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BUSINESS VOIP PROVIDER: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE?

Marketing Manager
Anastasia Shevchuk

INTRODUCTION

Let's imagine a hypothetical situation: a potential customer calls the sales number listed on your website, your salesperson picks it up, answers a few questions, and closes the sale.

Fast and simple, right?

For any company, business communication is crucial for defining the customer experience the brand cultivates, which can be a determining factor for survival.


With the right VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service, you can improve the experience of both customer and employee.

Business VoIP services are easy to use and take minutes to set up, and VoIP often costs a lot less than traditional phone plans.

There are a great variety of good business VoIP phone services, but it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.

To that end, in this article we'll answer the questions: What is VoIP? and How to choose a VoIP provider?, take a look at the best VoIP providers, and compare the top business phone services (VoIP) to help you decide the best one for your business needs.

WHAT IS BUSINESS VOIP?

Business VoIP is an internet-based business phone service that allows you to receive and make phone calls using computers, VoIP phone sets, and mobile devices.

VoIP business phone services come with a wide range of extra features which come included as standard, like call forwarding, call waiting, digital receptionist (auto-attendant), voicemail, video conferencing, caller ID, and many more.

Moreover, many of the best VoIP providers are also compatible with third-party software like email providers, CRM and project management platforms, etc. As an all-in-one tool, VoIP service providers can unify your internal and external communication tools, saving you both time and money.


VoIP means

BENEFITS OF USING BUSINESS VOIP

There are many benefits of VoIP for business, such as:

Multiple numbers

Without paying for multiple lines, you can use separate numbers for personal and commercial purposes.

No equipment is required

Compared to separate telephone lines, these numbers are easier to set up and maintain. There's no need to buy additional equipment for each number, and most virtual phone providers don't require long-term contracts.

Ease of use

You can quickly and conveniently manage your numbers on the Internet. It's even possible to instantly purchase or cancel your VoIP at any time.

Added features


These numbers often include more features than a standard cellphone or landline service. They also simplify call recording and the process of arranging video conferences.

Brand multiple businesses

If you run multiple small businesses, it's not difficult to introduce different virtual numbers and voicemail greetings for separate companies.

We have already gathered some information about the hottest VoIP trends. Check out this link to find out everything you need to know: Future of VoIP industry: 5 technology trends to watch out for.

HAVE A GREAT IDEA FOR A MOBILE VOIP PROJECT?

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT VOIP PROVIDER?

So, now we've looked at some of the benefits of VoIP for business, you must now be wondering: How to choose a VoIP provider?

Determine What Features You Need

You'll want to take the features most important for keeping your employees and clients in touch into account, like call forwarding, call waiting, conference calling, and caller ID, which are some of the beneficial options available with Voice over IP.

But are these simply bonuses for your business? Or are they essential to how you communicate with your clientele?

Evaluate what your company needs from its VoIP service to ensure that the providers you research offer the features you need.

Narrow Down VoIPs that Fit the Bill

Once you have decided on features, it's time to think about how much you would be willing to pay for a VoIP. Look at your current telephone bills and the other communication software expenses you incur. Note down all the features you pay for and compare them with the VoIP offerings you require.

Before narrowing down your options, also take the "bundled services" of your current communication system into account. You might be enjoying an Internet plan or media streaming package with your existing telephone line, while a VoIP service won't provide those.

Verify That the VoIP Provider's Service Will Work with Your Equipment

It is important to determine whether a VoIP provider's service will work with your current equipment by looking at their website. Plenty of providers offer full lists of supported devices, and some will also work with you depending on your existing phones and internet routers. VoIP providers also, in some cases, have testing tools on their website to determine if your internet connection will support their services, so be sure to check if you can.

Read Reviews

This is where you verify the information you got from the company itself, at least to some degree. Take all reviews with a pinch of salt, as many people are more apt to write a bad review than a good one. However, if you're consistently seeing complaints about the same problem with a particular VoIP provider, especially if they are recent, avoid this option.

Third-party Integrations

As well as the call handling services of a VoIP, also check for its integration with other support systems.

Integrating the VoIP system with your preferred CRM software or cloud storage service will significantly simplify your business processes.

Make sure that the VoIP service provider offers these options. Even if the VoIP doesn't integrate with a particular application, it should support third-party API integrations.

Concerning third-party API integrations, it is essential for the business VoIP service to integrate with Twilio. Twilio is a developer platform for cloud communications. The success of any business is based on effective communication, which is exactly what Twilio offers.

Twilio is taking a global telecom network and transforming it into a communications API. Developers use already familiar web languages and create communications experiences that weren't possible before in that short timeframe.

Information that is available within software systems is used to route communications to the right place and to the right person.

Twilio enables you to use:

▪️ Text messages
▪️ Voice messages
▪️ Video chat
▪️ Virtual number
▪️ Messaging connectivity
▪️ Cellular connectivity
▪️ Authentication
▪️ SIP trunking
▪️ Call routing
▪️ Message arrangement

We have already integrated Twilio in one of our cases.
CASE STUDIES
Privacy protection, professional identity creation, calls with international customers without buying a second sim card. All the listed features in one app. To learn more what features Second Phone Number has, follow the link: Second Phone Number.

LIST OF BEST VOIP PROVIDERS

VoIP Providers Comparison Table

Nextiva

Nextiva is one of the best VoIP providers on the market, it is also incredibly reliable. It successfully combines everything you need at an affordable price, regardless of the size of your business.

Whether you need to make and receive calls from your mobile device or want to modernize your phone system in a traditional office setting, it's flexible enough to meet all your needs.

This business VoIP service offers all the essential features needed by a growing business, including call routing, auto-attendant, free domestic calling, voicemail to email and text, online fax, a virtual number, and more. It comes with several automation features as well. For example, you can set up an action to occur at a specific time, or get automatic notifications when a new sale is made.

Best For:

Nextiva is one of the best VoIP providers for businesses looking for reasonably priced VoIP services with decent features.

Features:

▪️ Easy setup
▪️ Completely unified communication system with voice, video, text messages, mobile, and web connectivity
▪️ Customer Data Automation: All your customer data in one place, including call data, account history, notes, and several others
▪️ Reliable and trustworthy service with HD voice call quality
▪️ Unlimited calling (no per-minute charges)
▪️ Instant conference calls (including real-time video conference calls
▪️ Manage voicemails from your email
▪️ Easy integration: The phone system integrates with other tools such as Slack, WhatsApp, Skype, various helpdesk softwares, and more
▪️ Share business phone numbers with remote teams or add extensions
▪️ Manage calls from your mobile devices, tablets, cell phone, or laptop computers.

Pros:

▪️ Unlimited calling in the USA and Canada
▪️ Make your phone bell ring differently based on the phone number to identify priority calls easily
▪️ Connect with customers easily through instant messaging
▪️ User Call Screening feature allows you to decide whether to take or reject a call
▪️ Get textual notifications straight to your smartphone through its voicemail-to-text feature

Cons:

▪️ International calling is relatively more expensive than other competitors
▪️ The onboarding and training process is quite lengthy
▪️ High cost for premium features

Ooma

Ooma offers affordable VoIP services that are particularly suitable for small and medium-sized businesses and freelancers.

The basic plan comes with a mobile app, a virtual receptionist, call-forwarding functionality, and a host of other features.

Ooma Office Pro adds video conferencing tools, voicemail transcription, and several other useful business features.

Best For:

Ooma is best suited to small businesses and freelancers.

Features:

▪️ Virtual receptionist: Automate the management of incoming calls through routing and messaging callers
▪️ Call forwarding, transfer, call park, and flip
▪️ Video conferencing
▪️ SMS messaging
▪️ Voicemail transcription
▪️ Call recording
▪️ Multi-device ring: Leverage this feature to ring multiple devices, including your VoIP phone and smartphone app, to never miss a call
▪️ Ring groups

Pros:

▪️ Easy setup and installation
▪️ Unlimited calling services in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico
▪️ Transfer numbers free of charge
▪️ Each user gets a conference bridge
▪️ Sends voicemail through an email attachment
▪️ Higher usage limits for call parks, conference, and extension monitoring, among others

Cons:

▪️ Expensive hardware
▪️ Users have complained about call drops

8×8

8×8 is an all-in-one communication app that offers a secure communication platform for your business. This voice over IP business phone service gives you unlimited nationwide calls, video conferencing, chat, and a dedicated phone number. In addition, it features real-time business analytics giving businesses unique insights across all their interactions and channels for making data-driven decisions.

8×8 is built to integrate voice, video, chat, and enterprise-class API solutions into a global and reliable communications platform.

It allows people to be more productive and connected no matter where they are in the world.

Best For:

8×8 is best suited for small businesses.

Features:

▪️ Availability: It includes all communications channels small businesses need for calling, mobile, and conferencing
▪️ Application: It's suitable for a wide range of industries, including business services, accounting, education, financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation
▪️ Add-ons: It supports the addition of integrations (Microsoft Teams, Slack, GSuite, Telegram, live chat software, and more) to your communication ecosystem
▪️ Customer service: It enables you to build a better customer experience, with solutions for omnichannel routing, contact center analytics, workforce and customer management, and engagement
▪️ Affordable: 8×8 is offered at a competitive price compared to its competitors, and it provides excellent solutions and services

Pros:

▪️ Flexible deployment across all major operating systems (Windows/ Mac)
▪️ Call recording to monitor employee performance and review conversations between employees and prospective/current clients
▪️ Easy-to-use data analytics showing how long an employee has been on the phone and how many calls have been made/received by any particular employee

Cons:

▪️ Limited number of video conferencing participants unless you have a subscription that allows a larger number
▪️ Unintuitive user experience
▪️ Customer support has room for improvement

Grasshopper

GrassHopper is a popular business VoIP service suitable for startups and growing businesses.

GrassHopper provides virtual phone numbers through voice over internet protocol (VoIP), allowing call forwarding to any numbers or devices.

It also has several other excellent features like call waiting, forwarding, hold music, advanced routing, voicemail to email, and more.

One of Grasshopper's standout options is the ability to set up automatic text messages if you miss a call.

With this feature, callers automatically receive a follow-up text letting them know you're unavailable. You can also let them know they can text you back with their callback information to speed up your response time.

It's an easy way to keep potential customers engaged even if you can't answer their call or get back to them right away.

Best For:

Grasshopper is best for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want a professional business virtual number routed to their cell phone or computer.

Features:

▪️ Vanity Numbers: It offers easy to remember vanity numbers to encourage more customers to call your business
▪️ Unified Messaging: Easily manage calls, texts, and emails from a single point to keep track of all useful information
▪️ Gmail Integration: No need to buy a business suite. Easily link your existing Gmail account for all the information

Pros:

▪️ Timeline View feature to track all interactions made with the contact
▪️ Deliver quick replies and updates through text messages from your business number
▪️ Efficiently send incoming calls to voicemail with the click of a button
▪️ Reliable calling to ensure a clear voice on calls

Cons:

▪️ Limited advanced features.
▪️ No video call.

Ring Central

RingCentral is another excellent business VoIP provider. It offers a range of solutions for healthcare, retail, education, financial services, high-tech, nonprofit, and other businesses.

RingCentral comes with many useful features, including call monitoring, call forwarding, call routing, automatic call recording, call logs, video meetings conferencing, and screen sharing.

You can also integrate it with 3rd party apps and services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Zapier, Salesforce, Office 365, etc.

Other notable features include online meetings, video calls, screen sharing, conferencing, and an easy-to-use web-based administration panel.

RingCentral prides itself on assisting collaborative teams regardless of location, making it another excellent option for remote teams.

Best For:

RingCentral offers full-service VoIP that is perfect for small businesses.

Features:

▪️ Unlimited inbound and outbound phone calls in the US and CA
▪️ Video Conferencing: Opportunity to conduct meetings with up to 500 people
▪️ Choose a toll-free or local number
▪️ Voicemail to text feature
▪️ Cloud-based: Replace an outdated on-premise phone system with a cloud-based phone system that can be accessed from anywhere
▪️ Automatic call recording
▪️ Unlimited audio and video conferencing
▪️ Robust API and third-party integration ecosystem

Pros:

▪️ Collaborate with teams by chatting in real-time through any internet-enabled device
▪️ Eliminate the need for multiple passwords with a single sign-on facility
▪️ Its analytical portal offers consolidated Live Reports, Quality of Service Reports, and a Meetings Dashboard in a single place, along with over 30 new metrics, endpoint reporting, and data visualization
▪️ Leverage live reports to track agent performance and gauge customer satisfaction
▪️ Easily connect with up to 1,000 people through its audio conferencing facility
▪️ Leverage free calling to global offices to cut down phone bills

Cons:

▪️ Some pricing plans have limited features
▪️ Call groups could be improved
▪️ Reports too late: It takes them 24 hours to generate reports

Dialpad

Dialpad Talk is a business phone system built to enable better conversations with reliable call quality, seamless messaging, and call transcriptions.

Dialpad Talk uses cloud calling and AI to boost employee productivity and flexibility. Staff members can work from anywhere and use any device for their business conversations. There is also AI-powered voice intelligence that can be used for automating note-taking and detecting customer sentiments during a call.

Best For:

Dialpad is one of the top VoIP providers for small businesses and mid-sized businesses, and can easily be scaled up to an enterprise level.

Features:

▪️ Voice Intelligence: Automatically captures action items, provides real-time coaching, note-taking, sentiment analysis, and more using AI, so you can focus on who's on the other end of the line
▪️ Powerful analytics: Get crucial insights from your calls to inform decisions for your business
▪️ Reliable call quality: High definition, crystal clear voice quality on any device and nearly anywhere in the world
▪️ Native integrations: Integrates with your existing tech stack (Salesforce, Zendesk, G Suite, Office 365, etc.) for a seamless experience

Pros:

▪️ All-in-one platform for your business communication needs (voice, video, chat, and contact center)
▪️ Fast and easy to deploy for anyone in the organization
▪️ Extremely intuitive interface
▪️ Available on any device

Cons:

▪️ Contact integration needs to be improved
▪️ Challenging setup instructions
▪️ Difficulties with software navigation

CloudTalk

CloudTalk helps you create a virtual phone network framework for customer service and sales teams efficiently. This tried and tested VoIP software vendor has provided services to over a thousand clients and offers robust VoIP solutions.

Best For:

CloudTalk is one of the leading VoIP providers for call centers.

Features:

▪️ Personalization: CloudTalk allows you to create personalized greetings you can use in different situations.
▪️ Internal Phone Number Tags: Give employees a tag so that they and agents are instantly able to figure out the number the client has dialed and how to adjust their approach
▪️ Speech To Text: CloudTalk's speech recognizer efficiently converts calls into text transcripts that can be searched easily in recordings

Pros:

▪️ Get international phone numbers with geographic or non-geographic pin codes for over 70 countries
▪️ Define your business hours to make yourself available for calls only during the specified hours
▪️ Automatically redirect incoming calls of customers to the specified phone number every time your agent is either busy or unavailable
▪️ Through real-time customer cards, agents can gain access to end-to-end caller data
▪️ You can integrate CloudTalk with the external systems to import and export contacts, as well as maintain the regular download history of orders, phone calls, and tickets among others.

Cons:

▪️ Mobile apps for iOS and Android could use some small improvements
▪️ Integration with third-party applications could be more extensive

Unified Communications Manager By Cisco


Cisco is one of the pioneers of delivering VoIP services to business enterprises. Its Unified Communications Manager is capable of bringing people together anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Moreover, it uses its robust integrated collaboration to facilitate video and voice calling along with mobility and text messages.

Best For:

Unified Communications Manager by Cisco is best suited for large enterprises that require highly secure and efficient VoIP software solutions without any budget constraints.

Features:

▪️ Highly Secure: It supports the latest authentication, communication, and encryption protocols. It offers compliance with major industry certifications and secures data and communications for customers in manufacturing, retail, financial services, and government at the global level
▪️ CADI Services: Cisco Custom Application and Development Integration (CADI) services help you achieve highly customized and optimized third-party integration
▪️ Convenient Virtual Meetings anytime and anywhere: Companies with geographically diverse team members and international clients are always looking for ways to collaborate more efficiently and cut down on unnecessary travel expenses. Cisco WebEx enables both employees and clients to stay connected and share presentations all on one digital platform, keeping projects on schedule and budget and relationships on track. This also helps to reduce the excessive emails and unanswered voicemails that slow progress and weaken results
▪️ Enhanced Mobility: It comes with robust features that allow workers to work from remote and mobile locations efficiently
▪️ Sharing desktops and documents: Participants can easily share their desktops or documents in real time. The host of the WebEx conference can set certain sharing permissions for applications or documents on their screen

Pros:

▪️ Secure and reliable
▪️ Robust and efficient integration with third-party vendors
▪️ Opportunity to leverage the VoIP service as a private cloud or publicly hosted service

Cons:

▪️ It requires a pretty steep learning curve to leverage all its features
▪️ Costly for small-scale businesses

SUMMARY

If you were wondering: What is VoIP? Before, I hope this article has answered all your questions!

We've analyzed several business VoIP providers and their phone systems, along with their features, pros, and cons.

Now, choosing which VoIP provider you want to go with is your only decision left to make.

Analyze your business needs thoroughly, decide which features you need, read reviews on existing VoIP systems, and don't forget about those all-important third-party integrations.

We hope this article has helped you decide on the best business VoIP and internet phone system for you!
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?