Today, remote work is second nature to a lot of us. It used to be much less common, but the pandemic changed the way the world lives, learns, and earns. Today, many companies have realized that remote work is working for them, and they may never go back to the physical office. If you’re on that boat, or if you’ve just always been in the business of remote work, finding the best communication tools is important.
Communication is essential in any business, but it has a special place in the world of remote and virtual work. From call centers to sales offices and every business in between, there’s something to be said for “cutting the cord” and upgrading from traditional phone lines to VoIP. Voice over Internet Protocol, as it is formally known, is basically the process of sending and receiving phone calls and messages over Internet lines instead of phone lines.
This is done by turning the calls and messages into packets of data and transmitting them into the cloud and back to the business, creating a more dynamic, scalable solution for real-time communication. Considering that today’s audience demands better service, that’s always going to work in your favor.
Of course, how are you supposed to choose the right VoIP system when you’re just learning about their existence? And speaking of which, what providers have an existence that’s worth noting?
Don’t worry because we’ll take care of all the details. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of VoIP and how you can choose your provider, and then we’ll look at 10 of the best providers for the modern virtual office or remote team. There are literally dozens of different companies offering VoIP solutions today, but they’re not all the same. Let’s talk about what you need to look for, and then we’ll take a look at the best VoIP options on the market today.
Every business has different needs. However, when choosing a provider for VoIP services, there are some similar features that you’ll want to keep in mind. For starters, while your budget matters, don’t focus too much on cost. Find providers that fit within your budget and then take the time to explore the details of the plans that they offer to find the one that works for you. Remember to consider:
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you peruse the list below. Feel free to add anything that you like if there are other features you want in your VoIP service.
CloudTalk was designed for call centers, but it offers a great platform for remote teams today, too. It offers cloud-based VoIP solutions in all sizes for everyone from the small business to the enterprise virtual team. You get personalized greetings, skill-based call routing, and many other features. You can even tag internal numbers for easy tracking.
CloudTalk makes it easy to collect caller information, redirect calls, and integrate with your existing tech so that everything stays organized. You can track calls and texts, manage support tickets, and even set business hours. Mobile apps are available so that communicating is easy on any device, too.
The highlights of this provider include:
Grasshopper offers a reliable service for VoIP teams that are looking for a better way to communicate. There are several different feature-rich plans available, and you can depend on US-based support that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An auto attendant and call routing are standard, and plans start at less than $30 per month, which is affordable for any budget.
There are apps for your mobile devices and scalable plans mean that you can create whatever your team needs. There’s even a free trial, which will help you see what all you can do before you commit. This platform ranks on the “best of” lists time and time again for VoIP services, and for several good reasons.
Key features include:
Bitrix24 is one of the best platforms for remote teams that need a robust, dynamic VoIP solution that includes a lot for less. It’s great for virtual teams and call centers that need to make a lot of connections, and paid plans make sure that everyone gets what they need when it comes to the VoIP services they seek.
With Bitrix24, you will be able to sync contacts and share files and there’s even a group chat feature that makes internal communication easy. Screen sharing, HD video conferencing, unlimited audio and messaging, and other features come standard, and you can customize and scale to your business needs, no matter what those might be. Plus, it’s free for up to 12 users, and paid plans are affordable.
Dialpad offers affordable VoIP services for remote teams that are great for custom mobility and scalability. The AI-based service can even collect information from calls to help you make better communication moves. Contacts sync with Outlook, G Suite, and others, and the customer service that you get is fantastic. The reporting of this platform is a bit more limited, but for remote teams, it’s got a lot to offer.
Dialpad has more add-ons and upgrades available with premium plans, but the basic plans are impressively feature-rich and affordable for what you get. Remote teams that do a lot of video conferencing will want to upgrade for premium access, but there’s still plenty to love here.
Check out the highlights like:
Nextiva is a leader in VoIP services for several reasons. For starters, everyone gets a 30-day free trial to check out the platform before they commit. Plus, when you do sign up, plans are affordable. Each one includes unlimited Internet faxing and unlimited audio plans are available for those who need them, too. Automated call routing and a virtual attendant ensure that everyone gets the communication that they need.
You can scale and customize plans to your liking, and they will even grow with you over time. Texting and calling are easy on any device, and your remote team will always be connected when you choose this platform.
Highlights of this platform to note:
RingCentral started the buzz with Internet faxing. Now, it’s one of the best options for VoIP service that you’ll find online. Annual payments earn a discount on the monthly rates, but even at full price, the base plan starts at just $25 per user, per month. Cloud hosting and call routing come standard, and you can customize the features to suit your needs.
RingCentral offers a free trial, along with intelligent routing and auto attendant features. Premium plans are even available for less than $100 a month and you can scale the platform as you grow, too. This dynamic platform offers a lot for virtual and remote teams, as well as anyone looking for a reliable VoIP service.
Key features include:
Ooma offers a different type of VoIP solution that changes the way businesses handle communication. If you have a small team, you can purchase the Ooma device(s) and get free basic access to the plan. Plus, that includes 60 days to try the Premier plan if you go this route. The other option is to bring your own devices and pay for the monthly subscription, which includes all the features that you need.
Ooma also integrates with smart devices like Amazon Echo and every single user gets a 30-day money-back guarantee when they sign up. Customized greetings, voicemail transcription, and even reporting and monitoring are available, as well.
8x8 has a lot of platforms and plans to choose from. The Express platform is a great starting point for SMBs and small teams, but there are packages available for all sizes of businesses. The basic plan includes mobile and desktop access and you’ll easily be able to import contacts so that you can keep everything streamlined.
8x8 makes several of the “best” lists for their VoIP service, offering customization and scalability with plenty of remote access. Plus, the service offers 99.999% uptime and ensures that you’re always available when your customers need you. You can upgrade to an all-in-one platform if you want even more features, too.
Consider highlights like:
GoToConnect offers some of the leading VoIP services out there, even with their basic plans. The platform offers several different levels of service, though, offering something for remote teams of all sizes. For starters, meetings offer up to 250 participants, and you can even upgrade to get advanced analytics and more features.
You can keep your current numbers when you choose this plan and you’ll have access to online faxing whenever you need it, too. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons we love this platform is because it comes with unlimited calls and texts. Call routing is included, too, along with plenty of other AI and automation.
Key features include:
With Google Voice, remote teams can stay in touch without having to spend a small fortune. If you need a VoIP solution for your whole team, you may have to pay to upgrade to business plans. However, if you’re looking for an easy way for your teams to keep in touch, Google Voice is free for a single user when making domestic calls and sending text messages.
That means that you can get a Google Voice number for your business, mask your personal number, and handle all of your business communications from any desktop or mobile device. Google can even forward calls to your phone and integrate with other tools that you use to keep everything streamlined.
Check out key features like:
You are running a business, and while that includes taking care of your customers, it doesn’t mean that you always have to be there to answer the call. And how can you? Fortunately, there’s a solution. When you hire the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai to act as the face of your brand, we’ll field all your calls, messages, and anything else that you need.
We’ll even provide 24/7 service to ensure that your business never misses a call or message, even when you’re busy, sleeping, or enjoying the life you’ve worked so hard for. VoIP is doing a lot to improve communications, but you can take it one step further when you partner with us.
To learn more, schedule a consultation to see what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your business, from answering after-hours calls to fielding SMS messages, and so much more. You can also find us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 727-6484.
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