Common Problems a Hosted VOIP Reseller Will Face
The market for VOIP services is showing no sign of slowing down. Reselling hosted VOIP services can make you a profitable business owner without extensive upfront costs.
But being a VOIP reseller isn’t all sunshine and roses. Like any business, there are expected challenges and common problems. The most successful resellers are entrepreneurs who work through obstacles to achieve their goals.
Ready to join the ranks of profitable hosted VOIP resellers? Use this overview to know what problems to watch for and how to prevent or resolve them.
Low Route Quality With Hosted VoIP
Your business relies on the quality of service your customers’ experience. That is, if customers get poor call quality, you will likely have high cancellation rates. In turn, you could face bad word of mouth.
Poor call quality can take different forms but all stem from low route quality.
Jitter is the result of lack of buffers. Audio data is divided into packets. Without a buffer, the packets travel different paths between sender and receiver and arrive at different times. Make sure your VOIP wholesaler uses buffers to ensure data packets arrive in the proper order and without noticeable delay to keep your customers’ call quality high.
Delay can happen for a few different reasons. But from the customers’ perspective, the only thing that matters is that if it happens, frustration grows.
Talk to your hosted VOIP wholesaler to understand what technology they use to prevent delays caused by propagation, handling, and queuing.
Look for evidence of traffic prioritization. Techniques include policy-based network management, bandwidth reservation, and Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS). High-quality routing resolves many call quality issues.
Do more than read your contract with the wholesale provider before you sign. Understand all terms and conditions.
Is there the possibility of additional costs? What circumstances would trigger them?
Know what functionality is covered in your hosted VOIP agreement and the related fee structure. It’s possible that you incur a fee whenever one of your customers opts for features such as text messaging.
Also, pay attention to charges for back-end administration of your account with the VOIP wholesaler.
In most cases of hosted VOIP reselling, you are the brand and business that customers see. But they are really getting VOIP service from the wholesaler. Accordingly, their payments go directly to the wholesaler.
The wholesaler then pays you a commission less any additional charges based on your customers’ payments.
An advantage of this structure is freedom from billing activities. But a potential problem is the timing of payments to you.
Do you get your commission on a rolling basis, as soon as the customer pays? Are payments held for 21 or 30 days before you’re compensated? Or payouts batched and sent monthly?
You may not be able to negotiate a structure different from what the wholesaler offers. But to be a successfully hosted VOIP provider, you need to factor the possibility of delayed payments into your business plan and cash flow management.
Poor Customer Service
VOIP technology is well-established. But that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong.
When one of your customers has a technical or administrative question or issue, they want easy, reliable access to answers or resolution. They want a positive experience. You want those things too.
Frustrated and dissatisfied customers will find another provider. It won’t matter to them if the support came from you or the VOIP wholesaler. All they’ll know is that they’re unhappy with the service they’re getting for their hard-earned dollar.
Not only will they leave and take part of your revenue with them. They will also tell their friends and family about their negative experience. Positive word of mouth can be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Don’t let it slip away without a fight.
If your business is the main point of contact for customer service, maintaining high service levels is comparatively easy. You control hiring, training, responsiveness, and effectiveness.
If technical and administrative support is delivered by the wholesaler, you have a bigger problem on your hands. Especially if issues are frequent.
Addressing customer service levels with your VOIP wholesaler could take time and diplomacy. Even then, there’s no guarantee things will change.
More often, it’s better to put the energy into finding a new wholesaler. You’ll also have to work at migrating your remaining customers to that service. But if issues are commonplace, the quality of VOIP calls is probably also sub-standard and customers won’t mind the change.
Thanks to the flexibility, affordability, and ease of VOIP, there’s no shortage of hosted VOIP resellers.
The good news is that means there are profits to be made. The bad news is that it can be challenging to be seen in a crowded marketplace.
But if you remember that you’re an entrepreneur with the freedom to provide value to your customers, you will rise above competitors.
Be clear on what your target customer needs and wants. Don’t market to sell them VOIP services. Market to solve their communication problems. Be relatable to them.
Tend to customers’ needs before, during, and after they spend their money on your products and services. You will be rewarded with loyalty and revenue no matter how many other hosted VOIP resellers there are.
Keeping Up With Technology
As a hosted VOIP reseller, it’s your job to understand VOIP technology. Maybe not in great technical detail. But fundamental knowledge about the protocols used and the strengths and drawbacks of each is essential.
But understanding VOIP isn’t a once and done effort. The protocols evolve. Devices evolve. Customer expectations evolve.
If you don’t keep up with the evolution of VOIP, you could find yourself with a big problem. You might miss opportunities for cost-saving or additional revenue from wholesalers. You might not recognize marketplace threats. You might not capitalize on opportunities to provide your customers with greater functionality.
Make it a habit to keep your knowledge and competitive edge current and sharp. Use industry articles and websites like our blog for continuous learning.
Why Use SIPTRUNK.com for Your Hosted VOIP Business?
SIPTRUNK.com uses top-notch technology to ensure that your customers always have an available VOIP line and get excellent voice quality on every call. Our service has built-in redundancies to keep the call failure rate below .1%.
Our control panel makes it easy to quote, provision, bill, and manage services. This leaves you free to focus on marketing to grow your business.
Being a hosted VOIP reseller is a great way to improve your financial future.
Discover how you can get started with us today!