What to Look for in a Business VoIP Phone System
Business VoIP phone systems have become increasingly popular among small businesses and enterprises alike, especially now that many of us are working remotely at least some of the time.
The reasons why aren’t hard to pinpoint.
VoIP excels at providing the power and functionality of cutting-edge business communications, but for a fraction of the cost (and only a sliver of the hassle) of traditional phone systems. On top of that, since VoIP is hosted in the cloud, your entire phone system is available to you anywhere with an internet connection.
Okay, so we’ve established that business VoIP is pretty darn great and that you definitely want to upgrade your business to it. You start looking around, and holy moly there are quite a few providers… all offering best-in-class features and service… How are you possibly expected to make a decision without investing in some sort of VoIPology degree along the way?
Well that’s where your friends at FluentStream come in! We’ve already put together a list of the most important qualities, features, and services to look for in a VoIP system so you can narrow your focus and choose the best provider for your business.
1. MOBILITY TO DO BUSINESS ANYWHERE
In this wacky modern world, the office is just one of many places where we get work done. You could be at your desk one day, your home office the next, out on the road the day after that — and all the while, you need to stay connected with your customers.
A quality VoIP phone system should give you plenty of options for doing just that.
I’m not just talking about call forwarding set up on your desk phone. I mean features and applications to truly let you do business anywhere.
- Mobile app for your cell phone
- Softphone for your laptop
- Voicemails delivered right to your email
- Automatic notifications that go… well, anywhere you want.
There are plenty of options that vary by provider, but any VoIP system worth its salt should at least have those basics.
2. FEATURES FOR EVERY KIND OF BUSINESS
Whether you’re wrangling a busy call center, have a fast-paced sales team, or your office is just… like… a regular office, a quality VoIP system should have all the features you’re looking for.
Things like call transfers, voicemail, and 3-way calling are obvious. Don’t even waste your time making sure providers offer them. Instead, think about the functionality you’ve always wanted to have, but weren’t able to on your previous system.
How convenient would it be if you could record your calls and easily review them? Would branded call queues keep your customers from being sent to voicemail and let them know about your current promotion? How much more successful could your sales team be if they could instantly dial leads on their desktop and show up as a local number on every call?
FluentStream offers all of these options and more (like many more, like 130+ more). Let us know what it is you’re trying to solve and we’ll put together a custom package that meets your exact needs.
3. SCALABLE PRICES AND PLANS
Every business VoIP provider offers similar tiers and pricing models, so how do you know which one is right for you? The simple answer is to stop looking at the price, and instead focus on what features you need. Think about all the ways you would like to interact with customers, all the automation and integrations you’d like to have, and check out the plans that have everything you need.
Yes, there will likely be cheaper options available, but going with a provider that doesn’t meet all of your needs will see you right back into this same situation.
Besides features, the other consideration when shopping for plans is how scalable they are down the road. If your business takes off, you don’t want to be shackled to a long-term contract that limits your growth. Or even worse, forces you to pay for features you don’t need just because you have more employees.
Adding new extensions, phone numbers, and devices to your account should be simple and easy. At FluentStream, we even let you do it all yourself with our handy dandy web portal! Plus, if you find you have extensions you’re not using anymore, they can be removed just as easily to lower your bill.
4. INTEGRATIONS WITH YOUR OTHER TOOLS
Because VoIP systems are cloud-hosted software and not physical phone lines, you’re able to streamline integrations with many of the other services your business uses. Honestly, it’s one of the main reasons companies start considering a switch to VoIP in the first place.
Using integrations, you can:
- Build custom workflows to help your team work more efficiently
- Automatically log call data
- Have customer info pop up on your screen every time they contact you
- Save recordings straight to a customer’s account
For both sales and support teams, phone system integrations are an incredibly useful — not to mention time-saving — tool. And you know what they say about time… (hint: time = money).
At FluentStream, we offer personalized integrations with Salesforce, Zoho, Freshdesk, and many others to make sure you can do an even better job of leveraging your favorite tools. If you have lots of custom fields and you’re worried we wouldn’t be able to fill them properly, put those worries to bed right now. We do this every day. Whatever unique setup you’ve got going on, we can tailor your integration to keep it intact.
5. QUALITY CUSTOMER AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT
Your phone system is the nucleus of your business. It’s how you connect with your customers every single day. Any problem with your phone system costs you money, and every minute you spend trying to fix issues can potentially lose you customers.
You need a VoIP provider who takes your business as seriously as you do — who works tirelessly to provide the top-tier customer support you need to make changes quickly and without hassle.
FluentStream offers 24/7, award-winning support for all of our clients. Whether it’s over phone, chat, or email, our support agents answer in a flash and provide the expert assistance necessary to keep your business running smoothly.
Whether you run a global business empire with round-the-clock concerns, or you’re just starting out with a small team, your needs are important to us. Whatever you need, whenever you need it, FluentStream has the answers you’re looking for.
6. SECURITY FOR YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS
The argument can be made that onsite PBX systems are more secure because they’re housed in your office and don’t rely on an internet connection. However, that doesn’t mean cloud-hosted systems are inherently unsafe.
You’d actually be shocked to find out how many data breaches occur due to human error rather than security failings, a problem that increases in likelihood when everything is at one location. Don’t believe me? If you’re at the office, take a quick walk around right now. I bet you a whole bouquet of I Told You Soses that at least one of your coworkers has their passwords written down and sitting right on their desk or (gasp!) has their computer unlocked and unattended.
Despite the ephemeral nature of “the cloud,” rest assured that business VoIP providers invest heavily in ensuring its a safe, heavily-fortified place to store your data.
If you have specific security needs like password verification or HIPAA compliance, do your due diligence and pick out a few providers that seem like a good fit. Ask questions, request a features demo, and make sure the encryption standards are up to your standards.
Want to know more about the advantages of switching to a VoIP phone system, as well as which feature plans are right for you? Let us know at email@example.com or by calling 303-GO-CLOUD and selecting Option 1.