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Updated Feb 01, 2024

Best Multi-Line Business Phone System

Jessica Elliott
Jessica Elliott, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.
Best for Collaboration
  • Starting price of $20
  • Interactive collaboration spaces
  • AI video conference summaries
Visit Site

855-619-0564

Links to RingCentral
  • Starting price of $20
  • Interactive collaboration spaces
  • AI video conference summaries
Best for Small Businesses
  • Starting price of $19.95
  • Analog device support
  • Intuitive user interface
Visit Site
Links to Ooma
  • Starting price of $19.95
  • Analog device support
  • Intuitive user interface
Best for Multisite Retail and Healthcare
  • Starting price of $18.95
  • Multi-location support
  • Customizable call pops
Visit Site
Links to Nextiva
  • Starting price of $18.95
  • Multi-location support
  • Customizable call pops
Best for Voice Intelligence
Dialpad
dialpad company logo
  • Starting price of $15
  • AI voice and video insights
  • Data visualization tools
Links to Dialpad
  • Starting price of $15
  • AI voice and video insights
  • Data visualization tools
Best for Remote Teams
GoTo Connect
GoTo Connect company logo
  • Pricing by request
  • Flexible routing and device options
  • AI video meeting highlights
Links to GoTo Connect
  • Pricing by request
  • Flexible routing and device options
  • AI video meeting highlights

Table of Contents

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Multi-line business phone services keep co-workers, companies and customers connected. Instead of busy signals, business owners choose how to manage calls when employees are engaged. The best multi-line business phone systems provide purpose-built features for specific industries or use cases, like collaboration or remote work. We researched over a dozen Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) platforms to identify the top-rated solutions. Our evaluation considered ease of use, call management features, pricing and more.

Compare Our Best Picks

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Our Top Picks for 2024
RingCentral
Nextiva
Dialpad
GoTo Connect
Rating9.0/109.5/109.6/109.5/109.3/10
Best Use Case

Best for Collaboration

Best for Small Businesses

Best for Multisite Retail and Healthcare

Best for Voice Intelligence

Best for Remote Teams

Free Trial

14 days

30 day money back guarantee

Contact Nextiva for a trial

14 days

No

Monthly Price*

$20 to $35

$19.95 to $29.95

$18.95 to $32.95

$15 to $25

Not listed

Text Message Limits

25 to 200 per user

Unlimited

1,000 to 2,000 per user

250 outbound

40 to 80 per seat

Included Toll Free Minutes

100 to 10,000

None

1,500 to 12,500

None

0 to 1,000

Number of Video Meeting Participants

100 to 200

100

40 to unlimited

10

150 to 250

SSO on Base Plan

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Voice or Video AI Features

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Review Link
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RingCentral: Best for Collaboration

  • Business users can interact with internal and external contacts in group chat spaces and organize messages by project, team or task.
  • Built-in task management tools support file attachments, color labels and status updates.
  • RingCentral subscriptions limit text messaging (25 to 200 per user per month, depending on the plan), whereas Ooma allows unlimited SMS/MMS.
Editor's Rating: 9/10
Visit Site

855-619-0564

RingCentral is a unified communications platform with a 99.999% SLA (service-level agreement) uptime. Aside from advanced call management capabilities, RingCentral provides AI-powered video conferencing tools and robust messaging and task management software. Rich integrations and interactive features allow staff, stakeholders and clients to engage in real time. Consequently, RingCentral is our top pick for the best multi-line business phone system for collaboration.

We liked that RingCentral provides video capabilities with all subscriptions, including breakout rooms, recording and AI-meeting insights. Ooma does not have video conferencing on its base plan, and Dialpad allows only 10 participants versus RingCentral’s 100 to 200. Teams can share documents easily with cloud storage integrations (Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, Google Drive and more). Even better, you can search by file type or keyword to quickly locate files or conversations.

Our in-depth review of RingCentral explains how whiteboards and team huddle features help teams work together. We also discuss the multi-line system’s ease of use, pointing out that RingCentral’s web and phone apps provide consistent user experiences. These factors make it easier for clients and employees to focus on the task instead of fiddling with app settings.

Ooma: Best for Small Businesses

  • Ooma Office users can make unlimited calls to the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
  • The multi-line phone system connects to conventional fax machines and overhead paging systems via adapters.
  • Ooma’s base plan does not integrate with CRMs, and higher tiers sync with fewer third-party services than RingCentral.
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10
Visit Site

Ooma is our top choice for small businesses because of its straightforward pricing, preconfigured IP phones and nontechnical user interface. We pointed out in our Ooma review that business owners can quickly set up custom greetings and company hours for the virtual receptionist using Ooma’s drop-down menus. No professional phone administrator is needed. Whereas RingCentral puts fax capabilities on its Advanced plan, Ooma includes it with all subscriptions.

Moreover, Ooma is a great solution for companies still using some analog devices, because you can plug an adapter into your overhead paging system or fax machine to continue using them. Yet Ooma has over 50 modern communications features with every plan. We liked that Ooma provides on-hold and call transfer music. The iOS and Android mobile apps allow call flip, transfer and simultaneous ring.

Like other multi-line systems, Ooma’s higher tiers include video meetings and call queues. Although Ooma does not provide volume discounts like Nextiva or RingCentral, it does have Enterprise plans with advanced features, such as an interactive voice response (IVR) system and skills-based routing.

Nextiva: Best for Multisite Retail and Healthcare

  • Enhanced call information gives retail or medical receptionists caller details before they pick up the phone.
  • Seven data centers across Canada and the U.S. with dedicated power grids for maximum uptime and redundancy.
  • Nextiva limits all video meetings to 45 minutes and 40 participants, except for the Enterprise plan, which supports unlimited attendees.
Editor's Rating: 9.6/10
Visit Site

Nextiva’s business communication platform combines voice, video, fax and messaging into a simple user interface. The vendor uses the highest security protocols to protect its network from security breaches, vital for businesses processing payments or discussing protected health information over the phone. We chose Nextiva as the best multi-line phone system for multisite retail and healthcare companies because all plans support multiple locations and help staff assist repeat customers or clients.

Several Nextiva services comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including voice calling, faxing, video conferencing and call recording. In comparison, Ooma is not HIPAA-compliant, and neither is Dialpad’s fax service. As noted in our full review of Nextiva, the SSAE 16-certified data centers offer PCI-DSS certification and are SOC II-audited. Nextiva will establish a business associate agreement with your practice to establish guidelines.

We were impressed with Nextiva’s call pop feature, as it’s a valuable tool for healthcare practices and retail stores. This customizable element “pops” up on the screen for incoming calls. Besides contact information, a retailer may show a customer’s account value or experience score, whereas a practitioner may display a patient’s primary care provider.

Dialpad: Best for Voice Intelligence

Dialpad
dialpad company logo
  • Out-of-the-box data visualizations across 10 categories help leaders understand call volumes, service levels, IVR usage and more.
  • AI-enabled tools transcribe voicemails, calls and video meetings, providing accurate business communications records.
  • Dialpad limits video conferences to five hours and 10 participants on all subscriptions.
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10

Dialpad has the lowest base price for a unified communications platform with voice, video and messaging. Unique AI tools assist employees on calls and capture phrases and keywords during voice and video conversations. Our Dialpad review mentioned that the AI virtual assistant is a standout feature. Indeed, Dialpad is the best multi-line business phone system for voice intelligence, thanks to its innovative speech recognition model with machine learning capabilities, company dictionary and advanced analytics.

Dialpad is ideal for leaders who want to assess and improve their communication and processes. It provides several innovative features that no competitors offer. For instance, employees can turn on Real-Time Assist Speech Coaching to get tips while on calls. Supervisors can create a collection of playlists (call recordings) for quality assurance or training. Dialpad’s data visualization tools include graphs and charts alongside many other reporting features, allowing leaders to drill down into communications.

However, we were most impressed with the call journey feature. It records the action of every call from beginning to end, allowing leaders to uncover insights into call routing and customer experiences. Dialpad Ai captures every detail of voice and video calls. Although RingCentral and GoTo Connect offer video meeting highlights, Dialpad does not transcribe voice calls or offer a company dictionary.

GoTo Connect: Best for Remote Teams

GoTo Connect
GoTo Connect company logo
  • Smart notes, team chat and intelligent routing keep employees connected and multiple phone lines covered, regardless of where your staff works.
  • The Standard package includes unlimited international calling to over 50 countries.
  • GoTo Connect shows only two subscriptions online and doesn’t include pricing information, making it difficult for small businesses to compare plans.
Editor's Rating: 9.3/10

GoTo Connect is an all-in-one multi-line phone system with video, chat and voice communications. Its device flexibility supports remote teams working in the field, home offices and business locations. GoTo Connect is compatible with 180 desk phone models. It also has web, desktop, iOS and Android apps. With smart routing and call forwarding, GoTo Connect’s versatility makes it the top-rated multi-line business phone solution for remote teams.

Employees can meet virtually with up to 250 co-workers and view 50 webcams simultaneously. The video meeting limit is higher than those of RingCentral, Dialpad and Ooma. Mobile users can share screens, and everyone can use drawing tools during the conference. In addition, GoTo Connect’s AI-powered Smart Assistant captures action items and highlights.

We appreciate that GoTo Connect provides unlimited extensions with both plans since Dialpad offers extensions for Enterprise users (with a 100-seat minimum) only. It’s also the only vendor with unlimited international calling. But we were disappointed that GoTo Connect no longer displays prices on its website. Additionally, the Basic subscription has a 20-user limit. Check out our GoTo Connect review for more pricing and feature information.

Costs of Multi-Line Business Phone System

Prices for one phone number (which supports two or more simultaneous inbound and outbound calls) range from $15 to $45.95 monthly. Cloud-based multi-line phone services charge a per-user fee. Multiple employees will answer the phones at small brick-and-mortar businesses that need only a few phone numbers. Any person requiring a direct line or the softphone app installed on their mobile phone will need a license.

Most vendors use a tiered subscription model with higher-priced plans, including more advanced features and usage limits. Ooma, our top pick for small businesses, offers the best monthly flat rate. The monthly base plan is $19.95 per user; no contract is required. Dialpad delivers innovative voice intelligence features and, with annual prepayment, has the lowest monthly cost ($15 per seat).

However, Nextiva is the only provider offering 12-, 24- and 36-month agreements (no prepayment necessary). Retailers and healthcare practitioners can access top-tier features at significant savings by prepaying for 36 months. Nextiva is also the only vendor offering volume discounts for smaller businesses, whereas RingCentral’s pricing drops once businesses purchase 50 licenses.

Multi-line phone system providers may offer add-ons, like analytics and webinar packages. Many also sell or lease hardware. But most do not charge implementation fees or other upfront charges.

Features of a Multi-Line Business Phone System

Multi-line business phone solutions provide dozens of tools for small companies, ranging from call handling features to collaboration capabilities. Functionality and capacity differ among vendors and subscriptions, but most services offer the following options.

Voicemail

Voicemail comes with all multi-line business phone services. However, the type of voicemail differs among vendors and subscriptions. Many VoIP providers offer visual voicemail. It displays key message details so users can decide which one to listen to first. Some companies transcribe voicemails so that you can read them on a softphone application.

Did You Know?Did you know
Many vendors offer voicemail to email or text in higher-priced plans. With this function, agents can view caller messages while on another call. But you can add free visual voicemail services to improve productivity without the extra cost.

Auto Attendant and IVR

An auto attendant greets callers and provides menu options, such as “Press 1 for sales.” Our top picks for multi-line business phone systems have virtual receptionist services. Some platforms support multi-level, or two or more, auto attendant systems. An interactive voice response (IVR) solution is more advanced.

IVR services may recognize spoken words and provide self-service tools. Many contact and call center systems use IVR for advanced routing and automation.

Call Transfer

The best multi-line phone systems support call transfer. A blind transfer refers to sending the caller to another team member without speaking to the co-worker first. Conversely, employees can select a warm or attended call transfer. In this case, they can inform their co-worker of any details (without the caller listening) before transferring the call.

Audio and Video Conferencing

Unlike conventional phone services, a cloud-based multi-line phone system supports audio and video conferencing. Business users can interact with clients and co-workers on one-on-one or companywide calls and meetings. Video tools may include advanced features such as AI-enabled transcriptions and summaries, presentation mode, and moderator controls.

TipTip
Become a video conference power user by testing the tools beforehand and having a time limit. Ensure every conference is actionable by following up with attendees and highlighting key points and action items.

Caller ID

This standard feature allows employees to see who is calling, even if they are currently on another line. With caller ID, your staff can put their current caller on hold to answer an important call or ensure they’re transferred to the right person.

Intercom or Paging

Multi-line business phone systems may offer IP (internet protocol) or analog paging and intercom functionality. An IP service lets users announce a message to ring groups or all connected devices. Some VoIP platforms also connect to analog hardware, like overhead speakers. These are perfect for large retail stores, warehouses and restaurants.

Desktop and Mobile Apps

Softphone apps turn computers, tablets and cell phones into full-fledged business phone systems. These allow your staff to make and receive calls, chat with co-workers, and view voicemails from anywhere with an internet connection. Softphone apps typically offer additional features like a contact database and call management functionality.

Did You Know?Did you know
A multi-line phone application helps business owners manage remote employees and communications from anywhere. Simply log in to the system from any internet-connected device to see who’s available or to make calls. It’s an ideal service for entrepreneurs needing to stay connected, even when they can’t be physically present.

Choosing a Multi-Line Business Phone System

Consider several options when selecting a multi-line phone service for your business. Many reasonably priced options exist, so look beyond cost to find a solution that’s easy to use and helps your company achieve its goals. Follow these steps to choose a multi-line phone system.

List current business challenges and communication needs.

A cloud-based PBX system provides the flexibility of multiple lines without the headache of physical infrastructure and cabling. This means you can accomplish high-level goals with your communication services without a big budget. Think about issues plaguing your organization, like missed calls or ineffective meetings. How can the right multi-line business phone system make a difference?

Consider the following questions:

  • On average, how many calls go unanswered or go to voicemail daily or weekly?
  • Are employees using multiple applications for calling, video conferencing and texting?
  • Do you or other team members need flexibility to answer calls outside the office?
  • Have customers complained about long wait times or busy signals?
  • Would a toll-free number increase customer trust in your business?

Identify must-have features.

The best multi-line business phone systems include basic VoIP features, like unlimited domestic calling and an auto attendant, with all plans. However, integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) programs or help desk software vary by vendor and subscription. Likewise, some work better for physical workplaces, whereas others are well suited for remote work.

Make a list of the features your company must have. Doing so will help you find the companies and subscription packages offering these tools. Then, you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

Compare multi-line business phone services.

Once you know what you’re looking for, research vendors. Check out guides on the best business phone services for small businesses and look at user reviews. Remember to look at mobile app ratings, check the Better Business Bureau’s website and ask for opinions from those in your professional network. If you’ve narrowed your decision to a handful of companies, learn how they differ by checking out comparison guides, such as RingCentral vs. Ooma.

Tip: Go to the provider’s integrations page to see if your CRM service will sync to your business phone software. Review support documentation for instructions on how the integration works and what functions are supported.

Test VoIP platforms via demos and trials.

Now, it’s time to get into the fun part. Gather your team together for online demonstrations. Schedule calls with various vendors, and have a list of questions ready. This is your time to pick their brains and get your questions answered. Take advantage of free trials and test each feature. Involve administrators and phone users.

For example, an IVR system should seamlessly route callers to the right person or queue. On the back end, your administrators should find it relatively easy to build and design the IVR system.

Request feedback from decision-makers and end users.

After completing testing, request feedback and listen to the pros and cons. At this point, you should have interacted with the vendor’s customer support teams, tested various features and figured out your total costs. Decide how long it will take to implement and train employees, then determine which multi-line business phone system will give your company the greatest return on investment.

Advantages of a Multi-Line Business Phone System

The highest-rated multi-line business phone systems do more than facilitate voice calling. They support your company’s high-level objectives, from improving customer support to increasing efficiency. Learn how upgrading your phone service can benefit your organization.

Cost-Effective

Previously, having multiple phone lines was simply unaffordable for many small businesses. It required a steep infrastructure investment for a complete PBX system. Instead, companies would opt for a two- or four-line service.

Cloud-based multi-line systems do away with these hefty costs. The vendor maintains the physical servers and wiring. All you need is an internet connection and smartphones, tablets or computers. One business phone number supports several simultaneous incoming and outbound calls.

Improve Caller Experiences

Let’s face it. Consumers haven’t gotten more patient over the years. A busy signal frustrates them. With a multi-line phone system, you can design caller experiences that work for your business and callers.

An auto attendant greets callers automatically and then rings your employees’ phones. You can put them in a waiting queue if they don’t pick up. This queue can have on-hold music or promotional messages. In some cases, you can offer to call them back or send them to voicemail. Employees can also see who is calling with CRM integrations, and even if they’re on another line, they can send a quick text to a dear customer to let them know that they’ll call back as soon as possible.

Increase Employee Productivity and Collaboration

Task and app switching breaks concentration. And working remotely has its own set of challenges. A multi-line phone system provides the flexibility to support modern working environments. AI-powered tools keep teams focused in meetings. Let AI take notes, automatically capture task assignments and summarize key points.

Warm call transfers allow team members to brief a co-worker or supervisor before handing off a caller, ensuring a flawless customer experience. Integrations and browser extensions mean users don’t need to switch apps to answer phone calls or text messages. All of these things lead to increased productivity and team collaboration.

Centralize Communications

Many small businesses cobble together several cloud-based tools to communicate. These may include video meeting software, audio conferencing services, email, mass text marketing tools and chat messaging programs like Slack. This can get messy and hard to keep up with. Many multi-line phone services are unified communications (UC) systems.

A UC platform puts most of your communication methods on one integrated system, from internet fax to team messaging. It’s accessible from anywhere with an internet connection via mobile and desktop apps.

Boost Visibility Into Business Operations

A multi-line business phone system provides call logs and analytics. With details about call volumes and missed calls, leaders can improve scheduling and hiring decisions. Historical data helps with seasonal planning, whereas insights about employee usage can signal who needs further training.

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
Small businesses collect data from cloud-based services. But the challenge is to turn numbers into actionable insights. Read your business phone system’s support documentation to learn how to leverage call logs and reports to enhance decision-making.

Multi-Line Business Phone System FAQ

A business phone number can receive multiple calls (lines) on one phone. Alternatively, users can add numbers accessible via desktop computers, laptops, tablets and cell phones. One device can switch between multiple lines or phone numbers.

VoIP providers work with many desk phones, with prices ranging from $75 to over $300. Popular options include the 16-line Poly VVX 601 and Grandstream GXV3370. The Nextiva X-885 supports 12 lines, and Nextiva offers leasing options. For small businesses, the four-line
Cisco 7841 and two-line Poly VVX 150 are reasonably priced choices.

Yes. Most multi-line business phone systems support simultaneous ring. When enabled, several devices ring when a call comes in. This feature supports desk phones, computers and mobile devices. Any available employee on the list can answer the call.

Small companies use an auto attendant to greet callers and route them to the correct employee or department (in micro-businesses, one team member may cover multiple departments). If the worker is unavailable, the service may transfer the caller to another employee, voicemail or a queue (a waiting line). With visual voicemail, staff can view caller messages while on a line with another customer and text or chat with co-workers and clients.

You can add a second (or third) number to your mobile phone by installing a softphone application for your company’s business phone system or through a virtual number provider. This lets you use a personal device for business calls.

Jessica Elliott
Jessica Elliott, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
Jessica Elliott is an authority on business software and technology. She has spent nearly two decades offering guidance on the newest trends and tools across industries, including SaaS solutions, cloud computing, business phone systems and more. She regularly engages in hands-on examinations of various business applications to identify the most robust, user-friendly platforms on the market that are suited to companies of all sizes. Elliott, who earned certifications from HubSpot, also has a wealth of experience in digital marketing, sales funnels and finance. Her expertise has appeared in USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and Investopedia.
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