There are tons of IP phone systems business partners out there. When you’re trying to make a decision about who to partner with, you’ve got a lot of options, and that can make the process feel a bit daunting. Maybe you’re already convinced that you need to bring your telecommunications services into the 21st century, or maybe you’re not all that sure your traditional phone systems are meeting your needs. Whatever the reason you are looking into a new system, it’s important to make sure you trust your solution provider.
You need an IP phone systems business that’s going to have your best interests top of mind. Partnering with an expert in the field of cloud based telephone service is the best way to make sure you’re getting the right solution for your business. To that end, we’ve compiled all the things you need to look for when you’re embarking on the search for your next cloud based telephone service provider. We’ll discuss how to tell if you’re getting a quality system, how good communication means everything, how price can affect your decision, and what kind of service to expect from a provider.
Before we get into all that, though, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page concerning what an IP phone systems business does and why you might want to purchase cloud based telephone services from a well established company with a long history.
What is an IP phone systems business?
Simply put, this kind of company sets up an IP phone system for your organization, including any hardware you might need. These kinds of cloud based telephone services are a great fit for most businesses. Many companies have largely moved away from traditional telephone services and instead take advantage of all the convenience and flexibility of the newer, cloud based telephone services.
You can read all about all the different features that an IP phone systems business can bring to your office in our blog post on the subject, but here, it’s just important to know that there are all kinds of ways that a cloud based telephone service can save you valuable time and generally make your life easier.
These services are extra important and useful in today’s work climate. As working remotely has become more popular, businesses have had to adapt and implement the right solutions to make that possible for their team. Cloud based telephone services are a key element to that. You can answer business calls from anywhere you can connect to the internet. That opens up all kinds of possibilities for your team.
Some of the Best Cloud Based Telephone Service Features:
- Easy Call transfers
- Speed Dial
- Caller ID
- Video Conferencing
- SMS Texting
- Call Park
- Selective Call Rejection
- Voicemail to Email
- Speech to Text VM translation
- Call Recording
- Fax Capabilities
- Auto Attendants
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Softphone Capabilities (PC based phone)
- Mobile Apps
And that’s barely scratching the surface! Anything a traditional telephone service can do, so can a VoIP system. The best IP phone systems business for you is one that will offer you all the features you need. So, it’s a good idea to have a decent understanding of what a cloud based telephone service can do and which of the available features you absolutely must have. Typically there are multiple service levels available to meet individual employee needs.
This one is at the top of the list for a reason. It’s a complete no-brainer, but it’s important to keep quality top of mind throughout the process of looking for an IP phone systems business. You want to be absolutely sure you’re getting a service you can count on.
But you already knew that. The more important question probably is, “How can I tell if I’m getting a quality cloud based telephone service?” That’s a little harder to determine. Some of the other factors on our list can help with that, but they won’t tell the whole story.
One thing to do is look to see if you can find any reviews of the IP phone systems business you’re considering. Online reviews should always be taken with a grain of salt, but if you see the same kinds of comments crop up again and again, it’s something to take into consideration. If those repeated sentiments are positive, then that should give you at least a little peace of mind. If they’re complaints, then you might want to stay away.
One of the components of a quality system is being able to trust that it’s completely secure. Those who are used to a traditional phone system might be concerned about the security of VoIP systems. It’s true that there are a few more security concerns associated with these types of services, but they’re handled with encryption and accountability to different regulations and governing bodies. If your business works with sensitive information, this is definitely something to discuss with your provider, but they are definitely already aware of and on top of handling these types of concerns.
This is true of pretty much any partnership your company enters into. You should get the sense that the IP phone systems business you have chosen is being honest with you. Good communication means that they answer all of your questions thoroughly and make sure you understand all the ins and outs of their different offerings.
There’s a lot to understand about cloud based telephone services, and if the companies you’re considering don’t have sufficient answers to your questions, then you might not be able to take full advantage of all of their offerings. So, it’s important to make sure you’ve got a full understanding of what is available to you, and the businesses you’re considering should be happy to make it all clear to you.
Between all the different features that are possible through an IP phone systems business and all the different ways they’re packaged together, there’s no shame in needing some help to keep it all straight. And if you’re not exactly sure what certain services are and how they might apply to your organization, then you’ll have even more questions to ask. They should all get answered professionally and completely.
As we’ll detail in a later section, good communication between you and your telecom provider is the foundation of excellent service. You definitely want to be working with a company that will get back to you in a timely manner when any problems arise. So, if you’re getting any red flags in the sales process, that could be a bad sign for the working relationship to follow. Listen to your gut!
Now, shopping on price alone is very rarely going to get you the high quality cloud based telephone services you need and deserve. This is where a knowledgeable partner can help you make sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to pricing. The industry is very very competitive, so if a potential vendor is far less expensive than other proposals, it is important to determine why. There is almost always a huge difference in the product offering that may not be apparent. Comparing the price points of a few different options is a good way to judge how each company sits within the industry.
You should also be realistic about your price expectations. If you’re looking for a small cloud based telephone service, where you only have a few team members who need access, the price will be wildly different from a larger solution for many users. Cloud based systems are priced per user. Compare the different packages the company is offering you and try to determine what you actually need for each user. They might want you to go for the most inclusive option, and all those extra features might be unnecessary for some of your employees.
That’s not to say the features at those top tiers are useless, just that they’re not right for everyone. The company should keep your budget in mind when pitching their services. Some companies and individual users need physical phones, others don’t. Some want their customers to be able to text them while others are only concerned with phone calls. These services are highly customizable and your IP phone systems business partner should want to provide a customized solution that meets your specific needs.
Typically, cloud based telephone services are charged monthly with a fixed rate per user. There might be an option for a discount if you pay for an entire year or enter into a longer contract, but that’s far from standard across every provider.
Most IP phone systems businesses offer different tiers of service where the biggest package comes with the most features.Make sure you understand the differences between the tiers you’re offered so that you can make the right choice and you’re not overpaying for features you don’t need. The great news is that these systems tend to be easy to scale, so if you need to add other users and features in the future, you can definitely do that with relatively little hassle.
On the flip side, you also don’t want to squeeze into a smaller plan just to save a little money. Those extra features or users can make a big difference in your organization’s productivity, and if you think they’d be useful, you shouldn’t count them out. Make sure you’re making the cloud based telephone service work for you.
When you need help from an IP phone systems business, it’s important for them to deliver. That’s where the quality of their service comes into play. This one is also deeply related to our point about communication from earlier.
Your telecommunications needs will likely change over time. When you need to add a new line, for example, your IP phone systems business should be promptly able to provide the support you need. Whenever you need to update your cloud based telephone service, you’ll need timely and appropriate help, so don’t ignore any warning signs in the sales process. Put any concerns about future service at the front and center of your discussions, and if they can’t address them, consider finding a different provider.
If you are opting for a service that includes hardware like physical phones, you should decide whether you want to set those up on your own, or if you’d rather have some help from your provider. Lots of them are pretty intuitive and don’t require a rep to come out and do the work for you. However, if you’ve got a large number of users or a particularly complex setup, your provider should be more than happy to help out.
Here at Mastor, we’re a NUSO partner, and we make sure you can get everything you need either through us or from NUSO directly. You can handle any support needs on your own through NUSO’s single sign-on web portal, or you can have us manage your service for you. Either way, you should always receive prompt help when you need it.
Find the right IP phone systems business.
VoIP or IP based phone systems and the technology that drives it can be intimidating. Choose a partner who takes the intimidation out of it. They are the experts and should be able to make you comfortable with the technology that provides crucial access to your business for your customers. They should educate you about how you can utilize the technology to help with productivity.
You should now have enough information to make the best decision for your organization. We’ve gone over all the benefits, potential pitfalls, things to look for, and things to avoid. Hopefully, you feel confident in your ability to make the right choice.
If you need a place to start looking for an IP phone systems business partner, consider us here at Mastor. Our company dates back to 1991, which is a long time in this fast-paced industry! We serve the St. Louis area and even work with customers nationwide through our partner network. We’d love to have a conversation about how our solutions might be a good fit for your organization’s needs. We look forward to hearing from you soon.