While Voice Over IP phone systems have by-and-large overcome the stigma of poor call quality and reliability from the early days of the technology, not all VoIP systems are created equal. It’s worth it to take the time to thoroughly vet your voice service provider to ensure you are guaranteed high quality calls.
Because VoIP works by dividing calls up into packets of information that travel various routes over IP networks to be reassembled at the destination, some commonly seen call-quality problems with VoIP service can include echo, choppiness, and delay, which can be caused by network variables such as latency (amount of time it takes for voice packets to arrive from speaker to listener), jitter (variations in arrival time of incoming packets), and packet loss (some packets fail to reach the destination). However, a properly configured and managed network, with quality equipment and sufficient bandwidth can mitigate most of these issues to ensure high Quality of Service at all times.
3 Reasons Poor Call Quality Can Hurt Your Business
Every business wants to save money where they can on overhead expenses, but the quality of your business phone calls is one area you probably shouldn’t sacrifice just to cut costs. Poor call quality can lead to:
1. Inefficient Communication: Having to constantly announce “You’re breaking up!” or “I couldn’t hear what you said” is a waste of time for callers, and frustrating to boot. Delay and choppiness can cause simultaneous speaking or having to repeat what was already said, which is an extremely inefficient use of time for participants.
2. Poor Brand Image: Having a low-grade call quality is a bad look for your business. Clients and partners who call in and experience choppy calls will associate your business with taking shortcuts and being cheap.
3. Negative Impact on Customer Experience: Calling in to a business should be welcoming and easy, but according to this article, 79% of consumers have experienced poor voice quality when speaking with a business, and when that happens, their first experienced emotion is “stress” and second emotion is “anger” – not feeling you want clients or potential clients to associate with their interactions with your business!
How Can You Ensure Call Quality?
There are ways a service provider can mitigate VoIP issues and maximize call quality. At Allied, we implement end-to-end Quality of Service (Qos) for our voice service to ensure that voice traffic is the priority. (Keep in mind this only applies if the voice traffic is traversing the Allied network; call quality can’t be guaranteed if the voice traffic goes off-net via a “Bring Your Own Broadband” situation). In our end-to-end Quality of Service implementations, Allied ensures call quality by:
- Tagging and prioritizing voice traffic: At the network edge, voice traffic is classified and marked as part of the ‘voice’ class. This tagged voice traffic is then queued at each Ethernet switch or IP router comprising the path through the network. This queuing process prioritizes certain traffic classes over other traffic classes – in Allied’s network, the voice traffic class is the highest priority which results in more predictable performance.
- Designing the network for maximum performance: A network configuration that reduces “hops” (Ethernet switches and IP routers) where traffic queues and that minimizes potential latency will help maximize voice performance.
- Monitoring circuit utilization: It’s critical that sufficient data bandwidth exists for each concurrent call that is made. If not, call quality degrades or calls cannot be made as expected. Monitoring can identify over-utilization and make necessary recommendations.
Don’t Settle for Less than Clear Voice Calls
Don’t settle for less than clear voice calls. If your business is suffering from poor quality, Allied can help by fully managing your network and voice service to ensure maximum performance.