Guide to Getting the Best Business Phone Service
Choosing the right business phone service is an important decision for any company. Just like your website and brick and mortar location, the phone is one of the primary ways that customers, clients and employees alike contact you.
Because of the faceless nature of the internet, having a more personal method of contact through the phone also adds legitimacy to your business. Given these benefits the need for a solid business phone service is clear, however, how to go about choosing the best one isn’t always as obvious.
Business Phone Service Options
Today, business owners can choose from a wide variety of phone services. From mobile phone plans for you and your employees to international calling plans there is a business phone service for every type of company.
Traditional Business Phone Lines
Cable phone lines are the traditional method for delivering business phone services. Phone companies like AT&T have been providing this type of business phone service for decades. The benefits of this type of phone service are the clarity and reliability because it doesn’t rely on an internet connection.
VoIP Business Phone Service
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone services use the internet rather than telephone lines to route phone calls. The big advantage with this type of business phone service is the cost savings. It’s also a great choice for businesses that don't currently have land lines in place.
Vonage is an industry leader at providing VoIP business phone services and the first major provider of this type of service. Comcast has also recognized the advantages of this new delivery method and has begun offering business VoIP phone service of its own.
Using Skype for Your Business Phone Service
Skype has gained popularity for the last few years, offering a unique type of phone service that is centered around video chatting that uses VoIP technology. Many business owners like the ability to see the people they are talking to as well as the fact that Skype is currently a free service if you are making calls from one computer to another. If you would like an Online phone number that people can call from their phones local rates will apply.
International Calling Services for Businesses
Phone service that includes international calling is a good idea for any business that regularly makes or receives calls from overseas. Many local calling plans will include the U.S., U.S. territories, Canada and Mexico. If you need plans for calling outside those areas you should consider adding on an international calling plan to your local phone service.
Popular Business Phone Features to Look For
Business phone services today come included with many calling features depending on the plan you select. These features can make your business more productive and provide a better customer service experience. Below are common calling features that many businesses require.
- · Voicemail
- · Call waiting
- · Three way calling
- · Caller ID
- · Call transfer
Most phone companies have their own unique, advanced calling features that can be added onto a plan. For instance, Vonage has what they call Visual Voicemail which transcribes all of your voicemails and sends them to you either as an email or text. It is best to look through each provider’s calling features to see which ones will benefit your business best.
One very important feature that should not be overlooked when you’re getting a new business phone service is the ability to keep your existing number. Most phone companies are able to help you preserve your current number but verify this before signing up for a service.
Another thing to consider is the need for a toll free 1-800 number. There are a number of providers who specialize in creating 1-800 numbers for businesses.