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6 Tips For Choosing A Business VoIP Service For Your SMB

Important strategies to keep in mind when upgrading the phone service at your business.

If you’re looking for a better solution to business calls, then you’ll want to switch to VoIP.

Whether you host with AWS or not—and whether or not you use the AWS voice service Amazon Chime—it’s time to upgrade your calling system.

In this article, we’ll share the most important strategies to keep in mind as you upgrade the phone service at your business.

Why switch to VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is the modern iteration of phones.

A business phone system replaced old hardwired systems with cloud-based technology that runs on the Internet. VoIP results in clearer call quality, better scalability, and usually more affordable plans as well.

If you’re still using landline phones, upgrading to VoIP delivers better ROI for your business. Here are the factors you need to look at when deciding which system to use.

1.  Remote worker needs

One of the biggest benefits of VoIP systems is that it’s flexible for your team, whether they’re in the office or working remotely.

When deciding on a VoIP system, consider how many people on your team work from home now and how many could in the future. What kind of calling capabilities should team members have if they’re not in the office?

VoIP systems typically office hardware desktop phones, computer software, and apps for smartphones. All of these integrate together and deliver a seamless experience to whoever’s on the other end of the line as if everyone were in the same place despite using different devices around the world.

2. Accessible budget

You’ll struggle to choose a system if you don’t have a clear idea of how much you’re willing to spend.

Set a target range based on average prices and your needs. Most VoIP systems range from $100-500/line for a one-time setup fee, plus $20-$50/user/month. If you’ll be renting or leasing hardware or need additional features, there can be additional charges.

As you review different systems, don’t automatically pick the cheapest. With a technological product like VoIP, it’s easy to gloss over the technical details—but you end up getting what you pay for. Reliability and excellent customer support are always worth the price.

3. Options for professional features

A standard VoIP system will offer basic features like an auto attendant, call history, and hold music. But most companies offer several other advanced functions that might be useful for your business.

For example, you can upgrade to include premium features like voicemail transcription, call recording, and more. VoIP also makes it easy to add additional phone numbers—like toll-free numbers or area codes from other regions—to have a more professional appearance. Additionally, to optimize your business communications further, also read about call center campaign for best success, which provides valuable insights on enhancing customer engagement.

4. Hardware that works

It can be expensive to replace a large landline system, even if it’s badly in need of an upgrade. But if you already have a set of landline desk phones and hardware, you don’t necessarily have to replace them when you upgrade to VoIP. Instead, you can adapt them to work with the new digital system.

On the other hand, if you’re building a business phone system from scratch, it’s a good idea to set it up with digital hardware that works with the newest VoIP features. Buying new desk phones is probably your best option.

And finally, some businesses forgo physical phones entirely and only use apps on Internet-connected smartphones and computers. You’ll save more with this option since you’ll be using devices that you already have set up.

Knowing what type of devices you’re planning on using—or what a hybrid system would look like—is key. 

5. Mission-critical integrations

Today’s VoIP systems are more than just upgrades to how you make calls. They can integrate with other types of communications technology, synchronize with customer data, and more.

All-in-one systems, called Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) platforms can save your team time and create a streamlined channel for customer support or sales.

For example, a UCaaS system can connect call data to your CRM, meaning that each time a customer calls, texts, or connects via live chat their entire history is displayed. And look for a platform that supports the software you need, like Salesforce or Microsoft Teams.

Knowing what systems you’re planning on using with your VoIP platform can be helpful as you decide which provider is right for you.

6. Quality customer support

Before you sign up for a service, it’s easy to brush off customer support. But when the first technical issue shows up, you’ll regret skipping over such an important factor. Even the most intuitive help desk software and skilled team can run into issues from time to time.

Before you sign a contract with a VoIP supplier, read reviews from real people to understand how they treat their customers. Look for 24/7 availability, awards, and third-party ratings to get an idea of how you’ll be treated when you have issues. And if possible, talk to current customers to see how they like the system.

The final word on small business VoIP systems

If you still haven’t upgraded to a modern phone solution, it’s time. VoIP technology—and UCaaS offerings in particular—are game-changers for small business communication.

Using these six factors, you can select a provider that best meets your needs and helps you deliver the kind of quality support your customers expect and the efficiency your team will appreciate.

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