Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the most popular choice among small businesses both for cost and flexibility advantages. According to Market Watch, the global VoIP market is expected to surpass USD 55 billion by 2025. The phone-to-phone VoIP market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 17 percent from 2019 to 2025, and the international VoIP calling market is forecasted to exhibit a growth rate of over 11 percent. VoIP phone services offer all the functionality of a business PBX for a fraction of the money. On top of being cost-effective, it boosts your business growth by converting calls into important data. If you have decided to switch to a VoIP service, but you are still wondering where to start, the simple answer is: Do your homework.
Finding a suitable business VoIP phone service is all about understanding your business needs while taking into consideration your future growth and budget. Whether it is considering some of the bigger brands like Axvoice, if you are looking for a phone system for your business, here are five effective tips to help you pick the right VoIP service provider.
1. Needs assessment
The first step when it comes to choosing the right phone for your business is evaluating your business needs. Why does your small business require a phone system? What is the size and structure of your business? Do you require conference calling or call forwarding? Is voice mail a necessity? VoIP service providers offer many features, including caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calling, voice mail, and speed dialing. All these features come under a single category – call management. Currently, there are several VoIP service providers available in the market offering feature-rich products. You can prepare a list of required features and use it when comparing different services. Also, you have to examine the geographic locations of your company. There are a few business phone systems that require a piece of expensive hardware. So, you need to analyze your business needs carefully to pick the right option for smooth operations and enhanced productivity.
2. Plans and Pricing
Another significant factor to consider when choosing the right phone system is cost. What is the purpose of choosing a business VoIP with advanced features if you can’t afford it? Ring Central offers a good bunch of features, but it starts at $34.99 monthly per user though it is reduced to $24.99 per user per month if you buy the annual subscription. There are cheaper solutions, such as Axvoice, which begins at $14.99 per month, and it offers all the advanced features. For example, you will be able to transcribe voicemail messages. So, how do you know which one is the right option for you? You shouldn’t focus only on price. You must consider your business needs and required features. Once you identify features to the business processes that need a voice, you can compare the prices of available options to choose the best one.
3. Mobile software app
Your employees must be on the go at least some of the time, so you will need a VoIP service that can travel with them. All business phone service providers do not offer a mobile app that offers that same value and functionality as the desktop one. Some highly advanced phone service providers like Axvoice offer softphone support. With this feature, you can download a softphone app on your phone and make calls from anywhere using your VoIP service without requiring a touchtone phone. You have to do your research work before making a buying decision to find out what is offered on the desktop version and what you will find in the mobile app. At times, for instance, if the call isn’t answered, there are chances that the mobile app won’t be able to create a log for these calls.
4. Compatibility with existing office system
Another important thing to consider is the capability of the VoIP phone system to integrate with the existing business systems. Do your research to ensure that the system you choose is compatible with the conferencing tools, and other office hardware used in your office daily. If this isn’t the case, you might have to spend a lot more money than initially planned. You will have to invest a lot to replace all the items that don’t integrate into the new system.
5. True costs of Tech Support
If your company currently manages your data, there are chances that you already have a well-staffed IT team for your small business and implementing a VoIP phone service wouldn’t eliminate your existing staff. On the other hand, if you currently don’t have an IT team, then VoIP phone service can save your company from having to employ technical staff members. The majority of the vendors offer tech support, but you must consider how relying on third-party support works with the current strategy of your company. If phone service plays an important role in your business, you should be very comfortable with your vendor that will be responsible for system support. For your small business, you might only be able to get some help from customer support during 13-hour blocks Monday through Friday. But, many vendors offer 24/7 tech support to ensure that all your queries will be answered on a timely basis. Depending on your business requirements, you can choose the right phone system.
The Bottom Line
For years, only large companies could afford feature-rich telecommunication systems although, proliferation in VoIP technology has put these phone systems within reach for small businesses, too. Now even small companies can avail features such as automated attendants, call filtering, three-way calling, and third-party integration, which allows voicemails to be sent to email inboxes and computers to be turned into softphones. Finding the right business phone system provider might seem to be a perplexing task. Figuring out your business needs and planned budget is the key to an effective unified communication implementation. If you consider the advice and tips discussed in this article, you will find the best one for your business.