We all know that all businesses these days need to 4 Reasons to Choose a Local VoIP Vendor
We all know that all businesses these days need to “think global and act local.” But when it comes to selecting the right VoIP vendor, this wisdom needs an adjustment: “think global and choose local.”
Let’s start with the first part of this advice: think global.
What this means is that small and mid-sized businesses should ensure that they get the same enterprise-grade telecommunications features enjoyed by large multinational firms, such as: auto attendant, live call forwarding, call transfer, automatic call distribution, online message access, call queuing, call announce, company directory, hold music, voice and fax email messages, message notification, and call analysis, and reporting. And of course, the system must be quick to learn and easy-to-use.
Now for the next part of this advice: choose local.
Choosing a local VoIP vendor – and in this context, local can also be defined as regional (e.g. Midwest, Southeast, etc.) – is vital for 5 key reasons:
1. Pre-Sales Consulting
A local/regional VoIP provider will visit your business on-site – possibly multiple times – to assess your needs, consult with your different user groups (e.g. executive, technical, infosec, operations, etc.), analyze your infrastructure, and provide you with a solution that is custom crafted to fit your needs and align with your budget.
National vendors put the bulk of their resources into sales – not into pre-sales. And so while you may get some videos to watch or brochures to read, you shouldn’t expect someone to physically come on-site. And even in the few instances where this is the case, the person or team that arrives will have their “contract signing” pen at-the-ready, and will do everything they can to seal the deal – not objectively assess your needs.
2. Expert Installation and Configuration
Many businesses that choose “mass market” nationwide VoIP vendors quickly recall the old adage: you get what you pay for. Or in this case, you don’t get what you don’t pay for – because installation and configuration is a tedious, time consuming and complex process that can last for weeks. Quite often, many businesses that head down this path end up paying a consultant to clean up the mess, or they pay their VoIP vendor exorbitant “professional services” fees, which more than offset any cost-savings they hoped to realize.
Thankfully, the above isn’t a risk when choosing a credible local/regional VoIP vendor. That’s because their in-house experts – who understand the technology inside and out – will handle all installation and configuration details. And since they’ll have carefully assessed your needs (per the pre-sales consulting described above), you can look forward to a smooth, streamlined and stress-free experience.
3. 24/7 Responsive Support
The importance of 24/7 responsive support cannot be underestimated – not because you should expect something to go wrong with your VoIP system, but simply because your business isn’t static and fixed: it’s dynamic and evolving.
For example, at some point in the future – and it could be sooner than later – you may need to equip employees with an IP phone that they can use from their home office. Or, you may want to provide your sales reps with mobile apps so they can stay connected while on the road. Or, you may want to launch a remote call center to handle a surge in customer inquiries.
Whatever the scenario, you can be assured that a local/regional VoIP vendor is ready, willing and able to respond. This simply isn’t the case with most large vendors. When you need assistance, they’ll either refer you to a FAQ or some other (useless and confusing) resources, or they’ll sell you a very pricey maintenance package.
4. You’ll pay less than you think.
Many businesses that expected to save big by choosing a nationwide vendor discover that the opposite is true: they’re paying more and getting less than if they went with a local/regional vendor.
This is why nationwide VoIP vendors are popular acquisition targets these days: they’re cash cows. Customers think that they’re saving money and getting a better deal, when this simply isn’t the case. The numbers don’t add up.
The Bottom Line
Thinking globally and acting locally is a critical business paradigm. But when it comes to choosing the right VoIP vendor – which is one that will provide you with the shortest path to value – then it’s all about thinking globally and choosing locally!
To learn more, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free. Your consultation with us is free. Call (336) 544-4000.
Recently, we highlighted the main reasons why a VoIP phone systems helps organizations dramatically reduce their telecommunications costs.
However, while saving money is always a winning strategy, there are several other reasons why more and more businesses, government agencies and educational institutions are choosing a VoIP phone system — and one of the most compelling that it measurably increases employee efficiency.
Here are 3 key ways that a VoIP phone system helps organizations get more out of their workforce:
- VoIP Phone Systems Gets New Hires On-the-Grid Right Away
With a conventional landline phone system, it can take weeks for new hires to get their own phone number. Until then, they either have to share a number with a colleague, or all of their calls are automatically routed to a voicemail box that they must check throughout the day (and perhaps the evening as well). Neither of these are efficient, and they certainly don’t enhance customer experience.
On the other end of the spectrum, with a VoIP phone system organizations can immediately give new hires — regardless of whether they work in-house or remotely — their very own number or extension. This enables them to get on-the-grid rapidly, and be efficient and productive from day one.
- VoIP Phone Systems Streamline Communication
In just a few years, we’ve gone from email being the best thing to happen to workplace communication in, well, forever, to being overwhelmed by an epidemic of email overload. Indeed, according to statistics published in Harvard Business Review, email takes up a whopping 23% of the average employee’s workday, and the average employee sends and receives a staggering 112 emails per day.
A VoIP phone system streamlines communication by connecting all employees on a centralized, single platform where they can check each other’s status in real-time (e.g. available, on the phone, busy, away, etc.), send/receive instant messages, and jump on an audio or video call with a single click — which isn’t just faster and easier, but it eliminates tedious dialing errors.
Now, does this eliminate email from the work landscape? No — since that’s not possible (or even desirable!). But it certainly does shrink the virtual email mountain, so that employees can be more efficient and less distracted.
- VoIP Phone Systems Track and Optimize Performance
Increasing efficiency — but without compromising quality assurance and other standards — can be done at the employee level; and the two examples above illustrate how a VoIP phone system makes this happen. For example, literally within minutes of joining the team, a new hire can get his or her own phone number, and send/receive an instant message (instead of yet another email!) to any colleague, regardless of where they’re located.
However, to boost efficiency organizations also need to look at performance management, and once again a VoIP phone system helps make this happen. For example, executives can:
- Analyze whether a recently-launched customer knowledge portal is reducing the volume and duration of support calls.
- Optimize staffing levels based on call volumes, and if necessary, launch a recruitment campaign to maintain customer experience standards.
- Monitor call durations, and identify whether employees need coaching or training to satisfy more customers in less time.
These are just some of the ways that a VoIP phone system generates valuable data-driven intelligence to optimize performance management, and improve employee efficiency at the team and individual levels.
To learn more about how a VoIP phone system will make your employees more efficient — and your organization leaner, stronger and more competitive — contact the DigitalPhone.io team today at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.
Traditional phone service relies on the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), which is the federally run network that connects all landline-based phone calls. Traditional phone calls use analog data, which is relayed as electrical pulses. It is difficult to send analog data over a long distance without losing call quality, so there need to be lots of transfer points for an analog call along the way.
VoIP uses digital data, and it is easy to send digital data over long distances without stopping. VoIP only uses the PSTN if a VoIP caller is calling someone who does not have an Internet phone number. Users are able to use VoIP if there is a WiFi connection already in place, whereas traditional phone users would need to physically connect to a landline for service.
For these reasons, the FCC has largely left VoIP alone. However, as reported by Bloomberg BNA, the FCC is looking to add more regulations to VoIP in the near future because VoIP has become such a popular choice for so many landline phone service customers.
What is the New Dialing Procedure?
To complete calls from a landline phone, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial 1 + area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 415 or 628 area codes need to be dialed using 1 + area code + telephone number. To complete calls from a cellular or mobile phone, callers may dial the area code + telephone number or 1 + area code + telephone number whenever placing a call from a phone number with the 415 or 628 area code browse this site.
When will the change become Mandatory?
Beginning February 21, 2015, you must use the new dialing procedure for all calls. If you do not use the new dialing procedure, your call will not be completed, and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again. However, all customers are encouraged to begin using the new dialing procedure before February 21, 2015.
Why is the change Necessary?
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the 628 area code will be added to the area served by 415. Since two area codes will now serve the same geographic region, the area code must be used when dialing any telephone number-including calls within the same area code. Beginning March 21, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the 628 area code.
What is an area code overlay?
An overlay is the addition of another area code (628) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (415). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.