Business VoIP Providers and You: 3 Helpful Tips
There are tons of business VoIP providers out there who would love to have you as their client—but are they the right provider for you?
Below we’ve highlighted a few easy things to look for and a few things to avoid when choosing a hosted VoIP service provider for your company.
Business VoIP vs. Not-so-business VoIP
It might sound silly, but businesses can end up wasting a lot of time doing the wrong kind of research on a new business VoIP provider. For example, certain “budget” VoIP providers advertise cost-effective solutions for small businesses, when what they’re actually offering is a essentially a flimsy phone service re-packaged as a business VoIP product with a few extra features thrown in. These kinds of services sound like a great idea, but the quality of service and staff the company provides simply won’t make the cut when push comes to shove.
Our recommendation: steer clear of business VoIP providers that also offer residential VoIP packages. Not only will your service be a better fit for your specific needs all around, but the support staff will be a better and more qualified fit as well. Providers that offer both business and consumer VoIP packages generally need bigger call centers and more staff to handle such a varied and voluminous client base—and that can be problematic.
Price Wars: Pros and Cons
Capital expenditures and operating costs are important to companies both big and small. Small business VoIP providers know this and they’ve done a wonderful job to offer premium services at affordable prices to stay competitive. Excellent!
While this may seem like a buyer’s paradise (and it still can be—don’t get us wrong!), many SMBs can end up falling for the old bait-and-switch when it comes to pricing. What seemed like a really great introductory price per seat ends up turning into a tangle of add-on fees and shady charges—turning a great deal into something much, much less. (Not so excellent.)
Our recommendation: research what’s actually included and what’s extra with each provider you’re interested in. Don’t be afraid to call and get a quote from each to see what your bottom line will be in addition to the overall value they’ll offer your small business. Also, we recommend keeping a recent phone bill handy so you can directly compare whether or not adopting a hosted PBX solution will be cost effective for you.
And just for good measure: if you’re able to find a current client of a business VoIP provider you’re interested in, ask them as many questions as you can. What do they like? What do they hate? The more data you get on a hosted VoIP solution, the smarter your decision will be.
VoIP Provider vs. VoIP Provider + MSP
There are two kinds of business VoIP providers in the world: providers that host VoIP, and providers that host VoIP with the expertise of a managed services provider (MSP). Finding a VoIP provider that is also backed by an MSP is an incredibly valuable resource for small businesses.
Why? Because your business shouldn’t have to deal with a provider focused on quantity rather than quality. Bigger VoIP companies know how to set you up with VoIP and how to run it—but they won’t have always an intimate knowledge of your business’s network as a greater whole. It’s important that you find a provider that understands your system and infrastructure so they can implement (and support) a system that fits like a glove. Anyone can sell VoIP—but do they have the skills, resources, and staff of an actual IT company?
Our suggestion: check their website or call them and ask if their service is operated by a managed services provider. If so, you’re taking a step in the right direction.
Curious? We thought so. Check out DOTVOX and see what we’re all about. (And yes, we’re backed by an MSP!)