With more and more new entrants coming up in the cloud telephony market it is easy to get confused about choosing the right one for your business. All businesses thrive on communication, be it with prospective customers, agents, or within the organization. And these days most business communications happen through phones. While there are numerous other channels of communication available to businesses today with email, instant messaging, videos etc. for business communications, but the humble old telephone is still remains an irreplaceable favorite for most.
Here are 5 questions to consider when choosing a cloud telephony provider for your business:
1. The price factor
This is an important point to ponder with any business decision. For your information let us clarify that cloud telephony services relatively are a little more expensive than normal mobile phone connections. The reason being that these platforms is built on advanced technologies that not only help streamline the flow of calls in and out of the organization, but also offer data driven insights. While incoming calls come at a cost to the service provider but outgoing calls are a cost to the subscriber.
Then why choose cloud telephony you may ask. The reason is also cost-driven as they are still more cost efficient than having to create your own system using things like PRI lines or EPABX systems on your own, which requires a hefty investment.
Here are a few thoughts on who should consider cloud telephony services and why:
How many calls do you get every day?
- For companies that don’t get more than 30 calls a day having a cloud telephony service setup, may not be very beneficial to them; as they will not be able to reap the full benefits of the system.
- For those that are receiving more than 200 calls a day, it may make more sense to setup their own PRI lines or EPABX systems than to subscribe to a cloud telephony service provider. The cost will come around to be similar and you can have your own, on-premise custom solution.
- Also consider the opportunity cost with each call you receive. If it is less that INR 50 then it is recommended to not spend too much or put in great deal of efforts to the system. Having a more organized phone system will work.
- Furthermore, before you subscribe do pay attention to the lock-in span of time that comes with most cloud telephony service providers, this is a good time to think over the sustainability and plan of growth for your business.
2.Recognizable telephone numbers
This is one of the greatest benefits of availing cloud telephony service. You get to choose a single number for your business, so choose wisely depending on your overall setup. Also pay attention to the location of the number. For e.g. a business located in Jaipur wouldn’t benefit too much from having a Mumbai-based landline number. Also consider the fact that all outgoing calls are made from a server based line, so consider how people will perceive the call they will be receiving from your outgoing business calls and choose accordingly. A safe way is to go by mobile number-like telephone numbers as it opens up a lot of possibilities.
You can also opt for vanity numbers that are fancy numbers that help bring about memory retention of your phone number; businesses like cab companies and the likes can reap great benefits from such connections. But they will come expensive.
3.Know about support
Consider the kind of support engagement you are looking at. It is always a good idea to understand how things work to have more control on your system. Watch some YouTube videos to keep yourself informed. However, since this is a SaaS dominated industry you may not get complete service like support from any provider. It may pay to keep a small tech team on standby for small customizations, bug fixes and API integrations, although notable service providers like PRP Services offer complete API integration and customizations on request.
Most cloud telephony services are based on existing operator networks, so the up-times for response will be on the mercy of operators. However, in terms of response time cloud telephony services is better than having to deal with telecom operators. Telecom operators mostly have no SLA support. There are service providers who have devised definitive fail-overs for services like toll numbers as well as mobile numbers, so choose wisely and research well about service providers to get the best.
5. Voice Platform APIs
This is an important aspect that you will need to pay attention to at some point, be it to integrate with your CRM or even for pooling common data. APIs are the best things about cloud telephony and can be really helpful. It may make sense to have a small tech team on standby when it comes to APIs as they tend to be highly comprehensive tech products and like most complex tech products do read the API documentation with care to know the possibilities.