We live in a time like never before as technology advances faster than ever. So why would your business still rely on systems that are completely outdated? Most business now-a-days requires some flexibility, especially when it comes to location. I know that working in philanthropy and real estate, my office is with me where ever and when-ever I go. If you are looking into a new phone system for your business there are a few things to consider like company size and needed features. Let’s look at some of the common ones most people look at and what might best fit you.
If you are just starting out and you are a company of one, then you could easily get by with a simple phone number like Google Voice. This is often what most people I have seen go to for the solopreneur option. This is great if you are just looking for a simple solution where you can give out a number that is not your personal cell phone number. You can call out from your phone or, with recent updates, your computer over VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol). VOIP has made some great strides over the years, but call quality can be spotty at times, which can make you sound a bit unprofessional.
The big down side with Google Voice is that it is made to be so simple that you can not add another caller to the line. Sometimes when I need to add another person to the call, google voice had let me down in not even having the option.
This may change in the future, however, since Google is building Google Voice for Enterprise for it’s G Suites users (paid users on their top tier plan).
Price: Free with gmail, Cost money with an Enterprise Plan for G Suites
This is a more robust option, especially for teams on a budget. Dialpad is great for small teams that might not use a lot of minutes on their free plan. It does, however, give you an automated system and up to 5 users on their free plan. You will be limited on your minutes and text messaging on their free plan though. This is a complete cloud solution though and you can order desk phones for when you are in the office, or just download the free mobile or desktop app for when you take your laptop and go. Their paid plans are not too bad and will be about $15 for one user for an annual plan or $20 if you pay monthly. If you need more than one, you can pay for their team plan, which requires a minimum of 3 users and will total about $100 for that. A great feature I have found with Dialpad is that I can have a click-to-dial feature on my laptop when browsing the web. The AI also tries to transcribe the entire conversation so that I can read over my conversations later (the paid plans can also record the audio).
The bad here though is that if I am going to be paying as much as Dialpad’s competators, I want the same features as well. They do not offer a fax line for when you are on the mobile app, and you can not pick your number from a long list, rather, they just assign you one.
RingCentral is probably to more pricey of the cloud phone system but not by much and you get a whole lot of more features. This is the phone system I use because it makes my phone my entire office with room to grow as I get more team members in my company. While there is no free version, I consider the cost as the cost of rent for an entire office. I pay less than $100 per month but can scan and fax from my phone, have an automated system for all the companies under Michael Glover Enterprises, and have advanced calling rules for holidays, times off and the time of day it is. For example, if I have a contact who calls regularly, I can have them call my line directly or they can be automatically redirected to me if they call the main line. They also sync with my phone contacts and have caller ID so that I always know who is calling.
RingCentral also has the best click-to-dial feature for Google Chrome that I have ever tried out. While it still needs some work, I can click any phone number within my CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) software or throughout the web and instantly be calling with just one click. This makes it easy to call and reach out to as many people as possible without sounding like a robocall and getting marked as “Spam”. They can see my caller ID and know that I am a legitimate business calling them and not some random person.
There are a lot more systems out there to choose from with the features you may need. What phone systems do you use and why?