Whether you are in the process of migrating your communications network to the cloud or are in your planning phase and searching for a new cloud-based phone system provider, finding the right partner for your business is crucial. As you vet potential vendors, asking strategic questions can help you find the right fit for your needs.
Cloud-based phone solutions—also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Cloud-based Private Branch Exchange (Cloud PBX)—have gained widespread popularity and, as a result, businesses have a sea of vendors to choose from. If you are searching for a cloud phone system provider, you’ll undoubtedly want to know what features and functionality each has to offer. From speech recognition, voicemail transcription and call recording to voice to text, group chat, conference call capabilities and more—the list of features certainly doesn’t fall short.
Asking these six qualifying questions will help you and your organization dig a little deeper on what vendors have to offer as you sort through the different solutions to make an informed decision. This assessment will also help you determine which provider can address your communication needs now and in the future.
Ask: In what ways will this solution impact how I do business and how I communicate with my customers?
Why: As you look into potential solutions, you want to understand the benefits they will bring to your business and your customers. Since many providers offer internal collaboration tools, you’ll learn how each one works to help improve communication and collaboration processes internally. But if you are upgrading to a cloud-based system with a goal of improving your customer experience, it is important to ask providers how their solution enhances external communication for customer support. For example, can their solution help you better utilize your personal mobile device for business purposes so that you can offer a professional experience of quality? Will you be able to easily set hours for business calls on your mobile devices so you can manage your calls and give customers a consistent experience? Asking these types of questions will help reveal how you can use a solution to elevate your client care.
Ask: What is the setup process like and how simple is it to make adjustments in the future?
Why: Before migrating to a new cloud-based phone service, you should have a firm understanding of the transition process and the investment needed on your end to get a new solution up and running. You also need to know what happens after the initial setup. For example, what if your needs change after some time and you require different capabilities? Can you easily make adjustments on your own? For an easy transition, you can look for a plug-and-play solution that is simple to set up. Just make sure that it comes with access to the full set of features you may need in the future, and the freedom to update and redesign your solution as your needs evolve.
Ask: Are you flexible with pricing?
Why: Since every business is different, finding a provider that offers flexible pricing options is important. Some vendors require that you purchase a set number of seats, limiting your ability to have users on different plans. It’s also important to ask what flexibility you have in terms of purchasing as it impacts cost. Overall, be sure to ask about different pricing options and look for a provider with flexible pricing.
Ask: What scalability is built into this solution that will allow it to meet the evolving needs of my business in the future?
Why: If you are a small or medium-sized business looking to grow, you’ll want a solution that can grow with you. Inquire about the provider’s process for adding extensions for new employees, or even adding international numbers should your company or customer base expand globally.
Ask: How adaptable is this solution in terms of supporting remote workers and my business’ evolving location needs?
Why: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ways in which businesses work and communicate have changed. More employees are working from home and businesses have cut back on travel significantly. While some of these changes may be permanent, business travel and remote work may change again in the future for many organizations. If you expect your team’s travel and remote habits to evolve, you need to consider a flexible solution that can support your team wherever they work.
Ask: How will you provide exceptional service throughout our relationship?
Why: Without a doubt, customer service can make or break a partnership. If you have an issue with your solution, getting the support you need to quickly resolve the problem shouldn’t be a struggle. Before you consider working with a provider, ask questions to learn what type of support they offer. Can you speak to a live customer service agent if you need help on the weekend? How do current customers rate the provider’s customer service? A lot of providers say they offer good service. Aim to partner with a provider whose track record proves their commitment to their customers.
The more effort you put into finding the right cloud-based phone provider to partner with, the better experience you will have—both during onboarding and thereafter. We recommend using this eBook as a guide to help research providers and vet prospective partners: Choosing A Cloud Voice Provider? Six Assessment Criteria to Keep in Mind. Additionally, our Cloudli team is here to help you determine what type of solution will best fit your needs and how we can serve you. Contact us for more information.