January 26, 2023
6 Best Cheap VoIP Services of 2023
The best cheap VoIP service offers unlimited domestic calls, basic call management capabilities, and virtual phone numbers—all for a cost-effective price. Its entry-level plans have a robust feature set, including call forwarding, auto-attendant, and video meetings. Other providers allow users to mix and match plans, so you only pay for what you need, benefiting businesses with low call volumes or varying needs. Based on our evaluation, here are the best cheap VoIP services for small businesses: : Best overall cheap VoIP solution with voice intelligence features and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered workspace : Best for its cheap VoIP plans with unlimited international calling : Suitable for teams wanting a user-friendly interface and basic calling features : Ideal for remote teams wanting to extend business phone system capabilities to their mobile device : Best for businesses wanting metered pricing options : Best low-cost VoIP service that easily connects with Google Workspace applications Cheap VoIP Services at a Glance Dialpad: Best Overall With AI-powered Voice Features *Choose annual billing and save up to 30% is the best overall cheap VoIP business phone service thanks to its built-in AI capabilities. It’s a great option for tech-driven teams needing voice intelligence features to enhance the call and virtual meeting experience. With Dialpad AI, transcribe conversations in real time and get live speech coaching. Plus, Dialpad lets you toggle the recording and transcription feature on and off to avoid capturing confidential conversations. One of Dialpad’s standout features is the post-call summary, which captures what was discussed in a call or meeting and sends a recap email containing the recording, transcript, and action items. For those managing a contact center team, the live call sentiment analysis helps managers easily monitor multiple calls by looking at the sentiment of a live conversation between agents and callers. On the downside, Dialpad’s advanced AI features may be too overwhelming for those looking for a straightforward VoIP service. has an all-inclusive platform for managing calls and listening to voicemails. It also includes basic call management capabilities and virtual number options. Dialpad Features Call flip: Move a call from your desktop to your mobile device without interrupting the conversation. Call controls are readily available once the call switches over. Custom interactive voice response (IVR): Design a call flow right in your dashboard. Route incoming calls to agents, voicemail, an automated menu, or prerecorded messages. Department lines: Assign multiple operators on each department line to ensure seamless call handling. This ensures calls are delegated and sorted efficiently. 8x8: Best for International Calling *Save up to 23% by paying annually is the cheapest VoIP phone service for organizations making frequent calls overseas. It supports unlimited international calls to 48 territories, making it affordable to connect with teammates and customers across geographical locations. Plus, 8x8 offers global phone number support in over 100 countries, allowing businesses to establish a local presence in areas where they don’t have a physical office. However, with a monthly cost of $44 per user, it’s still costly to do business internationally. Fortunately, 8x8 lets you mix and match plans to reduce that cost. Subscribe to cheaper plans and combine them with the X4 package that includes international calling for users who need them. Additionally, this upper tier also unlocks contact center features such as call monitoring, supervisor analytics, and speech analytics. 8×8’s user interface (UI) is clunky and not intuitive. It lacks the ease and simplicity you get with apps like and . Still, once you learn to navigate all the features, 8×8 is a powerful and fairly affordable VoIP service your business can use from its startup days all the way to enterprise. 8x8 Features Video conferencing: Host video meetings with up to 500 participants with no minute restrictions. Customize your virtual backgrounds, record meetings via the cloud, and protect your meetings through advanced moderator controls. 8x8 Work: An open communications workspace with video, chat, and business phone capabilities. Access it from your browser or download the app for your desktop and mobile device. Call activity analytics: A web-based tool for admins and supervisors to monitor agent performance and retrieve custom call data. It includes reporting tools for scheduling specific data to be gathered. Grasshopper: Best for Ease of Use & Basic Call Features *Save over 10% with annual billing is our top choice for the cheapest VoIP business phone service—charging flat monthly fees for its plans instead of per-user pricing. Its modern user interface is easy to navigate and use. Plus, all plans include basic calling features, meaning you can choose the package based on your user count rather than upgrading to unlock specific features. Another interesting feature of Grasshopper is it handles its plans differently than competitors. Instead of charging a per-user fee, Grasshopper’s pricing structure varies based on the number of extensions and phone lines needed by your business. For example, the solo plan includes one phone number and three extensions, making it suitable for freelancers and solopreneurs who don’t need numerous phone lines. Unfortunately, Grasshopper doesn’t offer video conferencing, a standard feature most VoIP solutions provide. If your company frequently hosts video meetings with teams and clients, consider . This provider lets you host meetings for up to 500 participants, including access to video conferencing tools such as content sharing, virtual background, and cloud recordings. Grasshopper Features Simultaneous call handling: Forward callers to the next available forwarding number when they reach a line that’s unavailable or currently busy. It also lets you handle multiple calls even during high call volume to prevent callers from hearing the busy signal. Custom greetings: Give your business a more professional appearance by playing an automatic call greeting when a customer calls. Grasshopper charges $75 if you want a professional voice actor to record your greeting. Call tracking metrics: Gain deeper insights into your call activity and business performance. See detailed reports on average call length, missed calls, hang-ups, and minutes used. Ooma: Best for Remote & Distributed Teams is one of the cheapest VoIP services for remote and distributed teams looking for additional mobility features like ring groups and multi-device ring. These tools allow users to transform their mobile devices into an extension of their business phone systems. For instance, call flip allows users to move an ongoing call between devices without interrupting the conversation. If you have international calling needs but don’t need the advanced features offered by , Ooma is your next best option. It provides affordable rates for international calling, starting at only 1.4 cents per minute. While Ooma lets users choose between a local and a toll-free on its base plan, it doesn’t offer vanity and international numbers. In this case, check out , which offers international numbers for as low as $4.99 to $14.99 per month, while monthly charges for vanity numbers start at $9.99. Ooma Features Extension monitoring: Monitor the status of a user’s extension and perform a variety of actions with a single click. Users can view an extension’s status, transfer a call to the extension, speed dial the extension, and answer an incoming call to the monitored extension. Virtual receptionist: Route calls to specific extensions or ring groups and create custom messages with business information. It also lets you set up menu options for different languages and modes for business hours. Dynamic caller ID: Customize your caller ID before making outgoing calls. This is particularly useful for businesses sharing a receptionist for multiple departments or executives. Phone.com: Best for Mix & Match Plans *Save up to 20% with annual prepayment and get volume discounts when adding five, 10, or 25 users. is our recommended cheap VoIP phone service for mix-and-match plan options. Choose from a mix of metered and unlimited plans to ensure your business only pays for what it needs. The entry-level Basic Users plan includes 500 pooled minutes and 1,000 pooled text segments, making it the perfect option for organizations with low call volume. All Phone.com plans come with 50 standard voice features, such as call routing, custom greetings, automated menus, voice tagging, and even customer relationship manager (CRM) integrations. Purchase add-ons on an a la carte basis to avoid paying for features you don’t need. Add-ons include a live receptionist, international calling, call recording, and additional phone numbers. Navigating Phone.com’s user interface requires a steep learning curve because it looks dated and difficult to navigate. Businesses new to VoIP systems will appreciate clean design and easy-to-navigate menus or modern yet simple user interface (UI). Phone.com Features Dial-by-name directory: An automated attendant allows callers to enter the first or last name of the person they’re trying to reach through their dial pad. Users can record their names through flexible customization. Virtual extensions: Set up multiple extensions to route incoming calls to different departments and employees. You may direct callers to your voicemail, mobile device, or desk phone. Schedules: Route incoming calls to different menus, numbers, extensions, and greetings based on the time and day the call comes through. For example, calls ringing outside your business hours go directly to voicemail or another extension. Google Voice: Best for Google Workspace Users is the best cheap business VoIP phone service for those actively using Google Workspace applications. It integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Calendar, Meet, and Drive to streamline workflow with your VoIP service. Its user interface has a familiar look and user-friendly feel, making it easy for Google users to get up and running in no time. Google Voice supports various Polycom desk phones, allowing you to send and receive calls over the internet using your existing hardware. Unfortunately, this feature is locked behind the Standard plan, so you’ll need to upgrade to take advantage of it. Google Voice’s price and reliability compete well with other cheap VoIP services, but it falls behind when it comes to features. Although it has a multi-level auto-attendant, it lacks advanced call handling features offered by other providers like and . Google Voice Features Multi-level auto-attendant: In the auto-attendant section, users are able to add greetings, set up call handling rules, and customize working hours. Voicemail transcription: If you don’t have the time to listen to long voicemails, this feature will create a transcript when a caller leaves a voice message to your Google Voice number. Data reporting: Review Google Voice activities in your organization, including the details, costs, and duration of texts and calls. How We Evaluated the Best Cheap VoIP Service Cost is our primary consideration in choosing the cheapest VoIP phone service. While other business phone systems like and have more extensive features, they demand more costly per-user monthly subscriptions. With this, we looked at dozens of VoIP services offering the most affordable fees and narrowed the list down based on general features, ease of use, and value for money. Learn how we evaluated the best cheap VoIP phone services by clicking on the tabs below: Bottom Line While VoIP is cheaper than traditional phones, the cost can still add up depending on the features your business needs as well as the number of users who will use it. However, the best option doesn’t always mean getting the cheapest service. It’s all about striking a balance between value and affordability. Based on our research, is the best all-around solution for businesses wanting AI capabilities to understand customer needs and ensure efficient handling of calls. With monthly plans starting at $15 per user (billed annually), you get a full-featured phone system, video meeting capabilities, and voice intelligence features. Sign up for its 14-day free trial or get in touch with its sales team.
January 25, 2023
6 Best Auto-attendant Phone Systems of 2023
The best auto-attendant phone system can handle various call routing tasks, such as greeting callers, delivering information, and transferring callers to the right destination. It should also have multiple extensions and phone tree builders to configure your call routing strategy. In this guide, we looked at six industry-leading auto-attendant systems and ranked them based on cost, features, customer support, and ease of use. Based on our ratings, the best auto-attendant phone systems are the following: : Best overall for businesses needing an automated voice system with unified communications (UC) capabilities : Top choice for businesses wanting to manage team and customer communications in one place : Best automated answering service for small teams looking for an affordable flat monthly fee : Ideal for global companies looking for an automated phone system with unlimited international calling : Suitable for small businesses with low incoming call volumes needing a metered subscription : Best automated phone service for teams looking for flexible, a la carte phone plans Best Auto-attendant Phone Systems at a Glance RingCentral: Best Overall Auto-attendant Phone System *Pricing is based on one to five users. Choose annual billing to save up to 40% and receive additional discounts when adding 100 or more users. is the best auto-attendant phone system for small businesses looking for robust centralized communications. All subscriptions include unlimited calling, SMS and MMS text messaging, team messaging, voicemail, and document sharing. Subscribing to its advanced plans provides rich video conferencing features like screen sharing, closed captioning, and cloud recording. Aside from its unified communication capabilities, RingCentral delivers comprehensive voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) features. The entry-level plan includes answering rules, call screening, and call transfer, while high-tier plans provide advanced phone system tools like real-time analytics, multi-level auto-attendant, and call monitoring. While most organizations use RingCentral extensively, it is not suitable for smaller teams with basic phone system requirements. In this case, choose , which offers cost-efficient pricing because of its flat monthly fees instead of the usual per-user pricing. Plus, it includes must-have features like call forwarding, voicemail, and extensions that won’t overwhelm a small team. RingCentral Features Phone extensions: Assign phone extensions to connect multiple departments and individuals across devices and locations. Provide employees with their own number with voicemail, answering rules, and on-hold experience. Presence and head-up display: Get a strategic view of your team’s call status, whether they’re using a softphone, desk phone, or mobile app. Know who’s available, already on a call, holding, or has a call ringing. Call delegation: A single dashboard that lets you manage multiple incoming calls from your desktop and monitor the real-time presence of user extensions. Assign up to 10 assistants to place and receive calls on behalf of a line owner. Nextiva: Best for Integrated Team & Customer Engagement Solution *Pricing is based on one to four users. Save up to 28% by paying annually. ranks as one of the best phone auto-attendant providers for companies wanting to manage team and customer conversations from a single screen. The NextivaONE solution is a communications and productivity work hub designed to address siloed data, application overload, and complex integrations. Users can access all internal and external interactions within a centralized platform, including calls, emails, SMS, and video meetings. Regarding routing capabilities, Nextiva shines as a provider because of its multi-level auto-attendant, intelligent interactive voice response (IVR) as an add-on, and free professional greeting recordings. It also has a user-friendly dashboard for managing incoming and outgoing calls. Despite the noteworthy features of Nextiva, its monthly plans are relatively expensive compared to its competitors. Whether your business is just starting or working on a tight budget, consider a low-cost provider like . It offers metered and unmetered plans at a lower price and allows users to mix and match plans for each member. Nextiva Features Busy lamp field (BLP): Monitor the call status of as many as 50 users in your company. Call status includes idle, incoming call, on a call, and call on hold. Call Me Now: Add a web-based link or icon to your website to encourage your visitors to initiate a call to your business. It also allows reverse click-to-dial, which means any phone number entered on your website during business hours will result in a call being placed from your phone to that number. Directed call pickup: Answer an incoming phone call ringing someone else’s line. A call will be transferred to your line once you dial the feature access code and the extension of the user receiving the call. Grasshopper: Best for Flat-rate Pricing *Save 10% with annual billing is an automated phone answering service for smaller teams that prefer a flat-rate pricing model to save on costs. While most providers charge a per-user fee, Grasshopper prices its plans differently by charging a one flat fee per month, meaning you can add as many users without increasing your monthly bill. Whichever plan you choose, you get the same feature set, which includes business texting, virtual fax, and custom greetings. If you’re a small business that simply wants to establish a professional image, Grasshopper is a good option for a no-frills virtual phone system. It offers local, toll-free, and vanity numbers, allowing users to establish a memorable presence with their customers. Unlike other providers in this list, Grasshopper doesn’t have a video conferencing feature. If you want the affordability of Grasshopper with added unified communication features, try . At a monthly fee of 14.99 per user, you get video conferencing tools, including 50 standard voice features such as call handling, phone greetings, and call screening. Grasshopper Features Virtual receptionist: Grasshopper integrates with Ruby, a live answering service, to answer incoming calls to your business. From scheduling appointments to collecting information, a virtual receptionist helps create positive connections with your customers. Instant response: When you miss a call, this feature will automatically send a text message to the caller to let them know you’re unavailable. Customize the message by including your company logo and website link. Custom phone greetings: Customize your phone greeting to welcome and direct your callers. Grasshopper allows you to record it independently or request a professional voice actor to record it for you. 8x8: Best for International Calling *Pricing is based on monthly billing. Save up to 25% by paying annually. offers unlimited calling to 48 countries, benefiting companies that want to avoid international call charges. It also provides phone number support in over 100 countries, which helps establish a virtual presence in places where you don’t have a physical office. 8x8 has a front desk app for receptionists and operators handling high call volumes. It includes advanced call handling features that let you manage multiple calls, voicemail, and chat sessions and route communications to the right contacts across the organization. 8x8’s collaboration features are limited to file sharing, team chat, and video meetings. If you need additional productivity tools, choose , which offers a virtual workspace that combines file sharing, screen sharing, group chat, task tracking, and audio/video conferencing. 8x8 Features Conversation IQ: 8x8 uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to help team leaders and supervisors monitor and evaluate voice interactions across the organization. 8x8 Work app: Access all business communications, such as chat, video meetings, and voice calls, in a single app. It works on any device to connect with your customers and colleagues anywhere. Visual voicemail: Manage your voicemail recordings and transcriptions from your desktop or mobile device. Transcripts and audio files are sent to your email, making it easy to share with colleagues. Phone.com: Best for Metered Subscription *Save up to 20% with annual billing and get volume discounts when adding five, 10, or 25 users. is an automated phone answering system for small businesses with low or fluctuating call volumes. Metered and unmetered subscriptions allow you to mix and match plans based on your team’s individual needs. For its metered phone plan, users can share call minutes and texts and purchase additional minute bundles if needed. Marketing teams needing multiple numbers for call tracking campaigns will appreciate Phone.com’s volume pricing for virtual phone numbers. Whether you need local, toll-free, vanity, or international numbers, Phone.com will help you find the right number for your business at a lower price. Phone.com only supports up to 100 video participants on its highest plan tier. If you need a larger participant cap for your meetings, check out . This provider allows up to 500 meeting participants and offers rich video conferencing tools like analytics, livestreaming, cloud recording, and calendar integrations. Phone.com Features Text-to-greeting: Create custom greetings from over 40 automated personalities and sound effects. Submit your text greeting, choose a voice personality, and save the audio file in your account. Video conferencing: Host video meetings right on your browser and access built-in tools like screen sharing, document sharing, meeting chat, and a branded meeting room. Voice tagging: If you have several menu options all ringing to a single number, this feature will inform you what option the caller selected before you answer the call. Vonage: Best for a la Carte Features *Volume discounts apply when adding over five users is an automated attendant phone system offering flexible, a la carte plans. While all packages include over 50 phone features, users can determine which advanced features they want to include in their purchased plan. Currently, Vonage has 18 paid add-on services, including call recording, internet fax, conference bridge, and virtual numbers. Vonage has a self-service app center that lets you deploy third-party applications directly within its platform without needing professional services. Choose from a wide range of integration services, such as contact center, customer engagement, mobility, and remote work. While most providers offer professionally recorded greetings for an extra fee, Vonage has no similar service on its add-on plans. If you want to project an image of an established business through your phone greetings, consider . This provider offers free professionally recorded greetings on its paid plans, whether you want to use it for your auto-attendant, hold music, or welcome messages. Vonage Features Business inbox: Capture message-based conversations like SMS, MMS, and Facebook Messenger within a unified inbox, and add photos, emojis, and audio/video. Call continuity: In the event of a power outage or internet issue, configuring this feature will automatically reroute your calls to a backup phone number of your choice. Spam shield: All phone numbers of every incoming call run against a database of numbers associated with robocalls, scams, and telemarketing. When the number matches the list, it will warn the user of phone spam before answering. How We Evaluated the Best Auto-attendant Phone Systems We looked at several business phone systems offering auto-attendants in their subscription packages. From there, we narrowed the list further by evaluating factors important to small business owners, such as pricing, general features, and ease of use. We also considered value for money, user reviews, niche features, and our expert opinion. Learn how we evaluated the best auto-attendant phone systems by clicking on the tabs below: Bottom Line Auto-attendants are the most useful phone system features for businesses and call centers to manage incoming call traffic and avoid long wait times. From greeting callers to providing general business information, a well-designed business phone auto-attendant should optimize the call handling process. Our top pick for the best phone system with auto-attendant is . Its virtual receptionist services include robust customization options—from voice menus to company greetings and user extensions. Sign up for a 14-day free trial to see how it works before committing to a plan.
January 25, 2023
7 Best VoIP Apps for Small Businesses in 2023
There are several voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) apps capable of making and receiving phone calls and messages, but the best options offer advanced features, such as video conferencing, team messaging, and extensive software integrations. The best VoIP apps work seamlessly with softphones and iOS and Android devices—which are essential tools small businesses use to stay connected with clients and team members. Based on our research of dozens of software providers, here are the top seven best VoIP apps for small businesses: : Best overall VoIP app provider for teams needing multidevice support : Ideal VoIP option for teams using Android devices : Excellent choice small companies with several iPhone users : Best for small teams looking for softphone solutions : Best for businesses with simple call management needs : Great for teams with global clients needing unmetered international calls : Best for heavy Google Workspace users wanting seamless integration Best VoIP Apps Compared Take the quiz to find out which VoIP app suits your business needs. See fullscreen table × RingCentral: Best Overall VoIP App for Multidevice Support *Prices are based on one to 20 users. Discounts of up to 33% are available for users who opt for annual billing. is one of our recommended providers offering the best business phone system and the best overall VoIP app for users and accounts using different devices to access the platform. RingCentral’s desktop and mobile applications are seamless and full-featured. Coupled with the call flip feature, users transfer ongoing calls between linked devices with one click, offering mobility. RingCentral’s app is straightforward, intuitive, and carries full platform functionality on its applications. However, for those who want simple calling features, it might take some getting used to. If this is the case, is a simple application with straightforward controls enhanced by its Google Workspace integrations. Google Voice is available only to active Google Workspace users, and plan options include a free personal plan or paid subscription packages. RingCentral Features Built-in customizability: Organize your display tabs and personalize your RingCentral app interface in the most helpful way. For example, your team members can select up to five tabs with calendars, tasks, videos, or other functions. This makes the app experience very convenient for each user. Call flip: Seamlessly transfer between softphone, mobile phone, and desk phone devices during ongoing calls. The call is placed on hold during the flip until the transfer is complete. This is particularly useful when you wish to continue a call on a different phone number or will be mobile mid-conversation. Extended voicemail options: There are multiple ways to check your voicemail using the RingCentral app. Users can listen to audio recordings, use voicemail-to-text (which allows you to read through your inbox), or read using voicemail-to-email (which compiles everything into your inbox). Learn more about RingCentral in our comprehensive RingCentral review to determine if its services are right for your business. Nextiva: Best VoIP App for Android Users *Monthly pricing is based on one to four users. Save up to 27% with annual billing. came out on top of the list of VoIP apps for Android devices with its intuitive interface and features like MP3, WAV, and M4A file support when texting colleagues and customers on Android devices. Users easily place calls by tapping the dialer, locating a contact and placing the call, or clicking on the call or video icon and selecting contacts. Nextiva’s app allows you to transfer calls, add contacts, and screen share during meetings—all from your mobile device. However, Nextiva users will find it has limited third-party integrations compared to other providers like , which integrates with over 300 applications. Unfortunately, some important integrations are locked behind more expensive tiers. RingCentral is the mobile VoIP app with the most integrations and a robust API (application programming interface). Nextiva Features Call pop: Call pop provides your agents detailed information about each caller. Your agents will see basic information, including the number used, the name of the caller, the priority level, and the details of their last interaction. Mobile screen share: Share any of your mobile tabs when you’re on a call. Android users will be able to screen share even if they’re using Android’s mobile split-screen feature. High attendee video conferencing: Nextiva’s video conferencing features enable you to host video conferences from the app with up to 250 participants. Check out our full-fledged Nextiva review to determine if this business phone system fits your business' specific needs. Vonage: Best VoIP App for iPhone Users *Pricing is based on one user. Vonage has a one-year minimum contract with cancellation subject to early termination fees. offers the best VoIP app for iPhone users because it recently upgraded its features allowing users to make and receive home phone calls on up to two iPhones over the internet. Make calls wherever you are using your Vonage internet calling plan that comes with unlimited international calling to 60-plus countries. It lets you keep your mobile number private with its Caller ID feature that will show your Vonage number. While Vonage offers great call features for those who want customizable call management plans, Vonage lacks key video conferencing features, such as virtual backgrounds, and only accommodates a maximum of 100 participants. If your business needs robust virtual meeting capabilities, offers high-definition video and audio conferencing for up to 500 participants. Vonage Features Call block: This feature allows users to pre-determine calls and phone numbers that are blocked from making both inbound and outbound calls for extensions, including fax. Incoming calls from a blocked number will hear a fast busy, while outgoing calls to a blocked number will hear, “I’m sorry, Calls to this number have been blocked by your Administrator.” Vonage boomerang: Move all your calls from specific numbers to your Vonage number. Vonage automatically connects calls from your boomerang contact with all phone charges applied to your Vonage account. Receptionist console: The console views all call activity and uses call control tools, such as call park, call transfer, and call queue. Handle up to 50 concurrent calls and play a custom greeting or music to incoming callers. Our Vonage review walks you through the elements and service offerings of this VoIP business communications provider. Phone.com: Best for Softphone Users *Save 20% with annual billing feature-rich VoIP phone app, Communicator, is excellent for businesses that predominantly use desktops for software-based dialing. Its softphone application supports both voice and video calling with customizable call management settings. It’s important to note that Communicator’s Mac desktop version has a few more on-screen features, while on Windows, you can access all available features under the “More Call options” drop-down menu. Beyond these features, Phone.com doesn’t offer team messaging. If you need team chat for internal coordination, try , which offers unlimited team messaging. Stay constantly connected with colleagues through team messaging available via the Vonage Business Communications desktop and VoIP phone apps. Phone.com Features Video conferencing: During video meetings, users of Phone.com applications share screens and documents, chat, use whiteboards, and are able to change their backgrounds. Choose the Plus package for HIPAA-compliant services. Types of phone numbers: Phone.com offers different types of business phone numbers, such as local, toll-free, and vanity numbers, in every plan. This helps small businesses improve customer service and establish legitimacy. Mix-and-match features: Budget-conscious small businesses benefit from Phone.com’s customizable plans. Phone.com allows customers to choose packages for each user and add specific features as needed. Read all about Phone.com’s features and pricing details in our comprehensive Phone.com review. Grasshopper: Best for Teams With Basic Call Management Needs *Grasshopper offers flat-rate pricing, not per user pricing; save 10% with annual billing is the best voice-over-IP app for small businesses needing simple and easy-to-use virtual phone and call management systems. Its services, like calls, text messaging, custom greetings, extensions, and inbound fax, are all available with every plan. Make and receive calls and text messages anywhere and anytime with Grasshopper’s apps for desktop and mobile. Grasshopper offers 24/7 support access via phone, email, social media, and chat. Unfortunately, Grasshopper allows international calling but lacks international numbers, which offers. If you’re expanding and entering new global markets, this alternative would be a better fit for you. International numbers are available for all Phone.com plans starting at $4.99 per month for select countries. If you want more options, check out our list of the best services for VoIP international calls. Grasshopper Features Unlimited extensions: Grasshopper’s monthly flat rate allows for shared minutes and pooled messages, which is ideal for budget-conscious startups. Unlimited extensions mean your entire sales team shares a single phone number, with each agent assigned a specific extension allowing you to save on account fees. Instant response: Instant response reduces the risk of losing potential customers. When you cannot answer an incoming call, Grasshopper automatically sends an SMS message advising that you are unavailable, effectively informing your customer they’ve reached the correct number and you’ll get back to them. Voicemail: Voicemail is a feature included in all Grasshopper plans that allow your callers to leave you a message. Set up your voicemail so callers can leave you messages. Receive your recorded messages via MP3 recordings. Our Grasshopper review walks you through the essential services and features this VoIP business communications provider offers. You can also check out our full video review of the provider here: 8x8: Best VoIP App for International Calls *Users subscribed to the X2 and X4 plans will save up to 23% with annual billing. is our overall best VoIP calling app for international calls, with its comprehensive offering of unmetered calling in up to 48 countries. 8x8 offers a clear and reliable internet connection for businesses that make regular international calls and establishes a reputable virtual presence in regions where you have customers but no physical office. While 8x8 offers comprehensive features, solopreneurs and freelancers often don’t need as many advanced features. is an excellent option for professionals that use Google Workspace and need a virtual phone number and call management system. For those with low call volumes, avail of its free plan and upgrade as you scale. Unlike 8x8, Google Voice doesn’t provide international numbers and charges per-minute rates for calling outside the U.S. 8x8 Features Call flip: 8x8’s different compatible applications let you seamlessly move ongoing calls between your desk, mobile phone, or desktop phone app. Your calls will instantly transfer to another device in just one click. HD audio and video: 8x8’s HD-quality audio and video capabilities ensure that teams communicate without interruptions, making tasks more efficient. Meet up to 500 people in a video or audio conference with no time limits or restrictions. Mix-and-match plans: Enjoy plan flexibility with 8x8’s mix-and-match options that allow you to create an ideal plan for your business needs. This means you only pay for services you need and use. If you want to learn more about 8x8, read our 8x8 review to find out if it’s the best VoIP number app and phone solution for your business. Google Voice: Best for Google Workspace Users *Requires active Google Workspace accounts to avail of Google Voice Google Workspace users needing a virtual phone number for calls, texts, and voicemail can use to make domestic and international calls from browsers and mobile devices. For users in the U.S., you can choose your number. This easy-to-use, free VoIP app is a simple add-on to active Google Workspace accounts. At present, Google Voice does not support toll-free and vanity numbers. , on the other hand, offers local, toll-free, vanity, and international phone numbers. Using different business numbers is a great way to make yourself more accessible to your customers and, in turn, boost sales and lead conversions. Google Voice Features Workspace integration: Google Voice seamlessly integrates with other Google applications. Expand Google Voice’s capabilities by connecting it with Google Meet, Drive, Calendar, and Gmail. Multilevel auto-attendant: Set up an automated menu to transfer callers to the right people or departments. It also lets you create multiple submenus depending on how you want to handle specific calls. BigQuery advanced reporting: Subscribers in the Premier plan have access to Google’s BigQuery, which helps generate valuable business insights. Google Voice users receive usage and activity reports in all paid plans. For more information on this platform, head to our Google Voice review for details on pricing and features. How We Evaluated the Best VoIP Apps To come up with this list, we reviewed several VoIP phone service providers with desktop and mobile softphone apps. From there, we narrowed the list of providers to the top seven based on pricing, simplicity of use, general and advanced features, and value for money. The specific criteria we used to determine which of the best VoIP apps are strongest for small businesses include: Pricing: Budget is a significant consideration for small businesses when looking at service providers. Each provider offers different packages and pricing discounts. We analyzed the various plans, inclusion at each level, and whether free trials and VoIP mobile apps are available. Platform: VoIP apps vary significantly based on where you’re using them. For example, a softphone used on a laptop might have a completely different interface when used on an Android smartphone. For this reason, we evaluated each VoIP app based on the platform where it has its best performance. General features: Comparing service providers based on features enables us to measure whether the features offered at each level offer the best value for money. The best VoIP app for businesses provides mobile functionality and clear call quality. We also reviewed providers based on communication channels like business messaging and phone calls. Advanced features: The best mobile VoIP app for businesses are aligned with the features offered by web and desktop browsers. We only included VoIP calling apps that provide mobile and desktop apps with niche features, such as call reports and auto-attendants. We scored platforms' unified communication (UC) features and international calling solutions. Expert score: We took time to explore and test the applications to determine how they compare. We based our expert score on personal use of the systems while considering user ratings. Each software provider is rated according to its standout features, popularity, and overall ease of use. Bottom Line VoIP apps are great for small businesses because of their lower cost, increased accessibility, and clearer voice quality. VoIP apps are easy to use, simple to set up, and have advanced communication features that modernize a small business’ phone system. Based on our criteria, the best overall VoIP app is . Besides its higher cost, it comes with comprehensive business calling features and a robust application.
January 25, 2023
MightyCall Review: Features & Alternatives for 2023
MightyCall is a cloud-based phone system that helps you manage business communications. Its basic plan starts at $15 per user, offering basic voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) features, including call forwarding, call recording, and interactive voice response (IVR). In this MightyCall review, the provider got an overall rating of 3.81 out of 5, receiving high scores on general features and ease of use. However, it earned a low score on pricing as it lacks volume and annual discounts. MightyCall Review: At a Glance MightyCall Deciding Factors is a reliable virtual phone system equipped with basic call management features. It’s an excellent choice for solopreneurs and small businesses needing a no-frills communication platform. Its core offerings include virtual phone numbers, voicemail transcription, business messaging, call reporting, and call flow. MightyCall Alternatives While has plenty of valuable phone system features, businesses will benefit more from alternative platforms in specific situations. For instance, offers several options for phone numbers as it features a wide variety of 800 prefixes. If you need virtual fax and unlimited calling minutes at an affordable flat rate, is a great alternative to MightyCall. Meanwhile, is your best choice if you need both audio and video conferencing in your phone system. The provider allows unlimited meetings and hosts up to 1,000 audio and 200 video conferencing participants. RingCentral is the top platform in our list of the best business phone systems and best small business VoIP services. pricing earned a low score of 2 out of 5 primarily because it doesn’t offer a free plan like competitor and annual discounts like . However, the provider gets a slight boost as it features three subscription packages, giving businesses options as they manage their budget. An additional $10 on top of the monthly plan is charged if you need extra phone numbers and international numbers. Learn more about the features included in each of the MightyCall pricing packages here: MightyCall Features ticks all the right boxes in terms of features, as it has a wide range of VoIP capabilities, enabling streamlined business communications. These include talk minutes, texts, and virtual phone numbers (local, toll-free, vanity, and international numbers). Here’s an overview of MightyCall features: got a high score of 4.38 out of 5 for general features since it comes with several tools for routing and monitoring calls. For instance, it has an easily customizable call flow letting you decide how callers will be directed through your system. It also comes with an auto-receptionist, guiding callers to appropriate teams depending on their concerns. Below are some call management tools in MightyCall: Business contact book Caller ID User extensions Call queues Custom greeting Music on hold Call waiting Call screening Dial-by-name directory Call forwarding Call transfer Conference calls SMS and MMS Business hours call routing Voicemail-to-text Presence indicator In this review, the provider’s niche features earned a score of 3.13 out of 5. While the provider checks all the boxes in general features, we didn’t find as many standout capabilities as other business phone systems have. Nonetheless, MightyCall gets a slight boost in rating as it features a multi-level IVR system. Learn more about MightyCall’s niche features below: For offering different customer support channels, earned a high score of 4.69 out of 5 for customer service. Users are able to connect to the provider via live chat, phone, and email. The customer service hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time on weekends. In addition, MightyCall has an online help center where you find comprehensive guides for using the different phone system features. If you want to know how other businesses use the platform, refer to the case studies section. The help center also hosts MightyCall’s status page, which provides updates about system performance and issues. For ease of use, received a perfect score because navigation is effortless with easily recognizable icons. Find all the tools for managing inbound and outbound calls on the left side of the interface. From top to bottom, you’ll see the icons for calls, contacts, teams, call flows, numbers, and widgets. The last one provides a convenient tool for adding and porting virtual phone numbers. We gave an expert score of 4 out of 5, given that many reviews on third-party platforms praised its features. Some liked the easy-to-use call flow builder and the convenience of adding virtual numbers. Others appreciated the call recording and voicemail-to-email feature, as it allows them to go back to conversations and pick up details of the message. Here are the user ratings in MightyCall reviews from third-party sites: GetApp: 3.8 out of 5 based on 94 reviews G2: 4.5 out of 5 based on 113 reviews Capterra: 3.8 out of 5 based on 94 reviews How We Evaluated MightyCall To assess , we identified the criteria that are essentially the priorities of most small businesses when choosing a business phone system: pricing, features, customer service, and ease of use. We checked third-party review platforms as well in our evaluation. Learn how we evaluated MightyCall by clicking on the tabs below: Bottom Line is a virtual phone system equipped with a range of features that help businesses route inbound calls more efficiently. It’s ideal for teams that only need essential VoIP capabilities as it doesn’t have as many advanced capabilities as other platforms, like virtual fax, team chat, and video conferencing. With its intuitive interface and various customer support channels, you’ll find it easy to navigate the system and maximize its features. Sign up for MightyCall’s seven-day free trial today.
January 24, 2023
6 Best Call Center Phone Systems
The best call center systems for small businesses offer a range of call management features at an affordable price. Its collaboration features and essential call management solutions, such as skills-based routing and auto-attendants, equip companies with the tools needed to provide excellent customer service. We evaluated dozens of systems to identify the top six call center phone systems offering solutions to improve agent performance while boosting customer satisfaction. : Best overall call center phone system with robust call monitoring features : Excellent phone service for handling sensitive client information : Ideal call center system for businesses with an international presence : Best for its call routing automation : Best for its cost-effective collaboration and conferencing capabilities : Top call center phone system for service reliability Best Call Center Phone Systems Compared Take the quiz to find out which call center phone system suits your business needs. See fullscreen table × Freshdesk: Best Overall Call Center Phone System *Discounts are available when you opt for annual billing. (formerly Freshcaller) is our best overall call center phone system because of its extensive call and agent monitoring features and free version service. It boasts a range of curated reports that include information about agent performance, top customer analysis, and ticket lifecycle reports. This puts Freshdesk at the top of our list of best customer service software. Equip yourself with the tools you need to coach and give actionable feedback to your agents and stakeholders using team dashboards for better team monitoring. The Widgets library has seven categories, more than 20 widgets, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Unfortunately, Freshdesk's free version and Growth plan lack team dashboards, chatbots, and social ticketing. If your team requires advanced ticketing and agent monitoring features, check out . The platform offers workplace optimization capabilities, including performance dashboards, skills-based scheduling features, and speech analytics. Freshdesk Features Voicebots: artificial intelligence (AI)-powered voice bots respond to customers' frequently asked questions, such as account activation and password reset. This solution minimizes the need for live agent intervention. Abandoned call metrics: Get information on call drops and the trends that explain why this is happening. Insights will help identify areas of improvement that will enhance the customer journey. Warm transfer: Warm transfer provides agents with a background and context of the caller’s issue before transferring the call, minimizing the need for customers to repeat their concerns. Freshdesk also has an omnichannel functionality for ticketing, making it one of our top customer service platforms. Read more about this call center service provider in our Freshdesk review. 8x8 Contact Center: Best for Businesses Handling Sensitive Customer Data *Plan is paid per user is best for companies and industries that have strict data compliance standards due to the nature of the sensitive information they handle. It complies with multiple data security and compliance requirements, including HIPAA, FCC Consumer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) compliance, and the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA). 8x8 Contact Center uses an approved third-party certification to ensure it meets HIPAA and FISMA data security levels. This extensive information security compliance, coupled with a 99.999% uptime guarantee, makes it an excellent option for various industries, including healthcare, banking, and financial services. Noting 8x8 Contact Center’s omnichannel voice and digital routing options, its comprehensive services may be more than what a small startup or solopreneur needs. If you’re in the market for a call center solution offering a free plan, has free customer support software with help desk ticketing features. The Free Forever Plan includes social media support so you can interact on social media using a centralized dashboard. 8x8 Contact Center Features Team chat: Colleagues connect instantly through business chat, available on mobile and desktop apps. Users on the messaging platform are identified through your company directory, and the chat easily integrates with other popular team chats like Slack. Speech analytics: 8x8 Contact Center analytics correlate insights and provide timely team feedback with automated transcripts and audio data that can be searched and analyzed to improve customer experiences. Customer surveys: Gather unbiased customer feedback using customer satisfaction surveys to measure customer experience and data for better decision-making. These surveys generate client feedback and allow you to identify and recognize high-performing agents. With critical insights and features like video meetings and a multilevel auto-attendant, 8x8 Contact Center is a great call center option. Head to our in-depth 8x8 Contact Center review for a closer look at its service offerings. CloudTalk: Best Provider for Businesses With International Operations *Paid per user, billed annually offers virtual numbers for over 160 countries, making it an ideal choice for companies with a presence in multiple locations. It also allows you to set your business hours and identify the best time to reach you. Coupled with CloudTalk’s personalized greetings, impress the locals with custom recordings that make your callers feel more at ease. In addition to being readily available to your customers, this solution offers an opportunity to filter call statistics by phone number. This is particularly useful for businesses with global teams wanting to analyze details, such as average call times in particular regions, for coaching and mentoring purposes. However, CloudTalk lacks information on uptime guarantees. If uptime is crucial to your business, offers a high 99.999% uptime service level agreement (SLA), and has a 100% uptime SLA. Consider either 8x8 Contact Center of Talkdesk if your nature of work requires minimal downtime, like in education, where students need to access lessons remotely, and in healthcare, where patients have urgent and critical concerns. CloudTalk Features Multilanguage app: is used worldwide, with virtual numbers available in over 160 countries. Its phone application is available in many languages (e.g., English, German, Portuguese, and French). Unlimited concurrent calls: With this feature, your agents will be able to handle as many inbound and outbound simultaneous calls as you’d like. This is particularly useful for increasing agency productivity and reducing clients' wait time. In the context of sales and marketing, there is no limit to how many clients your agent can engage. Workflow automation: Streamline business processes by automating daily workflows; common automation scenarios include call detail export to customer relationship management (CRM), follow-up SMS for unavailable customers, and Slack message notification after SMS receipt. For more details, check out our full CloudTalk review, which includes information on features, pricing, and use cases. RingCentral Contact Center: Best for Its Call Routing Automation *Custom pricing is available through RingCentral Contact Centers’ sales team. offers the best business phone system with a powerful suite of unified communications (UC) features, including an efficient automatic call distribution (ACD)—routing calls to appropriate agents. Its ACD integrates with other workforce management tools, such as voicemail, for customers to leave recorded messages and automatic call back to request a return call. On top of this feature, RingCentral Contact Center also offers interactive voice response (IVR) systems or multilevel auto-attendants for companies with high call volumes. This feature comes with an IVR editor that lets you craft up to 250 phone menus, making RingCentral Contact Center one of our top picks for best IVR systems. However, RingCentral Contact Center’s four-level tier pricing is not readily available on the website. The monthly cost of an all-in-one system may be a concern for small businesses that need a low-cost call center option. offers a free version, and its paid plan begins at a monthly cost of $18 per user, with discounts available for annual billing. RingCentral Contact Center Features Intelligent routing: With omnichannel, skills-based, and AI digital routing options, transfer customers to the best agent equipped to handle their needs. Outbound dialers: Boost your sales with predictive, proactive, and progressive dialers that maximize each outbound campaign. Agents will be able to focus on ensuring quality conversations and less on manual dialing. Speech-to-text analysis: Spot trends by making it routine to analyze call recordings that pick out keywords and phrases in customers’ speech to track trends regarding customer sentiment and purpose for calling. Do you want to learn more about this platform? Check out our full RingCentral Contact Center review. Nextiva Contact Center: Best for Its Virtual Collaborative Workspaces *Custom pricing is available through Nextiva’s sales team. provides extensive collaboration tools, enabling teams and customers from anywhere in the world to work together remotely. Nextiva Cospace is an app designed to host your company’s communications in one space. This platform includes project task management, unlimited group chats with feedback and voting functions, high-definition (HD) audio and video meetings with screen sharing and 1:1 sessions, and secure file sharing. Nextiva Contact Center's video conferencing software includes screen sharing and live webinar capabilities. Its base plan comes with video calling for up to 45 minutes and video meetings for up to 45 minutes and 250 participants. Nextiva Contact Center’s base plan is also fully equipped with this feature for those needing call and video conference recording functions. Nextiva Contact Center caps video conferencing participants at 250. If you need a platform that accommodates a higher participant count, consider . It offers HD video and audio conferencing with up to 500 active participants and has no meeting or minute restrictions. Nextiva Contact Center Features Internet fax: Send faxes from your email provider of choice and manage faxes through your mobile devices. also provides standard and HIPAA-compliant internet fax services. Number porting: Forget about getting a new number with Nextiva Contact Center’s number porting. This feature allows you to move your existing phone number from your current carrier and use it with Nextiva. It will also be the one to handle the porting process at no additional cost. App integrations: Maximize Nextiva Contact Center by integrating your phone system with popular apps, such as Google Contacts, NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Nextiva Contact Center supports voice calling and texting with other valuable features, including task management tools and a team calendar. Explore more about service offerings and pricing plans in our Nextiva review. Talkdesk: Highest Level of Service Reliability *Talkdesk plans are based on a three-year contract. Unlike most providers that offer 99.9%, 99.995%, or the “5 9’s” (99.999%) uptime SLA, offers customers a 100% uptime SLA guarantee. It ensures zero downtime, making you constantly available to your clients for maximum sales potential. In the event of network disruption, you are able to remain active, and those that experience downtime simply submit a refund request. In addition to its high uptime SLA guarantee, Talkdesk has a powerful predictive dialer with IVR and CRM integrations. Its predictive dialer complies with Do Not Call (DNC) rules and easily updated DNC lists using comma-separated value (CSV) spreadsheets. This is why it’s our top-ranked predictive dialer provider. Unlike other providers, like and , Talkdesk does not offer a free trial. If you are interested in low-cost call center options, Freshdesk and CloudTalk offer 21-day and 14-day free trials, respectively. Talkdesk Features Automatic call distributor: Efficiently route inbound calls to appropriate agents or departments based on agent expertise, customer history, or business hours. also offers complementary services, such as call monitoring and call barging, that improve agent performance. Screen recording: Improve customer interactions by monitoring your agent’s screens and capturing their activities during calls. These playbacks are helpful in dispute resolutions and tracking client engagements and transactions. Virtual agent: This is an AI-powered conversational assistant that is able to interface with customers, providing 24/7 response using neutral language. How We Evaluated the Best Call Center Phone Systems We looked at several phone system service providers offering call center essentials and evaluated their pricing options, features, and user reviews. We narrowed the list down to the best six providers that offer a range of basic and advanced features ideal for solopreneurs and small businesses. Learn how we evaluated the best call center phone systems for small businesses by clicking on the tabs below: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) What are the most important call center phone system features? With a call or contact center, different included features will benefit various business types. For example, not every business has a need for call barge, which allows a supervisor to completely take over a call with a customer. For a comprehensive guide to call center features and their uses, check out our piece on the 12 best call center features your business should have. What metrics should I consider for my call center? Just like call center features, the metrics your business will need to consider might vary based on your business needs. In general, things like average turnover rate, call volume trend, and your customer satisfaction (CSAT) score are very important. Take a look at our guide on the subject for a more detailed accounting of key metrics and KPIs. How can call centers improve their metrics? Three main ways to improve call center metrics include using contact center software, acting on insights, and training agents. Contact center as a service (CCaaS) tools provide customer-facing tools that enhance how your center operates as well as the customer journey, such as easy-to-navigate IVRs and advanced call routing tools. Artificial intelligence (AI), third-party app integrations, and automation features can all assist agents, resulting in better performance. For instance, CRM integrations give your team access to customer data before and during a call, which helps them personalize conversations and improve the overall caller experience. Bottom Line These are the top call center phone systems offering low-cost and contact center as a service (CCaaS) features for companies to better engage customers and collaborate internally. If you’re looking to get started or upgrade your system, we recommend . Its free, entry-level plan is packed with essential services. As your business grows, you can easily upgrade to higher plans with advanced features. Sign up for their 21-day free trial today.
January 24, 2023
Twilio Review: Features, Alternatives & Pricing for 2023
Twilio is a communication platform as a service (CPaaS) solution that allows users to add text, voice, chat, video, and other communication features to existing business apps. This works through application programming interfaces (APIs) connecting the programs. In this Twilio review, it earned perfect scores for its features and customer service. However, it scored lower on pricing as the pay-as-you-go fees are more expensive than other CPaaS platforms. Twilio Review: At a Glance Twilio Deciding Factors As one of the best CPaaS platforms, offers a wide range of APIs, making it an ideal solution for those wanting to enhance the capabilities of their communication systems. The APIs include SMS, MMS, chat, WhatsApp, email, voice, video, and SIP trunking. It follows a pay-as-you-go pricing scheme except for the email APIs (monthly flat rate). Twilio also has solutions for customizing contact centers and intelligent bots. Twilio Alternatives While is an excellent CPaaS solution, it has limitations, including the lack of advanced collaboration or project management features. If you’re prioritizing specific communication campaigns like SMS marketing or reputation management, it’s best to explore other platforms. Consider the top options below or check out other Twilio alternatives: pricing got a score of 1 out of 5 because it doesn’t offer a free plan and annual discounts. Most of its APIs are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, but the fees are more expensive than other CPaaS platforms like and . This pricing model applies to APIs for voice, messaging, WhatsApp Business, elastic SIP trunking, video, and verification. Meanwhile, the conversation API and Twilio Flex have user-based fees. Twilio Segment and SendGrid Email API, on the other hand, follow a monthly flat rate. Learn more about Twilio pricing in the table below. Twilio Features In this review, the provider earned a perfect score on general and niche features as it offers a full range of APIs, making it easy for businesses to pick capabilities and add more as their communication needs grow. With its comprehensive documentation, developer teams are able to understand codes easily and see sample applications. Go to Twilio Docs to find the API references and tutorials categorized per product and service. earned a 5 out of 5 rating on general features, offering all the standard features businesses should consider when choosing a CPaaS solution, including voice APIs. With the provider's voice software development kits (SDKs), you can add call tracking, global conferencing, masked calling, and call recording to your business apps—capabilities similar to features in the best small business VoIP services. Build a robust communication system with these Twilio features: SMS API MMS API WhatsApp Business API Conversations API Email API Elastic SIP Trunking Phone numbers API Lookup API Notify API Proxy API We gave niche features a 5 out of 5, as it has video and user verification APIs, excellent analytics tools for specific APIs, and robust data security controls. The platform is certified under the international standard for information security management ISO/IEC 27001 and supports TLS 1.2 encryption. Below are some more advanced solutions Twilio offers: We rated a 5 out of 5 on customer service because it offers 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support, as long as you have a paid support plan. The support plans are Developer (free), Production (4% of your monthly spend or $250 minimum), Business (6% of your monthly spend or $1,500 minimum), and Personalized (8% of monthly spend or $5,000 minimum). The Personalized plan has a dedicated technical account manager and a support escalation line. All the paid plans have a guaranteed response time within an hour to nine business hours, depending on your plan. earned a score of 3.25 out of 5 for ease of use because while it’s easy to set up, maximizing its features requires the expertise of professional developers. The setup takes only a couple of minutes, with users signing up on the provider’s website and verifying the account through their personal phone number. Once verified, you’ll have access to the Twilio Console Dashboard, which shows the products and services on the main menu. As for using the APIs, your dev team should refer to Twilio Docs for the code snippets, instructions, and tutorials. Although extensive, the documentation is easy to follow. In this review, the provider received a high expert score of 4.13 out of 5 because most of the reviews on third-party platforms commended its features. Some appreciated the extensive range of the provider's API, while others praised its easy-to-follow documentation. Some users liked specific features, namely the messaging notifications and the low-code, no-code app builder Twilio Studio. Here are the user ratings at Twilio reviews on third-party platforms: GetApp: 4.6 out of 5 based on 353 reviews G2: 4.6 out of 5 based on 403 reviews TrustRadius: 8.5 out of 10 based on 149 reviews How We Evaluated Twilio To evaluate , we looked at six factors that we think are the most critical to consider when businesses choose CPaaS platforms. We also referred to reviews on third-party sites to better understand how the tool’s strengths and limitations affect actual users. Learn how we evaluated Twilio by clicking on the tabs below: Bottom Line is an excellent CPaaS platform offering a wide range of APIs and other customizable communication systems. We recommended it for businesses that want to build their own infrastructure or upgrade existing business platforms with new functionalities like SMS, voice calling, video, and email. With its pay-as-you-go pricing scheme, you’ll be able to manage communication costs as you scale operations. Sign up today for Twilio’s free 30-day trial.
January 24, 2023
NICE CXone Review 2023: Pricing, Features & Pros & Cons
NICE CXone, formerly called NICE inContact CXone, is a cloud-based customer experience platform equipped with omnichannel routing, workforce engagement, and automation features. In this NICE CXone review, the provider earned a high rating of 4.08 out of 5, achieving perfect scores in general and niche features as well as ease of use. However, it garnered a low score on pricing since it doesn't have a free plan, and the subscription cost is higher than its competitors. NICE CXone Review: At a Glance NICE CXone Deciding Factors is an omnichannel contact center platform that supports various communication channels and provides artificial intelligence (AI) tools for agent performance optimization. It offers four pricing plans, but the exact costs are only available upon request. Overall, it’s a great option for companies handling large-scale customer service operations. NICE CXone Alternatives While has plenty of excellent features, other business communication platforms may be more suitable for certain contexts. The best business phone systems in the market are less expensive, but they also use intelligent routing systems that make customer service delivery efficient. Check out other alternatives below if you need a more budget-friendly solution or require specific customer service management and agent performance tracking tools: pricing earned a low score of 1.5 out of 5 primarily because the subscription cost is not readily available on the website, and businesses need to request a quote. In addition, the monthly estimated price, which is $100 per feature, is higher than other providers like and . Nonetheless, NICE CXone offers several plans that cater to different budget needs. In addition, it offers a free trial that lasts 60 days. Proactive outbound and prebuilt CRM integrations are features available as add-ons. To learn more about NICE CXone pricing, click on the plans below: NICE CXone Features In this review, the provider's general and niche features earned perfect scores as the platform offers a wide array of tools that enhance both customer and agent experience. As an omnichannel contact center, NICE CXone offers various interaction channels, letting businesses communicate with customers in their preferred channel, be it voice or digital. The system supports 30-plus digital channels, covering email, live chat, social media, and mobile apps. Here’s a quick breakdown of NICE CXone features: has a robust call management system complete with essential voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) features, namely ACD, interactive voice response (IVR), voicemail, call forwarding, and call monitoring. Its call reporting and analytics capabilities include prebuilt and custom reports on several key metrics. With this feature, it’s easy to measure agents’ level of competence and create training programs to further improve performance. Here are some more call management features at NICE CXone: Call queue Caller ID CXone attendant (auto-attendant) Agent state (call presence) Call suppression Conference bridge Call recording Call whisper Call barge-in Do Not Call (DNC) Beyond basic VoIP capabilities, features tools that make contact center operations more efficient. Using the platform, it’s possible to provide self-service to customers, run outbound calling campaigns, and ensure ample staffing. Here are some of the specific niche features: customer service got a 3.75 out of 5 rating as it offers different customer support channels, except for email. These channels include live chat and phone, which are accessible 24/7. The provider has an exclusive online hub for its subscribers, serving as a help center and community platform. The CXone Customer Community features discussion threads about different topics, where subscribers and the provider’s subject matter experts are free to interact and offer advice to one another. This online platform also contains webinar announcements, allowing subscribers to register for virtual events aimed at teaching users how to maximize certain features. We scored a perfect score on ease of use because the setup and navigation of the platform are straightforward and simple. It doesn’t require sophisticated know-how to operate. Being familiar with the tool takes only a few minutes, thanks to the neat, intuitive interface. The main tab located on the left side of the dashboard contains all the navigation options you need to perform tasks, which include the following: Admin: Lets you view key information about team members ACD: Lists down all the contact center’s communication campaigns Reporting: Allows you to track metrics We gave a nearly perfect expert score as the majority of online reviews in third-party review sites had positive sentiments. Many users complemented the ease of use, appreciating the fact that there's little to no training required to operate it. Others liked how it seamlessly integrates with other NICE platforms, including the workforce management software. Here are the user ratings on NICE CXone reviews at third-party platforms: G2: 4.3 out of 1,564 reviews GetApp: 4.2 out of 5 based on 528 reviews TrustRadius: 8.6 out of 10 based on 760 reviews How We Evaluated NICE CXone To come up with an objective evaluation of , we looked at several factors, namely pricing, features, ease of use, and quality of customer service. We also checked the ratings in reliable review platforms to understand what actual users think of the contact center solution. Here’s a breakdown of the factors we used to assess NICE CXone: Bottom Line A complete contact center platform, supports omnichannel customer service and provides AI tools to improve agent performance. It suits companies that want to streamline and simplify communications across different channels, like voice, chat, and social media. Since its pricing model is based on features used, it benefits organizations requiring a scalable contact center solution. Make use of NICE CXone’s 60-day free trial today to see if it fits your needs.
January 24, 2023
Microsoft Teams Review: Features & Alternatives for 2023
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app with video conferencing, team chat, and file sharing. It has a free version, while monthly plans start at $4 per user (billed annually). It is best for Microsoft 365 users and businesses looking for a low-cost unified communications solution. In this Microsoft Teams review, it scored high in pricing and general features but scored poorly in ease of use and customer service. Microsoft Teams Review: At a Glance Microsoft Teams Deciding Factors works best for remote and hybrid work, allowing teams to stay connected, access shared content, and keep up with workflows. It provides robust collaboration features and a high participant limit for video meetings. Microsoft Teams Alternatives While provides a centralized workspace for distributed teams, it doesn’t mean it caters to all collaboration requirements. It has a few downsides, including a complex interface, the lack of monthly payment plans, and free plan restrictions. If these are your priorities, here are the best Microsoft Teams alternatives to consider: scored 4.25 out of 5 for plans and pricing, as it offers four scalable packages that cater to different collaboration needs. It has a free version, a one-month free trial for Microsoft 365 Business plans, and a cheap monthly paid plan starting at $4 per user, billed annually. On the downside, all plans require an annual prepayment, and no discounts are offered for annual billing and volume purchases. For businesses with advanced security needs, consider upgrading to the Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which costs $22 for each user, every month (billed annually). It includes everything in Microsoft 365 Business Standard, as well as a comprehensive set of security capabilities, such as cyberthreat protection and access control. Microsoft Teams Features is an online team workspace that lets you chat, meet with co-workers, and share files. Channels are focus spaces where people gather to work on the same project or topic. It also includes an online meeting solution for holding web meetings, audio conferences, webinars, and large-scale events. scored 4.5 out of 5 for general features, as it offers a variety of unified communications features to support remote and hybrid work. Conversations among co-workers occur in channels, under the chat tab, or in a video meeting. All plans include file sharing, cloud storage, instant messaging, and unlimited search history. Upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business plans offers bigger cloud storage capacity (up to 1TB) and hundreds of app integrations. We gave a score of 4 out of 5 for niche features because it has most of the features expected from a team collaboration solution. Public and private channels enable users to create groups for specific team members, while task management tools are designed for managing individual and team tasks. Users are also able to edit and collaborate on Microsoft 365 apps right within Teams using the real-time co-authoring feature Click on each item below to learn more about the best features of Microsoft Teams: earned a score of 2.5 out of 5 for customer service because while it provides a 24/7 toll-free hotline, it doesn’t support other channels like live chat and email. Another option is to submit a service request in the admin center. Free plan users can access self-service resources such as a help desk, community forums, and YouTube tutorials. scored poorly for ease of use because its user interface is not intuitive enough, especially for those unfamiliar with the Microsoft 365 environment. While its platform looks relatively polished and professional, most users find it difficult to set up and navigate due to its compartmentalized layout. Others also complain about the need to create a Microsoft account and train employees to fully utilize its features. scored 3.5 out of 5 for our expert assessment because it is not as feature-rich and user-friendly as other collaboration tools like and . It doesn’t have enough customization options and productivity tools like workflow automation. Additionally, its free plan and first paid tier lack many essential features, such as integrations and admin tools, which force users to upgrade to Microsoft 365 Business plans. At the time of publication, Microsoft Teams earned the following scores on popular user review sites: TrustRadius: 8 out of 10 based on 4,745 reviews GetApp: 4.5 out of 5 based on 8,904 reviews G2: 4.3 out of 5 based on 13,259 reviews How We Evaluated Microsoft Teams We explored and tested some of its features and functions. We also consulted recent Microsoft Teams reviews to know more about the personal experiences of its business users. From there, we created a scoring system divided into a set of criteria: pricing, general features, niche features, customer service, ease of use, and expert score. Learn how we evaluated Microsoft Teams by clicking on the tabs below: Bottom Line is a solid choice for businesses that are already using Microsoft 365 products or those looking for a collaborative workspace with budget-friendly plans. It facilitates teamwork by providing a centralized platform for hosting meetings, managing projects, and sharing virtual presentations. Sign up for its free version or register for a free trial to determine if it’s the right collaboration app for your team.