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BUSINESS VOIP PROVIDER: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE?

Marketing Manager
Anastasia Shevchuk

INTRODUCTION

Imagine the 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 easy, right?

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

With the right VoIP phone service, you can improve customers' and employees' experience.

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

There's a great variety of good business VoIP phone services, but how to decide which one's right for you?

In this article, we'll compare the best 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 also mobile devices.

VoIP business phone service comes with a wide range of extra features for which you don't have to pay extra, like call forwarding, call waiting, digital receptionist (auto-attendant), voicemail, video conferencing, caller ID, and others.

Moreover, many also offer integrations with third-party software like email providers, CRM and project management platforms, and more. As an all-in-one tool, VoIP service providers can unify your internal and external communication tools, saving both time and money.

BENEFITS OF USING BUSINESS VOIP

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

Multiple numbers

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 possible to instantly purchase or cancel them at any time.

Added features

These numbers often include more features than a standard cellphone or landline service. They 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 VoIP trends to wantch out. Follow the link: Future of VoIP industry: 5 technology trends to watch out.
HAVE A GREAT IDEA FOR A MOBILE VOIP PROJECT?

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT VOIP PROVIDER?

What features are most important for keeping your employees and clients in touch? Call forwarding, call waiting, conference calling, and caller ID are some of the beneficial options available with Voice over IP. But are they just 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.

Determine What Features You Need

Narrow Down VoIPs that Fit the Bill

Once you have decided on features, it's time to think how much you would pay for a VoIP. Look at your current telephone bills and other communication software expenses you incur. Note down all the features you pay for and compare them with the VoIP offerings you need.
But before narrowing down your options, also take the "bundled services" of your current communication system. You might be enjoying an Internet plan or media streaming package with your existing telephone line. VoIP service won't provide those.

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

Determine if a VoIP provider's service will work with your 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.

Read Reviews

This is where you verify the information you got from the company itself, at least to some degree. Don't take all reviews close to the heart, 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

Apart from 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 such 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. This is 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 in software systems is used to route communications to the right place and to the right person.

Twilio enables to do:

▪️ Text messages
▪️ Voice messages
▪️ Video chat
▪️ Virtual phone 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 is one of the best and most reliable business VoIP services in the market. It successfully combines everything you need at affordable prices, 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 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, and more. It comes with some 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 that are looking for reasonably priced VoIP services with decent features.

Features:

▪️ Easy setup;
▪️ Complete unified communication system with voice, video, text messages, mobile, and web connectivity;
▪️ Customer Data Automation: All your customer data at one place, including call data, account history, and notes, among 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 software, 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 notification straight in your smartphone through its voicemail-to-text feature.

Cons:

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

Nextiva

Ooma offers affordable VoIP services that are most 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 for 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 service in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
▪️ Transfer numbers free of cost.
▪️ 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.

Ooma

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 offers unlimited nationwide calls, video conferencing, chat, and a dedicated phone number. Besides, there is also real-time business analytics so businesses have unique insights across all 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 that 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 adding 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, but 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 needs improvement.

8×8

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

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

Besides, there are such features as call waiting, forwarding, hold music, advanced routing, voicemail to email, and more.

One of Grasshopper's standout features 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 that 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 that want a professional business phone 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 that happened with the contact.
▪️ Deliver quick replies and updates through text messages from your business number.
▪️ Efficiently send incoming calls to voicemail through the click of a button.
▪️ Reliable calling to ensure a clear voice on calls.

Cons:

▪️ Limited advanced features.
▪️ No video call.

Grasshopper

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

RingCentral comes with 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, and more.

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 allows access 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 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.

Ring Central

Dialpad Talk is a business phone system built to have 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 that 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:

▪️ Need to integrate contacts better.
▪️ Challenging setup instructions.
▪️ Difficulties with software navigation.

Dialpad

CloudTalk helps you create a virtual network phone framework for customer service and sales teams efficiently. The 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 that 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 due to some reason.
▪️ Through real-time customer card agents can get access to end-to-end caller data.
▪️ Integrate CloudTalk with the external systems to import and export contacts and enable to 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.

CloudTalk

Cisco is one of the pioneers in 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 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.

Unified Communications Manager By Cisco

SUMMARY

Summing up, we've analyzed several business VoIP phone systems with their features, pros, and cons. Now, the decision is yours.
Analyze your business needs thoroughly, decide upon the features you need, read reviews on existing VoIP systems, don't forget about third-party integrations.
We hope this article will help you decide on the best business VoIP and internet phone system!
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?