When you go to search for virtual phone systems, you’re probably bombarded with seemingly endless lists and rankings. However, most of the time these lists lack actual substance and information on the differences between providers, and how to find the best one for your business.
We’re here to change that.
We’re going to do that by breaking things down into easy to understand components, so you can feel confident when selecting your virtual phone system.
Here’s an overview of what we will be going into today:
What is a virtual phone system? Understanding the basics…
We want to first start by addressing what a virtual phone system is, and why your business should be implementing one in 2022.
What makes virtual phone systems different?
We then will go into how you can differentiate between providers, by breaking down the following categories:
We then will apply those categories to some of the top rated virtual phone systems for 2022
In no particular order we will be looking at the following virtual phone systems, which are consistently seen as some of the top performing options for businesses.
Our goal is to leave you with all the tools you need to get started on your VoIP journey. But first…
Virtual phone systems are simply phone systems that take advantage of VoIP technology instead of traditional analog phone lines to deliver voice signals. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows users to make and receive calls over the internet. VoIP can help empower businesses of all types and sizes to have more effective phone communication.
You may have heard VoIP referred to as IP telephony, internet telephony, or another alternative name. Any terms used to describe internet based phone calls are referring to VoIP systems. To learn more about how VoIP works, check out our helpful post: What is VoIP?
When it comes to business phone solutions, a VoIP system just makes sense. Analog phone systems rely on outdated technology, and can limit your business in terms of how accessible you are to your callers, as well as your scalability and flexibility.
VoIP phone systems are a perfect fit for any size and style of business. You are able to streamline your business communication through helpful features and integrations, improve efficiency, and provide a reliable and accessible mode of communication for your customers. It also is a highly affordable option, which could save your business money.
These are the main categories in which you can see a difference amongst different providers. That’s why it makes sense to call your attention to them, so you can understand what might make a VoIP system better for your business.
Every VoIP provider should give you the basics of a phone system, such as the ability to make outbound calls, receive inbound calls and access your voicemails. However, VoIP systems should give you access to a robust business phone system that includes smart, next-generation features. Some key features we recommend you search for include:
Avoid complicated plans where you don’t know exactly what you are getting. Some providers will offer features as add-ons, á la carte style. This means that the price you are seeing may not be the final cost of these systems, as you continue to add on necessary tools in features.
Look for a VoIP system that allows you to pick from multiple, easy to understand, pricing plans. This way you won’t be paying for a system with features you won’t be using, but you won’t be stuck adding on new features every time you want to take advantage of a different functionality.
You can’t afford to have your phone system go down for a substantial amount of time while you work to implement a new phone system. That is why you need to find a system that can have you up and running in a matter of minutes, with the right resources along the way.
For this one the best way to determine if a phone system will be easy to use and implement, you should turn to review websites such as Capterra and G2. This way you can hear from real users how the installation process went, and if they’ve experienced any difficulties while working with a specific provider.
Your team probably has a preference for how they handle voice communication, or maybe you’re looking to upgrade the devices your team will use generally. Regardless, your VoIP system should support what you have, instead of forcing you to invest in additional hardware or software.
Look for apps for tablets and smartphones, the ability to connect to hardware phones, or being able to utilize your desktop computer or laptop. The best systems will give you flexibility to use multiple styles of devices to access your business phone system.
Finally, consider what support options are available when looking at different providers. Look for keywords such as “demo calls available” , links to helpful resources, and the ability to receive customer support as needed. There would be nothing worse than if you were in need of help and have significant delays in receiving it. FInd a VoIP system that offers a variety of support options to best suit your needs.
Now that you understand the categories we will be discussing, it’s time to take a look at a few of the top VoIP providers for 2022.
Yodel is a robust business phone system that comes complete with advanced features. The best part? You don’t need to be a technology expert to take advantage of them. As far as pricing goes, Yodel offers two different plans, Premium and Premium Plus for your business to choose from.
Yodel’s smart integrations are why we love to call it the best option for remote and growing teams. If you have a distributed team of any sort, you can easily stay connected by integrating your business phone system into tools you already use and love. This makes Yodel highly scalable, and helps you avoid harmful information silos.
RingCentral is able to give you access to a business phone system, as well as video conferencing and more. If you are looking to make a large investment into a full-service communications platform, RingCentral may be for you.
With multiple pricing plans to choose from, you can access the entirety of RingCentral’s offerings. They earned the designation of being a large enterprise solution as they provide a wide array of services. RingCentral is likely the best fit for large, established businesses with multiple offices.
Nextiva is able to offer four service plans that give you access to a full suite of communication options, such as phone, email, text, and video meetings.
The most notable part of Nextiva, that differentiates it from other full service options such as RingCentral, is the ability to sign a three-year agreement that will reduce your annual bill. This makes it a great option for large businesses who can afford to make a long term commitment.
Dialpad is a great option if you are looking to enjoy video meetings, but be cautious of their seemingly limited integration option. The base price plans will come with G Suite and Office 365 integrations.
However, if you want to integrate into your CRM and other business apps, it looks like you will need to pay for one of their higher end options.
Aircall is consistently one of the most expensive VoIP services in the top rankings, which makes it not a great fit for many businesses.
However, their entry plan will allow for integrations with more than 80 CRM and business apps, as well as a lot of other smart features. It seems as though their higher end support requires a more expensive plan to access, but they do have basic support capabilities across all payment plans.
Vonage is seen as a budget friendly option for businesses of all sizes, while still being a good quality system.
Their plans do seem limited in terms of offering advanced and next-generation features, so with Vonage it is our recommendation to know what features are a must for your business. If Vonage has all the features you are looking for, it may make sense to go with a budget friendly provider.
We did caution you away from á la carte pricing earlier, but if this style works best for your business CallHippo is definitely worth a mention. However, the add-ons range in price from $1.50 per user/month, up to $25 per user/month which could significantly increase the overall cost of your VoIP system.
It can be overwhelming seeing all these different functionalities, pricing plans, and different providers. If you still are early on in your VoIP search, it might be helpful to start with a few brainstorming questions to help you identify what you really care about in a business phone system.
Why are you looking for a VoIP provider?
This question will help you clarify the things that you are looking for the most in a VoIP provider. Whether you want them to be the answer to a current phone system problem, you want a phone system that can scale, or something else you should find a system that can meet those goals.
How does your team like to work?
If you have a physical office your phone needs might be different than teams who are completely remote. Maybe your employees like to have a combination of work styles, and that is something they shouldn’t have to sacrifice with a new phone system. You need to determine how your team likes to work in order to find a virtual phone system that best fits that.
What works well with your current phone system?
If you love the collaboration or communication features of your current phone system, then you shouldn’t have to lose that. Instead try to find a provider that offers similar features, complimentary features, or next generation features of the tools your team already loves to use.
What would you like to change about your current provider?
Maybe you need better reliability, or easier access to customer service. No matter what it is, don’t bring current headaches with you as you choose a new phone provider. Look for a system that can eliminate the pain points you are currently experiencing with the system you have now.
What are your phone system goals?
Are you looking to create a full service contact center? Or are you trying to find a system that you can take with you on the go? Defining your phone system goals can help you have a more effective search process as you look at different providers.
These are just a few questions to keep in mind as you try to determine which is the best VoIP virtual phone system for your business. These questions can help you refine your search process, as well as ask the right questions when talking to different providers.
Choosing a VoIP provider can be a hard process, but we hope that we left you with all the information you need to get started.
If you are considering a virtual phone system, you can get started today with a 14 day free trial with Yodel. It will even come with advanced support options such as demo calls, access to our webinar, as well as traditional support methods. Try out Yodel today, and unlock advanced features that are always easy to use, and easy to get started with.