Aside from the way communications are delivered, it’s the calling features that separate traditional landlines from their modern cloud-based counterparts. All of the providers we’ve reviewed include dozens of standard calling features with every plan. However, many of the advanced features and international calling restrictions vary across providers. Before you make a purchase decision, it’s important to understand which features you value the most for your business operations.
Software integrations are a critical component of a modern business phone system. While you may not need access to thousands of third-party software integrations, you’ll most likely want to be able to sync your phone system with your Gmail or Outlook calendar and your CRM software.
Most VoIP business phone system plans include software integration and custom API options. However, some platforms, like Zoom and Dialpad, offer far fewer integrations than you’ll find with other providers like Nextiva and RingCentral.
Regardless of your industry, consistent growth and improvement are necessary for long-term success. Accessing reliable data from your company’s communications is one of the easiest ways to make the decisions required to improve your operations.
Most VoIP phone systems include basic analytics to make sure calls are being answered during business hours, but some platforms dive deeper. More advanced analytics options can gamify employee performance data, identify business trends by analyzing call logs and track sentiment in real time with custom dashboards and reporting options to keep everyone in the loop.
Multilevel Auto Attendant and IVR
While they’re not exactly the same technology, auto attendants and interactive voice response (IVR) menus are often used interchangeably when discussing phone menus. In both cases, they’re featured as a virtual receptionist who prompts your incoming callers to select from a menu list you provide.
In the case of an auto attendant, callers are asked to make their menu selection by pushing a corresponding number on the keypad. With IVR, callers may use their voice to say the command or reason they’re calling. In both cases, your virtual receptionist serves as the first point of contact for your callers, freeing your staff from responding to common questions regarding your hours of operations or address. These systems are also effective ways to route calls to specific departments, buildings or individuals at your company.
While you might not find a desktop application available at every subscription level, you can expect to find Android and iOS support from every VoIP phone provider. This imperative feature allows you to link your mobile devices and any internet-connected devices to your phone system. That means you can take and make business calls from any smartphone or tablet, flip calls between devices, and set up multi-device ring with nearly any internet-connected device to make sure you never miss an important call again.
As a cloud-based technology that uses the internet to deliver communications, most VoIP phone providers offer free unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada, with many extending that service to Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. For businesses with international offices, this usually means free calling in your local country plus the U.S. and Canada.
VoIP phone systems can do everything your traditional phone system does, plus much more, with greater flexibility and an affordable rate.