With so many VoIP providers competing for your business, it’s easy for analysis paralysis to set in.

Comparison shopping for business phone systems doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, overwhelming process–but it does require some preparation.

Read on to learn how many VoIP providers to compare when shopping, how to speed up the evaluation process, and how to narrow down your list of potential platforms.

  • How Many VoIP Providers Should You Compare?
  • How To Find VoIP Providers To Comparison Shop
  • How To Narrow Your VoIP Provider List


How Many VoIP Providers Should You Compare?

We suggest comparing no more than 3-4 providers when shopping for a VoIP phone system for the first time. Comparing more than 4 providers makes the process needlessly complex, while any less makes it difficult to recognize differentiating factors and standout features.


How To Find VoIP Providers To Comparison Shop

Don’t rely on Google alone to help you find the best VoIP providers. Instead, use information from industry review sites, current customer reviews, social media, and online forums to build a solid list of potential business phone systems.


Industry Review Sites

Industry review sites (like the one you’re on right now!) are the most trustworthy sources when comparing potential VoIP providers. Websites like GetVoIP, Gartner, and TrustRadius save software buyers hundreds of hours by researching and testing popular business phone solutions, condensing their findings into digestible product reviews, white papers, and head-to-head provider comparisons.

SaaS review sites set the standards by which VoIP phone systems are evaluated, develop and refine industry benchmarks, and conduct hands-on product testing. While these sites may have relationships with VoIP providers, these connections serve consumers, not companies. Industry comparison sites use their relationships with providers to share new product developments, pricing updates, and upcoming features with readers. They develop software scoresheets, collect current user reviews, and liaise with top providers to anticipate industry trends and consumer needs.


Current Customer Reviews

While current customer reviews are an excellent resource when comparison shopping for VoIP providers, consider the source when evaluating user feedback. Provider websites will always feature five-star reviews, glowing customer stories, and heavily biased head-to-head competitor comparisons.

To get the full story, we suggest reading customer reviews on third-party websites that aren’t trying to sell you on a particular platform. These reviews should be from verified current users, dated within the past year, and contain clear pros and cons.


Social Media + Online Forums

Social media comments, Facebook reviews, and online forums like Reddit provide a wealth of insight into VoIP software user experience and customer satisfaction. Online comments don’t just highlight common customer frustrations–they also show you how providers respond to criticism.

Be aware, however, that some providers try to game the system by creating user accounts and leaving stellar fake reviews for themselves. To spot this unscrupulous practice, take a quick look at the user’s comment history, account creation date, and any forums/groups they belong to.


How To Narrow Your VoIP Provider List

Now that you have your top three VoIP providers, start comparison shopping by evaluating the below factors:


Available Features

Next, evaluate each provider’s VoIP features, using the table below to determine the completeness of available plans:

Essential VoIP Features “Nice to Have” VoIP Features Advanced VoIP Features
Unlimited local and long-distance calling via softphone desktop and mobile app SMS/MMS messaging and virtual faxing Omnichannel voice and digital communication across voice, SMS, video calling, chat, social media messaging, faxing, email, etc.
Local and toll-free business phone numbers with user extensions, free number porting Vanity phone numbers Outbound auto dialers and campaign management
Voicemail Voicemail transcription and voicemail-to-email (visual voicemail) Automated customer callback
Audio conference calling Video conferencing with breakout rooms, virtual whiteboards, screen sharing, and remote screen control Automated post-call notes, automated video meeting recaps with suggested action items and meeting highlight reel
Ring groups Call recording Call recording and transcription, screen recording
Auto attendant with ACD Multi-level IVR with drag-and-drop call flow builder Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA)
Call routing Intelligent (skills-based) call routing Omnichannel routing with shared agent inbox
Call forwarding, Find Me/Follow Me, call transfer, call hold, call park, call queueing, call block, Caller ID, call screening Hot desking, call flip, call monitoring, call barge, call whisper Post-call customer surveys
Basic third-party application integrations (email, team collaboration apps, file storage tools) Advanced integrations (CRM and helpdesk tools) Custom APIs and developer forums
Call history/call logs, Quality of Service (QoS) alerts, device usage analytics Real-time call center analytics AI-powered real-time and historical call center analytics with custom reporting, speech analytics, sentiment analysis
Team chat with user presence International calling Workforce management, agent scheduling, and employee engagement tools


Call Quality and Network Reliability

Next, consider each provider’s overall call quality and network reliability.

VoIP solutions should include:

  • HD voice with background noise suppression/cancellation
  • A minimum 99.9% SLA guaranteed uptime (99.999% is ideal)
  • Global points of presence for network redundancy
  • 24/7/365 network monitoring with real-time service alerts
  • Automated data backups, software updates, and a data recovery plan


Pricing, Plans, and Setup Costs

VoIP phone system pricing generally ranges from $15-$25+/user/month, though exact costs vary by provider, individual plan, and add-on features.

A quality VoIP platform offers:

  •  Annual and monthly payments (with annual payments offering a cost savings of at least 10-15%)
  • 3-4 scalable bundled plans
  • Individual add-on features
  • Compatible hardware
  • Basic user training via on-demand webinars or an online knowledge base

When evaluating costs, consider factors like:

  • Contract lengths and early termination fees
  • Volume discounts
  • Exclusive use discounts
  • Costs of additional end user training


Customer Support

Lots of VoIP providers claim to offer 24/7 customer support–but look closer to ensure you’re getting the full story.

Essential questions to ask VoIP providers when evaluating the quality of customer support include:

  • Is 24/7 support available on all plans, and if so, what channels are included?
  • What role do automated chatbots play in customer support? What percentage of support interactions are handled entirely by chatbots, and how long does it take to connect to a live support agent?
  • Is a paid priority support upgrade available, and if so, what does it include?
  • Does the provider offer end-user training, and if so, can it be customized to fit your specific business needs?
  • How long will the onboarding process take, and how helpful are self-service options like online knowledge bases or user forums? Are self-service support materials up-to-date?
  • Where are support agents located, and what is the average tenure of the provider’s customer support agents?
  • What languages are available for customer support?
  • What is the average incident response/resolution time?


Platform Security

Data privacy and security should be a top priority when choosing a VoIP solution for your business. Ask if communications are end-to-end encrypted, if admins can control user access, and how users are authenticated/verified.

Providers should also have a variety of third-party security and compliance certifications and standards, including:

  • HIPAA/HITECH, PCI, and GDPR compliance
  • ISO/IEC 27001 and SOC 2 Type 2 certification
  • Third-party penetration testing
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)


Mobility and Scalability

Next, consider the completeness of each provider’s mobile application–especially if you have a remote or blended workforce. Additionally, review overall platform scalability. Many VoIP platforms have tier-based pricing that lets users scale up from a basic business phone system to an AI omnichannel contact center as needed.


Hardware and Software Compatibility

Finally, take stock of all the business communication apps you will continue to use with your VoIP provider.

Ensure each potential provider integrates with your essential third-party software, like CRM platforms, helpdesk solutions, customer survey apps, team collaboration tools, etc. This gives you access toall your business tools within a single interface, eliminating app switching and syncing data across applications.

If you plan to continue to use existing hardware like VoIP phones, headsets, or conference room equipment, check for provider compatibility. Note that some providers offer VoIP hardware for sale directly on their websites, or for rent via Device as a Service (DaaS) programs.


Jump-Start Your VoIP Comparison Shopping Journey

Ready to comparison shop for VoIP providers? Our business VoIP comparison page is the best place to start.

Here, we combine insights on top VoIP system pricing, plans, pros+cons, user experience, standout features, security, and customer support. GetVoIP is designed to support you through every phase of the software buying experience, from initial inquiry to end-user onboarding. In addition to detailed provider overviews and head-to-head comparisons, we evaluate overall platform value, ease of use, flexibility, and third-party app compatibility. Let our industry experts do the hard work for you, so you can focus on your customers, your agents, and most importantly, your bottom line.