One of the historical knocks on VoIP has been that it isn’t always the most reliable or of the best quality. Two things you really want in a voice service, especially if your business depends on it.
So what are you to do when you really want to capitalize on the cost savings, flexibility and integration capabilities of VoIP service?
You start with an understanding of how you can ensure VoIP quality of service.
How to Ensure VoIP Quality of Service
There are five basic steps you can take to ensure VoIP quality of service. Let’s take a look at each of them.
- Internal Network Assessment – The first thing that you need to do is consider the health of your own internal VoIP network. The network, both internal and external, is the backbone of VoIP service. Taking a few hours to review your network topology, examine the infrastructure and testing to see if their is enough free bandwidth on your internal network to handle the additional VoIP traffic will prevent you from having internal network issues which very often plague VoIP quality of service.
- Internet Provider – Once you’ve given your internal network the once (or twice) over, it’s time to assess your internet providers ability to deliver VoIP traffic. Since most VoIP services today are sold “over the top”, the VoIP provider has little control over what happens as the voice packets travel across the open internet. This makes having a high quality, reliable provider a must…and enough bandwidth to send and receive your calls. Make sure you calculate what you will need. Just because you are saving some money on your voice minutes, doesn’t mean you won’t see increased internet costs!
- Network Monitoring – If your internal and external networks are up to snuff then the next thing to do is to install a network monitoring device. A network monitoring device allows you to analyze, report and receive alerts based on your network traffic. This is critical to troubleshooting quality of service issues, especially ones that only happen once in a blue moon.
- Service Provider SLA – Before you sign-up with any VoIP service provider, it’s important to ask them about their service level agreement and customer service experience. Most service providers have a standard service level agreement, which is a commitment to service up-time, but a few like Nextiva, have above average up-times and remarkably responsive customer service. Make sure you spend time understanding your service level agreement and even test out their responsiveness by sending in some tickets to their customer service department.
- Service Provider References – This is the step almost everyone misses. Most businesses experience VoIP quality of service issues because they picked the wrong VoIP service provider! It’s easy to be fooled, I get that VoIP’s not all you do. Simply take the time to ask them for a few reference customers. Call those customers and ask them questions in the same areas as your concerns. Then hit Google and read up on a few reviews. Remember that it’s more likely that a customer will complain then compliment in public, so just take that into account when you’re reading an awe inspiring tongue lashing. Mistakes happen.
Looking for more information on VoIP Quality of Service or Top Rated Service Providers??? Check out the VoIP Provider section to learn more about VoIP!