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We here take a closer look at three well regarded low cost business phone service options. Three companies are featured here: RingCentral, Phone.com and Grasshopper. Each of these has a wide online presence and deep penetration into this particular customer niche. Their package price tiers are highly competitive and, for the business clients, actually quite cheap. All three use wireless platforms. All you really need is a high speed internet connection.
Advantages of a Cloud Based Phone Service
Virtual phone service providers use remote, internet based technology over the wi-fi to run the architecture, switching and networking of a communications setup. Everything is run through software. Because very little, if any hardware is needed, the relevant maintenance and setup costs the come with that are non-existent. In a previous era, tech teams would be needed to install, configure, maintain, update and troubleshoot such hardware. That is no longer necessary. Basic packages are therefore available -from a number of companies- which are easily affordable for business ventures of most types.
Choosing an appropriate cloud based phone service allows your business a number of technical capabilities including, but not limited to:
- See and maintain records of call duration, call provenance, customer hold times and call times.
- A slew of applications including call conferencing, caller ID, call routing, business texting, business chat, call forwarding and much more.
- You can provide a single number to numerous clients at the same time and use the virtual receptionist feature to route each call to the next available customer service representative.
- You can internally designate what types of calls go to which representatives. So by knowing what type of incoming call you are getting (via the selections the customer makes while being navigated by the virtual receptionist), you can designate more complex calls to more experiences representatives, for example.
- The service can be accessed from any appropriate computing device, be it desktop, laptop, mobile phone or tablet. This means that employees can be anywhere geographically, including being in transit while traveling.
- No technicians are needed to configure hardware or stations for new employees. It is all internally managed by software.
- If your business relies on constant interactions with customers, virtual phone systems are invaluable for maintaining a professional impression of your company.
Who Offers Low Cost Business Phone Services?
We consider three low cost business phone system services:
RingCentral – This industry leader is based in Belmont California and is a leader in this market internationally. They provide phone services for companies of all sizes worldwide. RingCentral offers one of the most feature-rich packages available anywhere. Their list of features and applications is fully rounded, with everything that you would need for office telephony and communications. Among these are video conferencing with screen sharing, call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting and transfer, 1000 toll-free numbers,share one line on multiple mobile devices and users, and more. The service also allows integrations with other applications such as Gsuite, Dropbox, Microsoft and more.
RingCentral’s low cost business phone service price tiers begin with the Essentials package which is priced at $19.95 monthly per user. At this level, you can have up to 20 user. The package comes with:
– toll-free or local number;
– unlimited phone calls within the United States and Canada;
– 100 toll-free minutes allowed per month and more
Higher priced tiers offer all of the above and much more.
GrassHopper – This company has a focus on solopreneurs and small businesses. A main feature of its low cost business phone service is that it offers virtual phone numbers. With these calls can be forwarded to any real phone number via any computing device, particularly mobile devices. With this setup however, one would still need a standard phone line in order to make outgoing calls.
Phone.com – Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, the company was founded in 2007 and has grown steadily since. It offers a large range of service packages. At the base level, there is a low cost monthly base price of $12.99 per month, which is quite cheap. This allow you 300 minutes. Unlimited packages are also available and these are set at prices beginning at $29.99 per user each month for its Base plan, $37.99 for its Plus plan and $54.99 for the company’s Pro plan. If you choose to pre-pay at the available yearly rate, your price drops to an even lower cost: by $5 per user monthly for the Base and Plus plans, and by $10 for the Pro plan monthly respectively.
Managing your account and the various phone services is done through a number of apps the company provides. Toll-free, and vanity phone numbers associated with the US, Canada, and UK are offered.
The account packages allow all standard features like call routing, texting, forwarding, call waiting, auto concierge, hold music, voicemail to email transcripts, and more. Grasshopper uses a number of extensions, so the service is perfect for team members who are not onsite or who are for example on the road while traveling. This service also gives you access from any suitable device: mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
Grasshopper’s standard plan is priced at $26 for 1 number, which comes with 3 extensions. This is the base price.
We have more on what an internet business phone system is technically and its associated advantages on our home page.