A high-quality method of communication are necessary for a business. And choosing the best phone service provider for your business is an important decision for keeping these lines of communication operating smoothly.
Phone service vendors offer a variety of different options for your business to choose from, making the task of finding the right service daunting. We know that you need to find a service that fits your business without over-paying or getting more than you need, so consider Business.com's top 4 secrets when choosing your phone service.
Understand What You Need
Despite what you may think, phone systems are not a one-size-fits-all. Having a strong grasp on how your business will use its phone system is key to finding one that fits your needs. Properly assess how much time each of your employees will be spending on the phone, what types of calling components they will be utilizing, and how you are prepared to pay for your service.
If the majority of your business calls are made locally, there are usually three types of rates you can choose from:
- A measured rate is based on the duration and distance of the call and is made per call.
- Message rates charge a flat rate for any local call regardless of duration, but may include a set number of calls per month, then per-call rate after that.
- A flat rate options gives you unlimited monthly calling for a higher monthly fee.
Long distance call rates are a bit more flexible, but also depend on how often you make international calls.
Quality Service Costs More
Though some companies may offer enticing deals, there's really no way around it- quality service just costs more. Your phone system can be one of the single most important components of your company, so most often it is worth paying a little bit more for reliability.
- Technical support can be a life-saver if phone lines go down at important times. (Think of all the business' lines of communication down during Sandy.)
- Understand their policies on returns or other services
- Ask if they offer online usage tracking or online payment options
Consider Package Bundles
Having a solid internet connection can be just as important as a phone line for some businesses. Luckily, most phone services offer package deals that bundle phone and internet into one.
- Determine your internet usage, light to heavy bandwidth ranges from 5GB- over 50GB per month.
- How many users will also affect your internet connection ratio, for example 50 users to one connection (50:1) or twenty to one connection (20:1). This connection ratio will also affect the speed of your internet service.
- Using VoIP of Voice over IP can let you combine your phone and internet at allow you to communicate over long distances and internationally for less cost. Stay ahead of the game and find a VOIP provider with Business.com.
Read the Fine Print
Paying your phone service bill without examining what you're paying for can make your service more expensive than it needs to be. When choosing between phone service providers or paying for one you already use, be sure to read the fine print.
- Look at billing statements for a summary of fees to see what each payment is for.
- Block un-needed services that are often automatically charged by most phone providers, and don't use per-call charges like automatic redial, directory assistance and thee-way way calling.
- Avoid long term contracts, the standard is one year, and
- Keep minute-billing increments low. Some companies have increments as large as one minute, so you will end up paying for 2 minutes for a 61 second phone call. Reducing billing increment can save as you as much as 10-15% on your overall bill.
Finding a quality phone service provider can be a valuable tool for your business's success. Phone and internet communication are what will connect your business to the rest of the world, so it is important to find a vendor that will provide you with all of the services you may need without overcharging you for what you don't.
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