When shopping for business solutions, executives are constantly on alert for “red flags” that reveal — hopefully sooner than later — that a potential vendor is poised to over-promise and under-deliver.
However, there are also some situations where these warning signs are subtle rather than blatant. That is, they trigger that feeling of uncertainty, anxiety, and nervousness, but in a way that does not necessarily stand out and get noticed. Alas, it is only in retrospect that decision-makers smack their foreheads and say “why didn’t I listen to my inner voice!”
Well, to avoid a painful forehead smack in the future — and more importantly, to prevent a costly mistake that could wind up costing your business thousands of dollars and months of time — here are 3 somewhat unusual red flags to watch for when shopping in the VoIP marketplace:
1. A vendor rapidly provides you with a quote without digging into your needs and goals.
Obviously, you want and expect a vendor to be attentive and responsive. However, if you rapidly get a quote before being asked about your needs and goals — and possibly having an on-site visit to examine your environment — then it’s vital to see this as a warning sign.
This is because solutions in the VoIP marketplace are not commodities with set prices. Costs vary widely based on scope details, such as the number of end users, how the system will be used (voice, video, both, etc.), the size of the coverage area, the existing business internet infrastructure, and so on. A vendor who is worthy of your trust and partnership will invest time to ask essential questions about what you need vs. what they want to sell you.
2. A vendor diminishes the importance of post-implementation support.
Any vendor that tries to convince you that post-implementation support is unimportant is flat-out lying. It is actually the MOST important aspect to ensure long-term success and ROI. This doesn’t mean that problems will emerge, and things will stop working. Rather, it means that your leadership team and end users will want to customize features, take full advantage of tools, and optimize the system on an ongoing basis. A vendor that is not equipped to provide this post-implementation support is basically guaranteeing that you will get less than you paid for and take a much longer path to ROI — assuming that you ever get there.
3. You aren't getting a comprehensive contract that spells out the vendor's obligations to you.
By definition, a contract is a bilateral agreement. However, some vendors in the VoIP marketplace have forgotten this lesson from Business 101 (or maybe they skipped that day), and as such their contracts are massively tilted in their favor. That is, there are pages of limitations and restrictions that bind you, but little about what the vendor is pledging to deliver.
If you receive such a one-sided contract, delete it or tear it up ASAP, and then pat yourself on the back for dodging a major bullet. You just saved yourself lots of pain and suffering and your business plenty of money and time.
Conversely, if your contract clearly spells out what your vendor promises to deliver, then while there is still more to the puzzle, you can verify that things are on the right track and you are likely working with a reputable partner that realizes agreements are mutual, not one-sided.
At Votacall, we are proud to be award-winning leaders in the VoIP marketplace. We always invest time to understand our customers’ needs before putting together a quote and proposal, because that is the only way we can ensure that our solution is going to be precisely that: a solution!
Furthermore, we specialize in post-implementation support and understand how critical it is to our customers’ success and ROI. And on top of this, you can be assured that if you invite us to send you a contract, it will clearly identify what WE promise to do.
To learn more, contact us today and schedule your free consultation.
Also, be sure to check out our FREE eBook on how to choose the right partner for your hosted VoIP phone system: