How To Choose Between the Top Office Phone Providers: 10 Simple Checks
In the old days, “Ma Bell” was the only option for phone service. Even after regulators broke up the monopoly, a business had only a handful of choices for office phone providers.
Now, voice over internet protocol and the free market has allowed dozens of players into the communications market. While the wealth of options allows a company to select the ideal service, all of the alternatives can quickly become overwhelming.
To make it easy for you, we’ve broken down what a business should look for and the features you need in an office phone provider.
- The best office phone providers do not compromise on customer support and reliability.
- Compliance and security are key office phone features.
- Look for unified communications, software integrations, cloud-based service, and advanced features from an internet phone provider.
- A business phone service should provide outstanding call quality at a reasonable price.
1. Excellent Customer Support: The Hallmark of Top Office Phone Providers
When there were only a few names in each town for office phone providers, service could be notoriously bad. Whether home or professional service, getting help with a communications solution often required long wait times.
More competition means that phone companies should be tripping over themselves to offer you premier service, but not all systems are equal. All-hours availability and an obsession with satisfaction are a must in the 21st century.
Award-winning support is a particular concern for small and medium-sized businesses that are tight on time and resources. You should have an office phone provider that is a true partner for your success.
2. Impeccable Reliability
What’s better than getting support when a line goes down or you have a problem? Rarely dealing with downtime at all.
Find a provider that can guarantee 99.999% uptime. That equates to a little more than five minutes of downtime in a year.
Save yourself time and hassle by working with a reliable team as you compare office phone providers. You’ll gain near-perfect continuity and avoid unnecessary interruptions to your essential operations.
3. Compliance and Security
The top office phone providers deliver service through internet connectivity (more on that later). With data flowing through the web, you have to be sure that the information is not susceptible to hackers. Data protection guards your customers against headaches and preserves your reputation.
The concern is even more vital if you work in fields with strict regulations, such as legal, health care, or financial. Your provider should proactively help you address compliance, security, and privacy requirements so you, your clients, and your partners have peace of mind.
4. Unified Communications
Omnichannel communications are no longer a bonus feature but a modern necessity. Your provider should offer talk, text, video conferencing, online faxing, and screen sharing in one package. Instead of contracting with numerous vendors to handle each aspect of communications, you simplify things by working with one provider.
Unified communications also mean a truly integrated system. If your business needs a contact center, your internal and external phone lines should work together for a seamless experience and better customer service.
5. Productivity Integrations
You rely on numerous apps and software to run your business. Office phone providers that care about helping their clients succeed provide an integrations platform that lets you connect your company apps to your communications system.
You’ll boost productivity by streamlining your workflow and maximizing employee efficiency. The user-friendly setup also means you don’t require a heavy IT investment to get things up and running.
As your communications and productivity apps work hand in hand, you’ll drive customer retention and boost revenue.
6. Communications Archiving
Another issue that arises is the ability to access your emails, calls, chats, and communications data later. Whether you need past conversations for employee reviews, training, compliance, or legal cases, archiving should be easy to deploy, integrate, and use.
Your system should capture all conversations on company channels automatically without you having to take additional steps after activation. An administrative dashboard can offer powerful contextual searches of your archives by content and metadata to isolate relevant information.
7. Cloud-Based Flexibility
The premier office phone providers rarely use the “plain old telephone service” on copper lines. The reason is that cloud-based phone service over the web provides more features and flexibility at a better cost.
More companies are operating on a remote or hybrid basis, meaning team members need access to company communications services at home or on the move. You could let your employees use their own cell phones and email addresses. However, you’d lose the compliance, security, and data ownership you have inside your communications software.
With cloud-based service, your team could still use their own devices while connecting safely to your system.
8. Superior Connection Quality
Broadband internet offers high-definition call quality that analog lines can only dream about. That connectivity also means that you can rely on superb service for a worldwide team.
9. Reasonable Pricing
Acquiring advanced features, remote connectivity, and productivity integrations used to require a substantial portion of your budget. Now, stellar office phone providers can offer all of the elements you need for less than what most families spend on groceries.
Not only that, but subscribing to unified communications as a service helps you generate income, offering a valuable return on investment. Compare pricing to verify a plan fits your budget.
10. Advanced Features
The features that can enhance your business communications are too many to list here. Be sure to check that your phone system offers common services, such as the following:
- Automated attendants and custom greetings
- Interactive voice response
- Virtual voicemail
- Call analytics
- Vanity and local numbers
With such features, you can craft a business phone system that fits your needs and presents a professional image.
Intermedia: The Top Choice in Office Phone Providers
The optimal balance between cost, reliability, and features from office phone providers is achieved with a reputable cloud-based system. For the best in professional phone systems, contact Intermedia to discover how Unite can fill your communications needs.