To save time and money, as well as to enjoy more flexibility, many businesses these days are abandoning their in-house office PBX system and choosing to use a virtual or hosted PBX service instead. A hosted PBX solution is a telephone system that offers PBX functionalities but doesn’t require organizations to purchase or maintain any equipment onsite. The call platform, its features, and all the necessary equipment are hosted or handled by the service provider. Shifting to a hosted PBX service from a traditional PBX system has proven to deliver numerous benefits to businesses, which is why many companies are (literally) cutting ties with their old PBX systems.
But while making the decision to move to hosted PBX is an easy one, finding the right hosted PBX provider to partner with isn’t. With so many providers to choose from, all claiming to offer the best, most secure, and most competitive service, it can be tough to select the right provider.
To help you on your search, below are a few things to keep in mind when picking the right hosted PBX provider for your business.
- Check the track record
Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, your PBX system is a crucial tool not only for streamlining internal communications, but also for communicating with customers. Any service disruption, no matter how minor, can lead to catastrophic consequences such as lost revenue. That’s why it’s vital that you find a reliable provider with a proven track record.
Ideally, a good hosted PBX service must have multiple redundancies built into their network to avoid any downtime during maintenance or repairs. They also must not have any history of outage, similar to what happened to Skype last year where the service went down for hours in several countries. But if they had such experience, be sure to inquire about what has been done to rectify the problem and keep it from happening again.
- Check the level of support offered
You don’t want to partner with a provider who only gets in touch with customers during the installation and setup phase, and appears again during billing. As much as possible, choose a provider that maintains a customer support line, preferably available 24/7 through various channels. This will give you peace of mind knowing you can always ask help if you ever experience difficulty with your service.
- Examine the features
Next to the cost savings, most businesses make the move to hosted PBX because of the vast array of features offered that are simply not available with a traditional PBX. Find a provider that offers not just a wide selection of features, but offers functionalities that are truly useful for your business. Basic features such as auto attendant, call forwarding, music on hold, voicemail, call forwarding and transfer are a given. But if you need more robust features, go for providers that include sophisticated tracking and reporting, mobile apps, and integration with other software, among others, in their service.
- Take a look at the fees
Whether you prefer to sign up for an annual contract or a pay as you go service, it’s important that you study the fees and charges included in the service. Term details must be clearly defined and explained to avoid hidden charges.
Hosted PBX solutions are an excellent alternative to expensive, complicated, and space-consuming traditional PBX systems. However, not all hosted PBX providers deliver the same excellent service. That’s why it’s important that you make your decision carefully. Shop around, ask other users, read reviews, and consider the above tips in mind to help you find the right provider that meets your needs.