Selecting a VoIP system that completely matches your unique requirements as a business can be a stressful task. When you type 'VoIP phone system' into Google (which you probably have already discovered), you will find many options presented in front of you. With so many choices on the market, all with different features and highlights, it can become overwhelming to think - what VoIP phone system is suitable for our communication requirements?
Planning a system upgrade or switching from a traditional landline to VoIP is only worth switching if the new phone system matches your requirements entirely. You must put your needs and requirements first before letting someone else tell you what you need. So, before you reach out to a VoIP phone provider, you need to have some key considerations in mind to ensure you know more about the type of phone system you are looking for.
With that in mind, we have created a list of the most important things to consider before contacting any VoIP provider. Considering these points through careful planning and research will ensure you know what you want before you chat with a provider.
So, without further ado, let's get stuck into the essential questions and reflections to plan, research and contemplate with your team before selecting your perfect VoIP phone system.
8 questions to ask yourself before choosing a VoIP phone system for your business
Determine your budget
First thing first - what is your budget? Before investing in anything for your business, including a phone system, you need to clearly understand the financial resources you can allocate to your new system. You need to be aware of your budget before talking to any VoIP provider so they can recommend the right option that aligns with your financial restraints.
So, when you pick your perfect VoIP phone system, you will be confident knowing that you opt for a plan that aligns with your available finances.
What features do you require?
Given the array of options available across different phone systems, you must pinpoint the most important features that will empower your team to function with maximum efficiency. VoIP phone systems offer many features, so settling on your most essential components is vital when whittling down your options. A few features to look out for on VoIP systems include:
- Call routing
- Call forwarding
- Video conferencing
- Live chat
- Instant messaging
- Call recording
- Advanced call management
- Auto attendant
- Call analytics
- Custom music on hold
Do your research and assess your communication requirements to determine the most practical features required to help business operations. An excellent place to start is to ask the team what they would find most effective when communicating with clients and other external parties. Another consideration is determining how you speak with your customers - is it over the phone? Or is it primarily through live chats or video calls?
Create a list of the most needed features and have that list ready when chatting with your VoIP provider so you can obtain exactly what you are looking for.
Hosted vs onsite?
The main difference between hosted and onsite is where your data is stored - and let's not forget about budget, too, but more explained later in this section.
Having your VoIP services 'hosted' means that your communications solutions use hardware that's located outside your environment. This means your provider is responsible for arranging configuration, ongoing servicing, system upgrades, user support and maintenance. If you want to opt for the hosted option, you must choose a reliable and secure VoIP provider.
Opting for onsite data storage entails the installation of VoIP software and servers within your company's premises. This choice comes with increased expenses attributed to the additional hardware and labour required for the standalone site installation.
We recommend that if you are a small to mid-sized business that does not have in-house IT resources and wants to save money on expenditures, then the hosted system might be the right option for you. If you are a larger business, have a bigger budget or hold the IT services and resources in-house, then having an onsite option could be the direction for you. Again, take time to research and figure out the budget to determine your requirements.
Do you want your business to scale?
Considering the future of your company is important when determining your phone system. If you are looking to scale or are ready to expand, then it's a wise choice to consider your communication infrastructure. Will the options that fit you now align with your needs in six months, one year or even five year's time?
Scalability should be a top priority when selecting the best VoIP phone system for your business. As your company grows, so will your communication needs. So choosing a VoIP system that can effortlessly adapt and accommodate increased call volumes, additional users and new features may be wise as it will ensure your business can thrive in an evolving landscape.
Look for providers that offer flexible plans and scalability options to match your growth trajectory. By making the right choice, you'll improve your current communication setup and position your business for future success.
How many users do you need?
Understanding your user count and pre-evaluation of the number of users needed in your VoIP system setup is key to ensuring efficient communication. Begin by assessing your current team size, plus projecting your future numbers (depending on your expansion plans, as mentioned in the above section "Do you want your business to scale?"). Make sure to consider not only employees but also departments and remote workers.
Each user will need a unique extension or account, so you must choose a VoIP system that comfortably accommodates your specific user count. We recommend that you select a scalable solution that allows you to add or remove users easily, ensures you won't outgrow your phone system and can adapt as your business evolves.
What is your projected call volume?
Have you considered the potential call volume within your business? Especially if you plan to scale in the future, understanding your projected call volume is a critical consideration when selecting the right VoIP phone system for your business.
Start by gaining insights into the expected volume of calls. You can then determine the number of lines necessary to meet your communication demands. If available, start by analysing historical call data and assess future call patterns based on your business goals and growth projections. Also, consider peak call times, customer support needs and outbound sales efforts.
A VoIP system that offers customisable call plans and the ability to add or adjust lines as your call volume fluctuates easily will ensure you can effectively manage your communication traffic without overcommitting or experiencing call congestion.
What third-party software does it use?
When selecting a new VoIP phone system, research what third-party software it can use. Does it align with your current communication and data management requirements?
Imagine this scenario: if your current internal communication relies heavily on a platform like Microsoft Teams, but you're on the verge of investing in a new VoIP system that lacks Microsoft integration, you could find yourself facing the need to transition to a different instant messaging platform. How would your team react to such a change?
So, make sure you consider your current third-party communications before investing in a new system.
Need help selecting the right VoIP phone system? T2k is here to help
If you need help finding the perfect phone system for your needs, our agents at T2k are ready to assist you in discovering the ideal solution. With our extensive knowledge and deep understanding of telecommunications options, we are ready and committed to helping you navigate the selection process. Whether you're looking for advanced features, cost-effective choices, or seamless integration, we are dedicated to offering personalised advice to enhance your business's communication infrastructure.
As advised, we recommend that you conduct research before contacting us so we can recommend the best options that fit your requirements perfectly. So, if you are ready to upgrade your VoIP phone system, start a conversation with us today to discover an efficient and effective phone system that aligns perfectly with your unique requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will T2k help me select the right phone system?
Absolutely. At T2k, our primary goal is to assist you in selecting the ideal VoIP phone system that perfectly aligns with your existing communication needs as well as your future projections. We take pride in providing tailored guidance and expertise to ensure that your business benefits from a phone system that is both efficient and cost-effective. Don't hesitate to contact us; we're here to help you make an informed decision and empower your communication infrastructure.
What advice does T2k provide in the enquiry call?
During the initial enquiry call with T2k, our team of experts offers valuable advice tailored to your specific needs. We begin by thoroughly understanding your business requirements, communication objectives and budget constraints. Based on this information, we guide you in selecting the most suitable VoIP phone system for your organisation. This advice includes recommendations on system features, scalability options, integration possibilities with your existing software and cost-effectiveness.
We strive to empower you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision, ensuring that the phone system you choose aligns seamlessly with your goals and contributes to improved efficiency and productivity within your business.
Can I switch VoIP providers?
Yes, making the transition from one phone system to another is achievable. We understand that your communication needs may evolve over time, and you might seek a better-suited provider or plan. We provide guidance and support to make the transition as smooth as possible. Our team can help you evaluate the feasibility of switching, including assessing any contract obligations with your current provider, number portability and the compatibility of your existing hardware with the new service.