A good phone service is a good phone service. Period. Well….it’s not that simple. While a certain VoIP Provider or Hosted PBX system might be recommended by other businesses as being great, the best business phone system is indeed the best when it meets your needs, and not others’. So, the best thing in this case is to ensure that you know your business and can answer the most common questions your VoIP Provider will ask you, as well as asking the right questions that will help you find out whether you’re ready or not to switch to a Hosted PBX.
Surely some of the questions will be specific to your business needs, but here are a few of the most commons ones you should ask:
- Where are their Hosted PBX servers?
Server location is very important because the farther the server, the longer it will take for you to connect to it, and this might cause delays, so the best thing to do is to ensure that your potential VoIP Provider has multiple servers across the country.
- Are there any installation/ cancellation fees?
We all know how important it is to watch out for hidden fees when subscribing for a new phone service. The Hosted PBX service might look cheap, but you might have the surprise to be charged really high installation/ activation fees or get into a contract from which you will escape only with a big hole in your budget.
- What are their support hours and languages?
If you’re on Pacific time and your VoIP Provider offers support only during EST business hours, this might affect the proper functioning of your business in case of an issue with your service. Also, if you’re in Quebec and you would like to have assistance in French, it’s crucial that you ask your business phone service provider about this capability.
- What do you need to change in your current infrastructure?
Your new VoIP phone system will be far from perfect if you’re not ready to use it. Ensure that you ask your provider about the requirements for your new Hosted PBX system. Whether it’s an upgrade of your Internet connection or new cabling around your office, you need to be prepared so you can avoid stressful hours of troubleshooting and bad image.
- Is your existing equipment compatible with the new business phone system?
If you’re switching from another provider and you already have IP Phones you will need to ask if your make and model is supported, as well as verify if they are locked (many carriers do lock their phones so they cannot be used in another network). If you’re planning to buy new phones from a third party it would be helpful to ask your provider for a recommended brand/ model.
No matter what hosted phone system you choose, remember that your business’ needs come first. You might be dealing with experts, but if you feel that what they are trying to sell or recommend you would not suit you, don’t go for it. Ask as many questions as you consider necessary and make an educated decision; after all it’s about choosing the best solution for your business.