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 Lancaster, PA: 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.
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What is Business VoIP Phone Service in Lancaster, PA?
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 Lancaster, PA 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 Lancaster, PA 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.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider in Lancaster, PA
You'll find that there are many service providers who will try and get you to hire their business in Lancaster, PA. 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.
Traditional Business Phone Service in Lancaster, PA
Traditional phone service carries your calls over the PSTN, the public switched telephone network. This system is available nationwide, comprised of telephone lines, mobile networks, satellites and cables. The PSTN network, the first type of phone network used for business purposes, has existed for almost a century.
Using a PSTN telephone service in Lancaster, PA costs more than VoIP. The PSTN infrastructure, being very old as well as large, tends to requires regular maintenance. It also has a more difficult time sending data over long distances.
When making calls traveling long distances over the PSTN, data stops at numerous locations along the way during the course of its transmission. Since the data flows through equipment owned by various companies, costs for PSTN calls can accrue expensive charges. Although most of the infrastructure being used to carry, switch and route calls is digital, the connection between the local central office and the customer continues to be analog.
PBX Systems in Lancaster, PA: What Does This Mean for You?
Most Lancaster, PA 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 Lancaster, PA 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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