Are you looking to improve your business’s phone system? Do you want to be able to communicate with customers and colleagues with more ease?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you might want to learn more about the fast-growing SIP (short for Session Initiation Protocol) trunking industry, which is on track to become a $12.7 billion market.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about what a SIP provider does and the benefits they can provide your business, as well as how you can make sure you’re choosing the best SIP service to enjoy these benefits.
What Is a SIP Service Provider?
A SIP provider is a company that helps get your business set up with SIP trunking technology. SIP trunking is an alternative to traditional phone systems that allows you and your employees to communicate (via voice and other methods) via the internet.
Instead of relying on the Public Switched Telephone Network (the copper phone lines used to transmit calls), you can utilize your internet connection to stay in touch with your employees and your clients.
Benefits of SIP Trunking
There are lots of benefits that come with choosing to work with a SIP service over a traditional telephone service provider. Some of the most noteworthy perks businesses get to enjoy when they switch to this approach include the following:
There are a few different ways in which a SIP trunking service can save you money.
First, you don’t have to worry about paying extra for long-distance or international calls. Your phone costs tend to be much more predictable, too, so it’s easier to budget and plan ahead.
SIP trunking saves you from having to spend a ton of money on expensive hardware as well.
Most people see almost immediate returns on their SIP trunking investments, too. In many cases, within a month of switching over to this new system, you’ll see a reduction in phone costs, especially if you and your employees have to make a lot of long-distance calls.
New Communication Opportunities
SIP services make voice communications much easier, but they also open the door to a variety of other communication methods.
This includes things like instant messaging and video conferencing. You can also utilize certain apps that make it easier for everyone to stay in touch and stay on track.
Speaking of apps, you can also use them to stay connected with your employees even when they’re out of the office. If you want to ensure that you can always stay in touch with the folks at work, even when they’re heading out to client meetings or working from home, SIP makes these communications easier than ever.
Easy to Manage
SIP services are also easy to manage. If you need to add additional lines or make adjustments to your plan, you can often do so with a quick phone call or a few clicks on your provider’s website. There’s no need to have someone come out and install a new phone line.
How to Choose the Right SIP Service
All of those benefits sound pretty great, don’t they? The key, though, is to ensure you’re choosing the best SIP provider for the job. Here are some tips to keep in mind when vetting providers to find the one that offers the best services for your business:
Choose a Tier-1 Network
If possible, look for a Tier-1 network. Some SIP providers will offer Tier-2 and Tier-3 networks at lower prices, and they may be tempting at first. They won’t be as reliable as you’d like, though.
Tier-1 networks are the only ones connected directly to the Internet structure. With a Tier-2 or Tier-3 network, your calls won’t be as clear and you may be more likely to experience dropped calls or difficulty understanding or being understood by the person on the other end.
Ask for a Cost Breakdown
As with any service you’re considering investing in for your business, it’s best to get clear on exactly how much it’ll cost you before you agree to anything. Ask the provider you’re considering for a cost breakdown and make sure you understand exactly what you’ll be getting each month in exchange for your money.
Look for Flexible Service
Consider the flexibility of the SIP service you’re considering, too. Find out how easy it is to add additional lines or make adjustments to your plan based on changes to your company. The more flexibility they can offer, in most cases, the better off your business is going to be.
Customer Their Customer Care
Do some research to learn about the provider’s customer care, too.
Are people generally happy with the customer service they receive? Do they get prompt help when something goes wrong? How often does something go wrong that needs fixing?
Think about the answers to these questions before making a decision.
Review Your Contract
Always look at your contract with a careful eye before you sign anything. If you notice anything that seems questionable or that you don’t understand, ask about it before you give away your signature. This will save you from having to deal with any unpleasant surprises later.
Consider a Test Run
If you’re still on the fence about SIP trunking and want to make sure it’s a good choice for your business, consider asking about a free trial.
Many providers will allow you to test their service for a week or so to see if it works for you and meets your needs. This will help you learn the ropes and get used to the system before you switch everything over.
Find Your SIP Provider Today
Now that you know more about what a SIP provider does and how you can find the best SIP service for your business, it’s time to start your search!
Remember these guidelines as you begin looking for providers, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a service that meets all of your specific communication needs.
Want to learn more about finding other service providers for your company? Check out the Business and Leadership sections of our site today.