When it comes to evaluating and choosing a cloud phone system, there are a lot of things to consider. Be sure to think about things like auto attendant, unlimited calling, mobile device apps for remote teams, video conferencing, and instant messaging. Then there are things like voicemail transcriptions, team messaging, toll-free numbers, and a list of advanced features to consider.
Yet, in the big picture and long run, there is one factor that — more than any other — will determine whether your experience is profitable and rewarding, or costly and regrettable: RELIABILITY. Sounds simple, right? Well yes…and no.
The “Reliability Problem” With Cloud-Based Phone Systems
At first glance, it may seem like all cloud-based phone systems are reliable. And, much like shopping for new cars, all of the shiny models seem flawless (plus they have that “new car smell”). But, once we pop open the hood and take a closer look, it is clear that some will outwork and outlast others. A few are almost guaranteed to leave you stranded by the roadside on several occasions.
And so, what you need more than anything else right now is a way to objectively determine if a cloud phone system — and the VoIP provider behind it — is truly reliable, or if it’s going to become a stressful, expensive burden for years to come. Don’t worry — we’ve got you!
3 Critical Things to Focus On
Below we provide 3 critical things to focus on, which help business owners or other decision-makers like you clearly and confidently verify if a cloud phone system is reliable:
When it comes to capacity, there are those systems that are under-engineered and those that are over-engineered. Naturally, you want — actually, you NEED — the latter.
What does “over-engineer” mean? Simply put, it means that during periods of high traffic — for example, if you have several employees using the system at the same time — you want to get flawless, clear audio and video (if your team is having video calls).
So, please remember: when evaluating different cloud phone systems, make sure that you ask each vendor not just IF their system is over-engineered (because all of them will say “Yes of course!), but HOW it is over-engineered. If they give you clear, factual information then you are on the right track. But if they dodge the question or give you some fuzzy jargon about “private branch exchange” or “business communications” (or whatever), then heed that red flag and head straight for the exit!
2. Business Continuity
Brownouts and blackouts are a fact of life. They are either caused by Mother Nature (when she’s in a foul mood!) or due to the increasing burden on the aging power grid. And so, the question you need to ask is: “What happens when the power goes out?”
A reliable system will use a geographic cloud infrastructure, that re-routes traffic in the event of a local power outage. As a result, you can continue using the cloud phone system with cell phones, or with your VoIP phones (a.k.a. digital desk phones) when connected to a backup power supply. You can also easily forward incoming calls to any other number, including mobile phone or landline.
Then, when the local power is restored, the traffic routes back to normal. Called “failover,” this is an absolute MUST-HAVE. It is not among the “advanced features” that you should pay extra for. It should be standard, like unlimited calling, video conferencing, etc.
Don’t worry about adding yet another key task for your IT team to handle: relax, all of this happens instantly and automatically. There is nothing for your IT team to do.
3. Local Expertise
We cannot emphasize the importance of this enough: when it comes to optimal customer service and customer experience, you don’t just want access to LOCAL experts, but you NEED it.
Why is this so important? While remotely resolving issues (via video conference) is generally fine, this is not always possible. At some point down the road, there could be scenarios where on-site support is necessary. Access to local experts means a speedy resolution to your issue. But without that local access, you could be waiting days. Or even weeks for less urgent issues.
And while we are on the subject, let’s dive deeper into the word “expertise.” Yes, just like “reliability,” we throw this term around fast and loose these days. Heck, some people who did not know that VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol” a few weeks ago, now have job titles like “Technical Specialist” or “VoIP Engineer.”
Avoid dealing with “experts” who know LESS about the VoIP business phone system than you do. To do so, make sure that your vendor has a roster of legitimate, experienced specialists who are full-time employees. Avoid part-time contractors who might be in a contact center in another state — or the other side of the world!
Trust us, we have been in this industry for more than 20 years, and we have heard all kinds of horror stories. You cannot afford to deal with incompetent support personnel. Often, these people do not even understand the fundamental differences between traditional phone service and virtual phone systems. Their mistakes and incompetence will COST YOU MONEY. Conversely, choosing a reputable and reliable vendor who has a team of proven, local experts will SAVE YOU MONEY.
Carolina Digital Phone: Your Reliable Choice!
At Carolina Digital Phone, we are proud to have earned a reputation as one of the country’s MOST RELIABLE cloud business phone system providers. Here are some facts for you to consider:
- We commit to a guaranteed 99.99% uptime standard, supported by a state-of-the-art, over-engineered infrastructure that includes three 1GB fiber synchronous connections with full Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing.
- For automatic failover protection, we have three carrier-class data centers. These centers are located in downtown Greensboro, NC; Research Triangle Park, NC; and the Equinix Data Center in Dallas, Texas. Unlike a traditional phone line (landline), you can count on unlimited calling and access to other advanced features 24/7/365.
- Our team of experts is the best of the best! And of course, they are local full-time employees. Many of our customers build great, long-term relationships with their “go-to specialist” who always goes the extra mile, professionally and politely whether in-person or remotely doing screen sharing. We empower our customers, not intimidate them!
Learn more about our RELIABLE cloud-based business phone system. Contact us today at (336) 544-4000 for your FREE, no-obligation consultation and demo. Our all-in-one system offers a wide range of advanced features. And our very affordable phone plans start as low as $6/user per month!