How to Choose the Best VoIP Service Provider

If you’ve decided to switch from an old, legacy phone system to a VoIP-based network, your decision is likely based on anticipated benefits of lower costs and greater flexibility. However, choosing the wrong VoIP service provider can mean frustrated customers and employees as well as lowered productivity due to downtime and complex systems. Here are several points to consider when deciding if a VoIP service provider is right for you.

Will it have the features that you need? If a VoIP system has lots of extra features, but not the ones you use most, it not be efficient or effective. Take the time to ensure that your choice of VoIP service comes with the features you need and not the ones you don’t. If you need a virtual receptionist (auto attendant), opt for service providers that offer automated directory services. If you’re trying to break away from complicated third-party conferencing services, ensure that your VoIP service provider has conference-on-demand.

Is it intuitive, and will it help you grow? Every entrepreneur wants his or her business to grow. However, managing extensions and extra phones on traditional phone networks can be downright frustrating. VoIP systems that are easily installed and maintained are those that help you concentrate on doing what you do best – serving your customers. The best VoIP service providers also help with growth, easily changing the number of users to help you when you expand.

Will you be supported? Since time is money, it is critical for you to have a phone system that is always efficient and effective. However, when problems do arise, having a provider that can troubleshoot your service in the shortest amount of time is invaluable. Make certain that minimizing downtime is something that your VoIP service provider does well; including extensive network redundancies to ensure that your calls will be completed even during routine maintenance.

Can your network handle it? If you’re serious about switching to a VoIP system, make sure that your current network is suitable for deployment of VoIP services. A simple VoIP test can determine your upload and download speeds, as well as latency, jitter and packet loss. Latency and jitter are both responsible for the delay in sending and receiving information, and packet loss is a common digital communication error. If any of these are prevalent in your network, it may need an upgrade before you can benefit from VoIP services.

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