What to look for in a voice provider
When it comes to choosing a voice service provider, you have plenty of options to choose from. The problem then becomes finding one that best suits what your business actually needs. So here are our totally unbiased views on what you should be looking for when picking a voice provider for your business.
You need to be able to understand the person you’re having a conversation with. That’s true both in business and in your personal life, otherwise you might as well send a text, email, or (perish the thought) a handwritten letter. To get good call quality you need a provider that can reduce, or even eliminate, jitter and other disruptions that can lead to a call “breaking up”.
As we rely more and more on voice calls in lieu of face-to-face meetings (thanks COVID-19), being able to reliably connect and understand each other is of paramount importance. Don’t waste valuable time asking “Can you hear me now?”.
The ability to scale to your needs
You don’t want to have to pick a voice provider now, only to replace them in a year when you’ve outgrown them. That’s why you need to work with a provider that can suit the needs of your business now, but also in the future as you scale. And, not only do you want to work with a provider that can scale with you, you want one that will help you scale and is committed to helping your business grow.
It’s true that choosing a provider isn’t the same as finding your soul mate, but you’d probably still rather not change one every six months to a year.
A footprint that reaches your users
Working with a patchwork of voice providers to get you the coverage you need means you have to manage multiple vendors, incurring extra costs on the provider side and operational costs on your side. That also creates more opportunities for dropped calls, which creates a poor customer experience.
Look for a provider that covers a large percentage of the population, preferably over 95%. This ensures that you have the reach that you need while minimizing operational costs of managing multiple vendors, giving you a single point of contact to manage your voice (and phone numbers).
High uptime and reliability
Nobody likes to pay for something they can’t use. Whether that’s the internet, your car, or your favorite streaming service, nobody likes to waste money. The same thing should apply to your voice provider. You, and your users, deserve to know that when you try to make a call that it will actually connect.
Look for a voice provider with a high uptime, ideally 99.99% or greater (the more 9’s, the better—nobody’s perfect). On top of that, look for a provider with a redundant, high-availability architecture to keep your voice calls connecting, even during a server failure.
A pricing structure that works for your business
Let’s be honest—it always comes down to cost. But there are other considerations than pure rate when it comes to selecting a voice provider. Rate structure and what’s included with what you pay to your voice provider are considerations to take into account as well.
Look for a provider that offers a pricing structure, be that flat rate or metered, that works for your business. Also, look for any additional services, such as support or number management; having those included versus being an add-on makes it easier to manage your costs. And yeah, a good rate doesn’t hurt either.
The expertise and support to answer your questions
At some point, you’re going to have a question for your provider. And that’s fine—asking questions is good. But that also means you need a provider that can provide you with the answers you need.
When looking for a voice provider, look for one with expertise in-house via industry veterans on staff to help provide educated answers. Telecom can be complicated, which is why having a provider with specialists in voice calling makes all the difference. And if that support is included at no extra cost, even better.