Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make and receive phone or video calls over the Internet instead of using landlines. It’s an alternative to the local telephone company, with many advantages.
And if your business uses video conferencing software regularly, considering a VoIP phone service might be a good option also.
According to Statista, the number of active VoIP business lines increased from 6.2 to 41.6 million between 2010 and 2018 in the United States alone. This growth appears to have gotten a strong push in recent years since one of the biggest advantages of VoIP is the freedom of location. But of course, we still have to wait for the latest data.
With an increased demand for VoIP solutions, there are more and more service providers, which makes it harder for you to choose the right one for your business. That’s what this article will help you with: choosing the VoIP provider that best meets your needs.
VoIP converts your phone calls into data and sends it over the Internet. While the landline phone is hardwired into a physical location using copper wires, a VoIP phone system makes and receives calls over the Internet, so it is not bound to a specific location. You can use the Ethernet cables or even just a Wi-Fi signal if it’s strong enough.
Thanks to this technology, a VoIP service provider can offer many more features that you could only dream of with a traditional phone line. It can have a positive impact on your business in many different ways.
Types of VoIP Providers
VoIP services have become extremely popular over the last decade. VoIP systems are basically a way to use your internet connection to make phone calls. They include all the features of a traditional telephone service, but are much cheaper and easier to use.
There are three main types of VoIP providers:
- Office phone systems: These allow you to run your entire business over VoIP. You can get advanced features like call forwarding and voicemail on your computer or mobile device.
- PBX systems: PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is basically an office phone system that has been customized to work with VoIP technology instead of traditional landlines.
- Hosted PBX: A hosted PBX is essentially a private branch exchange system that runs on a virtual server rather than on hardware in-house at the business location.
Benefits of a VoIP Provider
Let’s dive into the concrete ways your business can benefit from VoIP.
Making the switch to VoIP can help you save a lot of money. Between 30% and 50% on average, as Ballpark estimates.
The costs of VoIP solutions may vary widely among providers. Some of them, for example, offer different rates for local and international calls. But one thing is sure: VoIP is significantly cheaper than landline phones. Either you mostly call within your country or abroad.
There are cheap VoIP services that will still bring you many more benefits compared to traditional landline phones.
Automatic dialing, call recording and monitoring, call queuing, skills-based routing, and automated call distribution are just a few of the features that VoIP can provide. It will make calling incredibly easier and also faster.
Thanks to sophisticated monitoring features, you will also have loads of data to help you improve your processes within the team.
VoIP took us to a turning point in customer experience and how companies interact with their clients.
For example, when you leverage a VoIP solution, you can ensure that no calls stay unanswered. How? The caller is automatically routed to the next available agent. Moreover, it automatically chooses the one that can best serve the customer’s needs (ACD). Got a client calling from Mexico? Then he will be immediately connected to a Spanish-speaking agent.
Did you know that VoIP is not limited to voice calls only? You can also have video calls or host video conferences.
The technology also allows you to share multiple documents, videos, and images on the screen with employees and clients. It’s a great solution not only for connecting with your clients but also for cooperation within your team.
Probably the most important benefit that VoIP has to offer.
As we mentioned at the beginning, you’re not bound to any location with VoIP. You can have a decentralized call center with your team working from any place in the world.
In addition, you can be sure that everything runs smoothly because you have advanced lifetime monitoring features. You have absolute control whether you are on the couch at home or on the go in a new country. This is also a very handy tool for small businesses.
Many VoIP features can significantly increase your team’s productivity. How? It automates many activities, such as call dialing or logging.
Or it can go even further – some solutions can automatically compile a list of numbers from websites and then call them one after the other with a single command. The features that will increase your productivity are countless, and those are just the tip of the iceberg.
So how do you choose the right VoIP provider when there are so many of them? Well, there isn’t a simple recommendation that would fit all businesses. That’s why we put together a list of points you should take into account before making a decision. Let’s go through them.
Identify the features you need and those you can do without regarding VoIP business phones. Customer support might need something totally different than a sales team focusing on cold calls.
If some of your team members also need to use the service off-site, creating a mobile application is crucial, and the cost of developing a mobile app typically ranges from $15,000 to $230,000 for most business apps.
If your business is in a growth stage, you should anticipate not only the features you need today but also the ones you might need in the foreseeable future. Simply write down all the features you expect from the software and consider those you might need later.
Choose a VoIP provider that is totally committed to a rich experience for mobile consumers if you require more than just basic call forwarding.
You can use the price to narrow down options. Set up your budget options and then compare possible solutions among providers.
While VoIP is cheaper than a landline phone, there can be significant differences in various solutions. And if you have a big team or many contacts to call, even a few dollars or euros per user can sum up as a high cost.
Connecting the best VoIP service provider with your CRM software can save you lots of time and give your customers a different level of experience: all information in one place without having to switch between apps.
And it’s not only CRM systems that you can integrate with your VoIP. It might also be a business management or marketing tool.
Just make sure that the VoIP you are about to choose offers integration with the systems you already use.
Reviews can show whether the customer support works properly or the phone line is stable. You can see whether companies similar to yours use the software and how it helps their business. It’s valuable information that can help you narrow down your choices.
Read reviews, customer testimonials, and other online user-generated content. As a result, the pros and cons of various VoIP phone providers will become clearer to you.
There is nothing better than getting your own experience with a business VoIP service. Each business is different, so you need to try it to see how well the tool fits your specific needs.
Sign up for a free trial or demo and see how it feels to work with the tool on a daily basis. Test all the features and get to know the whole interface.
Not all VoIP service providers offer free demos or trials, but some have a money-back guarantee, so you can be sure not to waste your money if you are not satisfied.
The VoIP phone service has to provide full security for your company and your clients as well.
Unfortunately, security breaches and privacy violations are becoming more prevalent, posing a significant challenge for businesses. Malware, viruses, phishing, call tampering, DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, and other threats are an everyday reality.
Therefore, when choosing a VoIP system, you should ensure it offers features such as end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, secure protocols, and more.
Features Of The Best VoIP Service Provider
VoIP is an incredibly powerful business tool. It can help you save time, money, and resources while increasing productivity. But you have to choose the right provider. Here are some VoIP features to look for.
Look for a company that offers a wide range of features. The best VoIP providers will offer a variety of options that allow you to get exactly what you need for your business. Some may offer more than others, but all should offer at least a few basic features like call forwarding, voicemail-to-email, and faxing capabilities.
Make sure the service doesn’t have any hidden fees or extra charges. The best VoIP providers don’t nickel and dime their customers by charging them for things like long-distance calls or 911 emergency service access fees. They also don’t limit how many employees can use the service or charge extra for additional lines or extensions.
Find out if there’s a contractual requirement with your chosen provider before signing up for their service. A contract is not always required, but it’s important to know in advance whether one exists so that you do not find yourself stuck with a bad deal down the road when you want to switch providers or cancel your contract early on.
4. Landline replacement
This is the most common form of VoIP service and one that offers both home and business customers the ability to make calls over their internet connection instead of using their traditional phone service. The biggest advantage here is that you don’t need any additional hardware or software since everything is built into your computer or smartphone.
Mobile VoIP allows you to make calls on your mobile device over 4G or WiFi connections instead of using your cellular network, which can be much cheaper than using minutes from your mobile plan. It also gives you more flexibility because you can use it anywhere (as long as there’s a strong connection).
What is a VoIP provider?
VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is simply a way to send voice signals over the internet. The technology for this has existed for decades, but it wasn’t until the widespread use of broadband internet connections that the idea became practical.
How does a VoIP service provider work?
When you make a call using VoIP providers, the signal is converted into data packets and sent across the internet to an IP gateway at your phone company’s office. The gateway converts it back into a voice signal and sends it to your phone or mobile device via landline or wireless connection.
What are VoIP phone systems?
A VoIP phone system is a business communication solution that uses an internet connection to transmit voice and data. VoIP systems allow businesses to cut costs by using one connection for both their voice and data needs.
When choosing a VoIP provider, you should consider some factors, including pricing model, available features, customer support, and more.
I am confident that after reading this article, you are already fired up to begin your research.
VoIP is the future of all business communications. The sooner you utilize it, the better you can benefit from it.