4 Things to Look for in a SIP Trunking Service Provider

Did you know that when someone calls your business and they don’t get an answer, they won’t try again 85% of the time?

This makes it clear that having the right hybrid phone system is a must for your business if you wish to excel in customer communications.

Selecting the best SIP trunking service for your business can be challenging. This is especially true when you lack a technical background in things like cloud communications.

It’s essential that you sort the best SIP trunking service providers from those with sub-par service or support quality. Some factors you might need to consider include security, customer support, scalability, and pricing. Just because a service provider offers VoIP system installation at a price you can afford doesn’t mean they’re a right fit for your business.

Unfortunately, according to present communications regulations, any organization that meets basic technological and regulatory qualifications can advertise VoIP or SIP trunking services. This makes it comparatively easy for hack SIP trunking service companies to compete for the attention and money of small businesses, alongside companies that are actually qualified to provide the service. This is just one more reason why it’s critical that you conduct thorough research before selecting a VoIP or SIP trunking service provider.

What Does a SIP Trunking Service Provider Do?

A SIP Trunking service provider sets up your business to utilize VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and connect to the Public Switched Telephone Network via the Internet, through a private branch exchange.

Basically, it allows your company to place and receive customer phone calls using an Internet-based system, instead of an old-fashioned telephone hardware system.

Depending on the size and needs of your business, you can host your PBX (private branch exchange) onsite or outsource hosting to your SIP trunking service.

SIP trunking utilizes software and the Internet to provide businesses with features not normally available to phone users, including:

  • Locating the user when a call is initiated
  • Selecting the end system for a given session
  • Disclosing user availability
  • Determining the capabilities of an end-user system
  • Establishing a session (or call)
  • Managing the call session, including transfers, termination, and more

No matter your business’s unique needs and preferences, SIP trunking services can play an integral role in your company’s communications between employees, partners, and customers alike.

The following are five things you should keep in mind when you’re in the market for a SIP trunking service provider.

1. Available Add-on Features

You should know what features and functions your business needs in its VoIP system to function at its peak. The following are a few possible options a service provider might offer:

  • Caller ID
  • Toll-free calling
  • Growth reserved numbers
  • Interactive voice recognition (IVR)
  • Auto attendant
  • Video chat
  • SMS messaging
  • Conference calling
  • Call forwarding
  • Voicemail-to-email transcriptions
  • Email-to-fax
  • Enhanced 911
  • 411 functionality

2. Reliability and Redundancy

A SIP trunking service can suddenly fail for any number of reasons. If it happens, you can end up being left without any means of connecting to your customers. If you selected a cut-rate provider, your business’s phones might go down because of a hardware or data failure.

A VoIP vendor should have an adequate level of SIP reliability to restore service quickly, with very few interruptions. Your company’s internal investments, such as internet service, redundant hardware, and multiple call centers, can help prevent this kind of problem from occurring, as well.

3. Promise of Reliability (SLA)

An SLA, or service level agreement, is a contract offered by the SIP trunking service that guarantees a specific level of reliability—basically, to prove to you that you can trust their services to be up and running when your business needs them, with minimal interruptions.

While an SLA isn’t strictly necessary, it can be an invaluable source of trust between your business and the SIP trunking service.

4. Customer Support

One of the most important factors to consider before any contract is signed is the level of customer support you can expect to receive from your SIP trunking provider. It should not be uncommon for providers to offer support in what are usually non-business hours, such as on Saturdays in the evening.

The following are some service options that you want to look for in a VoIP service company:

  • 24/7/365 support availability
  • Experienced support staff
  • Multiple channels of support (email, phone, instant messaging, knowledge base, etc.)
  • Redundancy investments
  • Digital troubleshooting tools

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