Over the past few years, VoIP (voice over internet protocol) has replaced a significant number of business communications. This is a process whereby calls are made via the Internet, much like Skype, rather than using analogue (PSTN) phone lines to route the calls.
Making calls through the Internet is not only less expensive, but it allows users to benefit from many different features than they would with an analogue line. Let’s delve into this further and firstly identify why VoIP is cheaper.
- Takes advantage of your existing technology
A traditional phone service line will require you to be connected to numerous telephone lines, something that you’ll undoubtedly have to pay money for. Rather than doing this, utilise a technology that you already have – the Internet.
- Allows you to make cheaper international phone calls
If you’re someone who often works with international clients, then you’ll know how costly these vital phone calls can be. VoIP users can make international calls at local rates. This is because when you dial an international number the VoIP system will automatically initiate the call within the country you’re calling from, and it, therefore, will charge you a local rate.
- The quality of the call does not surpass a traditional phone line
Another reason that VoIP technology is cheaper is that the quality of the phone call will not surpass that of a regular phone line. VoIP calls are sent via an Internet connection and therefore if your Internet is poor the quality of your phone call will be too.
How can VoIP become more expensive?
We may have established reasons that VoIP services are a cheaper option, but this only tends to be the case under certain conditions. If your company fails to meet the minimum requirements for this type of system, it’s likely that you’ll fail to benefit from its worth.
For instance, it may be that your Internet plan, the necessary hardware, nature of the call, or government-imposed restrictions. It’s not the VoIP that’s expensive; it’s the way you use it. Some scenarios where VoIP phones might not be the best option include:
- You are usually required to invest in an Internet connection of over £20 per month if you want to make free Skype calls. Therefore, if you only make a handful of calls, you’ll benefit more from a traditional phone system.
- If you want to use your mobile phone to make free or cheap calls, you will need a 3G data plan in place for the times that Wi-Fi is in limited range. These plans often cost more than you’d be paying to make calls through your GSM network.
- Your chosen Internet service provider may come with additional features such as free international calls. If this is the case, a VoIP system may not be necessary.
- You choose the wrong type of VoIP service or plan. This will mean you’ll be paying for a lot more than what you need or using more than you’re entitled to so your expenditure will increase.
On the whole, however, the right VoIP system tends to be around 60% cheaper than a traditional phone system.
How to choose the right hosted VoIP system
Your business could benefit from a VoIP phone system but only if you choose one that suits you. The majority of VoIP systems can be tailored to the requirements of each user so you should always consider your needs and then find something that suits them.
You’ll also need to consider the size and location of your office, your day to day operations and how many employers/desk phones you have. This information will be invaluable when it comes to shopping around for a VoIP system.
Here are some other things you can do to find the right VoIP provider:
- Compare call plans – If you tend to make a high volume of calls or a lot of international calls, then you will need to know if these are included in an inclusive call plan. If not, find out what the additional cost will be.
- Benefit from a free trial – Ask if you can try before you buy so that you can see whether or not a proposed system might work for your business.
- Get an SLA – A Service Level Agreement (SLA) will define the level of service that is to be expected. These vary between providers so you should always take time to compare.
- Training – If your employees are new to a VoIP system then your company will almost certainly benefit from a level of training to ensure that there is no decrease in productivity.
- Analyse the small print – A lot of providers will reel customers in with ‘unlimited call plans’ but reading the small print will allow you to see if any destinations are excluded. You should also be able to see whether you need to give notice to cancel your contract and if so how much.
- Check term options – A provider will either offer you a fixed term contract or a rolling contract. Depending on what’s right for your business it’s important to know which you’ll have once you’ve signed the dotted line.
We always recommend that businesses consider a VoIP system. It can provide you with many benefits, and ensure that you’re always ahead of your competition while giving your customers a reliable way to contact you whenever they need to.