In today’s digital age, the need for staying up to date with the latest in communication tools is a top priority for businesses of all sizes if they want to succeed.
The pandemic accelerated the shift to remote working and now many companies are operating a hybrid workforce with teams based both on and off-site.
With the need for greater communication controls, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has become a popular choice among businesses wishing to invest in their communication system.
What is VoIP?
We all use VoIP phone technology in our daily lives.
In fact, according to a CSO survey in 2021, over 80% of those on the internet used internet telephoning/video calls on platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Devices that have applications such as Skype, Facetime and WhatsApp are all forms of VoIP platforms.
For businesses, the beauty of a VoIP phone system is the flexibility and ease of integration that it offers. Essentially, VoIP technology allows the user to make and receive calls using a broadband internet connection rather than a traditional landline.
It has become a far more cost-effective way for businesses to connect and communicate with customers and team members alike, wherever they may be located.
In a previous article, we explored the fundamentals of the VoIP system, and in this article, we will instead focus on helping you to find the best VoIP provider for your business.
Key considerations when choosing the best VoIP provider
If you have decided that it’s time to trade up from your traditional landline to a VoIP phone system, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many factors to consider so taking the time to research which provider is going to serve your business needs the best is time well spent.
Here are some things you should take into consideration:
If your business operates internationally, you may be used to paying higher rates for calls. The switch to VoIP can offer massive cost savings in this area as calls are conducted over the internet so can be done for a fraction of the price or, in some instances, for free.
Be sure to discuss your needs and the rates of calls both nationally and internationally with your VoIP provider to make sure you are getting the best solution for your business.
Versatility is key when it comes to communications and there are a variety of ways that a VoIP phone system allows users to make calls. The most basic dialling option is using a hard phone system where calls can be placed through more traditional hardware-based setups, using handset, headsets or speakers.
Softphone systems provide similar functionality but exist as software that runs on your computer, using the connected microphone/headset/speakers to mimic the functions of a traditional phone.
Mobile softphones offer another level of flexibility, however not all VoIP providers offer this as a solution, or may not have a solution with the full suite of features. Get specific on what your team needs when choosing your provider so you can be sure you are getting all the functionality you require.
Utilizing the features that allow your team members to collaborate in a variety of ways can be a game-changer, particularly if you have teams working remotely. The voice capabilities of VoIP phone systems have developed to allow for a whole host of collaborative tools, from instant messaging and video conferencing to screen and file sharing. Further capabilities can be experienced via third-party integrations.
Not all VoIP providers will offer the same quality or quantity of features. Find out if customisation is an option and what advanced collaboration tools are available to you as part of your package.
There is a multitude of features that can fall under the umbrella of Call Management, from call waiting, caller ID, call queuing, voicemail and three-way calling. As VoIP systems develop and advance, the tools they offer become more tailored for specific consumers.
What does your business need in terms of call management? If you want an efficient system that allows you to offer a greater experience for your customers, then make sure you will have access to the best possible VoIP solution.
Having the ability to integrate your communication system with other business platforms is another tick for the pro column when debating a VoIP phone system. Linked systems can streamline processes and save time, benefitting both customers and employees.
When making a decision on a provider, ensuring that the platform integrates with tools such as your CRM software and email marketing service is crucial.
There’s no point in saving money on the cost of your calls if the quality of the calls is simply not good enough. Choosing a VoIP provider with a reliable and scalable network will ensure that you can enjoy quality calls, both for audio and video conferencing.
This will also reflect on the experience you are providing to your customers who want to be able to communicate with your team clearly and uninterrupted. For businesses in rural areas, checking the network used by the provider in that area is vital.
Any disruption to your communications system can be costly to businesses, as well as proving frustrating for your employees and customers. You need to know that, in the event of a service breakdown, your VoIP provider will offer the support you need to get your phone system back up and running quickly.
Taking into account the level of support you will need, is it important that the provider is based within the same time zone for example? Do they offer around the clock support or a live chat feature so that you can get the support you need when you need it? Who is your point of contact? What is the cost of any premium support add-on?
With cyber-crime on the rise, cyber security is more important than ever. Any part of your business connected to the internet is potentially at risk, including your VoIP system.
When choosing a VoIP provider, look for those that offer top-notch security solutions such as end to end encryption, multi-factor authentication and biometrics.
Every business has different requirements and if you choose your provider wisely, you can have all of your communications unified in the one tidy system.
Simply put, your chat functionality, conference calls, emails, phone calls, video calls, and voicemail can all be integrated into one app. So if your business communicates over multiple channels, a unified system can mean these channels are used more strategically.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a VoIP provider and all businesses will have different needs.
As a leading VoIP provider, One Contact can provide a VoIP service that delivers on all of the above.
Get in touch with us today to implement an efficient, trustworthy and secure VoIP system so your business is always there for your customers when they need you the most.