A business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service provides significant benefits, including lower costs, improved mobility, scalability and advanced calling features. However, not all business VoIP service providers are the same.
When choosing a business VoIP phone service, here are six questions that you need to ask.
Question No. 1: Do you provide dedicated fiber for my business?
This is an important question. Residential VoIP service providers, cable companies and many national business VoIP service providers will not provide dedicated fiber. They will use shared internet connections. This means that you will be sharing your bandwidth with others, and that may impact your reliability.
Dedicated fiber offers a consistent bandwidth that will meet or exceed what you’ve been promised. When companies have dedicated fiber (instead of leasing or sharing), they maintain better quality control. Look for a company that provides dedicated fiber on a network that is carrier Ethernet-certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum.
Dedicated fiber will provide lower latency and symmetrical upload/download speeds to help maintain call quality and stability.
Question No. 2: Do you guarantee uptime in writing?
If your internet service goes down, your business VoIP service goes down with it. Find out if the VoIP service providers you are evaluating will guarantee their uptime in writing, and what they will do if service does go down.
You should only work with a VoIP service provider that guarantees a minimum of 99.999% uptime. That means a possible downtime of less than five and a half minutes per year. Working with a company that will guarantee “five nines” means increased reliability.
You will want to closely examine the service-level agreement (SLA). There may be different levels of SLAs with different price points, so you should choose the right one for your business. If you are looking at multiple business VoIP service providers, make sure that you are comparing the same levels. As always in business, check the fine print for details.
Question No. 3: What happens when there is a problem with your VoIP service?
If the service does go out, what happens? You want a VoIP service provider that you can talk to and get your problem resolved. Nationwide VoIP service providers, cable or residential VoIP providers may have call centers that are across or even out of the country. They may not have local or regional support available.
Work with a company that has a service center in your area staffed with customer care and service teams that handle problems, requests, installations and maintenance activities 24/7 year-round.
You also want to make sure that there is a fail-over plan in place. If there is any disruption to the service or network, confirm that calls will be automatically routed to other phones, such as mobile devices or other business locations.
Question No. 4: How much will I pay each month?
When evaluating business VoIP service providers, cost will always be one of the factors to consider. Ask for a detailed and itemized breakdown of all costs associated with your business VoIP service.
Some VoIP service providers tack on extra costs, or hide costs in the details. Make sure that you know what your monthly bill will be, as well as any additional charges, before signing any agreement.
Question No. 5: What options do I have with VoIP?
Depending on your current business phone system, you may have options in how you configure VoIP and how your business VoIP service provider approaches installation.
For example, a cloud-based business phone service using a hosted private branch exchange (PBX) can provide significant cost benefits versus an existing on-site PBX.
You may also be able to add soft clients for voice calling and add any device to your VoIP system to take advantage of advanced capabilities such as video calls, messaging, virtual meetings, unified communications and collaboration tools. These features are essential for today’s mobile workforce, enabling your customers to reach your team from anywhere and facilitating virtual meetings with ease, keeping your employees connected wherever they are.
Question No. 6: What other services do you provide?
When you work with multiple providers for different services, it can be a headache. If something goes wrong, they’ll often blame the other provider and fail to solve the problem. You’ll receive multiple bills and have to manage different platforms.
Working with one provider you trust will mean one point of contact and faster resolution to questions or concerns. Bundling your services may provide additional savings.
If you are evaluating business VoIP service providers, make sure that you understand what other services the provider can include, and that you are comparing apples to apples.
The Best Business Phone Service Provider in Texas
LOGIX is a Texas-based business phone system provider that connects more than 10,000 customers and 3,000 enterprise buildings on more than 300,000 installed fiber miles.
LOGIX offers the most robust, reliable cloud-hosted PBX and VoIP business phone services on a fully monitored fiber network that is not shared with residential homes. Reliability is backed in writing with a 99.999% uptime guarantee.
More companies are choosing LOGIX for their remote workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about how to leverage hosted PBX to keep your business growing during the coronavirus pandemic as your business faces the realities of containing the virus.
Request a quote today and let LOGIX show you how a robust cloud-based business phone service can help your business grow.