Best Small Business VoIP Providers

Best Small Business VoIP Providers

These days, almost everything digital is based on cloud technology.

  • We work on computers that back up seamlessly to the cloud.
  • We use remote working capabilities that allow us full access to our files and folders regardless of where we are in the world.
  • We can use cloud-based telephones to enable full access to our corporate landlines quickly and easily.

The growth of VoIP telephone systems has been a game-changer for many businesses.

This is especially true for those working from multiple branch locations.

Instead of the traditional landline phone network, Voice over Internet Protocol (also known as VoIP) phone systems require a working internet connection.

From this, you can easily make and answer phone calls, forward calls to colleagues, sync your call list to your internal databases or directly transcribe voicemail messages to your email accounts.

What is more, an app on a mobile phone or laptop can answer calls.

This means the user can have a consistent phone number wherever they are, whether working from one office, working at home or moving between numerous branch locations.

What Are the Benefits of Using VoIP as a Small Business?

From a business perspective, VoIP phone lines are cheaper than traditional landlines.

In addition, as it only requires a working internet connection, phone lines can be seamlessly scaled up (or down) according to business needs.

This is a valuable resource for businesses that experience seasonal fluctuations.

IP phone systems are beneficial for small businesses because they allow for greater efficiencies.

Perhaps there is a call center within a business that receives calls from customers. The system can recognize a caller's phone number with a VoIP phone system, instantly bringing up their account details when answering a call.

This can dramatically improve customer service and enhance business offerings.

Beyond this, numerous features within a comprehensive VoIP service can improve business efficiencies, such as:

  • Automatic failover – Automatic failover techniques ensure phone lines will remain live, eliminating the worry of phone lines be disrupted.

  • Call Forwarding – Calls can be quickly forwarded to colleagues regardless of where they are based. This is a highly effective tool when working from home.

  • Call Queues – Callers will be sorted into a priority system when experiencing high call volumes to improve customer service.

  • Conferencing – VoIP systems make it easy to set up conference calls, instead of relying upon external phone conferencing systems.

  • Custom hold music – If callers are kept waiting, why not choose the hold music that is played? Recorded sales messages can keep callers up to date with the latest information.

  • Flexible voicemail services – Voicemail services can be updated for the entire company, specific departments or individual workers.

  • Voicemail to email services – Voicemails can be automatically transcribed and emailed to a particular individual. This can be highly efficient if names or numbers need to be noted. It is also an effective out-of-office tool, as it can be set up for voicemail messages to be sent to colleagues if a member of staff is away from the office.

What to Look For in a VoIP Provider

If a small business looking for a VoIP provider, there are a few things that should be considered:

What Are the Costs Involved?

A VoIP phone system should be far cheaper than a landline connection as it pays per user rather than the number of minutes.

What Is the Customer Service Like?

It is desirable to find a company that knows how to integrate a phone system into a broader IT infrastructure.

It needs to work seamlessly with your broadband or WiFi connections, so they need to understand how your company is set up.

Will they be responsive to any issues?

How quickly can they install/remove phone numbers as and when required?

Does It Have the Features You Need?

It is worth knowing that advanced features may differ according to the individual's VoIP service provider.

It is desirable to find a partner who will recommend what is suitable for the business.

There is no point in paying for premium features if they will not be used.

Equally, costs should not be cut by choosing the cheapest provider if efficiencies could be made elsewhere using a more sophisticated system.

The best VoIP providers will work closely with the customer and their IT and HR departments to identify what is needed and provide recommendations based on their particular business needs.

Can Internet Speeds Cope With the Increased Demand?

Before you install a VoIP phone system, you need to be confident that you have the bandwidth to cope with any additional usage.

The last thing you want to do is find that slow internet speeds impact you because your phone system takes all available capabilities.

Therefore, when you speak to prospective small business VoIP providers, you should ask them for assurance that you have the right internet connections in place.

Best Small Business VoIP Providers

1. Grasshopper

Starting price: $26 per month

Available features:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Business texting
  • Choice of toll-free/personalized/vanity numbers available
  • Integrates with Gmail business suite
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Voicemail to email forwarding

There is a reason why many small businesses choose to use Grasshopper as their VoIP provider.

Grasshopper quickly and easily makes businesses feel more professional, at an affordable price with toll-free numbers available.

In addition, the company promises 24/7 customer support, and there is no need to purchase any additional equipment for the VoIP phone lines to work.

The business texting feature is practical: text messages can be easily sent to clients/contacts directly from a business number.

These can be automated (such as appointment confirmations), and you can also keep track of all communications in a singular place.

It is an excellent option for freelancers or other small businesses who want to have a professional work number re-routed to their existing phone or computer.

Visit Grasshopper

2. RingCentral

Starting price: $19.99 per month

Available features:

  • Business texting
  • Call forwarding
  • Enterprise-grade security encryption
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Quick and easy audit trail with searchable account histories
  • Seamless switch between phone and video calls
  • Team messaging and file-sharing capabilities
  • Video conferencing

RingCentral differs from other small business VoIP providers because it seamlessly offers different packages tailored to specific industries.

This understanding of the additional requirements that different businesses have makes it easier to choose a package that meets all needs.

With unlimited call plans available, this is an effective service for those with high call volumes.

The interface is quick and easy to use, making it ideal for continually recruiting businesses, as minimal training is required.

Calls can be recorded and listened back later, making it easier to track what was said (and by whom).

The listen-back feature can be used to identify any business improvements that may need to be made.

This is a system that is ideal for those businesses that function via a call center or for those who need to pay close attention to stringent compliance checks.

Visit RingCentral

3. Ooma

Starting price: $19.95 per user per month

Available features:

  • Business texting
  • Call recording
  • Conferencing
  • Extension dialing
  • Hold music
  • Team collaboration
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Voicemail transcription

Ooma is designed with small businesses and freelance communities in mind.

It offers an easy installation and has lower price international calling plans, with unlimited calling available throughout the US, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico.

There are no contracts in place, and numbers can be quickly scaled up as and when required.

In addition, customers can choose between the Ooma Office and Ooma Office Pro options.

The different pricing structures provide additional features; therefore, undertake due diligence to ensure the right choice for your business needs.

Visit Ooma

4. Nextiva

Starting price: $18.95 per user per month

Available features:

  • Automated customer information
  • Business intelligence software
  • Call analytics
  • Conference calls
  • Live chat
  • Salesforce/Slack/Hubspot/Outlook integration
  • Ticket management
  • Unlimited calls
  • Voice integration

Nextiva is an award-winning small business VoIP provider named 'best business phone system' two years in a row.

It is easy to see why so many small businesses trust Nextiva.

The features are designed to be used individually or cohesively together. With a minimum starting price, many of the options can enable any small business to grow quickly.

We like the analytical style of this VoIP provider; entire sales can be seamlessly tracked and managed in one place.

As customers call, automated tools will bring up details of their order, allowing the user to see their current status and use that information to adjust the conversation.

It is a highly intuitive way of being able to improve customer service.

Visit Nextiva

5. Dialpad

Starting price: $15 per month

Available features:

  • Business texting
  • Call recording
  • G-Suite integration
  • Online meetings
  • Salesforce/Slack/Hubspot integration (pro only)
  • Set working hours
  • Spam detection
  • Unlimited calling
  • Voicemail transcription

Dialpad could be the best small business VoIP provider as it is low-cost.

Its basic package is only a few dollars a month, and for freelancers and small businesses, it could have everything you need.

In addition, the additional features and capabilities allow phone systems to be scaled up as business needs change.

This is a handy VoIP provider; additional equipment does not need purchasing, and it can be tried for 14 days free of charge, allowing the user to assess whether it is the right service for them.

Visit Dialpad

6. Britix24

Starting price: $0

Available features:

  • Call recording
  • Links with CRM
  • Live chat
  • Project management capabilities
  • Queuing and routing capabilities
  • Quickbooks integration
  • Shared calendars
  • Webforms

If you're looking for a free VoIP package, then why not consider Britix24?

The VoIP provider has a free starter business tool suite free of charge for unlimited users and can be a helpful resource if you need a phone system that allows you to work remotely.

When using the paid-for packages, the choice of available features increases.

It is a valuable tool for call center software, and there are numerous collaboration tools available within the system.

It can also integrate well with a chosen CRM.

In addition, while most VoIP providers work through the cloud, Britix24 allows the option to host a PBX on-site, allowing greater control over phone systems.

Britix24 prides itself on being the best solution for marketing, HR, project management or customer service.

It also believes it is an effective solution for those working in the legal, retail, travel, transportation or restaurant sectors.

Visit Britix24

7. Freshcaller

Starting price: $0

Available features:

  • Call recording
  • Caller ID
  • Conferencing
  • Custom reporting
  • Easy number management
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Supervisor controls

As a 'plug and play' option, Freshcaller can be a practical choice for small businesses looking for a VoIP provider.

With state-of-the-art technology, small businesses and freelancers can easily upscale their business operations and look far more professional to callers.

What sets this system apart is real-time reporting and supervisor management.

For example, suppose you have new staff answering calls, and you're concerned that they may need additional training. In that case, you can enter the conversation at any time, giving immediate access to the caller and the agent.

You can easily add or remove numbers at the push of a button. This means that you can scale up/down as per your business needs, without worrying that you are tied into lengthy contracts.

Visit Freshcaller

8. Messagebird

Starting price: $0

Available features:

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Customer support
  • Bookable appointments
  • Marketing messages
  • Push notifications
  • Social media integration
  • Automated technology

Messagebird is an excellent choice of VoIP provider for small businesses seeking to communicate with their customers via social media apps, such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

It is quick and easy to set up and is tailored towards small businesses looking to enhance their operations.

It has a 24/7 customer support service, and all conversation threads can be easily amalgamated into one place.

This means that it is far easier to provide better service levels, particularly if a conversation has begun through email/social media before moving into a personalized voice chat.

Visit Messagebird

Final Thoughts

VoIP phone systems can be an excellent resource for businesses of all sizes.

It is pleasing to see how technology has become far more accessible to smaller companies, freelancers and those working on small budgets.

Many of the VoIP providers featured in this article provide free trials or have basic packages available that can be used by independent businesses quickly and easily.

Choosing a VoIP provider is not just about which package meets a budget. It is about finding the right provider that has the features that suit the user's business needs.

When choosing a small business VoIP provider, discuss options with your business development, IT, marketing and HR teams to ensure that you can make an informed decision.