Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in Concord, MI
Are you a business owner who is in need of putting in a phone line for your office or building? If you are, you have more options than previous business owners did years ago. While we all love the use of social media to promote our business services, most customers still use the phone to call in orders, ask questions and voice concerns, to name just a few reasons. You will need a reliable, dependable phone service provider when you own or operate a business in Concord, MI, so understanding your choices is important before you make your final decision. You can choose between a VoIP or analog phone service when you are looking for a phone company that will work with your company. Understanding the differences and similarities first will help you make an informed and educated decision that will benefit your company for years to come.
What is Business VoIP Phone Service?
VoIP simply means Voice Over Internet Protocol. This type of service has been around for about ten years but is just now becoming more well-known and popular among business owners. It is an alternative phone service from the traditional analog line that many people are familiar with, but one that offers many new features. So many companies in the Concord, MI area have found that choosing VoIP over the old type of phone service is much better for their communication needs between customers and vendors. VoIP allows you to make and receive quality phone calls through the Internet as opposed to the old-fashioned cables and lines. This means that you must have a strong Internet connection for your VoIP service to work well before you choose it as your main form of communication. We can test your current connection to see if it supports VoIP with the Wirefly Internet Speed Test. However, most Internet providers can now support VoIP service.
One of the biggest comparisons between VoIP and PSTN is the way calls are conducted. When you have a PSTN service, your calls are sent and received by way of a traditional analog signal. VoIP services carry all calls through your Internet connection. One reason many business owners are choosing VoIP service is because the Internet is a faster way to make and receive calls. Plus, you are more than likely to have a reliable connection anyway, so why not put it to good use? It also costs less to make calls over the Internet, as well, which can be a big factor among small business owners who need to keep their budget down. Many VoIP companies offer packages with low international and long distance rates, so you never have to worry about running up a huge bill if you make a lot of these types of calls for your business.
VoIP service also offers every type of calling feature that your company could possibly need or want. You can choose to receive caller ID, voicemail, multiple extensions and call forwarding. If you need fax to email or voicemail to email service, VoIP has you covered.
VoIP service providers in the Concord, MI area offer plans for both small and large businesses. So whether you only need a few lines for your family-owned business or you plan on needing hundreds for a large corporation, a VoIP service provider can arrange reliable service for both.
How to Choose a VoIP Service Provider
The rise in popularity of VoIP services, especially among smaller businesses and startups, means that there are many providers in the market who are competing to convince you that they are the best choice. Choosing a provider may seem difficult, however, the popularity of VoIP and the number of providers in the market can work to your advantage because it means that the chances of finding the perfect one are higher.
The most important thing to establish before choosing a provider is what your communication needs are. Small businesses will not need a big package with many add-ons, while bigger corporations will benefit from these. Asking yourself how many lines you will need, or which features you will use on a regular basis will ensure that you do not pay for unnecessary items. It is key to consider the predicted growth of your business, this will help you figure out the type of contract you sign as well as assist you in evaluating how much you can spend on a phone service provider.
After you have established all of the above you can look into what the VoIP providers in Concord, MI are offering. Consider which services they provide and if they are affordable. Remember that with the number of providers in the market, investigating the company's reputation can save you a lot of frustration and money. A good phone system can be crucial to your business's success so make sure that you hire a service that has a good record in terms of reliability and customer service.
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 Concord, MI 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.
PBX Systems: What Does This Mean for You?
Most Concord, MI businesses use a private branch exchange, or PBX, to route the calls that come through their company. The PBX is what allows the company to enjoy the different calling features, such as voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding and more.
When a company uses a traditional PSTN phone system, they must have a PBX, which can be located either at the company or at a remote location. But it doesn't matter where the PBX is located in terms of cost, as it is still very expensive to use. When you first need to set up the whole phone system, you'll be required to purchase a number of pieces of hardware. Your initial investment could cost at least $1,000, if not more. Other necessary steps, such as installation, configuration and future maintenance, will not be included in your initial purchase price. Therefore, if you need to hire a service technician to fix a problem, you will be paying at least a $100 an hour for them to come out to you.
Additionally, a traditional PBX system in Concord, MI may need upgraded or expanded in the future, which can be both difficult and expensive to do. Since many PBX systems don't support more than a few different phone lines, if you need more extensions in the future you will be required to pay for the hardware to install them.
A PBX system can also experience breakdowns and issues after being installed. If it does, you will again be responsible for paying for the repairs and any hardware costs that your company needs. There is also the chance that your system could become obsolete at any time, forcing you to replace it.
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