With the rise of the internet, the business phone system has become a crucial part of making a business successful. If you are only using your personal phone for making business calls, you will be missing out on many of the benefits the business phone system has to offer. You will be more accessible to your clients, get all the information they need, and keep your professional image up to par.
Do you need to get in touch with your clients or customers? If you are a small business owner or are large and in the service sector, chances are that you will rely on your cell phone to communicate with people in a number of different ways. You can call, email, text, or use Skype to talk to people from your computer. Depending on your needs, you will need a phone system that can handle those tasks.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the top business phone systems that you should consider using. We’ve covered this topic before, but there are just so many options, and we think that all of the phones listed in this post are worth considering. It’s important to keep in mind that you should only consider phones that you can easily afford. We’re covering only cell phone systems that are not only affordable, but that are also proven to work well in the business environment.. Read more about best 2-line phone system for small business and let us know what you think.
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It’s worth looking into your options if you’re unhappy with your current company phone system.
You may save money, give your employees a more useful collection of functions, and give your clients a better experience.
However, there are other options for implementing a new phone system. You’ll want to think about this carefully.
My team reached out to specialists that operate corporate phone systems for a living and manage high-volume contact centers to assist you grasp what’s out there and play the field wisely.
You can discover general recommendations on the internet, such as “choose a system that provides the characteristics you require.” That is of no use to anyone.
You’ll find buyer insights from a variety of experts who know what actually counts here. I spoke with the following people:
- Matt is a network engineer with over 20 years of experience assisting businesses with their IT.
- Nikhil is the creator of two cloud service startups and a former unified communications managed service provider.
- Lawrence works for a cloud business phone system provider as a network operations center engineer.
- Guy: A contact center veteran with over 15 years of experience in keeping things running smoothly.
- Terry is the IT director for a midsize software firm that has established and scaled contact centers for a variety of use cases.
We discussed in detail how the underlying technology works to provide businesses with a real-world advantage they don’t have now. My recommendations and this buyers’ guide are the end result. You don’t have to be an IT expert to gain insight into what a “one-click” integration truly entails or how to avoid a phone system from being hacked.
Take a break from the usual advice and try something new. Continue reading to learn which company phone systems provide genuine value and how to choose between the best solutions.
#1 – Review of Nextiva – The Best for Remote Teams
Many businesses benefited from Nextiva’s assistance in keeping their operations going while their offices were closed. It’s a secure, tried-and-true corporate phone system that works equally well in an office as it does for mobile workers and those who work from home.
The platform is relatively simple to set up because it is totally cloud-based. In just a few minutes, you’ll have unlimited voice and video calling for all of your employees.
For a few dollars a month, you can add texting, or check into their contact center solutions if you want to combine communications with chat and email. There’s no need to buy new equipment with any arrangement, and it’s simple to upgrade if you want more channels or features in the future.
Because Nextiva isn’t a one-way street, I prefer it for offices with remote workers because it can operate with landline phones if necessary.
You can allow folks to come and go from the office without affecting productivity or the client experience.
New users will have little difficulty acclimating. They simply need to download the Nextiva app and begin making calls.
Why did employees and administrators enjoy softphone apps? “It’s easier to merely download the app and connect to the servers,” Nikhil explained. Your staff will be able to work from their mobile, tablet, or laptop without having to worry about security.
If you have remote workers checking in from home and public networks, keeping your phone system secure is a major worry.
You want a provider that encrypts communications with TLS and SRTP so that no one can “see what you’re doing, or listen to any of the calls that go over that line,” according to Lawrence.
Nextiva secures voice communication with both of these protocols, as well as fraud mitigation, which detects and blocks suspicious calling activity on your account.
“A hostile actor can use your phone lines,” Lawrence explained, “and you frequently find numerous lines open to a faraway place with a costly pay phone number.”
Nextiva keeps an eye on your account for things like toll fraud and other forms of hacks, providing you piece of mind while your employees are working outside your firewall.
With Nextiva as your phone service provider, you’ll have a lot less to worry about. Your administrators won’t have to worry about provisioning certain phones or ensuring that calls are routed correctly. Because people are using softphones, their phone number follows them around.
This is crucial because, as Matt pointed out, routing calls when individuals are moving around with a number attached to a certain phone might be difficult.
Nextiva allows you to completely prevent those headaches. All of a person’s settings are saved and they will get calls as long as they are logged into their Nextiva account.
In reality, Nextiva just updated their extension provisioning to allow you to initiate a call flow from an extension:
This allows you to route internal calls without having to pay for additional numbers, which is something that other providers may force you to do.
Plus, take a look at how simple it is to add an extension—if you can order food online, you can set up the Nextiva phone system.
This makes it easier to use flexible routing capabilities like Find Me/Follow Me, and your employees can rest assured that calls will find them regardless of where they are working that day.
Follow Me features, as Matt mentioned, are a major step up from conventional call forwarding.
“You could send calls to your cell phone back in the day, and you’d get to answer,” he explained, “but you wouldn’t know who it was.” “It’s just a lot more robust now that it’s digital,” says the author.
Before sending someone to voicemail, Follow Me allows you to define answering rules that redirect your call to different locations—your office, your cell phone, and your home. You may also create restrictions based on the day of the week or the time of day.
“It ensures that the person on the other end gets you rather than simply getting your voicemail, which nobody listens to anymore,” Matt explained.
Other elements are aimed to help administrators and supervisors manage their workloads. Adding new users is simple with the admin interface, and admins can alter active call flows. Change your phone menu, greetings, or call routing without having to turn off your phone system.
Your managers have access to a variety of team collaboration tools, such as:
- Calendar for the team
- Sharing a screen
- Persistent conversation (team messaging)
- Support for many locations
- Notifications of current condition in real time
- Conferencing via video
Everyone benefits from team messaging and an auto attendant that delivers calls to the correct location faster, whether it’s for sales, service, or just general business needs.
The very accessible customer care provided by Nextiva is maybe the most important reason why businesses choose it. You can contact us 24 hours a day via email, chat, or phone. This is highly appealing, as phone help is normally only available with premium services from other providers.
For teams that aren’t always in the office, on-demand technical support is a godsend. Nextia also provides outstanding assistance and training to ensure that your staff gets the most out of your new system right away.
In fact, Nextiva received many Stevie Awards in 2023, recognizing the company’s continuously outstanding level of service.
The provider will also assist you in migrating your existing phone number so that your entire system runs smoothly. Nextiva features professional implementation as part of all plans save the entry-level one.
Let’s take a closer look at how to buy Nextiva, as the company’s flexible pricing structure caters to a wide range of businesses:
The pricing listed above are for annual subscriptions. If you don’t want to sign up for a year, you can pay a bit more per month.
Essential is one of the most affordable phone, video, text, and fax services available. This is the phone system to have if you need a low-cost business phone system with several channels and remote collaboration.
However, the Essential subscription does not include video conferencing or many of the integrations that make Nextiva such a convenient choice for remote workers. You receive Outlook and Google Contacts connectors for free, but you’ll need to pay to Professional to use CRM tools like HubSpot, Zendesk, and Salesforce.
The other key benefit of upgrading to Professional, which makes sense for remote teams, is that you get complete customer assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can only get help from Essential during business hours.
If your company doesn’t already have a CRM, Nextiva’s Professional tier, which is just slightly more expensive than Essential, provides one for free.
The Nextos CRM, which is integrated within the platform, contains sales and service-related capabilities. Because it’s native, you won’t have to waste time getting the apps to communicate with one another.
This is appealing since you get CRM capabilities without having to pay for a separate service or “jump through hoops” to get the integration to work, which Jason claims can be difficult.
He also mentioned the challenges of getting numerous CRMs for different departments to work on the same network. Let’s say your sales team uses Sugar CRM and your customer care team uses Zendesk. Both of those programs are integrated with Nextiva, so you’ll have a lot less to set up on your own.
The Nextos CRM platform’s Enterprise and Ultimate tiers have a broader variety of integrations, more robust analytics and survey capabilities, and a more comprehensive collection of functionality.
In comparison to comparably feature-rich plans from other providers, the Enterprise plan, which starts at $32.95/month per user, is quite reasonable.
In a nutshell, Nextiva is a full-featured business phone system that provides high-quality communications to companies of all sizes. It makes no difference whether you’re at work or not. Nextiva has your back.
You can either test the Essentials plan for seven days for free or request a premium plan trial.
#2 – Review of RingCentral — The Best for Using Phones to Help Your Business
RingCentral has grown to become one of the most popular business communications service providers. They provide all of the features that a growing company requires at an affordable price. It also doesn’t hurt to have unlimited calling, texting, and video.
It’s my #1 recommendation for companies looking to merge their existing business software with a new phone system.
It doesn’t have a built-in CRM like Nextiva, but it does have a considerably broader list of pre-built integrations. The majority of users will be able to continue using the software that has gotten them to this point—there will be no need to reinvent the wheel.
All of these integrations have been tried, tested, and enhanced under a variety of scenarios because RingCentral is so widely used.
This is critical since not all integrations are created equal. Some integrations, as Terry pointed out, necessitate a significant amount of programming work on your part in order to get “the systems to communicate with each other the way you want.”
RingCentral has relieved you of as much of that burden as possible. There will be some initial setup required, especially if you have already customized your CRM or ERP to the nth degree. However, you’ll quickly see why so many people rate the integration process as painless, and there’s plenty of guidance online if you run into problems.
And the advantages of streamlining your employees’ workdays are difficult to exaggerate. You may, for example, use Salesforce integration to click-to-dial contacts, plan video meetings, and link your phones to your sales cadence—all from within your Salesforce account.
Consider how much time you’ll save on each call.
You’ll also be able to track the numbers that really matter. Your statistics will reflect information about your clients, not just call times, thanks to the CRM integration.
You can use segmentation to look at sales targets in different buyer categories, geographies, or whatever else you think is important to measure.
That’s just one example; RingCentral has significantly more pre-built integrations than any of the other platforms I looked at.
You want to be able to exchange data across your organization, and it irritates employees when they have to manually move data between programs that don’t work well together.
I recommend demoing these solutions, if not reaching out to RingCentral for a reference from a similarly placed customer, based on my experience and conversations with specialists. This will offer you the most accurate impression of any pre-built integration’s quality and depth.
When it comes to linking your other applications, however, integration is just one component of creating a more efficient process for your team. RingCentral offers a wide range of call handling and administrative options, allowing you to fine-tune your system for each department of your business.
Customer service CRMs, according to Terry, are “a little more sophisticated from a phone system aspect” than sales CRMs.
Why? Because the goal of sales is to get inbound calls to people as soon as feasible. “It’s not the opposite, but it’s sort of close” in a support setting, he remarked with a chuckle.
Terry isn’t advocating for support personnel to give consumers the runaround, but you should double-check that the individual phoning has a legitimate issue. Then, first and foremost, refer them to self-service resources.
For example, they could be able to reset their password without having to speak with an agent. That will be a win-win situation for both parties. This keeps your lines clear and allows your service professionals to focus on consumers who are having particularly difficult problems.
RingCentral includes everything you’ll need to manage call queues and configure your phone tree to route clients as needed.
Integrate your phone system with live chat software, and have bots respond with automatic responses, allowing users to address questions on their own. Allow the bot to handle incoming chats and collect data for when a representative takes over. Combine that with skills-based routing to connect a Spanish-speaking caller with the right agent.
Because RingCentral is so easy to link to other sections of your organization, there are a lot of chances to streamline operations and improve the overall customer experience.
Other standout characteristics of the platform include:
- Login with a single password
- Voicemail to text and visual voicemail
- Messages from the team
- Analytics in real time
- Platform for developers
- Reports on service quality
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The entry-level Essentials tier has a limit of 20 users and is priced reasonably for extremely small enterprises. However, I’d like to concentrate on the other ambitions, which involve connectors with the prominent software I’ve mentioned.
Standard includes unlimited voice, video, text, and online fax, as well as administrative capabilities to help you stay on top of things. Integration with productivity suites such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, as well as collaboration software, analytics tools, bots, and more, is available at this level.
Premium offers multi-site administration and management, as well as a multi-level auto attendant to help callers navigate between sites more efficiently. Advanced in-call capabilities and CRM interfaces are also available to aid sales, customer support, and overall customer success.
Premium is still a great deal, and the CRM connectivity is well worth the money. You’ll also have access to industry-specific integrations for industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and others. It’s well worth looking through their huge App gallery to see what they have to offer.
The Ultimate tier includes unlimited automatic call recording, which is ideal for companies concerned about compliance or risking legal liability. It also has device and status notifications to help administrators and managers keep track of crucial KPIs at scale.
At the end of the day, businesses prefer RingCentral because it can be customized to fit their needs. Every interaction becomes a little more productive, and everyone’s workday becomes a little more streamlined.
RingCentral Essentials, Standard, or Premium are all available for free for 15 days. Discover why so many organizations select RingCentral by trying out the phone system and integrations.
#3 – Ooma Review — The Best Deskphones for Businesses
Want to preserve all of the features you appreciate about traditional phones while getting rid of the ones you don’t? That’s Ooma Office, my top recommendation for those who want hardware without the hassles.
Ooma will operate with your analog phones, mobile phones, desktops, laptops, conference phones, and fax machines—whatever you have.
You can use the Ooma softphone app as soon as you sign up. The complete activation and setup process takes roughly 15 minutes whether you order desk phones through Ooma or utilize the ones you currently have.
Phones purchased directly from Ooma will be preconfigured. The phone will immediately create a secure connection with Ooma as soon as you plug it in, and you can begin dialing.
The company uses the same encryption technology that governments do to protect confidential information, such as a VPN tunnel and SRTP. Lawrence and Matt specifically advised our staff to search for this form of security.
Get rid of your old PBX and see how simple it is to customize your phone system with Ooma. The Ooma Office web portal gives you complete control over setup.
It’s not as slick as Nextiva, but it’s simple and easy to use. Most people that migrate from a standard PBX find that they can do a lot more for a lot less money.
To set up a virtual receptionist to greet callers and route them to the right department, you no longer need to understand how the underlying technology works. If your primary contact is unavailable, you can have all phones in the department ring or have them ring in a specific sequence.
Creating a ring group like this used to be tough, but with Ooma, it’s as simple as a few clicks.
Hot desking, which allows Ooma Enterprise users to make calls from any phone, is the same. Lawrence explained how the flexibility for employees to go up to any phone in the office, input their extension, and start making calls helped his organization, which doesn’t have fixed workstations for individual employees.
“Even if you have many branches and work from one of them,” Lawrence explained, “you can just walk to that location and know the phone system will operate.” Any of your employees can login to the system using any phone, and all of their preferences and settings will be saved.
One of the reasons I appreciate Ooma so much for small businesses is that you don’t have to sign a contract to get the best price. There are no hidden fees and they will port one number per line for free.
So there’s no commitments, no hidden fees, and access to a powerful corporate phone system with features like:
- Each user has their own conference bridge.
- Tools for managing phone calls
- SMS (text messaging)
- Ring formations
- Extensions and calling from one extension to another
That isn’t even the whole list of features available with Ooma Office, which starts at $19.95 per line each month.
You’ll get unlimited calling in the US and Canada, just like the other companies I looked at, but Ooma’s unlimited coverage also includes Mexico and Puerto Rico.
In addition, the company’s international calling charges are cheaper than the industry average. For example, a call to China using Ooma Office would cost $2 per minute, however the same call would cost $3 with Dialpad or 3.9 with RingCentral.
If you have a lot of international customers, those 1-2 savings build up rapidly.
As I have stated, the pricing is really basic.
You get video conferencing, call recording, voicemail transcription, and access to the Ooma desktop software if you upgrade to Office Pro.
Many organizations will find that Ooma Office is more than enough, unless they require one of the major capabilities that come with Ooma Office Pro.
The cost of upgrading is extremely fair, and it is far less than the cost of similar services from other companies.
You can get extra channels with Ooma Enterprise (which does require a contract). However, it is not as simple to use as other unified communications platforms such as RingCentral, Nextiva, and Dialpad.
I mention this because Ooma Enterprise has to do a lot of the integration and functionality that comes standard with those systems.
For firms struggling to fit their workflows into pre-built connectors from other providers, this could result in a better final result. Through integration, Ooma has helped restaurants and retailers speed order monitoring, payments, and reporting.
As much as I like the pre-built connectors, trying to make them work in general has a “cookie cutter” feel to it. If the integrations offered by other systems aren’t impressing you, give Ooma a call.
Hot desking, enhanced call flows, and team messaging are all available as part of an enterprise subscription. Although the Enterprise Call Center solution is advertised as a complete UCaaS, neither I nor the specialists we spoke with had any experience with it, so you’ll have to do your own research.
Ooma Office, on the other hand, is a tried and true approach to keep the phones running with minimal complication for small businesses. It’s a real plug-and-play solution for a wide range of phones. Analog, IP, wireless, and conference phones will all function properly.
Keep your old phones if you have them, or get new phones at a lower price than the local dealer. Ooma offers open standards phones from vendors like Yealink, a popular choice among professionals, so you can seamlessly integrate new phones into your existing system.
Keep your current phone number, get a new one, set up a toll-free number, and link your online fax—none of this takes long.
You now have a cloud-based phone system that integrates all of your tools into a company phone system that can be used in the office or on the go.
Give Ooma a risk-free trial today if your existing business phone solution isn’t cutting it.
#4 – Grasshopper Review – The Best for Companies With Less Than 10 Lines
If you only need a basic phone system, Grasshopper is a better alternative than some of the other solutions I’ve looked at.
Small businesses get the necessities of a contemporary business phone system, albeit it doesn’t have as many features as some of the more expensive packages from other carriers.
Plus, unlike other solutions, every Grasshopper plan includes all of the company’s features, so you won’t have to buy more than you need to fix a single problem.
The most basic package includes three free extensions and a business number that works on any device. Remember that extensions aren’t always free, especially with low-cost choices.
In contrast, with Grasshopper, you can outfit a small team for the cost of a single line.
It’s a complete solution for the little office. Scaling up is still feasible, however I wouldn’t go above ten lines because the call management is designed for small company phone systems.
For a single brick-and-mortar, a small warehouse, a corporation with a few different locations, or a toll-free number for an ecommerce site, Grasshopper is a fantastic low-cost, all-in solution.
Grasshopper isn’t as complicated, which makes it easier for teams to get used to it. To add a new user or extension, you don’t need to have an IT wizard on staff. Even your most tech-averse consumers will be able to manage work calls from their personal cell phone thanks to the ease.
With Grasshopper, nothing is tethered to a physical phone, so you won’t have any of the issues Matt mentioned with individuals traveling from station to station. If employees are moved from one desk to another, no backend configuration is required, as is the case with deskphones in many circumstances.
Despite the flexibility, you get the essential phone system features that small businesses want. Calls can be transferred and extensions created to forward calls to any device that has a phone number. If you choose, you can make calls to a landline.
You get the essential functionality of a phone without the IT headaches or security worries. The following are a few of the most useful for small businesses:
- Texting for business
- Transfers and call forwarding
- Faxing via the internet
- Transcription of voicemail
- Extensions that are available for free
- Handling many calls at the same time
- Screening of phone calls
- Greetings that are unique
Grasshopper is a revelation for anyone trying to run a business on a cell phone or battling to manage an old phone infrastructure. You’ll be able to check calls right away and tell if they’re personal or work-related.
You’ll be able to choose whatever number you want to call from on your end. There’s no need to carry two phones or be concerned about the type of call you’ll receive.
Callers will be greeted by a professional greeting when they dial in. Allow them to choose which department they’d want to speak with or answer queries regarding business hours.
You won’t have to pay for dozens of extra numbers only to redirect calls because every line comes with free extensions.
Texting is another tool that I believe is crucial for small businesses today. This is bundled with Grasshopper, making it a very cost-effective method to develop new contact channels with your consumers.
When you’re on the phone or in a meeting, set up automatic answers to new callers. You won’t have to make a call if you read a voicemail transcription and answer with a text.
Unlimited calling and texting are included in all Grasshopper plans. You’re looking at a monthly flat fee. If you prefer to pay month-to-month, the prices below represent a yearly subscription and are a few dollars higher.
Because every function is included in every package, you’re essentially purchasing depending on the amount of phone numbers and extensions you require. Solo comes with one phone number and three extensions that can be sent to your cell phone, home, coworkers, or other locations.
Partner has three numbers and six extensions, making it perfect for expanding beyond a single location or managing field teams. Small Business has five phone numbers and an infinite number of extensions.
You won’t have to ask staff for their personal phone numbers or buy them phones if you use Partner and Small Business. They’ll have everything they need to take calls, screen them, and transfer them.
You can employ a Ruby Receptionist, who is a live US-based agent that can answer calls and talk with clients, for $10 per month per number. It costs $135 a month for 50 receptionist minutes, with the price per minute decreasing as you purchase more.
This might be important for a small business that is having trouble staffing the phones. You can stop worrying about missed calls and know that it’s taken care of at a fraction of the expense of hiring a full-time employee.
For small businesses, I really enjoy Grasshopper. It has all of the essential functionality of a phone system without the bells and whistles geared toward call centers and larger businesses. You can’t go too sophisticated with it—there are no direct connectors with other platforms, and adding extra channels isn’t easy—but it shines at the basics.
OpenPhone is similar, however Grasshopper is better for users who want a more typical office phone experience because it supports virtual fax and extensions with forwarding rules.
You should try it out if you want a stress-free business phone system for small organizations. Grasshopper offers a 7-day free trial without requiring a credit card.
#5 – Dialpad Review — The Only Way To Set Up A Contact Center In Less Than 10 Minutes
Dialpad appeals to me since it simplifies call center labor for employees while providing a positive customer experience. Everything about the platform is simple, clear, and tailored to the way people communicate today.
You can (and should) look into Dialpad for individual channels, but this is the all-in-one contact center system that works right out of the box.
Guy informed my team, “Nobody goes out of their way to say, ‘Hey, I can’t wait to call into this contact center,’” based on years of first-hand experience. “However, if they’re going to do it, you want things to go as smoothly as possible.”
Dialpad provides you with everything you require. Dialpad’s unique collection of integrations, AI-powered analytics, and speech recognition technology allow you to deploy in minutes and continuously enhance your system over time.
During every engagement, your agents will benefit from these features. Dialpad will pin an unknown caller’s name to the call screen and apply it to the real-time transcript of the discussion if they mention it.
Each day, agents speak with dozens of people before lunch. Each interaction will be a lot easier if you have names and a running transcript of what was said. Agents don’t ask individuals to repeat information, and they may quickly jump back to previous chats with the same client.
Dialpad retrieves action items from the call for evaluation once it’s over. There’s no need to scribble notes or log into a different platform to tick boxes.
With a few clicks, agents can share these call highlights with coworkers or supervisors, along with a brief remark for context:
To me, the entire experience has been a step forward. Everything is centralized from the agent’s perspective, regardless of the channels they use. The platform reduces the amount of clicks required for each action, resulting in increased productivity and faster resolution of client issues.
When an agent, for example, clicks to record a call, an automated message appears, stating that the call is being recorded. This is significant because failing to inform a caller that the discussion is being recorded can result in hefty fines. The fines for such infractions vary from $500 to 2,500 dollars, with the possibility of jail time.
The rules vary by state and country, but Dialpad eliminates the need for agents to remember to say anything. It happens on its own.
In terms of call routing and management, you’re entirely covered. Dialpad may be as creative as you want when it comes to setting up your call center, tying in every channel and integrating your business software, yet it will still be simple to manage.
Supervisors will find it much easier to review phone records if each conversation has been transcribed and time-stamped. When you combine it with the deep analytics capabilities, you have a phone system that allows team leaders to intervene when an agent is in distress.
Guy was well-versed in supervisory functions that aid in the training of agents. Employee burnout is a reality in call centers. People become bored of taking a lot of calls, but “agents don’t get a lot of very precise, thorough feedback on how they can improve,” according to Guy.
There are numerous opportunities to intervene with Dialpad. Supervisors can listen in on live calls, “whisper” to agents so they don’t hear them, or “barge” in and take over the conversation. They could also listen in and contact you using the chat app.
“I can drop in and listen in if I can watch my agent live and see that their handle time is actually going past eight or nine minutes,” Guy said, “and maybe I can co-pilot and help land the plane.”
Skills-based routing, which distributes calls to agents based on their areas of expertise, is another technique to boost agent productivity (and happiness). Agents, according to Guy, become overwhelmed when their boss simply calls them and says, “You need to start learning a lot about everything.”
You’ll also notice that skills-based routing improves first-call resolution because your specialized agents are immediately assigned to calls in their area. It’s a true win-win situation, and you won’t have to buy any additional hardware or write any complicated scripts to accomplish it.
It’s a very powerful platform, and you should definitely look into everything it has to offer. But first, let’s go through some of the other notable features of Dialpad Call Center:
- Tracking customer feedback
- Hold music created specifically for you
- Callback from within the queue
- The manager is notified.
- Agent recommendations in real time
- Salesforce, Zendesk, Kustomer, and other applications have pre-built connectors.
TalkIQ, a business that specialized in speech recognition and natural language processing, was bought by Dialpad. It’s a step up, and Dialpad will use your knowledge base to offer real-time recommendations to agents throughout talks.
When a consumer indicates they want to apply for a loan, for example, all of the applicable SOPs and papers appear on the agent’s screen. A fresh agent can confidently guide the consumer through each step of the process by saying, “Yes, I’d be pleased to help with that.”
To acquire a price for Dialpad’s call center solution, you’ll need to contact them, however there is a three-license minimum for the Pro plan and a 100-license minimum for the Enterprise plan.
Both Nextiva and RingCentral charge roughly $5 more per month for their basic business communication service than Dialpad. Even if you’re not wanting to use it as a contact center, you still receive unlimited talk and text, so this could be a nice option.
If you’re having problems finding a solution that can handle all of your integrations and channels, I’d recommend Dialpad. The company offers a robust app store, as well as an open API and Zapier interface that allows teams to integrate practically any tool they already use.
Dialpad contact center is now offering a free trial.
#6 – OpenPhone Review — The Best for Solo Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
OpenPhone was created with freelancers, founders, and entrepreneurs in mind, whether they operate alone or in small groups. It gives you a second business phone number on your phone, but unlike other similar apps, it has very few restrictions.
It’s convenient, yet basic, when it comes to “second line” alternatives like Google Voice. Incoming callers aren’t given a menu of options or the chance to transfer calls. However, with OpenPhone, you get both, as well as a lot more.
You can instantly develop a professional company identity—no need to give out your personal phone number. When someone dials your number, they will be greeted by an auto attendant who will ask them to push one for sales or two for business hours. It’s simple to set up and makes a significant difference in how your company appears to potential clients.
OpenPhone will acquire you a new local or toll-free number, and if you choose to keep your previous number, their specialists will help you migrate it over.
OpenPhone is less than half the price of other basic business phone systems, starting at $10 a month. Sure, video conferencing isn’t included, but you do get unlimited talk and text on any device.
You can get a business number for $5 per month if you have employees or partners. They can use their own phone number, but you can also set up shared phone numbers and inboxes to keep everyone in the loop.
This is a significant feature that sets OpenPhone distinct from the competition. There are far more complete (and costly) phone systems that do not allow you to accomplish this.
Threaded group messaging and the ability for numerous users to phone and text from a single number are both available with OpenPhone.
“OpenPhone puts the company phone inside a collaborative app that anyone on the team can use from wherever they are,” said David Sacks, an investor from Craft Ventures who led OpenPhone’s most recent round of funding to VentureBeat.
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You won’t be getting a diluted system with reduced capabilities. Send files as attachments by SMS, MMS, or even GIFs:
Smaller businesses, as Guy pointed out, benefit from the capacity to work across numerous channels. “In the smaller workstations, you have to rely on more of your people to accomplish more things,” he said. But simply opening up more channels isn’t enough—employees must be able to “quickly navigate in between them.”
OpenPhone’s user interface is straightforward and easy, allowing your team to talk with coworkers or text an answer to a customer who left a voicemail about something they emailed you about. It’s all right in front of you.
The following are some of the other features that will make a difference:
- If you miss a call, you’ll get auto-texting snippets.
- Screening of phone calls
- Establishing business hours and a do-not-disturb policy
- Calls are recorded.
- Call forwarding and transfer
- Calling from abroad
- Integration between Zapier and HubSpot
You’ll need to upgrade your plan to receive the full set of features and integrations.
All OpenPhone plans come with 1,000 monthly calling minutes and texts. Although it is billed as “unlimited,” I wouldn’t use it to do drip campaigns or anything like that because, like many carriers, it is inside the acceptable use policy.
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HubSpot is the only CRM integration available right now, although Salesforce and Pipedrive integrations are in the works.
OpenPhone is a young startup that is constantly improving and introducing new features to their service. I like where it’s going, but I like it more than any other lightweight business phone app right now.
For the first week, try OpenPhone for free and never look back.
What I Looked for While I Was Looking for the Best Business Phone Systems
All of my top business phone system recommendations are cloud-based, which means you make calls over the internet rather than a landline. They’re also hosted, which means that instead of building your own infrastructure, you join up for a service to use the system.
In 2023, a cloud-based hosted phone system will be the best option for most businesses. This is why:
- Unlimited Calling: Forget about per-minute rates for calls or a monthly restriction on text messaging. In the United States and California, every company I’ve looked at gives unlimited calling. If your plan allows it, you’ll also have unlimited messaging and video conferencing. I’ve mentioned any limitations (or free calling in additional countries) in the evaluations.
- Lower IT responsibility: Because the phone system is hosted by your provider, you’ll have a lot less to worry about in terms of security, maintenance, and keeping the network up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You must acquire all of the equipment and manage the system yourself if you host your own system.
- People can sign into the system securely from anywhere they have access to the internet. When users try to access your system from unknown or home networks, you’ll run into a slew of security difficulties if you host it yourself.
- Cost: Using the cloud to run your phone system is less expensive per month than using a landline. There is also less equipment to purchase, lowering your initial investment in a new system—no PBXs, routers, switches, maintenance, or the requirement for additional cables to your location.
- More control and functionality: You get all of the call-handling capabilities of a standard PBX, such as call routing, conferencing, and voicemail, but they can all be managed by non-technical users. Admins and supervisors will be able to make modifications to the phone system on their own, something that was not always achievable with prior systems.
- Scalability: You can add more users without having to invest in new infrastructure. You can also upgrade your plan to gain access to additional features without experiencing any downtime or migration issues.
- Future-proof: Nothing is entirely future-proof, but cloud-based phone systems are unquestionably the way to go. These technologies are growing less expensive and more powerful every year, while the classic PBX/landline combination is becoming increasingly difficult to adapt.
You can still use landlines or set up your own phone system on your premises, but I wouldn’t recommend it to most people.
If there is no other method to bring fast internet to your business, landlines make sense—but they aren’t really an option in that situation.
When it comes to hosting a system yourself, you’ll require IT staff to solve difficulties and keep it running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even so, pulling your IT personnel away at all hours to handle issues could end up costing more than acquiring the phone system you don’t have to think about.
I can’t image going back to a landline, running my business on a second cell phone, or having a fleet of technicians to operate my phone system for NP Digital. You couldn’t afford to pay me.
My communication issues aren’t the same as everyone else’s because I have marketing endeavors and millions of readers on different continents. To assist my readers, my team enlisted the expertise of five professionals from various aspects of the business phone system industry to provide insight for potential customers.
These discussions reaffirmed my belief that cloud-based phones are the way to go, and I learnt some incredibly useful strategies for approaching various business decisions.
According to Matt, a backend IT veteran, hardly one uses landlines anymore. He currently manages all communications for a nonprofit healthcare organization with multiple locations in a large American metro area.
For these clinics, every dollar counts, therefore one of his first jobs was to assist them in transitioning to a cloud-based system. “With voice over IP, you can effectively put a phone system on top of your existing internet connection,” he explained. Rather than having to locate someone who knows how to wire more wires into the workplace, “it’s just like a layer.”
People aren’t controlling their own phone systems nearly as much as they once did. I chatted with Nikhil, who specializes in assisting small businesses with the installation of self-managed open-source phone systems. Many consumers who begin by maintaining their own phone system end up purchasing managed plans, according to him.
He explained, “It’s the support plus SLAs.” Instead of hiring employees, many businesses choose to outsource the backend.
“They don’t have to fiddle with the technology at all,” Nikhil explained, “and they don’t have any downtime.”
Lawrence works for a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) service who constructed their own network from the ground up. If you host your own system on premises, he stressed the need of knowing what you’re doing.
For example, you’ll need to install the phone system inside a firewall, which can cause issues with cloud-phone solutions, such as one-way audio. “This can be remedied by properly configuring your firewall,” Lawrence explained, “but it can be tough because most of the difficulties don’t happen all of the time—difficult it’s to duplicate issues.”
Things will go wrong with any phone system; with a managed plan, you’re not responsible for resolving these mysteries. As Lawrence stated, people should focus on taking calls rather than worrying about the phone system.
But it’s no longer simply about making phone calls. Guy discussed the “huge shift” in how customers interact with businesses with my staff. More than 15 years ago, he began working at call centers. Customers can now communicate with him through phone, text, chat, email, and social media at the contact centers he oversees.
“Are you gathering demographics on your customer base, finding out age groupings and trends?” Guy asks businesses.
This is simple to do with VoIP, which provides a variety of options for connecting your communication data to reporting tools and other business software that allows you to capitalize on these insights. It would be far more expensive to do this using a standard phone system, if it is even conceivable.
Terry, who worked in the IT backend of call centers rather than management like Guy, stressed how difficult it is to change phone systems. “It’s worth your time to carefully consider your options before making a decision, to ensure that it’s not merely right.”
It’s probably a better idea to purchase more than you need right now, or to find a system that can handle future modifications.
You don’t want to be “in a scenario where you’re on a system that can’t manage what you need it to do on a day-to-day basis,” according to Terry. “Trying to come up with a quick way to get around that is extremely difficult.”
Running your business phone system via the internet is by far the safest and most cost-effective option. However, even among this particular form of company phone system, there are a few factors to keep in mind.
Here’s how to pick the best option from the many available.
Cloud-Based Phone System Requirements
Because you’ll be contacting via the internet rather than a landline, make sure your network can handle it.
While VoIP does not necessitate a large amount of bandwidth on its own, the connection must be steady. Real-time voice/video communication becomes choppy if there is a delay or an issue with the data being conveyed.
You’ve undoubtedly had your internet go down while on the phone. It completely degrades a conversation, which is a death blow for sales, customer service, and anyone else who conducts business over the phone.
So, what exactly do you require?
It will be determined by the number of people utilizing the phones (or other channels) and what else is going on with the system.
On Nextiva’s website, you may test your internet speed. You may simulate up to 200 phones and see all of the key data, including upload and download speeds, latency, jitter, and packet loss.
Fiber internet is preferable to cable or DSL if you have (or can get) it. The latter two “high-speed” internet solutions are excellent for household users, but VoIP over DSL will simply not work for business.
Although cable is preferable, if you have a large number of individuals making calls, you may still have problems. “It might work for one office,” Matt explained, “but if you have many offices, a cable modem isn’t going to cut it.”
He had to persuade the healthcare clinic where he worked to convert to fiber, which was more than three times the cost of their previous cable service. Yes, it would be more expensive, but both consumers and employees had expressed dissatisfaction with the current service. The call quality was poor, and there were a few dropped calls here and there.
These are crucial and timely discussions with patients. Matt and his team prioritized voice traffic on the network, ensuring that calls received the maximum amount of bandwidth possible, but this slowed down the internet for everyone.
Matt remarked, “It was extremely slow.” “The internet traffic was much, much slower until we put the fiber in,” says the entrepreneur. We no longer have any grievances.”
The upload and download speeds are the same with fiber, however they differ with cable. You may have 100 points down and 40 points up. Trying to make calls over cable will become challenging if people are uploading a lot of papers or using heavy-weight CRM software. This is what happened to Matt’s former employer. Definitely something to stay away from.
According to Terry, another issue to keep in mind is trying to operate CRM software with a phone system on low-end machines.
“For a machine that’s probably very good for browsing the web and doing basic stuff,” he said, “you can run into some issues.” However, once the CRM is integrated, “it’s suddenly taxed to its limitations.”
This can result in connectivity and performance issues, such as “an echoey call or other strange issues that are fairly difficult to deal with.”
My recommendation is to tackle any system’s requirements head on, especially if you’re combining strong software with your phones.
Any savings from low-cost equipment or low-cost internet will eventually catch up with you. “It’s a cost of doing business,” Terry explained, “just as people have factored in energy or insurance.” “If you want to have that consistency and uptime, you need a solid internet backbone.”
Softphone Apps, Desk Phones, and Headsets
You’ll hear that some of these business phone systems don’t require any hardware. Isn’t that true?
True, cloud-based systems don’t require routers, switches, PBXs, or even desk phones—all you need is an internet connection. You may set individuals up with a softphone using the options I selected, which is just an application that allows people to make calls through your system using a tablet, mobile phone, or computer with a headset.
Softphone apps are popular these days, according to Nikhil, because of their adaptability.
“It’s easy to just download the app and connect to the servers,” he said, explaining why users choose cloud-based phone systems. Their robust softphone apps provide “flexibility without the upkeep and troubleshooting.”
However, you must consider the setting in which these phones will be utilized. You can’t just buy the cheapest headset for every user who wants to use a softphone, as Terry pointed out.
If you have a group of salespeople conducting calls in the same room, investing in high-quality noise-cancelling microphones is extremely beneficial. If clients can hear other conversations in the background, it’s “harder to create confidence with them.”
My reaction isn’t favorable when someone calls me from a number I don’t recognize and I can tell the speaker is squeezed between a bunch of other people making calls.
If you spend a little more money on some nice noise cancelling earphones, whether you’re serving or selling to consumers, you’ll see a significant rise in your conversion rate. RingCentral offers a wide range of headsets that are compatible with their system. Nextiva feels the same way.
Softphone apps also have the advantage of being considerably easier to configure. You’re mostly just signing in to access an account, which means you can work from anyplace and your phone number follows you around.
Desk phones, on the other hand, “give me more headaches,” according to Matt. “When people move around, their phone extension follows them, not the other way around.” Matt has to re-provision personnel on separate servers as they are shuffled from one health center to the next.
It’s simpler for employees who just use the softphone app because they only have one extension, which “follows them no matter what workplace they go to because it simply requires an internet connection.”
However, certain companies still require desk phones, retail outlets require wall mounts, and hotels must provide phones in each room, among other things. If you find yourself in need of so-called “hard phones,” there are a few things to keep in mind.
Lawrence stated, “I would seriously consider something that supports open standards.” If you choose phones from a certain supplier, such as Cisco, those phones will only work on a Cisco system.
Open-standards phones, on the other hand, “can be utilized with most PBXs that exist, and you can easily transfer from one supplier to the other,” according to Lawrence. This will provide you a lot more flexibility and control, as well as put you in a better position for the future.
The provisioning system is another important consideration for buyers, according to Lawrence. Make sure the phone manufacturer provides a provisioning and redirection service that makes adding additional phones simple. “So if you have to configure hundreds or even thousands of phones, all you have to do is plug them in and they’ll work.”
For businesses that still require phones, providers such as Ooma can be an excellent option. People with Ooma offices just took their desk phones and plugged them in at home when they needed to work remotely. Everything performed as expected: calls were secure, and all routing features functioned as if people were still in the office.
The providers I choose will, for the most part, allow you to keep using whatever phones you have. It’s wonderful if you already have IP phones. Most carriers will sell you an adapter that will allow you to call over the internet if you have analog phones.
In terms of manufacturers, experts praised Poly and Yealink for continuously producing phones with good voice quality, ease of use, and compatibility with a wide range of other devices. Experts gave Poly (previously Polycom) particularly high marks as a conference phone provider.
“They just seem to have better microphones,” Matt explained. The normal base conference phones are adequate for a small room, but if you have a room with a capacity of 12 or more people, you may want to invest in additional microphones.
If you still use fax machines, seek for a provider who specializes in this service. You can’t merely stack fax machines on top of VoIP since fax machines utilize a different modem than phones. RingCentral and Ooma, for example, contain all of the adapters and features you’ll need for stress-free faxing.
Finally, cloud-based corporate phone systems require significantly less gear than traditional setups—a it’s no-brainer. However, you may require headsets, desk phones, and conference phones, all of which should be of excellent quality.
Unified Communications and Voice
Other media are gaining traction, but voice remains an important part of commercial communication. As customers, we’ve all had the thought, “I just want to talk to a real person.” However, having merely voice conversations is no longer sufficient.
Many of the solutions I favor provide you with multiple channels through which to deliver your service. Both OpenPhone and Grasshopper allow you to communicate with customers by texting with voice. RingCentral, Nextiva, Oooma, and Dialpad all provide additional channels such as chat, video, fax, and email, allowing them to deliver genuinely unified communications.
Because all of their interactions are concentrated in a single platform, this is perfect for sales reps, service agents, and other employees—no switching accounts, forgetting passwords, or losing track of conversations.
People are simply not utilizing the phone as often as they used to, despite the fact that it is still quite vital, and are instead relying on other channels. According to Lawrence, fresh study has revealed that younger individuals are particularly apprehensive. “Rather than picking up the phone, they’d rather go to a website and click on a chat button,” he said.
Other ways to connect with companies are valued by people of all generations, not just Millennials. Guy saw how the call centers he supervised morphed into contact centers over the course of 15 years. He’s found that people of all ages enjoy chatting, texting, and communicating through social media sites. “Definitely something you want to look at when you’re upgrading, altering, or purchasing your business phone system,” he said of the latter.
Every company is different, therefore Guy suggested that businesses use surveys and outbound efforts to collect feedback on how they’d like to communicate. “You have to be aware of your clients’ preferences and be able to predict what they want to do.”
The transition to unified communications is being driven by more than just customer demands. The automatic texting feature is a crucial addition to phone service for the healthcare clinics Michael sponsors. “Once the appointment is made, we can text patients automatically, reminding them of their appointment as well as any subsequent appointments,” he stated.
Any business that schedules appointments, confirms orders, or wants to keep clients informed about new offers can benefit from this capacity to automate SMS.
Being present on additional channels for your clients is likely to help you stay competitive. “Make no mistake,” Guy continued, “you want to open up more communication options.” It will cost more, but no one I spoke with believed that the phone alone would be enough to ensure a company’s survival in the twenty-first century.
What if you’re a business that only requires speech to communicate internally? Or be available for stuff like deliveries and meetings in general? If that’s all you need, the move toward unified communications means a basic phone system may be had for a bargain.
Although OpenPhone and Grasshopper are limited to voice and text, they will be much less expensive than unified communications solutions.
You can also opt with some of the other companies’ basic plans, which provide superb voice capabilities for a low price. RingCentral and Nextiva are excellent for this, and adding extra channels is as easy as upgrading your package.
Integrating Phones With Your Business
Your other business software can be integrated with a cloud-based phone system. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you should seize.
Pre-built interfaces with popular apps, calendars, CRMs, ERPs, and other tools are available in many of the top hosted choices. Employees’ everyday operations will be streamlined, and remaining organized will be lot easier.
Your staff will have click-to-dial capabilities within a CRM like Salesforce, for example. This saves a significant amount of time on each call. Furthermore, all call records, notes, purchase histories, and other information are automatically kept with the customer account, making it much easier to locate information later.
For most clients, Lawrence said, the CRM connectivity was by far the most valuable component of their phone system.
“You don’t simply see a number when a consumer calls,” he explained, “you see everything in their CRM profile.” “Who they are, what services they use, when they last phoned, and what they were talking about.”
Let’s say there’s a problem that’s been going on for a while and the customer has called five times. The agent who answers the phone is aware of what has already occurred. The consumer does not have to re-explain themselves, which is something that everyone despises.
It gives your consumer peace of mind to know that the person they’re interacting with is aware of the situation, and the agent is in a far better position to assist them.
That’s just the beginning of what CRM integration can do, and I haven’t even touched on what other business software can do.
Chatbots can initiate discussions and gather data before transferring the conversation to an appropriate agent. Integrating your phone system with your knowledge base software will supply agents with the appropriate script and information, as well as providing your customers with a quick response without the need for an agent to pick up the phone.
So, while there’s a lot you can do as a seller, here’s what you should consider as a buyer.
You’ll want to stick with the pre-built integrations from providers like RingCentral, Dialpad, and Nextiva unless you have a staff of developers.
Yes, some suppliers provide an open API that allows you to create your own integrations, but getting them to work correctly (and efficiently) will need a lot of trial and error.
According to Nikhil, this is a situation where a hosted phone system would be beneficial. He has a lot of expertise assisting businesses with setting up their own phone systems. “With open source, it’s kind of a black box,” he explained, “so if they want the integration, employ a managed service provider.”
Finding a phone system that works with the resources you already have is crucial. However, confirming that a vendor has pre-built connectors isn’t enough.
“Some of them are simple and unconventional,” Terry explained. However, this isn’t always the case. To make systems communicate with each other the way you want, “you sometimes have to undertake a lot of complicated development work, or just jump through a lot of hoops.”
You should thoroughly test the integration to check how it functions. But how many integrations will you demonstrate? That’s a significant amount of labor, time, and effort.
Reaching out to your account representative and asking for a recommendation, according to Terry, is well worth your effort. If you use Zendesk, for example, ask your representative for the contact information of another firm of comparable size that uses the service platform in a similar way.
“You can have a really open chat with someone who is in the same situation as you,” Terry remarked. “They’re usually quite honest about what works and what doesn’t.”
Keeping Your Business Telephone System Safe
One of the main reasons I prefer hosted business phone systems is security.
When you host the system yourself, you are solely responsible for its security. This is difficult enough when everyone works in the same office, but it becomes much more problematic when employees work from home, from other branches, or from unsecured networks such as coffee shops and hotels.
Why not use a hosted service? All of the services I recommended take care of security so you don’t have to.
You won’t have to worry about properly provisioning the phones, encrypting calls, or hardening your phone system against outside threats.
I completely agree with Lawrence when he says that one of the most important questions to ask a potential supplier is, “Do they offer a secure connection for the phones that are connecting to that system?”
For me, this is a necessity. Toll fraud is a major problem. Almost every expert I spoke with stressed the significance of security for company phone systems, citing the millions of dollars lost each year as an example.
“There are always programs on the internet hunting for insecure VoIP systems, and they are being actively abused,” Lawrence explained. Some of Lawrence’s clients have experienced this, but his organization has procedures in place to detect and prevent it. “Ideally, you want a supplier who has the phone system on their network and can take care of the maintenance and security,” he said.
This relieves you of your security responsibilities. All you have to do is follow the normal security precautions while doing business online: Using strong passwords, activating two-factor authentication, de-provisioning old accounts, and so on are all examples of best practices.
Matt has to be extra cautious about security and privacy because he’s working on the IT backend for a healthcare provider. A single HIPAA violation can cost tens of thousands of dollars and potentially land you in jail.
Matt, on the other hand, has a lot less to be concerned about because he employs a secure business phone system. He explained, “It’s hard for someone to barge in on a call without someone understanding what’s going on.” “Therefore, there is no risk of a HIPAA violation.”
Going with a hosted business phone system will provide you with the protection you need right out of the box for firms with compliance and security issues.
To prevent a bad actor from listening in, all communications that go via RingCentral, for example, are protected by TLS and SRTP. They are also responsible for all firewalls, session border controllers, fraud analytics, and system hardening. It’s as if signing up for their service gives you enterprise-level security.
All backend IT legwork is on you if you deploy on premises or host your own solution in the cloud. Lawrence explained, “You’re responsible for securing that system, making sure that communications with the phones are secure, and that no outside actor is exploiting your phone system for any reason.”
When your users sign into a cloud-based system rather than trying to connect to a traditional on-premises system, you’ll have a lot less to worry about in terms of security.
To say you have a lot of alternatives when it comes to a business phone system is an understatement.
However, with the help of this guide, you’ll be able to make the best option for your needs. Use the advice of the experts I spoke with to flesh out your search and ensure you’ve evaluated all of the factors that may affect your employees’ and customers’ experiences.
If you choose one of the above systems, you can be assured that you’ll be getting a secure solution that’s designed for today’s world. There’s no need to buy anything, and all except the lightest alternatives will work with your current setup.
In a market flooded with corporate phone systems, I really like the seven solutions I looked at:
- Nextiva is the best option for remote teams.
- RingCentral – For connecting phones with your business, this is the best option.
- Ooma – Ideal for businesses that require deskphones.
- Grasshopper – For organizations with fewer than ten lines, this is the best option.
- The only method to set up a contact center in 10 minutes is with Dialpad.
- OpenPhone is ideal for small businesses and sole proprietorships.
So begin your search there, and follow the purchasing guidelines I’ve provided. This will help you find the appropriate path.
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If you run a small business, you must have a phone system to support your business. A business phone system is necessary to support your business when it comes to connecting with customers, clients, and suppliers. A business phone system counts on a lot of things: call tracking and analytics, voicemail and recorded messages, phone number and address information, and a call center service.. Read more about landline business phone systems and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for in a business phone system?
A business phone system is a device that allows you to make and receive calls to and from your company. There are many different types of systems, but they all have the same goal in mind, which is to provide a way for your employees to communicate with each other.
What phone system is best?
The best phone system is the one that you are most comfortable with.
How do I setup a small business phone system?
To setup a small business phone system, you will need to purchase a PBX. A PBX is the acronym for Private Branch Exchange, which is a telephone switch that provides voice and data services.