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10 Best Virtual Phone Systems for Small Business (2021)


We’ve reviewed and ranked the best virtual phone systems and services for small businesses. Start making VoIP calls today.

Best Virtual Phone Systems for Small Business

Are you considering switching to a virtual phone system for your small business? We would like to tell you that this might be one of the wisest decisions that you will make for your business. 

Not only will a virtual phone system help you reduce the costs associated with your business communications, but it will also modernize your system, bring in flexibility, and a level of sophistication. 

It will empower your managers with tools for better control and productivity and also your agents to attend to your customers more effectively. 

Instead of simply making calls, a virtual phone system helps businesses do so much more. 

We have put together a guide that will help business owners like you understand what a virtual phone system is, why your business needs it and how it works. 

We have also picked out the ten best virtual phone systems for small businesses so that you can make an informed choice.

What is a Virtual Phone System?

A virtual phone system is a communication system that is connected to the internet. Instead of just using a landline to make calls, a virtual phone system allows users to make calls using their internet-connected devices. 

These devices could be your tablets, mobile phones, and laptops. All you need is an internet connection and a service provider. 

Virtual phone systems use the internet to make and receive calls, send and receive SMS, faxes, and also make video calls. Your business can have one business number and multiple extensions connected to it through which different departments or agents can be reached. 

Since you do not need any extra hardware, a virtual phone system lets users make and receive calls even when they are out of the office. These virtual phone systems make it possible for users to work remotely. 

Every agent has their account, where they can log in and access their call records, contacts, voicemail, and can make and receive calls. Admins, on the other hand, can get an overview of all their agents’ calls through a central dashboard.

Why Use a Virtual Phone System?

A virtual phone system can do so much more than just make and receive phone calls. When you sign up for a virtual phone system, you get calling features, messaging, faxing, and often even video conferencing, all-in-one. 

All of these come at a much lesser price than a traditional landline system, which comes with a lengthy bill and high maintenance charges every month. We have put together some reasons why a virtual phone system is better than a traditional phone.

1. Offers many calling features

A virtual phone system most often offers many calling features which makes it easy to manage calls and maintain good relationships with customers. 

Not only can you put your callers on hold, but also service providers like RingBlaze let you collaborate on calls to resolve customer issues further. 

You can greet your callers with custom greetings or menu options, guide them to the respective departments every time they call, add notes to their calls so that the next time they call you have a history about them, and more.

2. Makes call management easy

Instead of appearing to be busy, a virtual phone system lets you park your calls, put them on hold with hold music, simultaneously attend to multiple customers, forward or transfer calls to another number and do so much more. 

When you get a bulk of calls, instead of all your phone lines ringing like crazy, a virtual phone system automatically distributes the calls so that no callers are turned away and they get assigned to an agent as soon as they get free.

Some advanced virtual phone systems like CloudTalk even let other agents check whether another agent is busy before transferring a call to them. Overall, managing heavy traffic becomes easy for agents with the help of virtual phone systems.

3. Helps managers exercise better control

It is also very easy to exercise control while using a virtual phone system. Managers and supervisors can record calls, listen to calls, whisper or barge into calls if needed. They can access all their employees’ calls through a central dashboard.

From the admin console, managers can access all call recordings, call logs, tags, and notes for every caller. They can also quickly grant them some permissions and have their calling system ready in a few minutes directly from the console.

4. Includes advanced features

Some virtual systems are backed by AI which allows sentiment analysis of calls, which a traditional phone system might never have. 

Such voice intelligence technologies make it possible to detect the overall sentiment of the call and determine if a customer was satisfied or not. 

Some advanced virtual phone systems like Dialpad also eliminate the need for agents to take notes when someone calls. It directly listens to the conversations and automatically takes notes.

5. Data backed reporting and analytics

Some virtual phone systems like 8×8 also let managers access detailed reports about calls which help them derive meaningful insights about the customer contact centers and the overall productivity of their agents.

6. Lower costs

A virtual phone system will always be less expensive than a traditional landline system because there is no extra hardware needed and no maintenance. You can use your existing devices only to make and receive calls. 

There are no heavy monthly bills but a set price that you pay on a per-user basis every month without any surprises. Also, all your faxes are delivered digitally, which further reduces the cost of paper, ink, space, and manual labor. 

When you deploy a virtual phone system, you can also deploy a virtual receptionist round the clock instead of a human receptionist that will be available only for a few hours every day but will charge you a hefty salary.

Best Virtual Phone Systems for Small Business

1. RingCentral

Best all-in-one virtual phone system for small businesses. 

RingCentral is the Best all in one virtual phone system for small businesses

RingCentral is the ideal solution if you are looking for a modern phone system to replace your traditional one in the office. The best part is that you will not need any additional hardware to make this shift. 

All you will need is an internet connection if you don’t already have one, which is highly unlikely.

Unlike a traditional phone system that just lets you make calls and send faxes, with RingCentral’s virtual phone, you can make unlimited video and audio calls, send unlimited faxes and messages, and access many more calling features. 

You can choose the number that you desire for your business, and irrespective of the device you are using, as long as you are connected to the internet, you can use the business numbers to make calls from any device. 

With RingCentral, you can customize your business phone system the way you want. Right when you sign up, you are given an option to choose between different types of numbers that best meet your needs. 

You can then make high-quality audio and video calls to unlimited numbers using VoIP technology. There is a desktop app and a mobile app for you to choose from. Based on which is convenient, you can make calls from any device that connects to the internet. 

While you can have many extensions connecting one business number to different agents, if you choose RingCentral, you will also be able to deploy an auto-attendant who will automatically attend to your callers and guide them to the respective departments.

RingCentral also lets you customize the way your calls are received by setting conditions. 

Not only this, but it also includes integrations with some of the most important business tools and applications which allow users to bring several facets of the business together in one place. 

With RingCentral’s virtual phone system, you get so much more than just a simple calling system.

Pricing

RingCentral Pricing Plan

The ideal plan for small businesses looking for an all-in-one solution is the Premium plan as it is a combination of the essential, standard, and premium features. 

However, RingCentral might appear slightly expensive to small businesses which are why looking at RingCentral’s alternatives might be a wise choice.

2. CloudTalk

Best virtual phone system for sales and support teams.

CloudTalk is the Best virtual phone system for sales and support teams

If your business is a customer support team, CloudTalk’s virtual phone system could be just what your support team needs. Not only is it easy to use but also offers high reliability and portability.

Customer support teams generally receive a bulk of calls and a simple calling phone may not be able to do what CloudTalk does. It offers a wide variety of calling features that makes it very easy to manage calls irrespective of the number.

Instead of simply calling your business number and getting connected to an agent, CloudTalk lets you set up call routing, which lets you route calls the way you want. It also includes skill-based routing so calls get directed to only those who are equipped to handle them.

There is also an automated call distribution system that efficiently allocates incoming calls automatically to available agents based on the routing criteria. 

You can also make your callers self-sufficient by setting up a multi-level interactive voice response menu so that they can direct themselves to the respective departments without the need for a human attendant. 

While these are some call management tools, some tools help boost agent productivity.

Agents can tag all the calls they receive so that they can classify them later when the caller calls back. They can add notes to each call so that the caller’s history is available to anyone who attends to them the next time. 

If agents miss a call, there is a call back option with the number of the caller and the time. 

Agents can also transfer calls to other departments or agents if they need to, check another agent’s availability status before transferring, and can even blacklist numbers that may be spam

Once a call is over, a feature called After Call Work allows all agents to complete necessary follow-up tasks after a call has ended.

Managers can access call statistics that can help them analyze the productivity of their agents, monitor calls for training,  and also access wallboard where managers can see what is happening in the call center live. 

CloudTalk also lets you integrate with your external systems and APIs, import all your contacts, integrate with other applications, sync with your CRM, and perform many tasks from one central location. 

Pricing

CloudTalk Pricing Plan

There are three different plans for you to choose from. You can also request a custom plan if your business needs are not covered in the available plans. If you are looking for advanced features like call whispering, wallboard, and others, the Expert plan is what is ideal.

But for small businesses looking for a practical solution with all essential features, the Essential plan is ideal because it includes all basic features from the Starter plan plus additional features.

3. Grasshopper

Best flexible virtual phone system for small businesses. 

Grasshopper is the Best flexible virtual phone system for small businesses

Grasshopper helps businesses separate their business calls from their personal calls and helps them be more prepared before receiving them as they know that their businesses or customers are calling. 

To begin with, you can choose from a variety of toll-free, local, or vanity numbers or even port your existing number and start using it with Grasshopper. To start using Grasshopper you will not need any additional hardware but just an internet connection and your mobile devices. 

Once you have chosen your number, you can download the desktop and mobile applications that Grasshopper has and easily start using their texting and calling features.

Along with calling and texting, Grasshopper also lets you send and receive faxes directly to your email inbox. There is also a voicemail feature that lets your callers leave voicemails for you that you can listen to later directly from your inbox. 

If you prefer reading your voicemail messages instead of listening to them Grasshopper even offers voicemail transcription

Grasshopper provides several calling features along with its main services which make it easy to manage calls. Agents can attend to several calls simultaneously so that no call goes unattended. 

It also lets callers block calls from unknown callers or spam calls so that they get added to the blacklist and your business receives only relevant calls. 

While your business can have multiple or a single number, with Grasshopper, you can assign extensions to all your agents or users who can be reached by dialing the extensions. 

You can also set custom greetings that play when your customers call. If you have a new caller whom you miss attending, Grasshopper has a feature that allows you to text them immediately. 

It also includes detailed reporting that helps managers keep a track of their agent productivity and see how their customers are being attended to. 

Pricing

Grasshopper Pricing Plan

Grasshopper offers three types of plans depending on the type of business. The small business plan may be ideal for small businesses as it lets you have unlimited extensions which mean scalability in the future will not be a problem.

4. RingBlaze

Best virtual phone system that customer support teams can use.

Ringblaze is the Best virtual phone system that customer support teams can use

RingBlaze is a great virtual phone system for businesses that have extensive customer support teams. It lets you manage all your calling activities, customer calls and do much more than just receive and make calls. 

The first step is to begin by choosing a new number for your business. It could be a toll-free number, a local number, or a vanity number. 

The next step is to set up your website with your number so that your customers can reach you. Instead of leaving your number on your page, embed a widget that lets your customers leave their data and lets you call them back immediately. 

This also helps you extend your database.

Once your RingBlaze virtual phone system is set, you can start making and receiving calls. You can collaborate with your team members through a shared dashboard. This helps you attend to your callers better with shared help from team members. 

It also allows team members to work remotely and access the system through their own devices from different locations. 

An advanced feature that RingBlaze offers is that instead of waiting for your customer to get stuck somewhere and then call you, you can see their movement live on your site, interact with them directly and guide them through their shopping process.

Like in customer contact centers, callers may have their grievances and may call you multiple times to get it sorted. RingBlaze makes it easy to keep track of every call by assigning call leaders or owners and allows agents to add comments to the calls. 

It also lets agents and managers record calls for training or future reference. They can also access call history as and when required. Agents can also export their calls and messages to other authorized devices if required. 

Pricing

Ringblaze Pricing Plan

RingBlaze offers very simple pricing, i.e., it has only one simple plan that includes all the features that RingBlaze offers. Compared to other service providers, RingBlaze is quite cheaper than its competitors but offers relatively lesser features.

5. Talkroute

Best virtual phone system with simple features that help small businesses get started. 

Talkroute is the Best virtual phone system with simple features that help small businesses get started

While Talkroute is ideal for businesses that are just getting started or entrepreneurs and NGOs who require a simple virtual phone system to simply make and receive calls, it also lets users conduct business remotely using any device and from any location.

When you start using Talkroute, you have a wide variety of number options to choose from. You can choose between a vanity number, a toll-free number, 800 numbers,transfer music or local numbers. If you wish to retain your existing number you can even port it to Talkroute.

While your business might have only one number, it can have unlimited extensions to reach individual agents. 

You can also choose whether your outgoing calls show your business name and number and can customize the name that shows. 

Once you have signed up, and chosen a number, all you have to do is download the mobile or desktop application and start using them as a virtual phone system. Talkroute offers a wide variety of calling features which makes it very easy to attend and make calls. 

To set up your virtual phone system, you can set up single or multi-level auto-attendants, set custom greetings and hold music for your callers, set hours of operations, create and grant user access and permissions, and others.

Along with making and receiving calls using Talkroute, you can use it to send and receive SMS and MMS as well. If a caller leaves a voice message for you, you can listen to it from your phone or desktop application or even get it delivered to you through email.

When you receive multiple calls at once, instead of the line appearing to be busy, Talkroute offers call stacking that lets multiple calls be handled simultaneously. 

It also includes detailed reporting and call recording for both incoming and outgoing calls so that managers can refer to them in the future or for quality and training purposes, or to analyze the productivity of their virtual phone system. 

Pricing

Talkroute Pricing Plan

While Talkroute offers four pricing plans for businesses of different sizes, the Plus plan is ideal for small businesses as it is not too basic and has all the essential features. The Pro plan will be ideal for medium to large organizations as it includes most of the available features.

6. Ooma

Best virtual phone system for businesses looking for a scalable solution.

Ooma is the Best virtual phone system for businesses looking for a scalable solution

Ooma is a comprehensive virtual business phone system that small business owners would find very useful. It has a wide variety of features that makes it possible to connect with customers as well as team members at the same time. 

It offers high mobility with its mobile and desktop apps that let users convert any phone system into a virtual phone system.  Whether you are in-office, at home or on-the-go, with Ooma your business calls go with you. 

You can set up a virtual receptionist on your business number who will guide your callers through an automated menu to their desired departments. You can have one business number and as many extensions as you desire. 

While you can use your virtual phone system to make calls, it also lets users send and receive faxes. If you subscribe to the Pro plan, you will also be able to utilize the video conferencing feature. 

Some other call management features that make it easy to handle and manage calls are the call transfer feature, call forwarding, call recording, call blocking and call parking.

You can also customize certain aspects like playing hold music when your customers are on hold. You can also play transfer music when the calls get transferred. 

In case you miss any calls, Ooma allows your callers to leave a voicemail which you can listen to later. It also includes voicemail transcription if you sign up for the pro plan. 

There are also some unique features that you get with Ooma, like the intercom feature which lets you connect directly to other employees, conference bridges for every user, and others. 

If you have an overhead paging system, you will also be able to plug it into your virtual phone system with the help of a simple adapter.

Pricing

Ooma Pricing Plan

Ooma offers only two plans, the Ooma Office plan,  and Ooma Office Pro. While the Ooma Office Plan includes almost all the features that Ooma offers, you get the advanced features like enhanced call blocking, video conferencing, and a few others in the Pro plan.

While Ooma offers a wide variety of features, Ooma alternatives may have more features.

7. Vonage

Best feature-rich virtual phone system for small businesses. 

Vonage is the Best feature rich virtual phone system for small businesses

Vonage presents a unified business communications system that allows users to make voice calls, send and receive messages and faxes, conduct social meetings, and others. It does so much more than simply make audio calls. 

It is a feature-rich solution that makes it flexible, mobile, reliable, and promotes collaboration.

With Vonage, you get a desktop and a mobile app that makes it possible to use your phone system from any device that has an internet connection. You can have one business number and connect all your phones to it. 

You can customize your virtual phone system the way you want so that it plays a custom greeting when your callers call. It also lets you set up your system in such a way that whenever there is a call, you receive an announcement so that you can be prepared for the call. 

Your callers can leave a voicemail which you can listen to directly from your email. You can also utilize the voicemail transcription feature which will also be delivered to your email.

Not only does Vonage let you stay connected to your customers, but it also lets you connect internally with your team members. 

It allows 30 participants to get on a conference call at once. You can also utilize the paging feature if you want to broadcast a message to your entire team. 

If your business has a customer support center, Vonage may be a great help in managing bulks of calls. Some features that enable this are call hold, call park, call queue, call waiting, and others. 

This ensures that your callers are not greeted with a busy tone every time they call. Instead, agents can choose to manage the bulks the way they find comfortable. 

Some other useful features that any good phone system must have and Vonage offers is the call screening and blocking feature which lets agents receive only the calls that are relevant to them. 

If necessary, Vonage also lets you completely block your outgoing Caller ID so that recipients cannot see who’s calling or you can customize it the way you want it to appear.

However, Vonage may not be easy to use which is why many users might consider Vonage alternatives while making their purchase decision.

Pricing

Vonage Pricing Plan

Vonage offers three different pricing plans to its users depending on the type of services one needs. If you are looking for a very basic plan, Vonage has a Basic plan for you. But the ideal plan for small businesses would be the Premium plan with all necessary features. 

Businesses looking for completely advanced plans could consider the Advanced plan as it is a combination of all the features that Vonage offers.

8. Dialpad

Best virtual phone system for growing businesses in diverse industries. 

Dialpad is the Best virtual phone system for growing businesses in diverse industries

Dialpad is a virtual business phone service provider that offers such a wide variety of services that it can be relevant to many different industries. Not only is it a cloud-based communications system, but it is also backed by AI which makes it quite advanced. 

Setting up your Dialpad virtual phone system is very easy. You just have to download the app, configure a few basic settings and you can start making calls right away. 

You can start using Dialpad with a brand new number or you can just shift your existing number to Dialpad by simply switching the service provider without any interruptions in service. 

Whether you want to use your Dialpad phone system for internal communications, provide a customer contact number or set up a call center, Dialpad offers many calling features that make it very easy. 

Some of those features include call parking, call transferring, call routing, call screening and blocking, and many more. 

Large or growing teams can especially benefit from Dialpad because it is very easy to assign permission, roles, and access to users through Dialpad. All that is needed is a few clicks and new users can start making calls directly.

Dialpad lets users integrate with some of the major business applications which makes it easy to manage all important business functions from an interlinked space instead of juggling between tabs. 

A unique feature that Dialpad offers which is backed by AI is that it eliminates the need for agents to take notes on calls. 

The voice intelligence technology listens to the conversation between the agent and the caller and makes notes that get saved with the number automatically. 

Instead of providing simple data-backed reports, with Dialpad, you can access AI-powered analytics which gives much deeper insights about agent productivity, keyword mentions, sentiment analysis, and more. 

One of the best features of Dialpad is that it lets you choose the device you want to connect to. You can make it a virtual phone system with tablets, smartphones, and laptops, or you can stick to an analog phone, connect it to the internet and make it an intelligent phone. 

Pricing

Dialpad Pricing Plan

Dialpad has three different pricing plans on offer. While the Standard plan may be very limited for small businesses as it limits the number of extensions you may have, for small businesses, the Pro plan should be ideal. 

However, if you are looking for a plan that has unlimited extensions, you might want to consider the Enterprise plan which also has all the other features included.

9. Nextiva

Best easy-to-use virtual phone system for businesses that work remotely.

Nextiva is the Best easy to use virtual phone system for businesses that work remotely

Since Nextiva is a cloud-based platform, it lets all sizes of businesses take their business communication online and access their phone systems from anywhere using any device with an internet connection. 

However, since its features are limited, it may be ideal for small businesses only. 

With Nextiva, you can receive and make your business calls, message through text messaging and also send and receive faxes online directly through your mailbox. 

Setting up your Nextiva business phone system is extremely easy and the interface is easy to navigate. You can either choose from the number options available or simply port your existing number and start using Nextiva’s services. 

Nextiva has a desktop and mobile application which makes it possible to carry out business as regular even when not in the office. 

You can set up an auto-attendant who answers all your incoming calls automatically, plays a custom menu for the callers, and guides them through a custom menu. You can even set a custom greeting that plays every time you have a caller. 

When customers call after office hours, Nextiva makes it possible to either play a custom message or forward it to other numbers. 

If you miss a call when not in the office, Nextiva lets your callers leave voicemails that get delivered to your inbox directly so that you can listen to them without logging into your phone system. 

Irrespective of where you make the calls from, calls made and received on Nextiva sound very clear due to the HD calling feature. 

Pricing

Nextiva Virtual Phone Pricing Plan

Nextiva offers two plans for its virtual business phone system. Small businesses must opt for the Enterprise plan as it includes all the features that the Professional plan offers along with the advanced features with a very small price difference.

10. 8×8

Best feature-rich, budget-friendly virtual phone system for small businesses.

8x8 is the Best feature rich, budget friendly virtual phone system for small businesses

8×8 comes with all the important features that a small business owner would look for in a good virtual phone system and moreover, it comes at a very pocket-friendly price. 

It offers unlimited domestic calling, unlimited video conferencing, allows users to send SMS to customers, and also allows team messaging. 

When you start using 8×8 you can set up the system the way you want. You can choose a new number or port your existing number. It lets you set a custom greeting that players every time a caller calls. 

You can also set business hours, beyond which when callers call, they get forwarded to another number. Instead of having a human receptionist, 8×8 lets you deploy an auto-attendant that plays a custom menu, and guides callers to respective departments. 

8×8’s advanced call management features make it easy to attend to calls and manage bulks of calls that might often come in. Some of the features include call transfer, call hold, call queuing, call forward, and others. 

It also distributes incoming calls so that no caller is turned away and calls automatically get directed whenever an agent is available. 

8×8 also lets team members collaborate on calls, get tasks done together, and even communicate with each other directly instead of having a separate system for doing so. 

While it supports unlimited video conferencing, a unique feature is the branded video conferencing where customize the background, logo, and URL so that it matches the look and feel of your brand. 

Managing your telephone system and users is very easy as you can do so from a common dashboard. You can also utilize the comprehensive analytics that 8×8 offers for insights into your system’s performance. 

Pricing

8x8 Pricing Plan

Among the three plans the 8×8 offers, the 8×8 Express plan is a simple virtual phone system that will let users make unlimited calls. If you are looking for a more elaborate system but can work without advanced features like analytics, the X2 plan could be what you are looking for.

How to Choose the Best Virtual Phone System?

Choosing the right virtual phone system for your business is of utmost importance as you can consider it as a sort of investment for your business. You do not want to get stuck with a system that does not meet your requirement.

Here are some points that you must consider before you narrow your choices down.

1. Setup and installation

Setting up a virtual phone system is very easy and mostly requires less than five steps. All you have to do is subscribe to a plan, choose a number, download the app, configure your phone system and start making calls. 

The setup process of the best virtual phone system for your business will be short and simple and will not require any additional hardware. All you will need is a good internet connection to make uninterrupted calls.

2. Phone number options

This may be your first telephone connection for your business or you may already have an existing phone number that you would like to transfer. Choose a virtual phone system that lets you choose the number you want. 

The best virtual phone system will have an option between vanity numbers, local or toll-free numbers, and international numbers. It will also let you port your existing number without any interruptions in calls and messages.

3. Call management features

It is important that the virtual phone system that you choose for your business offers call management features like call transferring and forwarding, call parking and queuing and hold, and other features. 

This is important because your business will start getting heavy call traffic eventually and these call management features will make it easy to manage the flow of calls without appearing busy to your callers. 

Ensure that there is a call back option so that you can call back any caller you miss at any time and also look for simultaneous call handling as it lets you handle multiple callers at once.

4. Call screening and blocking

This feature is very important considering the number of robocalls and spam calls that businesses get these days. The best virtual phone system will screen all incoming calls and block all unwanted calls. 

It will also let you manually block calls so that your agents can receive only the calls that are relevant to your business.

5. Virtual receptionist or auto attendant

While you can always hire a human receptionist, there is only so much that he or she will be able to do. 

A virtual receptionist on the other hand can work round the clock, receive calls automatically when they call, guide them through custom menus and connect them to respective departments. 

This saves a lot of time on the business end and allows you to play custom greetings, announcements or advertisements while letting the caller connect themselves to the desired extension.

6. Ease of use

This goes without saying, the best virtual phone system will be easy to use and navigate.

7. SMS, Fax, and video conferencing

The virtual phone system that you choose must do a lot more than simply make and receive calls. Choose a service that lets you send and receive messages on your business number along with faxes delivered directly to your inbox. 

Sometimes the best virtual phone systems might offer audio calling, fax, and messaging but might not include video conferencing. 

In such cases, you might want to compliment the virtual phone system with the best video conferencing software for a complete communications solution.

8. Voicemail

Your agents are bound to miss a call or two occasionally. To ensure that the caller is not lost, choose a virtual phone system that lets the caller leave a voicemail

The best virtual phone systems will deliver this voicemail directly to your email inbox so that you can listen to them without having to log into the phone system every time.

9. Desktop and mobile app

The best virtual phone system will have a desktop and a mobile application. This will allow users to access their systems remotely and convert any device they have into a virtual phone

Agents will be able to make and receive calls, SMS, and faxes directly from their devices, on-the-go and in out-of-office locations.

10. Price

Virtual phone systems are cheaper than a traditional landline. So choose a phone system that meets all your business communication requirements at a price that fits your budget.

How Do I Set Up a Virtual Phone System?

Setting up a virtual phone system is a very easy process and often requires less than five steps.

1. Choose the best virtual phone system for your business.

The first and the most important step is to choose the right virtual phone system that fits your requirements and acts as a unified business communication system.

2. Choose a business phone plan.

Select a plan that is not too advanced for your needs, or not too basic. Most business phone services provide three types of plans, namely, basic, essential, and advanced. Often the essential plan is ideal for small businesses as it includes all the important features as the name suggests.

3. Select a new number or port an existing one.

The next step is to select a number that will represent your business. Choose the type of number that you want. It could be a local number, a vanity number, or a toll-free number. You can have one business number and unlimited extensions that will connect your employees. 

If you already have a phone number, instead of switching to a new number, you can port the number to the new service provider and start using the services with very little or no downtime at all.

4. Configure your phone system.

Once the initial setup is done, you will be required to configure your phone system for your business. Begin by recording a custom greeting and set business hours. You can then select a number to which calls will be forwarded after business hours. 

Some other things that you will have to set up include a single or multi-level menu, an auto-attendant, voicemail, and fax preferences among others. 

You will also need to set up permissions, roles, and access for all users through the admin dashboard so that your agents have their own accounts and extensions.

5. Start making and receiving calls.

That’s it. Now your phone system is ready to make and receive calls. You can start receiving and making calls using your virtual business phone system. Your agents will also be able to log in to their accounts and can be reached by dialing their extensions.

Virtual Phone System FAQ

How much does a virtual phone system cost?

There is no set price for a virtual phone system even though it is said to be considerably lower than a traditional phone system. 

The cost of a virtual phone system will depend on the service provider, the features it offers, and the number of extensions or numbers that are included. 

While there are service providers 8×8 like charging as low as $12 for a basic plan, there are providers like Talkroute that charge $99 for enterprise-level plans.

Can a virtual phone system be used at home?

While you can get a virtual phone system for your home, a virtual phone system for your business can also be used at home. This means that you can log in to your business account from any device at home and use it to make and receive your calls. 

Since virtual phone systems are hosted on the cloud and use the internet connection, they can be used from anywhere, using any device that connects to the internet.

What is the difference between a PBX and a virtual phone system?

Both are types of business phone systems but the way they connect callers to businesses is the key difference. PBX stands for private branch exchange and is a system by which enterprises switch calls between users on local lines. 

A business may have a hundred employees connected through telephone lines, but instead of having a hundred telephone lines, it has one PBX box and one business phone number which connects to these hundred lines through extensions. 

Messages are transferred between the lines using analog technology. However, a virtual phone system uses digital technology to transfer messages. 

While a PBX system is not connected to the internet, a virtual phone system does not have any hardware, is connected to the internet, and makes calls over the internet.

How does a virtual phone call work?

To make a virtual phone call, you will need an internet connection, a device connected to the internet, a virtual phone service provider, a subscription, and a phone number. 

Like a traditional calling system, you dial the number that you want to call. The digital signals get converted to analog signals or digital signals based on the type of device on the other end. At the core of it, a virtual phone system works on VoIP technology. 

Businesses can stay connected to their customers using the best VoIP services.

Are virtual phone numbers safe?

Yes, virtual phone numbers are totally safe. However, a significant portion of how safe it is depends on how seriously the service providers take the safety of their customers. 

Most virtual phone service providers are required to abide by necessary region-wise regulations and have to comply with many security policies to get the license to provide their services to the public.

How can I get a free virtual phone number?

The only way you can get a free virtual phone number is to choose a service provider that offers one. Many virtual phone service providers include a free virtual phone number with every subscription. 

You might be required to pay a charge if you want a custom number, a vanity number, or an international number.

Which Virtual Phone System Should I Choose?

Choosing a virtual phone system does not have to be a tiring process if you have read our guide and followed the instructions. 

Carefully analyze your requirements and evaluate every virtual phone system along those lines. 

If you want to streamline your business communication, evaluate options like RingCentral. Similarly, if you are looking for a solution for your customer contact center, you might want to compare CloudTalk and RingBlaze

Growing businesses looking for flexible options with high scalability could consider Grasshopper, Dialpad, and Ooma

On the other hand, if you are just looking for a virtual phone system to get you started, 8×8 and Talkroute might be some great options. 

Whichever service provider you choose, keep in mind that you choose one that lets you add new users easily and also does not lock you in for a year or two. You should be able to cancel the service if you feel your requirements have changed without incurring heavy losses. 

Now that you have all the information you need, go ahead and make an informed purchase!

Written by
Anastasia Belyh
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