Today, your computer is more than just a computer—it can be your virtual office, your meeting room, and even your phone system if you choose to go with a VoIP provider or other Internet phone service that offers more than traditional landline solutions. Of course, in order to go with that phone service, you’ll need to consider the software that you invest in to help you field and route calls, as well as to manage the communications of your business in a single place.
Fortunately, we live in a world where there are literally hundreds of different options for software, phone service providers, VoIP services, platforms, and other tools that you can use to streamline and manage your business communications from one central place: your computer. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to wade through the options to see what’s out there and figure out what’s going to be best for your needs.
In this guide, we’ll help you begin that process by looking at 10 of the best phone answering software programs that are available today. Many of these are VoIP-based, which means they use Voice over Internet Protocol technology to allow you to send and receive calls from anywhere, on any device. This can come in very handy in business, in several different ways.
Being able to answer calls from your computer will free up your time and your mobile device. It will also save you from being tethered to the desk with a traditional phone system and give you the chance to have a more dynamic communications experience than ever before. There’s a lot to love about these solutions, no matter which one you choose.
Take the time to peruse the options below and see what features you can find to fall in love with. Whether you just want a basic phone software tool, or you are looking for something that’s more advanced and has high-end features, we’ve got a little bit of everything to ensure that we cover the bases for everyone.
Google Voice is a platform used by millions for personal and business calling needs. It allows you to create a number and have calls forwarded to your phone, answer phones from your computer, and more. Number masking gives you privacy while intelligent calling features make it easy for you to have a more professional phone solution for less.
If you already have Google, you don’t have to pay for this service. However, it is limited to domestic calls, and you may not find as many features. There are upgrades and additional features that you can pay for through Google if you need them, but as it stands, it offers a great option for people who just need something simple. Consider features like:
Microsoft users can find a lot to love in the Microsoft 365 Business Voice platform. It’s like Google in that it’s ideal for those who are already familiar with and using the platform, but it also has its own features, costs, and considerations. If you have fewer than 300 employees, it can be great for your needs. Bear in mind, of course, that it can’t be used alone.
The Business Voice platform is easy to set up and install and you can be fielding calls from your computer, tablet, or mobile device in just minutes. You will also find easy app integration and of course, it comes with Microsoft’s 24/7 customer support. It also integrates with Teams and offers highlights like:
Vonage is a great software platform for anyone who wants to take and make calls from a computer or mobile device. Vonage offers plenty of residential and commercial phone solutions. There’s also the option for a custom demo so that you can see what you’re getting, and you can try it out for 14 days before you commit. You’ll love intelligent call features, too, or you can just use the basic platform.
With Vonage, you will find plenty of apps in the Vonage App Center, too. plans are affordable and offer a lot more customization than most people expect. The software is also easy to use and makes it simple to streamline your calling, no matter what you have in mind. Plus, key features include:
RingCentral might seem like a little much for some solopreneurs and small business owners, but it’s a great platform and it has solutions available for companies of all sizes. Originally a leader in Internet faxing, RingCentral now offers a variety of VoIP solutions that help companies get more out of their phone answering software than ever before.
Plus, every plan includes a free 15-day trial so that you can test the waters and see what this platform can do for you. You’ll have a secure cloud-hosted phone system platform that includes call routing and other features, and annual subscriptions earn a discount, too. If you think this platform is for you, consider:
8x8 offers a variety of affordable VoIP platforms and calling solutions for all kinds of business needs. You can find basic plans and custom solutions, and everyone gets a 30-day trial of the platform to ensure that it meets their needs. Features include intelligent call routing and automated greetings, and easy integrations with the tools that you already use.
You’ll enjoy premium uptime and reliability on this platform, and it gives you the chance to create a totally custom calling solution for your business needs, all accessible via desktop and mobile so that you can take your office with you on the go. Plus, they’ve got some of the best customer support in the industry, so if you do need assistance, they’ll be waiting. Key highlights include:
Ooma offers a great solution for small businesses and solopreneurs looking for a better way to take and make calls. This software platform operates on VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, which means you can use the Ooma platform to make and take calls on any device, so long as you’ve got it set up to do so. This software includes the option for automated greetings and call routing features if you want them, too, freeing up your time and ensuring that your callers still get the attention that they need.
Ooma sells its own devices for desktop use, offering a different option for those who are looking to use the beneficial features of computer-based phone solutions but prefer the traditional handset and features of a “phone”, as it were. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for all users, too. There are plenty of highlights to appreciate:
Dialpad has plenty of customizable solutions for VoIP, or computer-based, calling. It’s built in the Google Cloud, which offers plenty of security, flexibility, and mobility for all kinds of entrepreneurs and businesses. There are intelligent calling features and integrations available, and you can even get post-call summaries to follow up on communications.
With Dialpad, users will find seamless integration with the tools and solutions that they already use, including Zendesk, G Suite, Salesforce, and many others. You can sync contacts and the platform even offers a full two-week trial (14 days) so that you can test it out and see what you’re getting before you commit. If you want a system that’s a little more robust, this might be it. Key features include:
GoToConnect is one of the leaders in VoIP software and desktop (and mobile) calling solutions. Their basic plans are ideal for SMBs, but there are affordable solutions for all kinds of businesses. You can keep your existing business number, create a new vanity number, and even add online faxing services if you need them.
This robust platform offers a host of great features and solutions, and cloud storage comes standard. You’ll also get unlimited calls and messaging (SMS and MMS) with every plan, and you’ll be able to add and remove features as needed. Plus, the user interface makes the platform really easy to use. And of course, you can’t forget features like:
Phone.com has a great basic software platform for those who want to use their computers to field phone calls. They offer several different plans and features for you to choose from, but there are also budget-friendly options available for those with limited funds or who are just starting out. You can even create group calls with up to 300 participants, all on the basic plan.
With Phone.com, you can also get a vanity number if you want it, and you can even mix and match the unlimited and metered-use plans to create the ideal communications solution. When you don’t need all the big bells and whistles, but you need a solid software platform for making and taking business calls, this platform offers a lot:
With the DialMyCalls platform, you can send and receive calls, texts, and emails without having to do a lot of work. The platform is free to try and use with limited access, but you can also upgrade for premium features. You get mobile apps for Android and iOS, custom integrations, and even a personal Do Not Call list that you can customize as you’d like. Real-time reporting makes it easy to track calls, too.
There are several plans to choose from, including custom plans for those who need them. The most popular plan starts at just $8.99 per month, or you can pay as you go with a cost of $10 per credit. There’s something for everyone and you even get one free toll-free number included. Other highlights include:
If you’re looking for a better phone answering solution, software is great. Of course, a live agent (or a team of them) is much better! When you partner with the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll never have to worry about fielding phone calls again. Unless, of course, they’re calls that you need to take.
Our dedicated agents can deliver solutions for after-hours answering, live chat support, Facebook and SMS message answering, lead intake and scheduling, and even payment collection, and so much more. We’ll help you craft a custom strategy to manage all of it and give you a more streamlined and efficient communications and admin solution than you ever expected.
To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what our 24/7 virtual receptionists can do to improve your phone service and support, and more. You’ll also find us at email@example.com or (650) 727-6484.
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