It is not uncommon for smaller businesses to stay with their current communications provider, even though they are not receiving the best service, simply because they fear that switching will mean a necessity to change their business phone number. The VoIP revolution has prompted nearly half of the nations businesses to migrate to a more cost efficient platform while maintaining their existing business numbers. Thanks in part to number portability. The business phone number is one of the key elements to any successful business as it allows for both internal and external contact, consumers are likely to associate certain phone number with the business and changing that number may make the company appear less credible. When making the decision to migrate to a small business VoIP solution it is essential that the service provider selected offers number portability.
Another great advantage to number portability is the ability to utilize that number from any location the business happens to operate out of. It is important to remember though, that there may be instances where the business may have to forfeit their existing phone number if they move out of the service area of their solutions provider.
For those businesses unfamiliar with the basics of transferring phone number the thought of number portability may be difficult. Small businesses are urged to run compatibility checks with all potential new VoIP providers as there are certain scenarios that may make it difficult for small enterprises to retrieve their original calling number.
Having to give up the original business phone number may have detrimental effects on the corporation. If, after migrating to VoIP, businesses do decide to change their corporate phone number it is highly recommended that they notify customers of their new contact information as soon as possible. The number portability offered by VoIP has the potential to take businesses in either direction. To make certain that the direction taken is the right one adopt a best practice methodology of:
1. Updating consumer lists
2. Contact consumers in the event of corporate contact alterations
3. Email, or advertise the new number to current consumers
4. Ensure that all company marketing material contains the correct and updated contact information
Small enterprise proprietors must review their VoIP solution providers’ policies regarding phone number changes. The majority of VoIP providers have a clause that prevents switching numbers from one VoIP providers to a competitors.
However, switching from a non-VoIP provider to a VoIP provider is often widely accepted.
VoIP provides a cost effective medium for small enterprises to carry out both their internal and external communications functions. Internet based communications are becoming increasingly popular amongst self-employed professionals and small business proprietors due in part to the business essential features it affords its users.
The cost savings associated with VoIP solutions make IP telephony a valuable asset to those businesses who routinely communicate internationally. The bare minimum pre-requisite for migrating from a conventional telephony system to a VoIP solution is an active enterprise broadband Internet connection. VoIP is extremely user friendly; however, it is important to remember that there will be occasions where the system may cause minor hassle to the business.