Whether you’re revamping your entire IT department or launching a new business venture, it would be unthinkable to proceed without a good VOIP service these days.
While providing phone systems for staff, leaders, customer service and sales centers used to require complex and expensive integrations, you can now do it all at once with the right software.
Which begs the question: what is the right software? It’s as good a place as any to start on our requirements for what makes the best VOIP service for businesses in 2019.
What Should the Best Business VOIP Phone Service Offer?
Of course, the answer will vary depending on your business needs. But there are still a few checkboxes we believe every good VOIP service should tick:
- High call quality: This is a must-have, regardless of how the call is placed or received. With Internet telephony, it means a program that delivers great sound quality, whether it’s over Wifi, cell data, or even Bluetooth.
- Simplicity / Ease of use: Good software of any kind these days should be intuitive, well-designed, and provide outstanding user experience out-of-the-box. That means no long training sessions or extended tutorials to get started, and a fast and seamless integration with your other business tools.
- Flexibility / Scalability: In other words, the service should grow and adapt to your needs. It should work for 5 or 500 users, and let you reach a global audience if needed. Also, in this day and age, it must definitely support desk phones and softphones with a special emphasis on mobile performance.
- Affordability: Reducing complex operations is one thing, but it’s no good if it also reduces your overhead. Ideally, the solution should be affordable and require no high upfront costs.
- Advanced features: Call transfer, conference calls, smart-routing calls, shared company book and any other goodies that can make your business life easier. And because a lot of new business VOIP services pop up on a yearly basis, make sure you check the product roadmap to see if what you need is in their pipeline.
With all the above in mind, here are is our rundown of the three best VOIP services for businesses.
Let’s face it, with smartphones in our pockets pretty much 24/7, it’s harder than ever to switch off from work. This means that the business needs to be with you everywhere and at all times.
This is exactly why Spokephone tops our list of the best VOIP systems for businesses of 2019. While it’s a fairly new offering, we’ve only got good things to say about their outstanding mobile app that brings the service to Android and iOS devices (iPhone and iPad).
The app is feature-rich, intuitive, and so easy that anyone can pick immediately. There are no set-up costs, so small teams (the minimum is 3 members) can get started with Spokephone in a matter of minutes. There is no need to involve the whole IT department, as getting started with the service takes an average of 3 minutes(!)
The traditional desk phone support is just as excellent, offering all the advanced features you’d expect (and the same as on the app), such as the ability to make high-quality conference calls, transfer calls easily, roll calls to external numbers and access an integrated shared company phone book.
It really looks like the Spokephone team took a mobile-first approach, which means they’re the only VOIP company we’ve reviewed to really bridge the gap between modern and traditional phone communications.
- Pricing: Spokephone is surprisingly affordable for such a powerful service. It costs around $19 per month per user, with a minimum of 3 team members.
- Key features: Aside from the focus on smartphone usage, the killer feature is probably the ability to use unlimited local numbers so customers can reach you as easily as possible.
- Advanced features: you get extras such as the ability to create AI-powered text transcripts, record audio and highlight important parts of the call. You also get custom greetings, holding music, and voice menus for automated support.
Bottom line: A powerful and affordable VOIP solution that meets all the demands of modern businesses. It’s ideal for beginners to the world of VOIPs, and also incredibly flexible for organizations who want to make the switch to a more flexible, agile solution.
California-based RingCentral often tops the lists of the best VOIP services for businesses. It is packed with features that work well for medium-to-large organizations, and their website claims more than 350,000 companies use them.
While there is a lot to love in the features department, there are a few downsides to using such a popular VOIP service. Firstly, it’s a bit pricier than Spokephone, as you’ll see below. They also limit features based on which plan you are on, and the integration is rather complex. You’ll need at least a day or two to get started with RingCentral.
- Pricing: There are four different plans. All the prices are per month, per user. The minimum is 2 users. Essentials ($29.99), Standard ($34.99), Standard ($34.99), Premium ($44.99), and Ultimate ($59.99).
Bottom line: A highly popular service and feature-packed service that is probably more suited to large companies with larger IT budgets.
8×8 specializes in delivering what they call a “virtual office”. It comes with great features such as instant messaging and web conferencing. Their integrations are also extensive, letting you connect to a number of CRM and business management third-party tools.
The only downside is that some of these features aren’t available with the lower price plans. For instance, the Virtual Office X2 plan, which costs $25 per user, doesn’t come with call recording or web conferencing and it limits storage to 1GB.
- Pricing: 8×8 would rather you contact their sales team to see their pricing page. But we worked out that it’s a minimum of $25 per user per month
Bottom line: 8X8 is particularly great at integrations. The advanced features are also excellent, which is a shame that some of them aren’t available with the entry plans.
Key Takeaways About the Best VOIP Services in 2019
As we’ve noted above, there is no magic bullet when it comes to VOIP services. We could have added Skype for Businesses, Jive Voice or Verizon Business Digital Voice for US customers, but the point is the same: as organizations are increasingly global and agile, it makes sense to hedge your bets on a different kind of provider.
This is why we’re so excited to see how newcomers like Spokephone are innovating in the industry. By taking a different approach than the old, legacy VOIP providers, it puts them at the top of our list, and we hope you give them a try to see how they could improve your business communications.