How to Choose the Right VoIP Solution for Your Business
Let’s say you’ve spent some time looking for phone service for your business or organization, and you hear about VoIP and that it’s better but you aren’t sure why or even where to begin. We’re here to help! There are a lot of great advantages to using VoIP and we’re excited to help you on your new journey.
Here’s where to start.
In this article, we’ll talk a bit about VoIP and how it can help your business, then we’ll move quickly into how you can choose the right solution for you. It can be overwhelming at times to try and find the right service and vendor, so we’ve organized this website around helpful resources and guides that take the sting out of trying to shop for a VoIP service. We make it as simple as possible because we know you’re busy and have a company to run.
So, let’s get going.
- What in the World is VoIP for Business, Anyway?
- How Do I Get Started with VoIP for My Business?
- How Do I Evaluate My Choices?
1. What in the World is VoIP for Business, Anyway?
First, we need to back up and introduce VoIP for a moment. It’s made big waves in the business world and rocked the phone service experience for a lot of people, but this doesn’t mean anything at all unless you understand what VoIP is and where it came from. So, here’s why VoIP is so awesome.
Phone service used to be enormously expensive. And if you rely exclusively on landline phone service, it still is, unfortunately. That’s because a lot of work goes into maintaining telephone lines and service connections. If you think about it, every single landline phone in the world requires a dedicated wired connection and ongoing service to keep it all working. This happens to require a lot of infrastructure and manpower. And, no doubt, cost a lot of money. Of course, phone service companies pass these costs onto you, the phone service subscriber, to fund any changes or upgrades to the grid. Yikes.
Paying these rates is no longer your only option, because VoIP phone service came unto the scene with the advent of the Internet. If you have Internet access to support a high-quality VoIP connection, you don’t really need to keep slogging away with that landline phone bill. You can get a service that’s $20 or less per month and kicks landline service to the curb, along with the high rates and per-minute charges that used to bleed your budget dry.
2. How Do I Get Started with VoIP for My Business?
Thankfully, the implementation process is pretty simple. You just need to identify the right service for you. This process happens in phases:
- Research: At first, you’ll be learning everything you can about VoIP service and researching vendors. It’s all theoretical at this point, but you’re definitely well on your way to finding the right vendor for your business.
- Planning: Now, you’re determining price points, evaluating features and talking details. You are learning what features and services your business will need to create a thriving phone service.
- Choosing a Vendor: You’re narrowing down your choices and talking to different vendors about details from your planning process. Employees, colleagues, and other stakeholders are making the decision with you, or at least providing feedback and ideas.
- Implementation: Congrats! You are implementing and learning the new system. This generally happens quickly, because online phone service requires very little infrastructure and equipment spending. Your vendor’s rep can probably get you started as soon as a day in many cases.
Now that we know about the four phases of VoIP selection, how do we get there? You can use questions to guide yourself through the process. Here’s what we suggest asking yourself:
- Do I understand how VoIP works and how it is different from traditional phone service? Is this what I want and what my business can benefit from? Why or why not?
- Why do so many businesses choose VoIP?
- What can VoIP do for me that other services can’t? Is this important to me?
- What is my budget? Is this budget realistic? Find out by researching some typical pricing.
- What features do I really need? Don’t need? What do I need my plan to do for me?
- What vendors appeal to me? Do they have experience in/specialize in working with my size of business and industry?
- What are my top five or ten vendors? How are they different? How are they similar?
- What are my must-have features my favorite vendor offers? What features are missing?
- Is there a clear winner(s) in my list?
- Who should help me make this decision?
- Which vendor had the best demo, answered my questions the best, etc?
- How long will implementation take with each vendor I’m considering? What equipment do I need? What’s involved in the entire process from start to finish?
- What’s my gut feeling about the plan I’m considering? What are the facts?
- Do I need anything else now that I’m using my new service? What would I change or keep the same?
3. How Do I Evaluate My Choices?
Okay, now that you know what to ask and how the process generally goes, do you know how to evaluate and compare services? There’s a lot out there, so it’s easy to get lost. But since you have our help, it’s smooth sailing from here.
Here are some considerations to help you evaluate your choices and narrow down your decision to a particular vendor and plan:
- Pricing: Compare prices, because there’s a lot of competition among vendors and a large number of different phone service vendors all provide VoIP. Don’t just look at websites. Ask questions. Some vendors are offering special deals and you can only get customized suggestions if you ask.
- Service: You’ll be relying on that phone system, so you need to know that the vendor offers great service and keeps their service plans going strong. Look for a vendor with a highly-trained customer service team and respected track record. You can always read about vendors on our website or even search around online for what others have said about particular vendors.
- Reviews: Reading real reviews from other business users can shed light on who’s the best in the business and who can really do better. You need to get real-time information about the vendors you’re considering, so you can make the best decisions.
- Features: If they don’t have the features you need, it really doesn’t matter what they charge or how great they are. You need a vendor who can offer your business exactly what it needs, so don’t be afraid to shop around a bit and be picky. Our website can help you complete this research if you need more information.
- Integrations: Just like with features, having the right integrations can make a big difference. If you have specific CRM software to use with your VoIP plan, for instance, then having the corresponding integration is enormously important, right? Find out what integrations you need and shy away from vendors that don’t offer it, or ask your vendor if they’ll consider adding it for you.