Even in the digital age, most people (62%) prefer calling a business for support. Even if you’re just starting, offering phone support is a must. Your business phone system will also help you reach out to prospects for cold calling. That’s where VoIP systems come to the rescue.
Investing in cloud phone systems can provide a wide variety of benefits to small businesses, including cost savings, increased accessibility, and access to advanced features.
But how do you choose the right business VoIP phone service? What should you look for before investing your money?
While this depends largely on your business’s unique requirements, we have highlighted certain steps that’ll help you select the best business VoIP phone service for your company in 2021. Let’s get started!
1 ) Determine the Features You Need
When choosing a business VoIP phone service, it is integral to consider the features you need for your day-to-day communications. Creating a list of features you need for your small business will make it easier for you to shortlist the right VoIP providers.
If you’re not sure what features to look for in a business VoIP phone service, here are some of the must-haves:
a ) Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
It guides callers to the right agent or department, thereby minimizing call transfers and enhancing customer experience.
b ) Call transfer
Even with IVR, the caller may reach the wrong department (due to the incorrect entry in the IVR), or maybe they want to talk to someone senior. Call transfer can help solve this issue
c ) Call conference
As a small business owner, you might need to collaborate with your team regularly. Call conferencing can help you do exactly that.
d ) Call recording
It is essential to evaluate your team’s performance when it comes to serving customers. Call recording allows you to listen to each call and determine how you can improve your services.
e ) Working hours announcement
As a small business, you will less likely have a team working 24/7. VoIP systems allow you to set working hours and let customers know your availability.
f ) Voicemail
When someone calls you outside your working hours, voicemail allows them to record their message so you can go to them with a solution when you come back
Also, consider your employees’ specific VoIP needs. For example, your sales agent might need an auto-dialer feature to automate the calling process. Your support representative may want call queueing functionality to place incoming calls in line when they’re busy attending to other customers.
You should also determine whether you need a local or toll-free number. A local number helps build a robust local presence and increase trust with customers, but they’ll have to pay to call you. A toll-free number, on the other hand, allows your customers to reach you for free.
2 ) Compare Plans of Different Providers
While there are several affordable business VoIP phone providers, it is essential to compare their plans and the features you’re getting with them. This will help save money and get the most out of your investment.
Apart from the basic subscription prices, check the call charges per minute to the region and country of your operation. Other things to consider when comparing plans include:
- One-time setup fees (if any)
- Cost to add new user
- Add-on features
- Type of customer support you’ll be getting in your plan
3 ) Read Reviews and Testimonials
You have probably shortlisted a few business VoIP phone service providers by now. It’s time to read what their customers are saying.
Begin by reading the reviews and testimonials on the provider’s website. Also, check what people say about the VoIP provider on third-party websites like G2, Capterra, Software Advice, and Software Suggest.
This will give you a better understanding of their pros and cons, enabling you to choose the right provider for your business.
4 ) Consider Third-Party Integrations
Be it CRM or email marketing, you probably already use several tools in your organization. Thus, it is important to consider whether your VoIP system integrates with them. This will save your time entering the details manually.
When a VoIP system integrates with the CRM, all the customer interaction history will be recorded automatically. You can then use the details to send personalized emails to further enhance the customer experience—all of these without switching between tools.
It is good to consider if it integrates with the tools you plan to use in the future. This will help avoid changing your VoIP provider as your business grows.
5 ) Check the VoIP Provider’s Security
Since VoIP runs through the internet, it is vulnerable to breaches. However, cloud solution providers use multiple layers of security to prevent hacking and protect customer data.
If you choose a VoIP provider with a history of poor security and privacy, you risk losing your business communications to cybercriminals.
For instance, CallHippo uses end-to-end encryption, secure protocols, and DDoS protection to safeguard your data in the cloud.
Also, ask if they follow regional compliance rules to prevent getting fined by the Government.
6 ) Sign Up for a Free Trial
Lastly, sign up for a free trial to get a better understanding of the VoIP system. A free trial will help you determine if it’s suitable for your business down the line. Check everything from the user interface to features and support without committing to it.
Of course, not every business VoIP phone service offers a free trial. However, they might provide other options to help you understand their product better, such as demos or a money-back guarantee.
Choosing the right business VoIP phone service provider requires extensive research and patience. Don’t rush to the first provider you get in your budget. Instead, analyze the features, security, and kind of support you’ll be getting.
Do you have any questions regarding finding a VoIP provider for your small business? Let us know in the comments section, and we will answer them ASAP!