The Best Business Phone Services of 2020

Our business phone service reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 50+ business phone service companies from across the web. These reviews and our business phone services guide help small businesses and startups find the best business phone services for their business.

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The Best Business Phone Service Companies of 2020

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How We Chose the Best Business Phone Service

Many companies offer business phone services to make it easier for firms of all sizes to stay in touch with vendors, customers and other stakeholders. With so many options available, all with different features, it can be difficult to identify the best phone service for a particular business. We took the guesswork out of the process by evaluating companies based on what’s most important.

Multiple Business Phone Service Types

Businesses have many options when it comes to setting up their phone service, from a traditional landline to mobile phones that make it possible for employees to stay in touch when they’re out of the office. Some companies even offer VoIP service, which makes it possible to make calls over the internet instead of using traditional phone lines. We looked for business phone services that are compatible with several types of VoIP technology, including SIP trunks, integrated access, hosted IP PBX and managed IP PBX.

Basic Phone Features

The purpose of signing up for a business phone service is to make it easier to manage your business operations. Therefore, a good business phone service should come with basic features, such as interactive voice response, call recording, call routing and screening options that make doing your daily tasks easier.

Scalability Options

Small firms with just a few employees may not need many bells and whistles at first, but as a firm grows, it’s important for its phone service to grow with it. We looked for services that offer business texting, voicemail transcription, contact management and video conferencing, all of which may become necessary as your business expands. It’s important to choose a scalable phone service now so you don’t have to switch providers if you decide you need advanced features and services later.

The 14 Best Business Phone Services of 2020

CompanyPriceFree Trial/DemoMore
8x8$12/monthFree trial/demoVisit 8x8
Avaya$20/monthFree trial/demoVisit Avaya
CallHippoBronze $14/month
Silver $18/month
Platinum $30/month
Free trial/demoVisit CallHippo
DialpadStandard $15/month
Pro $25/month
Free trial/demoVisit Dialpad
FluentStreamStarts at $20/month/userFree trial/demoVisit FluentStream
GoToConnect$29.95/month/userFree trial/demoVisit GoToConnect
Intermedia UniteUnite $28.99/month
Pro $38.99/month
Free trial/demoVisit Intermedia Unite
Mitel MiCloud ConnectEssentials starting at $20.99/month/user
Premier starting at $26.59/month/user
Elite starting at $38.49/month/user
Free trial/demoVisit Mitel MiCloud Connect
NextivaStarts at $21.95/month/userFree trial/demoVisit Nextiva
Ooma Office$19.95/monthFree trial/demoVisit Ooma Office
Phone.comBase $12.99/month
Plus $19.99/month
Pro $39.99/month
Free trial/demoVisit Phone.com
RingCentralStarts at $19.99Free trial/demoVisit RingCentral
Verizon$35/monthFree trial/demoVisit Verizon
VonageMobile $19.99/month/line
Premium $29.99/month/line
Advanced $39.99/month/line
Free trial/demoVisit Vonage

8×8

8x8-VoIP-Phone-Service-Logo
At just $12 per month, 8×8 is one of the most affordable services on the list. The plan includes several key features, such as call routing and custom permissions, which make it possible to limit phone access based on a user’s role in your firm. 8×8 is also one of the services to offer a unified communications system, giving employees the ability to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages and participate in video conferences.

The 8×8 service is especially helpful for call centers due to its call recording and call routing features. With call routing, there’s no need to hire additional personnel to handle phone calls, freeing up money to spend on other activities. Call recording makes it easy to record each call and review it later, giving managers the information they need to conduct performance reviews or help agents learn from past mistakes and improve their call-handling skills.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$12/monthFree trial/demo>Interactive voice response
>Access controls/permissions
>Unified communications
>More features at 8x8

Pros and Cons of 8×8 Business Phone Service
One of the main advantages of the 8×8 business phone service is that it includes many helpful features for one low monthly price. The company is also known for excellent call quality. Despite these advantages, 8×8 doesn’t offer voicemail transcription with its VoIP service.

ProsCons
>Inexpensive
>Good call quality
>No voicemail transcription
 

What Customers Are Saying
Customers appreciate that 8×8 makes it easy to streamline employee communications and stay in close contact with vendors and clients. Users also love that 8×8 enables them to conduct video conferences, prompting one reviewer to write, “Setting up a web meeting is easy, one-click easy, and screen sharing works perfectly.”

Avaya

Avaya Logo
Avaya is a hosted IP PBX system that costs $20 per month. That means Avaya owns all the equipment and is responsible for maintaining it, which helps businesses save space and control their telecommunications costs. The Avaya service plan includes several basic phone features, such as call recording, contact management and call routing. Avaya also offers SIP trunking, which eliminates the need to install traditional phone lines.

For firms with employees who travel frequently, Avaya offers several helpful features, including video conferencing and unified communications. With these features, employees don’t have to worry about missing calls or video meetings just because they’re traveling for business. Video conference users have access to several web-based tools to enhance collaboration, along with high-quality audio and video. Avaya also provides extensive support throughout the setup process and any time account holders have questions about additional features and services.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$20/monthFree trial/demo>Call recording and routing
>Speech-to-text and text-to-speech transcription
>Interactive voice response
>More features at Avaya

Pros and Cons of Avaya Business Phone Service
Avaya is easy to set up and integrates well with third-party services, such as CRM software. The main drawback of Avaya is its lack of data encryption.

ProsCons
>Third-party integrations
>Easy to set up
>Doesn’t have data encryption
 

What Customers Are Saying
Customers love that Avaya is easy to set up. One user writes, “It is very easy to operate and does not require too much training,” making it a good fit for small businesses. Users also appreciate that Avaya stores a large number of incoming and outgoing calls, making it easier to make business decisions.

CallHippo

Business-Phone-Service Logo
CallHippo provides several basic phone features, with more features included in its higher-level plans. The Bronze plan, which costs $14 per month, is ideal for small firms, as it comes with one free telephone number. Firms with the Bronze plan have access to some limited team functions, SMS messaging, voicemail and call forwarding. Although the telephone number is free, the Bronze plan doesn’t include unlimited calls. For $18 per month, users can upgrade to the Silver plan, which offers unlimited calling and call queuing, making it ideal for call centers or businesses that handle a high volume of phone calls each day. The Silver plan also includes holiday routing and call reminders.

The Platinum plan costs $30 per month and offers access to additional features. For example, users on the Platinum plan can transfer calls and use three-way calling to collaborate. It’s also possible to create custom caller ID lists and block certain apps.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Bronze $14/month
Silver $18/month
Platinum $30/month
Free trial/demo>SIP trunking
>Voicemail transcription
>Contact management
>More features at CallHippo

Pros and Cons of CallHippo Business Phone Service
CallHippo is inexpensive and works with mobile devices to give employees additional flexibility. It’s also cloud-based, which ensures it’s always up to date. One of the main drawbacks of this business phone service is that the cheapest Bronze plan doesn’t have unlimited calls.

ProsCons
>Inexpensive
>Works with mobile devices
>Cloud-based
>Bronze plan has limited calls
>No business SMS texting
 

What Customers Are Saying
CallHippo receives high marks for its call quality and affordability, with several reviewers noting that the basic plan offers plenty of features for one low monthly price. Customers also love that the service is easy to set up and manage. One user comments, “It’s easy for me to add team members and control their access.”

Dialpad

Dialpad Logo
Dialpad offers VoIP services to small and medium firms for $15 to $25 per month. The company also offers custom plans for firms with at least 100 users; pricing depends on the number of employees in the firm and what features are included in the customized plan. For $15 per month, the Standard plan includes unlimited calling, the ability to create custom voicemail greetings, unlimited SMS messages, call controls and voicemail transcription. The Pro plan costs $25 and gives users access to off-hours routing and local number support. Customers on the Pro plan can also integrate Dialpad with their existing Salesforce accounts to make it easier to manage customer relationships.

Dialpad offers many basic phone features, including interactive voice response, call recording and call routing. All users receive access to chat support and web support, regardless of the plan selected. For added convenience, Dialpad has multilingual agents to assist customers all over the world.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Standard $15/month
Pro $25/month
Free trial/demo>Access controls/permissions
>Contact management
>Business texting
>More features at Dialpad

Pros and Cons of Dialpad Business Phone Service
Dialpad makes it easy for employees to transfer calls from their office phones to their mobile devices. The service also offers an intuitive interface, making it easy to find relevant features. Despite these advantages, customers have reported issues integrating Dialpad with third-party apps and using the service on older devices.

ProsCons
>Easy to transfer calls
>Intuitive interface
>No SIP trunking
 

What Customers Are Saying
Users appreciate that Dialpad offers a full-featured VoIP service for firms of all sizes. One reviewer states that signing up for Dialpad “has been one of the best decisions our IT team has made” due to the system’s simplicity and reliability. Customers also love that Dialpad has access controls to enhance system security.

FluentStream

FluentStream Logo
FluentStream offers a variety of basic phone features starting at $20 per user per month. All plans included unlimited calling, HD quality for voice and video, internet faxing and voicemail transcription. Upgrading to the Advanced plan, which costs $30 per user per month, gives users access to extra features, such as SMS messaging, unlimited video conferencing and analytics. For $45 per user per month, users can integrate FluentStream with their existing CRM systems, conduct post-call surveys and set up return call routing.

FluentStream offers the same level of support to customers on all three plans, with agents available 24/7 to offer technical support. The company also has a 99.99% service uptime guarantee and a personal onboarding process that walks new customers through all the steps involved in setting up the service for the first time. Every plan includes 40 standard VoIP features, such as call recording and call routing.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starts at $20/month/userFree trial/demo>Call routing
>Call recording
>Video conferencing
>More features at FluentStream

Pros and Cons of FluentStream Business Phone Service
FluentStream offers excellent support and includes online faxing, which is typically a premium service, in every plan. The fact that SMS messages have a limit of 180 characters may be a disadvantage for some companies.

ProsCons
>Online faxing included
>High-quality support
>Business SMS texting
>Texts limited to 180 characters

What Customers Are Saying
Customers love the high level of support they receive during and after the sale. One user reports, “They took the time to understand my needs and really build out a structure that worked for me and my team.” Users also report positive experiences with the initial setup and the many features available with the system.

GoToConnect

GoToConnect Logo
GoToConnect costs $19.95 to $29.95 per user per month for up to 99 users, with larger accounts paying a lower monthly rate than customers with just a few employees. The company also offers custom pricing for companies with 100 users or more, giving large firms the flexibility they need to design their own telecommunications systems. GoToConnect is a hosted VoIP system, which means customers don’t have to buy or manage any of their own equipment; the equipment is owned and managed by GoToConnect.

No matter how many users are on the plan, everyone has access to dozens of features across four categories: video conferencing, call center, call management and voice. GoToConnect accommodates up to 250 participants on video conferences, offers wait time announcements and unlimited call queues, allows users to turn on do not disturb and includes custom hold music and international calling.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$29.95/month/userFree trial/demo>Call routing
>Unified communications
>Contact management
>More features at GoToConnect

Pros and Cons of GoToConnect Business Phone Service
A major advantage of using GoToConnect is that it’s possible to host conference calls by having participants call a single number. The onboarding process is also fairly simple; however, with no money-back guarantee, signing on is more of a commitment for businesses.

ProsCons
>Conference call hosting
>Simple onboarding process
>No money-back guarantee
>Limited settings

What Customers Are Saying
Customers appreciate that GoToConnect allows them to route calls to employees’ personal devices without revealing their telephone numbers. Users also report positive experiences with call quality. One satisfied reviewer writes, “The clarity and connection is much crisper and cleaner and the down time is almost none.”

Intermedia Unite

Intermedia-Unite Logo
Intermedia Unite offers two plans for businesses in need of VoIP services: Unite for $28.99 per month and Pro for $38.99 per month. The Unite plan is well-suited to small and medium firms, as it includes unlimited texting in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Users also have access to web and video conferencing, although the Unite plan does have lower attendee limits than the Pro plan. Each user also gets 2GB of storage for voicemails and text messages, making it easier to follow up with customers and vendors.

For just $10 more per month, the Pro plan offers increased limits on the number of users who can attend a web or video conference. The Pro plan also upgrades the amount of storage offered to each user from 2GB to 100GB. For larger firms, integrating the Intermedia Unite Pro plan with Salesforce, Oracle NetSuite and other tools can make it easier to streamline business processes and make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to communications.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Unite $28.99/month
Pro $38.99/month
Free trial/demo>Business texting
>Encryption
>Contact management
>More features at Intermedia Unite

Pros and Cons of Intermedia Unite Business Phone Service
The main advantage of Intermedia Unite is the high level of call quality. It also has an easy-to-use interface, helping employees save time as they navigate the many available features. One potential drawback is difficulty integrating Intermedia Unite with third-party apps.

ProsCons
>Good call quality
>Easy-to-use interface
>Unlimited texting
>Difficulties with 3rd party integrations
 

What Customers Are Saying
Customers praise Intermedia Unite for providing excellent service long after the initial sale. Intermedia Unite also receives high marks for helping businesses improve productivity at an affordable price. One user writes, “I can get a lot of work accomplished because I have a very good support software and team.”

Mitel MiCloud Connect

Mitel-MiCloud-Connect Logo
Mitel MiCloud Connect offers three service tiers: Essentials, Premier and Elite. For $20.99 per user per month, the Essentials plan gives businesses access to the basic features they need to communicate with key stakeholders. The plan includes several PBX features, video conferencing and tools to enhance collaboration among employees. Under the Essentials plan, audio and video conferencing tools have a limit of eight users.

Starting at $26.59 per month, the Premier plan includes everything in the Essentials plan, along with video conferencing for up to 50 participants, audio and web conferencing for up to 25 participants, voicemail transcription, integration with CRM software and on-demand call recording. The Elite plan, starting at $38.49 per month, allows businesses to conduct audio, video and web conferences for up to 100 participants. Elite users also have access to always-on call recording and call archiving. All plans include unlimited minutes, making it easier for businesses to control their expenses.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Essentials starting at $20.99/month/user
Premier starting at $26.59/month/user
Elite starting at $38.49/month/user
Free trial/demo>Video conferencing
>Business texting
>Encryption
>More features at Mitel MiCloud Connect

Pros and Cons of Mitel MiCloud Connect Business Phone Service
MiCloud Connect has many pros, but its unlimited minutes is one of the most important. The service also gives you a personal customer success manager. But with no money-back guarantee, you’ll want to get all of your questions answered during your demo and free trial.

ProsCons
>Unlimited minutes
>Dedicated customer success managers
>No money-back guarantee
 

What Customers Are Saying
Customers love that Mitel MiCloud Connect makes it easier for administrative professionals to do their jobs. One satisfied user writes, “I am able to see which customer service agents…are away from their desks, and which are on other lines.” Users also appreciate that MiCloud Connect makes it easier for small firms to compete in a crowded marketplace.

Nextiva

Nextiva Logo
Nextiva offers three business VoIP plans starting at $21.95 per user per month. All three plans include unlimited calling within the United States and Canada, along with free local and toll-free numbers. Starting at $21.95 per user per month, the Essential plan includes basic productivity and collaboration features. These features include audio conferencing for up to four participants and voicemail to SMS notification. Users also receive 1,000 toll-free minutes per month.

The Professional plan starts at $24.95 per month and gives users access to additional features, such as unlimited peer-to-peer video calling, call recording and voice analytics. Audio conference calls have a limit of 40 participants instead of four. Upgrading to the Enterprise plan, which starts at $31.95 per month, increases the number of toll-free minutes to 10,000 and allows firms to use Amazon Chime to conduct online meetings. Under the Enterprise plan, firms can also conduct audio conference calls with an unlimited number of participants.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starts at $21.95/month/userFree trial/demo>Call recording
>SIP trunking
>Contact management
>More features at Nextiva

Pros and Cons of Nextiva Business Phone Service
A major advantage of using Nextiva is that employees can use the service to make calls from their cell phones, preventing communication delays when employees are out of the office. Nextiva also offers call routing to improve call handling. One drawback of this service is that the onboarding process is somewhat lengthy.

ProsCons
>Make calls remotely
>Call routing
>Lengthy onboarding process

What Customers Are Saying
Customers appreciate that Nextiva is easy to learn, even for employees in non-technical roles. Nextiva also receives high marks for the excellent service provided to new and existing users. One satisfied user writes that the Nextiva rep “had the patience of a saint” when it came to answering questions and preparing custom quotes.

Ooma Office

Ooma-Office Logo
For $19.95 per month for the standard package, Ooma Office gives businesses access to a virtual receptionist and several basic phone features. For example, Ooma Office gives businesses a unified communications solution with access controls and the ability to manage hundreds of contacts. The base plan also makes it possible for users to transfer calls to each other, access the service via a smartphone app and play music while a caller is on hold.

Ooma Office also offers an upgraded plan for businesses that need additional features. In addition to the features included in the standard plan, Ooma Office Pro includes improved call blocking, call recording and voicemail transcription. Businesses on the Pro plan also have higher usage limits for audio conferences, the ability to monitor extensions and call parking, which makes it possible to put someone on hold and have any employee pick up, regardless of which line the call came in on.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$19.95/monthFree trial/demo>Unified communications
>Call recording
>Call routing
>More features at Ooma Office

Pros and Cons of Ooma Office Business Phone Service
Ooma Office has many pros, including the ability to customize it according to each firm’s needs and the fact that the company makes regular upgrades. Despite these advantages, some users have reported problems using the service over Wi-Fi, and certain features are premium add-ons, increasing the overall cost of the service.

ProsCons
>Regular upgrades
>Customization options
>Advanced features cost extra

What Customers Are Saying
Customers love that Ooma Office has a support team based in the United States, which makes it easy to get help during regular business hours. The service has also been praised for offering so many features at such an affordable price. One reviewer even states that Ooma offers way more features than many of its more expensive competitors.

Phone.com

phone.com Logo
Phone.com offers plans with a limited number of minutes as well as plans with unlimited calling built in, giving businesses the flexibility they need to control their telecommunications costs. For $12.99 per month, the Base plan provides 300 minutes and 2,000 text messages, making it ideal for small firms with just a few employees. Upgrading to the Plus plan for $19.99 per month increases the number of monthly minutes to 500 and the limit on text messages to 3,000. The Pro plan, which costs $29.99 per month, includes unlimited calls and text messages. All three plans come with one local or toll-free number.

Every plan includes several basic phone features, such as hold music, audio conferencing, call routing, call blocking and call screening. It’s also possible to use Phone.com to handle incoming calls without the assistance of a receptionist. Additional phone numbers and minutes are available for a monthly fee, along with video meetings and a live receptionist service.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Base $12.99/month
Plus $19.99/month
Pro $39.99/month
Free trial/demo>Business texting
>Video conferencing
>Contact management
>More features at Phone.com

Pros and Cons of Phone.com Business Phone Service
Pros of the Phone.com VoIP service include its affordability and the fact that it can be highly customized to suit each firm’s needs. However, Phone.com doesn’t have user permissions, which may be a drawback to some companies that want to customize their workflow.

ProsCons
>Affordable
>Customizable
>No user permissions
 

What Customers Are Saying
Customers praise Phone.com for working across a wide variety of platforms and devices. One user reports that Phone.com “works perfectly on my android, Mac, and IP desk phone,” making it easier to manage calls. Phone.com also receives high marks for offering many must-have features at an affordable monthly price.

RingCentral

RingCentral Logo
RingCentral’s VoIP service starts at $19.99 per user per month, giving business owners access to the services they need at prices that fit their budgets. The Essentials plan includes some of the most important phone features, such as unlimited calls in the United States and Canada, unlimited SMS messages and the ability for team members to message each other within the system. Upgrading to the Standard plan gives users access to video in addition to everything included in the basic Essentials plan.

For a firm with dozens of employees, upgrading to the Premium plan, which costs $44.99 per month, makes it possible to hold video meetings with up to 200 participants. This plan also includes automatic call recording, integration with third-party applications, advanced call handling and real-time analytics. The Ultimate plan offers unlimited storage, device status reports and other advanced features for $59.99 per month, making it ideal for larger firms.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Starts at $19.99Free trial/demo>Call routing
>Unified communications
>Access controls/permissions
>More features at RingCentral

Pros and Cons of RingCentral Business Phone Service
RingCentral is easy to set up, and the company does frequent upgrades to ensure customers always have access to the latest features. RingCentral also offers online faxing with every plan. In spite of these advantages, there may be some support delays.

ProsCons
>Online faxing
>Simple setup
>Regular upgrades
>Support delays
 

What Customers Are Saying
Customers love that RingCentral is always adding new features, prompting one user to write that the “functionality has increased” substantially since she signed up for the service. Users also report positive experiences using RingCentral to help employees maintain a high level of productivity while working remotely.

Verizon

Verizon Logo
Verizon offers a variety of basic phone features starting at $35 per month. These features include contact management, call routing and call recording, all of which make it easier for businesses to manage incoming and outgoing calls. Verizon’s VoIP plans also come with interactive voice response and access controls/permissions to ensure each employee has the appropriate level of access to the system. Each plan features unlimited calling, eliminating the hassle of tracking minutes and paying costly overage fees each month.

The Verizon VoIP phone service has several features to help businesses increase efficiency. For example, click-to-call allows employees to select a telephone number from the recent calls list and dial it automatically, eliminating the need to dial by hand. Three-way calling makes it easy for employees to meet by phone, even if some of those employees are working from home or calling in from a conference site.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$35/monthFree trial/demo>Contact management
>Call recording
>Call routing
>More features at Verizon

Pros and Cons of Verizon Business Phone Service
Verizon’s business phone service is inexpensive, especially considering all the features included. Another advantage is that Verizon has a nationwide network, ensuring a high level of reliability. The plan doesn’t include business texting though, which may be a drawback for some companies.

ProsCons
>User controls/permissions
>Unlimited calling on all plans
>High network reliability
>No business texting

What Customers Are Saying
Customers appreciate that Verizon’s VoIP service makes it possible for small businesses to compete effectively with their larger competitors with lower operating costs. Verizon is also known for providing reliable service. One user states that Verizon VoIP is so reliable that he’s “never lost connection” under a variety of conditions.

Vonage

Vonage Logo
Vonage offers three VoIP plans for businesses of all sizes. The Mobile plan, which starts at $19.99 per line per month for one to four users, is ideal for remote teams and small businesses. For firms with five to 19 users, the price decreases to $17.99 per line per month. Additional discounts are available for firms with 20 users or more. Pricing for the Premium plan ranges from $24.99 to $24.99 per line per month for firms with up to 99 employees. Firms with the Advanced plan pay $34.99 to $39.99 per line per month.

All plans include unlimited calling, unlimited team messaging and unlimited SMS messages. Vonage VoIP plans include a variety of helpful features, such as contact management, call routing and call recording. With Vonage, it’s possible to create a unified communications system that ensures customers and vendors can get in touch with employees whether they’re in the office or on the road.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Mobile $19.99/month per line
Premium $29.99/month per line
Advanced $39.99/month per line
Free trial/demo>Unified communications
>SIP trunking
>Contact management
>More features at Vonage

Pros and Cons of Vonage Business Phone Service
Vonage is easy to integrate with third-party applications, simplifying the process associated with customer relationship management. The company also provides reliable service. In spite of these pros, Vonage lacks customizable user controls and permissions, which may make it harder to plan your workflow. .

ProsCons
>Third-party integrations
>Reliable service
>No user controls/permissions
 

What Customers Are Saying
Users love that Vonage integrates well with several third-party applications, prompting one satisfied customer to write that she loves the “clear collaboration with [her] outbound calls, email communications, marketing and sales CRM systems.” Vonage also has a good reputation for offering advanced business features.

What Are Business Phone Services?

Business phone services, also known as VoIP phone services, are services that enable business users to make and receive calls using an internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. Several types of VoIP are available to meet the needs of businesses across all industries. SIP trunks use the Session Initial Protocol to send information across a data network, eliminating the need to purchase the expensive equipment required with traditional phone services. If you already have a traditional system in place, integrated access VoIP makes it possible to combine your current system with VoIP software, giving you access to additional features without the expense of upgrading to a new system.

Some vendors also offer hosted or managed IP PBX phone services. With a managed service, a VoIP vendor installs the required hardware in the firm’s offices. Although the hardware is on the premises of the business, it’s maintained by the VoIP service, freeing up IT and telecommunications staff to perform other duties. With a hosted VoIP service, the equipment remains at the vendor’s site. The vendor is also responsible for making repairs and system upgrades, allowing firms to reduce their overall telecommunications costs.

Benefits of a Business Phone Service

Business phone services have many benefits for firms of all sizes. These are some of the most important:

  • Give employees more freedom. Traditionally, an employee had to be in the office to make calls or receive calls from customers and vendors. If employees were out of the office for a few days, the caller would have to wait for a call back, resulting in lost sales and damaged relationships. VoIP business phone services give employees the freedom to come and go as needed without missing calls.
  • Reduce telecommunications costs. It can be expensive to maintain traditional telephone equipment and pay the monthly charges for multiple lines. VoIP phone services help businesses reduce costs by eliminating the need to pay for ongoing maintenance and upgrades. Firms may also be able to save money by using VoIP systems to manage calls instead of hiring multiple receptionists or administrative assistants.
  • Improve customer relationships. Part of building strong relationships with customers is responding quickly to their calls. With interactive voice response, call forwarding, call routing and other features, business phone services make it easier to respond right away, making customers feel more confident about your firm’s ability to meet their needs.

What to Look For in a Business Phone Service

One of the most important characteristics of a business phone service is the type of VoIP used. If you’re starting a business from scratch and don’t have an existing system, a hosted or managed IP PBX may meet your needs. For firms with legacy systems that can’t be eliminated, an integrated access system is often a better choice, as it can be combined with a traditional system to expand your firm’s capabilities without making it necessary to change your firm’s telephone number or get rid of equipment that you’ve been using for years.

It’s also important to look for a business phone service that offers as many basic phone features as possible. Call routing reduces the amount of time it takes for customers to connect with employees who can assist them, improving business relationships and giving your business a better reputation. Interactive voice response is also a helpful feature, as it enables customers to interact with an automated menu, reducing the amount of time it takes for employees to manage calls. Finally, a business phone service should be scalable, which means it should offer features that help your business grow, such as business texting and video conferencing.

The Cost of Business Phone Services

Business phone services cost anywhere from $10 to more than $60 per month. The total cost of a VoIP service depends on several factors, including the type of VoIP used, how many users must be supported by the service and whether the firm just needs phone service or a complete communications system. A few firms offer free VoIP services, but these plans are often limited to just a few users, and they may lack some important features. Low-cost plans are also available for around $5 per month, but these plans tend to have limits to the number of users allowed on one account or the number of minutes of call time included.

When choosing a business phone service, it’s important to look for hidden fees, such as charges for extra minutes or a requirement to pay for a certain number of lines each month, even if you’re not using them. If a plan costs just a few dollars per month, it may have more of these hidden fees than a mid-range plan that costs $30 or $40 per month. If you make a lot of international calls, it’s also important to make sure the service you use includes international calling instead of charging extra for each call.