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New to VoIP Services? Start Here.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a digital telecommunications technology that lets users make/receive voice calls over the Internet instead of the standard landline telephone network (the PSTN.)

VoIP service works on devices with Internet access, meaning analog phones, (desk phones or hard phones connected to the VoIP system) smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and laptops can all be used for VoIP calling.

In addition to greater mobility, VoIP offers more advanced features, a higher level of customization, and significant cost savings compared to traditional phone lines. VoIP is also referred to as IP telephony, virtual telephony, or Voice over IP calling.

VoIP services work by digitally compressing the outbound caller’s voice audio (speech) into digital voice data packets.

These outbound data packets travel to the call destination via the Internet and are decompressed in order once they reach the inbound caller’s device.

Once the voice data packets are reassembled, they transform back into the words and phrases of a conversation.

1. Call Forwarding

Call Forwarding is a VoIP service feature that automatically forwards unanswered inbound calls to multiple business phone numbers without disconnecting the caller. Call forwarding increases first call resolution rates and gives agents the mobility to take business calls anywhere, anytime.

Calls can be forwarded to multiple numbers for the same agent, different agents/call groups, or an agent’s voicemail.

Call forwarding

A common call forwarding path example is:

Agent’s Office Phone Number→Agent’s Smartphone Number→Agent’s Home Phone Number→Agent Voicemail

 

2. Auto Attendant

An auto attendant (sometimes called a virtual receptionist) is a business phone system feature that uses pre-recorded auto attendant scripts to direct inbound calls without involving a live agent. Customers listen to the call menu options the auto attendant reads out loud and respond via speech or touchtone. The auto attendant then processes this response and forwards/routes/transfers calls accordingly.

Auto Attendant

Auto attendants help manage peak call times, provide 24/7 customer self-service, and decrease call abandonment rates.

 

3. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR is an automated customer self-service VoIP feature that uses pre-recorded call menu prompts, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) to guide callers through multi-level call paths.

IVR (interactive voice response) call flow

IVR systems offer more advanced call flow design options than auto attendants, like a drag-and-drop call path editor and nested sub-menus. IVR solutions often integrate with third-party CRM platforms, showing valuable customer data via call pop-ups. Today’s IVR systems even rely on Conversational AI to provide more personalized real-time automated customer support.

Other common IVR use cases include bill payment, contact information updates/confirmation, appointment scheduling/cancellation, order tracking, and conversational marketing.

 

4. Call Routing

Call routing is a VoIP phone system feature that automatically distributes inbound calls to the best available agent, ring group, or department according to pre-established call handling criteria and caller input via IVR. Call routing reduces hold time, eliminates the need for manual transfers, increases talk time, and agent optimization.

Popular call routing strategies include skills-based routing, most idle routing, time-based routing, round robin routing, list-based routing, or customer relationship routing (explained further in the image below.)

Call Routing

 

5. Visual Voicemail

Visual voicemail doesn’t just store voice recordings of VoIP phone messages–it uses voice-to-text to transcribe them, allowing users to both read and listen to their voicemails. Voicemail-to-email sends both an audio recording and transcription of voice messages to your inbox, while real-time visual voicemail notifications ensure you never miss any messages.

visual voicemail

Visual voicemail helps agents prioritize and better prepare for callbacks and saves time by storing all messages in a searchable database, as shown below.

 

6. Call Monitoring and Recording

Real-time call monitoring lets supervisors and managers listen in on live calls between agents and callers to monitor customer support and quality, evaluate employee performance, and get a deeper insight into the customer experience.

Call whisper is a coaching feature where managers can give agents advice during live calls without the customer hearing them. Call barge allows managers to take over current agent-customer calls when needed.

VoIP call recording is another aspect of call monitoring. Not only can all VoIP calls be recorded on-demand or automatically, but calls are also transcribed for easier review, analysis, and searchability. Agents can evaluate their own performance, managers can identify common issues or successful sales tactics, and businesses can protect themselves from false claims. Recordings are stored in a cloud-based database where they can be reviewed, shared, or deleted.

 

7. Call Queueing

Call queuing keeps callers in a virtual queue until an agent is available to speak with them, or while they wait to be routed, forwarded, or transferred to the right representative.

Note that not all call queues are first come, first served, as they can be customized according to preset call rules and routing strategies. Call queuing also gives agents time to review information the caller entered into the IVR system and pull up relevant support documents or client information.

 

8. Automated Callbacks

While custom hold music or pre-recorded messages about upcoming sales or products are great for brief holds, an automated customer callback feature helps callers avoid lengthy hold times.

Automated Callbacks

Instead of waiting for an available agent, callers can instead schedule a callback from an agent at the time and date of their choosing. Often, agents are automatically assigned callbacks to ensure customer follow-ups.

 

9. Analytics and KPIs

VoIP service provides a variety of both real-time and historical analytics presented in interactive, shareable, and customizable report templates.

Metrics can be customized by agent, department, date range, keyword, and more.

Common call center metrics include:

 

10. Additional Communication Channels

Many VoIP providers don’t just offer voice calling within their business phone software. They offer additional communication channels like web conferencing, business text messaging, virtual faxing, social media messaging, and instant chat.

Omnichannel Contact Center

All channels are unified within one automatically synced, omnichannel interface that lets users seamlessly switch between channels without leaving the app.

1. Nextiva »

Nextiva is a cloud-based Unified Communications platform streamlining voice and video calling, CRM tools, chat messaging, and its CoSpace collaboration suite into one platform.

nextiva nextos home

 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Advanced native CRM features not offered by most VoIP providers
  • Productivity and Analytics add-ons offer bulk feature upgrades like email, meeting recording, and gamification
  • 24/7 email, chat, phone customer support on all plans

 

Cons: 

  • Call recording only available on most expensive plan
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • All video meetings limited to just 45 minutes each

 

Key Features

Nextiva key features

Key Nextiva features include:

  • Native CRM features and customer card Call Pop powered by Caller AI
  • Drag-and-Drop Call Flow Builder
  • CoSpace internal/external collaboration tool with team chat, public/private channels, file/link sharing, task management, screen sharing, meeting scheduling, etc.
  • Unlimited calling and conference calls in US/Canada
  • 1,500-12,500 monthly toll-free minutes included
  • SMS/MMS
  • Call queueing, call waiting, call forwarding
  • Simultaneous ringing
  • Voicemail-to-email/SMS
  • HD Voice
  • Call recording
  • User presence/status
  • Multi-level auto attendance
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Advanced interactive analytics

 

Pricing

Nextiva has three paid plans, and pricing options for 20-99 users are: The Essential Plan for $18.95/user/month, The Professional Plan for $22.95/user/month, and The Enterprise Plan for $32.95/user/month.

 

Best For

Nextiva is best for remote/blended SMBs that need a VoIP provider offering voice, video, team chat, and SMS/MMS messaging in a unified dashboard. It’s ideal for businesses with a high daily call volume that rely on real-time CRM call pops to expedite sales and customer service.

 

2. RingCentral »

RingCentral is a VoIP provider that combines Messaging, Phone, and Video into an intuitive, feature-rich cloud platform for desktop and mobile.

RingCentral App

 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Refreshingly easy-to-use desktop app
  • Strong security and reliability: 99.999% guaranteed uptime, end-to-end-encryption, multi-factor authentication, fraud mitigation tools
  • 24/7 live chat and phone support for all plans, plus robust RingCentral University user knowledge base

 

Cons: 

  • Essentials Plan unusable for many due to lack of integrations, SMS texting, external video meetings, and multi-level IVR
  • Lengthy and complex installation/setup process
  • Limited hardware compatibility often requires purchase of new equipment directly from RingCentral

 

Key Features

RingCentral key features

Key RingCentral features include:

  • Customizable intelligent routing strategies (Skills-Based, Round Robin, Fixed Order, Time-Based) Talk Time, Percentage-Based
  • RingOut one-click calling
  • Shared lines
  • Voicemail-to-email and visual voicemail
  • Multi-level IVR
  • Automatic call recording and call monitoring
  • Hot desking
  • Predictive, Preview, and Progressive outbound auto dialers
  • Unlimited 200-participant video meetings with chat/file sharing, live transcription, whiteboard, screen sharing, breakout rooms, always-on team huddle rooms, Presentation mode
  • 200+ third-party integrations
  • Superior real-time and historical analytics (30 pre-built KPIs, QoS reporting, Meeting reports
  • Local numbers in 200+area codes
  • Call screening
  • Call presence
  • Call delegation
  • Call forwarding, call flip, call park

 

Pricing

RingCentral offers 4 paid plans, with pricing for 1-20 users as follows: The Essentials Plan for $19.99/user/month, the Standard Plan at $27.99/user/month, the Premium Plan at $34.99/user/month, and the Ultimate Plan for $49.99/user/month.

 

Best For

RingCentral is best for call centers or sales teams that often rely on automations, CRM integrations, and auto dialers to manage a high daily outbound call volume. Managers will benefit from high-level real-time call queue and agent activity updates, while the easily editable Visual Dial Plan Editor streamlines inbound call flow optimization. RingCentral users will likely rely on phone communication for most of their business needs, but have frequent video meetings and need an “always-on” team chat space.

 

3. Vonage »

Vonage is a highly scalable cloud phone system with voice calling, virtual faxing, texting, video conferencing, and team chat features.

Vonage VoIP service

 

Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • Advanced call recording options including on-demand, automatic, company-wide, and automatic call recording–plus agent-specific recording, client-specific recording, and hours-based recording
  • AI-powered Conversation Analyzer tool for detailed call insights
  • High number of third-party integrations and custom communications APIs for a la carte features

 

Cons:

  • Several key features, including call queuing, an omnichannel business Inbox, company-wide and on-demand call recording, and an audio conference bridge are available only as paid add-ons
  • Frequent customer complaints about lack of quality support
  • Without add-ons or third-party integrations, Vonage is too basic for the price

 

Key Features

Vonage key features

Key Vonage features include:

  • Never Miss A Call routing and forwarding tool
  • Call Announce (announces caller name and reason for call to agents before connection)
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Auto Attendant
  • HD Voice
  • SMS/MMS
  • Virtual voicemail (access voicemail anywhere), visual voicemail, voicemail-to-email
  • iOS and Android mobile app
  • Vonage Meetings video conferencing and collaboration tools
  • Team Messaging
  • Click-to-Dial
  • Caller ID
  • Spam Shield, Call Screening
  • Call waiting, call tagging, call filters, call forwarding, call hold, call parking, call flip
  • Simultaneous ringing and shared line appearance

 

Pricing

Vonage Business Communications (VBC) offers 3 paid plans, with pricing for 10 users as follows: the Mobile Plan for $17.99/month/line, the Premium Plan for $27.99/month/line, and the Advanced plan for $37.00/month/line.

 

Best For

Vonage is best for mostly in-house teams looking for a highly scalable phone system they can build a la carte as their business needs evolve. Vonage users likely already use several business communication applications, and are looking for a compatible VoIP provider.

 

4. Dialpad »

Dialpad is an AI-powered cloud communications platform offering phone calling, team chat messaging, SMS, and video meetings.

Dialpad Talk

Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • 100% uptime
  • Real-time call transcription with machine learning for more accurate transcriptions over time
  • Local phone numbers in over 50 countries

 

Cons:

  • Lack of integrations with cheapest plan
  • Advanced plans require users to purchase 100 lisences
  • Video meeting participants limited to 10

 

Key Features

Dialpad key features

  • Unlimited calling, MMS, and SMS
  • AI-powered Vi Assisstant (Real-time coaching, action item identification, caller sentiment analysis, trigger/keyword recognition)
  • Call routing with custom off-hours routing
  • Unlimited video meetings
  • Call monitoring, call recording, call barge, call whisper
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Call forwarding, call transfer, call hold, call queuing
  • Dialpad Departments (ring groups)
  • 24/7 chat and online ticketing support

 

Pricing

Dialpad Business Communications suite offers three plans: the Standard Plan for $15.00/user/month, the Pro Plan for $25.00/user/month, and the Enterprise Plan (contact Dialpad for a quote.)

 

Best For

Dialpad is best for small teams that handle high daily contact volumes across multiple channels. These teams need to rely on AI-powered assistance and automation to optimize call center agents and need an affordable, high-value VoIP provider.

 

5. Zoom Phone »

Zoom Phone is a basic cloud-based VoIP service designed to work alongside the Zoom Meetings video conferencing platform or as a feature of Zoom’s UCaaS software, Zoom One.

Zoom Phone

Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • Familair, intuitive interface that works perfectly with Zoom Meetings
  • Users can scale up to Zoom One for combined video meetings, phone, and messaging capabilities in one dashboard
  • High number of third-party integrations and in-call apps, Zoom’s popularity means business software companies eager to create Zoom-comptaible integrations first

 

Cons:

  • Lack of shared voicemail box leads to miscommunucations and longer resolution times
  • Call analytics are limited compared to other top providers
  • No guaranteed uptime listed

 

Key Features

Zoom Phone key features

Zoom Phone key features include:

  • One-click chat messaging to voice call, or voice call to video call
  • SMS/MMS
  • Intelligent call routing, IVR, auto attendant
  • HD Audio
  • Call recording and voicemail transcription
  • Call coaching tools (monitor, whisper, barge, takeover)
  • HIPAA compliance
  • 3-way ad hoc conference calling
  • Chat messaging
  • Call park, call flip, shared line appearance
  • BYOC

 

Pricing

Zoom Phone users must have a current Zoom Meetings account to access VoIP services, but given there’s a free Zoom Meetings plan, this doesn’t have to add to your expenses.

Users can choose from: Zoom Phone’s Pay As You Go Plan for $120.00/user/month, upgrade to the Unlimited Regional Calling Plan for $180/user/year, or opt for the Pro Global Select Plan for $240/user/year.

Zoom Phone is also available as a part of the Zoom One UCaaS platform, which offers five plans: the Free Plan, the Pro Plan for $150/user/year, he Business Plan for $200/user/year, the Business Plus Plan for $250/user/year, and the quote-based Enterprise Plan.

 

Best For

Zoom Phone is best for current Zoom Meetings users that want to add VoIP phone calling capabilities to their video conferencing platform. It’s also a great fit for remote/blended teams that primarily communicate via video, chat/social media/SMS messaging, or email, but that want to be ab.e to offer basic business phone communication to customers. These teams may be interesting in scaling up their business phone system to Zoom One UCaaS, adding Zoom Webinar, or building Zoom Rooms (conference rooms.)

 

6. 8×8 »

8×8 is an all-in-one cloud PBX solution offering voice calling, video conferencing, and chat messaging alongside team collaboration features.

8x8 phone system

 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • 99.999% SLA uptime
  • All plans include video calling
  • Advanced analytics

 

Cons:

  • Frequent dropped calls and glitches with call transfers
  • High learning curve, especially given lack of available customer support
  •  Lack of integrations when compared to competitors

 

Key Features

8x8 key features

Key 8×8 features include:

  • 8×8 Work App (desktop, mobile, and web app)
  • Unlimited calling in US and Canada
  • ACD and IVR
  • Call queueing, hot desking, caller ID, call hold, call transfer, call forwarding
  • Ring groups
  • Post-Call Survey
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Presence detection
  • Automated callbacks
  • Call waiting, caller ID
  • Unlijmited global calling in 47 countries
  • Call analytics
  • Virtual faxing
  • Team chat messaging
  • Video and audio conferencing with screensharing and live streaming to YouTube
  • Auto attendant
  • Call routing
  • Call barge, call monitor, call whisper

 

Pricing

8×8 Business Communications has three paid plans: the Express Plan for $15.00/user/month, the X2 Plan for $24.00/user/month, and the X4 Plan for $44.00/user/month.

 

Best For

8×8 is best for enterprise-level call centers looking for a high level of customization, AI-powered analytics, and unlimited international calling in nearly 50 countries.

 

7. GoTo Connect »

GoTo Connect is a business phone system compatible with other GoTo communications and collaboration tools like GoTo Meeting, GoTo Webinar, and GoTo Contact Center. GoTo Connect unifies business Cloud PBX voice calling, video meetings, and messaging in an all-in-one platform.

GoTo Connect Cloud Phone System

 

Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • All plans include unlimited extensions, video conferencing, team chat, and audio conferencing
  • Integrates with close to 200 desk phones
  • Highly scalable, includes add-ons like the Contact Center platform, Microsoft Teams PBX, Plugin, or Connector

 

Cons:

  • Industry-specific integrations favored over standard, popular third-party platforms
  • Seriously lacking customer support and outdated/incomplete online knowledge base
  • Lack of end-to-end encryption

 

Key Features

GoTo Connect key features

Key GoTo Connect features include:

  • Advanced Dial Plan Editor with unlimited auto attendants and IVR menus
  • Call monitor, call barge, call whisper
  • Hot desking, call park, call flip, call transfer, call forwarding
  • Spam filtering and call blocking
  • Dial-by-Name Directory
  • Call queuing
  • Voicemail-to-text and voicemail-to-email
  • Ring groups and shared lines for up to 16 desk phones/8 lines
  • SMS and MMS
  • Toll-free, local, and vanity numbers (international minutes sold in bundles)
  • User presence
  • Advanced call filters
  • Shared and individual voicemail
  • Call logs
  • Call waiting, call hold
  • Custom hold music/playlists/greetings/messages

 

Pricing

GoTo Connect offers three paid plans, with pricing for 2-10 users as follows: The Basic Plan for $24.00/user/month, the Standard Plan for $29.00/user/month, and the Premium Plan from $43.00/user/month.

 

Best For

GoTo Connect is best for in-house or blended small teams that need to rely heavily on IVR/automation to manage call flows to avoid having to hire additional agents. GoTo users frequently edit/optimize their call flow strategies and ring groups, but still prefer to steer clear of overly complex business phone providers. It’s also ideal for current Microsoft Teams users needing a more robust phone system than the native Teams Phone app, or businesses already using other software within the GoTo universe.

 

8. Grasshopper »

Grasshopper is a VoIP phone number provider offering toll-free, local, and vanity numbers alongside number porting. It’s a bare-bones, basic VoIP service for newer or micro businesses that want an additional phone number and a quick setup process.

Grasshopper Screen

 

Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • A “no frills” VoIP service ideal for startups and solopreneurs
  • Easy-to-use, no lengthy onboarding or setup process
  • Voice Studio for professionally recorded greetings is available for $75.00/recording

 

Cons: 

  • Limited features when compared to other providers
  • Pricing is expensive given the lack of features
  • Lack of third-party integrations

 

Key Features

Grasshopper app

Key Grasshopper features include:

  • Business SMS
  • Call forwarding and call transfer
  • Visual voicemail
  • Virtual faxing
  • A Desktop and Mobile App
  • Instant Response (sends a text to missed calls)
  • Call screening and blocking
  • Call Blasting,  Virtual Ruby Receptionist, and International Calling add-ons
  • Call logs

 

Pricing

Grasshopper offers three paid plans with the same features–the only difference between them is the number of phone numbers and extensions included with each plan. Users can choose the Solo Plan for $26.00/month for 1 phone number and 3 extensions, the Partner Plan for $44.00/month for 3 phone numbers and 6 extensions, or the Small Business Plan for $80.00/month for 5 phone numbers and unlimited extensions.

 

Best For

Grasshopper is best for solopreneurs or teams of under 5 that need a VoIP phone number to add legitimacy to a newer or smaller business (or to avoid having to give out their personal number.) It’s ideal for teams that only occasionally make/receive phone calls and will only need the most basic essential features.

 

9. Ooma »

Ooma is a VoIP provider for small businesses and startups offering basic voice calling, SMS texting, video conferencing, team chat, and virtual faxing.

Ooma Office

 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Caller Info Match feature offers CRM call pops and pulls caller data from social media platforms
  • Affordable month-to-month plans, no annual contracts
  • Auto-configuration simplifies the setup and installation process

 

Cons:

  • Lack of transparency regarding phone system security, end-to-end encryption only available when calling other Ooma users
  • Basic features, when combined with a lack of key third-party integrations, will be too limiting for some
  • Frequent complaints of dropped calls and low call quality

 

Key Features

ooma call queueing summary

Key Ooma features include:

  • Call park, call flip, call forwarding, call transfer, call blocking
  • Virtual receptionist, ring groups, sequential and simultaneous ringing
  • Hold and transfer music
  • Ooma Meetings video calling
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail-to-email and voicemail transcription
  • Call routing, auto attendant, and IVR
  • Virtual faxing
  • SMS texting
  • Call logs
  • Hot desking
  • Team chat messaging
  • Call monitor, barge, whisper
  • Shared line appearance
  • Enhanced call blocking

 

Pricing

Ooma Office offers three business phone plans: the Essentials Plan for $19.95/user/month, the Pro Plan for $24.95/user/month, and the Pro Plus Plan for $29.95/user/month.

 

Best For

Ooma is best for small teams needing a basic business phone system that’s compatible with their existing hardware. They prioritize affordability and a fast setup process over advanced features, but do need a VoIP provider with a robust mobile app. They may be in the startup phase of their business and need lead nurturing features like Caller Info Match.

 

10. Microsoft Teams Phone »

The Microsoft Teams Phone System is a cloud-based voice calling application for the Microsoft Teams collaboration tool.

Microsoft Teams Phone

 

Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • Intuitive and user-friendly, especially for current Teams users
  • Affordable, with plans starting at just $8.00/user/month
  • All plans include video calling

 

Cons:

  • Not a viable option for those who are not current Microsoft Teams users
  • External calling requires complicated add-ons like Direct Routing or Operator Connect
  • Domestic Calling Plan only includes 3,000 minutes/month for US, Canada, and UK users, and only 1,200 minutes/month for the rest of the world

 

Key Features

Microsoft Teams Phone CRM Integration

Key Microsoft Teams Phone features include:

  • “Speed Dial” favorite contacts
  • Visual Voicemail (text-to-speech or record greeting, voicemail transcription, custom out-of-office greeting with timer, call answer rules, multilingual greetings)
  • Shared lines/shared voicemail
  • Auto attendant with Dial by Name or Extension Directory
  • Cloud call queues with hold music/greeting message, call timeout, and custom call overflow management
  • Basic call history (time of call, ingoing or outgoing, call length)
  • Simultaneous ringing and contact groups
  • Call delegate
  • Caller ID and call blocking
  • Call forwarding, call merge, call park, basic call routing, call hold
  • Call transfer (blind, consult then transfer, ring back)
  • Video calling with screen share
  • 99.99% uptime SLA

 

Pricing

Microsoft Teams Phone has three plans: the Standard Phone Plan for $8.00/user/month, the Phone With Calling Plan for $15.00/user/month, and the Microsoft 365 E5 plan for $57.00/user/month. Custom pricing is also available. The Standard plan lets users make/receive voice and video calls via the PSTN or an Internet connection, while the Phone With Calling plan and Microsoft 365 E5 plans include a business phone number and PSTN service from Microsoft.

 

Best For

Microsoft Teams Phone is best for current Microsoft 365 users that need to add basic internal voice and video calling capabilities to their team collaboration suite. Team Phone users are mobile-first and want to be able to attend teamwide video meetings or make phone calls on-the-go. Because toll-free dialing, domestic calling, and international calls require a third-party plan or force users to upgrade to the Phone With Calling Plan, it’s not right for large-scale businesses that need a more feature-rich call center solution.

When choosing a VoIP provider, use the key factors below to evaluate VoIP providers quality:

  • Network Reliability and Guaranteed Uptime (99.9% uptime and above is standard)
  • Pricing Structure (Bundled Monthly Plans vs Pay-As-You-Go)
  • Scalability (Can scale plans and add-ons up or down according to current/future needs)
  • Security and Privacy (SOC II Type 2, HIPAA, GDPR Compliance, E2EE, 2FA, etc.)
  • Available Features (Call Routing, Call Forwarding, Call Recording, IVR, ACD, etc.)
  • Available Integrations (Works with existing third-party business software)

VoIP services offer numerous benefits to SMBs and Enterprise-level companies alike.

Top VoIP benefits include:

  • Increased first call resolution rates
  • Advanced customer self-service options
  • More team mobility and flexibility (ideal for remote/blended teams)
  • Improved team productivity and a more balanced workload
  • Streamlined business processes thanks to AI and automation
  • Increased customer satisfaction and decreased employee turnover
  • Detailed insight into agent, department, and overall call center activity via analytics
  • Higher levels of customization and personalization

VoIP services can save 49-69% on monthly telephone costs by:

  • Eliminating the need to purchase and maintain expensive hardware
  • Cutting costs of hiring in-house IT teams and additional agents
  • Using existing communication and IT equipment (desktop computers, smartphones, etc.)
  • Reducing high costs of long-distance phone calls (unlimited VoIP US/Canada calling)
  • Dramatically lowering setup installation costs
  • Eliminating need to purchase and set up additional phone line
  • Hundreds of free calling features that you typically pay for with landlines
  • Free paperless faxing

VoIP has a much higher call quality than traditional landlines, but some wonder if VoIP services are as stable and reliable as the PSTN.

Quality VoIP providers will have a minimum guaranteed uptime of 99.9%, though the coveted “Five Nine” metric (99.999% uptime) is the gold standard.

Global Points of Presence (geographically diverse data centers) cement a high uptime by establishing network redundancy. Essentially, this means even if one data center goes offline, the others will keep the VoIP software going until a connection is reestablished.

Quality providers also offer :

  • 24/7/365 network monitoring and speed testing
  • Real-time network status update page
  • Call quality data/analytics
  • Carrier-grade/Tier 1 data centers

The quality of your existing broadband Internet connection is the number-one factor when it comes to establishing consistent, reliable VoIP service.

Note that users, not the VoIP provider, are responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own Internet connection.

In general, each VoIP phone line requires 100Kbps of bandwidth per phone line to maintain a consistent connection. Contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) directly to upgrade your bandwidth.

Rely on an ethernet connection and router, not WiFi, to power VoIP software.

Not only is WiFi connectivity inconsistent when compared to hardwire ethernet – it’s also far less secure (especially if users connect on a public WiFi network.) To ensure your VoIP system is as secure as possible, always look for providers offering data encryption to protect your Local Area Network (LAN.)

If you’re ready to transition to VoIP, follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful process:

 

Step 1. Choose between Hosted or On-Premise VoIP Providers

Hosted (Cloud-Based) VoIP is hosted and managed by the third-party provider, while On-Premise VoIP means your business hosts, maintains, and physically houses all VoIP hardware on-site. Hosted VoIP offers easy scalability and is more cost-effective, while Premise-Based VoIP gives businesses a greater level of security and control.

 

Step 2. Select A Provider

Next, select the VoIP provider that works with your budget, meets your current and future needs, integrates with existing software, and has a user interface your team can quickly learn to navigate and operate.

 

Step 3. Create a Business Phone Number

Most providers include at least one local telephone number in their bundled plans, giving your business a phone number with an area code that is familiar to your customers. Many businesses will opt to port in existing telephone numbers. Toll-Free numbers (800,888, etc.) and Vanity Number (1-800-WESELLCARS) will also be available for purchase. Some providers offer international phone numbers.

 

Step 4. Purchase VoIP Equipment/Hardware

If you’ve selected a hosted VoIP service, you’ll really only need the device(s) you want to make/receive calls on, a high-speed broadband Internet connection and router, Ethernet Cable, and an Analog Phone Adapter (ATA.) You may also want to purchase headsets, provider-compatible desk phones, and speakers.

 

Step 5. Start Using VoIP Service

The setup and installation process for VoIP services usually takes one day or less, so you’ll be able to use your VoIP platform quickly. However, take the time to train employees on how to properly use the system.

How much does VoIP service cost?

Though the cost of VoIP service varies by provider, your selected plan, and the features it includes, the average cost of a VoIP phone system ranges from $20.00 to $50.00 and up per user, per month.

 

What is the cheapest VoIP provider?

The cheapest VoIP provider is Google Voice, as it offers a free virtual phone number with a desktop and mobile softphone interface, SMS texting, a basic call log, and visual voicemail.

 

Can you use VoIP without a provider?

No, you need a VoIP provider in order to access VoIP calling and other virtual business phone system features. However, you don’t need to purchase new hardware/equipment for VoIP calling, as it’s compatible with any internet-enabled device including your current smartphone or laptop computer.

 

What is required for VoIP setup?

The VoIP setup process is fast, easy, and doesn’t require expensive, bulky equipment. You’ll need a working broadband internet connection with a minimum of 10 Mbps, the device you want to make phone calls with, a router, and an Ethernet cable. Additional–but not required–VoIP equipment may include a backup power supply, an Analog Telephone Adapter, headsets, and microphones.

 

Can I text a VoIP number?

You can text any VoIP number that offers SMS (and, if you’re sending media, MMS) messaging–including a text-enabled landline. VoIP providers usually offer free unlimited inbound SMS/MMS messaging and pay-as-you-go or bulk outbound texting plans.

 

Can I use VoIP on my cell phone?

You can access your VoIP business phone system from any device with Internet access, including Apple iOS or Android smartphones, desktop computers, VoIP-enabled desk phones, and tablets. Some features, however, may be limited on the mobile app.

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