Best VoIP Phone Service for Small Business OfficesPosted on: 2018-10-23 | Categories: VoIP Services
The world of VoIP offers a bewildering array of choices. What type of service you would like, the price you can afford to pay, the type of hardware you want to use etc. While it offers flexibility, it can also get confusing. With so many options available, which one is right for you? How do you choose between all the services out there, especially when they all seem to offer the same features are the same prices?
Narrow the Field
Before we get into choosing the best VoIP phone service, it is important to know what to consider and what to leave out. A VoIP service aimed at consumers is going to be very different from one that targets business users. Larger organizations might refer specific vendors that have the scale to meet their requirements. Small business owners might need more help with set up or configuration than larger companies.
As a small business owner, you don’t have to worry about consumer-focused services at all. They’re not likely to have enterprise-level features that your business needs. At the same time, you should think about your budget and financial requirements as well. Most small businesses cannot afford to waste money on features that they won’t need, at least not today. On the flipside, you shouldn’t go for the cheapest service out there because it might not offer the best value (or even the basic features you need).
Once you have eliminated providers that don’t cater to small business offices, you should have a much smaller list to select from. This will make it easier to choose the best VoIP service provider but you’ll probably have dozens of names still left.
Pay for What You Need, Today
Your business needs do not remain constant. The features that you rely on today may not be so useful tomorrow. Conversely, some features will not become valuable until your business reaches a certain size. Unfortunately, organizations tend to get carried away when it comes to features. It’s easy to think that you need all the features that the service provider advertises. Another trap to avoid is paying for features that are not relevant to your current needs.
In other words, pay for what you need today. VoIP is flexible enough that you can always add lines, numbers, and other resources later on. You don’t even have to wait for someone to come to your office to turn on the features. You can access most settings through the online dashboard or control panel and they will become effective immediately unless otherwise specified.
Ask about Their Customer Service and Tech Support
Most small business organizations rarely have the in-house expertise to deal with VoIP service problems. What happens if your phones stop working in the middle of the day? Do you have a backup if the Internet connection fails? What if the service provider has an issue and you start getting calls from customers?
Reputable vendors will have excellent customer service departments that you can reach via multiple channels. Ask if they have manuals, seminars, or other resources for new users. What kind of assistance can you expect if you run into problems while setting up the service in your office?
Also, find out if they offer service level agreements with quality assurances and guarantees. Many business owners forget about customer support until and unless they run into problems. Keep in mind that some of your staff may need extra training to use advanced features or manage the service as administrators.
Compare and Review
While you should research various services for yourself, you can also read online reviews for each vendor. Ask the provider they have a list of companies – current or former clients – you can talk to about their service. There are numerous third-party sites which host reviews on VoIP providers for the general public. You can even ask a fellow entrepreneur about the service they use and the process by which they arrived at their final choice.
Organizations that are of a similar size or working in the same field as your company are excellent sources of reviews and recommendations. Find out if there are specific features that they like or dislike. This way you know if there are issues you need to be aware of in advance. You can raise these concerns while meeting with the vendor later on. Remember to clarify all your questions and get answers before signing up with any vendor.
Remember that most vendors offer a trial or demo, sometimes not even needing a credit card. Make sure to test out the service completely before making the final choice. Although it is easy enough to switch vendors, you don’t have to go through the hassle if you select the right choice the first time around.