Picking VoIP or phone service vendors for your business can be a tedious exercise. There are dozens of options out there, local and national providers, and reviewing costs against pages and pages of terms of service can be a drawn out process. We can all agree, fine print is a foe of clarity and productivity, and we’ve seen plenty of seriously tiny font. On top of that, sifting through online reviews can be a maze of contrasting experiences. Part of what we do is vet vendors for our clients, making sure that they get the best service and the best price for their business. Here are some things we’ve learned to keep in mind when picking your VoIP or phone service provider:
Local Vs. National
Picking a local vendor has its own perks. Sure they don’t have the amount of resources that a national vendor can boast, but they have more on the line than national providers. To these small shops, their reputation is their bread and butter. So if you have an issue, getting a real person on the line and remediating can often be faster than trying to contact a customer support representative who is likely dealing with thousands of clients a day.
On the other hand, picking a poorly managed local vendor can mean less redundancy in their infrastructure. If they have an outage with multiple clients and their resources are spread thin, your needs can fall by the wayside. It’s important to consider both options against your business needs and service expectations.
Rapid Response Times
As they say, time is money. Downtimes can often be inevitable. Someone kicks over an important piece of equipment, or inclement weather hits hard. But rain or shine, you still have a business to run. Do your due diligence and conduct quality research on your provider before you sign a binding contract. Everyone will say they have less than 1% downtime and an almost immediate response rate. It’s important to sort out the dependable vendors from the opportunists with a good marketing budget.
Set Your Own Terms
Sales people are generally amenable over the phone and will sound like they can accommodate your requirements. But when the contract comes in, it’s almost always different than what they agreed to over the phone. Many people don’t read the terms of service and sign without verifying. Part of our vendor comparison includes a detailed analysis of the terms of service. We go to bat for clients to make sure they are not tied into an unfavorable agreement. Look out for the length of the contract, response times, service guarantees, and what your options are if your business endures unusually long downtime.
Ask Your MSP
Your managed service provider interacts with a variety of vendors, clients, and their contracts. They are your best source for honest reviews, and will know which line items are relevant and which are superfluous pricing tactics. They may even be open to helping you leverage other vendors quotes against your vendor of preference, that way you know you’re getting the best price and service.
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AlphaRidge is a leading IT support provider, located in NY. With over 15 years of managed services experience, AlphaRidge experts have solutions for your specific needs. We place the highest value on the protection and privacy of your data, and we maintain transparency to you with every service we provide. Our white glove on-site and remote service is designed to demystify IT and streamline your concerns into rapid solutions, so that you can focus on what you do best. Consider our team, your team.
Disclaimer: This blog post, in addition to any posts presented on the AlphaRidge blog are written for informational purposes only, and should not be seen as technological, financial, healthcare, legal, etc advice.