To use Grasshopper as a phone system, all you need to do is pick your package and set up the mobile app. That said, to make it work, you must have an existing phone number to route calls to since Grasshopper is a virtual phone number provider. However, it is otherwise easy to get started. Just follow these quick steps.
1. Choose Your Phone Number
Whether you’re replacing your landline-based business phone system or simply looking to add a virtual business line, you will need to decide if you’ll port an existing number or create a new toll-free, vanity, or local number. Of course, if you love your current phone number, then transfer it over to your Grasshopper phone system, as there’s no porting fee.
Grasshopper offers a phone number tool, so you can input your desired number and see if it’s available. Or, you can pick from various toll-free or local numbers.
2. Pick Your Plan
All of Grasshopper’s plans offer the same features. This is different from what you should expect from other phone system providers like 8×8 and RingCentral, where higher-priced packages provide more features. Instead, Grasshopper packages differ by the number of phone numbers and extensions.
- Solo Plan: $29 per month, one phone number, and three extensions
- Partner Plan: $49 per month, three phone numbers, and six extensions
- Small Business Plan: $89 per month, five phone numbers, and unlimited extensions
You can also pay annually and save more than 10% on your bill. Or add an extra phone number to any plan, post-purchase, for $10 per month. To get started with your virtual phone number, select a plan and input your name and payment information. Once you click to create your account, Grasshopper walks you through the online setup.
3. Download the Grasshopper App
The best part about a virtual phone system is that you can answer calls from anywhere. You can download it to your desktop and mobile phone because Grasshopper works on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
Use the mobile app to keep business calls and texts separate from your personal calls. Plus, set up your desktop softphone so Grasshopper uses your internet connection for voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) calls and messages. Upon installation, you can:
- Look over your call history on all app-enabled devices
- Send and receive text messages with your business number
- Review voicemail transcriptions while in a meeting
- Manage basic account settings from your iOS or Android mobile app
4. Select Your Main Greeting
Your Grasshopper phone comes with a preset auto-attendant account configuration, including the main greeting. When someone calls your phone, they’ll hear: “Thank you for calling. To speak to a representative, please press zero.”
Personalize your main or extension greetings under the Settings tab. Record your greeting using your cell phone or computer, upload an MP3 file, or hire Grasshopper’s Voice Studio professionals. If you use an MP3, it must be two minutes or less in length and have a file name of 24 characters or less.
5. Add Grasshopper Phone Extensions
Business phone services give company communications a professional feel, no matter your size. To add Grasshopper phone extensions, click the Extension tab at the top of your app or desktop program, and select Add Extension.
Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you can take advantage of business phone extensions. For example, you may set up one number for existing customers, another for suppliers, and a third for all other calls. A small business may have extensions for on and offsite employees or various departments.
6. Start Using the Service
Now that you’ve got all the basics set up, you can make or receive calls from any device (although in some cases, it may take up to 24 hours to activate your number). To make or receive a call, you simply click on the Grasshopper app from any device, and then use the app’s keypad control in the same way you use your smartphone.
In addition to phone calls, you can also use Grasshopper to do the following:
- Place and receive business text messages via SMS
- Read and save transcribed voicemail in the app or in integrated programs like Salesforce or HubSpot
- Reduce caller wait time by ringing call forwarding numbers on an extension at once through the call blast feature
- Receive faxes through Grasshopper’s cloud-based fax delivery service, which is included in all plans
- Automatically send callers a message with custom text, hyperlinks, and images whenever you can’t answer a call
- Route callers to a live answering service, like Ruby Live Virtual Receptionists
- Enhance your greetings by uploading professional recordings
How to Make the Most of Grasshopper’s Features
As a virtual phone service, Grasshopper gives you all the basics, including customizable call answering rules and auto-attendants. Once you’ve set up your Grasshopper phone system, you can then use the web-based admin portal to optimize its other features for better internal and external communications.
Add & Customize Extensions
You can add as many extensions as your plan allows. The default extension is labeled zero, but you can change this by adding any combination of employee and department extensions. Department extensions number from zero to six, whereas employee extensions range from 700 to 799. Customize each extension by:
- Selecting call forwarding options
- Editing user access, name, number, or time zone
- Setting up out-of-office schedules or after-hours greetings
- Choosing how to display incoming calls
Personalize Your Greetings
Grasshopper offers several types of greetings, like after-hours or personal extension messages. Your main greeting gives callers a list of options and asks the caller to take action. However, you can customize your greetings by clicking edit on any extension. Types of greetings and voicemails include:
- Main away greeting: Use a different greeting after hours or schedule a greeting to be played while you’re on vacation. Tell your caller to press zero to leave a voicemail.
- Extension greetings: Create a custom greeting for each extension going to different team members or departments.
- Call forwarding greeting: Enable the call forwarding greeting to announce, “Please hold while we connect your call to Extension 1.” Once the audio plays, on-hold music follows until the other line picks up.
- Recorded extension name: Activate the Call Announce feature to hear audio announcing your phone call according to your recorded name or department name.
- Extension voicemail greeting: Customize your voicemail greetings for each extension. The greetings play if the forwarded call isn’t picked up, and is followed by a beep.
- Extension away greeting: Add a personalized message to each of your extensions for out-of-the-office or after-hours phone calls.
Add Extra Grasshopper Business Phone Numbers
Grasshopper makes it easy to add new phone numbers to your plan. Go into the Settings page and open the Numbers tab. Your subscription comes with one to five phone numbers, depending on your package.
If you want an extra number, you can add it from your dashboard. Grasshopper may charge a one-time activation fee. Then you’ll pay an additional charge each month for that number. Once you add a phone number, you can personalize the main greeting or forward your number to an extension.
Invite New Users
Head to the Users tab and click Add New User to add employees to your Grasshopper business phone account. You enter their contact information, and Grasshopper sends your team member an email invitation. To accept the invitation, your employee needs to create a password first.
Next, you can manage user permissions for each person added. For instance, the default configuration doesn’t give new users access to phone numbers or extensions. Change this in the drop-down menu next to extensions.
Set Up Your Extension Directory
If you’re using the Small Business Grasshopper plan, consider setting up the employee name directory. Doing so helps your customers find their support representative or sales agent by searching for their name. Although your Grasshopper phone service comes with a default directory, you’ll need to configure it for use.
Set it up by clicking Edit next to Extension 8. Enter your employees’ first and last names in the text fields by their assigned extension. Don’t forget to include extension eight as an option in your main greeting.
Integrate Your Business Phone System
If you also use a landline business phone system, you can ask your local phone company to forward calls to your Grasshopper number if the line rings busy or goes unanswered. This is a great way to use your small business phone system to deliver consistent experiences to your customers regardless of when or where they call.
Explore Grasshopper Reports
Use data to better view how you, your team, and customers use your virtual number. You’ll find out how many calls go unanswered and the length of calls to and from different extensions. Three reports give you call detail information:
- Usage report: Itemizes the number of outbound and inbound minutes used and average call length. You can run the report by extensions, phone numbers, or date range.
- Detail reports: Get an overview of all calls or break it down by date range, caller IDs, call types, extensions, Grasshopper phone numbers, leg types, and destination phone numbers.
- Activity reports: Find out how many faxes, calls, hang-ups, and voicemails each extension or phone number gets for your date range.
Once you’ve customized your report, it’ll appear at the bottom of your web page under My Reports. You’ll get a notification once your report is ready. Then you can download the file by clicking the CSV icon under Download. All reports stay in your web portal for 90 days before being deleted.
How to Use a Grasshopper Phone System
While Grasshopper gives you a virtual phone number, it’s not as complex as Nextiva or Ooma, yet it offers more features than Google Voice. You don’t need any special equipment, so it’s easy to start making calls from any device with the same functionality as using a smartphone. Once you set up your account and download the app, you’re good to go.
Put your Grasshopper phone system to work by optimizing its features to enhance your communication workflows at a shared office or through virtual environments. Get started today with a free seven-day trial.