How To Buy Voice Over IP (VoIP) Services

Voiceover Directory

How To Buy Voice Over IP (VoIP) Services


Making the decision to upgrade your telephone technology or even outright replacement, should not be a difficult decision. When you compare all of the new and exciting features of Voice over IP (VoIP) to Plain old Telephone Service (POTS), moving forward becomes a lot easier to welcome. All to often, I hear fear and trepidation in the voices of decision makers when confronted with a choice between staying the course or making a change. I have learned that it is better to provide as much or as little information as needed by the client and give them the time to act on your advice. Never rush to make important decisions. Technology will still be there tomorrow. Notice that I did not refer to my clients as customers. The primary reason is that their status as a client is not connected to them buying from me, and my goal is not to turn clients into customers, but to educate my clients so they can be informed customers. This article will list some of the advice I provide clients.

The first thing you must realize is that not everyone providing you information is someone worth listening to. I'm always amazed at how many technical articles I read that are written by staff writers. Do not get me wrong, many of the articles are good which is why I am reading them, but staff writers can only give you the benefit of their research and not the benefit of their experience.

Do not buy services for your home or business without connecting to your provider at least seven times. This equates to three visits to the web site, two calls to billing, one call to sales and at least one call to technical support. Speaking with someone from the sales group would be nice, but most VoIP providers to not spend time speaking with small account customers. Do not waste time speaking to an order taker about the company or the quality of their product; therefore, review their website and take notes about what services they offer, the price, and what and how they resolve issues you may encounter. Once again, do not make a quick decision. Review the website three times over several days while taking notes. Review your notes and write questions for anything you do not fully understand. Once your review is done and you are armed with your questions, call the company and ask for someone in their sales department. The sales agent should be knowable about voice communications and should be able to explain how things work in plain simple English. If you are getting techno jargon, hang up and start the process with another company.

Let's assume you have found a company that you have researched and generated a list of questions based on your research, and they have an agent that is capable to answering your questions in plain simple language, you are now ready to start the weeding out process. The goal is to take your time and get to know something about the company you will send your money to each month. The first order of business is voice quality? Be sure to ask the agent about voice quality. The most important thing you need to know about voice quality issues is how they are resolved. Ask the agent to provide some examples of other customers who have had voice quality issues and how they were resolved. If the answer is we have not had any issues with voice quality, have the agent to explain why not.

The price of services are generally listed on the website. There are two terms we must explain so you can understand how to decipher. "Origination" means calls that are sent to you or incoming calls, while "termination" are calls you make that are outgoing. Some providers may offer you a really low rate for incoming calls and a higher rate for outgoing calls. Some will advertise a really low incoming rate and hide the outgoing rate in the fine print. If a provider is not honest about their rate, or it you can not easily determine the cost, let this serve as a sign. Providers that practice deception will use that strategy in every aspect of their business. For example, you have billing fees on your invoice that you were not aware of because it was not explained to you in plain simple terms at the beginning. If you find yourself dealing with a provider who has been less than honest, start looking for another provider.

The next major hurdle to cross is how will they resolve you issue if there is a problem? If they problem is hardware related, how long does it take to get a replace part delivered to you? Will they send a technician to service your issue or will you have to service the issue with phone assistance? My advice is look for a company that is capable of monitoring your equipment and taking proactive steps to resolve the issue before it becomes a major problem for you. Also, the configuration files should be stored in the cloud for easy access. If your provider requires you to do more than power-on power-off, you may want to look for another provider.

My advice as your consultant is that the transformational experience should be fun and rewarding. By avoiding Voice over IP providers that do not put the needs of the customer first, you will be spared the agony that many face when embracing the exciting new world of VoIP.

New technology companies should be able to offer you the latest and greatest. For example, when you are ready to integrate video into your communications, can your provider upgrade your service offering to include H.263, H.263 + or H.264 on demand? What about multi-media? Being able to conduct online presentations is growing in acceptance, is your provider ready and able to move when you are? The information offered is just the basic items you should look for. In the end, consult professional help if it becomes too much and you are no longer having fun.


Source by Jimmy R Stewart

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