Business VoIP Phone Service: A Buyer’s Guide

A Buyer's Guide to Business VoIP Phone Service

Choosing a business VoIP phone service doesn’t have to be scary. We’ll walk you through the questions you should ask your potential VoIP providers, and talk about how you can make the most of your new business phone system.

Choosing the right business VoIP phone service can be a daunting task for any size business. Every VoIP provider offers a different set of features and functionality at a range of pricing plans. And with so many providers to choose from, you may not know where to start.

In our buyer’s guide for business VoIP shoppers, we’ll walk you through the top 5 questions you should ask providers. With these questions in hand, you can ensure that you’re making the right choice for your business.

What startup costs are associated with your business VoIp phone service?

Startup costs come in many forms. Activation fees, setup fees, porting fees, installation costs are just a few of the added fees that you need to understand before you buy.

Although many VoIP providers waive setup costs, others do not–and they may not be upfront about it. That’s why it’s so important to read the fine print and ask the right questions.

As you search for the right business VoIP phone service, you’ll also need to think about the individual needs of your business. Even if there aren’t any traditional activation fees, you need to know if you’ll need to budget for equipment, software, or additional toll free numbers.

What are the cancellation costs?

You did the research, and you asked all the right questions. But, you may find that your new business VoIP phone service just isn’t the right fit. So, what happens if you decide to terminate their services?

In this case, it pays to ask a lot of questions. Many VoIP providers offer a 30 day free trial or a money back guarantee. Before you sign up, make sure that you understand what the terms of any trial or guarantee include. For example, a 30 day money back guarantee may allow you to recoup the initial cost of the system, but not calling minutes.

If you’re thinking about buying a toll free number through your provider, you’ll also want to make sure that you understand the details of that number. If you choose to leave your VoIP provider, will you still own your vanity number? If so, what are the procedures and fees associated with porting it to a new service?

Once you understand the best and worst case scenarios, you can make a better decision for your business.

Will I need to replace or integrate my old phones?

Most traditional desk phones are not compatible with VoIP. As such, you’ll need to evaluate your needs and budget, and then choose between the following options:

  • Purchase an analog telephone adapter (ATA). This device converts analog voice signals to digital signals that can be transmitted via VoIP.
  • Buy new VoIP phones. Most providers offer VoIP desk phones as well as softphones.

Can I use other devices?

Today’s workforce is almost always on the go. Before you choose a business VoIP phone service, you’ll need to know if you can “bring your own device.”

Find out which devices your VoIP provider’s mobile app works on, such as tablets, mobile phones, or even laptops. You’ll also want to make sure that you can connect with customers and colleagues alike no matter where you are: in the library, at home, or at your favorite coffee shop.

What kind of tech support do you offer?

This is a key question for many small businesses, especially those that don’t have the budget or resources to hire their own IT staff. If something goes wrong, you need to know that you can rely on your VoIP provider for quick and effective support.

Every VoIP provider handles the question of tech support a little differently. While many offer 24/7 availability with remote support, others may only provide forums and discussion boards as a resource to their customers.

As you compare business VoIP phone services, try to anticipate what your tech support needs will be, and use them to help you make the right decision.

Choosing a Business VoIP Phone Service

Signing on with a new business VoIp phone service is a big decision. But if you ask the right questions, you can ensure that you’re making the best choice for you and your team.

Looking for additional resources on choosing the right business VoIP phone service? Explore the articles below for more information: