Any technically literate business will know that VoIP is the way forward in terms of communication systems, but choosing a VoIP wholesale carrier isn’t always as simple as it seems. With so many providers to choose from, ensuring you get the right services at the right price is key. Here are some vital aspects to consider before making that all-important decision.
Know what you want from VoIP
Before deciding upon a VoIP provider, it’s crucial that you understand exactly what you want to get out of your communication technology. VoIP wholesale carriers provide a range of different features and services, so once you know what you want, you can narrow your options down according to how closely a carrier can match your needs. For example, some of the options to consider include call routing, voicemail transcription, video conferencing, SIP support or voicemail to email conversion.
In addition to the standard features offered by most VoIP carriers, find out what added features there are on offer which might be beneficial to you. Customised billing and managing your account online can make life easier for clients, for example.
It’s also worth finding out whether a provider offers the most up-to-date communications technology, and how they prioritise investment in new technology, going forward.
VoIP wholesale carrier reliability
Businesses switch to using VoIP because they can enjoy improved communications, but this won’t happen if you choose a carrier that doesn’t offer a reliable service. Reliability is a key concern when selecting a VoIP provider, so look for one that doesn’t suffer from frequent outages or downtime, which could prove costly, disruptive and even damaging to your operations. Network stability is essential and the best providers will keep their equipment safe and secure, offering 100% uptime. Find out how a carrier rates in terms of reliability by checking them out online; read reviews to get honest and unbiased opinions from other users.
A good reputation
Reliability ties in with reputation and this is certainly something you should think about when choosing a VoIP provider. With VoIP carriers primarily interacting through a web-based presence rather than a bricks-and-mortar facility, it is vital that you take a good look at a provider’s website and check them out online before signing up for their services. This is not only important in ensuring you get the right deal from a carrier, but equally for safeguarding against choosing a fraudster or rogue provider. Look for a company such as IDT with a long-established presence in the VoIP industry, with a glowing reputation to match.
A quality service
Although VoIP technology has advanced so that it’s just as good as, or even better than, PSTN calls, that’s not to say you shouldn’t keep call quality in mind when choosing a wholesale carrier. Call quality can be affected by a number of factors, including your own internet connection. The right VoIP provider should be able to assess how call quality will be influenced by various factors, and steer you towards the best path possible. Think about factors such as ACD, ACR and PDD when determining quality.
Technical support and training
When problems do occur, it’s also important to have complete peace of mind that technical support is available, as and when you need it. If you’re not technically minded, choose a provider that will be happy to deliver the necessary training to ensure your team becomes conversant with this new technology.
As more and more VoIP providers enter the market, you could be forgiven for thinking that choosing a provider based on price alone is the easiest option. However, this isn’t always the wisest idea. When weighing up how much you’ll pay, it is important that you consider exactly what you will get for your money. The cheapest price might not fulfil your requirements, in terms of service scope, features and quality, so it pays to do your homework and find out what is included in the package.
Clients with complex needs and demanding the highest levels of control and security can usually expect to pay the most. Be aware of some carriers that charge what appear to be ultra competitive prices, only to require add-on extras further down the line. Always scrutinise the small print in the terms and conditions.
Once you have taken all of the above factors into consideration, narrow your options down and make a comparison list between each provider so that you can weigh up the pros and cons. It’s worth having a chat with carriers to see how friendly and approachable they appear. Indeed, this is a good way to predict the level of service you can expect. A VoIP provider that replies instantly, for example, makes a better impression than one that doesn’t get back to you for several hours – or longer.