13. May 2021 Blog

The 6 Best VoIP Solutions for Tech Businesses in 2021

VoIP solutions have grown massively in popularity since the start of the pandemic. But which tool out of the many available would be the most useful for your business? Read our comparison to find out.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things in our lives, but the biggest one? Moving from regular 9-5 hours in an office to mostly remote work in order to keep ourselves and others safe.

And while remote work in pre-pandemic times wasn’t too popular with companies, the worsening Covid-19 situation did not leave them much choice but being forced to shut down their offices. And there arose a significant problem, especially for support or sales teams - how can they keep doing their job without access to office phone lines, tools, or computers containing customers’ data? 

As no one knew when the pandemic situation would improve, companies started to look for reliable tools that could help both them and their employees during lockdowns. Fortunately, we live in times when we have access to Virtual cloud platforms with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections. As VoIP call quality has improved tremendously in the last few years, companies no longer need to worry about calls dropping out, delays, or background noises during important calls.

VoIP solutions also brought a few more benefits with them like allowing agents to work from any device and location they wish, as well as offering far more features and tools than any on-premise call center platform.    

The huge popularity of such tools resulted in the amount of VoIP phone services on the market tripling. But how can companies pick the VoIP platform that is best for them when they are now presented with so many choices? To make the decision easier, we have selected 7 out of over 240 VoIP providers available on Capterra and reviewed them side by side.

CloudTalk

With exceptional call quality and over 70 features to help your team manage their calls from top to bottom, CloudTalk is one of the best rated virtual contact center platforms on Capterra. What are its strongest points?

Rating:
4.6/5
         
 

Pricing: CloudTalk has 3 pricing plans available, plus a custom option. The lowest one is $20 per user per month when paid annually, while the Essential and Expert plans are $24 and $40 per user per month.

Features: With 70 features available, CloudTalk is one of the market leaders. You can find several analytics tools (from call statistics to agent reporting and emotion analytics), workflow and voicemail automation, a smart dialer, speech-to-text converter, and an After Call Work feature, among many others.

Notable Feature: To make logging in to various cloud apps easier and faster, CloudTalk supports the Google Single Sign-On (SSO) option. With it, employees can sign in to several tools at once using their Google credentials on any device they wish.

Integrations: On the ever-growing list of CloudTalk’s supported apps and tools list, you can find Zendesk, Shopify, Copper, and Microsoft Dynamics, as well as BigCommerce, Front, and Helpscout. And besides offering Zapier support, CloudTalk also has Integromat added to the list to give you an even wider choice of apps that you can add to CloudTalk.  

Mobile app: Available for both iOS and Android.

Pros: User-friendly installation and experience, a vast amount of features, plus CloudTalk’s customer support is also frequently praised by reviewers.

Cons:  The tutorial for Salesforce integration has some room for improvement, as the process is said to be difficult.

Free Trial: Yes, for 14 days.

Looking for a cloud-based call center software for sales & support teams? We've got you covered.

8x8

8×8 has been on the market for almost 20 years now and is one of the most experienced companies in the industry. They currently focus on delivering cloud-based voice, video, messaging, and contact center systems while also selling VoIP phones and headsets. Its main features are:

Rating:
3.8/5
         

Pricing: 8x8 offers 3 pricing plans. The cheapest plan, Express for small business, costs $12 per user per month, while the X2 and X4 plans cost $24 and $44 per user per month respectively when paid annually.

Features: To name just a few from its long list, 8x8 has an AI-powered IVR menu (with journey maps), predictive dialer, call and screen recording, plus speech analytics and call management tools such as ring groups.

Notable Feature: One of their newest features, Flip Call, allows agents to quickly change the device they are using during an active call without interruption.

Integrations: 8x8 can be integrated with over 50 apps, ranging from popular CRM platforms like Zendesk, Zoho, and Sugar CRM to the recruitment platform Bullhorn, the helpdesk Freshdesk, and all Microsoft tools. Zapier integration is available as well.

Mobile app: Available for both iOS and Android.

Pros: Both setup and use of the app are user-friendly. All support channels are available from a single dashboard. 

Cons:  Several reviewers complained about how buggy the app can be. Moreover, it can often become unstable, especially during calls. Their customer support has room for improvement too.

Free Trial: Yes, for 30 days.

Grasshopper

Another VoIP provider worth looking at is Grasshopper. What makes them stand out is that they offer exactly the same features in all pricing plans, with the cost depending on the amount of phone numbers and extensions needed. Here’s an overview of its features:  

Rating:
4.5/5
         
 

Pricing: There are 3 plans available on Grasshopper’s website - Solo ($26 per user per month), Partner ($44), and Business ($89). The costs don’t depend on the available features but how many extensions and numbers a company wants to use. The Solo plan allows for only 1 number and 3 extensions, Partner 3 numbers and 6 extensions, while the Business plan provides 5 numbers and unlimited extensions.

Features: Grasshopper has the standard features of a VoIP solution from local, toll-free, and vanity numbers available to voicemail transcription, IVR, call routing, and ring groups. 

Notable Feature: Grasshopper’s Ruby add-on brings a virtual receptionist to answer calls when you can’t, transfer them to you live, answer questions for callers, or even take messages for you. You can turn Ruby on or off straight from the app whenever you choose.

Integrations: While there are only 11 direct integrations (such as LiveChat and Skype), Grasshopper does support Zapier integration, which tremendously increases the number of tools it can be connected to. 

Mobile app: Available for both iOS and Android.

Pros: Every pricing plan has the same features available, so companies don’t have to pay for a top plan just to access all of the necessary ones.

Cons:  Currently, Grasshopper is only available in the USA and Canada.

Free Trial: Yes, for 7 days.

Nextiva

Nextiva’s mission is to take all of the communication channels, tools, and data that companies need for their customer support and put them into one easily accessible tool. What more should you know about it?

Rating:
4.2/5
         

Pricing: 4 pricing plans are available on their website. The cheapest one costs $18.95 per user per month when paid annually and the other options are Professional ($22.95), Enterprise ($32.95), or Ultimate ($57.95).

Features: Nextiva offers most of the standard contact center features from IVR, Queue management, Predictive calling, and other call management ones. They also offer unlimited phone calls in all plans, though this option is only available for North America.

Notable feature:  Their advanced IVR menu uses conversational AI through which callers can explain why they are calling, rather than listen to and pick from options on the menu. 

Integrations: Nextiva’s list of integrations is relatively short - the app can only be connected to the most popular business solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Zoho. Another problem is that their app doesn’t allow for integration with either Zapier or Integromat.

Mobile app: Available for both iOS and Android.

Pros: Many reviewers praise the video and audio call quality, as well as their very supportive and helpful customer and tech support service.

Cons: The iOS app needs more work, as there are frequent complaints about calls dropping out and failing to send chat messages. The list of integrations is very limited, especially since Zapier is not available.

Free Trial: Yes, for 7 days.

RingCentral

One of the better-known platforms on the market, RingCentral has messaging, video conferencing, phone calls, and collaboration tools all inside one solution. Here’s an overview of its features:  

Rating:
4.2/5
         

Pricing: RingCentral has 4 price plans available. For the cheapest, essential plan, the cost is $19.99 per user per month when paid annually. The other options are Standard ($27.99), Premium ($34.99), and Ultimate ($49.99).

Features: Each plan has unlimited calls included, although they are available only within the US and Canada. Besides those, RingCentral has voice menus in 10 different languages, advanced call management features like call whisper and barge, plus an unlimited SMS plan.

Notable feature: With Hot Desking, agents can log in to a shared desk phone and access their own settings or extensions through it.

Integrations: RingCentral has one of the largest lists of supported integrations on the market, with over 200+ native ones available. And if that’s not enough, Zapier and Integromat can be used to connect even more tools to RingCentral.     

Mobile app: Available for both IOS and Android.

Pros: An incredible list of native integrations, as well as Zapier and Integromat support. Very intuitive user interface.

Cons: The Essential plan is very limited, with only team messaging, voicemail to text, unlimited SMS and calls to US/Canada, and 100 toll-free minutes available. 

Free Trial: Yes, for 14 days.

Vonage

Vonage was the pioneer of VoIP phone services when it started in 2001. Now they offer voice, messaging, and video solutions together with regular PBX phones available on their website. Here’s what else should you know:

Rating:
4.1/5
         

Pricing: 3 plans are available on their website, from $19.99 per user per month for the basic plan to $29.99 for Premium and $34.99 for advanced.

Features: 50+ unified communication features available like automated voicemail, conference bridges, call monitoring tools, and click-to-dial.

Notable feature: Similarly to 8x8, Vonage has a Call Flip feature to seamlessly transfer calls from mobile to desktop or vice versa.

Integrations: Among their most popular integrations are Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Office 365, Hubspot, Zendesk, and Zoho. Integration with Zapier is available as well.

Mobile app: Available for both iOS and Android.

Pros: Outstanding call quality, the ability to easily customize all settings. 

Cons: As Vonage is a pretty complex system, some reviewers say that it’s rather tricky to use in the beginning and the offered training isn’t sufficient. 

Free Trial: Yes, for 14 days.

Conclusion:

The pandemic massively increased businesses’ needs for flexible, powerful, and cost-effective systems, while regular phone systems are none of those things. VoIP solutions, meanwhile, can provide companies with far more features than any other system, packed into one comprehensive platform. And as the quality of VoIP calls is now at least as good as on landlines, VoIP platforms are an excellent option for during and post-pandemic customer support or sales.

And with virtually all systems offering a free trial for you to test their platforms inside out, finding an ideal VoIP solution for your business is currently easier than ever. How about starting out by trying CloudTalk? If you’re ready for a superb VoIP experience, we’re here to show you the way!