Despite the increase in communication channels used by businesses across all sectors, the majority of communication with partners and clients is still by telephone. With this in mind, call quality is extremely important – not only does a line with high amounts of noise make communication difficult, but it makes a poor impression on a potential client.
While with a traditional call over the Public Switched Telephone Network, there is little that you could do to improve your call quality, with VoIP technology there are steps you can take to ensure crisp and clean communication with clients worldwide, both internally and with your decisions externally.
What to Do Internally
Fundamentally, VoIP calls use the same data infrastructure as your internet connection, so many things that improve internet line quality will improve your Voice Termination quality.
First, then, you should address your internal network infrastructure. While wireless connections can give acceptable quality, they are much more susceptible to interference, packet loss and latency ‘jitter’ than wired connections, which can negatively impact call quality. Therefore, as much as possible use wired connections for important calls.
Possibly more important is ensuring that your internet connection matches your usage, both in quality and bandwidth availability. For quality, you want to be using a managed internet connection, meaning your provider is monitoring it for line quality actively rather than relying on you complaining.
Bandwidth is down to usage, both of the internet and VoIP. In an ideal world, you will want a symmetrical and uncontended connection, but more important is that the bandwidth matches your usage. If your company heavily uses internet resources and large file transfers, this may affect call quality substantially. Investing in a higher-capacity leased line or even a separate connection dedicated to VoIP traffic may be in order for many larger organisations.
Carefully Choosing Your International VoIP Provider
At the end of the day, no matter how perfect your data connection and internal network are, you will never get high-quality voice termination with a poor-quality international VoIP provider. You should, therefore, look for a provider with a substantial international presence and strong customer service.
When you are dealing with clients in another country regularly, you need your VoIP provider to have knowledge and connections within that country. While VoIP traffic uses the data network, at some point the call will have to ‘break out’ to the PSTN. If your provider has a strong international presence, that will happen close to the destination, minimising your costs and maximising quality.
When you are paying for a high-quality internet connection with an SLA, you want something similar from your VoIP provider. You will want a provider who actively monitors connection quality and offers around-the-clock customer service to keep your company connected.
While it may feel like you have little control over voice termination quality, that isn’t the case at all: a little bit of research and planning will go a long way to ensuring that you maintain crisp and clear communication with your clients.