VoIP for Small Business
The advanced technological VoIP solutions for small businesses will allow you to organize high-quality and reliable communication, connect and configure a virtual or toll-free number, forward the calls to free employees, carry out a CRM system integration. IP business phone solution is the best way to organize secure calls and video conferences over the Internet using a special protocol (usually SIP) without using standard phone lines.
People can make calls using any device, from a regular radio or landline phone, connecting it to a VoIP gateway. The wide range of communication tools will attract new customers to your business, push sales, and improve the quality of service. This modern form of communication has great potential for any-scale business.
With offices in different locations, your business sooner or later will need such a reliable phone provider. Hiring a separate phone service for each office is an expensive option for small businesses. The single system connecting local networks is the perfect solution in this situation.
Nextiva, VoIP business phone service provider, was founded in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2008. It can offer easy to use and reliable cloud-hosted phone solution for your needs. All system features and functions can be managed from the central panel. It will allow your employees to make and receive business calls on multiple devices. Raising the communication to a fundamentally new level, as well as making the connection between your staff members stronger, will influence performance.
There are three main plans for business communication offered. Nextiva provides a flexible billing system. You will get monthly billing with no obligations or maximize savings by signing a contract for 12, 24, and 36 months.
- Basic (starts at $300 monthly for the system having 10 lines). This plan offers free number porting, free local or toll-free number, auto-attendant, an unlimited number of calls, and hold music. Besides, sales and service CRM features plus analytics tools are available. This plan is possible from $260 monthly with a contract.
- Pro (starts at $350 per month for the 10 agents system). Apart from basic plan features, the customer can use advanced features, including text messaging, SMS, Nextiva App, unlimited conference calls, recorded greeting. Sales CRM, service CRM, survey features, and advanced analytics are also added. The customer ready for a long-term commitment can get it for $300 per month.
- Enterprise (starts at $450 a month for the 10 users phone system). This pricing option contains the complete set of Basic and Pro plans plus call recording, voicemail to text delivery, and voice analytic features. Also, live chat opportunities and advanced analytics tools are possible. $400 monthly is a price for a contract option.
Also, voicemail to text for an extra $2.95 per user, per month is possible for all Basic and Pro plans.
Except for having a very rich informational section with guides and troubleshooting lists on the website, Nextiva offers excellent US-based customer support services. It can be reachable on the phone, email, or online chat from 5 am to 6 pm (Monday-Friday), from 9 am to 1 pm (Saturday). No matter the way you choose to contact them, you will always get quick and helpful responses.
Some vital factors should be considered when you want to find a business phone service, satisfying your business needs. In short, the system should be reliable, easy to use, and secure. Also, a set of advanced features and tools included in affordable service plans. You want to work with a customer service that is professional, easily accessible, 24/7, and ready for quick actions, don’t you?
That means that RingCentral Office is the best business phone service solution that will help your business. Headquartered in California, USA, RingCentral is a phone system provider offering unique cloud-based business communication solutions since 1999. Providing a flexible billing system, the company doesn’t require a long-term commitment. It allows monthly billing, but rewards the loyal customers agreed for annual charging with savings up to 33%.
The RingCentral Office can be obtained in four service plans, which vary in the number of users, included features and price. Consider, for example, a system for 10 users:
- Essentials ($299.9 /month for billing monthly or $199.9 /month for annual billing). The plan offers unlimited domestic calls, business SMS and MMS, iOS and Android mobile apps, a local or toll-free number with 100 free minutes per month, call managing, and HD voice.
- Standard ($349.9 /month billed monthly or $249.9 /month billed annually). The service includes unlimited calls within the US and Canada, unlimited audio and video conferencing for up to 4 people with screen sharing, and team collaboration option. A toll-free number can use 1,000 minutes per month.
- Premium ($449.9 /month billed monthly or $349.9 /month billed annually). This phone plan has all the features of Essentials and Standard plans included. Besides, the customers get 2,500 toll-free minutes, unlimited audio and video meeting on desktop and mobile for up to 100 members, automatic call recording, auto-attendant, and Internet fax.
- Ultimate ($499.9 /month for monthly payment or $549.9 /month for annual billing). It is the advanced version of the Premium plan with all its features and services plus ten thousand toll-free minutes, up to 200 participants per audio meeting and video conferencing, on-demand development and deployment of the custom app, CRM integration (Salesforce, Zendesk, Desk).
A free trial period is available for each service plan to let the customer understand all the advantages and features of the system.
RingCentral support service can be reached on the phone, email, and online chat. The companies having over 2 users systems can get 24/7 customer phone support. The customers with one user system can contact support between 8 am and 9 pm, Monday through Friday.
Each business will enjoy an advanced and unified communications system. The cloud-based VoIP phone solutions are attractive for small companies due to their reliability and simplicity.
Moreover, these solutions are affordable, still offering a broad array of conferencing tools. These things 8X8 VoIP phone service provider keeps in mind offering its cloud-hosted product. This company, founded in 1987 and having headquarters in San Jose, CA, has extensive experience in providing excellent communication services.
Choosing 8X8 as your phone system provider, you don’t need to install, configure, backup, or maintain the system. The company will care about everything in the cloud. In such a way, your business can save on not hiring tech experts and maintenance procedures.
Nowadays, the company provides 4 X Series plans with different features included. As an illustration, the most popular business phone system licenses for 10 users are outlined below.
- 8×8 Express ($120 /mo). This plan has a 30-day trial for new customers available. No strings attached. It includes unlimited nationwide phone calls, call handling options, regular auto attendant, voice mail, team messaging, and business SMS.
- X Series X2 ($250 /mo). Besides unlimited domestic calls, this plan offers unlimited calls to 14 countries, advanced call handling options, and auto attendant. Mobile and desktop applications, call recording, Internet fax, G Suite, and Office 365 integration, and cross-platform team messaging are also available.
- X Series X4 ($450 /mo). If you are into international business, you will for sure enjoy unlimited calls to 47 countries option included in this plan. Operator switchboard, analytics, and call quality report, unlimited Internet fax, voicemail transcription, and enterprise-grade security level are among other advanced services provided by this type of license.
- X Series X6 ($1,100 /mo). It is the most advanced phone system option containing services and features of all other licenses plus 4000 minutes for calling within 47 country zone, skills-based routing, interactive voice response, contact center services (reporting and analytics), post-call survey and customer experience analytics, native CRM, web callback, and others.
HD audio and video conferencing with screen sharing are available in all phone plans. The signing of no less than twelve-month contract is obligatory. Yet, all the services are billed monthly.
Customer support is offered on a round-the-clock basis on the phone, via email or live chat. Moreover, the website provides many useful information resources, including whitepapers, guidelines, how-to sections, videos, and webinars.
A leader of Internet business phone solutions, Freshcaller was founded in 2010. The company is headquartered in California, USA, and has local offices in the UK, Germany, Australia, and India.
Freshcaller offers a cloud-hosted phone system with a call center. This innovative digital solution helps to improve customer engagement and employees’ team coordination. The customers can use local and international toll-free numbers, manage the call queues and continued conversations in real-time mode, forward customers to specific expert teams, configure auto attendants showing custom parameters for each department, and much more.
Also, all available phone system plans allow purchasing local business numbers for over 40 countries, plus toll-free numbers for UK, USA, Australia, and Canada. Lots of valuable extra features, including call blocking, call masking, custom greetings, desktop notifications, analytics, and reporting, make the system even more convenient.
The 4 service plans can be either billed monthly with no commitment or with signing the yearly contract. The last option will allow the customer to save up to 20%. A breakdown of the plans for 10 agents is as follows:
- Sprout (Free, both for monthly and yearly billing plus pay per min). The initial plan supports an unlimited number of agents and contains only basic features. It holds basic call queue, opportunity to buy local and toll-free numbers, customized greetings and ringtones, number porting. This plan matches small-scale businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups.
- Blossom (€220 monthly or €180 yearly billing, per month + per min charge).This simple plan is suitable for small teams. It contains all the features of Sprout with advanced call queue, bring your carrier (BYOC) option, call masking, business hours customization, call recording, SIP connections, IVR (phone trees), and voicemail added.
- Garden (€420 monthly or €350 yearly billing, per month + pay per min). Excellent for the fast-growing company, this plan includes everything from Blossom plus call barging, advanced call metrics, reports, and analytics tools, call monitoring and handling, European data center, queue callback (virtual hold), non-business hours call forwarding and others.
- Estate (€650 monthly or €500 yearly billing, per month + pay per min). This phone system license contains the most advanced features that make it the perfect tool for large international teams. Except for all the features available in the Garden, it offers holiday routing, abandoned call reporting, service-level monitoring, and OmniChannel routing.
Freshcaller offers a 14-days trial account with no strings attached. The customer service is available 24/7 via e-mail and 24/5 on the phone for all plans.
Two entrepreneurs founded Grasshopper VoIP business phone company in 2003. They wanted to make business phone solutions affordable and efficient for small companies and startups. Now headquartered in Boston, MA, the company gained a huge community of over 350,000 satisfied customers.
The essential task of each small company is to get a phone system which is easy to use and maintain, yet reliable and not overpriced. The cloud-based options are a great invention that can cover all these needs. Moreover, the main feature of Grasshopper is offering an affordable virtual business phone system that meets the demands of small businesses.
At the moment, Grasshopper offers three phone plans, which vary in price, the number of phone numbers, and extensions available. All plans can be billed monthly and annually. The loyal customers can save over 10 percent agreeing for yearly billing. Below all plans are described in detail.
- Solo ($26-$29 annually /monthly billing). This plan includes 1 number and 3 extensions and good for entrepreneurs and startups.
- Partner ($44-$49 annually /monthly billing). This plan contains 3 numbers and 6 extensions, which makes it suitable for a growing team of several employees.
- Small business ($80-$89 annually /monthly billing). The large company requiring advanced tools and more call management flexibility will benefit from this plan providing 5 numbers and unlimited extensions.
Each plan also includes call forwarding, voicemail, business texting, desktop, and mobile apps, incoming call route, virtual fax, call transfer, and reporting. You can also buy professionally recorded greetings of up to 250 words for your auto attendant for $75. The flexible system allows upgrade or downgrade each plan if necessary. Adding extra numbers and extensions to the existing plan is also possible for a small fee. A free trial period is offered.
The company includes lots of useful features that give remote employees the tools many traditional phone systems deliver. Some of these valuable features are online faxing, auto-attendants, call screening, on-hold music, voicemail transcription, text messaging, and voicemail-to-email. So, Grasshopper doesn’t provide the broad spectrum of attributes that a traditional in-office phone system does. As an example, call recording or integrations with CRM or programs like Microsoft Office and GSuite.
The customer service works 24/7 and can be contacted on the phone or by creating a ticket online. Grasshopper’s website also offers a FAQ section and a set of extensive guidelines about how the whole system works.
How We Evaluated Small Business VoIP Providers
Before signing an agreement or paying for services, you need to look at the proposed features and opportunities carefully. But first of all, you should decide on your business needs, make a list of expectations from the IP phone company, and do the search. Each of the VoIP operators for small business has strengths and weaknesses. Only by prioritizing, you can get a well-functioning system of communication under optimal conditions. Speaking of VOIP providers, you can use an infinite number of criteria for comparison. But there is a list of main points we use to check small business VoIP providers. It is much easier to find a service provider that is perfect for a particular company considering them.
- History, credibility, and the company’s recognition. The first companies that developed Internet telephony were founded over 20 years ago. During this time, the market has grown, with many new players added. The track record of the company can tell a lot about whether it is worth your attention or not.
- Quality of service. The business makes high demands on the quality of communication channels. Customer feedback and reviews can show if the company fulfills all its promises.
- Technical support. Technical support should deal with advising clients and notifying relevant specialists about problems. It is crucial to find out how long failures are usually resolved, clarify the support work schedule, and, if possible, verify the employees’ qualifications.
- Pricing. To choose a virtual PBX with an optimal price-quality ratio, you need to spend some effort estimating how much you have to pay for the required set of services.
- Features. Particular attention should be given to the primary and extra services provided. You will need to check which of these services are necessary for your company, and which are a waste of money. A decent VoIP provider will not impose additional options for a fee, but the potential features should be considered. In the case of your business develops, the new features may be needed. There will be many inconveniences if their activation is impossible without changing the service provider.
Although the implementation of VoIP infrastructure offers many benefits, to take advantage of them, you should know how to avoid the pitfalls.