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Best VoIP Business Phone Systems for Small Businesses (in 2023)
November 25, 2022
Whether you're talking of setting up a business in the 1980s or 2022, having a phone number that potential customers can reach you on is a necessity. What has changed with the decades gone by, is the ‘phone'. Gone are the bulky phones that used to keep you tied down. Now, with modern cloud-based phone systems, you and your team can answer calls from anywhere on any device, with an easy-to-setup auto-attendant and integrations, all at an affordable price.
So what are the top business phone applications for small businesses? And how do you choose the right one for your small business?
The VoIP system technology or a cloud-based phone solution as it is also known offers many benefits for small and growing businesses.
Flexibility and Professionalism
VoIP is easy to integrate with other systems on the data network and can be scaled up or down as required. With features like customized greetings and call menus, it creates a consistent professional experience for every caller. There's no risk of having a call go unanswered or having the phone answered by someone who cannot speak fluently.
Connectivity with professional-personal life balance
One of the key advantages of VoIP systems over traditional phone lines is that it lowers the need to share your personal number with clients and other partners. Though you can use your mobile phone, incoming and outgoing calls are routed through the business number.
Let's talk pricing – one of the key factors small businesses consider when setting up a phone system. VoIP domestic and international calling rates tend to be much lower than the minute charges levied by phone companies. This makes it easier to reach out to a wider audience without stretching your budget.
They're easier and faster to set up too. There's minimal infrastructure required and you can get started within minutes.
In short, there's no debate, cloud-based phone solutions are a must-have for your small business. This brings us to a new question…
What should you consider when choosing a cloud-based phone system for your small business?
There are many cloud-based phone systems available today that cater to the needs of small businesses. When you're choosing a VoIP system for your business, there are three key points to keep in mind.
As a small business, you cannot and would not want to spend a fortune on business communications. You need to choose a cloud-based phone system with pricing that suits your budget and team size. Most service providers set rates depending on the number of users and the call destinations.
It is hard to assess how many calls you're going to make every month or how long each call is going to last. Hence, rather than pick a plan with a limited number of minutes or calls, businesses need plans with unlimited calling. This is cost-effective and ensures that you're not surprised with your monthly invoices.
No matter the size of your business, you need to maintain a professional tone in all your communications. This is where auto-attendant features come in. Choose a cloud-based phone system that lets you customize a greeting for your callers and give them a menu to decide how they would like their call routed. You should be able to edit this message and menu easily from any device.
Top 10 Cloud-Based Phone Systems Available for Businesses
Quicktalk is a business phone system for start-ups and small businesses. It is particularly beneficial to businesses in the on-demand service, SaaS, real estate or eCommerce sectors. With Quicktalk you can port your existing phone number or get a new business phone number within minutes.
An easy set-up allows you to manage customer calls from your computer or personal cell phone with ease. Some of the features offered by Quicktalk include customized greetings, call menu, call distribution and open hours.
Quicktalk offers a simple, all-in-one pricing plan of $19 per month for 3 users and unlimited calling in 36 countries from both mobile and desktop. This includes all the features you need to professionally manage your calls like custom greetings, call routing, phone menu…
Quicktalk Pros and Cons
Quicktalk is perfect for small businesses and offers all the features any small business would need. However, it may not be a good option for call centers bigger than 10 agents.
Zoiper is a VoIP SIP softphone dialer with voice, video and multimedia communication support. Note that to make calls with Zoiper, it must be connected to a VoIP provider or the office landline network. It can be easily integrated with CRM systems as well as your Android, iOS, Windows, macOS or Outlook address book.
With the option of encrypted communication, Zoiper helps maintain high standards of privacy. Some of the key call center functionalities offered by Zoiper include auto-answering, all recording, provisioning and customized interfaces.
Zoiper to Zoiper calls are free but all other calls are charged as per rates charged by the VoIP or PBX service provider.
Zoiper Pros and Cons
Zoiper has low memory and CPU usage requirements however the interface can be confusing for some.
CallHippo's business phone system offers a comprehensive solution for all your business communication needs. The CallHippo software interface can be rebranded, customized and made operational in minutes.
You can buy virtual numbers from over 50 countries and not just make calls from the web and mobile app but also receive detailed caller insights. Some of the key features offered by CallHippo include IVR Smart Call Routing, Live Call Monitoring, CRM integration and Voice Mail.
CallHippo offers an Office Phone System starting from $25 per user per month and a call center solution starting from $16 per user per month. The latter is ideal for start-ups. Small teams can use the silver plan priced at $24 per user per month while larger teams can use the Platinum or Enterprise plans priced at $40 and $48 respectively. There are a number of extra features available at add-on prices.
CallHippo Pros and Cons
CallHippo offers a pleasant calling experience with a clear dashboard and value for money. However, logins can be slow and an IVRS feature is lacking.
PhonerLite is an easy-to-use VoIP softphone that is ideal for start-ups and bootstrapped small businesses. Once installed on your system, you can use PhonerLite to make and receive calls over the computer. It allows you to maintain multiple accounts and synchronizes contacts with Google contacts and your address book.
PhonerLite is a softphone and free to download and use. However, calls will be charged as per rates set by your VoIP service provider.
PhonerLite Pros and Cons
The system is free to use, lightweight and has low memory requirements, but it is available only for Windows systems and cannot be linked to your smartphone.
Ooma is a VoIP phone service with plans dedicated to small businesses as well as larger businesses and for personal use. For a small business, Ooma provides a new number or allows you to port your existing number.
A virtual receptionist can direct all calls to the relevant extension while working tools like Hot Desking and Call Park allow you to handle high call volumes with ease. Some of the features that make Ooma stand out include HD Audio, a Mobile App. Virtual Fax, Low International Call Rates and Messaging Support.
Ooma offers three business phone plans for small companies. It starts from $19.95 per user per month and goes up to $29.95 per user per month. All Ooma plans offer unlimited calling in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Ooma Pros and Cons
Ooma is easy to scale and user-friendly. However, there have been frequent issues with system crashes and some of the features have hidden costs associated with them.
RingCentral is a secure, reliable cloud communications platform that supports voice calls as well as video calls and messaging. It caters to the needs of businesses in sectors ranging from finance and healthcare to manufacturing and nonprofits.
For small businesses, it is an easy way to consolidate all communication and eliminate IT overheads. Some of the key features provided are team messaging, business phone or toll-free numbers, unlimited calling within the USA and Canada and document sharing.
RingCentral offers four plans with variable prices depending on the number of users. The Essentials plan priced at $14.99 per user per month for up to 20 users is ideal for small businesses.
RingCentral Pros and Cons
RingCentral is easy to set up, provides ghost numbers for different states and has a high level of service, but the interfaces on Desktop/Mobile/Chrome Extension platforms seem inconsistent to some users.
#7 Cisco Small Business Phone System
The Cisco Small Business Phone System allows you to use VoIP technology for computer to computer calls as well as calls to landlines and cell phones. Webex by Cisco is ideal for small businesses and allows you to call, message, host meetings and more on a single platform. It offers a number of cloud calling features including call waiting, merging, forwarding, visual voicemails and more.
The starter plan is priced at $15 per user per month while the Business plan is priced at $17 per user per month. The difference between plans lies in details such as the meeting capacity and storage available. A customizable enterprise plan is also available.
Cisco Pros and Cons
The Cisco VoIP solution is secure and has good call quality, but the iOS app needs improvements and it can be a little expensive.
Sonetel is a communication solution app designed with entrepreneurs and small businesses in mind. It gives you a local phone number in any city across the globe and a free chat function for websites.
The mobile app can be used to communicate with clients as well as for internal communication through chats and conference calls. Business owners can create multiple user accounts with independent extensions and benefit from features like call forwarding and call recording.
Sonetel offers a standard plan, a premium plan and a business package. The standard plan has no monthly fixed cost and calls are charged as per the destination and duration. The business package is priced at $4.99 per number and gives you limited free calls while the premium plan for unlimited calls is priced at $13.95.
Sonetel Pros and Cons
With a local number, Sonetel lets you reach out to customers anywhere in the world, but it has an outdated interface and some features like automated call handling are missing.
#9 GoTo Connect
GoTo Connect is an all-in-one cloud phone and meeting system that can be customized and scaled to suit the needs of your small business. It allows you to make voice and video calls, message and host meetings from any device. You can port your existing number or get a toll-free number. The key features offered include fully customizable call routing and dial plans, a simplified contact center workflow, call routing, custom hold music and unlimited call queues.
GoTo Connect Pricing
Goto Connect has three plans ranging from $24 per user per month to $39 per user per month. The Basic plan offers limited features while the Standard and Premium plans offer unlimited dial plans and free calling to 50+ countries.
GoTo Connect Pros and Cons
GoTo Connect's features like easy digital meeting scheduling and real-time collaboration are beneficial for small businesses but many people find the interface difficult to navigate.
The 8x8 cloud-communications platform is designed for internal and external communication via voice calls, video calls, and chat routes. It connects easily with CRM and other business apps and helps your team be more productive with their time. It offers a range of services including advanced call forwarding, business SMS, internet faxing, call recording and call quality analytics.
8x8 has three plans for business communication. The Small business phone system, 8x8 Express is priced at $15 per user per month for up to 10 users. The X2 is priced at $24 per user per month while the X4 is priced at $44 per user per month.
8x8 Pros and Cons
8x8 offers a reliable network and good call quality, but updates are infrequent and the integration with CRMs has scope for improvement.
A business can grow and succeed only when customers can interact and engage with it easily. Every call that goes unanswered is lost potential.
Hence, no matter how big or small your company is, you need a cloud-based phone system that keeps you connected and available even when you're not at your desk without forcing you to share your personal contact details.
The options for such systems are limitless and you need to weigh the pros and cons of each solution carefully before committing to one. Pricing is important for sure but should always be ranked after more important criteria like call quality, CRM integration, the availability of call analytics and customer service.
Paul is a tech and business phone system enthusiast always open to discuss ideas. If you’re interested in collaborating on content projects or getting a product listed on our blog, don’t hesitate and reach out to us: [email protected].