VoIP is one of the latest technologies creating a buzz…
How to Compare VoIP Providers
Purchasing new products, services or technology for an enterprise is rarely an easy task as there are many more factors to consider than if you were just shopping for an individual or even a household. But one step of the process remains the same – comparing different services or vendors to decide on the best one to purchase. Comparing VoIP vendors can take a while particularly because there are more than a handful of services in the market, even if you narrow it down based on pricing, location or business segment.
Collecting Information on Various Providers
Before you can set about comparing vendors, you need to find information about them. A simple Google search will probably return hundreds of results, so you may want to filter the list based on location (based in USA, UK etc.) or some other attributes (caters to small businesses or entrepreneurs). Since Google filters the results based on relevancy, you can be reasonably sure that the ones on the first page are reputable.
Once you have your names or services, you can easily find information about them from their websites. For instance, VoIP studio clearly displays the list of features and that pricing plans prominently on the homepage. You can even call them up and ask for a quote, since pricing can vary depending on the size of your business.
On the other hand, some vendors have poorly designed websites with very little information on pricing or features and are instead filled with marketing or advertising terms. You can look for data on such services on tech review blogs or sites. Reviews may not cover aspects that are important to you so keep that in mind.
The best sources of information are always going to be current or former customers, although it can take some finding. If someone you know is a customer of the service you are evaluating, they can tell you if they are satisfied or not and give reasons for it.
Once you have all your information, it may be best to put them all in a spreadsheet. You may have some information in emails, PDF files, web pages or even jotted down on pen and paper. Bringing them altogether will help you make an apples to apples comparison, so that you are not mistakenly comparing the premium features from one service to the basic plan from another.
Your monthly bill can also change depending on the billing practices of the vendor. VoIPstudio uses per second billing, so the monthly expenditure can actually be less than a competitor who charges the same price.
How to Compare VoIP Providers
When it comes to features, there is no reliable way to directly evaluate which service is the perfect fit for a particular business. What is important to you may be useless for your neighbor. However there are some common parameters that you should evaluate for all vendors, regardless of what features they offer.
Customer and Tech Support
One such factor is customer service. Good customer support in terms of responsiveness and satisfaction is often underrated. Customer service doesn’t just mean solving your problems when you contact them, it can also mean being proactive in terms of minimizing the number of problems that arise in the first place.
VoIP studio offers a number of manuals, online resources and contextual help throughout the interface so that you have fewer reasons to contact them. Additionally they offer a number of ways to get in touch with them including by phone and through their website.
There is no rule of thumb that you can follow to make a decision when it comes to prices. However the most important thing to keep in mind is that the cheapest service is not always the best and neither does it mean that the best service will cost an arm and a leg. What is a good value for one business may be too expensive for another simply because the features they need are not included in the basic plan. This is why VoIP studio includes all features in all of their plans and the only difference is if you want to pay for unlimited calling or not.
The VoIP market is quite a busy one these days with new services popping up every month. Experience or a proven track record is quite a good way to estimate if a service is reliable. The more established vendors will usually have cutting-edge features not available anywhere else, at least for a time. For example, VoIPstudio is owned and operated by Level 7 Systems who have a proven track record in the VoIP industry. Providers who have experience in the field are able to prevent problems before they happen, anticipate your needs accurately and often provide better customer support.
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