connections, or for mobile vs. landline numbers. You will also want to determine if there are additional fees for customer support, licensing, or overages. The best plans will include everything for you at a simplified monthly rate.
Established Providers vs. New Companies
New entries into the VoIP market happen every day! And when you’re choosing between established companies or new ones, you should consider a few issues. New companies may not stay in the market forever, and might fail or go bankrupt, leaving your company hanging in the wind. But new companies usually try to undercut existing or established service providers, which can definitely save you money! Another con for new companies is that they might not have an established minimum acceptable quality for calls.
Traffic or Bandwidth Considerations
Different VoIP providers can streamline their processes so that there is a minimal draw on your internet traffic and bandwidth, so that you might see less potential usage charges from your internet service provider. But if your VoIP provider doesn’t take this into account, you could easily wind up paying significantly more for VoIP simply because of data overages.
VoIP networks can be hacked relatively easily. What security considerations or plans does your potential VoIP provider offer? Make sure to compare security plans side-by-side. A good VoIP provider will also have a disaster plans, in the event of security failures, and know what they will- or will not- do to help you in the worst case scenario.
Maintenance and Support
Always make sure that the providers you are interviewing offer great support or maintenance. Good customer support will help your company navigate potential pitfalls or problems before they become disasters, and can represent a solid safety net. Always test support infrastructure by calling ahead before signing a contract, and monitor how long it takes before you reach a person who can help. Maintenance is another critical issue: will the provider maintain, replace, or update hardware as necessary? Who is responsible for hardware needs? Is the company aggressive at finding and implementing new technologies to improve your experience? These things all matter!