The digitization of business processes has transformed the way we work and communicate. One of the game-changers is the rise of virtual phone number providers. These services allow businesses to have a dedicated business number without the need for physical phone lines or additional hardware. In this post, we’ll delve into the top virtual phone number providers available in 2024, their features, and how they can help streamline your business communications.
But first. for those interested in understanding how messages can be intercepted over a Wi-Fi network, we recommend reading our comprehensive guide that provides several methods on this topic.
What is a Virtual Phone Number?
A virtual phone number is a number that isn’t tied to a specific phone line. It works via internet-based technology, using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or cloud services to route calls. This flexibility allows businesses to have dedicated local or toll-free numbers, no matter their geographical location.
Why Use It?
Virtual phone numbers provide numerous benefits. They offer an affordable communication solution, especially for international or long-distance calls. They also enhance the professional image of businesses by providing dedicated customer service lines. Furthermore, they facilitate remote working, as the number can be accessed from anywhere, on any device.
Now that we’ve understood the concept of virtual phone numbers let’s explore the top providers in the market.
Top Providers for Seamless Communication
RingCentral is a heavyweight in the VoIP industry. It offers a comprehensive suite of features, including video conferencing, call forwarding, auto-attendant, and integration with CRM software like Salesforce and Zoho.
RingCentral’s standout feature is its robust app that allows team messaging, video meetings, and phone calls from a single platform. Their offerings are scalable, making it ideal for businesses of all sizes.
Designed specifically for small businesses, Grasshopper is a virtual phone number provider that excels in simplicity and ease of use. It offers local, toll-free, and vanity numbers. The service includes features such as voicemail transcription, call forwarding, and custom greetings.
The unique selling proposition of Grasshopper is its seamless integration with your existing mobile and landline numbers, negating the need for extra equipment or complex setups.
Phone.com offers an array of features that can cater to both small and large businesses. It provides local and toll-free numbers, call routing, hold music, and conference calling. What sets Phone.com apart is its bilingual auto-attendant feature, ideal for businesses with diverse clientele.
Moreover, Phone.com stands out with its flexible and affordable pricing plans, starting from a pay-per-minute plan to unlimited plans, catering to different business needs.
8×8 is known for its reliability and robust set of features. It provides HD voice and video, auto-attendant, call forwarding, and CRM integration. Also, it offers advanced analytics tools, providing valuable insights into your communication patterns.
8×8 is a great choice for international businesses, as it includes free unlimited calling to up to 47 countries, depending on the plan.
5. Google Voice
Google Voice is a great option for small businesses and startups due to its simplicity and affordability. It offers call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and spam filtering. The seamless integration with other Google services like Gmail and Google Calendar is an added advantage.
However, Google Voice might not be the best fit for large businesses as it lacks some advanced features like auto-attendant and CRM integration.
Nextiva is more than just a virtual phone number provider; it’s a full-fledged unified communications system. It provides VoIP phone services, video conferencing, team messaging, and customer relationship management.
Nextiva stands out with its advanced analytics and reporting features, helping businesses understand and optimize their communication strategies. Additionally, its mobile and desktop apps allow seamless remote work capabilities, making it an excellent choice for businesses with remote or distributed teams.
eVoice is a cost-effective virtual phone number provider tailored for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It offers local, toll-free, and vanity numbers with features like call forwarding, auto-attendant, and voicemail transcription.
One notable feature of eVoice is its “Click-to-Call” button that you can embed on your website, allowing customers to connect with your business instantly. Furthermore, eVoice offers a 30-day free trial, making it an attractive option for businesses wanting to test the waters.
Aircall is a cloud-based virtual phone system designed for businesses that prioritize customer support and sales. It offers local and toll-free numbers, call forwarding, call recording, and call queuing.
Aircall’s standout feature is its seamless integration with popular helpdesk and CRM software like Zendesk, Salesforce, and HubSpot. Additionally, Aircall provides real-time analytics to help businesses monitor performance and improve customer interactions.
Talkroute is another virtual phone number provider catering to small businesses and entrepreneurs. It offers local, toll-free, and vanity numbers, along with features such as call forwarding, call routing, and voicemail transcription.
The unique aspect of Talkroute is its visual call flow builder, which allows you to create custom call flows to ensure each call is routed to the right department or team member. Also, it offers unlimited extensions, making it ideal for businesses with multiple departments or remote teams.
VirtualPBX is a comprehensive VoIP and virtual phone number provider suitable for businesses of all sizes. It offers local and toll-free numbers, auto-attendant, call forwarding, and call recording.
VirtualPBX’s unique selling point is its flexibility. It allows businesses to bring their existing devices and numbers or opt for new ones, depending on their requirements. Furthermore, VirtualPBX offers a variety of plans to cater to different business needs, including pay-as-you-go and unlimited plans.
How to Pick the Ideal Virtual Phone Number Provider
Navigating through the multitude of virtual phone number providers can be a daunting task, especially when every provider seems to offer something unique. Here’s a guide to help you choose the ideal virtual phone number provider that aligns with your business needs.
Your Business Needs
Before delving into the various options available, you must understand your business needs. Do you need a local or toll-free number? What features are essential for your operations, such as call forwarding, auto-attendant, or voicemail transcription? Are you looking for a provider that supports video conferencing or CRM integration? Answering these questions will help narrow down your options.
Consider the Provider’s Scalability
Your business needs may change over time. You might start as a small business, but in a few years, you might grow into a medium or large enterprise. Consequently, the virtual phone number provider you choose should be able to scale with your business. Consider providers that offer different plans suitable for businesses of all sizes.
Evaluate the Features
Not all virtual phone number providers offer the same features. Some providers excel in providing advanced features like analytics, CRM integration, and video conferencing, while others focus on providing basic features with simplicity and ease of use. Make a list of features that are crucial for your business and evaluate each provider based on this list.
Check the Quality of Customer Support
The quality of customer support can be a decisive factor in choosing a virtual phone number provider. You want a provider that offers reliable and prompt customer support to resolve any issues that may arise. Look for providers that offer multiple channels of support, such as phone, email, live chat, and a comprehensive knowledge base.
Look into Pricing and Value for Money
Pricing is an important factor to consider. However, instead of just opting for the cheapest provider, consider the value for money. Some providers might have higher prices, but they offer a comprehensive suite of features, excellent customer support, and reliable service. Make sure you understand the pricing structure, any hidden fees, and what you’re getting for your money.
Research Reviews and Reputation
Finally, take some time to research the provider’s reputation. Read customer reviews, check their ratings on review platforms, and consider their industry reputation. Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the provider’s reliability, customer support, and the quality of their service.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why would my business need a virtual phone number?
It can offer your business a professional image by providing a dedicated customer service line. It’s also an affordable solution for international or long-distance calls, and it supports remote working by allowing access to the number from anywhere.
2. How much does a virtual phone number cost?
The cost varies depending on the provider and the features included in the package. Some providers offer basic plans starting from as low as $10 per month, while others may charge upwards of $30 per month for more advanced features.
3. Can I use my existing business number as a virtual number?
Yes, most providers allow you to port your existing business number. However, it’s best to confirm this with the specific provider before signing up.
4. How reliable are virtual phone number services?
They are typically quite reliable, but the quality can depend on your internet connection. Providers usually have uptime guarantees, with many offering 99.9% reliability.
5. Can I use my virtual number for sending and receiving text messages?
Yes, most providers support SMS capabilities, allowing you to send and receive text messages using your virtual number.
6. Can a virtual phone number provider replace my traditional phone system?
Absolutely! Many businesses have already made the switch. Virtual phone number providers offer features like call forwarding, voicemail, auto-attendant, and even video conferencing, which can replace and often exceed the capabilities of traditional phone systems.
7. How quickly can I get a virtual phone number?
Setting it up is usually a quick process. After signing up with a provider, you can get your number up and running within a few minutes to a few hours.
Choosing the best virtual phone number provider depends on your business’s specific needs and budget. To make the right decision, consider the features that are essential for your operations, such as call forwarding, auto-attendant, or CRM integration.
Moreover, pay attention to the provider’s scalability, as your business may grow or change over time. By selecting the right provider, you can improve your communication strategy, streamline your operations, and enhance your professional image.