Table of Contents
- Why It Makes Sense for Businesses to Invest in a Virtual Phone System
- Line2 vs Grasshopper
Virtual phone systems have come as a boon to small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs and here are some reasons why it is beneficial for these businesses to invest in a virtual phone system.
Unlike a conventional PBX system that requires extensive wiring, professional installation and professionals to set right the system in case something goes wrong, a virtual phone system is cloud based, and hence is extremely reliable, has detailed documentation, has easy-to-use interfaces and the service providers offer 24×7 support.
Compared to the conventional PBX phone system or buying wireless phone plans for your employees, opting for a virtual phone system is quite cost-effective, as it does not require costly hardware setup, wiring and installations.
A virtual phone system offers great flexibility and convenience and you can make and receive your business calls from anywhere. Additionally, you can use any device to make and receive your calls which gives you a lot of flexibility.
A virtual phone system offers some very advanced features compared to traditional PBX phone systems such as call logs, call forwarding, inbound faxing, transcriptions, apps for Android and iOS devices, Mac, PC, etc.
The most important aspect a prospective customer or client looks for in a new startup or a small business is credibility and it is extremely important for you to provide your business with a professional image and this is a very critical part of branding your business as a legitimate and reliable one. One of the fastest and most affordable ways of making your business seem professional is to get a custom business number and getting a virtual phone system is the best way of doing this.
Line2 and Grasshopper are two phone services that offer various features for businesses and in this article, we will be comparing the two services along with their features, so that you can decide on the one that is best for your business.
Change is a part of any business and your business needs a phone system that will grow along with it. Line2 understands the changing communication requirements of the modern workforce and provides solutions that are cloud and app based. Line2 offers a full-featured and affordable phone service for businesses that works on any type of device. Line2 was basically created on the basis of the principle of both phone systems, as well as messaging systems, being cloud based and app based.
Line2 recognizes that phone numbers are not really dependant on the device and you should be able to access the number from anywhere and across various devices i.e. from mobile phones and wearables to desktops. Therefore, all of Line2’s products are designed to support the mobile workforce and their style of work. The communication solutions provided by Line2 are suited for small teams and professionals working independently and completely remove the requirement for expensive hardware and installation that is time consuming. Line2 really makes business communications extremely simple and easy.
Line2 offers various features such as PBX, voice, toll-free services and also a suite of communication apps suitable for businesses that are available both on Android and iOS devices. Line2 also provides native calling to iPhone users via the iOS mobile app. You can receive and make an unlimited number of phone calls and text messages to US and Canada.
In fact, Line2 is among the first business phone services that support MMS for photo and group messaging, Apple Watch, voice-initiated messaging with Siri and CallKit and native calling. Line2 offers its users a superior calling experience, thanks to CallKit and iOS 10 and you can answer calls like a regular phone call by swiping and answering directly from the lock screen.
Some of the additional features and benefits of Line2 include:
- You can answer incoming calls by just swiping from the lock screen and the visual caller ID allows you to distinguish the Line2 call from a regular call and this can help you to separate your personal calls from the work-related ones.
- You can seamlessly manage your incoming calls to an existing call without any disruptions.
- You can also accept, decline, put calls on hold or divert the incoming calls to voicemail.
- You can use Line2 as the service of your choice to call your favorites and specific contacts.
- Line2 offers many features such as texting, caller ID, photo and group messaging, advanced call routing such as call screening, iPhone contact integration, etc.
- The Line2 app offers wired headset and improved Bluetooth support to enable superior user experience.
- The Line2 app is equipped with intelligent technology which selects the best possible network in order to complete the call and also give you the best in terms of call quality.
Line2 offers both monthly and annual plans.
- Cost: $9.95/month
- The plan includes unlimited MMS and SMS messaging, unlimited calls, works over 4G/WiFi/LTE, you can choose a US or Canada number, port your number free of cost, can be used with PCs, Macs, tablets or phones, call screening, forwarding, blocking, group messaging and calling, low international calling and SMS rates, Line2 widget allows you to get texts on your website directly.
- Cost: $14.95/user/month
- The plan has all the Standard Plan features and also includes the auto attendant feature, managing multiple lines, simultaneous call forwarding, after-hours call handling, dial-by-name directory, custom call screening, toll-free number (at $9.95/month extra per number).
- Cost: $14.95/user/month
- The plan includes all Pro Plan features plus a toll-free number with unlimited call minutes plus SMS, live chat for instant customer support, Line2 Queue, online faxing, personalized setup calls.
All the plans (monthly and annual plans) offer a 7-day free trial. The annual plans also have 3 pricing plans with the same features as the monthly plans but the prices vary:
- Cost: $8.30/month
- Cost: $12.45/user/month
- Cost: $16.63/user/month
Overall, Line2 is a great virtual phone service that has a solid mobility, cloud focus and is great for businesses where most of its employees are remote workers or work out of the office often. Line2 also offers the convenience of one single annual payment and helps to reduce the burden of recurring monthly bills and payments.
A virtual phone system which enables small businesses an extremely easy way to provide their employees with extremely useful communication tools, Grasshopper allows you to have a phone system without actually going about the hassle of installing expensive equipment, phones, etc. Grasshopper’s service works with home phones, as well as mobile phones and offers a wide array of features and unlimited minutes of calling. Grasshopper’s phone service is available in 3 plans.
Grasshopper is extremely easy to install and doesn’t have much of a learning curve. Since it is a virtual phone service, there is no need to install any equipment, phone hardware or wiring. Grasshopper’s virtual phone service does not connect with desk phones like the regular, conventional phone systems. Instead, it works in conjunction with your home phones and mobile phones.
Grasshopper provides businesses a wide range of features that provide remote employees the freedom to work from anywhere and offers tools that are normally provided by the traditional phone systems used in office. Some of the features offered by Grasshopper are music on hold, automatic attendant (which can be customized to provide any greeting you want), capability of taking calls from several people at a time, name directory, voicemail, conference calling, online faxing, voicemail to email and text messaging (which allow the users to send messages to each other, clients or customers), using their business phone number.
Some of the additional features and benefits of Grasshopper include:
- The service provides an automated attendant that answers when a client calls and forwards the call to the particular department or employee that the caller wants to reach. This allows you to assign the phone numbers where they want their calls to be forwarded to. You can have the calls forwarded to your home phone, mobile device or any other phone that you want.
- You can choose the number of calls you want to be routed to you. You can also choose up to 15 numbers where you want the calls to be routed to, the order in which the numbers must ring, the number of rings before switching over to the next number and when you want calls to be forwarded to you. For instance, you can choose to receive calls only on weekdays, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, only on weekends or 24×7.
- When you receive calls, you have many options of how the calls can be handled. You can answer the call, listen to the caller’s name, phone number and then decide if you want to speak to them or you can send the caller to your voicemail directly.
- Each employee can have their own designated extension, you can create extensions for particular departments, for example, for customer service, sales, etc. You can then group the employees into specific departments and set the employees’ phones to ring when your customer or anyone else wants to reach the particular department.
- Grasshopper offers a mobile app that is available for both Android, as well as iOS devices and lets you receive and make calls from your business phone, check your voicemail messages, set faxes,
- Set push notifications in case of missed calls or messages, change the call forwarding options and check the call history.
- The iOS app allows you to sign the PDF email and fax attachments using your finger.
- The support team of Grasshopper is available to help you on phone 24×7 and you can also request any help using their online form.
Grasshopper offers 3 different service plans. All the 3 plans offered by Grasshopper include unlimited minutes and mostly all the available features.
- Cost: $29 / month
- Number: 1
- Number of Extensions: 3
- Cost: $65 / month
- Number: 3
- Number of Extensions: 6
- Cost: $99 / month
- Number: 5
- Number of Extensions: Unlimited
All the Grasshopper plans include business texting, inbound fax, unlimited minutes, custom greetings, desktop app access, voicemail, read your voicemail, 24×7 customer support, mobile apps and WiFi calls.
Grasshopper does not require you to sign any contracts and you can pay on a month-to-month basis and cancel the service at any time you want. New customers have to pay an activation fee of $25 and you can make any changes to your existing plan at any time you want. Grasshopper also gives you a 30-day money back guarantee.
Overall, Grasshopper is one of the best virtual phone systems in the market today. Although it may not be as feature packed as some of its other competitors in the category, it offers a decent set of features and also allows you the flexibility of making business calls via your mobile app. The service is extremely easy to set up, you have various plans you can choose from and it offers excellent customer service.
Choosing the right virtual phone system for your business can be quite a challenge, especially when you are faced with so many options. It is a good idea to evaluate the specific communication needs of your business vis-à-vis the features and plans offered by the service providers such as Grasshopper and Line2. Also, see the pricing and plans offered by both the service providers and determine how it fits with your budget and finally, compare the offerings of Line2 and Grasshopper before you decide on which one is the best for your specific business needs.