Call management systems are typically VoIP-based phone software that gives companies the ability to rout, block, and hold business calls. We looked at a range of different VoIP systems and compared and contrasted factors such as functionality, pricing, and additional features to determine the six best for small businesses, including the best overall.
Top 6 Call Management Systems 2019
|Call Management Software||Best For|
|Nextiva||(Best Overall) Companies wanting the best balance of call management features and price|
|Larger businesses wanting advanced calling features such as a multi-level auto-attendant|
|8x8||Companies that have to make and manage a lot of international calls|
|Vonage||Teams that want to pick and choose a la carte features|
|Grasshopper||Small organizations that want a business line on their personal cell phone|
|Mitel MiCloud Business||Teams that want to choose different tiers of services for each individual user|
Which Call Management System Is Right For You?
How We Evaluated Business Call Management Software
Good call management systems should have an auto-attendant that can automatically route customer calls as well as basic features like the ability to forward, block, and add parties to a business call. Leveraging all of these features should be easy and not create headaches for the user.
When examining call management software, we looked at:
- Price – We compared the overall cost of adoption for each solution.
- Usability – Customer reviews were considered as software should be easy enough for users of all skill levels in an organization to use.
- Call Features – We verified that users were able to route, block, record, and hold calls easily.
- Voicemail Management – We looked to see if a system offered advanced voicemail features, like voicemail-to-email.
- Conferencing – We reviewed products to see if users were able to hold and manage voice conferences, or even video conferences, in addition to calls.
- Integrations – Available data connections to other business systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and productivity software, were compared.
- Customer Support – We reviewed each product’s customer support services and available technical support channels users can reach out to if needed.
- Reliability and Call Quality – We looked for things like verified uptime and at services known for offering clear sound quality.
Our pick for best overall call management software is Nextiva. This provider offers all of the calling features you’d want at its most basic tier of service with plenty of other VoIP features to help your business better manage calls. It also comes with best-in-class customer support, putting it above the competition. Here’s how the six products we looked at stack up in terms of price, features, and available support.
Best Overall Call Management System for Small Businesses: Nextiva
Nextiva is a VoIP phone system starting from $19.99 per user per month; it offers a wealth of call management features like advanced call routing, voicemail transcription, and conferencing features to keep your phone operations running smoothly. Its feature set, along with its helpful customer support, make it our best overall pick because it offers a great value without missing out on functionality, making it right for value for those who don’t want to skimp on features.
Nextiva has three different tiers of service: Office Pro, Pro Plus, and Office Enterprise. Prices for the Office Pro Editions ranges from $19.95 to $27.95 per user per month, and offer modules like voicemail-to-email and call forwarding. Pricier versions of the platform give you features like call recording and use of the mobile app.
Nextiva Tiered Features
|Free Local Number|
|Free Toll-free Number|
The Office Pro version of Nextiva gives you unlimited domestic calls, as well as free local and toll-free numbers. Starting at $19.95 per user per month, this cheapest version of the platform gives you call management features like number porting, call forwarding, muting, and hold music. Compared with the functionality of RingCentral, this is a bargain.
This version is likely to fit the basic calling needs of most businesses. If you want conference bridging in your phone setup, however, then you’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive version of the platform. This edition also lacks call recording, which you only get with the Office Enterprise version. With that said, this is a great entry-level package for small businesses that want a basic set of call management features at a good price.
Office Pro Plus
Nextiva’s Office Pro Plus edition offers conference bridge features, letting you hold audio meetings on your computer or phone. It also comes with access to the Nextiva mobile app, which provides instant messages, collaboration features, and screen sharing for doing work on the go. At $20.95 per user per month, this is far less expensive than the similarly-featured X5 plan offered by 8×8.
However, the Office Pro Plus plan does not come with the Nextiva Anywhere app, which allows users to send and receive calls with their work number from any device. Still, this is a good choice for businesses that need to hold frequent conference calls.
This most expensive version of Nextiva has all the features of the other editions and adds call recording functionality to the platform. It also adds the Nextiva Anywhere app, which allows you to use your work phone number for sending and receiving calls on your smartphone, Mac, or PC for $27.95 per user per month.
For businesses with team members who travel frequently, the Nextiva Anywhere app is worth the extra investment for the Office Enterprise edition. If your organization also needs the ability to record and save calls for future reference, then this tier is perfect for you.
What Nextiva Is Missing
Nextiva does not include access to the company’s mobile app at the cheapest tier, which can be a major problem for teams that need to conduct business on the road or travel frequently. By contrast, RingCentral offers its mobile app to all levels of service.
What Users Think About Nextiva
Our readers think Nextiva is a good service, and have given it a 4.3 out of five-star rating. Customer support channels include telephone support and a chat line to help you with problems. Users rate Nextiva’s customer support as second-to-none. However, some have experienced slight technical issues. To read more opinions about Nextiva, check out our Nextiva reviews page.
Best Call Management System with Advanced Features: RingCentral
RingCentral is a VoIP provider boasting a wide range of robust software integrations and call routing options at a starting price of $29.99 per user per month. It offers all of the call management features you’d expect out of a modern VoIP solution as well as powerful features such as CRM integrations and the availability of international numbers. This makes it a good fit for large teams needing advanced call management features who aren’t concerned about price.
RingCentral offers four different pricing tiers that range from $29.99 to $59.99 per user per month. The least expensive version of the platform offers unlimited nationwide calls and call management features such as routing and blocking. It’s expensive, but the ability to accommodate international numbers makes it a great fit for multinational companies.
RingCentral Tiered Features
|Multi-level auto attendant|
|Call logs & reports|
|Automatic call recording|
|Voicemail to text transcription|
The Essentials package is the cheapest version of RingCentral available and costs $29.99 per user per month. It comes with basic call management functions such as call forwarding, waiting, and blocking. This plan gives you 100 toll-free minutes and conference calling for up to four participants. International calling is available for an additional fee.
However, the plan is limited to just 10 participants and does not come with the multi-level auto-attendant feature. If you have a larger team and want to automatically handle incoming calls, then you’ll have to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Still, smaller teams should have all of their needs met easily by the Essential plan. The Essentials package does not come with internet faxing, either, which you’ll find in Nextiva’s Office Pro package.
The Standard edition has all of the functionality of the Essentials edition and more at a cost of $34.99 per user per month. You get more toll-free calling minutes as well as the auto-attendant feature, which serves as a virtual receptionist that greets callers.
Video meetings at this tier are limited to just four participants. It offers internet faxing, which Nextiva gives you at a much cheaper price. With that said, the inclusion of the auto-attendant makes the Standard package an attractive option for businesses that want a professional phone presence.
RingCentral’s Premium edition, the company’s most popular level of service, costs $44.99 per user per month. It offers conference calls for up to 100 users, automatic call recording, and integration with CRM platforms such as Salesforce and Zendesk, allowing teams to access and log relevant details about their contacts and conversations automatically.
Many of the other systems we compared lack direct integration with CRM platforms. Therefore, if your business requires the most robust call management capability and wants to connect to tools like Salesforce or Zendesk, without using a third-party app, then this version of RingCentral is an ideal fit.
The only major difference between the Premium and Ultimate versions of RingCentral is the fact that the Ultimate tier accommodates conference calls of up to 200 participants. It also offers 10,000 toll-free minutes at a cost of $59.99 per user per month.
Larger companies and call centers will want to check out the Ultimate version because of its conferencing capabilities and additional toll-free minutes. It has all of the powerful features of the RingCentral platform, but tailored to larger organizations.
What RingCentral Is Missing
RingCentral has a comprehensive feature set that should provide customers with everything they need to effectively manage calls. With that said, it comes at a high cost. Organizations with tighter budgets may want to consider cheaper options like Nextiva, Vonage, or virtual phone number provider Grasshopper.
What Users Think About RingCentral
Our readers give RingCentral a 3.7 out of five-star rating. They particularly liked the volume discounts available and the system’s intuitive interface. There were a handful of complaints on other reviews, however, about RingCentral lacking customer service, especially when compared with Nextiva. For more impressions, check out our RingCentral user reviews.
Best Call Management System for International Calling: 8×8
With a starting price of $25 per user per month, 8×8 is a moderately-priced VoIP provider best known for its international calling capabilities. While it doesn’t have as many features as other VoIP providers we compared, it still has all the call management functionality you’d expect, like routing and holding, while offering unlimited international calling zones. Therefore, it’s a great fit for companies that have customers outside of the United States.
8×8 has three different tiers: the X2, X5, and X8. Prices start from $25 per user per month and go all the way up to $55 per user per month. Every plan comes with unlimited international calling in some form. All plans also include basic call management features like auto-attendant and call routing.
8×8 Tiered Features
|Unlimited Calling Zone|
|Reports & Analytics|
8×8’s X2 package is its cheapest at $25 per user per month, and includes call forwarding, hold music, call waiting, and call blocking. On top of that, it offers unlimited calling to 14 countries and unlimited faxing functionality. Like RingCentral, it also offers integration with CRM platforms like Salesforce and Zendesk, but also offers an integration with NetSuite.
This version of 8×8 lacks call recording and the ability to adopt a toll-free phone number. You also don’t get voicemail-to-email transcription, so if you need all of those features, you’ll want to upgrade to at least the X5 package. With that said, this is a great fit for companies that want comprehensive call management features while also saving on international calls.
The more expensive X5 package gives you unlimited international calling to 32 countries and call recording, and costs $35.99 per user per month. However, you also get 5 GB of media storage to store your recorded calls. Outside of that, it’s nearly identical to the X2 package.
Like Nextiva’s lower-tiered plans, the X5 package does not offer an app that allows you to take and receive calls from any device. This is disappointing if you want to take your work phone on the go. It’s also more expensive than a lot of the other options in our guide. Still, businesses that do a lot of international calling and want to record their content will find a lot to like in this X5 package.
In addition to adding 10 GB of storage and unlimited calling to 47 countries, 8×8’s X8 package also includes a reporting module that monitors calls and call center performance for $55 per user per month. The data gathered from these reports can be used to identify and solve problems like customer satisfaction.
The X8 package is more expensive than a lot of the other options out there, and it really only makes sense if you need unlimited international calling. Multinational companies that want analytics on their phone networks should check out the X8 package.
What 8×8 Is Missing
8×8 has a strong feature set and provides savings for companies that take international calls often. With that said, it’s missing features that come with other platforms, like voicemail transcription and integration with popular cloud repositories like Dropbox and Google Drive.
What Users Think About 8×8
Our readers like the value of the platform and its set of features. Its customer service does not get as many accolades as Nextiva. Some readers also say that getting existing phone numbers ported over can take a while. For more impressions, visit our 8×8 user review page.
Best Call Management System for a la Carte Features: Vonage
Vonage is a VoIP service that has all of the basic call management features that you’d expect, as well as collaboration features like video conferencing for any device, at a competitively starting price of $19.99 per user per month. You can also pick and choose features a la carte. If your business has unique needs and you only want to pay for the features you need, then Vonage is worth checking out.
Vonage offers three different pricing plans to choose from. Prices range from $19.99 for the Mobile package to $39.99 for the Advanced version. It has a much lower starting point than industry averages, and you are able to bring in additional features as you need them. Volume discounts are also available.
At all levels of service, you can add a la carte functionality, which includes:
- Local phone number: $9.99 per month
- Toll-free number: $39.99 per month
- Toll-free fax number: $14.99 per month
- Automatic call recording: $49.99 per month
- Conference bridging: $14.99 per month, plus $0.03 per minute
Vonage Tiered Features
|Multi Level Auto Attendant|
Vonage’s Mobile tier costs $19.99 per user per month, and comes with a set of basic call management options like call forwarding, call waiting, and hold music. It also comes with unlimited domestic calls and SMS messages. However, this plan does not offer CRM integration or an auto-attendant like RingCentral does.
This plan does not offer unlimited faxing, which you can find in Nextiva’s least expensive version. This plan lacks functionality such as video conferencing and file sharing, but it’s a good entry-level package for small teams that just want basic calling functionality.
The Premium edition includes all of the features of the mobile plan, along with the multi-level auto-attendant feature. You also get video conferencing as well as integration with popular CRM systems like Salesforce and Zoho. This puts it line with intermediate packages from 8×8 and Nextiva, but only costs $29.99 per user per month.
The addition of the auto-attendant makes it easier for customers to find the right person to speak with, and it will give your company a more professional telephone presence. This, along with CRM integration, make it a great fit for smaller established teams that are looking for a strong core set of features.
For $39.99, the Advanced plan adds call recording and visual voicemail. You also get what Vonage refers to as the “Orange Glove Setup,” where the company will offer a dedicated team of trained professionals to help you with setup and onboarding.
Although this is the most advanced tier of the service, conferencing is limited to just 100 attendees at once. For $9 less per month, Nextiva offers unlimited conference calling. Vonage is a better solution for companies that don’t need to hold large phone meetings.
What Vonage Is Missing
Vonage does not offer voicemail transcription, which could be a deal breaker if having your voicemails in text form is important. It also limits conferences to just 100 attendees at its most expensive tier, so larger organizations that hold all-hands meetings may want to look at providers like Nextiva, which is cheaper and has a higher-rated customer service.
What Users Think About Vonage
Our readers have mixed experiences with Vonage. On one hand, users find the system incredibly easy to set up and use. Several users have reported, however, that they have experienced technical issues when onboarding new people into their existing setup. Customer service was also found to be lacking when compared to Nextiva. To get more opinions, check out our Vonage user review page.
Best Call Management Software for Virtual Phone Numbers: Grasshopper
Grasshopper is a virtual phone number service offering basic call management functionality as well as a voice menu and call block capability for a price as low as $26 per month. It gives you a business phone number for use with landline or mobile devices, and while it’s not a full-blown communication platform like Nextiva or 8×8, its basic functions makes it worth considering for teams that want to manage business and personal calls without additional equipment.
Grasshopper lets you choose between three different packages that range between $26 and $80 per month. The only difference between these packages is the number of phone numbers and available extensions supported by each plan; otherwise, all features are identical.
The Grasshopper pricing packages are broken out as follows:
- Solo ($26 per month): Includes one number and three extensions
- Partner ($44 per month): Gives you three numbers and six extensions
- Small Business ($80 per month): Comes with five numbers and unlimited extensions
Grasshopper has all the basic call handling functions you’d want from a work phone system. Like any contemporary phone system, it allows you to do much more than make and receive calls. It doesn’t have as many features as the other solutions we looked at, but it still offers call management functionality for your team.
Grasshopper lets you forward, block, and hold calls like any of the other systems in our guide do. You can also build a voice menu for callers so that they can easily find the party they are trying to reach. This all works in a very similar way to VoIP systems. It offers very little beyond that, though. If you want features like instant messaging and a virtual receptionist, it might be worth springing the extra money for something like Nextiva.
Grasshopper gives you the choice of either setting up a local number or a toll-free, 1-800 number. Having a 1-800 number could go a long way in boosting the professional presence of your company. Nextiva, Vonage, 8×8, and RingCentral also offer toll-free numbers, but at a substantially higher cost.
If someone sends a fax to one of your Grasshopper numbers, you are able to view that fax either on the Grasshopper app or in your email inbox. All of the other, more expensive solutions in this guide offer virtual faxing as well. While this is not a unique feature for a VoIP phone system provider, Grasshopper is able to offer this functionality at a lower price point than then other products we compared.
Grasshopper has a connector on Zapier, which is a helpful service that lets you build connections to more than 1,000 different apps. Therefore, you can essentially connect your Grasshopper account to a wide range of major business application. RingCentral is the only other service in this guide that offers Zapier Integration.
What Grasshopper Is Missing
Grasshopper is not a full-featured VoIP service, and as such, it does not offer bonus features like video conferencing and desktop sharing, like Nextiva or Mitel MiCloud Business do. If this is important to you, you may want to look elsewhere or think about using a recording service in tandem with Grasshopper.
What Users Think About Grasshopper
Grasshopper currently has a 2.9 out of five-star rating on our customer reviews page. Our readers find it to be a reliable platform and very easy to use, but have complaints about the company’s customer service channels. For example, you do not get access to a chat line like you do with Nextiva. For more opinions from our community, visit our Grasshopper User Review Page.
Best Call Management System for Individualized Service Plans: Mitel MiCloud Business
Mitel MiCloud Business is a VoIP service featuring call management as well as several pricing tiers for the service starting at $19.99 per user per month. It gives you the ability to sign individual users up for more advanced plans on a case-by-case basis rather than require you pay for features the majority of users won’t use, making Mitel MiCloud Business a great choice for businesses that want to reserve more expensive tiers only for employees who need it.
Mitel MiCloud Business Pricing
Mitel MiCloud Business comes in three different packages: Essentials, Premier, and Elite. Each individual in your organization can be subscribed to a different level of service, so you could have one team on Elite plan and lower-level staff on the Essentials plan.
Mitel MiCloud Office Tiered Features
|Minutes per Month|
|On-Demand Call Recording|
|Always-On Call Recording|
The platform’s Essentials plan costs $19.99 per user per month and comes with call management functions that allow call forwarding, call block, and holding. It also comes with unlimited domestic calling and use of the Mitel mobile app, so you can take your professional phone with you wherever you go. The cheapest version also includes use of the mobile app, which is missing in the entry-level tier of Nextiva.
This basic version of Mitel MiCloud Business is a great fit for companies looking to get their feet wet with VoIP services and better managing calls. Conference calling is limited to nine people, however, which puts it behind Nextiva’s unlimited conference calling on the Office Pro Plus plan. Still, this is a good choice for smaller teams.
The Premier edition offers all the features of the Essentials version, adding voicemail transcription and call recording into the mix while increasing the number of conference call attendees to 25 from nine. Like RingCentral, it also offers integration with popular CRM apps like Salesforce, but costs only $24.99 per user per month.
This is a better fit for more established businesses than the Essentials plan. The ability to record important calls and connect data with CRM software could be helpful for teams that host small to medium-sized conference calls and want to keep call content for reference. It does not automatically record calls, however.
The Elite package brings in more advanced features like archiving and always-on call recording for $29.99 per user per month. You also get the Operator module, which serves as an auto-attendant. While cheaper platforms in this guide offer auto-attendant features at lower prices, the fact that you can assign just one “main” number to this package while the rest of the organization is on cheaper tiers of service make this easier to overlook.
If you work in a business where looking back on past events is important, then the Elite package is well worth considering. Thanks to Mitel’s flexible pricing, you also can subscribe users who don’t need these additional features to one of the lower-tiered plans. This makes it a great option for teams with varying user needs who want the most features and an auto-attendant.
What Mitel MiCloud Business Is Missing
Even at its most expensive tier, audio conferences are still limited to just 100 people. Larger organizations will have to use an outside service if they want to hold larger remote meetings. Mitel MiCloud Business is also less intuitive, so it’s harder to recommend for less tech-savvy customers.
What Users Think About Mitel MiCloud Business
Mitel MiCloud Business has a three out of five-star rating. Users find the solution affordable and praised the sound quality. Users also complained about the usability of the platform. Customer support is also limited to a phone line, which is unfortunate when compared to the chat and phone support offered by Nextiva. For more reader opinions, check out our Mitel user reviews page.
All told, any modern online phone system will allow you to manage your calls easily. You don’t have to worry about not being able to forward, hold, and block calls on your system. The most important factors are what features you want on top of those functions, and how much you are willing to spend on a system.
For that reason, we find Nextiva to be the best call management solution for most users. It offers the best balance of price and features. It’s easy to set up and use, and it has the ability to transform your company’s telephone workflows.