Modern business phone systems have completely replaced the traditional phone-call-only solutions. Today’s systems integrate several features like conference calling, call transferring, call metering, private communication, and more. Plus, modern phone systems allow for text- and video-based communication, allowing for greater flexibility for businesses of different sizes and types. The best business phone systems seamlessly set up your entire organization’s communication infrastructure.
The integration of cloud technology in this VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)-based communication system allows for deeper integration with software. VoIP has helped businesses (1) improve the handling of phone calls (67%), boost the management of messages (63%), and perform work remotely (57%). Simply put, it’s easier than ever to perform different soft actions on your organization’s calling history and patterns. For instance, you can integrate the system with analytic software to assess behaviors to make long-term decisions.
That said, you should only pick one of the top phone business systems to ensure you’re getting the best of what the tech offers. Different phone system providers have various pros and cons; making it essential for you to choose the one that fits the specific needs of your business.
We have analyzed all the big names in the industry and came up with a list of the best options for you. Let’s dive in.
We have chosen RingCentral as our top, all-rounder option as it has the capabilities to serve businesses of all sizes. RingCentral has numerous service plans that are suitable for businesses of different shapes and magnitudes.
It has a wide set of features including mobile support, calling, and collaboration capabilities. Plus, setting up RingCentral’s system is as easy as it gets. Its services are cloud-hosted and sit under the umbrella of VoIP.
RingCentral recommends a high-speed DSL or fiber option connection to ensure your service works like a charm from the beginning. If you decide to partner with RingCentral, they also provide you with an installation specialist who guides you through the entire process.
RingCentral promises its service has an uptime of 99.999%, making sure the amount of unexpected friction is reduced to an absolute minimum. Furthermore, RingCentral pays close attention to making sure their service stays up and running smoothly forever. They also ensure a high level of security for their clients; that’s part of the reason why they recently acquired Kindite’s technology and engineering teams.
RingCentral really puts itself apart by hooking up their partnering companies with a wide array of features like call recording, call forwarding, hold music, virtual receptionists, call logging, message alerts, you name it. Businesses of any kind can mix and match different features to develop a system that works for them.
As said earlier, RingCentral is not only a calling system provider, but also serves as a unified communication and collaboration host. There are numerous features like conference calling with up to 1000 members, video conferring where each host can add up to 200 participants, screen sharing, online faxing, team messaging, and more. Simply said, RingCentral installs a fully-fledged communication protocol in your organization that fulfills all its needs.
RingCentral has four service plans. The basic package allows for only 10 members, while the remaining three lets you have unlimited users in your system. The prices vary depending on the plan you choose and the number of users you have. However, the minimum monthly rate starts from $19.99 but can go as high as $69.99 if you decide to get all the features.
Ooma has built a reputed name as the best phone system for remote teams and smaller organizations. That said, it may not have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive rivals out there, but it certainly gets the job done with its complementary set of features that work well for smaller organizations.
Small firms with a tight budget may find Ooma as a surprise — but in a good way. Ooma sets itself apart by providing its services at a comparatively cheaper price point, and we believe it struck just right in terms of price-to-features ratio.
Ooma has reliable mobile and desktop applications that allow users to connect to their phones remotely. Through these applications, you can make or receive phone calls from anywhere, anytime — while also being able to send messages remotely. This feature makes Ooma a reliable, robust option for remote teams whose members work from different geographical locations.
If you decide to go with the Ooma Office Pro plan, you also get video conferencing capabilities that allow up to 25 members to join the conference. Plus, there’s a screen sharing feature as well.
Ooma has all the essential features needed in a business phone system for small businesses. These include call recording, call forwarding, call logging, music on hold, and others. Furthermore, virtual receptionists are also available to pick calls and redirect them to the respective departments or persons.
Ooma is also well-known for its reliable and knowledgeable customer support. There are helpful resources available on its website that can help customers troubleshoot and fix their problems as fast as possible. That said, it’s possible to set up and manage Ooma’s phone system without hiring a full-time IT employee to do the task. That’s crucial for smaller organizations as they need to save up on any financial resources they can.
Ooma has two subscriptions plans: Ooma Office and Ooma Office Pro. Ooma Office will set you back by $19.95 per user every month, while Ooma Office Pro will cost you $24.95 per month — which is much lower than what you have to pay for maxed-out services from other companies.
Another big name in the business phone systems industry is Nextiva. It’s a cloud-based communication system that has all the basic and advanced features. However, Nextiva sets itself apart with its proprietary CRM software that can be integrated into its phone systems.
Nextiva allows businesses to handle their customers through proprietary customer support. While you can set up Nextiva with a third-party CRM software like Salesforce as well, we recommend using the proprietary service for better integration and control.
The built-in CRM solution has tons of features for sales and customer support representatives. These include account history, email forwarding, contacts management, workflow automation, sales pipeline management, and many more.
Alongside its CRM capabilities, Nextiva has its phone services sorted out to meet the industry standards. Features like voicemail-to-email, HD voice calling, call groups, call recordings, are all there.
To help teams collaborate on projects and tasks, Nextiva also has many collaborative tools. The headline feature is Nextiva Cospace, which is like a virtual workspace for team members to collaborate and work together. Furthermore, the group calling feature is also readily available. You can also conduct video conferences with up to 250 participants simultaneously.
Nextiva has data centers all over the United States, and each center is monitored by specialists 24/7 to ensure the downtime is minimized. Just like RingCentral, Nextiva claims an uptime of 99.999%, which means the service goes down only for a few minutes every year. All of that makes Nextiva’s services extremely robust and reliable for businesses of all sizes.
Nextiva also performs regular checks on its system to ensure it’s not vulnerable to any type of hackers or other digital attackers. Furthermore, the team inspects call histories and call logs for irregular behaviors that may incur extra charges on the client company. If any suspicious activity is detected, Nextiva reports it to the partner immediately.
If you’re concerned about call privacy, Nextiva also has an option to encrypt the calls so there’s no risk of leaked information.
Nextiva has a total of four service plans for you to choose from. The total service cost depends on the number of users, though. Furthermore, the price also fluctuates depending on how long of service do you opt for. Plus, the price may vary depending on whether you’re going to pay in advance. The cheapest plan starts at $17.95 per user, monthly — while the most expensive package will set you back a good $75.95 per user, every month.
Vonage is another one of the modern, robust, cloud-based business phone services. It comes with all the essential features related to calling, mobile, and collaboration — enough to fulfill all the basic and advanced communication needs of organizations. However, just like the majority of options on this list, Vonage also sets itself apart with a unique trick up its sleeves.
Vonage comes with deep integration with Microsoft Teams. That means if your organization relies on Microsoft Teams for its processes, Vonage might be the best phone service for your requirements.
Vonage grants its customers with incredible productivity advantage. As the team members don’t have to continuously jump between Vonage and Teams platforms, they save a lot of time, which they can redirect towards doing more productive stuff. This integration also allows for up to 10 CRM vendors to be incorporated into the system directly. That makes it incredibly easier for sales reps to get a bird’ eye view of the entire customer base. The best part is: you don’t need any specific hardware to set up the integration, neither do you need to download any additional software for the purpose.
Besides the MS Teams integration, Vonage has tons of features respected by businesses. High-quality voice calling, call forwarding, call screening, call recording, voicemail-to-email, it’s all there.
If your organization doesn’t utilize MS Teams and wants to rely on Vonage for the purpose, there’s plenty to like here as well. Vonage’s in-house conferencing service lets you video call up to 100 participants at the same time. Furthermore, you can send group text messages while the call is active. Screen sharing capabilities are also there. Audio calling is also available for groups of up to 30 members.
Just like Ooma, Vonage has some epic offerings for remote teams and small firms that work from home. Vonage’s mobile and desktop applications let users access their business phones from anywhere, any time of the day. Users can perform all the basic functions like calling and messaging from their smartphones. These features make Vonage an attractive package for emerging remote teams who want to grow their collaborative capabilities on the go.
Vonage offers 3 subscription plans. However, the cheapest package only gives you access to mobile and desktop applications; but it starts from a pretty attractive price point of $14.99 per user, per month. The highest package, however, will cost you $39.99 per month, per user.
If you’re considering partnering with Vonage and have more than 100 users in your company, you should contact Vonage for a custom quote rather than purchasing the package directly.
If you want to have deeper, AI-based insights into your calls, Dialpad might be the perfect phone service for you. There are multiple layers of AI technologies aimed to elevate your calling experience to the next level. It’s like having a third pair of ears inside your calls that monitor and analyze everything.
The AI constantly listens to who’s saying what during the call. Based on the words and phrases the AI detects, it can suggest various actions to the receiver to provide better answers to customers. For instance, if the caller mentions a specific keyword and it’s there in the AI’s personal dictionary, it will dictate the definition to the attendee so they can answer the caller’s question effectively. This is only one scenario of the capabilities of the integrated AI; the actual use cases are widespread.
Customer support agents often have to take notes of what’s being said by the customer to ensure they are on the same page. However, doing so diverts their attention from the customer, which is not the ideal practice. Dialpad’s AI transcribes the conversation in real-time, meaning it writes down what’s being said by the customer automatically. That way, the receiver doesn’t have to write down the notes themselves, allowing them to focus on the actual problem the customer is describing.
The transcriptions taken from the calls are fed to the system for record-keeping and analytical purposes. For example, CRM people could use the conversations to develop ways to build better relationships with the customers by understanding their most common behaviors.
Here’s the cherry on the top: the AI-based features aren’t only limited to IP phones, but also work seamlessly through desktop and mobile applications. Furthermore, users can leverage features like call forwarding, call queuing, multi-level auto-attending, and contact syncing. Users can make unlimited calls and send unlimited messages from the IP phones, as well as the desktop and mobile applications.
For $15 per month, customers can subscribe to Dialpad’s Uberconference Business plan. If they don’t, the customers can still leverage the basic plan to make create or join video conferences of up to 45 minutes for up to 10 members.
Dialpad has 3 subscriptions plans for you to choose from. The price you pay for each plan varies with the number of users you have. However, the base price for the standard service is $15 per month. If you pick the biggest package called the Enterprise package, you have to get in touch with Dialpad’s support team to get a custom quote.
You have more than likely heard of the cloud-based VoIP Phone service known as GoToConnect. This service is one of the most widely used and recommended. In recent years, GoToConnect has won an array of awards including Top Rated in VoIP Providers, Shortlist Award for Telephony & Call Center Software, and awarded a Leader in G2’s Grid Report for VoIP Providers. Aside from being popular and winning awards, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, their system really does have the backing to hold up their claims as well.
Users of GoToConnect can enjoy a wide variety of admin tools. Their software is compatible with over 180+ desk phone models, so that’s a big perk. You can utilize their system on your pre-existing hardware and enjoy all the benefits of a cloud-based phone system, mainly much higher quality audio calls. Once you are set up with GoToConnect, you can simply transfer your existing business phone number as well to your new system. The Dial Plan Editor feature offers a clear interface tool for admins. You can customize your call flows, set up schedules, and set-up custom phone greetings to notify callers of your business hours/days. On this drag and drop style editor, you can also utilize tools such as auto-attendants, sound clips, and wait times.
With GoToConnect, users can enjoy the benefits of a VoIP system as well as video software for their business. However, the video platform is an additional charge that’s not included with their standard VoIP software. With just one click, a user can jump from an audio to a video call in seconds. Their GoTo screen sharing capabilities allow users to share their screen from anywhere, including on the Android or iPhone device. Also, teams can markup during video meetings. This means that team members can draw on the screen and highlight or reference any topic interest that is being discussed. Their platform is also enabled for conference video calling. It should also be noted that GoToConnect is integrated with some of the most popular applications on the business market; such as Microsoft Office 365, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, ZenDesk, AWeber, Hubspot, Zapier, and more.
GoToConnect is the standard phone system that included phone meetings and chat. For GoToConnect, there are 3 payment plans. The basic plan is $22/user/month, the standard is $26, and the premium is $36. For the GoToMeeting, which is their video conferencing software, there are also 3 price plans available. The professional plan is $12/organizer/month (up to 150 participants), the business plan is $16 (up to 250 participants), and the enterprise plan is enabled for up to 3,000 participants, but you have to get a quote from GoToConnect. If you are paying annually and/or bundling phone + video services, it’s recommended to get a custom quote from GoTo for discounted pricing offers.
Buyers Guide: 5 Reasons You Need a Business Phone System
No two businesses are alike, so there is no one-size-fits-all formula for choosing the best phone system for your business needs. Previously, a VoIP system was only available to large scale businesses at a premium fee. In recent years, these phone systems have become more and more accessible, so that every business large or small has the capability of integrating a phone system into their business structure.
In the business world today, it’s more important than ever to have a VoIP system set up for your business. There are 5 major benefits that business owners can expect from utilizing a robust phone system for their business.
1. 24/7 Remote Accessibility – In our society today, instant gratification is a key component of customer satisfaction. Previously, if a business owner, manager, or employee was out of the office – this meant that a customer would simply reach a voicemail and have to wait until someone was back in the office to return their inquiry or correspondence. While this may have been acceptable business practice, it simply isn’t today.
A major advantage of using a cloud-based VoIP system is the ability to take or return business calls from anywhere. If you are unable to take the business call while you’re out of the office, using a business phone system will allow you to forward the call to another person who can help, and even get customer voicemail messages transcribed to you directly via email. The remote accessibility aspect of business phone systems will increase customer satisfaction by lessening response time, as well as boost employee productivity since they do not have to be in office in order to work.
2. Greater Scalability Opportunities – Let’s face it, you can only grow so much a business if you are tied to a physical phone all day. If your business picks up and requires even more presence for customer service, this means that more employees are required to be hired to ensure that your business never misses a phone call. A VoIP system will mitigate these issues occurring by allowing you to scale upwards with your phone system. No need to worry about purchasing more phones, hardware, or having a stand-by employee for taking phone calls on dedicated phone lines. Rather, a business phone system will allow you to grow more rapidly and more efficiently.
3. Save Money – As every business owner knows, any area that you are able to cut costs is a major benefit. Employees are able to access work remotely when using a VoIP system, cutting back on overhead costs. In fact, a study performed showed that businesses will save an average of $11,000/year per employee (2) for just part-time remote work.
In a traditional phone system, adding additional lines and hardware can be extremely costly. Most additional features that your business sees fit to utilize are built-in features with VoIP system and are available to be used for no additional cost. This means that as your business grows, you won’t have to worry about a spike in costs for communication, you just pay your monthly subscription fee and keep on growing.
4. Local Business Feeling – As a business owner, it’s important to make each individual customer feel like they and their needs are the most important aspect of your day. Previously, business owners have opted for using toll-free numbers to handle large call volumes. While setting up these lines can be advantageous, they have a major downfall in that dialing a 1-800 number as a consumer can often feel disheartening; particularly if you are trying to create a relationship with your customers.
A huge benefit in using a business phone system is that when you set up your VoIP number, you can make your phone number locally targeted with an area code central to your main consumer audience. For instance, if you operate your business out of California, but majority of your target customers live in New York, you can set up your number with a New York area code. This makes your business feel more local, natural, and approachable to consumers trying to communicate with you.
5. Increased Trust – In our society today fraud is more rampant than ever. It seems like every other email or phone call that we receive is someone attempting to steal valuable information from us. Consumers are extremely aware of this fact, and often are hesitant to give out private information, particularly over the phone. However, most businesses need personal identification information from customers. When you choose to use a secure business phone system company, your customers can rest assured that the line of communication is safe for them to communicate their private information. VoIP utilizes the latest technology such as encryptions, identity management, and service providers frequently undergo security audits, and send out automated alerts for any suspicious calling behavior.
The Bottom Line
Cloud-based VoIP technology for business phone systems is an ever-growing technological space, and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Choosing to invest in a trustworthy service provider will be able to benefit your business in an array of ways. The right system for your business will be able to save you money in the long run, boost employee productivity, enhance customer satisfaction, nurture CRM, and more. Hey, that all sounds pretty great – right?!