Businesses are dealing with more inbound calls than they can possibly handle, which is why business VoIP phone services such as Grasshopper may be necessary to handle them all.
VoIP phone service enhances a business’s credibility and makes communications more efficient. Whenever anyone calls a business, one of the first things they will hear is an automated system asking them to press 1 for billing and so on. This will make them think that the company is bigger than it really is.
Grasshopper Isn’t For Everyone
There are other alternate phone services a company can use if the business owner deems their customer support, reliability, features, or pricing to be unsatisfactory. Read our Grasshopper review for more information.
Grasshopper is one of the most popular business phone systems among growing teams and small businesses alike. They offer free or low-cost features, which makes their system an essential tool for both small team managers and competitive business operators.
Other features that are taking customer experience and efficiency to the next level include number porting and voicemail transcription. Small companies like the dependability of Grasshopper’s low-cost high-end service.
There are alternatives for larger companies or teams who desire additional services.
Here are the 7 best alternatives to Grasshopper currently available:
A fun fact about RingCentral is that it was founded in 1999, which is only a year after PayPal was founded. They had been bootstrapped during their first seven years, but in 2006 had finally obtained some investors after generating several million dollars in total revenue, according to Vlad Shmunis, the company’s CEO. Go to RingCentral's Website
Each tier includes unlimited calls in the United States and Canada; however, users must have 50 or fewer active lines in order to take advantage of this offer.
RingCentral includes a voicemail-to-text feature on all of their plans, unlike Vonage. If the VTT feature is something a business owner really wanted to have but couldn’t afford, RingCentral’s pricing should be right up their alley.
Unlimited internet faxing is also included but is only available with their standard or higher-tier plans.
Customer support is available 24/7 for RingCentral. They can be reached by calling their hotline or chatting with them through their live chat feature on their website.
The reviews are a clear indication that RingCentral’s customer support is not only responsive but very helpful. Any company that doesn’t shy away from sharing public reviews is confident in their customer service abilities.
RingCentral’s essential plan is one of the cheapest they offer at $29.99 a month for each user. Users will get a toll-free number and a local number. Users will also get 100 toll-free minutes every month, which is probably more than one might ever need if their business doesn’t receive a lot of calls.
For an additional $5.00 more, users can subscribe to the standard plan, which includes 1,000 toll-free minutes every month.
RingCentral’s bulk pricing is pretty affordable as the standard plan is only $19.99 a month for each user if a business has 1,000 or more users. This makes it a great alternative to Grasshopper.
LogMeIn owns Jive Communications, which was once known as 3am Labs Inc. before 2006. In 2009, Jive became public on Nasdaq, reaching $44 per share. Following the IPO, it opened at $20 at the end of 2010. In 2018, Jive was acquired for over $342 million dollars. Go to Jive's Website
In terms of the features Jive has to offer, it is somewhat of an outlier because there aren’t any plans. Every feature Jive Communications offers is available to all users. Pricing can change depending upon the number of people who are using the system.
Small businesses that aren’t able to afford the premium plans other providers offer may consider Jive Communications a great option.
There are over 80 different features available to all users without the extra fees other providers charge for their premium packages. Similar to 8x8 and Vonage, Jive includes an auto-attendant feature as well.
Customized hold music and call forwarding can be enabled to suit a company’s needs. Call waiting is another feature that’s included. For businesses that receive a heavy amount of calls every day, this kind of feature is always a plus to have.
It would take far too long to list the over 80 features Jive has to offer, which is why it’s recommended that business owners visit the company’s website for more information.
While a live chat feature isn’t offered with Jive, they do have a toll-free number that offers 24/7 support and an e-mail address.
Most users don’t mind the lack of a chat feature as long as there are other methods of contact available. If live chats are a preference, business owners should find another provider that offers this kind of support.
As mentioned earlier, the price a business owner pays is dependent upon the amount of users they have. If a company only has 1-4 users, it will cost $29.95 a month per user. If there are 50 or more users, the price is $19.95 - a $10.00 reduction.
Customized quotes are available on Jive’s pricing page for companies that have over 100 users.
This kind of pricing system is fair and simple, which makes Jive more desirable for all kinds of business sizes both big and small.
3. Vonage for Business
Vonage entered the VoIP industry early on in 2001 and is still a cut above the rest today. As of 2018, around 50,000 business customers are using their service. Vonage is one of the original business VoIP providers in the industry.
Vonage’s desktop and mobile apps are available on each of their plans, including one of their cheapest, making it easier for business owners to check on things no matter where they are. Business owners will receive access to VonageFlow team messaging for free so they can always stay in touch with their staff, even while they are traveling for business purposes or are on vacation.
The advanced and premium plans include an auto-attendant feature that guarantees their customers are routed to the appropriate department using a self-selection system.
Experts will conduct onboarding for advanced users, and also assist them with the account setup process.
The advanced plan has one intriguing feature – visual voicemail. Business owners can transcribe voicemails into text and either text or e-mail them to their staff or to themselves. While this could also be done by a transcriber and VA using Fiverr, it will actually cost users more than Vonage’s advanced plan.
Vonage’s customer support is one of the best, as they offer 24/7 live chat to assist users with their online accounts with short wait times. The response time to connect with a live agent according to 10 different trials was only 12 seconds.
The live agents are quite helpful and honest. If it’s not possible for an issue to be resolved, the agent will let the user know so they can contact their hotline instead of chatting online.
When it comes to customer service, Vonage comes in second place.
Vonage is significantly cheaper than Grasshopper, as their low-cost plan is only $19.99 per month, while the mid-sized plan is $29.99 per month. The most expensive plan is the advanced plan which costs $39.99 per month. The more a user scales up, the less expensive it becomes. If a business opts for 20 lines, for instance, the per-user cost each month ends up being only $14.99 per month. The price point is what makes Vonage one of the best in terms of costs, even if it’s not one of the best alternatives to Grasshopper.
Small companies with limited budgets, as well as larger companies that are looking for bulk pricing, will find Vonage Business plans very affordable in terms of keeping operational costs low.
One of the oldest providers in existence is Mitel, which was founded by Michael Cowpland and Terry Matthews in 1973. Once ownership changed in 2001, the company’s focus shifted to VoIP products. Mitel is a large industrial player with $1.3 billion dollars in profits.
There are a wide range of features on Mitel’s cheapest plan, including G Suite integration, a softphone, mobile apps, and instant messaging. The elite and premier plans are the only tiers that offer voicemail transcription.
Their app supports screen-sharing, group video calls, and audio conferencing. There is a cap on the number of users that can join in on video conferences, depending on the kind of plan a business owner has, which is something that should be considered when looking for suitable alternatives to Grasshopper.
For example, essentials users can add as many as 8 people to their video conferences. On the other hand, elite and premier members can have as few as 12 and as many as 24 users in their video conferences. The full capacity specifics can be found here.
The elite plan is the only plan available that will allow users to make use of Mitel’s operator feature, which could be costly for small businesses.
Several trials were run to test the effectiveness of Mitel’s customer service. Multiple phone calls and e-mails were placed, which indicates that their customer service department is efficient and helpful.
Support calls were answered relatively quickly. They got the information they needed in short order and transferred users over to a specialist fast. Users’ questions were answered clearly and were always very detailed.
Their e-mail support included quick, helpful replies. Their support is offered 24/7 all year long with no downtime. They are even open on holidays, so if a company’s phone line were to go down on Christmas Eve, a helpful representative would still be available to promptly resolve the issue.
There are three different plans available: the essentials tier, the premier tier, and the elite tier. The monthly costs for each of these respective plans are $20.99, $26.59, and $38.49.
There aren’t any obvious updates to per-user pricing, but their pricing page does allow potential customers to enter the number of users that will be utilizing Mitel’s service. The essentials tier is by far the most affordable, as it includes an unlimited amount of minutes each month.
If the premium features are worth the added expense without breaking the bank, so to speak, a business owner can upgrade to the premier or elite tier if they wish.
In 2006, Tomas Gorny, a tech entrepreneur, founded Nextiva, a company which has become quite popular in the communications industry for a while. There are numerous benefits to using this company over Grasshopper, which will be discussed in further detail in the next couple of paragraphs.
All of their plans, including their most basic plan, offer all of the things a business could ever need. Business owners will get unlimited SMS capabilities and calls along with a voicemail service that lets users know when new messages are coming via e-mail. A toll-free number and a local number are also included at no additional cost to the business owner.
A live chat feature for the user’s website is included with Nextiva’s enterprise plan, which can actually prove to be quite beneficial, as studies have shown that overall customer satisfaction for live chats is over 73% compared to just 44% for phone calls alone.
The pro plan allows users to add surveys at the end of every call that can be used to collect customer data without having to spend additional money on market research. The pro plan will also allow users to download and use Nextiva’s desktop, Android, or iOS apps.
As one might imagine, Nextiva’s website includes live chat support. If they didn’t use one of their own features it wouldn’t be setting a very good example for the company.
Telephone support is available 7 days a week, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week, and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
A majority of users who have contacted Nextiva’s representatives have said that they were helpful in setting up their accounts along with any other questions they had, which makes this company an even better alternative to Grasshopper than Vonage.
Nextiva’s basic plan is similar to Grasshopper’s plan, however, the enterprise and pro plans are much more affordable, as they respectively cost $45.00 and $33.00 per month.
Bulk pricing is also offered which means that the more users a business adds to their plan, the cheaper it becomes. However, once the 100-user mark has been passed, the enterprise plan can cost about as much as Nextiva’s basic plan.
Large businesses that need alternatives to Grasshopper due to the number of caps will like Nextiva, as it is supportive of expansion without it being too expensive.
One of the second oldest hosted PBX providers in existence is 8x8. It began as a company by the name of IIT in 1987. They didn’t enter the VoIP market until their relaunch in 2002. It has been growing for a number of years since its listing on the Nasdaq the same year.
There are a variety of advantages in all of the Grasshopper alternatives that have been discussed so far, but 8x8’s international coverage is probably one of the best of the bunch, especially if a user’s company does business on an international scale.
Depending on the plan a user chooses, unlimited calling in 14-17 countries is included. There is an auto-attendant feature that is offered on all of 8x8’s plans including their cheapest one. Vonage only offers an auto-attendant feature for advanced or premium users as mentioned earlier.
Also depending on the plan a user chooses, they will receive media storage (between 1 GB and 10GB).
One downside about 8x8 is their customer support. There is no live chat and users have to jump through many hoops on the company’s website to get to a page where they can connect with an agent. Agents can only offer users guidance on basic problems but aren’t knowledgeable enough to offer personalized solutions for more difficult problems.
8x8’s customer service department would need to undergo a complete overhaul in order for it to work the way their global coverage does. This makes 8x8 a weak candidate in terms of Grasshopper alternatives.
8x8’s low-cost plan, the X2, is $25.00 a month with a 14-country range included.
The next cheapest plan is the X4 which costs $45.00 a month but it does give users access to all of 8x8’s 47 countries.
Bulk pricing is a little more costly through 8x8 than it is with other providers, as their X2 plan only offers a $4.00 reduction for businesses that have 1,000 users or more, and a $2.00 price reduction if a company only has 100-999 users.
8x8 is probably not the best choice for businesses that are looking for large-scale affordability. But if global coverage is something a business desires, then 8x8 is a pretty good alternative to Grasshopper.
One of the youngest competitors in the market is Dialpad, which was founded back in 2011. Their Series D Funding raised over $50 million dollars last year. The company has around 300 employees and makes $150,000 per capita. The GDP per capita in the U.S. in 2018 was $62,641.
Each of Dialpad’s Talk plans includes unlimited calls to Canada and the U.S. A feature that sets Dialpad apart from the competition is that it can be integrated with G Suite, which over 5 million companies use on a daily basis. Many businesses consider this perk to be quite valuable.
Users who subscribe to the pro plan gain access to international numbers. However, both pro and standard users get toll-free and local numbers with their plans at no additional cost, along with HD video calls, voicemail greetings, and call forwarding.
Pro users also have access to hold queues, which could become a problem if a business receives a lot of incoming phone calls.
Business owners may not like this drawback – they have to give the company a certain amount of money to gain access to customer support. Standard users, for instance, do not receive any kind of phone support whatsoever. Pro users only receive telephonic support 5 days a week. Dialpad’s enterprise tier offers 24/7 phone support. One wonders how affordable this plan really is since they don’t mention it anywhere on their website.
Case-in-point, if a business is able to pay a premium price to Dialpad, they will receive support. Otherwise, standard users are getting the raw end of the deal, since they do not receive any kind of support at all, which isn’t right nor fair considering that a majority of their competitors offer 24/7 support for all of their plans.
Dialpad Talk’s standard plan is $20.00 a month. The pro plan is $10.00 more at $30.00 a month.
There aren’t any bulk discounts offered for using Dialpad. Business owners will pay full-price, whether they have 20 users or as many as 99. However, if a business has more than 100 users, the enterprise tier is an option. The business owner will need to contact Dialpad in order to receive a quote.
The one thing that makes Dialpad a good alternative to Grasshopper is the fact that their standard plan is somewhat inexpensive, as the company’s prices are fixed in general.
Grasshopper Alternatives Power All Types of Businesses
It’s clear to see that there are a variety of different business phone providers to choose from. It wouldn’t be fair to say that one company is better than another one. It would also be impossible, as every business has its own individual needs.
Business owners need to objectively look at the pros and cons of each provider to see which of these alternatives to Grasshopper is the best fit for them.
The good news is that a majority of the companies mentioned in this article offer free software trials that can help business owners make an informed decision prior to making a purchase. If the software doesn’t fit the needs of the user after the free trial period is over, they need to cancel their service before they are charged.
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