With so many cloud based phone systems available on the market, how do you make the right choice? Different options may seem quite similar at first sight – and the longer you look, the harder it seems to finally decide on something. We know how confusing it can get. That’s precisely why we’d like to help you with all aspects that you should consider when choosing the right cloud-based phone system, and checking out the differences between the most popular solutions – including CloudTalk, JustCall, RingCentral, Aircall, Nextiva, 8×8, Vonage, Jive Voice, Zoom and Dialpad.
Are you ready to find the perfect cloud-based phone system for your needs?
What to consider when choosing cloud based phone systems
Cloud-based call centre systems are complex applications that differ in hundreds of variables. When you’re looking for the perfect option, it’s not hard to get lost – luckily, we’re here to help you out. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:
Ease of transition
No matter if you’re switching from traditional telephony or from one cloud-based system to another, make sure you know how the change is going to look like. If it’s not clear, talk to customer service representatives and ask them to walk you through the entire process so you’ll know what to expect.
This may sound obvious, yet it always pays off to double-check this aspect. Most cloud-based phone systems offer free trials, usually for around two weeks. It’s enough time to check if the sound quality allows you to have uninterrupted conversations and is worth the money you’re paying.
Are you planning to work within one country only, or maybe you’re going to make a lot of international calls? In both cases, it usually makes more sense to choose a phone system that covers a lot of different countries. The reason is simple – once your business starts growing, it might turn out that you’re going to expand to different countries as well. If you pick a system which is limited to only one country, you’ll have to change it again at some point. Choosing a solution that is going to grow with you is a better investment.
Do any of your employees work remotely, even from time to time? When your call centre agents are a part of a remote team, the choice is natural. On the other hand, even if they’re usually in the same office, it’s generally good to give them some flexibility. A decent cloud-based phone system can be used anytime, from anywhere – all you need is a device with a good internet connection.
If you’re already working with a sales CRM (such as Hubspot, Pipedrive, or Zoho) or a helpdesk system (like Zendesk or LiveAgent), be sure that the cloud-based phone solution of your choice can be integrated with these tools.
Other features you can’t live without
When you already have experience with other phone systems, you probably already know some features that are essential to you. Some of the most commonly used ones include automated call distribution (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR), as these are particularly useful for managing large contact centres. Before you make the significant change, be sure to ask your call centre agents about their habits and preferences.
The best cloud based phone systems compared
1. LimeCall Overview
Limecalls’s main agenda is to help brands connect with their prospects without any delay. What can you expect from their services?
Key Features– Custom SMS, Set working hours, View conversion data, Customise your analytics, get AI-powered scoring, Geo and IP triggers, GDPR ready, IP/Country blocking, Phone/Live chat support, Personalized widgets and much more.
Reason for Limecall– Capture potential prospects anytime and qualify all sales calls
Industry who uses– Real estate, Saas, Automotive, Travel
Pricing– Starter pack- Free, Pro pack- $35, Advanced pack- $75 and Enterprise pack is customizable
Integrations– Integrate with Hubspot, Zapier and more efficient tools
Main advantages– Receive lifetime free plan, no credit card required for signup and get a hold of team plan features
Investing in an efficient callback system that ensures that your prospect’s attention is catered to and indulged in is what will help brands like yours to convert prospect’s interest into the final purchasing decision that needs to be taken. You have the choice, get started today.
2 . Aircall Overview
Aircall is one of the most popular cloud-based phone systems worldwide – but is it the best choice for your business? Let’s have a closer look at its features:
Pricing – Prices start at $30 per user for the basic version. The more extended plan covers Salesforce integration, live call monitoring and call tagging. In this case, the price is $50 per user per month.
A minimum number of users – Some systems can be used by just one user per account. In the case of Aircall, it’s minimum of 3 users.
A number of callers in the queue – In the basic version, Aircall can hold a queue of 5 people, which might sometimes be too little. In the Professional plan, the amount is unlimited, though.
Available integrations – Similarly to many other phone systems, Aircall integrates with popular CRM systems, Helpdesk and e-commerce solutions. There are plenty more integrations to choose from, though.
A mobile app – Available on iPhone and Android, makes it easy to take advantage of Aircall features and log all the data you need into your CRM and Helpdesk while being on the move.
Other Aircall features include call recordings, interactive voice response (IVR) and smart call routing. The price might not be the lowest, but it’s said to be quite cost-effective when taking into account all the features it provides.
3. JustCall Overview
Another popular player on the cloud telephony market is JustCall. So, how does it look compared to its competitors?
Pricing – The pricing of JustCall ranges between $25 and $50 per user.
International numbers – JustCall covers around 55 countries worldwide, which allows you to work on the most prominent international markets.
Pay Per Minute Calling – For every call, you will be charged per minute as per JustCall’s calling rates.
Limited features – some of the more advanced features like skills-based routing or automated 0 already seem to be a standard for many similar phone systems, yet they’re absent in JustCall.
Integrations – JustCall offers quite a wide range of integrations, including Salesforce, Pipedrive, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Intercom, Zoho, Hubspot and many more.
To sum up, JustCall might be a good option for you if you work on many international markets and you particularly care about integrations.
4. RingCentral Overview
What about RingCentral, another popular cloud-based phone system? Here’s how it looks in this case:
Pricing – In the case of RingCentral, the minimal price per user per month is $19 (if paid annually). Monthly billing prices start at $29.
Analytics – The tool comes with an extensive RingCentral Analytics Portal. It allows you to create in-depth reports on your call centre performance. When you compare it to the competition, RingCentral is probably the best pick if you’re into analytics.
Integrations – Some of the most interesting RingCentral integrations include Alexa for Business, Trello, Asana, Mailchimp, Github and many more. The choice is quite impressive overall!
As you can see, RingCentral is sure to meet your needs if you’re after a lot of integrations and an extensive analytics stack. It also has quite a few other tools and features in-store, in case you’re interested.
5. Nextiva Overview
Nextiva often hits the top of various comparisons, so let’s take a look at what it offers.
Pricing – Business Communication Suite is the one with VoIP service. Its price starts from $20 monthly per user with unlimited calls and free-toll number.
Surveys and live chat – If you wish to use these features, you have to go for a higher plan.
Reliability – According to the official site, Nextiva had zero outages in 2019. You can also check out its performance real-time on their page. It has eight data centres, yet they are localised only in the US.
Telemarketing management – Nextiva doesn’t include this feature, so if your core business is reaching out to your customers via phone, better look for other options.
If you care especially for the reliability of your services and free-toll numbers and your calls are mainly within the US, Nextiva definitely can meet your expectations.
6. Dialpad Overview
Another solution worth considering is Dialpad. What can you expect from it?
Pricing – Prices start from $15 monthly per user. For this price, you get unlimited calls in the US and Canada.
Flexibility – There is a free 14-day trial period, yet if you decide to use Dialpad, you have no option but to pay annually. Monthly subscriptions are not available.
Queues – The basic version of Dialpad doesn’t cover call queues, so unless your phone isn’t ringing all the time, take a look at a more advanced plan.
Integrations – If you don’t go for a more extended plan, you can only use Google Drive and Office 365 integrations.
Analytics – All versions come with real-time call analytics.
One of the most exciting Dialpad features is Vi – voice intelligence. It monitors ongoing phone calls and can provide the necessary information or analyze sentiment. Vi may be particularly useful if you’re running a big call centre with a lot of new-joiners.
7. 8×8 Overview
8×8 catches your eye with an unusual name. Let’s figure out what they offer.
Pricing – Prices start at $12 monthly per user. However, at $25 monthly per user, you get unlimited calls in 14 countries, which is a low price comparing to other services. You should keep in mind, however, that in most of those countries you pay for calling mobile phones, so when considering this service, be sure to read all the details carefully.
GDPR compliance – Appears in higher plans only, so if your service needs to be GDPR compliant, you have to take that into account.
Integrations – 8×8 offers you numerous options to connect with other services you’re currently using. It integrates with GSuite, Salesforce, Outlook, Office 365, Zendesk and many other apps.
30-day trial – Comparing to other providers, 8×8 offers a long trial period to test their services.
If you’re in need of international service and a GDPR compliant data storage, that might be your phone system. Nevertheless, their offer lacks automation, so your team may spend more time handling tedious tasks than they could with another service.
8. Vonage Overview
You may know Vonage from home services, yet it also offers a business solution. Let’s see what is included.
Pricing – The cheapest plan is $19.99 monthly per user plus taxes, yet they encourage getting in touch in order to establish a plan and a quote that suits your needs best.
Reach – Vonage offers free calls in the continental part of the US and Canada, yet if you operate on an international scale, it may not cover all your needs. You need to order an extra feature that allows you to make international calls with lower rates.
Flexibility – Vonage seems to have a lot of additional features that may tailor the service to your needs. Nevertheless, most of them have a fixed price, like toll-free numbers, so no matter if you need just one line or ten, you’ll pay $40. If your business has just started to grow and you’re not ready to splash out, it may not be the best option for you.
Hardware – If you’re setting up a call centre with traditional desk phones, you may consider the option of getting them together with a plan from Vonage.
Vonage seems to be a good option if you plan to have numerous users. For smaller teams, though, it may turn out to be quite pricey.
9. Zoom Overview
Zoom is also on our list to analyse. Here go the features we found most useful:
Freemium – If you’re not calling a lot, you can use Zoom for free. Keep in mind, however, that its functionalities are minimal: time that you can spend on meetings with three or more participants is only 40 minutes. Because of that, it will suit your needs only if you focus on 1-on-1 calls.
Pricing – Aside from a free basic plan, prices start at $15 monthly per user. You can customise plans, choosing additionally paid features as more cloud storage for recording or toll-free numbers.
Webinars – As an additional option, you have a solution to conduct webinars with options like polls, Q&A and virtual hand-raising.
Calling plans – Apart from a fee for a higher plan, you have to pay for the calling plan you choose or a toll-free number. Other providers usually include it in the basic price, so if this option is a must for you, better calculate the price twice.
Zoom seems a good solution for business meetings. If your team works remotely or you’re looking for a tool to organise meetings with your clients that require a lot of sharing ideas, it may be worth trying, yet for a regular call centre, it’s better to look for other options.
10. Jive Voice overview
Jive Voice is one more cloud-based phone system. What does it offer?
Pricing – The prices depend on the number of users, starting from $19.95 for more than 50 users. If you need service only for 1 to 4 users, you’ll pay $29.95 monthly per person. The plans are not flexible, so if you need something more tailored, it’s probably best to look at another solution.
Reliability – Jive Voice relies on various data centres across the US and two outside North America: London and Sao Paulo.
Extended features – As there is only one plan available, the list is quite impressive. There are some additional paid options, though, like getting a local number or toll-free number and international calling.
Hardware – in case you consider buying desk phones for your company, you may opt for phones available via Jive Voice. All of them will be pre-configured to make the setup go smoothly.
If you’re going big with your department, JiveVoice may be a good option. However, if its offer exceeds your needs, another provider may result more profitable.
11. CloudTalk Overview
Time to have a closer look at the last, but definitely not least cloud-based phone system on our list, CloudTalk:
Pricing – It’s less expensive compared to most of the other providers, as the pricing starts from 15 EUR per month.
Reliability – CloudTalk relies on multiple data centres worldwide, with constant monitoring and physical protection. What’s more, all services and data are backed-up and encrypted in accordance with GDPR.
Call tagging – If you would like to add tags to your calls, CloudTalk is a great pick. You can filter all the calls according to their tags, which makes it much easier to manage different conversations.
Multi-site support – If you’re operating across different websites, CloudTalk has that covered – which is not always the case.
Power dialer – CloudTalk comes with a power dialling feature. In other words, it allows agents to connect with prospects automatically. Instead of calling manually, they can prepare a list of contacts and call all of them in one go.
This means that CloudTalk can really make a difference in terms of improving your sales & customer support. The variety of advanced features and integrations, as well as the ability to tailor them to your needs, are what makes it the right choice for many businesses out there.
With CallHippo, deliver a smooth customer experience with IVR, Smart Call Routing, Live Call Monitoring, and more to to offer highly personalized customer experiences and resolve issues faster.
Pricing – Users can choose from 4 available plans Bronze at $14 Silver at $24 Platinum at $35 or Enterprise- Customized Solutions.
Integration – CallHippo integrates with 100+ apps, including Shopify, Zapier, Freshdesk, and HubSpot
International Calling : CallHippo Provides numbers for 50+ different countries.
Key takeaways for choosing the best cloud based phone system
There are indeed many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best cloud-based phone solution. We hope this article made it a bit easier for you! We recommend testing different solutions since many of them offer free trial periods, and see what works for your team best. Good luck!
Never underestimate the power of passion. With over 17 years of experience in building internet businesses, 5 successful bootstrapped b2b brands. Sathish spends most of his time executing ideas into niche internet brands through a lean team and enjoys being a wanderlust.
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