Every business has to take phone calls. And with that in mind, you’ve started looking at wholesale VoIP providers.
That’s a smart call – VoIP for business is significantly less expensive than traditional phone services.
Of course, it’s never as easy as just picking up the phone. Here are six tips to keep you on track.
1. Keep an Eye on Cost
Just because wholesale VoIP providers are less pricey than traditional phone services doesn’t mean they come for free.
So…what do they cost?
Let’s use a premise-based VoIP system as an example. This will cost between $400 and $1,000 per phone (if we’re including software enhancements and professional installation).
Other types of VoIP systems will cost more or less depending on what you get, how many phones you have and how much you want them to do.
Before you go through with it, know what you want your phones to do and how many you want.
2. Ask What Type of VoIP You Need
Which brings us to our next point – knowing what type of VoIP you’re going to need for your business.
There are two primary types of VoIP systems that wholesale VoIP providers will offer to you. You’re most likely to use the second.
The first is Internet Telephony, which is the type of VoIP most commonly used by individual consumers.
It works by using a standard landline and broadband connection with an adaptor and VoIP subscription. Basically, you have one site with limited phone connections.
Most businesses will look at the second option because their operations are too big for Internet Telephony to be a viable option.
In the second option, multisite locations are connected to a single line using equipment installed at the location in question to route the calls.
We mentioned premise-based VoIP earlier. It’s one of the two types of VoIP phone options.
Hosted and Premise-Based VoIP
These are sort of like the difference between your two VoIP systems.
In hosted VoIP, there are no phone lines. Instead, a single broadband connection is used for both data and voice.
In a premise-based VoIP, there are standard phone lines which are connected to the Internet. A second broadband connection is needed in this setup (one is used for data and the other is used for voice).
3. Do a Service Comparison
If you’re not sure what you want, you’re on the fence about what you want, or in general, you just want a look at the bigger picture, it’s a good idea to do a service comparison from your wholesale VoIP providers.
This is a covering your bases situation.
On average, you’ll be looking at service that covers standard features for every user, at around $40 per month for a single user and downwards as you add users.
These are more expensive than basic service, but it also gives more options. Vocalocity is a good example of the types of plans you’ll be looking at.
Standard features to look for here would include unlimited US and Canadian calling, 411/911 calling, caller ID, three-way calling, a virtual receptionist for each extension, etc.
This is the one to turn to if you’re in the market for the highest level of control and security.
In this case, it’s worth your time to consider investing a self-hosted VoIP product using an IP-PBX.
A standard example here is the Snom One Mini. This allows you to use a SIP trunking provider to handle analog-to-digital conversions. You’ll also need to buy phones.
4. Watch Out for Common Problems
Issues arise no matter what business you’re in.
But if you can dodge them with your wholesale VoIP providers, it would tend to make your life a bit easier.
Here are three things to look out for.
Poor Route Quality
You can’t get around it. For a VoIP business, the route is the most important component of all.
And if the route isn’t actually that good, they’re not worth the money you’re spending on them.
You know that time you signed to buy a car and suddenly there were about ten asterisks that appeared after it that meant more money than you originally thought?
Don’t put up with it from your VoIP provider. Ask them all about what the charges are for their services. If they’re not forthcoming about it, they’re not worth it.
This has to do with knowing the VoIP market (which is on your wholesale provider).
Everything from the type of route, the destination, and the service provider can change the rate.
Spoilers: routes change all the time.
It’s your provider’s job to know what the rates are. If they suddenly change the price based on an error on their part, that should be a huge red flag.
5. Know What Features You’re Looking For
Knowing what you want is just as important as knowing what you don’t want.
For example, maybe you value voicemail transcription, SIP support, and call routing but not so much video conferencing or voicemail to email conversion.
If you know what you’re looking for (and what you’re willing to pay for it) it becomes much easier to narrow the playing field.
6. Watch Out for Frauds
Finally, don’t be that sucker. Don’t fall for frauds.
VoIP is primarily an online-based business, which can make it trickier to sniff out frauds. But there are certain best practices to follow to make sure you don’t get duped.
First, always choose your provider from their official website. By the same token, disregard emails that aren’t from an official email ID.
Live chat is also a good way to judge whether the company in question is legitimate. Since most companies are primarily online, they understand the need to have their online presence active 24/7, which is why they usually provide live chat.
If your provider doesn’t offer it, take it as a sign that they either aren’t serious or aren’t actually legitimate.
Find Your Wholesale VoIP Providers
Finding the right provider for you is a process and an art. But that doesn’t mean it has to be impossible.
Check out our blog for tips on how to make your life easier, like these reasons to try a SIP trunking provider.
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