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Solutions for businesses

Choosing a telephone service provider: 5 key points to consider

18 Jan 2015

By Jonathan Fortin

What should you think about when choosing the right telephone service provider for your business?  We’ve put together a list of the top 5 things to consider when choosing a telephone service provider.

1: Long-distance calls
Where do you call most often? Where are most of your customers, employees and partners located: Quebec, Canada, the US or abroad? Once you know the answers to these questions, compare what the different service providers have to offer.

Don’t forget—there are packages to meet everyone’s needs. By comparing the different long-distance packages available, you’ll avoid nasty surprises and hefty invoices at the end of the month.

2: The features
Several features can help you better manage your communication. You may wish to choose the calling features that are most tailored to your business.

For example, companies with a physcial business address often request features such as Call Display, Voicemail and Call Waiting. This way, they can offer excellent customer service and make sure not to miss any appointment requests or reservations.

Companies with employees who spend more time on the road often prefer to subscribe to features such as Mobile Call Transfer and Voicemail by Email. This way, they can easily stay in contact with their customers no matter where they are, so business can continue no matter what.

3: Easy migration
Feeling a little nervous about migrating from one service provider to another? You don’t have to, especially if your new service provider makes migrating easy by taking care of everything for you—from transferring your telephone lines to relocating your telephone numbers. This kind of service is called “personalized migration”.

In other words, your new service provider contacts your previous service provider in order to manage thetransfer of your telephone numbers so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of getting a new number. Seamless migration means your services are never actually interrupted and your telephone system is up and running before the technician even leaves your office. This way, business continuity is guaranteed.

4: Technical support
This is a key point to explore when it comes to choosing a new service provider. Will you have access to proper support in the event of a problem? Will the technical support team be efficient, competent and available 24/7 all-year round? These are all very important points to consider before signing an agreement with a service provider.

If your telephony needs are more complex, you can opt for a Service Level Agreement (or SLA). Such agreements guarantee a response according to pre-established criteria in the event of a problem. You can test how serious a potential service provider is by asking them about their SLA offering. A company’s telephone line is a vital part of its business, which means that resolving technical issues in a timely fashion is extremely important. If a service provider offers a Service Level Agreement, it’s usually a good indicator that their technical support is up to par.

5: A reliable network
When you’re evaluating the reliability of a business telephone network, there are two key points to keep in mind. First, the network needs to be robust. A good-quality network with cutting-edge technology provides a competitive edge to any telecommunications company. Don’t be shy to ask a potential service provider about its network.

Second, the network needs to be secure. Companies dedicated to telephone service offer more reliability, sound quality and security. If, however, you opt for a VoIP telephone system, make sure you have a fast and reliable connection, as VoIP systems are dependent on wall power and an Internet connection. Once again, carefully evaluate your business needs before deciding what’s best for you.

Choosing a telephone service provider is an integral part of a company’s business strategy.
There are several steps to consider when choosing a telephone service provider and it’s a task not to be taken lightly. Telephony still remains one of the most frequently used business tools as it facilitates communications between companies and their customers.

At a time when customer experience has taken on a whole new meaning, consumers want to develop a relationship with the businesses that serve them. And the best way to preserve these relationships is to be equipped with a telephone service that is responsive to both parties.

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