Choosing the Right Grand Rapids, MI Business Phone Service Provider
The ability of your customers to reach out and purchase your product or service in Grand Rapids, MI depends upon your choosing a reliable telephone service provider. Using the telephone remains the number one way most customers still use to get in touch with your business. Choosing the right kind of phone service for your business means contracting with a service that is affordable, dependable, and offers your business the specific features that make doing business with you as easy and convenient as possible. It's important to take the time to carefully evaluate a variety of business phone service types and providers available in the Grand Rapids, MI area before making a commitment. You can choose between traditional analog telephone service, or VoIP service, explained in the comparisons of business phone service providers that follow.
What is Business VoIP Phone Service?
The more recent type of phone service, VoIP, stands for voice over Internet protocol. This is a new alternative to using the more traditional analog phone lines of the past. VoIP phone service in Grand Rapids, MI has been around for nearly a decade but has just now become more popular among business owners. Many people are making the switch to VoIP from their traditional PSTN lines. Newer companies, especially small start-ups, are also more likely to choose this type of service for their company. They'll get the same call quality as they would with analog but at a lesser price. Calls are carried through your current Internet provider, so it is important to make sure your connection is strong enough that all of your calls always go through. Use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to make sure your current Internet service provider supports VoIP before choosing a company. If they don't, it would be worth the switch to find a company that does, as you will save money in the end.
The biggest difference between these two phone services is the way that phone calls are carried. Most people using the analog system know that their calls are run through cables and telephone lines. VoIP calls are actually digital and go through your Internet connection instead. This is a less expensive way of making phone calls than by the regular old analog system, so making and receiving calls costs the consumer less. It is also much cheaper to make international and long distance calls with VoIP. Look for a company who has a flat rate package available for these types of calls if you frequently make long distance phone calls from your place of business. You won't have to worry about the cost of per minute calls if you have a package that includes everything.
Another perk of VoIP service in Grand Rapids, MI is that these phone service companies offer many different calling features to their customers. You're probably used to having perks such as call waiting, Caller ID, voicemail and call forwarding. VoIP service offers these and more, such as fax to email, remote access to voicemail, and multiple extensions.
Most VoIP providers strive to meet the needs of all of their Grand Rapids, MI businesses by offering their service to companies both big and small. Maybe you only need one or two lines for your small, family owned company, or your larger corporation needs hundreds of extensions to meet the needs of all of their employees. No matter what you need for your company, there will be a phone service that can fit the bill.
How to Find a Business VoIP Service Provider
In Grand Rapids, MI, VoIP has recently become very popular, as more and more business owners are realizing the benefits to this type of service after comparing it to traditional analog services. This means there are many providers that sell VoIP packages and who will compete for your business. This may seem confusing at first, but it is actually something you can use to your advantage, as you won't have to settle for just one company.
To begin, decide what features you absolutely have to have for your business. This may depend on how much you can spend for your phone service; if you think you will be expanding in the near future you will want to have the right add-ons. You'll definitely want to include call waiting and caller ID on your list, as these are basic features most companies need to use.
Look up the different offers from various VoIP phone service providers in Grand Rapids, MI. See what features they offer, how much they cost, and how well their company is doing. Consider their reputation before you make a decision. Having a working phone system in place is extremely important for your company, so you will always want a provider that has a good reputation and provides excellent customer service.
Traditional Business Phone Service: What it is and How it Works
The traditional business phone service uses the PSTN, short for public switched telephone network. The PSTN system is still greatly used nationwide and routes calls through a series of cables, telephone lines and satellites. This system is also what most mobile networks go through. This phone system was the first of its kind and has been in use for around a hundred years.
The infrastructure of the PSTN system is very large and old, making it more difficult and expensive to maintain. This causes it to be more costly than Grand Rapids, MI VoIP service because of the maintenance required to keep the system operational. PSTN is still analog, and sending calls long distances requires more work and expense.
Making a call over the PSTN when it is long distance requires the data to make stops at various locations. This data goes through different equipment that is owned by multiple companies, making the call more expensive. While most of the infrastructure that carries, switches and routes a PSTN call have become totally digital, the “last mile' is still analog. This is the connection found between the closest central office and the customer.
PBX Analog Phone System
Many businesses in Grand Rapids, MI use PBX, which means private branch exchange. This system routes the calls that go into the office and is responsible for the multitude of features that the analog system offers. These include features such as voicemail, multiple extensions and call forwarding.
The location of the PBX may be found at the user's site or it may be hosted from a remote location. But no matter where it is found, an analog PBX may be costly. A PBX analog system will require multiple types of hardware in order to be set up correctly, causing your initial cost to be more than $1,000. Since you will be paying later to maintain or fix this equipment, your expenses can quickly add up. Calling in a professional to fix an issue can often cost your company a $100 dollars an hour or more.
You'll also want to bear in mind that a traditional PBX for your company phone may need to be updated or expanded on later, causing your business additional expenses. This will be especially expensive if your company grows and needs to add on more lines. Always take this into consideration before choosing a traditional phone service.
One of the major reasons many people avoid a PBX system is because it is still subject to breakdowns and issues, like any other electronic system may be. Your repair and hardware bills may go through the roof when you have to fix your system, but when you have a business, you must fix your telephone lines right away. Additionally, if the system becomes obsolete, you will have to replace it, which will cost your company more and more money every time.
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