Thinking of new business VoIP communications system? Here are five key questions to ask your potential service provider:
#1 Can the service capability grow as my organization grows?
You want to choose a company whose service, delivery capability, and support can scale to the needs of your organization. You should be able to add and remove functionality in a snap. And when you have additional locations or are expanding you should easily be able to add a new location that completely integrates with your other locations.
#2 What are the upfront costs of your system to get started?
Many service providers charge set up fees, activation fees, network design in support the new VoIP system, and hardware. Still others charge for installation. In today’s world, you may need to do some updates on your internal network, but you should not need to spend thousands of dollars to get things set up. In other cases, you shouldn’t expect to pay any upfront expense to get started. Make sure you’re aware of any upfront costs to get started and factor that into your overall costs.
#3 What will my first bill look like, and what about the next bill?
Many companies provide an invoice that is very clear to understand, but there are horror stories as well. Prior to deciding on your VoIP service, ask the provider to show you a sample first invoice and judge for yourself. Are there unexplained fees like an activation fee, a cost recovery fee, or other charges that you don’t understand? Factor these types of fees when you are selecting your service provider. In today’s world, your bill shouldn’t include any additional fees or surcharges that are not fully explained on the front end.
#4 How complicated is the new system to use and who do I call for support?
If you haven’t had a chance for a live demonstration, make sure your VoIP service provider is willing and able to provide you with a full live demonstration of the service at your office. You should look at ease of use, required functionality, and check out some of the advanced functionality like chat, video, and mobility. Whether you need some of these advanced functions or not, your system should easily support these types of functions in the event your organization needs them in the future. As for support, most companies will direct you to self-help portals or email. Make sure your provider not only has these elements but is also easily available by phone to help you through any changes to your system. Most companies today make it very difficult to find a telephone number to call for support. Ask them for their service telephone number and make a call to see how quickly it’s answered and if they have support personnel who can quickly work with you to make those important changes to your system.
#5 How do you measure success?
Ask your potential VoIP provider how they measure success for YOUR organization’s desired results of the new system. Are they ready to stand behind their claims of cost savings, improved functionality, or enhanced services? Are they your partner or are they simply trying to sell you something? There are many factors when evaluating VoIP services. These five steps should ensure you become a delighted client.