Every single day, you have decisions to make about your business. Should you hire a new employee? Do you need to update and freshen up your website? Do you want to buy from Vendor A or Vendor B? While all of these decisions can weigh you down, some are just too important to ignore. Your business phone service is one of those. Your business phone is your lifeline. It carries customers, orders, complaints, and vital questions to you and your staff. And you have a practically limitless array of options.
So here’s what I’ve done: I’ve simplified your decision. I’ve created four categories for business phone service, and I’m going to highlight the best option in each of the four categories. One note: big companies have even more options, but they also have more resources. I’m looking at options that are suitable for small to medium-sized businesses in these categories: Cheapest, Best No-Frills, Best for International Calls, and Best All-Around.
Let’s dig in!
Business phone providers know small companies can’t afford to spend a fortune on phone service, so price is always part of the equation. Of the inexpensive plans, one stands out from the crowd: VoiPLy. VoiPLy’s service costs just $15 per month and includes free desk phones for every employee. Users report that setup is easy, and more than 10,000 companies have switched to VoiPLy. For a modest sum of money, the service offers sixty different phone features, a more robust array than other low-cost providers. Most importantly, VoiPLy customers don’t have to sign a long-term contract to get the low $15 per month rate. All VoiPLy accounts are month-to-month, so you needn’t be concerned about locking your business into a bad deal. The common negatives mentioned by user reviews are intermittent call failures and occasional troubles with voicemail. Overall, VoiPLY provides unlimited calls in the US and Canada for a very affordable $15 per month.
What’s cheaper than $15 per month? Free! That’s right, you do actually have a few free options when it comes to selecting business phone service. As you might imagine, your options and features will be more limited than those provided by paid services, but if your needs are absolutely basic, you might be able to manage with a free business phone provider. The best of the bunch for no-frills service is Google Voice. You’ll get free, unlimited phone calls in the US and Canada. You’ll find easy setup, and users report that call quality is pretty consistent and reliable. Of course, there are drawbacks. Because the phone service is free, it’s absolutely basic. There’s no fax service, no option for conference calls, no auto attendant, and…perhaps most importantly…no customer service. That means that if you encounter a problem, you’re stuck relying on crowd-sourced information from discussion forums. But if you have simple needs for your business phone, Google Voice may be the right solution for you.
Best International Plan
More than one million users worldwide recognize that 8×8 is clearly the best choice for companies that rely on international calls for conducting business. Rather than worrying about the expense of staying in touch with customers, vendors, and employees all over the globe, when you select an 8×8 unlimited international calling plan, you’re assured all those potentially expensive calls are included. 8×8 offers a fairly robust array of features with its range of plans. User reviews do report some difficulties related to occasionally unreliable phone service, and 8×8 plans can be quite expensive. If your focus is on international calling, 8×8 may be your best bet.
There’s no question about the winner in this category. It’s Nextiva, hands down. Like many other business phone providers, Nextiva offers a full complement of phone features like voicemail, fax, auto attendant, conference calls, text messaging, unlimited calls in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and more. Like a number of other providers, Nextiva offers a range of business plans starting at just $19.95 per month with no setup fees. But Nextiva doesn’t stop there. In addition to all the expected features, Nextiva brings a level of innovation and inspiration that you won’t find elsewhere. Powerful AI and machine learning undergird versatile, flexible CRM functions. Genuinely unified communications help streamline workflow and ensure better outcomes for your clients. Founded on a vision to disrupt business communications in the most delightful and productive of ways. In terms of customer complaints, some plans are pricier than others, and for companies that don’t need full-service phone and CRM capabilities, Nextiva may cost more than is absolutely necessary.
There are aspects of your business you can afford to be flexible with, and there are certainly areas in which you can trim expenses without impacting your bottom line. But for most businesses, versatile and reliable phone service is a must. When you’re evaluating your options, decide what your needs are and choose the provider that best meets those needs. Whether you can survive with a free, bare-bones plan, or you need a great value option, a versatile international plan, or a full-service phone provider, knowing which VoIP companies have the best reputation can make your decision much easier.