Telecommunications is the heart and soul of the modern business world. And with the introduction of VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol in 2020, the traditional business phone system has changed completely. In fact, VoIP phone systems have changed the way people communicate altogether whether its business use or home usage.
The latest statistics show that there are over 98.9 billion registered subscribers in the corporate consumer VoIP market. The global industry revenue for VoIP was $43.27 billion in the year 2012 alone!
And these numbers are set to rise exponentially, reaching an estimated 204.8 billion corporate subscribers within the next couple of years!
The increase in the demand and popularity of VoIP for businesses raises a lot of questions that need to be considered before subscribing to the service. Answering these will help you determine the best VoIP service provider that will suit the needs of your business.
What Is the Initial Start-Up Cost?
Setup fees, equipment costs, activation fees, porting fees. The initial conversation when looking for a VoIP to subscribe to should always begin by the bottom line. You need to be clear about the upfront costs of the service and what the recurring costs will be.
Like most cellular services, VoIP phone service providers charge monthly fees based on the lines required and the size of the network that needs to be set up. Some VoIP providers will offer discounted equipment based on the length of the contract.
You also need to ask about any cancellation fees or penalties in case you decide to change your VoIP plan. Make sure your plan is flexible to account for any foreseeable changes in your service or equipment needs.
Will My Current Equipment Work with VoIP?
It’s entirely possible that your traditional or previous VoIP equipment might not be compatible with your new service. The best thing to do is to consult your prospective VoIP provider and let them know what kind of equipment you are using currently.
They will offer expert insight on whether your equipment can be integrated into the new VoIP phone system or you’ll need additional equipment such as routers and phone sets. If you do need additional equipment, make sure you get the costs upfront before signing any contracts.
Does the VoIP Provider Offer Faxing Services?
Currently, the faxing services available from most VoIP providers are temperamental, at best. If your business relies heavily on faxing, your best option might be to maintain a copper line.
However, for companies that fax shorter documents and use it only occasionally, VoIP can cover your needs. VoIP providers such as Vonage now offer the option of online fax which lets the users send and receive messages without having to print them out. Not only is this great for your business, but it’s also eco-friendly!
How’s the VoIP Call Quality?
When the VoIP phone service was initially introduced, slight hiccups in the call quality were common. However, with the latest technological advancements, innovation, and improvement in the network connections, VoIP can replicate the high-quality of calls experienced through traditional landlines.
However, you should discuss the terms of bandwidth, the quality of equipment, and the type of routers the VoIP provider uses and how that will affect the quality of the calls.
Also, make sure the frequency of your current phone system won’t interfere with the VoIP equipment. Similarly, address the possible effects of your location and weather conditions on the overall call quality.
How Reliable is the Company and Its Services?
An important factor to consider before signing a contract with a VoIP service provider is the company’s history. While young companies might offer attractive deals and low costs, their service might not be reliable and might end up costing you more in the long-run.
Look up their client testimonials and their service history for the past 6 months for any disruptions or outages. Also, find out how they inform their clients about possible service disruptions.
You can also ask the company directly for this information. They should be transparent about their service background and the issues they have faced. A refusal to share the details is a possible red flag and you might not want to sign that contract just yet!
Does Your Service Provider Offer Customer Support with The VoIP Plan?
Once the VoIP service is live, companies can face several issues such as dropped calls, poor call quality, and connectivity problems. Therefore, it’s important before subscribing to a VoIP service to find out what kind of customer support service they offer.
Find out if they have 24-hour support and I not what are their support hours. Also, find out how long it takes them to respond to an average call and how quickly do they resolve issues. A good way to find out the level of customer support they provide is by searching for customer feedback and company rating online.
Can the VoIP Provider Keep Up with Your Growth Needs?
Every company has some future goals and growth expectations for its business. When selecting a potential VoIP provider, it’s important to consider whether they will be able to meet your growth needs.
Discuss options such as additional connections and contract expansion and the estimated costs before you commit to any VoIP service provider.
What Is Their Cancellation Policy?
Sometimes, certain VoIP providers aren’t right for the requirements of the business. In that case, the company might need to cancel its current VoIP contract which can incur possible termination penalties.
So, before subscribing to a VoIP service provider, consider their early termination policies and find out how much they charge for canceling the contract. Some VoIP providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee or have a free cancellation policy anytime the client wants to terminate the plan. Find out which one suits your needs before making any big decisions.
To find out more about the top VoIP service providers, log onto the Top5 Business VoIP website. We offer comprehensive reviews of reliable VoIP phone services and side-by-side comparisons to help you choose the best VoIP service provider for your business!