Despite technological advances in communication, the main way in which people get in touch with businesses is still the telephone. Therefore, choosing a telephone service for your business is very important. However, the effect your telephone service has in your business can be great, which is why it is also hard to choose the appropriate service. A good phone service provider will be reliable and affordable, as well as provide you with all the features your business requires. Evaluating different services and providers is vital so that way you will be able to choose the company that best suits your needs.
There are two types of business phone services offered in Oakland, IL: Traditional, analog telephone services and business VoIP service. Understanding the difference between them is key to choosing a provider. Below we will compare business phone services to give you the information you need to make the best choice.
VoIP Phone Service: What it is and How it Works
VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol and is one of the most recent types of phone services available in Oakland, IL. This is an alternative system that has been around for over ten years but is just now beginning to become more mainstream. A large number of businesses are making the switch from traditional phone service to VoIP, especially start-ups who are willing to try a new system. Call quality of a VoIP phone service is just the same as when you have a traditional phone line in place, even though the calls are made through the Internet. For this reason, a reliable business Internet connection is crucial to have in order to receive dependable VoIP service in Oakland, IL. If you want to make sure your connection supports VoIP, use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check.
Many people aren't aware of how VoIP phone service works, so they may shy away from it. VoIP carries calls through the Internet instead of a traditional analog signal that many people are used to. Sending calls through your Internet provider is actually much cheaper than the traditional way of making calls through telephone lines and cables. Calls can be made and received for a lot less than what you are paying now. VoIP phone service also offers international and long distance calls for much less of a price. More and more providers are putting together long distance packages that allow you to pay a flat rate each month, perfect for businesses that make a lot of these types of calls. You won't have to worry about surprise bills that put you way over budget.
VoIP phone service plans also offer a variety of features that you can add-on to your package. You can request hundreds of features such as caller ID, call-waiting, call-forwarding, voicemail with remote access and more. If your business is larger and you need multiple extensions, VoIP can supply them for you.
VoIP phone service plans are also designed for different company sizes. You may be starting up and only need a few different lines, or your corporation may have hundreds of employees who all need their own extensions. No matter what, you'll easily find a VoIP service that can fit your needs for a reasonable price.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider in Oakland, IL
You'll find that there are many service providers who will try and get you to hire their business in Oakland, IL. 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 Oakland, IL 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.
Combining PBX Service With a POTS System
Most enterprises in Oakland, IL use PBX (private branch exchange) service, which directs the calls that come into their office to certain departments. PBX is what enables the usage of different professional communications functions like extra lines, live meetings, call redirecting, voice messaging, and others.
With a conventional POTS telephone line, the PBX may be housed either at the customer's location or on a remote server. Regardless of which solution you go with, analog PBX systems have one major disadvantage: They are quite pricey. Configuring a comprehensive company phone network that runs a PBX requires the purchase of different kinds of machinery, which means making an investment of roughly $1,000 at minimum - and that doesn't include installing, setting up, and maintaining the system. For that reason, you'll have to either assign the chore to an on-site worker with technical skills or hire an expert, which could cost upwards of $100 per hour.
In case you do opt for a standard PBX system for your company's communications needs, it's important to remember that updating or growing it might be problematic and cost a lot of money. A lot of PBX circuits in Oakland, IL have limitations on how many lines they can accommodate. If your company expands and requires you to add extra lines, you'll have to buy even more equipment to support this expansion.
Similar to other pieces of digital machinery, a PBX can encounter issues and malfunctions. You might have to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket to repair and replace hardware if some component in your PBX fails. In addition, it could grow to be outdated and require replacement every couple of years.
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