10 Questions to ask before you buy VoIP Business Solutions
Before you lock yourself into a contract for VoIP business solutions, it’s best to ask some questions. Think of it like signing up for a cable or mobile phone subscription. There are some hidden costs and some options that you might want to consider. So to get the most of your VoIP solution, ask your provider the following questions:
1. What is the contract termination policy? You need to know when you can end the contract and what the termination costs might be. Contracts can be quite flexible so be sure to ask.
2. Are there any day-to-day usage costs not covered by the service plan? Like any phone service, costs can add up, so make sure you know what’s covered and what is not. International calls? Conference calling? These are all available with VoIP business solutions, but make sure they’re covered, as these are traditional business needs.
3. What are the setup fees and equipment fees beyond normal pricing? What is it going to take to get service and start making calls? Phones, additional servers, interface cards can sometimes be extra with certain VoIP business solutions providers, so be sure to understand all costs in advance.
4. How does the provider handle old-style analog phones? You may have branch or remote offices that have analog phone systems. You may also want to consider a VoIP business solutions roll-out, so you need to know how the provider will accommodate these older phones.
5. How about faxing? Some VoIP business solutions providers require additional fax modules and some older providers can’t handle faxing at all. While old style faxing technology maybe going by the wayside, it is still a requirement for many businesses.
6. How will my remote or virtual workers be handled? If you have workers outside of the office, then you’ll want to be sure they can be covered by your VoIP business solutions as well. Many can handle them just fine, but be sure to ask.
7. How will your provider handle upgrades or the need for system growth? You are planning on growing your business aren’t you? Of course you are… so how will your provider handle added phone extensions?
8. Are there any guarantees with service quality? This is where the rubber hits the road as they say. If there are issues (and there will be at some point) you need to know what the provider’s policy is on addressing those issues. VoIP business solutions rely on the Internet, so if there’s an outage you’ll want to understand your coverage options.
9. Will your provider be around down the road? There’s a lot of consolidation going on now in VoIP business solutions, and there may be nothing they can do to make any guarantees, but you’ll want to know whether they will build-in any contract roll-overs into your plan just in case.
10. How does your provider handle emergency services such as 911? 911 compliance is a federal mandate, but that doesn’t mean your provider has a solution in place today. You’ll obviously want to know, however. This is one of those services you don’t need until you need it!
VoIP business solutions can be a great communications tool and offer fantastic efficiencies to your organization. Just make sure you ask the right questions so you get the most of your contract.