If you frequently read our blog, you’ve got an arsenal of great reasons to switch your business phone system to VoIP. You’ve learned all about how VoIP works, and why a cloud based PBX is the way to go if you want your company to cut costs and become more efficient at the same time. So let’s say you’re ready to make the switch, but now you’re not sure which VoIP service company to choose. What’s the difference between them? How will those differences effect your ability to work with their systems and rely on their services. We came up with 5 key questions we believe you should ask that will help you narrow down your options and decide on the best VoIP provider for your business.

1. How much does it really cost?

 Cloud-based VoIP vendors are quick to flaunt cheap costs, but you need to get a full cost picture before making a selection. The pricing could vary greatly depending on the amount of lines you need, or if value-added features cost extra. A vendor’s great deal may turn into a nightmare once the additional costs come into play. For example, with ActivePBX, all features are included our packages. This eliminates the headaches associated with being charged for additional features your business needs.

2. How do you ensure call quality?

 VoIP call quality ranges from indistinguishable from traditional phone systems to a choppy, frustrating experience. The bottom line is that you need a reliable high speed internet connection for VoIP to work seamlessly.In addition, ask how the vendor will upgrade your network if your current capacity isn’t sufficient for your telecom needs. Listen to the vendor’s call quality anytime you get in contact to gauge whether it’s workable for your company.

3. What hardware, software and physical security measures are in place?

 A cloud-based VoIP system can be partially or fully off-premise, so it’s important to know how the vendor keeps your communications safe and secure. When you rely on your business phone systems for customer support, sales and internal communication, you need extensive security. Discuss with vendors to confirm they follow cloud security best practices.

4. What support options are available?

 The benefit of a cloud-based VoIP vendor is that your IT department doesn’t have to handle upgrades, maintenance and other routine support for the system. However, this means you’ll need to rely on your VoIP provider’s support staff if you do run into any issues. Make sure to ask about how calling in for support works, if there’s an extra charge, and what times support is available.

5. How long have you been in business?

 It may not seem as important as our other 4 questions, but this one can tell you a lot about the particular VoIP provider. It’s a good way to sort through the masses is finding out who has been in the business for a while and who their clients are. You don’t want to be the first test for a company’s first VoIP go-around, so look for vendors working with similarly sized companies as yours.

The cloud-based VoIP market continues to heat up, with plenty of business benefits. Before you take your communications entirely off-premise, asking these questions gives you a baseline of what to expect from a particular vendor. If one vendor isn’t giving you the answers you need, there are many others waiting to serve your business.

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