Not All VoIP Providers Are Created Equal
Choosing the right VoIP Provider is extremely important to your business. There are countless options available and there are real consequences if you choose the wrong VoIP provider. Including poor call quality, lack of customer service, and your phones going offline without warning on a regular basis. We don’t want to scare you too much, VoIP is an extremely reliable communications platform when the provider is on-top of their game.
1. Always Choose a Local VoIP Provider
Whether you are based in Vancouver, Toronto or Calgary. It’s important that your telephone provider is local. It’s equally important to understand the ‘fine print’ of your agreement. Do you have to pay extra if an on-site service technician is required? These hidden extra costs can really add-up big time. Another major consideration when choosing local is their speed of response. If your entire office goes offline and you need an on-site visit to fix the problem, how quickly will they arrive? From personal experience, large companies book visits weeks in advance. It can be nearly impossible to get a same-day visit. Meanwhile smaller providers can often arrive within an hour or two.
2. Uncover If They Actually Care About Customer Service
It’s extremely important to choose a VoIP provider. You want a focus on customer care when you are experiencing issues, or want to make feature changes. With a few questions and some research during the sales process, you can uncover their commitment. I would first analyze online reviews, and read the ‘about us’ page. It should give you some insight into their values and customer experience. For instance, we have over 15 Google Reviews that are 5. Our About Us page gives details about our values and customer focus. I would then ask a series of questions that will give you some real insight.
- What kind of response time can you expect when making feature requests?
- Do they offer 24/7 emergency support?
- How quickly can they send a VoIP technician if there are issues?
- Do they outsource any customer support?
3. What Kind of VoIP Network Do They Have?
Along with understanding the level of customer service a provider offers. It’s equally important to understand their VoIP network and the technology behind it. As a business owner you should have a basic understanding of how VoIP works. Knowing where call quality issues can arise. There are Hosted PBX systems and On-Site PBX. It’s important to ask your VoIP provider to explain which options they offer. Along with the reason behind their decision. For instance, at B1 Communications we offer Hosted PBX. This allows our customers to setup phones across multiple locations without added hardware or expense. It also allows us to provide over 30+ Enterprise Grade VoIP Features included with our plans. Another area of importance is their VoIP Servers. Where is it located? For example, our servers are hosted in Vancouver. This gives our customers the best quality calling possible.
4. How Long Have They Been In Business? Is VoIP Their Focus?
We would be the first to admit the early days of B1 Communications were challenging. Our VoIP network wasn’t as reliable as we’d like. As a result, our call quality sometimes suffered. However, over the years we’ve developed various protocols, systems, and techniques. Resulting in high quality, reliable VoIP calling. As a matter of fact, we’ve had a number of customers leave large established telecom companies for our service based on call quality.
I would suggest working with a VoIP provider that has a minimum of 5 years experience with an exclusive focus on VoIP services for small businesses. There are a number of tech providers who offer VoIP as an add-on solution. Meaning your telephone services will never be their priority. That includes innovations of new features and advancements.
5. VoIP Providers With Long Term Contracts Suck
Most VoIP providers require long term contracts between 3 and 5 years which includes leased telephones for your small business. It’s a great option considering it often has zero upfront costs and you know that you’ll need phones for years to come, it just makes sense. However this comes with a huge risk, if your new VoIp provider drops the ball and delivers poor call quality or customer service, you’re stuck. These contracts are always one-way. Requiring you to guarantee loyalty without any guarantees in return. B1 Communications has leased telephone without contracts. However, if you go with another provider that does require contracts; read the fine print. Make sure you have the right to cancel the contract if they are unable to deliver the level of service you expect from them without penalty.
5.5. Request a Demo
You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, why is VoIP any different? Ask your new VoIP Provider to setup a phone for testing purposes. This will give you the ability to confirm call quality, and experience their customer service first hand.
If you’re a Vancouver business and looking for a reliable VoIP telephone provider.
Our team is here. contact us today for a custom quote.