Communication efficiency is essential for business success in 2021. Today’s best business phone services can help you achieve this efficiency.
The days of the clunky office PBX hulking in a corner are long gone. Instead, modern business phone services are cloud-based, running via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Consequently, they can offer a wide range of communication channels. Besides this, VoIP enables them to provide additional productivity features and maximum flexibility.
Beyond voice calls, many providers include video calls, conferencing, messaging, live chat, and e-mail. Moreover, some add dedicated team collaboration features to help customers transition to the age of remote work.
Additionally, some services boast useful features like voicemail-to-email, call transcription, advanced analytics, automation, and interactive voice response (IVR). Many of these cutting-edge productivity boosters are powered by artificial intelligence.
Plus, the fact that modern business phone services are cloud-based means that you can access them from anywhere. You can also integrate them into an existing network of business apps, from team collaboration tools to customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
However, the market for VoIP phone services is broad. If you’re just starting to search for a provider to meet your needs, the massive number of offers can be overwhelming.
To help you get started, here are our picks for the best business phone services of 2021.
1 – Nextiva – Best Business Phone Service Overall
Nextiva makes it to the top of this list (once again!) thanks to its extensive features, high reliability, and outstanding customer satisfaction.
Recently ranked #1 best business phone service by U.S. News, the company can also boast a Gartner Peer Insight rating of 4.6. Moreover, it has garnered several Stevie Awards for excellence in customer service.
In general, Nextiva’s offer is tiered. At its core, it includes voice and video calling, conferencing, team messaging, and virtual fax.
Going further, extra features include voicemail-to-email (along with SMS notifications), voicemail transcription, 24/7 customer support, IVR, call and conference recording (both phone and video), and advanced call analytics.
In addition, Nextiva offers integrations with platforms like MS Outlook, Oracle Sales Cloud, Salesforce, Zendesk, HubSpot, and MS Teams.
What makes Nextiva stand out, though, is NextOS – its proprietary platform for centralized communication. NextOS enables extensive workflow automation, customer data management, customer journey analysis, and more.
For example, Nextiva’s “Call Pop” function makes any company rep’s life easier. As soon as someone calls, their caller ID and some CRM data will show up on your screen, giving you an instant run-down.
Nextiva is available on VoIP phones, as well as desktop and mobile apps. Pricing depends on the number of users and payment periods. It starts at $17.95 per user and month (for 100+ users with 36 months prepaid).
2 – RingCentral – Great for Larger Companies
Coming in second place, RingCentral can boast a Gartner Peer Insight Rating of 4.2, and a solid set of core channels and extra features. Its business phone offer is called RingCentral Office, and caters to the needs of larger organizations, going beyond SMBs.
RingCentral’s communication offer includes voice and video calling and conferencing, team messaging, SMS, and internet fax. Voice calls and SMS are unlimited in the U.S. and Canada.
Additionally, this provider can also boast voicemail-to-email, voicemail transcription, automatic call recording, custom integrations, document sharing, and advanced call handling.
Like Nextiva, it is highly reliable (at 99.999% uptime), and offers 24/7 support.
Furthermore, RingCentral gathers brownie points for its wide range of integrations. These include MS Office 365, Google Workspace, Slack, and both popular and industry-specific CRMs and solutions (like Salesforce, Zendesk, Canvas LMS or Smarsh).
Pricing starts at $19.99 per user and month.
3 – Ooma – Best Business Phone Service for Small Businesses
If you’re running a small business, Ooma is a great choice for you. This provider offers solid features, high flexibility, and reasonable pricing for smaller teams.
Ooma Office encompasses SMS, MMS, paging, video conferencing, video conference chat and team messaging. It throws in 35 extra features. These range from voicemail transcription to virtual receptionists for automatic call handling.
Moreover, higher tiers include a variety of integrations with platforms like Zendesk, Salesforce, and Google Workspace.
What makes Ooma unique is that the company is also an internet provider, adding extra connection security.
Pricing starts at $19.95 per user and month. This includes one toll-free number with 500 free minutes.
4 – 8×8 – Best VoIP Option for International Operations
For companies with many international relations or offices outside the US, 8×8 is a prime choice. This provider offers local numbers in over 80 countries, local number porting in over 40, and toll-free numbers in over 120. Plus, customers benefit from unlimited voice calls to 47 countries.
Channels included in 8×8’s offer comprise voice and video calling, as well as conferencing, messaging, SMS, MMS, virtual fax, and paging. Note, though, that video conferencing is limited to 100 participants.
Like others on this list, 8×8 has an impressive array of productivity features, from advanced call handling to analytics. It also integrates with a wide range of platforms. These include MS Office 365, Google Workspace, Zoho, Salesforce, ServiceNow, HubSpot, Slack, and MS Teams.
A unique feature of 8×8 is that it allows you to mix-and-match plans for different users. It also caters to international business by displaying your caller’s local time.
Plus, it lets you easily forward messages to other apps (e.g. Telegram). This is handy if you’re working with clients or freelancers who don’t have access to the internal channels.
Pricing for 8×8’s basic “Express” plan starts at $12 per user and month. For more extensive features, you might want to opt for its “X2” plan, at $24 per user and month.
5 – Vonage – Best Business Phone Service for Mid-Size Businesses
Next up, Vonage is an excellent choice for midsize business. With a Gartner Peer Insight Rating of 4.5, its Vonage Business Communications (VBC) offer can help you take your communications to the next level.
It offers unlimited voice and video calls, SMS, and messaging. Extra features include visual voicemail, on-demand call recording and voicemail transcription.
In addition, it integrates natively with over 20 business platforms. This includes several CRMs, among them HubSpot, Bullhorn, Salesforce, and Zendesk.
Pricing starts at $14.99 for the mobile-only “Basic” plan.
6 – Dialpad – Best Service for Remote Teams
Finally, Dialpad stands out for catering particularly to the needs of distributed teams, deploying AI to do so.
This provider’s offer includes voice and video calling, as well as conferencing, and messaging.
Its stand-out voice intelligence features make the lives of your team easier. They automatically take meeting notes and create searchable call transcripts. They also supply crucial customer info during sales calls. Plus, AI will also provide you with insightful analytics data.
Moreover, Dialpad offers an App Marketplace, which allows connections to many CRM and office platforms. This includes Salesforce and Office 365, but also more unusual targets, like Azure cloud computing.
Pricing starts $15 per user and month, after a 14-day trial.
A great cloud-based business phone service is an invaluable communication asset in 2021. With the right provider, you’ll be able to benefit from centralized, hassle-free communication. Added benefits are seamless integrations and extra tools to level up your productivity.
Pinpointing the right offer will take some time and research. With this list to get you started, and a bit of tenacity, though, you’ll be able to find the right fit – and step up your communication game.