The right phone service provider can help make your Bristol, CT business a great success. Most businesses, both small and large, have an online presence, but the telephone is still the first way that customers get in touch with a company they would like to do business with. Because of this, the right phone service is essential for anyone who owns or operates a business, so you will want to make sure you find a phone service provider that gives you the service that you need. The company you choose should be both affordable and reliable and able to provide you with different features. Before you make your final decision as to who you want to use, evaluate the service types available in your area. You'll find that analog service and VoIP service are the two types that are the main ones near you. Each one has different features and qualities, so it is important to compare the two before you decide which one is right for your business and for your budget.
Business VoIP: What is it?
VoIP (short for 'voice over internet protocol') is a relatively new means of communication that presents business owners in Bristol, CT with an alternate choice to standard landlines. Though VoIP has been around for over 15 years at this point, lately its use has become much more commonplace, and an ever-growing number of corporations are switching over to it and giving the boot to their regular POTS (plain old telephone service). In addition, new businesses - particularly smaller-sized start-up companies - tend to opt for VoIP for their professional communications demands. The quality of calls made over VoIP is no different than that of an old-fashioned telephone line, even for calls that take place over the Internet. It is advisable to verify that you have a solid business network connection for dependable VoIP reception. You might want to try out Wirefly's Internet Connection Speed Test to find out if your present connection speed is compatible with VoIP.
The fundamental distinction between VoIP and POTS comes down to how phone calls are sent and received. With a POTS system, phone calls are transmitted primarily through an analog data frequency. With VoIP, every phone call is electronically encoded and sent over the web instead. Communicating over the Internet is much more cost-effective than doing it over a standard signal, enabling you to take and make calls at cheaper rates. If you place a lot of calls to overseas countries, you'll notice that VoIP carriers bill much less for international calls than regular phone service providers. Numerous companies also offer fixed rate plans that let you make limitless calls to various countries without adding on per-minute fees.
A commercial VoIP plan may include any communications function that you could ever need for your Bristol, CT enterprise. A stockpile of unique features will be at your disposal, including multiple lines, ring groups, call waiting, caller ID, innumerable voicemail features, and much more.
Most professional VoIP companies in Bristol, CT have a selection of plans developed to accommodate the demands of organizations of all sizes. It doesn't matter if you're a small, single-line business or a huge firm with hundreds of lines; you can always find a VoIP system that will satisfy you.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider in Bristol, CT
You'll find that there are many service providers who will try and get you to hire their business in Bristol, CT. Use the competition you will find to your advantage while you compare and contrast their different plans and rates. Don't settle for the first company that comes your way, and don't let any sales people push you into choosing their plan before you understand what you are getting into.
You'll always want to make a list of the services you absolutely have to have for your company. You may need call forwarding because you close certain days and hours and need to get your calls right away. You could need multiple lines for your larger company or just one for your small store.
Then, look up different offers from business VoIP providers. Check out what type of features they provide and how much they are. You should also double-check their reputation before choosing a company. If they have poor customer service, this isn't a good sign. Remember, your customers need to get ahold of you, so a working phone line is an essential part of owning a business. If a company has too many complaints against them, you may consider passing them by, no matter how cheap they are.
Understanding Traditional Business Phone Service
Traditional phone services carry all calls over the PSTN, which is the public switched telephone network. The PSTN network is what has been in use for about a hundred years and was the very first phone network to be used. It is available all over the country and is made up of satellites, cables, telephone lines and mobile networks. Most customers think of this type of service when they are considering a business phone service, only because it is what they are used to.
However, a PSTN phone service can cost more in Bristol, CT than VoIP service. This is mostly due to the fact that the PSTN infrastructure is old and requires ongoing maintenance to it. Since PSTN is analog, it makes it harder to send data over longer distances.
Making a long distance call with PSTN means that the data sent will have to make numerous stops at locations along the way. Data flows through equipment that is owned by a number of different companies, causing this type of call to be more expensive. While much of the infrastructure that is used to carry, switch and route the telephone calls is completely digital, the “last mile', as it is known, is still an analog connection made between the customer and the local central office.
Using a PBX With An Analog Phone System
Most Bristol, CT businesses use a private branch exchange, called a PBX, to route the numerous calls they receive. Having a business phone service in place enables the PBX to allow for the use of such important calling features beyond sending and receiving calls, such as multiple extensions, voicemail, call forwarding and conference calls.
Using a traditional PSTN phone system, the PBX either be located on the business's premises, or situated at a remote location. But no matter where the analog PBX is located, its operation can prove very expensive. Setting up a complete business phone system using a PBX requires the purchase of various types of hardware that usually means an investment of at least $1,000. Beyond that initial investment are the costs for installation, configuration and maintenance. A business owner will need to either have an in-house technical staff member handle these chores, or hire an outside professional, translating to costs of $100 an hour or more.
Know that upgrading and expanding a traditional PBX system for your Bristol, CT business phone service needs may prove expensive as well as challenging. Many PBX systems can only support a limited number of lines. As your business grows, you will have to pay for more hardware, installation and maintenance costs when adding more extensions.
PBX systems, like other types of electronic hardware, are subject to frequent problems and breakdowns that can adversely affect your business communications, usually at the most inopportune times. Be prepared to pay for expensive repair and hardware replacement costs whenever anything goes wrong with your PBX. Any PBX system also becomes obsolete over time and needs to be updated or replaced, adding additional expenses to your business' bottom line.
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