A successful small business reaches a point when simple web interaction no longer accounts for nor covers all of their needs.
But leveling up can seem overwhelming, especially when the calls start rolling in on a personal phone number.
Once regular customer service becomes a part of your startup’s operations, you’ll find you need more than your cell phone.
Skip over-complicated telemarketing systems and try a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system.
These business phone services are operating systems designed for smaller businesses that are transitioning into a larger scale operation.
Read on if you want the professional number and communication facilities of a phone service that’s actually affordable.
In addition to an official business number, a VoIP can track call duration, hold times, and overall usage. This is useful data for assessing where aspects of your customer service need work.
They allow multiple people to share a single number if your workers are in multiple locations. And they reduce costs by using the Internet for calls to remote locations.
This is the type of upgrade that will allow you to grow or maintain your business with high-quality customer service.
Nextiva is a VoIP that’s perfect for a small business. Its adjustable adaptations make it easy to scale up along with company growth.
Nextiva offers advanced call routing, unlimited free domestic calling, voicemail to email and text, online faxing, and text messages.
The admin panel for Nextiva is web-based, making it possible for multiple managers to navigate them remotely.
The package includes:
- Desk Phone
- Conference room phones
- An app that functions for computer phone calls, texts, and emails
- App accessibility through mobile devices
- External app integration selections including CRM and Live Chat
There are three available business phone system plans, with a price range that allows for adjustability for your business size.
Nextiva has the right plan for companies with a small number of employees, or a business that is mid-size and needs more capacity.
These are the starting rates for each plan, per user, as based on an annual contract:
- Basic — $19.95 per month
- Pro — $20.95 per month
- Enterprise — $27.95 per month
The basic level includes unlimited calls, call queuing, automatic call forwarding, hold music, free online fax, free local and toll-free numbers.
For the Nextiva app, unlimited conference calls, pre-recorded greetings, and text messaging, the Pro Plan will cover all your needs.
The Enterprise plan includes call recording, voice analytics, and voicemail to text delivery.
These upgraded plans allow for online surveys and call analytics, so you can determine how Nextiva is working for your business.
Ooma is a great choice for businesses that maintain a traditional office setting and phones, though the costs of subscription do not include hardware.
However, there’s no contract and you can start with a 30-day trial, so if you already have desk phones, it’s the perfect plugin.
You can connect it to your office or phone, but also to a desktop or mobile device.
Ooma allows you to create a customized virtual receptionist and offers multiple extensions for all employees.
- Flat rate $19.95 per month
- No contracts; cancel at any time
- Unlimited calling
- Virtual receptionist
You get one toll-free number and unlimited calling in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Advanced service includes voicemail transcription, call recording, and advanced blocking capabilities.
Ooma’s customer service is top-notch if you need help setting things up or connecting more users as the business grows.
GrassHopper is a little more pricey, starting from $29.99 per month with 1 number and up to 3 extensions.
You will need a regular phone line for outgoing calls, but incoming calls are available via voice over internet protocol (VOIP).
GrassHopper can forward calls to any phone number or mobile device.
They offer 24/7 customer support as well as these features:
- VoIP and WiFi calling
- Virtual fax
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Business texting
- Call reporting
- Ability to handle simultaneous calls
- Call forwarding
- Call transfers
Price plans are flexible and one number can include multiple extensions. And you have the option to choose from local or toll-free numbers based in the US, Canada, and the UK.
This makes Grasshopper an appealing choice for a solo entrepreneur who wants to present themselves as a larger business or even pick a vanity phone number for brand synergy.
The plans are very scalable:
- Solo: 1 number, 3 extensions, starts at $26/ month
- Partner: 3 numbers, 6 extensions, starts at $44/month
- Small Business: 5 numbers, unlimited extensions, starts at $80/ month
Phone.com is one of the most affordable options if you’re doing business in Europe or Canada from abroad.
The service includes local calling minutes in CA and a number of European countries, which can dramatically reduce your phone bill.
Besides that, it offers standard VoIP reception service such as:
- Fax to email
- SMS messaging
- International dialing
- HD conferencing
- Call screening and blocking, routing, and queuing
The web and app-based administration are intuitive and easy to organize. They allow administrators to quickly learn their standard phone service, including call forwarding, call routing, caller ID, and conference calling.
More advanced plans offer integration with third-party CRM software including Salesforce and Zoho.
While they have several contract price points, Phone.com also offers pay per minute plans starting as low as $9.99 per month.
It’s a nice option for checking to see if their service and layout work for you.
Vonage is a very versatile choice for businesses figuring out how a professional phone service can best fulfill their needs, with a wide variety of plans and line number options.
They offer standard cloud VOIP services. Their Prime or Advanced plans that enable CRM integration make it possible to support online meetings and video conferencing with Amazon Chime.
- 1-4 lines — $19.99 per month per line
- 5-19 lines — $17.99 per month per line
- 20+ lines — $14.99 per month per line
- 1-4 lines — $29.99 per month per line
- 5-19 lines — $27.99 per month per line
- 20+ lines — $24.99 per month per line
- 1-4 lines — $39.99 per month per line
- 5-19 lines — $27.99 per month per line
- 20+ lines — $34.99 per month per line
The control panel allows for mobile access to make it easy to set up, add new users, and manage your calls even while working remotely.
This is great for team members who can’t be attached to their desktops all day.
Is Your Startup or Small Business Ready for Business Phone Services?
The best time to choose between business phone services for your startup or small business is before you desperately need one.
Use this information to select the perfect VoIP system for you.
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