Can a cheap VoIP service be good? Here’s our verdict
As the saying goes, what is good isn’t cheap and what is cheap isn’t good. In the case of VoIP, that doesn’t necessarily hold true though. Can VoIP be cheap and good at the same time? What should be taken into account when comparing VoIP options? That’s what we’re going to discuss.
Why should you even look for VoIP services?
In short: to save money, increase productivity, promote remote efficiency, and deliver flawless customer service.
VoIP has emerged as the perfect alternative to various phone systems, putting an end to expensive and unsustainable landlines.
In the US alone, the number of active VoIP business lines increased from 6.2 to 41.6 millionbetween 2010 and 2018. In the 2019 GMI report, the VoIP market was estimated to grow from $20 billion in 2018 to $55 billion by 2025.
All of that before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and changed businesses forever.
With an increase in remote work, taking calls from anywhere in the world has become pretty much a necessity nowadays. Having VoIP makes this considerably easier and cost-effective, so it is not surprising that its popularity has grown over the last few years.
Nevertheless, VoIP offers a lot more than just that for companies that use it.
Here, you can watch our brief video on VoIP technology:
Benefits of VoIP for your business
VoIP can generate financial savings
With VoIP, you can reduce many operational costs. The numbers speak for themselves here.
Companies that switch to VoIP can save:
The prices of VoIP services may vary widely among providers. Some companies offer really good rates on long-distance calls, while others offer competitive fees for local and international services. You should consider which type of calls are ideal for your business when choosing your provider to capitalize on the savings.
However, one thing is for certain: VoIP is significantly cheaper than landline phones.
It can be extremely expensive to implement, run and maintain a landline phone system. What’s more, admins are needed within the company to handle them. Landlines are also pretty inflexible and very limited in terms of location, putting the possibility of remote work at risk.
Most VoIP business phone systems utilize infrastructure and hardware located in cloud data centers which is owned by your VoIP provider. That makes them more affordable to install, use, and manage than landlines.
VoIP can help you increase employee productivity
As well as saving money, VoIP can also boost the efficiency of your business.
By deploying a VoIP solution, the State of Utah saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. Using the automation features of VoIP services, they also saved $120k per year on labor costs associated with e.g. managing tickets.
What’s more, their IT team recovered 80 hours a week that they previously spent on solving office management issues.
When you compare this to the fact that the average working week in the US is 34.7 hours as of October 2021, you can clearly see that the team saved a time equivalent of two people working full-time.
And that’s a no-brainer.
VoIP systems take care of all the administration, so things run smoother while employees can concentrate on more important tasks and communicate better. Thanks to all of these factors, businesses that choose VoIP solutions are able to maximize their work time and gain benefits.
VoIP drives remote efficiency
VoIP does not only assist with remote working, but actually makes it possible for many people to do so. With VoIP, you can make and answer calls from anywhere in the world, unlike traditional landlines that require people to stay near their desks. The possibilities are endless.
Having employees working remotely can cut a range of your costs, from electricity to office maintenance. It isn’t just you who will benefit, though.
Employees won’t have to commute, saving both time and money. An example, perhaps? Each entry driving into the NYC Central Business District may soon cost up to $35. Avoiding such fees by working remotely can generate a few hundred dollars in savings for employees, as well as make them more motivated and productive when working from home.
Why not accomplish a few tasks at home rather than get stuck in traffic and struggle to find a parking spot?
Yet, despite all these benefits, VoIP may seem like a very expensive solution to many. In fact, there are cheap and free VoIP services that you can use in your business. But, are they worth it?
What to take into account when choosing a cheap VoIP provider?
You should consider a number of factors before selecting a cheap VoIP service.
Factor no. 1: the size of your business
The size of your company should be on the top of your list. Even if a particular provider claims the solution to be “for every business”, that’s not always the case.
It might be that some providers specialize in catering to the needs of small businesses, while others excel at offering services to large enterprises.
If you run a medium or large business, choosing a cheap VoIP provider could prove to be unsustainable because of a very simple rule:
As your business expands, the issues you face can become more complex and varied.
Most (although not all) cheap VoIP services come without constant, 24/7 technical support, fast responses, or efficient problem-solving.
If you run a small business, then it might make sense to choose a cheap VoIP service, particularly if you don’t intend to go big. However, if you plan on growing every day, it may be a good idea to search for a solution that offers scalability.
With this option, changes in your company’s needs and growth won’t force you to switch VoIP providers.
Factor no. 2: the costs of a cheap VoIP service
While you are looking for a cheap VoIP system, be sure to define what cheap means for you in advance.
Low price is a very relative term: for some companies, just a few dollars a month may be too much. Meanwhile, other businesses consider the hundreds of dollars price tag as affordable, as long as they are satisfied with the quality of their VoIP service.
To get a better understanding of what ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’ mean when it comes to VoIP services, you should do some research and compare various plans.
The majority of VoIP providers offer a few subscription packages – the more expensive your plan, the more features you can access. You may not need all of them in the beginning, but scalability allows you to gradually change your plan over time. Take your business growth into consideration here.
Choosing a cheap VoIP service that either offers very expensive extensions and add-ons or doesn’t offer any at all, can harm your now-small but soon-to-be-medium business.
Factor no. 3: features you require from your VoIP service
One aspect you shouldn’t overlook is the list of necessary features that you expect a cheap VoIP provider to offer.
Some of the most popular tools offered by reliable VoIP services include IVR, call routing, messaging, caller ID, and call forwarding.
To make the right choice, always keep in mind the size of your company and your budget.
You might find that the features your company needs the most are too expensive. If this happens, you should rethink your finances and perhaps find some extra dollars. Choosing the right tools can increase the initial cost of your VoIP service, but in the long run, it will pay off.
Factor no. 4: security measures
Cyberattacks, security breaches, and identity theft have increased the importance of protecting your customers.
It is no secret that security is one of the areas that VoIP providers may compromise in order to offer cheap or free services.
Being a responsible business owner, you must put security first. Anything that goes wrong could result in damage to your reputation, and eventually luring away your customers.
Thus, when selecting a cheap VoIP service provider, make sure that you consider its security.
Paying extra to use a more secure VoIP provider will obviously increase your spending. Having a good VoIP service, however, will also give you peace of mind and lessen stress over possible data breaches.
The true price tag of 100% free VoIP solutions
Some say that the best things in life are free.
Are they, though? And are they really, genuinely free?
The truth is, there are often many hidden side effects and issues lurking behind free solutions waiting to surprise you at the most unexpected times.
Free VoIP systems can lead to a scenario where avoiding payments at a given moment will lead to major expenses later on. Mainly due to scalability issues, instability, security breaches, or the system simply not working properly.
However, free VoIP solutions have more limitations than just these, as you can see in the comparison table below.
Free vs cheap VoIP solutions
100% free VoIP solutions
- Features – come with limited features
- Scalability – usually not scalable
- Price – free, but may come with hidden costs
- Best for – solopreneurs or small teams only
- Security measures – low
- Support – often lack of technical support or viable contact options
Cheap VoIP solutions
- Features – Also comes with limited features, but still more than free solutions
- Scalability – scalable to some extent
- Price – neither free nor expensive, usually offer to purchase extra add-ons
- Best for – small and medium-size teams
- Security measures – rather low, depending on the solution
- Support – lack of or little technical support available
There is a real price tag to free VoIP solutions, including lower quality and many costs potentially caused by its use.
You might prefer a cheap VoIP service if your business needs and capacity are modest or you don’t need a very advanced VoIP.
CloudTalk’s VoIP for the win
As a VoIP provider that can meet the needs of your business, CloudTalk would be an excellent choice. How come we think that way?
#1 High scalability and flexibility
There are several subscription plans available. Each offering a different set of features that you can scale up and down according to your business needs. Whenever you require more or less, you can adjust the package and take advantage of our flexibility.
#2 A rich set of features
CloudTalk provides its users with some of the most advanced and innovative call center tools. More than 2,500 call centers and phone systems are powered by our software, so you can be sure that we understand the value of quality.
Rich voice features, statistics, and monitoring, intelligent call routing, productivity solutions, integrations, plus much more – all at a very reasonable price.
#3 Bespoke security standards
Security is one of CloudTalk’s strongest points. As a result of paying attention to various security practices, you are never at risk of breaches. Therefore you can use our VoIP service without worry.
First and foremost, we pay attention to the security of our products, cloud, and infrastructure. CloudTalk makes utmost effort to ensure that everyone using the service has a safe and transparent experience.
#4 Catering to all needs
Whether you are in healthcare, information technology, e-commerce, retail, travel, or hospitality, we are able to help.
All industries can benefit from using CloudTalk. You don’t need to seek a solution specifically tailored to your market, since we have it all.
Mercedes-Benz, Glovo, DHL, Fujitsu, and more customer stories prove our ability to provide a flexible service that will suit many needs.
#5 Multiple integrations
Integrations are a major concern for businesses when they’re looking to implement new solutions. Are your new VoIP services going to work seamlessly with your existing software?
With CloudTalk, you don’t have to worry about that. Numerous integrations with numerous CRM systems, eCommerce tools, and sales automation solutions are all at your disposal. If the pool of native integrations is not enough, use Zapier or Integromat to create connections between thousands of apps and tools.
Over to you
The bottom line is that a cheap VoIP service can sometimes be a good pick. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for. Despite the fact that cheap solutions are sometimes risky, they can also prove to be just right for small teams with modest needs.
It’s only natural that people often choose the cheapest option available, but with VoIP, there are a number of other factors to consider besides the price alone. You should always check each solution’s tools, security measures, scalability, and optional features such as integrations.
And by carrying out such research, it may turn out that CloudTalk is one of the best options for your business.