How to find VoIP phone systems for small business?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology revolutionizes business communications, and now you can use VoIP tech in your small business. By transmitting phone communications over the Internet, VoIP reduces the costs of telecommunications. It enables more companies than ever before to benefit directly from the power of the Internet for their phone services. You can gain access to other services, too, beyond what you may have believed was even possible with your business phones.

VoIP Advantages:

  • Affordable Plans–VoIP services are offered at lower costs than traditional phone service, allowing you to obtain the business communications services you need more affordably than before.
  • Scalable–These plans scale really well, allowing even small businesses to benefit. You can access VoIP services that can transform your business and help you grow. As your organization gets bigger, your VoIP service can expand with you and empower your continued growth.
  • More Features–Access advanced features you may not have known were even possible with a VoIP phone system for your small business.

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can benefit tremendously from a flexible, affordable VoIP service. Choosing the right VoIP service for you may seem challenging at first, but follow the steps and suggestions in this guide, and you will be able to find a great VoIP service in no time.

Best Practices for Choosing a VoIP Service:

  • Review Available Providers
  • Make a List of Must-Have Features
  • Compare Features and Plans
  • Ask Questions and Choose a Vendor
  • Get Started

In this article, we will help you make the right decision for your small business, nonprofit or other organization. By the end of this guide, you will also have ideas for questions to ask and features to look for.

Article Contents:

  1. What is VoIP?
  2. Why VoIP?
  3. Tips for Choosing a VoIP Service

1. What is VoIP?

VoIP works differently from your traditional phone service system, even from business phone systems. Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), the old way to transfer phone calls, uses an entirely different system from VoIP. VoIP’s biggest distinction is that it does not use the copper wire networks of traditional phone systems.

Historically, phone service relied on vast networks of copper cables crossing entire countries and continents. It was the most efficient (indeed, the only) way to transfer voice calls over a great distance and connect millions of people around the world. The Internet changed this. With the advent of the online communications, it became possible to send information via the Internet, thus bringing voice data information that could be quickly and easily transmitted.

VoIP saves subscribers money because the infrastructure for VoIP service is different. It does not need expensive, difficult-to-maintain legacy networks for phone service. This dramatically reduces the costs associated with phone service.

2. Why VoIP?

VoIP service is revolutionary. For many businesses, it has made a tremendous difference in productivity and capabilities. You can access a variety of new features that can transform how you communicate and make it easier for your business to accomplish the work you need to do every day as you reach new customers, communicate with vendors and operate your internal communications.

Features that were previously only available to larger businesses because of the cost are easier than ever to scale and bring to smaller businesses. Companies that rely extensively on their business phone systems need a reliable and affordable solution. For instance, companies with call centers or extensive communications with others need to have affordable access to 1-800 numbers, call recording, queues, call management systems and other tools. VoIP dramatically reduces the costs of these services, making it a snap to access the tools you need.

3. Tips for Choosing a VoIP Service

If you need a VoIP service for your business, start by considering what you will need and how to obtain it. Write down your favorite phone features or try to describe what you are looking for, and that will help the process go more smoothly for you. You can find the help you need if you are willing to ask plenty of questions, conduct your due diligence to find the best features, and carefully choose the right plan.

Follow These Tips for Choosing a System:

  • Small businesses with just a few employees may benefit from metered services. These plans charge for actual use instead of charging for all the services you are using, so you can access services that are more advanced than what you would typically be able to afford.
  • Choose an unlimited plan if you need lots of minutes or plan to use your phones frequently. These plans can be more affordable for call centers, businesses that receive a large amount of toll-free calls or extensively use the phone.
  • Get a private branch exchange (PBX) box or cloud service if you have enough extensions and features that you need more powerful management of your phone system. PBX functionality can really help your organization’s business communications system to thrive.
  • Cloud-hosted VoIP services use your vendor’s equipment and software to keep your business communications system managed. Your vendor keeps everything maintained so you do not need to keep everything together. This reduces the costs of a telecommunications system, helps prevent extended downtime and provides you with additional features that are tremendously powerful.
  • Ask plenty of questions. If you are comparing several vendors, call the customer service or sales department and ask about their previous experience with businesses like yours. Find online reviews and compare what people have said about each service you are considering. These reviews may be invaluable glimpses into what each VoIP service can do to help you and how each service actually works.

Tips for Getting Started:

  • Queue Systems–You can set up queuing systems with your phone service, enabling incoming calls to reach the correct representatives. If you use this strategy, you can create your own call center and even have more difficult calls reach more qualified personnel.
  • Call Management–If you have multiple offices or employees working remotely, VoIP systems can be connected together to function as a single phone system. This is great if you have a lot of employees and really need your organization to appear more professional and larger than it actually is.
  • Integrations–Software integrations can provide valuable added functionality for your business. A variety of different apps can integrate directly with your VoIP system, depending on the type of system and the specific vendor you use. Be sure to choose a vendor that offers the right amount of integrations and the right types of integrations for your needs.
  • Conferencing and Bridging–If your business plans to use a lot of conferencing capabilities, you may need to choose a VoIP service that provides call bridging. Not every VoIP plan necessarily includes this, so keep that in mind. Call bridging can enable you to bring hundreds of participants into calls, making it easier to offer classes and larger meetings with employees. Traditionally, this would be a very expensive feature. Many older phone systems do not offer this or charge a large sum of money for the service.
  • Remote Working–There are many VoIP features that are remote-work friendly, making it easier to bring together a big team without geographical constraints. This can help your organization become more effective.

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