Choosing the Right Lakewood, OH Business Phone Service Provider
The ability of your customers to reach out and purchase your product or service in Lakewood, OH 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 Lakewood, OH 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.
Understanding Business VoIP Phone Service
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is one of the most recent types of phone service that can be used as an alternative to traditional analog lines in Lakewood, OH. Many business owners do not realize that VoIP service has been in existence for more than a decade and is becoming more and more popular with business owners. Many companies are letting go of their analog PSTN service in favor of making the switch to a product that will help them save time and money, as well as a large initial investment. Many newer, start-up companies, especially smaller ones who are looking to save money but get the most out of their phone service, are looking at VoIP phone services for their businesses.
The call quality of VoIP is just as good as the traditional analog system. The big difference is that the calls are made through your existing Internet system instead of the traditional phone and cable lines. Because of this, you must make sure that your Internet signal is strong so that you don't have problems making and receiving calls. The Wirefly Internet Speed Test can help determine if your current Internet connection will support VoIP.
The biggest difference between the traditional PSTN and VoIP is the way that calls are carried. An analog signal is used to carry PSTN service, while the Internet carries VoIP calls. All calls made through VoIP are digitized. When you use your Internet connection to make and receive telephone calls, you will pay a lot less for your service, as sending data this way is much cheaper. This is great for companies that need to make many long distance or international calls and don't want to pay high fees. VoIP service providers usually offer long distance packages that will allow you to pay a flat rate for unlimited long distance and international calls. This is one less worry for you when you are operating a busy company.
You can also request a number of different features with VoIP services, as they offer the same ones that PSTN service does. This will include Caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, remote access to voicemail, ring groups and much more. If you need to install multiple extensions within your company, VoIP service has you covered.
Nowadays, VoIP service providers in Lakewood, OH offer their customers many different plans that will suit the needs of various businesses, regardless of their size. For example, you may only need three lines within your small office space, or your large corporation could use thousands of extensions. No matter what, there is a VoIP phone service that can provide you with whatever you need.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider in Lakewood, OH
You'll find that there are many service providers who will try and get you to hire their business in Lakewood, OH. 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 Lakewood, OH 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.
How a PBX Works with the Analog System
A PBX is a private branch exchange which will route calls within an office and is what most Lakewood, OH businesses use. When you have a business phone service, the PBX is what allows the caller to use different features, such as voicemail, call waiting, multiple extensions, conference calls and more.
The PBX to a traditional phone system may be found either at a remote location or at the caller's actual premises. But it doesn't matter where it is at, as using an analog PBX can be very expensive. The set-up alone can be very expensive, as a PBX requires different varieties of hardware that are the customer's responsibility to pay. Many times, the initial investment runs around $1,000 to start. This won't include installation of the hardware, or follow-up maintenance. While some companies have information technology employees who can maintain this equipment, many do not. The charge for fixing and maintain your PBX system can run anywhere from $100 an hour and up.
It's also important to remember that if you use a PBX in your Lakewood, OH business, you will be responsible for the cost of upgrading the system and/or expanding it if need be. This can cost a lot of money to do. Plus, a lot of PBX systems only support a few lines, so the price for having to accommodate your growing business with more lines will be your responsibility.
Additionally, a PBX may experience breakdowns in the future, as do many electronic hardware products. This could cost you a good bit in repair and hardware replacement costs if something happens to your PBX. If the system becomes obsolete in a few years, you will be responsible for that, as well.
Business Phone Service Providers in Lakewood, OH ZIP Codes
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