We know that virtual business phone systems are here to stay… which is why we want to help your team take advantage of one starting today!
With a checklist on your side, you can accurately compare a wide variety of virtual phone systems. But first, we wanted to make sure that you understand the important aspects of a virtual phone system, and why they make sense for businesses.
We then will be giving you an example of how to implement the checklist, and will be using it to compare the following popular solutions: Yodel.io, DialPad, and Aircall.
If that sounds good to you, then we can’t wait for you to become an expert on virtual phone systems!
A Virtual Phone System is an internet-based system that no longer requires old fashioned telephone wires to be operated. Instead, these systems use the latest technology to transmit your voice over the internet.
While the technology behind a virtual phone system isn’t essential, it can be helpful to understand why these solutions are seen as such a good investment for the modern business team.
The operation of a virtual phone is the same as any phone you have used before. If you want to initiate a call, you simply dial the number and are instantly connected. Your caller on the other end, whether they are using a virtual phone or a traditional phone system, won’t notice any differences. For everyone involved, the operation is the same.
The technology behind the phone system is where one of the key differences in these systems lies. Instead of relying on the antiquated phone lines, aka those copper wires that were installed decades ago, your phone is able to send and receive voice signals over the internet. The process can be broken down into a few steps:
This process is done instantaneously. There is no delay between voice signals from a VoIP system and voice signals from telephone wires. That means you won’t experience any lags in the call or awkward pauses.
This technology is not detectable to users on either end, outside of providing a crystal clear voice communication experience.
Within virtual phone systems, also known as VoIP solutions, there are both on-premise and cloud based options available for teams to choose between. An on-premise solution means that your business would be hosting all of the necessary servers at your physical location. This can come with a lot of maintenance and overhead expenses, and is really only feasible for large enterprises with the means and space to host these bulky servers.
With a cloud based solution, you are taking advantage of servers that your provider is hosting for you. That can help reduce associated costs, and you won’t have to worry about the logistics involved in maintaining the associated infrastructure.
While VoIP technology in general is a great way to take advantage of next-generation tech, a cloud system helps you avoid the significant expenses that come with an on-premise solution.
Cloud phones can provide a long list of benefits for your team. Not only can you access next generation features, and crystal clear voice communications, but you can also unlock the following benefits:
No matter what type or style of business you are running, it just makes sense to make the switch to a cloud based virtual phone system.
If you’ve been convinced that in 2022 your business should be taking advantage of a virtual phone system, then this checklist can help you differentiate amongst the different providers. We are running through our top EIGHT features and capabilities that every virtual phone system should be offering.
Making the switch to a new virtual phone system should go as seamlessly as possible. This won’t be the case if you have to configure and customize every component of your virtual phone system just to get started. Instead, you should search for a solution that allows you to customize as you go, or only requires a few configurations to get running. This can help you avoid unnecessary downtime and additional frustrations.
You shouldn’t have to worry about purchasing entirely new hardware just to support your business phone system. When making the switch, make sure that the systems make sense with your other business plans. The best solutions will be accessible from a range of device types, helping to give you flexibility and options.
You want to make sure that your virtual business phone system provider will be there for you if anything goes wrong, or even if you just want to learn more about their product. Look for providers that give you options such as free demo calls, webinars, newsletters, and other resources that you can take advantage of.
Affordable and flexible pricing
Avoid complicated plans where you don’t know exactly what you are getting. The best VoIP systems will allow 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.
With a virtual phone, you will automatically have access to a virtual phone number. But, the top providers should be able to offer a wide range of virtual phone number types. This should include toll-free numbers, international numbers, as well as porting in your existing phone number.
Traditional IVR system will rely on menu options, giving your callers the frustrating experience of “press 1 for sales, press 2 for billing.” In 2022, your customers are expecting more from their phone communication, and want to leave the IVR menus in the past. That is why you should be seeking out an intelligent voice-based IVR system. These systems will route callers based on what they are saying in real time.
Open up a new channel of communication with your customers by allowing for business SMS messaging. This means that you will be able to send and receive text messages from your business phone number, keeping communication consistent and accessible.
Your team is likely using more business tools than just your phone system to run effectively. Whether that means that your team lives in a tool like Slack, loves to take advantage of CRM platforms, or has a place to manage incoming tickets, you don’t want to miss out on connecting your phone with these tools.
Now that you know our top 8 features that every virtual phone system should be offering, let’s dive into comparing some of the top providers to see if they meet all of our criteria.
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. They are able to easily meet the “easy configuration” component as they provide a wide range of resources to get started. Yodel’s system is accessible from mobile devices, tablets, desktop computers, laptops, and even hardware SIP phones.
You will never have to worry about inadequate support, as the resources that are there to help you get started are available throughout your time with Yodel. As far as pricing goes, Yodel offers two different plans, Premium and Premium Plus for your business to choose from.
Yodel is able to provide a wide range of virtual phone numbers, and can even get you set up with international virtual options. Yodel is a complete business phone system, with voice based intelligent IVR, business SMS texting, and a plethora of integrations. These integrations range from helping your team keep track of everything within Slack, connect to your favorite CRM tool, and more. Whatever business tool your team is using, it is very likely that there is a way to connect it with Yodel.
Overall, Yodel is able to check off every spot on our checklist, making it a great solution for your business.
When you are getting started with Dialpad, there are some support and configuration options. It appears that their top support channel is their 24/7 live chat. It doesn’t appear as though you can schedule a demo call, but that may be an option once you are an existing or trailing member. You are able to take advantage of Dialpad from a mobile device, or hardware phone.
Dialpad has a range of pricing options, but be careful because their pricing drastically changes the smart integrations available. 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.
It appears as though DialPad is able to offer virtual phone numbers, but their international phone number options were a little bit limited. It also appears that Dialpad can port your existing number, however on reliable review websites such as G2 it appears that the porting process has not been seamless for everyone. However, Dialpad is able to offer business text messaging, which as we’ve said can help open up a new channel of business communication.
Overall, we believe that DialPad is able to meet SOME of the criteria for each of the checklist options. However, they appear to be lacking in integrations and virtual number options.
When you are getting started with Aircall, you are able to take advantage of their live resources making it an easy to configure solution. Aircall appears to be compatible with most hardware solutions, and will provide business texting. Their IVR system does not appear to be fully conversational, and instead relies on multi-level IVR routing configurations to be most effective. This may be a bit tricky to set up, and doesn’t eliminate the annoyance of listing to long menu lists.
Aircall is consistently one of the most expensive VoIP services in the top rankings, which makes it not a great fit for many businesses. It is important to look at pricing for all solutions, but with Aircall make sure that you are really getting more with the increased pricing.
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.
We think that Aircall is missing the intelligent IVR component completely, and is lacking a little bit in some of the other areas. For the expensive pricing, it may not be the best investment based on our must have features list.
We hope that you have been able to learn everything that you need to know to make an informed decision about virtual phone systems. You should feel ready to tackle the virtual phone system search, and find the perfect solution for your team.
If you are ready to get started today, then be sure to check out Yodel’s free 14 day trial. You can take advantage of our demo call or live webinar to get started, so you can make sure you are starting off on the right foot. Check it out today!