There are countless benefits available for businesses when they switch to a hosted VoIP phone service. Price is a big driver that has certainly been delivered by national VoIP providers as well as smaller, regional or local carriers. However, when choosing a provider, don’t just settle for the price benefit received from providers who merely drop ship the phones with basic configurations for your business.
The beauty behind hosted VoIP phone service is that there can be many programmatic features and custom configuration options for your business, assuming the provider has a robust and flexible platform. Every business has a flow of how they would like their calls routed and handled, and there are many ways to customize this delivery. Your first test of a provider’s willingness to customize a call flow is whether they conduct a configuration meeting with you in advance of the delivery of the phones. If it is merely setting up direct dial numbers for every phone and driving calls to your main number to one individual or to an auto attendant, there is a chance that you’re missing out on options to make the phone service work exactly how you would like it to.
In addition, one very important decision point is who is taking the responsibility for your voice quality. You should be alerted to potential issues if a selling point from a drop shipper is “just plug the phones into your office LAN and they work.” Hosted VoIP phones do in fact “work” when you do this, but call quality has not been addressed. If this is addressed merely by internet bandwidth sizing and capacity, you still may face call quality issues. Make sure your provider is delivering a new router or edge device for your LAN that has Quality of Service software built in. This will ensure that your voice packets over the internet are prioritized and are not interrupted by data traffic.
With careful selection of your VoIP provider based upon their desire and ability to configure your phones and call flow to how you do business and how they address call quality, you will enjoy BOTH economic benefits and the many benefits of the advanced calling features of a VoIP phone system!
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.