Small Business VOIP Service: Who Is The Best?

Share this post

Several small business VOIP providers offer phone systems with amazing features and functionality at low prices. (VOIP is a phone system that uses an internet connection to carry calls, with no special hardware needed to be installed at your office. )  Your business will be able to provide employees with their own direct dial phone number, unlimited local and long distance minutes in the United States, voicemail, and fax, for around $30 per month per employee (before taxes and regulatory fees that add around 10% the price).

Our Top Choice For Small Business VOIP: Nextiva

Our choice for best small business VoIP phone provider for 2014 / 2015 is Nextiva. We chose Nextiva for two reasons: 1) excellent customer service and 2) Stability of service in an industry which likely to have consolidation.

Nextiva offers a 30 day money-back guarantee with no cancellation charges or any other fees. The 30-day guarantee not only applies to their services, but also to the internet enabled phones purchased through them.

nextiva---Mini

Best Small Business VoIP Provider: Nextiva vs. RingCental vs. Phone.com Summary Table

 

Nextiva
4 Stars

RingCentral
3.5 Stars

Phone.com
3.5 Stars

Free Trial?

30 Day Money back Guarantee

Free 30 Day Trial

Free 30 Day Trial

Monthly Contact
Basic Pricing For 7
Employees

$258 + Taxes
Per Month

$260 + Taxes
Per Month

$194 + Taxes
Per Month

Yearly Contact
Basic Pricing For 7
Employees

$244 + Taxes
Per Month
(Paid Monthly)

$185 + Taxes
Per Month
(Must Pay All 12 Months Upfront

$180 + Taxes
Per Month
(Must Pay All 12 Months)

Unlimited US Calls?

Yes

Yes

Yes

800 Number?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mobile apps to receive & make calls
from business #

iOS, Android, Window Phones

iOS, Android

iOS, Android, Blackberry

Online Fax

Yes

Yes W/ Digital Signature


Yes

Customer Service

US Based Phone, Email, & Chat

Not Solely US Based By Phone, Email, and Chat

24 Hour Support, US Based

Learn More

Learn More

Learn More

Which Small Business VoIP Providers Did We Not Include?

There are three very large VOIP companies which we did not include,  OOMA, Vonage and 8×8. In the case of OOMA and Vonage, we believe these companies are primarily focused on servicing retail customers and view small businesses as an extension of this market. Thus, we don’t think they will be investing in developing features specifically for small businesses. Also, we didn’t include 8×8, because they primarily serve large businesses and organizations (over 100 employees).

Why We Chose Nextiva As The Best Small Business VoIP Phone Service

nextiva

This was a very close call.  We chose Nextiva vs. RingCentral because of customer support. We chose Nextiva vs. Phone.com because we are unsure of Phone.com’s future as an independent company.

Nextiva provides US based customer support and answers 95% of all calls within two rings or less. Its major competitor, RingCentral only guarantees US based customer to larger companies, those paying for more than 20 lines.

Nextiva is a rapidly growing company, which recently added several hundred employees. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Phone.com is growing nearly as rapidly. Given the enormous benefits of scale in providing VoIP services, it’s likely that many smaller providers will merge with larger ones or go out of business. For a company doesn’t want to have worry about the stability of its service provider, Nextiva is a better choice than Phone.com.

Try Nextiva

Small Business VOIP Costs

Pricing for small business VOIP can be very confusing. The pricing plans quoted above are all for unlimited US and Canada calling minutes. If your company doesn’t receive or make many calls (under 500 minutes per month per user), you might be much better off with a pay per minute plan. While RingCentral and Nextiva don’t offer such a plan, Phone.com does, at just under 4 cents per minute.

All the companies above offer a free 30 day trial or money back guarantee. However, you may be able to negotiate with your account executive for extra free month.

One cost not mentioned in the table above is the cost of the phones handsets themselves, which can range from $50 to $200 per handset. The good news is that VOIP enabled handsets work for all providers, so you can switch without having to invest again. Often, providers have specials or even give away free handsets.

phone.comPhone.com is by far the cheapest provider for both the monthly and annual contracts at $194 for 7 users on the monthly contract and $180 per month for an annual contract. However, the price would be even less if each user only needed an extension and not a unique phone number. In that case, the price would drop by $30 per month. Visit Website

rc logoRingCentral monthly pricing ($260 for 7 users) looks similar to Nextiva’s pricing when there is no annual contract. However, it radically drops ($185) with an annual contract. There’s a catch however. You have to pay for the entire year upfront when in exchange for the better pricing.  Visit Website

nextivaNextiva is a tad lower than that RingCentral at ($258) for seven users on the monthly contract. However, we did compare the middle-tier service offering of Nextiva to lowest cost offering of RingCentral. The mid-tier offering “Office Pro Plus” included conference calling and the ability to use a mobile phone to make and receive calls from an office number, while the lowest cost offering of RingCentral includes these vital features. Visit Website

Standard Features of Small Business VoIP Phone Service

All three of these voip providers will enable you and your employees to make and receive calls anywhere in the United States with high quality audio for free. Here are some basic features which are standard with all three providers.

  • Each employee and / or department can have their own unique phone number, phone greeting, and voicemail box.
  • Each company can use local phone numbers, have an 800 number or a combination of the two.
  • An auto-attendant can direct callers to the right department or you can give callers the options of dial by name directory.
  • You can set rules for how calls are handled. For examples, sales calls can ring on multiple lines at once or roll from one person to another if calls aren’t picked up.
  • Employees can make and receive call on their personal smartphone, using their business phone number.
  • You can send and receive electronic faxes (e-faxing).
  • All services will help you port / transfer your existing number to your new phone service.

Customer Service

nextivaNextiva provides all US based customer support by phone, email, and chat. However, the hours are limited to 5 AM – 6 PM MST during weekdays and 9 AM – 1 PM MST on Saturday.

phone.comPhone.com claims to offer 24 hour US support, however, I have serious questions about the availablity of the support. Two or three times, I asked questions by chat during normal business hours and had to wait around 5 or 6 minutes to get a response to simple question.

rc logoRingCentral offers 24 hour support, with a mix of US and non-US based support / onboarding for those that have less than 20 phone users.

The Bottom Line

After reviewing all the top players, we chose Nextiva as the best small business VoIP phone company based on their superior customer service and stability in a constantly changing industry.

Try Nextiva Now With A 30-Day Money Back Guarantee!

Comments

  1. Tommy says

    When I opened my design firm I received a word of mouth recommendation to use Celerity telecom. I’ve been with this provider for 3 years now and I only pay $22.99 for my line. I get all the call center type features at no extra charge although maybe Nextiva offers the same thing. I may look into their services if I have any issues with my provider.

Leave A Reply