Once you’ve decided a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution is right for you, the next step is choosing the ideal provider.
The provider you choose will decide how your communications system will be handled, managed, and maintained. As VoIP technologies continue to gain momentum, more and more providers are entering the market. Narrowing down which is right for you requires a few essential questions.
Does the Provider Know Your Industry?
Choosing a provider that doesn’t have in-depth knowledge and experience handling businesses in your industry can lead to disaster. Integrating a VoIP system takes time, energy, and money – all of which you don’t want to waste on a provider that doesn’t know what’s in your best interest. While you shouldn’t expect a provider to know every single detail about your industry, they should at least know how you operate and what you need from a VoIP solution.
Are You the First Business Like Yours They’ve Served?
The first business a VoIP provider services in an industry often ends up the guinea pig – which is a great learning opportunity for the provider, but not optimal for the company. Most providers are dedicated to a few select industries. The more companies a provider has worked with in your industry, the better. They will have real-world experience and know-how they can apply to your situation, reducing the number of costly mistakes and inefficiencies.
Do They Have Client Referrals?
Checking a provider’s client referrals and reviews is the best way to see what it’s like working with the provider. Ask a potential provider to let you see their referrals. A mark of a great provider is glowing recommendations, or at least clients who were happy with the installation process, equipment performance level, and overall provider quality. The best providers respond to clients’ needs efficiently, and this will be reflected in their referrals.
What is Their Disaster Recovery Plan?
This last question is perhaps one of the most important to ask before choosing a provider. We can’t predict the unexpected, but we can at least plan for it. One of the biggest downfalls of VoIP versus traditional phone systems is that VoIP is unusable in a power outage – unless your provider offers blackout protection and a disaster recovery plan. A reputable VoIP provider will offer solutions that protect your system in the event of a problem.