How to Switch VoIP Phone Providers

Posted by Mark Greim on Nov 15, 2023 10:17:42 AM

Most businesses have made the switch from their analog phone systems and traditional telephone service to a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service. Such business phone systems are hosted by the VoIP phone service provider and deliver flexibility and powerful features. However, not all businesses are satisfied with the service provided by their VoIP provider and are entertaining making a switch.

How to Change VoIP ProvidersWhy leave your current Voice over IP provider?  The feature set provided by most VoIP providers are relatively similar, so why are businesses considering making the change?  The market leaders in this category are the well-known national/global VoIP providers who lead in technology and marketing. They dominate paid search and other tactics designed to capture as much share as possible. 

Yet, their customer service model pushes their customers to a self-servicing model with any live support coming from offshore, contracted personnel. Thus, businesses find that their phones and programmable features are not built to match their unique requirements, as they lack the resources and time to master the self-servicing platforms.  Reaching out to customer support is underwhelming, as those resources are designed to direct businesses right back to the self-servicing portal and related “knowledge base” articles.

This type of model has left businesses underwhelmed or less than satisfied with their choice of a VoIP provider. Fortunately, changing Voice over IP phone service providers is easier today than it was when they converted from an analog phone service.

Steps to Take when Switching VoIP Providers

Carefully Evaluate Alternatives.  Start with your list of why you are dissatisfied with your current VoIP provider and research alternatives that take a different approach.  For example, if your VoIP phones, call flow, and other system programming has never been set up correctly, find providers that listen to your requirements and handle the programming for you. 

If you are dissatisfied with the customer service model of your current provider, focus your inquiries surrounding the customer service approach of alternative providers.  Even make a test call to their support line to see how quickly you are able to talk with someone and ask where they are located.  Look for alternatives that have a local presence to your business and call local references.

Term_Contacts_bad_for_Phone_ServiceFully Understand Your Current Contractual Situation.  Many VoIP providers offer no-contract options, but some do not.  Others may have special pricing or have provided “free” phones in exchange for some contractual term.  

Contact your sales resource, if still available, to see if they can guide you.  Carefully review any sales order or electronic document you may have signed.  Many times, the terms are in fine print or refers you to a page on the company website.  Finally, if you have been with your current provider for a while and were under a contract, check the provisions for auto renewal.

Determine the Status of Your Current VoIP Phones.  Many VoIP phones are ubiquitous across VoIP platforms, meaning they can be reused by other providers.  Check to see if the new VoIP provider you’ve selected can use your current phones, assuming you do not want to purchase new phones.  

If you have received free phones from your current provider, understand your options if you change. Do you own these phones? Are they current models (most free phones offered are old, outdated versions)? Finally, are your current phones “locked” to only work with your current provider?  If so, secure the phone password from the provider before you make the switch so they can be factory reset and re-provisioned by your new provider.

Capture your inventory of phone numbers.  The main line, fax line, and any toll-free numbers are obvious. However, most Voice over IP providers also provision direct dial numbers for all of your phones. If you have publicized them or utilized them in any way, be sure to get a full list of what has been provided to you.

Submit the Porting Paperwork.  Your new VoIP provider should provide you with direction from this point. They will have a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for you to complete for the porting over of your numbers. They will require other account level information from your current provider, such as account number, service address, and contact name on the account. Some providers require a port-out PIN, which you should secure in advance. Your new provider should be aware of the providers requiring such a PIN.

At this point, you will be deeply engaged with your new providers, working on the phone roster, call flow and auto attendant programming, and any other specific requirements you may have to appropriately customize the VoIP business phone system to match the unique needs and communication preferences of your business.

Is it time to make the switch to a VoIP phone service provider who can recommend the right VoIP phones and deliver the customer service your business deserves? Make every interaction with customers count with the help of sipVine's complete business communication solution! sipVine provides Hosted VoIP services to businesses across the United States. A better phone system for your small business with advanced features to match your unique business needs! Enhance your company's business communications through better customer experiences at every touchpoint. Want to learn more? Our small business phone service representatives are here to answer any questions you have! 

Topics: Changing Phone Service Providers

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