For many businesses, having a VoIP phone is a huge step towards advancing to a more modern business communication system. A VoIP phone refers to a telecommunication device using the power of the Internet rather than standard copper-wired telephones, giving you unlimited options for connectivity, mobility, and interoperability.
But, what are the different types of VoIP phones and how can they help businesses succeed? What are the best features and benefits a business owner needs to check before choosing a VoIP product and service provider?
In this post, you’ll find the more about VoIP phones, including their benefits, best features, and how they can help your business thrive, grow, and become more successful.
How Does VoIP Phones Work
A VoIP telephone system works using Internet Protocol to make and answer phone calls. All communication data is sent over your business’ IP network via a telephone service provider, an internet connection, or both.
In layman’s terms, VoIP pertains to making or receiving phone calls over the internet, instead of a regular mobile or landline network. A VoIP system takes analog voice signals and converts them into digital signals, in which they are sent as data over a broadband network. With an IP connection, quality of service is usually guaranteed by a telephone service provider as compared to relying on your own internet connection.
Benefits of VoIP Phones
The best choice when it comes to modern business communications is using VoIP phones. Having the right VoIP system in place helps improve productivity, time management, and reduce costs.
Here are the benefits of having a reliable VoIP system:
- Low Cost-Per-Call: Long distance calls can be expensive, but with VoIP phones, the internet can be used to relay data, making all types of calls, both domestic and international calls cheaper than traditional landline phones. Businesses usually use VoIP to make free domestic and even for domestic long distance calls. For instance, in the United States, service providers allow calls within the lower-48 for free.
- On-the-Go Business Communications: VoIP services are perfect for on-the-go businesses or if you need flexibility and mobility in contacting clients, investors, and suppliers. With a VoIP system, you eliminate the need to remember several phone numbers or codes and keys. Also, you don’t have to bug your phone company to transfer your phone numbers and services to a new location when needed.
- Versatile Features: You can use a VoIP phone system to multi-task using different high-tech devices, like your smartphone, laptop, and other internet-capable devices. Some of the best features include voicemail-to-text transcriptions, conference calling, and voicemail forwarding. Learn more about the best features and benefits of VoIP phones below.
Trusted Brands of VoIP Phones
Because of the popularity and benefits of VoIP phones, there are many brands existing today.
Here are the top brands of VoIP phones in the market today:
- Panasonic: It’s a major VoIP phone business system innovator with a good reputation when it comes to manufacturing high-quality electronic devices.
- Poly: It’s a leading VoIP provider that offers serious VoIP solutions for more productive business operations and more effective engagement with customers, partners, and employees.
- Vtech: When it comes to electronic educational toys and cordless telephones, Vtech is famous for these innovative solutions.
- Cisco: When it comes to internet infrastructure and business network hardware, Cisco is a major player.
How to Choose a VoIP Phone for Your Business
First and foremost, it’s important to determine your business needs when choosing a VoIP phone system and provider. In that way, you can assess your current business communication system’s strengths and weaknesses and choose the right service provider for you.
Choosing a cheap VoIP that addresses your business needs is not an easy task. Writing down all the features you would like is a great way to make your work easier. A right VoIP should have the following features:
Here’s a helpful guide on how to choose a VoIP for your business:
1. Meet Your Team
Your employees are your forefront who handles all the calls. That’s why if you’re planning to make changes or replace your old business communications system, it’s important to meet with your team and get their insights and suggestions.
2. Take Important Things Into Consideration
When choosing the right VoIP services for your business, it’s important to consider the price or how much budget you’re willing to set for your business communication system. Make sure to choose one that you can afford.
Here are the other important considerations before you choose a VoIP system:
- Features: The features and benefits, and your budget go together. It’s a smart idea to choose the most affordable VoIP that offers the best features you’ll need for your business. For any business, you’ll need basic VoIP features, such as call log, call reports, mobility, instant messaging, and call recording.
- Knowledge and Technical Expertise: Are you willing to handle the technical aspects of a VoIP system or let the experts handle this technology? If you can’t handle the technical aspect, you have to choose a VoIP provider that offers extensive customer support. The last thing you want to do is to hire a freelance expert to handle your VoIP system, which can be expensive for startups.
- Pricing: Don’t settle on one service provider just because it’s the first one you’ve read or heard about. Make sure to compare the services and the prices so you can make the most out of your VoIP system. It’s crucial to set a budget for your business communications system for the growth and success of your business. Learn more about the importance of price comparison below.
- Support: It can be overwhelming to manage your VoIP system at first. That’s why you have to ensure that the service provider can offer full assistance when setting up your VoIP system for your business the first time.
3. Determine the Features You’ll Need
If you have a small business, you’ll need a direct phone number, unlimited calling, call forwarding, call waiting, and caller ID. On the other hand, if you have a big company, you’ll need conference calling, voicemail, three-way calling, call transfers, group interaction, and even adding virtual extensions.
Also, you need to be able to do the following:
- View the presence and status of other users from your desktop and mobile device. With the ability to track user status, you can make better business decisions, like hiring more employees to handle your customer support or rely on third-party service providers to handle your customer service as you grow your business in the future.
- Log in at various devices without using a single phone. It provides flexibility, accessibility, and mobility for you, your employees, and your customers too.
- Connect as a user to the VoIP system using any mobile device, so you can make and receive calls even if you’re not in the office. It is very helpful if your business involves a lot of time in the field or fieldwork.
- Control your VoIP phone from your laptop or desktop.
- View all inbound calls and simply click to dial a phone number.
- On the same network, you should be able to send and receive instant messages using your mobile device.
4. Compare the Prices and Services
Not all VoIP providers are the same. They come at different prices depending on the features and benefits you’re looking for, so it’s a good idea to compare prices in trusted price comparison sites, like quotegrab.com.
Check review sites to determine what other people have to say about their services and directly visit the website of the VoIP service provider to know their services. By doing so, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and choose the best VoIP company for your business.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask to compare the prices and services of different VoIP providers:
- Do they offer a flexible VoIP plan that best suits my business needs? You might not need the bells and whistles of the offered plan, but you need to think of the future for your business scalability.
- Do the VoIP charge for other fees or extra services? Make sure to choose a package with a clear description of the inclusive services. You don’t want to end up paying for extra services you don’t really need at the moment.
- Does the VoIP company offer excellent customer and technical support? Check if the company has a dedicated call center, in which real people will answer you whenever you call their helpline.
- Does the company offer any form of warranties or service guarantee? Choose a VoIP provider that is confident about their products and services, offering a type of warranty of service guarantee.
5. Make a Final Decision
Now, you’re ready to make a final decision. Among the wide array of choice of VoIP product and service providers in the market today, you’re now in the best position to choose the best VoIP for your business.
Best VoIP Providers for Startup and Small businesses
When choosing a VoIP provider for your startup or small business, it’s important to choose one that can provide the features you’ll need to communicate with your employees and customers smoothly, and with the ability to scale as you continue to gain more and more calls every day. Of course, you also need to make sure that you choose a provider with excellent customer and technical support so you’ll get the assistance you’ll need if problems arise.
Here are the best VoIP providers today:
- Jive: This company offers simple and affordable hosted VoIP solutions to small businesses. The main selling point of this VoIP provider simplifying phone and conferencing setup, to help improve internal communications or within the business and external communications or with customers. The prices for Jive’s services start as low as $19.95 monthly.
- 8×8: This VoIP provider has a contact center solution in the cloud, offering voice, chat, and video business communication services. They offer flexible plans, starting at $28 a month for small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs, based on the user requirements and features needed. The differences of the offered plans include choices of advanced features, country calling requirements, and media storage options.
- Mitel: If you want to grow your business team hassle-free, Mitel promises robust business VoIP solutions, such as cloud communications systems, unified communications, and communications systems for call centers. It provides business owners with complete control over their phone communications system, having high compatibility with Google Chrome, several CRM solutions, LinkPoint360, and MiCloud Connect. Advanced features include automated operators, call recording, CRM integration, and archiving.
- Ooma: It’s a VoIP provider that offers a simple and reasonably priced (starting at $19.95 a month) services for small businesses. Ooma has over 35 advanced phone features specifically designed for small businesses.
- UniTel Voice: If you’re looking for decent features, ease-of-use, call-quality, excellent customer support, and affordable VoIP solutions, UniTel Voice is highly recommended. You can manage the feature of your cloud-based business communications system online, running your business virtually from any internet-capable device, including softphones, IP-phones, or via the mobile app of UniTel Voice. The price of UniTel Voice services starts at $9.99 a month. Also, you’ll never be locked into a contract and you can even get a money-back guarantee with the risk-free trial for 30 days. It means that you can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the VoIP services of UniTel Voice.
- Vonage: This company provides a reliable desktop app and mobile app for on-the-go business communications. Also, it offers conference calls, video conferencing, online meetings, multi-level auto-attendant, file sharing, CRM integrations, group calls, call recording, and visual voicemail. Just download the app so you can start using their VoIP services on a mobile device after you sign up.
A successful business should have a reliable communications system, and one way to achieve it is through having a VoIP system. It is flexible, reliable, cost-effective, and secure. You can use different devices, like mobile devices and business phone systems.
When choosing a VoIP service provider, make sure to assess your business needs by asking suggestions from your employees and telecommunications experts. Compare the prices and the services to strike a perfect balance between the costs and excellent services.