Would your business benefit from lower phone bills with more flexibility?
For the many businesses who are choosing VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) telephone services over traditional phone lines, the savings and functionality can quickly add up to a phone system that suits their business and their budget.
Using VOIP would mean switching from your current phone hardware to one of the many hosted phone services available today.
So what makes VOIP such a good match for businesses? And how do you decide on the right hosted phone system for your business?
More flexible way to phone
Hosted phone systems are a flexible option for businesses of all sizes.
Put simply, VOIP means your telephone calls are routed through the internet instead of via a traditional phone system. The first step is to sign up to a hosted phone service that will provide everything you need to start making and receiving calls more cheaply from anywhere.
A hosted phone service can benefit your business in several ways:
Savings on your phone bill - hosted numbers are frequently cheaper than traditional telephone numbers;
Easy to use - once you have VOIP set up you'll find it's easy to use;
Customizable - you can decide where calls get routed and build in menu options to suit your business;
No hardware or maintenance - because everything is routed via the internet there is no need to worry about installing or maintaining phone lines and equipment;
Easy upgrades - your provider takes care of updating your phone system when necessary with no workmen or disruptions to your daily routine;
Flexibility - you can make and receive calls from anywhere with a good internet connection.
Choosing the best hosted phone service
Hosted phone services have a lot to offer your business, but how do you find the right one for you?
Choosing the wrong service could lead to problems with quality and consistency of service or customizing your new hosted number to suit you.
Before you make that first payment, be sure to ask the following questions:
What will my calls cost?
Make sure you have a good understanding of what it will cost to make domestic and international calls, or you could find yourself spending more than you bargained for.
What is included in the cost?
A provider might offer a great deal on calls, but charge if you go over a certain number of minutes, charge a usage fee, or charge for additional licenses for other staff members or numbers. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.
What value added features will I get?
Hosted phone services vary in the value added features they offer. Some providers offer caller ID, call waiting, call transfers, call forwarding, conference calls, speed dialing and blocking numbers. It's a good idea to figure out which features are key for your business and then find out who offers the best deal on those.
Does this provider offer a thorough assessment?
You are looking for a provider who can assess your needs and your existing phone and internet equipment to see whether or not you will need to pay for any new hardware. Many providers will also offer a free trial and/or a network test to help you work out if their service is a good fit for you.
What is the customer support like?
In the event of any problems you want to know that you can expect competent service and a quick resolution. Find out what hours their customer service team operates and how you can contact them. Take the time to look at reviews and find out how satisfied their existing customers are.
The right hosted phone system can change the way you work, offering lightness, flexibility, and financial savings too.
By taking the time to ask the right questions and reading the small print, you can ensure you are dialing in to the best phone system for your business.
About the author
Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, business, and SEO.