Choosing the Right VoIP provider: How Much Does it Cost?
You may not like it, but most things in life come down to cold hard cash. How much your VoIP provider is going to cost is obviously important. According to The VoIP Report, switching to VoIP from a traditional landline system can save you between 30% and 50%. That’s a huge saving. Getting the best saving means taking a look at the features you need, and the ones you could do without.
The best way to make sure your choice is cost-effective is to work out exactly what you need. Then speak to your VoIP provider and ask them how closely their packages can fit to what you would like. There’s no point in getting dozens more phones or lines than you need, or extra features like conference calls if your business doesn’t need it. That’s going to cost you extra money that you could be using better elsewhere. Whatever you need VoIP for, you want it to be affordable.
Scalability is an important element to consider here. How much will it cost when it’s time for you to add more lines, minutes, or features as your business or individual needs grow? You want a service which grows with you at a reasonable cost, so that you don’t feel punished for your success.
Have You Asked Your VoIP Provider About Security?
Security is a really big issue, especially online. Now that you’re opting for VoIP, that means that all of your voice traffic is going to be going through your IP address like any other online traffic such as email or messaging. Is it safe?
The answer is yes, it should be very safe. But it’s worth asking your providers what they do to keep it that way. Firewalls are one element to discuss, as well as anti-malware detection and prevention tools, and safe data centers and best-practice. Bring up Network Security and make sure you get all the answers you need.
Quality of Service is Important When Choosing a VoIP Provider
The main reason that people don’t choose VoIP is that they are worried about the quality of their calls. If you’ve ever tried to use Skype or WhatsApp call – you’ll know the kinds of problems we’re talking about. Having a lag on the call can make it impossible to speak easily, and issues like jitter or latency problems can cause echo or stuttering rather than a seamless conversation. While it’s a bit annoying when you’re chatting to a family member, it can be catastrophic for business calls.
Luckily, business VoIP is made of stronger stuff, and you can ask upfront what the company does to minimize voice issues, such as prioritizing voice packets and using the right network for the best Quality of Service. Under 0.5% of people feel there is an issue with the quality of their Business VoIP, which should tell you that you have nothing to worry about.
Think About the Customer Support Options for your VoIP Choice
It’s vital to remember that the kind of support you get from any business before you sign up to their service is not going to be the same as what they offer once you’re signed up to a monthly contract! It’s worth checking their terms and conditions to make sure that you have access to help 24/7 when you need it. When it comes to Business VoIP, you may need help in the middle of the night if you run a global business, and not be able to wait until working hours or after the weekend. You also may have a preference for a kind of customer support, such as a telephone line or live chat support. Check that this is available before you make your choice about a VoIP solution.
Contracts and terms change from one VoIP provider to another. Some will give you a better price for signing up to an annual or six-monthly term, but think about whether you want to be tied in to a set amount of time. Others will let you know that you can cancel at any time with no penalties, which means they must be really proud of their customer support, and certain that no one else will be able to turn your head.
Choosing a VoIP Provider: The Bottom Line
To summarise what you need to know before you make a final choice with your VoIP provider, make sure you’ve asked the following questions:
- How much will this cost me, and do I need everything you’re offering?
- What happens when it’s time to scale up, (or down?)
- How secure is your service, and what do you do to keep my data safe?
- Will I get good Quality of Service, and how can you guarantee that?
- How can I get in touch if things go wrong?
- What will I be asked to sign, and what if I change my mind and want to go elsewhere?
Choosing a VoIP provider isn’t simple, and there are a lot of elements to consider. Our experts have gone through all of these questions with the biggest names in VoIP for business and residential, so that you can benefit from our research. Take a look through our comprehensive reviews.
VoIP has taken over from traditional telephony as the best way to make calls whether you’re a family or a business. It is cheaper, quicker and easier, and can include a ton of fantastic extra features that you don’t get with a regular landline. Here we outline all the questions you need to ask to make sure you’re making the right choice in VoIP provider.