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How to Achieve the Best VoIP Call Quality for Your Business?

Source: - Lic#234974146 ID#27446420

Good call quality is essential when communicating with customers and prospects. This is because it’s a first (and rather important) impression of your business and its reliability. 40% of customers stated they stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service, and this includes a bad caller experience.

Part of customer service is being able to communicate on the phone without any hiccups or interruptions like muffled audio or dropped calls. So, how can you achieve the best VoIP call quality for your business? Let’s take a look!

Improving Call Quality for Your VoIP Phone System

VoIP providers exist in abundance these days. Some are fly-by-night using least-cost routing (LCR) with low-quality termination. Others offer expensive plans with limited global coverage and no redundancy.

Along with low-quality cloud phone service providers, many factors affect good VoIP call quality. Part of improving voice quality over your phone system is correctly identifying the issues and resolving them.

Common VoIP Issues

In order to improve VoIP call quality, you need to be aware of the different issues affecting voice quality. These are the most common voice over IP issues that you’ll need to troubleshoot:

  • Inability to make calls from a device
  • Dropped calls
  • No sound
  • Jitter
  • Echo or delays
  • Broken or muffled audio
  • Latency
  • Packet loss

It is crucial to identify what VoIP problem your system faces. It helps you take the right course of action to improve your network’s functionality. Finding a high-quality VoIP phone service provider can take care of most of these issues. That aside, there are a few tweaks you can make to your system on your own. Here is a VoIP troubleshooting guide to get you started.

How to Achieve Best VoIP Call Quality?

Take these steps to achieve good VoIP call quality for your cloud phone system:

  1. Measure your VoIP call quality
  2. Ensure you have the right equipment
  3. Troubleshoot VoIP quality issues
  4. Disable SIP ALG
  5. Troubleshooting with VoIP QoS
  6. Switch to a new provider

1. Measure Your VoIP Call Quality

It is vital to constantly monitor and measure VoIP call quality. Mean Opinion Score (MOS) measures VoIP quality by scoring a call from 1 (bad VoIP quality) to 5 (excellent VoIP quality). A good VoIP call quality MOS score falls between 3.5-4.2.

Here’s an example of what a MOS score chart looks like:

The chart below shows a breakdown of MOS (mean opinion score) for VoIP call quality.

Test and measure call quality by monitoring jitter, latency, and packet loss. Additionally, call detail records and activity reports will help you identify where your call quality might be lacking. Then, you can determine how to resolve the issue.

2. Ensure You Have the Right Equipment

Purchase the right equipment to support your call volume and agent requirements. Here is a list of equipment needed for VoIP:

  • VoIP (hard phones or softphones)
  • Computers or laptops
  • VoIP phone service
  • Headsets with a microphone and noise-canceling technology
  • High-speed and reliable data that meets essential VoIP bandwidth requirements

If you are a United World Telecom customer, you can work closely with our telecom experts to understand the equipment needed for your specific phone system. Chat with us online!

A guide to achieving the best VoIP call quality.

3. Troubleshoot VoIP Quality Issues

Besides finding the necessary equipment, it is crucial to test your VoIP phone system periodically. Here are some ways to troubleshoot VoIP call quality issues on your own:

  1. Check your internet speed
  2. Review network and equipment configuration
  3. Identify and resolve jitter, latency, and packet loss issues
  4. Check cables connecting devices and replace faulty wiring
  5. Invest in good headsets
  6. Avoid hubs on your local access network (LAN)

If you still suffer from low or bad call quality after trying these troubleshooting methods, then the problem may lie in your VoIP service.

4. Disable SIP ALG

Most internet routers come with the SIP ALG feature activated. SIP ALG — also known as Application Layer Gateway — prevents problems caused by a router’s firewall. It does so by monitoring and modifying VoIP traffic, as needed, to improve connectivity.

However, the downside is that VoIP traffic (voice data packets) can get lost due to router firewalls when transferred between the phone and the VoIP provider. This can lead to:

  • One-way audio
  • Phone not ringing for incoming calls
  • Calls sent to voicemail directly
  • Dropped calls

So, if your VoIP issues persist after trying these troubleshooting methods, you may need to check and disable SIP ALG.

Disabling SIP ALG depends on the type of modem you use. For most routers:

  • Log into your router’s control panel.
  • Navigate to Advanced or Security settings.
  • Locate SIP, ALG, or Firewall settings (depends on your router’s set-up).
  • Uncheck the SIP or ALG box.
  • Save and reboot/restart your router.

If router settings are not clear, reach out to your internet provider for help.

5. Troubleshooting with VoIP QoS

VoIP Quality of Service (QoS) is the process of addressing and fixing voice quality issues. QoS prioritizes network traffic passing through a router. The end goal is to offer users acceptable-to-good service.

Routers handle data (and voice) packets on a ‘first in, first out’ basis. This way, all traffic on every device within your network is considered a priority. When too many people use the internet simultaneously, these packets end up waiting in long queues. This means, your call quality competes with other internet traffic on your network — leading to low voice quality.

QoS balances out bandwidth distribution across different types of traffic and devices. This way, you can prioritize what traffic gets through sooner and hassle-free to achieve the best VoIP call quality.

Set up VoIP QoS by reaching out to your internet supplier, VoIP providers, and IT team. To learn more, check out our guide to VoIP QoS standards and requirements.

6. Switch to a New Provider

Finally, if the above methods don’t work, it might be time to find a new provider to meet your business’ exact needs. Sometimes, no matter how you try to improve your call quality, the problem may lie in the phone system itself. Research different cloud phone service providers to understand how their system and phone network works. Consult with telecom experts to find the right solution for your business communication needs.

Resolving VoIP Call Quality Issues

Achieve the best VoIP call quality for your business by trying these different troubleshooting methods. And if those don’t do the trick, reach out to your VoIP provider.

Speak with our telecom experts to understand how we can help you achieve good VoIP call quality for your business. Call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online!

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Cloud Communication Solutions

Source: - Lic#137448166 ID#27446420

With the advent of cleaner and more advanced technology, more and more businesses are looking for high-quality and cost-effective technological solutions to streamline and automate their business processes.

One faction of technological advancement is moving to the cloud — from cloud computing and storage to cloud communication.

The main reason to take your business processes and communications to the cloud is to increase flexibility and reliability while reducing costs. Cloud communication solutions bring all your communication needs to one platform while offering additional benefits.

How Can a Cloud Phone System Support Your Business?

A cloud phone system — also known as a virtual phone system — comes with cloud communication tools to help businesses communicate efficiently and cost-effectively. Cloud phone systems use voice over IP (VoIP) to transmit calls over the internet. Because of this, users can make and receive business calls from any location, using any device. And they will have access to advanced telecom features that promise high call quality, VoIP redundancy, and global coverage.

When to Switch to Cloud Communication?

There are many reasons why a business may consider switching to a cloud phone system from a traditional phone system. You should consider cloud communication solutions if you want to:

  • Get rid of low voice quality leading to dropped calls and muffled audio.
  • Prepare for disasters and outages.
  • Reduce costs spent on hardware and equipment.
  • Centralize business communications into one unified platform.
  • Expand your business’s global reach cost-effectively.
  • Manage remote teams.
  • Offer remote working and telecommuting abilities.
  • Get out of long-term contracts.
  • Create a customizable business communication platform that works well for your business’s needs.

Why Should Businesses Use Cloud Communication to Grow?

Cloud communication solutions can give your business an opportunity to expand and extend its services to neighboring and global markets. And you can do this without exponentially increasing your business expenses. Here are 7 main reasons why your business needs cloud communication solutions:

1. Rapid Growth and Scalability

As your business grows, add new users and direct inward dialing phone lines without needing to purchase extra equipment or physical phone lines. You simply add new employees to the control panel and give them access. Additionally, if your business plans to test or enter new markets, you can expand globally without opening field offices or even traveling to these regions. With international call forwarding, you can forward calls from those areas to your main office, wherever it is located. This way, you can grow your business at your own pace without your budget taking a hit.

2. Global Coverage

As mentioned above, you can get cloud phone numbers from multiple countries around the world and forward calls to your main headquarters, satellite offices, or remote agents. This allows your business to offer global customer support and make your business reachable to customers wherever they are.

3. Lower Costs

All you need to make a cloud phone system work is a computer or laptop and internet service. By reducing the need for desk phones and other extra equipment or hardware, you can save tremendously on communication-related costs. Plus, if you offer employees telecommuting options, you may even be able to save on space and office equipment.

Reasons why a business needs cloud communications.
Source: O#23559 – ID#100021132865

4. Unified Communications (UC)

Having all business communications on one platform can reduce time spent chasing information and messages on different programs and apps. Streamline your business’s communications by bringing and accessing important communication channels in one place, and improve productivity and efficiency.

Related: 5 Unified Communications Trends You Need to Know in 2022

5. Advanced Call Management

Use call management and routing tools to keep your calls and employees organized. Route calls based on different predetermined rules to ensure customers are assisted efficiently. This can also help reduce the number of abandoned calls. You can ensure calls are handled at all times of the day by routing calls to different locations during off-hours or high-traffic periods — such as satellite or remote agents in other time zones.

6. Remote Team Management

Use these call management tools within a UC platform to manage remote and distributed teams. Forward calls globally across different offices, employees, and regions with advanced routing options. Check call records to see details of incoming and outgoing calls. Record calls and review them for quality assurance and performance management. Keep tabs on your teams and measure productivity.

7. Environment-Friendly Solutions

Finally, switching to a cloud phone system is another way to make your business eco-friendly. This is because, with cloud communications, you can:

  • Reduce the use of excessive hardware or equipment.
  • Reduce the use of paper by going paperless.
  • Lower commuting needs by offering telecommuting and remote working options.
  • Expand to new markets without opening up physical offices, and more.

Convinced Yet?

If you’re still on the fence, connect with our experts to get an idea of what a cloud phone system solution will look like for your business. We can get you set up with a phone system that complements your business and communication needs. Call us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online to learn more!

5 Reasons to Change Your Business Phone Service

Source: - Lic#247580390 ID#27446420

Is your business phone service giving you the communication support you need? Does your team have the right tools needed to perform efficiently on calls? Are you shattering your pockets paying high calling fees? Then maybe it’s time for a change.

Why Should You Find a New Business Phone Service Provider: 5 Reasons

A good small business phone service is the backbone of any company. The quality of your phone service directly impacts how your business will handle customer calls and that, in turn, impacts customer satisfaction. Your phone service is the main way to communicate with current customers and potential leads. And so, choosing the right service is crucial to your business’s overall development.

Here are the 5 main reasons to consider a new phone service provider for business and what to look for in your new phone service.

1. Better Rates for Good, Reliable Quality

Since your phone service is a constant aspect of doing business, you need a provider that will offer you attractive rates and better pricing options for good service quality. Look for providers that offer competitive rates or that provide multiple plans so you can find one that works best for your needs.

More importantly, the price should not dictate the quality of service you receive. Check out customer reviews and testimonials and see how past customers have used this service. Additionally, look at your provider’s history: how long have they been in the business? How have they grown and developed with new VoIP trends and technological advancements? And so on. This will let you know how one provider stacks up against another, and which one will serve you better.

2. International Calling Benefits

Almost all businesses have some form of international outreach or expansion plan. Even if it is not something your company wants to pursue right away, it helps to have a phone service that can help you expand when the time is right. A VoIP phone service provider can help you achieve this by letting you scale up or down as needed.

You can take advantage of international calling with business VoIP as it uses call divert to forward calls globally. This means you or your customers do not have to worry about paying high international calling rates when it comes to connecting with your business. It also means that you can enter target markets and regions virtually without needing to build a physical local presence. This is a great way to offer sales and customer support to international prospects and to grow your business at your own pace.

3. More Access to Cloud Communication Tools

Good customer support and sales generation also depends on the type of business phone service you have. For example, can your current system route calls based on the time of day or the location of the caller? Can you record both incoming and outgoing calls and save the recordings for 6 years? Do you need a robust IVR system to assist callers?

Cloud communication tools can enable effective call management and help with creating an efficient phone system. And you can utilize these features to enhance caller experience and increase customer satisfaction.

4. No Long-term Contracts or Commitments

Most providers require you to sign a long-term contract and make a big commitment. However, any provider worth its salt will not ask you to make a commitment. Their service should speak for itself and make you want to continue using this provider. You shouldn’t feel forced to stick with them, especially if their service is not good or not living up to your expectations.

Additionally, cancellations should be easy. If you want to get out of a contract and switch to a new provider, you shouldn’t have to pay cancellation fees or penalties. This is how you will know that the service is good and that the company believes in their own product.

5. 24/7 Customer Support

Lastly, if an issue occurs, you should be able to connect with your provider with ease. This means 24/7 customer support and through multichannel support options such as voice, video, email, SMS, live chat, trouble tickets, and so on. You should feel comfortable and confident in connecting with your provider for technical assistance and customer support. Any business that is hard to reach most likely has low customer satisfaction and retention rates.

Time to Change Your Business Phone Service?

Switching to a new phone service can seem daunting, especially when you do not know what to look for. If you think a new provider can offer you better service for better prices, then now is the time to make the change. Speak with one of our experts to learn more about our services and how we can help you create the ideal business phone system!

How to Save Money on Your Business Phone System

Source: - Lic#192658444 ID#27446420

Now is not the time to make do with business communication tools and services that are subpar.

Customers are interacting with businesses more than ever since the pandemic. Lockdowns led to shopping and shipping uncertainties, and your customers are looking for reassurance. So, if you are experiencing common business phone system woes, then it’s time to upgrade your business phone system.

Here’s a guide to saving money when upgrading your business phone system.

We will look at various business communication solutions and how you can cut down on communication-related costs.

Upgrade Your Business Phone System Cost-Effectively

There are many reasons to change your business phone system. But the main reason is if your current system is inhibiting your employees’ ability to communicate with customers and team members. And with various telecom advancements, you can safeguard your business from these issues.

While advancements in technology may mean that purchasing a new phone system will be expensive, that is not necessarily the case. Telecom providers have found ways to make business communication features more affordable while retaining the quality of service. But to understand how you can save money, you’ll first need to understand the common issues associated with phone systems and what to look for in a new provider.

Common Business Phone System Issues

  • Your customers call your business during off-hours and encounter an empty office and ringing that goes on forever.
  • Or — if you are one of the lucky ones — your phones are ringing all the time, but you don’t have enough customer service reps handling phone calls, leading to missed or abandoned calls.
  • Perhaps call quality is lacking, leading to jumbled audio and dropped calls.
  • Another issue is that maybe a phone call is the only way to reach your business. What about those who prefer email, chat, or SMS?

Issues with your business phone system can greatly impact the quality of customer-business relationships. When your business is not easily reachable, customers will go elsewhere. And, you best believe, they will find a more accessible company (most likely, your biggest and baddest competitor).

So, where do you draw the line?

Why Switch from Your Current Provider

There are many types of phone service providers out there, and it is easy to get lost in the mix of fancy features, over-the-top advertising copy, and unrealistic promises. But if you stick to the basics, you can narrow down exactly what your business needs and how to look for the right service.

How bad does it need to get before you decide to switch to a more reliable and cost-effective phone service provider? Here are five signs to start looking for a new provider:

1. Low Call Quality

There is no excuse for poor call quality today. The best phone service providers will use Tier-1 networks to deliver excellent call quality. And so, if you struggle to hear or communicate with customers through your provider, they are offering low-quality service, and it is time to change that.

2. Limited Access to Necessary Features

Almost every phone service provider offers a basic set of features such as call forwarding, call transfer, number blocking, and basic automated responses. However, the bar has been raised with the entry of virtual phone service providers. Virtual providers offer these features along with advanced services for a similar, if not lower rate. With cloud phone service providers, you can expect:

  • Advanced routing options (location-based, skill-based, and time-based routing)
  • Integrated voicemail, fax, and SMS options
  • Automated voice response (IVR) systems offering callers self-service options
  • Call recording software, and more.

Most virtual phone service providers will offer you a variety of services and pricing plans. This lets you find a plan that fits your needs and budget. Compare what you are paying for your services with what other providers are offering. You might find a less expensive plan with more features and tools.

3. High Voice Calling Rates

Advances in technology have reduced international calling rates a great deal over the past two decades. But not all providers pass these savings down to their customers. This means that you may be paying more than what your service is worth. For this reason, it is important to know what other providers are offering and how they compare against your provider — more on that below.

Another thing to note is the type of provider: traditional or virtual. Different providers offer different features and cost savings. For instance, virtual phone numbers that work along with cloud phone systems are relatively inexpensive. Plus, they let businesses expand beyond immediate geographic boundaries without the need for physical offices. In other words, they give you more flexibility for less. So, when looking at other providers, be sure to understand what type of phone service they offer.

4. Unfair and Binding Contracts

A good call forwarding service provider will not require you to sign any contracts. As a business owner, you should be able to scale your service up or down, as needed. Some providers require users to sign long-term contracts to lock them into a minimum agreement, fixed rates, or termination fees.

save money on phone service

How to Find a Cost-Effective Business Phone System Provider

So, how can you upgrade your business phone system to give your employees everything they need to do their jobs well without burning a hole in your communications budget? Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for a new business phone service provider.

1. Make a List of Features & Services Needed

First, pen down what your business needs. Consider:

  • Do you need to route calls to multiple locations or departments?
  • Do you want to offer off-hours service? (Think: 24/7 round the clock service)
  • Can phone automation tools better support your business? (Think: automated routing, IVR systems, chatbots, etc.)
  • Do your employees need to transfer calls seamlessly across departments and locations?
  • Do you need to record business calls for compliance purposes or to track performance?

A good-quality phone service provider can help you customize your business phone system to meet your specific requirements. Route calls as needed — to other business locations or remote workers during off-hours. Design an IVR system to interact with the customers and transfer them to the appropriate department or employee. Record and review calls to learn more about customer preferences and needs. Offer SMS, email, and live chat support to reach a wider audience.

Making a list of all the things you want to be able to do with your business phone system can help you narrow down the right provider. Additionally, prioritize these features — ones that are must-haves sit on the top of the list and the nice-to-haves come under.

2. Research Different Types of Providers

As mentioned above, there are different types of phone service providers: traditional, on-premise, and cloud phone service providers. Each type of provider has its own strengths and weaknesses, and choosing one depends on what your business needs.

Traditional phone service, or POTS, is a landline phone service using traditional copper wires to transmit calls.

  • Offers a variety of features, yet limited
  • Good for local coverage
  • Expensive for global coverage (international calling)
  • Offers reasonably-priced services
  • May not be supportive of remote working

On-premise phone service — is a private branch exchange (PBX) system owned by your business. Your business is in charge of installing and maintaining the system.

  • Basic and advanced features
  • Good for local coverage (depending on the provider, may be good for global coverage too)
  • Supports phone integrations with other systems and apps
  • High costs due to hardware and software needed
  • Needs to updated and maintained regularly
  • Requires an experienced IT team to manage
  • More control over the system and its functionality

Cloud phone systems — are hosted by a cloud phone service provider and give access to cloud communication tools like UCaaS and CCaaS solutions in one place. This business phone system runs over the cloud, allowing users to make and receive calls from any location and device.

  • Basic and advanced features (advanced routing, call recording, etc.)
  • Unlimited coverage
  • Inexpensive compared to traditional phone systems
  • Variety of pricing plans
  • High scalability
  • Maintained and updated by the provider
  • No need for IT teams
  • User-friendly service
  • Can support multiple local and international toll free numbers (ITFN)
  • Multiple phone integrations (chat, video, SMS)
  • Less control over the system, dependence on the provider
  • Highly supportive of remote and global teams
  • Bundle with SIP trunking
#Pro tip: Consider going for a cloud-based phone system. These systems are inexpensive compared to traditional phone systems and offer better global coverage.

4. Review Pricing Plans & Features

Once you have a good idea of your business wants, you can review pricing plans and determine a good fit for your business.

Most providers offer multiple pricing options ranging from small plans for individual or small teams to bigger, customized plans for large enterprises. You may even get a customized quote for your specific business; so it is always good to speak with a sales rep.

Shop around a little before you make a decision — remember, you do not need to succumb to sales pressure.

5. Consult Customer Reviews & Case Studies

Next, look for customer reviews and testimonials. Customers are very vocal about businesses they are passionate about and businesses that disappointed them. Reviews can help you gauge how this provider works and how responsive they are to customer feedback.

You may even look for case studies (or, customer stories) to get insights into how businesses like yours are using this service.

6. Consider Logistics

Do you have to enter a long-term contract or get locked into a minimum-use agreement just to use the service? If yes, then move on. Quality service providers shouldn’t have to ask you to enter commitments to use their service. If their service does well and speaks for itself, you will want to stay regardless of the contract. This is a show of faith in their own ability to meet their needs.

#Pro tip: look for a free trial or demo to better understand how the service works on hand.

Take Time to Find the Right Service for Your Business

Finding the ideal phone service provider takes time, and you may need to try 1-2 before finding the perfect match. But knowing what is available, comparing services and costs, and knowing your business needs can help you narrow down and find the right business phone service provider.

So do your homework, research providers, study customer reviews, and make a decision. Switch to a service that supports your employees and customers and leads your business to create better relationships.

Get cost-effective phone solutions with United World Telecom. Speak with our representatives today to learn about our solutions or to start upgrading your business phone system. Call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online!

Improve CX with These 6 Cloud Contact Center Innovations

Source: - Lic#144155263 ID#27446420

More and more contact and call centers are switching to the cloud. And businesses with multiple communication channels and high call volumes are using cloud communication solutions to streamline their processes. It is, therefore, safe to say that cloud contact center solutions are gaining prominence and may grow more popular in the future.

But what does that mean for your business? What can new innovations and advancements in cloud contact center technology do for your business? Let’s find out!

What are Cloud Contact Center Services?

In essence, a cloud contact center (also called a cloud call center) is a contact center that works virtually. As such, these centers work with a suite of cloud phone system applications and cloud-based services. These hosted services include:

  • Call forwarding
  • Call recording
  • Voice, SMS, chat, video, text messaging services
  • Call transfer
  • Web phones
  • Integrations
  • Cloud IVR and ACD
  • Exceptional scalability for businesses of all sizes
  • A multitude of services and functions from one platform

Contact center as a service (CCaaS) has been around for years but now with IP telephony, these centers can work virtually and increase their coverage. Furthermore, these solutions (hosted by third-party providers) can be used by businesses themselves to boost their in-house sales and customer support teams.

How Can Cloud Call Center Services Improve CX?

Contact and call centers and small-to-large businesses can use these hosted services to take their customer support to the next level and offer enhanced caller and customer experience (CX).

Cloud communication tools make it easy for your business to offer customer support from any location, any device, and at any time. This means you can start to offer 24/7 service, connect with global customers and prospects, manage remote teams, and automate call management.

And all of this directly impacts the way customers interact with your business. From being able to quickly call your business to resolving their issues with personalized care.

6 Cloud Contact Center Solutions

So, which cloud call center innovations are taking the stage, equipping businesses to offer better CX? Here are 6 cloud CCaaS solutions that can revolutionize business-customer interactions.

1. Instant Provisioning and Activation

Get cloud-based numbers on-demand and in real-time with instant provisioning. Your business does not have to deal with long wait and activation times when you need new phone numbers and voice service. Get new numbers within days — within minutes for some countries — and start connecting with new customers and prospects.

How does this improve CX?
You can meet your customers where they are quickly and without any delay. Do you notice leads coming in from a new location? Buy a local phone number for that location and start connecting with those prospects.

2. Global Reach and Expansion

When you get cloud numbers from a provider that offers a high-availability network with multiple layers of redundancy, you can expect to expand your business’ global reach smoothly.

For instance, a provider like United World Telecom works closely with local and regional providers in countries around the world. This means you do not have to deal with the intricacies of managing multiple local and legacy providers for each target country. We take care of that for you.

How does this improve CX?
Hassle-free service means you can spend more time focusing on things that matter such as your customers.

And when you work with a provider that can get you access to various markets, you make your business available and reachable to customers and prospects in those areas. These customers can call you for free or local rates even if your business is located on the other side of the globe.

Innovations in a cloud-based contact center.
Source: – Lic#11310033 ID#27446420

3. Centralized Call Management

One of the top cloud contact center innovations has been the focus on producing advanced call routing and forwarding options. Now, businesses can route calls to different departments or employees based on time, location, skills, past interactions, and more. With IVR and ACD, you can automate call management for maximum efficiency.

In other words, manage all your communication needs through one centralized platform that is easy to manage and use.

How does this improve CX?
Customers calling from anywhere and at any time can quickly reach the right department. With international call forwarding, calls can be forwarded from one location to another seamlessly. So, your in-house team can answer international calls or these calls can be sent to remote teams in the customers’ time zone.

Customers can also go through your IVR system to get assistance or complete an action. In advanced cases, IVR systems can help callers make payments and renewals, check balances, or get answers to common questions. Enable your customers to get assistance quickly and on their own time, and increase customer satisfaction.

4. Customization & Automation Options

Customize and automate your cloud phone system with features, services, apps, and integrations. This can help streamline your processes and reduce time spent on repetitive, mundane tasks.

How does this improve CX?
By creating a phone system that makes the job easier, you can position your teams to focus more on customer interactions and CX. Customers can connect with the right department and receive personalized support and care.

5. Integration with UCaaS

When it comes to communication solutions, the thought often is which to choose: UCaaS or CCaaS? However, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) together can bring more results.

How does this improve CX?

  • UC and cloud contact center solutions working in unity means:
  • Better internal collaboration
  • Access to advanced telephony features and routing options
  • Low communication and IT costs
  • Easy remote team management
  • Tools to offer excellent 24/7 customer support

All of this is to equip your business and teams to focus more on customer interactions.

6. Scale and Grow Effectively

Finally, cloud contact center solutions make it easy to scale your business up or down as needed. Whether you want to open more offices worldwide or switch to a remote work environment, cloud phone solutions are designed to make connectivity easy and inexpensive.

How does this improve CX?
As your business grows and you add new employees and locations, continue to offer your customers uninterrupted service and support.

Try These Cloud Contact Center Innovations!

Get cloud call center solutions with United World Telecom. We offer cloud phone numbers from more than 160 countries globally and an international call forwarding service that lets you route incoming calls to any location. Additionally, we offer hosted services such as call recording, IVR, call routing, and more. Learn about our services by speaking with one of our experts! Call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online!

Related: Buyer’s Guide to Cloud Call Center Software (2021)

Migrating from ISDN to SIP

Source: - Lic#22293887 ID#27446420

Has your business considered upgrading its legacy ISDN phone system to gain new features and capabilities? Then, you must consider an ISDN to SIP migration.

SIP trunking is cost-effective and highly scalable. And this makes it an excellent choice when upgrading your phone system.

Here is a brief guide to replacing ISDN with SIP trunking, including the benefits of an ISDN to SIP migration and the different steps involved to make this transition smooth and cost-effective.

Why Switch to SIP?

SIP phone systems are often considered a modern alternative to traditional business phone systems. By replacing ISDN with SIP systems, you can add more flexibility and scalability to your phone system.

It is a good practice to upgrade legacy phone systems to take advantage of updated and advanced technologies. Here we will look at how you can migrate to SIP and what an ISDN to SIP plan looks like.

How Can SIP Trunking Benefit Your Business?

There are many benefits of switching to SIP trunking, from making your phone system cloud-friendly to aiding in global expansion to bringing more flexibility.

SIP trunking uses session initiation protocol (SIP) to send voice, video, text, and other unified data through the internet instead of traditional POTS lines. With this ability, you can run your business communications from any location and connect with your team wherever they are located.

And the best part? You don’t need additional hardware or new equipment to get your SIP system running. Global SIP trunks can easily integrate within your existing PBX. So, you do not need to install a new system. Simply bring SIP trunking into your current system. Additionally, your business can even expand to new markets and regions without increasing overhead costs.

So, with SIP trunking, you get a more advanced and scalable phone system while keeping your communication-related costs low.

What to Keep in Mind When Migrating to SIP Trunking

When doing an ISDN to SIP migration, note that:

  • You will need to conduct an audit of your current phone system to gauge the scope of the migration.
  • Since SIP can work alongside ISDN, switching won’t cause any downtime or interruptions.
  • Tests that ensure the system runs smoothly can be conducted around your business’ schedule and activity.
  • Research different SIP trunking providers to get a sense of what they offer and what their rates are.

Debunking SIP Trunking Myths

When it comes to new (and complex) technology, it is easy to get sucked up in misinformation and doubts. And so, before we discuss how to migrate from ISDN to SIP, let’s go over some common SIP trunking myths and discuss them:

  • SIP call quality is poor — When it comes to digital communication, there is a tendency to believe that communicating over the internet can cause packet loss, latency, and network jitter. But SIP trunking uses dedicated IP connections designed and optimized for high call quality. Because of this, they offer the same, if not better, call quality than ISDN calls.
  • SIP trunking comes with hidden costs — SIP trunking is a cost-effective alternative with two primary costs: monthly fees and call costs. You choose the plan at the beginning of your contract. With the plan, you can make and receive local and international calls for low costs. And there are no installation or set-up fees involved. In fact, with some providers, you won’t even pay a cancellation fee, if you choose to find another provider. One additional fee might be to upgrade your PBX system and internet bandwidth if you have low internet capacity. But even with these costs, you will find the service ROI-friendly.
  • SIP trunks are not secure — Another common misconception is that cloud communications (like other internet services) come with cybersecurity risks and can be easily hacked into. However, with advanced technology, cloud communication, and SIP trunking providers offer a great deal of security. Additionally, you will need to work with your internet service provider to ensure firewalls and security measures are in place.
  • Migrating to SIP will result in downtime — As we mentioned before, many are afraid that switching services or communication systems can lead to interruption and downtime. However, with SIP trunking and a quality service provider, you can minimize VoIP downtime and migrate without pausing your service.

ISDN to SIP trunking migration.

ISDN to SIP Migration in 7 Steps

So, what does an ISDN to SIP plan entail and how can you prepare for such a migration? Here is a 5-step plan to replace ISDN with SIP trunking:

1. Identify and Document Your Requirements

Before you get started, you need to identify what you need from this migration:

  • Do you need new business phone numbers? If so, how many numbers do you need?
  • What types of numbers do you need: local or toll-free?
  • Do you need call management features such as cloud IVR, auto-attendant, call queues, call monitoring, and so on?
  • What locations do you need calls forwarded to?
  • Do you need extensions or dedicated numbers (also known as direct inward dialing numbers) for specific employees or departments?
  • Do you need a softphone to support remote workers?

It is also a good practice to document what you currently have and want to keep, such as phone numbers, extensions, voicemail inbox, etc.

Once you determine what you need from your new system, you can start planning for the SIP migration.

2. Communicate with Your Employees

Before making the switch, bring your employees into the migration process. Get their input and feedback to identify additional areas of conflict and improvement. Some questions to ask employees include:

  • What do you think of our current business phone system?
  • Have you encountered any issues using this phone system? If so, provide details.
  • What would you like from a new phone system? Explain why.
  • Can you think of anything that will improve internal and external communication?

3. Make a Plan and Scope the Job

The next step to replacing ISDN with SIP is to make a plan. This will help you determine what your business should expect in terms of scope, transition, and cost. Depending on the state of your current system, you may have to transition in parts (floor by floor or branch by branch) or migrate the entire system in one go.

Work with your communications or SIP trunking provider to get an idea of what the transition will look like, and how your business can prepare. When preparing your plan, consider the following:

  • Employees — List down all staff members and collect their contact information.
  • Vendors and suppliers — List down contact information for essential vendors, suppliers, and service providers.
  • List all communication equipment — Create an inventory of all business-related phones, laptops, computers, desk phones, fax machines, smartphones, etc.
  • Call routing — Identify what numbers will route calls to which numbers and locations and when.
  • Backup data — Make sure information and data are backed up and that backup processes are working properly.
  • Setup safekeeping for critical data — Keep critical data extra safe as you may need this to enact disaster recovery and business continuity. Think logins and passwords, alternative numbers and phone and lines, etc.
  • Include remote working capabilities — Here’s an opportunity to explore remote working options for your employees. Review how your new system can support this flexibility.
  • Create and test a business continuity plan — This plan will help your business continue working and offer services if something goes wrong.

4. Conduct an Audit: Evaluate Existing Systems

Next, evaluate your current system and anticipate possible problems and changes required. Look at the infrastructure and bandwidth capacity. What is your current system lacking that a SIP phone system can solve?

Check with your SIP provider how much bandwidth and network capacity you will need for your business’ call volume. This information will help you decide if additional connections are required to prioritize voice traffic over other internet usages. Similarly, communicate your call volume expectations with your provider. They will help you understand what infrastructure will work best for your business needs.

Lastly, you may even want to let your provider on future expansion plans. This will help you determine if this provider’s service is scalable and can assist your business in growing when it is ready.

5. Get and Install a SIP Trunking Service

Once you’ve completed the audit, the next step is to find a reliable SIP trunking provider and subscribe to the service. Research different providers to get a sense of what they offer and how much they charge.

You should also look for additional features and tools they offer that can further enhance your business communication system; for example, call management features like call routing or softphones, and so on. Another important factor in choosing a SIP trunking provider is their support team. Is their support team easily accessible? Do they offer 24/7 customer support, in case your business needs help off-hours?

Once you’ve settled on a SIP provider, it’s time to set up and get your SIP system up and running. One significant benefit of replacing ISDN with SIP is that SIP trunking requires less equipment and hardware. And since most SIP services are hosted and maintained by your SIP provider, you have little to no installation. You might need to tweak and adjust minor things, and you might choose to install the service section by section. This ensures no downtime or interruption.

Finally, prepare for the ISDN to SIP migration by getting the right equipment ready.

6. Test Your New SIP System

As you set up your SIP phone system, you must test it and its different components to ensure everything is working smoothly. Most SIP systems can integrate with other business applications such as CRMs, video conferencing tools, APIs, and so on. Test your system with core business applications to identify any issues or hiccups. Similarly, your provider should test the service and phone numbers before the system goes live. Keep your business continuity plan ready, in case there are any issues and you need a backup.

7. Go Live and Make Business Calls

Finally, once your SIP system has been tested and any issues have been resolved, you can fully switch over to SIP. The installation and activation of the system is relatively quick; it is the preparation that can take some time. However, with the right SIP provider and the right tools, this transition will occur smoothly, and your business communication system will work effortlessly.

Ready to Switch Over to SIP?

If you are looking for ways to upgrade your existing business phone system without increasing expenses, then SIP trunking is the way to go. Want to learn more? Our experts at United World Telecom can help you understand how SIP trunking works and how it can help your business specifically. Call us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online!

What Equipment is Needed for VoIP?

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To get the most out of your VoIP phone system, you need the right VoIP equipment to support your business communication needs.

While most newcomers consider VoIP to be expensive and complicated, the truth is that the technology is fairly simple and inexpensive. There is not a lot of hardware or expensive technology required.

In fact, with VoIP, you can convert existing technology into business powerhouses. How?

Let’s have a look at the equipment needed for VoIP.

Must-Have VoIP Equipment in 2022

What equipment is needed for your VoIP system needs depends on the type of VoIP user you are—residential user or business user.

A residential user will need only a PC / laptop, softphone, and a headset. A small business, on the other hand, might need more. Business users will need a web phone or softphone, a computer, a headset, high-speed internet or data, and a business VoIP subscription.

Without the right VoIP equipment, you will struggle with poor VoIP call quality, leading to frustration and miscommunication. To combat this proactively, make sure you get the right equipment and VoIP setup.

Here is a checklist of equipment needed for VoIP to use your service successfully:

1. VoIP Phones: Hard Phones or Softphones

The main VoIP equipment you need is a phone to make and receive calls. Many VoIP and virtual phone service providers offer global call forwarding to route calls internationally to specific locations and numbers. This way, you can divert calls to your VoIP phones or locations as needed.

A VoIP phone uses IP technology (the internet) to transmit calls between two or more parties. There are two types of VoIP phones:

    • Hard phones — are like traditional phones but come with specialized digital hardware.
    • Softphones — are web-based applications or software that can be downloaded on different devices.

You can even use a combination of both types of VoIP phones to support in-office and remote users. Since softphones can be used from any location and device, you can

2. Headsets

Next, you will need VoIP headsets for your users. VoIP hard phones come with a microphone and receivers. However, if your users use a softphone, then they will need a headset with a microphone. While the tendency is to purchase inexpensive VoIP headsets, these headsets can lead to VoIP issues such as latency and network jitter.

Take time to find good quality headsets that are hands-free, remain connected, have noise-canceling technology, and, overall, improve call quality.

equipment for voip

3. Computers or Laptops

Next, you will need personal computers to complement your service. You can use computers and laptops to not only get work done but also make and receive your VoIP calls through a softphone. This way, users can manage calls and update their CRM or task managers as they work without interruption. And, users working remotely can also use their laptops to connect through cloud-based and virtual software and continue working.

4. High-Speed and Reliable Data

Next, if you’re using VoIP for business, then you need a robust internet setup. This includes a reliable and stable internet connection with a modem and router. VoIP does not demand much but needs enough bandwidth to handle your call volume.

While setting up your internet, work with your internet service provider and IT team to set up VoIP QoS for your VoIP service. VoIP Quality of Service (QoS) can help troubleshoot voice over IP issues. When QoS is set up, you can prioritize network traffic to make business calls a high priority. This way, even with everyone using the internet for multiple reasons, the quality of your business calls remains untouched.

5. VoIP Phone Service

Finally, you will need a VoIP phone service, and you can get this from any virtual phone service provider. However, you want a provider who offers quality service for a reasonable price and has easy-to-access, responsive customer service. When settling on a VoIP provider, ask about the installation and set-up processes and the different features that come included with the service. Look for customer reviews and case studies to get an idea of how the product works in action. Then, choose a provider that meets your needs and budget.

Get Your VoIP Phone Service with United World Telecom

Now that you know what equipment is needed for VoIP, you can get VoIP phone service for your business. United World Telecom can get you set up with high-quality VoIP phone service for your business. We have been offering cloud communication solutions to businesses around the world for the past 25 years. Learn more about our VoIP service by speaking with our experts. Call us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online!

What is Click-to-Call? Definition, Benefits, and How to Set It Up

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A click-to-call feature can help increase productivity and efficiency in your office by speeding up calling processes with accuracy. Here is an in-depth post detailing the different types of click-to-call features and the benefits of using them.

Click-to-Call: Explained

A click-to-call service is a business communication tool that enables phone calls through a VoIP connection. Other names include click-to-dial, one-click calling, and click-calling. There are a few types of click-to-call features in the industry. Among these are:

  1. Dialer extensions or CTI enabling agents to call contacts by clicking on their computers instead of manually inputting phone numbers.
  2. Wrapping website phone numbers in hyperlinks with the tel: schema so website visitors can easily click to call.
  3. ‘Click to call me’ lets interested prospects input their contact information through a web form, which instantly triggers a callback from your business.

The first type of click-to-dial feature lets you place calls without having to dial or type a number in. You simply click on the lead or customer’s name or a call icon and instantly place the call. Originally a call center feature meant to support outbound calls without human error or misdialing, now businesses everywhere can use click-to-call to make outgoing calls swift, easy, and accurate.

The second type of click-calling feature lets you insert a linkable phone number on your website. This way, when customers visit your website and need to call you, they simply click the link. They are then sent to their phone app and upon confirmation, the call is placed.

The third type is a call page. This is a widget or webpage that can be placed on your website and lets web visitors provide their name and phone number to receive an immediate callback. This way, you can connect with these interested prospects while they are still learning about your product.

clikc to call process

Benefits of Click-to-Call

Call centers have used click-to-dial to measure and improve workforce efficiency. The benefits are not just limited to fast dialing. You can use this feature to better execute inside sales efforts. Here are the main advantages of getting a click-to-dial feature:

  1. Speed up workflow — call leads and clients quickly, speed up callbacks, and reduce human error.
  2. Encourage web visitors to call your business — allow website visitors to easily connect with your company.
  3. Implement call tracking — learn more about where your calls are being sourced.
  4. Improve conversion rates — finally, give your team the right tool to engage customers over the phone.

How to Set up Click-to-Call

You can get click-to-call to make calls through your control panel when you sign up for an account with us. Within the panel, you can add and manage contacts and then use the click-to-dial feature to quickly and efficiently place calls without having to type the number in each time.

Additionally, you can also get a ‘call now’ button for your website easily by embedding a snippet of HTML code to the website. Once the code is in, the button will appear on your website and visitors can use it to receive a free callback from your business.

Get the Right Communication Tools for Your Business Today!

The click-to-dial feature can come in very handy for businesses dealing with large call volumes. By taking out the ‘dial the right number’ process, more time is spent having conversations. To learn more, call us today!

Toll Versus Toll Free: What’s the Difference?

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When purchasing a new phone number for your business, you will be able to choose between different number types.

In this post, we will explain the differences between toll numbers and toll free numbers.

Understanding the Difference Between Toll and Toll Free Numbers

A phone number is either toll or toll free. The difference between the two number types is the concept of a “toll,” which refers to a fee or tariff. Calls to a toll number incur a charge, while calls are free to a toll free number.

What are Toll Numbers?

Toll numbers are your regular telephone numbers where the caller is charged per minute for calling. This is not an official number type. It is referred to as a toll number because it charges a toll for calling. Therefore, if you are charged a local calling rate when calling a number, then it would be considered a toll number. Toll numbers usually consist of home phone numbers, local numbers, and so on.

Premium Rate Numbers

Premium rate numbers are a type of toll number, specifically 1-900 numbers, that use a pay-per-call model to provide services via calls and charge higher than normal rates. Unlike a regular call, part of the charges for these calls is paid to the business using the number. This way, businesses could be funded via these calls. For example, a caller would call a business (e.g, psychic services) and pay for the minutes and time spent on the call as part of the service itself. These numbers were commonly used for tech support, chat services, directory questions, weather forecasts, televoting, consulting, and so on.

Toll Free Numbers

Toll free numbers are the opposite of toll numbers in that these numbers are toll-free. In other words, callers do not incur a charge for calling these numbers. The format for these numbers is very distinct and different from regular phone numbers. They usually begin with a special prefix such as 1-800, 888, 877, 833, and so on, followed by a subscriber number.

However, there are certain rules. For example, calls to a country’s toll free number are free only when called from within the country. A US toll free number is free to call by locals and businesses within the US.

Benefits of a Toll Free Number

TFNs are generally used by well-established businesses as a way of making it easier for customers to receive support. A local customer does not have to worry about calling fees when dialing a toll free number. This, therefore, encourages them to place calls to inquire about a product or speak with customer service.

Additionally, since TFNs have been traditionally used by large corporations, getting such a number for your business can build trust. Customers will appreciate your efforts to make your business accessible and easily reachable.

Reasons to Consider an International TFN

Furthermore, you can even use an international toll free number to extend operations to different countries around the world. How this works is you get an ITFS number for a country and callers within the country can call your number for free. These incoming calls get forwarded to a destination number of your choice in your specified country. For example, your UK business can get Singapore and Australia toll free numbers through a service provider like United World Telecom. Then, callers in Singapore and Australia can call their respective numbers for free, and you can have those calls routed to your UK office. ITFS numbers help businesses expand globally without moving physically.

Speak with an Expert About Toll Versus Toll Free Numbers

If toll or toll free numbers are what your business needs, then we can help! You can buy global phone numbers for more than 160 countries around the globe. And so, whether you want to offer free calling within your country or for other countries, we’ve got you covered. Sign up on our homepage today or call us to learn more!