Quality business VoIP providers today offer a wide variety of feature packages, services and prices. Selecting the ideal provider and service options will depend on your type and size of business, features needed and projected volume of usage. Even when working with top-tier providers, your basic monthly service charges per line may begin at rates as low as $20. Before choosing your VoIP provider, it is essential to first determine your company’s precise telecommunications needs to enable timely and cost-efficient initiation of your service. By consulting your chosen Voice over IP service team and seeking their expert advice in advance, you can be prepared to take the following steps to facilitate the smooth, productive startup of your services:
- Evaluate Your Internet Connection. – Determine the strength and capacity of your Internet connection and bandwidth. You need to ensure that your system has adequate speed to best accommodate your new VoIP installation for top quality service.
- Assess Your Company Budget and Needs. – With knowledge of your company’s current budget and VoIP needs, you can more easily select the service provider and feature options that meet your requirements.
- Determine Your Equipment Needs. – Evaluate your current and near future VoIP equipment needs. Phones can be purchased from around $50 to $500 or more. Once you decide which feature options are immediate requirements and which ones can be added later as needed, you are ready to choose your service provider.
- Compare VoIP Providers. – By comparing VoIP company service options, advanced features and equipment along with user and industry reviews, you can best make a wise decision, selecting the ideal VoIP provider for your enterprise.
Important Information to Request from Any Potential VoIP Provider
Before signing a service contract with any business VoIP provider, be sure to request basic service information and practices in writing. You need to be certain of such details as startup costs and monthly fees, any limitations and costs on portable phone numbers and exactly which features are included in the service package you select. You also need to know if international calling is included, charges for adding extra features and the extent of customer care and technical services provided. Also important are such issues as whether your provider offers a money back guarantee and if there are any cancellation fees. It is also helpful to determine prior to signing up for VoIP services if there are any hidden fees assessed by your chosen provider.
Take Full Control and Advantage of Your VoIP System
Once your new business VoIP system and service are in place, you and your staff members will have full-control capabilities for use of your business communications system. Your service provider will ensure connection with your online portal for customizing your telecomm options. These modern digital portals are user-friendly, enabling feature changes and additions to be made for immediate availability. You and your staff can make decisions and changes in real-time that work for you right in the moment.
You can manage your call settings remotely, directing calls to voicemail or having them transferred to another number or extension. You can also make exceptions to any chosen setting in your phone system. For example, if you are expecting an important business call and want to take that call, but hold all other calls for a few hours, you can set your phone to direct only the designated call to ring on your extension. This system allows and encourages you to take complete control of your telecommunications systems and settings so that the service works for your best interests and immediate needs at all times.
Major Business Benefits and Advantages of Installing VoIP
With an excellent quality VoIP system installed and running well in your company offices to provide remote access for you and your employees, you can work much more efficiently, achieving more in less time. You will enjoy the many benefits of knowing that you can leave the responsibility of your advanced office telecommunications system operations to your VoIP provider while you handle other important business matters. Other major benefits and advantages of your new business VoIP system enable you to accomplish the following:
- Schedule Your Own Business Hours. – With the aid of your comprehensive VoIP installation, you can virtually work whatever hours you choose, from any location. With one designated telephone extension, clients can reach you wherever you are by calling one number. This number can be programmed to ring through to all your phones at once—cell phone, home number, or any other number you direct calls to, including voicemail. The virtual extension can also handle your outgoing calls, whether you are in the office, at home, using your cell phone from the airport or at a hotel in another city. Also, the phone of your call’s recipient will register your number on caller ID, no matter what phone or digital device you place the call from.
- Telecommute with Style and Ease. – With use of hosted PBX from the cloud, your advanced communications system can quickly connect you with another office or with everyone in your company, even if you have both national and international office locations. With the expert technology of hosted PBX, by dialing a single extension, you can be in touch with Pittsburgh or Paris.
- Use Diverse Messaging Features. – Gain benefits from such messaging options as Voicemail Transcription so you can read textual messages while in meetings or other places where listening to messages is inappropriate or not possible. After receiving transcriptions, you can fax or email documents and carry on business quietly, all by using a few simple functions on your phone. You can also forward these transcribed messages to other business associates or staff members silently, without disturbing anyone around you. Even when you are in transit from your office to another location, many commuter trains and buses now enforce quiet policies and limit cellular phone use by passengers. However, this is never a problem when you have sophisticated Voicemail Transcription service as a feature of your company’s VoIP plan.
- Request Multiple Phone Numbers. – VoIP providers often supply additional phone numbers to service subscribers, free of charge or for a nominal fee. Some providers offer virtual extensions, virtual faxing options and toll-free numbers. Your VoIP service may also include unlimited calling, directory assistance and Internet 911 connection. To gain ultimate competitive business advantages, consult your VoIP provider team to ensure that you understand all the features and functions available to you according to your advanced telecomm service plan. Let your VoIP system work fully for you to best customize and optimize your total business communications experience.
Premium VoIP Features for Advanced Business Calling
Along with the many standardized options available for use with your VoIP business system, you also have use of premium options. Some features may be unique offerings of one service provider, while others are frequently included by most providers. Advanced features and options you are likely to have access to include the following:
- Auto Attendant. – This convenient feature provides you with use of a virtual receptionist. Automated and on-duty 24/7/365, this assistant can answer your phone calls, speaking politely to callers and transferring them to extensions of the appropriate staff members or departments via menu options.
- Auto-Call Distribution (ACD). – As an advanced model of the call-search feature, this option can actually locate and connect the correct office and employee to handle each incoming call.
- Business SMS. – With this valuable function, you can direct text messages to your clients, business associates or departmental divisions through your business phone number from your mobile phone.
- Call Barge-In. – This valuable option enables the user to place a call as a conferencing barge. This forced barge-in results in a three-way call along with a listen in or call monitoring capability. Company officials have the option of using a warning tone to announce the barge-in to call participants on the line.
- Call Me Now. – This helpful feature enables clients to enter their telephone numbers on your business website to reach your company directly.
- Call Recording. – This sophisticated feature supports employee recording, playback, downloading and deletion of all calls, both inbound and outbound. Usually offered as an extension option, users can program this function for use on selected extensions or over their complete systems.
- Conference Bridge. – With this useful function, companies can host their own conference calls. With most VoIP service plans, the average number of participating callers is about 15 to 25 for a reasonable flat monthly charge.