Technological innovation has long been shown to improve how a business operates and ultimately succeeds. One of the latest pieces of technology to take hold in the world of business is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – a phone service that allows for advanced call management functionality directly from a computer or mobile device.
If you’re looking to make use of a VoIP system for your business, you might find yourself struggling to decide what is the best VoIP phone system for your needs. This article is going to discuss what businesses should be looking for in a VoIP phone system.
How much will a VoIP system cost?
Understanding the overall cost of a VoIP phone system for your business will help you find the right one for your requirements. There are countless different VoIP providers, all offering their own calling plans with their own pricing. These prices will vary depending on what functionality the VoIP system has, so make sure that all of the features that you need will be included in the final price.
VoIP systems are usually offered through a tiered subscription. Of course, you pay more for additional features, so it is important to know what you will actually use and what will be superfluous. A basic package might start as low as £10 per month, but will be very limited in terms of functionality. Some features you might expect to find in basic packages include:
• Unlimited calls through VoIP
• Limited landline calls
• Voicemail functionality
• Call hold and forwarding
• Basic customer support – usually a call centre that is available throughout working hours
If you want more functionality from your VoIP phone system, then you will need to pay for a better subscription. If you start paying £30 to £50 per month for your VoIP service, then you can expect many more features, including:
• Voicemail-to-text or voicemail-to-email transcription
• Unlimited landline calls for national and international purposes
• Data analytics to track calls
• CRM and other software integrations
• Round-the-clock customer support
Understanding what features you need for your VoIP phone system will allow you to find the right plan for your business. This, in turn, will help you find the best price and keep monthly bills as low as possible. So take the time to outline what functionality you require before investing in a new VoIP phone system.
What support is available with a VoIP system?
The level of customer support available is another factor that will go into finding the right VoIP phone system for your business. If you are tech-savvy or understand IT to a competent level, then you might not need to rely on customer support too much. Similarly, if you will only be using VoIP for a few duties in the workplace, then you can probably get by with basic customer support.
If you want your VoIP phone systems to be operating constantly throughout the working day, then it can really benefit you to have a more dependable support team. A dedicated support team can work with your infrastructure to fault-find and ensure your VoIP systems are fully operational. What’s more, if you are using bespoke or enterprise software for your business, a good support team will know how to work within that framework. This is much less likely to be the case with standard customer support.
What coverage is required for a VoIP system?
Knowing what level of coverage you require can help narrow down service plans for your VoIP and save you money in the process. Some VoIP phone system plans will allow for unlimited calls internationally, but this will increase your monthly bill. If you don’t intend to use international calling but have staff members and clients located across the UK, you may want a nationwide plan instead.
How many users will your business need?
Although this isn’t true for every VoIP provider, most will charge a fee on a per user basis every month. That means you need to know how many individual users use VoIP over the course of a month.
This is less of an issue with smaller teams, but with teams that exceed 5 individuals, the prices can start to become a problem. For example, if rental fees per user are £15 per month and you have 4 individual users, that will be an additional £60 per month. This isn’t a small change and should definitely be a consideration before investing in VoIP systems.
You should also consider the bandwidth of your business broadband when deciding this. Stretching your bandwidth by adding too many connections will result in a loss of call quality. Making professional business calls could render the system useless. Therefore, businesses need to determine how much bandwidth capacity to allocate to the VoIP system to keep it working properly.
Can the VoIP system meet your business needs?
Knowing the limitations of a VoIP phone system can help you narrow down your search so that you can find the right system for your business needs. Not all VoIP systems are created equal, which means that some providers will be better suited to meet your requirements than others.
For example, if you need to support remote workers through VoIP, being able to set it up through mobile devices will be essential. Not all VoIP providers offer this functionality, however, so it is important to understand what your business requires before investing in a new VoIP provider.
Finding the right VoIP phone system for your business
From assessing your budget to ensuring it does everything you need it to, finding the right VoIP phone system for your business is easy if you know what to look out for. Hopefully, this guide will have illuminated what your business wants from a VoIP system.
About Nathan Hill-Haimes
Nathan is an Investor & Co-Founder at Amvia, a serial telecoms entrepreneur, and an inbound marketing expert. From his home in coastal North Devon, Nath works with a portfolio of technology, property & sports investments through his fund Croyde Bay Ventures. When he’s not working, Nath can usually be found surfing, mountain biking, or walking the North Devon Coast with Wilf his Working Cocker.