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The Ultimate Checklist on Business VoIP Providers

Inside we have the only tool that you need by your side as you compare VoIP Providers
Olivia Maier

Olivia Maier

10 min read

What we have for you today:

Today we are excited to bring to you a tool that will be incredibly useful as you search between VoIP providers. No matter where you are in your VoIP search, this is a great way for you to objectively compare a variety of providers. With so many different solutions on the market, you no longer have to feel overwhelmed as you try to figure out how to make the switch to a new business phone system.

After all, no one wants to waste time switching between different solutions for months until you find the right one for your team. And even worse, no one wants to deal with phone downtime, missed calls, and confused teammates. That is why we are here to help you with this process.

We’re going to start this process off by explaining what VoIP systems are. Don’t worry, we won’t get too technical with you. Instead, we’re just going to lay out some important background information, so that everyone is on the same page as we continue our discussion.

From there, we’re going to give you a checklist of both benefits and features that your team shouldn’t be living without.

After that, we’re going to put the checklist into action as we compare some of the top VoIP providers! This comparison will include the following systems, in no particular order:

  • Yodel.io
  • Aircall
  • CallHippo

If that sounds good to you, then we can’t wait to get into it!

Virtual Phone 101

As we said, it can be helpful to make sure that everyone reading this article is on the same page. While you may be further along in your process, it can still be helpful to get a refresher on what VoIP phones are, and how they work.

A Virtual Phone System is an internet-based system that no longer requires old-fashioned telephone wires to be operated. Instead, these systems use the latest technology to transmit your voice over the internet.

The technology behind a virtual phone:

The technology behind the phone system is where one of the key differences between traditional phones and these systems lies. Instead of relying on the antiquated phone lines, aka those copper wires that were installed decades ago, your phone is able to send and receive voice signals over the internet. The process can be broken down into a few steps:

  1. Your cloud phone system picking up your voice signals
  2. Those voice signals being compressed into data packets
  3. The data packets are then sent over the internet to the user on the other end
  4. Your data packets are then decompressed back into voice signals for the user on the other end of the phone to hear

This process is done instantaneously. There is no delay between voice signals from a VoIP system and voice signals from telephone wires. That means you won’t experience any lags in the call or awkward pauses.

This technology is not detectable to users on either end, outside of providing a crystal clear voice communication experience.

Types of virtual phones:

Within virtual phone systems, also known as VoIP solutions, there are both on-premise and cloud-based options available for teams to choose between. An on-premise solution means that your business would be hosting all of the necessary servers at your physical location. This can come with a lot of maintenance and overhead expenses, and is really only feasible for large enterprises with the means and space to host these bulky servers.

With a cloud-based solution, you are taking advantage of servers that your provider is hosting for you. That can help reduce associated costs, and you won’t have to worry about the logistics involved in maintaining the associated infrastructure.

While VoIP technology, in general, is a great way to take advantage of the next-generation tech, a cloud system helps you avoid the significant expenses that come with an on-premise solution.

How to select the best VoIP system

There are so many VoIP systems that your team could choose between, but they aren’t all equal in terms of what they are able to provide your team. That is why this checklist will be a beneficial tool as you try to differentiate between systems.

We split the checklist into two components, but you will want to make sure that your potential new provider is able to check all the boxes across both checklists!

The benefits checklist:

  1. Reduced Costs: Your business phone system shouldn’t be an additional cost that eats up your budget. Instead, when you switch to a VoIP phone system, you should see reduced costs and increased savings. This can come from both the pricing of the solution, as well as being able to reduce the hardware and equipment that may have been necessary before.
  2. Improved Workflows: You should be able to see a more streamlined communication process as soon as you implement a virtual phone system. That is because compared to traditional phone systems, VoIP phones are able to offer features and integrations that can specifically enable improved workflows. Whether this looks like an improved phone process, easily syncing information across important tools, or allowing for automatic updates of information, make sure you are able to increase productivity through more efficient workflows.
  3. Increased Flexibility: One of the biggest benefits of using a VoIP phone is that you are no longer tied down to one specific location, or even specific devices. When you take advantage of a virtual phone, you should be able to access your phone both within an office, and beyond. This will help you support remote and flexible working in a new capacity, as you are still able to access your phone lines no matter where you are!
  4. Accessible Support: Your VoIP provider should be able to help your team out, both as you get started and throughout your time with them. Make sure that you are able to understand the support options available to your team, and that they go beyond the introductory period. We recommend that you find a solution with both asynchronous support which allows you to access resources on your own time, as well as reliable ways to get in touch with your provider in real time.
  5. Higher Scalability: Your virtual phone system should be able to scale with your team, whether that means more employees, locations, products, and more. The best VoIP providers won’t lock you into a specific price or use ranges such as 1-10 employees, 11-25, and so on. Instead, they will offer flexibility by simply billing you per employee, so that you aren’t forced into a whole new bracket just by adding one new team member.

The features checklist:

  1. Smart Integrations: With smart integrations on your side you are able to suddenly unlock new and important features for your team. Whether you have an internal centralized business platform, a CRM system that you rely on, or take advantage of other communication tools, make sure that your VoIP system is able to integrate with them. That way you can avoid harmful information silos and improve your processes.
  2. Voice IVR: Routing callers to the right place is an important part of any phone communication system. If you are looking for the most effective and least painful way to route calls automatically, then make sure that your phone system is able to offer voice-based IVR features. These systems will route calls based on what they are saying in real-time, instead of forcing them to enter into a seemingly endless call routing menu. You know the type, they often sound like “press 1 for sales, press 2 for support…” and so on. Eliminate the frustration that often comes with these systems, and look for a more modern approach.
  3. Business Text Messaging: Your business phone system should offer more than just voice communication. You should be able to communicate with your customers through an important channel that they probably love: texting. With business text messaging you are able to send a message directly from your business phone number, keeping communication consistent and professional.
  4. Virtual Phone Number Options: When you take advantage of a virtual phone, you will automatically have what is considered to be a virtual phone number. However, your system should give your team options to find the perfect number, or numbers, for your business. Whether this means having phone numbers from around the globe, toll-free numbers, or being able to keep your existing number, make sure that your team has plenty of options to choose from.
  5. Call Monitoring: Call monitoring features are utilized by so many teams to see great benefits. These features may be call recording capabilities, call conferencing, call whispering, and call commenting. When you are taking advantage of a robust phone system, it will give you access to a wide variety of features that can enable call monitoring. That way you can improve your training, managing, and storing important information with ease.

The comparison

Aka, putting the checklists to use. As we mentioned earlier, we will be looking at the following providers today:

  • Yodel.io
  • Aircall
  • CallHippo

As we go forward with our comparison, we hope you get a deeper understanding of how important of a tool our checklist can be! Let’s get started looking at some of the top VoIP providers that your team may be considering.

Explore more features

Yodel.io

Yodel is a robust business phone system that comes complete with advanced features. Yodel is able to check all of the boxes when we look at the benefits that your team can see. With two pricing options that are priced per user, you can easily find the savings you are looking for. Yodel is also able to check all of the boxes in terms of the features we mentioned, and it is worth especially noting the following two:

  • Voice IVR: Yodel is able to offer an advanced and intelligent way to route callers. Using AI technology, your callers just have to speak as they normally would in order to be routed to the right team members or department.
  • Smart integrations: Yodel is well known for a variety of its integration capabilities, such as Slack, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Intercom. With these integrations, and many more, you can connect your phone to your other business tools.

Aircall

While Aircall is able to check many boxes, such as call monitoring, text messaging, virtual phone options, and increased scalability, it is important to understand the boxes they don’t check.

When you are getting started with Aircall, you are able to take advantage of their live resources making it an easy-to-configure solution. Aircall appears to be compatible with most hardware solutions, and will provide business texting. Their IVR system does not appear to be fully conversational, and instead relies on multi-level IVR routing configurations to be most effective. This may be a bit tricky to set up, and doesn’t eliminate the annoyance of listing too long menu lists.

Aircall is also consistently one of the most expensive VoIP services in the top rankings, which makes it not a great fit for many businesses. It is important to look at pricing for all solutions, but with Aircall make sure that you are really getting more with the increased pricing.

CallHippo

It is hard to say if CallHippo is able to check certain boxes such as reduced costs and other features. That’s because CallHippo has many features that are available as an “a la carte” add-on to your system.

This pricing model gives you a basic plan to start with, and you can add on features for additional costs. If you were to add all the features available that are on the checklist, you still would be missing out on features such as Voice IVR. Adding on all the features will also make it one of the pricier options available, and therefore is not a great solution when compared to our checklist.

In the end…

We hope that you have been able to learn everything that you need to know to make an informed decision about the best VoIP system for you to take advantage of. You should feel ready to tackle the virtual phone system search, and find the perfect solution for your team. When you do, make sure that your phone system has all of the benefits and features that our checklists laid out for you, as that will help you find a robust and comprehensive solution.

If you are ready to get started today, then be sure to check out Yodel’s free 14-day trial. You can take advantage of our demo call or live webinar to get started, so you can make sure you are starting on the right foot. Check it out today!

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