So your office has decided that it’s time to evaluate business telephone systems, and now you’re trying to figure out how to compare service providers. The good news is that there is a range of options out there to choose from, the bad news is that it can be difficult to see through the smoke and mirrors of promotions, ads and recommendations.

After all, your business is unique, and the things you require from a business telephone system might differ from your colleague who uses a system for his large company with a distributed workforce. Maybe you run a small retail office, or maybe you need employees to work from home but would like remote capabilities for when you travel to tradeshows. The key here is customization, and we’ve provided six main questions that Vonage Business customers ask when comparing our service against other providers.

Can the service scale with my business?

Ideally, you want to choose a service provider that can grow as you grow, without any hassles. You should be able to add or remove extensions, add or remove features, or even outfit a satellite office that syncs effortlessly with your current system.

What are the up-front costs?

With any new technology, you can expect to spend some extra money at the onset to get your infrastructure set up. With VoIP business telephone systems, you’ll likely need a series of IP phones, a router and maybe even a better Internet connection to make sure you get the clearest calls possible. But in this day and age, you shouldn’t have to expect to spend thousands on having on-premise equipment hauled into your office. Referencing question #1, your service provider should be able to deliver premium service with as little overhead as possible.

What are the hidden costs?

Some service providers offer competitive pricing that looks too good to be true, and it is. Read the fine print of pricing and you’ll find that low-cost phone service often comes with multi-extension requirements, or applies only with a two-year contract. What if you need to make changes to your service, or even cancel your service? What are the fees or penalties associated with making a change, especially if you’re under contract?

How easy is it to use?

Technology doesn’t have to be difficult, which is why great business telephone systems should come with an intuitive, easy-to-use, 24/7 online portal that allows you to make customizations to your system on your time.

What if I need help?

Sometimes you’ll be unable to find your answer on a support website, which is why you’ll need to speak to a real person. Your phone service provider should have a helpful and knowledgeable support team that’s ready to fix your problem. Vonage prides itself on having an expert customer care team who are able to resolve escalated problems quickly and easily in conjunction with our VoIP service experts and engineers.

What value will I get?

This is a broad question, for sure, but a service provider should be able to tell you how your service can actually help your business grow instead of just giving you sales chatter about a long feature list. VoIP business telephone systems have the capability of pushing brand-new features to you immediately, but how will you be able to use them? When you speak to a sales rep, tell them a little bit about your industry and your needs, and he or she should be able to give you examples about how you can leverage included and add-on features.

If you want to ask a Vonage Business rep these six questions, just fill out the form on the left or click below to read about the signup process and get a free quote. We’ll be able to have a helpful conversation with you and give you a commitment-free pricing so you can make the best decision for your business.