No matter the size of your business, using outdated technology can be a drain on your company and hindrance to the point of losing out to the competition. Being able to reach out to new customers and properly manage the customer base you currently have are critical to your day-to-day operations as well as your bottom line.
In the digital age, more and more companies are adopting cloud-based telephone service over conventional phone service to expedite their business communications.
If you’re thinking about switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) for the first time, there are a few things you should be aware of. Like any new technology, the world of cloud-based telecommunications can be cluttered with entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of the latest trend. Often, companies seem to pop up overnight with no real understanding of the technology they are promoting.
You need to do your homework before simply picking a provider at random. First, you need to find a company that knows the VoIP business. Is your potential business telephone provider not just knowledgeable but customer-focused? Just because you find a company that provides seemingly cheap service doesn’t mean they know what they are doing or that they are looking out for your interests.
Here are some tips to consider before you decide on a cloud-based telephone provider:
While deciding to switch to cloud-based telephone service could potentially save you thousands of dollars, it is still a big decision. You will need to ensure your ROI is worth your initial expense.
Since every business is different, you will have to explore the features and benefits and how they will affect your company’s bottom line.
Here are some of the key areas to explore:
- Flexibility to use the same numbers from anywhere you need to work.
- The convenience of placing and receiving phone calls from multiple devices – including your computer, cellphone, and, of course, your desk phone.
- The ability to share one phone number between multiple workers.
- Numerous useful features such as auto-attendant, round-robin (longest idle), call-forwarding, and dozens of others.
- Having a dedicated business phone number makes your small company appear bigger.
- Cost benefits on both local and international calls over mainstream carriers.
- Extensive call monitoring including queue and agent statistics, call volume, and wait time.
Be sure you have high-speed internet. (You’ll need it for your VoIP service).
The quality of the internet has considerably improved over the past two decades, allowing the plentiful bandwidth companies demand at reasonable rates. Be careful – if you find that you frequently encounter instances where you have a loss of internet service or poor quality service, you don’t want to base your new telephone platform on anything other than a stable platform.
Aside from your bandwidth allocations, pay close consideration to your local area network (LAN). if you will be running lots of bandwidth-intensive applications you could end up with a secondary issue of poor quality voice traffic.
Consider replacing an outdated router with a newer one that has built-in QoS (Quality of Service) settings. Additionally, you may need software that can detect and correct issues and make your network stable enough to be able for an effective VoIP network.
Understand your business needs and choose wisely
This is an area nobody can specifically advise you on. Each business has different requirements and priorities that you will need to determine. Determine what your specific needs are before investing. Is your business growing or adapting to the changing world by encouraging remote workers? Do you want the ability to quickly scale your business up or down? Are you looking to reduce the costs of international calling? Start by making a list of needs and wants and compare it to what is being offered by the providers you are considering.
Here’s what to look for in a cloud-based telephone provider
- Make sure they are well established with many reviews from satisfied customers online
- Do they have experience with companies similar to yours?
- Do they outsource support or provide local installation and technical help?
- Will they provide a suite of useful features ensuring you get the most out of your new service?
Don’t say yes too quickly. Be sure to get a consultation before you commit to service.
It’s always smart to request a pre-sale consultation. Be sure to let the provider know all of your needs so they can give you a quote based on your actual needs. You don’t want a one-size-fits-all solution. After all, you are about to make a big decision about your company’s future.
Less isn’t more, (at least when it comes to cost)
Sure, you don’t want to spend more than you need to. Just be certain that you are getting the right solution and the right company to provide you service after the sale. While there are many low-cost VoIP providers, they are not all the same when it comes to managing your business communications. Now is the time to make sure you will get timely and dependable support when you need it.
About Carolina Digital Phone:
Carolina Digital Phone is a North Carolina based leader of hosted phone services. We have been providing services that enhance the capabilities of business, education, and government telephony for decades. Our mission has always been to deliver excellent customer service, value, and feature-rich telephone service. Carolina Digital Phone is a company that truly believes in delivering the best possible product we can.
What are you waiting for? Contact one of our professionals today to learn what you need to start planning your conversion to digital cloud-based telephone service for your company.