As your business embraces VoIP technology, you will come to realize one important thing pretty quickly. The VoIP provider you've chosen to work with is just as important to your success as the technology itself, if not more. If certain things have happened recently that have caused you to start doubting the strength of the relationship, you very well may be right. There are a few key signs in particular that the time is right to switch to a better VoIP provider.
Call Quality Just Isn't What It Used to Be
The number one sign that you should look into finding a new VoIP partner is also the most obvious one, call quality. The ability to hear the people you're talking to without worrying about dropped connections and intermittent service is, largely, what you're paying for in the first place. If this aspect of your current situation just isn't meeting your expectations, you're harming your relationship with your clients as well as your business in the long-term by staying around longer than you should.
Your Current Company Just a Provider, Not a Partner
Another major sign that you'll want to start looking for a new VoIP provider is if the relationship tends to end the second that new services are installed. The VoIP experts you're working with should just more than provide you with technology - anyone can do that. They should be true partners in every sense of the term.
An excellent VoIP provider should be able to explain complicated topics in a way that is easy for you and your employees to understand. When you bring new people into the fold and need to quickly get the up to speed, your VoIP company should step in with training options to help make that happen. If these types of services aren't available and they only ever seem to pick up the phone when you're ready to spend more money, you should likely start looking at alternatives.
Customer Service is not a Priority
Regardless of the business that you're running or even the industry that you're operating in, one thing is constant: success begins and ends with customer service. It's how you take a single purchase customer and turn them into a loyal, repeat buyer. It's also how you forge the type of mutually beneficial relationship that will serve you both well for years to come.
Your VoIP provider should share the same basic mentality as you.
When you're talking about something as fragile as technology, problems can and will occur. How your VoIP provider handles those problems, however, will dictate whether you should start looking elsewhere. If you can't seem to get them on the phone when you need them, if they put the burden on you to fix issues as they arise or if they just don't seem to offer anything in the way of proactive maintenance, guess what: they're operating with their best interests in mind, not yours.
If you identify one or more of these signs as relating to your current situation, you need to get out - now. In an effort to avoid hurting someone's feelings, you're actually hurting the most important thing of all: the business you've worked so hard to build. You need to start looking out for yourself, because your current VoIP provider certainly isn't.
Author: Mike Martin
Comtel Communications, a telecom/technology consulting agency based in Richmond, Virginia since 1991, provides best-in-class solutions and unbiased counsel to a diverse group of small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses, totaling more than $18.2M in annual billings. Leveraging unique access to 350+ national and international providers, Comtel benefits its clients through competitive quotes from multiple sources, to ensure their business goals are met with current and dynamic telecom and technology services. Acting as a partner, long after contracts are signed and services are deployed, Comtel offers superb back-office support to manage upgrades, track orders, and provide training to clients.