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Not all affordable phone services are made alike. Some are higher quality and better-reviewed than others. Even among high-quality providers, the features they offer often vary, and some phone service providers may be better for your company’s specific needs than others.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure you receive the right services for the right price. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 phone solutions for small businesses so you can find the perfect affordable phone solution for your company.
Summary: 3 Top Rated Affordable Business Phone Solutions
Grasshopper Business Phone System
Grasshopper’s phone solution is ideal for companies that employ a remote workforce. Designed with virtual employees in mind, the system functions as a call forwarding system to connect incoming calls from customers and clients to employees’ mobile phones or home phones. An automated virtual receptionist and an extensive mobile app also add valuable features to the service. Plus, a fully virtual service means set up and maintenance are easy; there’s no need for installation, hardware, or maintenance.
Grasshopper’s standard features include unlimited minutes, business texting, call forwarding, hold music, voicemail-to-email, and voicemail-to-text.
Mobility: Grasshopper’s mobile app is one of it’s strongest features. The app allows employees to use their business line to dial and receive calls, check their voicemail, send text messages, and make video calls. Using the app, users can also create push notifications to alert them of things like missed calls, review their call history, and view faxes. Another unique feature of the app is that employees can place calls using WiFi or VoIP instead of relying solely on cellular data. The mobile app is compatible with both Apple and Android phones.
Automated attendant: The automated attendant provides a pre-recorded greeting to every caller before automatically forwarding them to the person or department they would like to speak with. The greeting is fully customizable so you can tailor it to your business. You can record your own greeting or have a greeting created in Grasshopper’s professional studio for a fee of $75.
Collaboration: Grasshopper users can set up conference calls for up to 10 participants.
Customer service: Customers can take advantage of 24/7 customer support services.
Grasshopper’s services will cost $24-$89/month depending on which of three service tiers you choose, plus a one-time $25 set-up fee and $10/month per each user you add beyond the number allotted in your base plan.
RingCentral offers a well-rounded selection of services for small businesses of all sizes. It’s easy to use and has a strong mobile presence. RingCentral’s phone system can seamlessly integrate with popular business platforms like Microsoft, Google, Sales Cloud, Salesforce, Oracle Sales Cloud, and Zendesk.
Voicemail: RingCentral offers a couple voicemail options. In addition to having a traditional voicemailbox, you’ll also have voicemail-to-email which allows you to check your voicemail from your computer, and visual voicemail which translates your audio messages into a text-based message you can read instead of listening to them.
Mobility: The app essentially allows users to integrate their business lines with their mobile phone so that they can make outbound calls and receive incoming calls, send texts, listen to voicemails, and tune-in to conference calls, all of which appears to come from their business number. You can use RingCentral’s app on both iOS and Android phones.
Softphone: Similar to the mobility features, softphone integrates users’ business lines with their computers. Instead of relying on their phones, they can use a headset or microphone to make calls.
Call management: A virtual receptionist will direct callers to the right individual or department, in addition to providing call screening, call forwarding, and hold music.
Collaboration: RingCentral has a strong kit of collaboration tools. Users can set up online meetings, webinars, and conferences for a high volume of participants. Online meetings can accommodate up to 500 users, conference calls can accommodate 1,000 users, and webinars can be viewed live by up to 10,000 participants. Screen sharing is an option for both online meetings and webinars. Conference calls can be set-up without a prior reservation, meaning even last minute meetings aren’t a problem.
Project management: RingCentral’s Glip platform creates a virtual collaborative space where team members can chat with each other, delegate tasks, and send each other files. Users will be able to easily see who is free and who is away, much like an instant messaging system.
Virtual/remote features: For businesses that employ remote workers (or workers who travel frequently), RingCentral’s virtual system will automatically forward calls to users’ home phones or mobile devices.
$29.99-$59.99/month per user, depending on which of the four tiers of service packages you select. Initial set-up costs are expensive; depending on the size of your staff, it can cost up to $1,250.
8X8 Business Phone Service
8X8 is a cloud-based system that offers a practical set of standard calling features, mobile flexibility, and excellent customer service. Plus, 8X8 can easily integrate with other popular business platforms like Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Zendesk, and Salesforce.
8X8’s standard suite of features includes call forwarding and transferring, call waiting with hold music, caller ID, do not disturb, company directory, and voicemail. Voicemails can be accessed in a few different ways, including the traditional method of listening to them on your phone, in addition to being able to access them online or having them sent straight to your email inbox.
Mobility: The mobile app gives users the freedom to use their business lines outside of the office. Employees can dial and receive calls, listen to voicemail messages, send instant messages to their colleagues, and set up video chats. Currently, the mobile app is supported on Apple and Android phones.
Softphone: This feature integrates employees’ business phones with their computers. By plugging in a headset or utilizing their computer’s microphone and speakers, they can make outgoing calls and receive inbound calls directly through the device.
Collaboration: The system offers a variety of tools that facilitate working with others. 8×8’s system includes an online chat tool, video conferencing, a virtual meeting space, and a conference function for hosting meetings with up to 50 participants, complete with screen sharing and recording.
$25-$35/month per user depending on the package of features you select.
Mitel Business Phone Systems
Mitel is an excellent choice for call centers because it offers a specialized suite of services targetted specifically for call center environments, like outbound dialing, call queuing, optimized routing, and CRM integration. For hosting, you can choose from either a cloud-based or on-site set-up. The cloud-based option is easy to use as it requires no on-site equipment or installation. On-site, Mitel will have you work with a local partner for the equipment and your company’s IT staff will be responsible for system maintenance.
Mitel’s standard suite of capabilities includes voicemail-to-email, integration with Microsoft Outlook, hold music, call screening and blocking, and dial by extension.
Mobility: With Mitel’s mobile app, users with Android and iOS devices can log in to make business calls, check their voicemailbox, and host conference calls.
Softphone: The softphone feature integrates with users’ computers so they can dial and answer calls via a computer at their workstation or a laptop on the go. To use the softphone, employees can rely on their computer’s built-in microphone or plug in an external headset.
Mitel costs $30-$55/month per user depending on which of the three service packages you choose. And if you want to add call center services, that’s an additional $24/month per user. You’ll have to sign up for a minimum one year contract.
Ooma users will have access to all of the basic calling capabilities like unlimited domestic calls, voicemail, caller ID, call transfer, hold music, and more. The voicemail to email function means you can check your voicemail on your computer via an audio message or a voice-to-text message.
Conference calls: Built-in for users of all levels, employees can use Ooma’s conference bridge to set up conference calls for up to 10 guests at a time.
Mobility: The app lets you connect with your business line while on the go to make calls, receive inbound calls, and check your voicemail. Ooma’s mobile app is currently compatible with iOS and Android phones.
Virtual extensions: To keep your remote workers connected, Ooma creates virtual extensions that forward inbound calls to the user’s cell phone or home phone.
Ring groups: This feature allows a call to be forwarded to any employee within an assigned ring group or department, like customer service or sales.
Virtual receptionist: Just like a real receptionist, the virtual receptionist will help you organize and streamline your company’s incoming calls. You can set up greetings (and even differentiate them for open vs. closed hours or holidays), share information like location and hours, and transfer the caller to a particular employee or call group.
$19.95/month per user + $200 equipment set-up fee. You get a 30-day trial period so you have a chance to test-drive Ooma before committing to a contract.
Choosing the right phone solution for your company is a matter of determining which option is the best match for your needs and budget. As you can see, each option has its own unique set of services and features, some of which are more beneficial to your company than others. For example, the best provider for a mid-sized call center will likely not be the best option for a start-up with a small, fully-remote staff. This list should get you started on selecting the perfect affordable phone solution for your small business.