We reviewed 29 products and determined that Nextiva is our favorite business phone system. Its 24/7 customer support, unlimited domestic calls, and robust call analytics make it an excellent option for businesses of all sizes. We also appreciate how easy and affordable it is to add more users to your phone system. Continue reading to discover other business phone systems that could be the best option for your company.
Top Business Phone Systems: Golden Eggs
The following are our Golden Eggs earning our top spots out of the 29 business phone systems we reviewed.
RingCentral is best for large organizations with high call volumes and complex phone system needs. Features like auto-attendant, hardware leasing, and call monitoring allow it to meet virtually any customer and business needs. Start with a 14-day trial of any plan.
Ooma is the business phone system to use for a user-friendly design that anyone on a team can navigate. Its straightforward installation and easy-to-use mobile app enhance its usability. Try Ooma with a 30-day risk-free trial.
Business Phone Systems Review Process
Below, we categorize the best business phone systems based on features that are most important for this type of product. We also include specific use cases that individuals and businesses might use them for.
Our research of 29 products led us to identify the following five primary use cases for needing a business phone system:
- Internal communication
- External communication
- Remote work
- Virtual phone numbers
- Call center
Throughout our research, we discovered what each company does best to match them with appropriate use cases. You can head right to one of our sets of use case reviews that follow to help you quickly find the phone system that fits your situation. Or, feel free to read the entirety in order, if you’re just starting your purchasing decision.
Don’t forget to explore essential features of business phone systems that helped guide our reviews.
The Best Business Phone Systems for External Communication
Most businesses primarily use their phone systems for external communication, like answering customer phone calls or reaching out to vendors. Reliability, security, and easy setup are essential considerations here.
If security is your priority when handling communications between your company and clients, Nextiva is a top contender. Every call gets TLS + SRTP encryption, and Nextiva’s phone service, call recording, faxing, and video conferencing are HIPAA-compliant.
You also can’t go wrong with all the additional features you get from a Nextiva business phone system. From call queuing and screening to setting up a fully automated call flow with a virtual attendant, Nextiva makes things easier for your team to engage with and please customers, clients, and vendors.
As a bonus, Nextiva’s easy-to-use administration lets anyone on your team work on the platform, tweak their settings, or even install new lines or equipment if needed. Nextiva allows for simple expansion of your phone system, too, with free number porting, the ability to bring your own device, and available equipment rentals.
Is Nextiva the best fit for your business? Read our review to learn more.
RingCentral provides fantastic call management, with all plans including call transferring, screening, logs, forwarding, and answering rules. Higher-tier plans add shared lines and a multi-level auto-attendant on top of that. Together, those features help your team make and field more calls with better service.
RingCentral’s business phone system is also known for its friendly interface. Thanks to its intuitive design that simplifies setup and operation, your team can spend less time figuring out features and more time remaining productive, whether that entails qualifying leads, coordinating with clients, or solving customer problems.
We also appreciate that RingCentral includes call logs on each plan, giving your team detailed reporting of inbound and outbound calls. That helps a lot with improving the quality of your external communications through coaching, forecasting, and tracking.
Find out what makes RingCentral a top contender in our detailed review.
Net2Phone is an international calling-friendly platform, supporting unlimited calling to over 40 countries on every plan. Plus, you can set up your system with virtual phone numbers from a selection of U.S. and Canadian area codes, toll-free numbers, and international numbers in over 50 countries.
This is another service that handles security well, meeting compliance standards for HIPAA, emergency regulations (e.g. e911), PCI data, SOC2, and STIR/SHAKEN protocols.
Beyond unlimited domestic and international calling on every plan, you’ll also get support for video conferencing, call recording, and SMS/MMS texting. Plus, you’ll get must-have features like an auto-attendant, call routing, call parking, time-based greetings, extension dialing, and more.
Contact the support team for a customized Net2Phone quote.
Use Microsoft Teams to ensure that customers connect to the right members of your team. Beyond just auto-attendants and IVR (both of which Teams offers standard), the service’s busy-on-busy feature lets you decide how to handle calls when a number or extension is busy, such as forwarding the call to another number.
Sales and support teams will especially find the call transferring options useful. From a call, representatives can choose the Consult and Transfer feature to first consult with the person they’d like to transfer the call to. The rep who took the call initially can brief their teammate to prepare them for their upcoming call.
If your team consults with customers or clients via video, they’ll find the reliability and quality of Microsoft Teams’ video conferencing virtually unmatched, even with low-quality internet service connections on either end.
Discover more features of Microsoft Teams with our in-depth review.
Companies that regularly use Google’s tools might prefer Google Voice for their business phone system. It connects to Gmail, Google Meet, Google Calendar, and more through your Google Workspace account without any additional equipment or software setup needed.
It’s important for us to note that Google Voice does not provide toll-free numbers at all, and international numbers are only available for an extra cost. However, this won’t be a concern for domestic-only businesses. If you’re small enough to be running your operation on Google Workspace, you’re likely to get everything you need for external communication from Google Voice.
On this platform, your team can transfer calls, block callers, customize routing options, and turn on an auto-attendant when necessary. Text messaging is also available over WiFi for no extra charge when texting numbers in the United States and Canada.
Read our comprehensive guide to Google Voice to learn how it works.
Twilio delivers a unique feature known as masked calling that hides the numbers of both parties on a call, allowing transactions to take place securely without anyone knowing either party’s real phone number. This feature works great for business models like ridesharing, where parties must communicate with each other but need to maintain a strict level of privacy.
This is a privacy and security-minded communications platform. Beyond masked calling, Twilio also has features for sending a verified caller label to the phone of anyone you’re calling, plus it actively combats caller ID spoofing.
Twilio also includes its omnichannel Contact Center platform on select plans. This cloud-based feature is incredibly agile, allowing teams to personalize their call flows down to the tiniest details with routing rules, integrations, and call channels, making for efficient fielding of customer questions and issues.
Aircall excels in call management with perks like interactive voice response, unwanted call blocking, warm transferring, and setting business or operating hours granularly for each different number or extension.
Teams with high call volumes can use queue callback to let customers decide whether they’d like to wait in line or instead get a callback when a representative is available. Busy medical offices, for example, might activate this feature for patients to leave their name and number for a return call.
Training call representatives is also made easy through Aircall’s call monitoring and call whispering features. The latter lets a trainer guide the representative in real-time to ensure they handle calls properly.
Get a 7-day free trial to test Aircall for yourself.
8×8 boast call management features that can handle any complexity your office or organization can throw at it. Create ring groups in patterns that make sense for your business, put calls in park, and set up multiple customer greetings based on closed days, business hours, holidays, or any other parameters.
8×8 has a lot to offer offices with receptionists, too. With 8×8 Frontdesk, you can tap into a simplified call center control panel that receptionists navigate on one screen with drag-and-drop elements for managing call flow and queues.
You can make the 8×8 system truly your own through additional features like custom hold music and multi-level automated routing. Plus, leverage features like in-browser click-to-call and automated voicemail transcription deliver via email to give your employees the power they need to succeed.
11sight puts its focus on customers, giving them various options for contacting your company in the ways they prefer, including video and texting in addition to phone calls. Anyone trying to reach your organization or representatives can click a simple link and be connected to your team with ease.
All plans include unlimited call minutes, creating a flexible and affordable solution for high call volumes or businesses that usually have long call times.
When setting up 11sight, select ring groups or just pinpoint one representative to take calls during select hours or according to specific rules that you set. Reps can even toggle their availability as it changes throughout the day; just use 11sight’s call flow rules to tell your phone system what to do when a rep isn’t available.
Try 11sight with a 14-day free trial today.
Let customers contact you conveniently through your website with Channels, an app with support for phone calls and text messages. Add your contact links to any webpage to direct customers into your funnel, making it easier to land sales or strengthen relationships with existing customers.
Alongside the app to place on your online store or business page, you’ll get the phone system essentials like voicemail, call forwarding, and, on select plans, interactive voice response. Your system can also play a busy signal or a prerecorded message when no representatives are available for calls.
SSL encrypted connections and continuous security monitoring boost the trust factor of Channels and its ability to secure calls between your business and your customers, even when they originate from the web.
Start with a Channels free forever plan for three users and up to seven days of call history.
The cloud-based CallHippo is great for organizations leaning heavier on outbound calling than inbound calls. It’s easy to set up and customize and extensions can be added and configured in a matter of minutes.
Sales teams can take advantage of the voice broadcasting system, which lets you send a prerecorded voice message to multiple people. For instance, let your customers who have opted in know about your latest promotion, or send upcoming payment reminders to a select group of customers.
CallHippo also has available toll-free numbers you can get in over 50 countries and allows unlimited calling within the United States and Canada.
Webex provides a straightforward business phone system with holding, call forwarding, and a personalized phone menu with extensions on all plans. Its mobile app is wonderfully convenient, allowing you to take calls, participate in meetings, and text from anywhere.
One perk for specific businesses and teams, like tech support teams or online healthcare companies, is the call-to-video feature. With the click of a button, a representative can transfer a regular phone call to a video call. Video calls come with recordings and transcriptions, too.
A massive array of integrations can bolster your Webex system to create an ideal customer contact solution for your business, including Webex apps such as Virtual Office for Public Services, Peak Analytics, and InformaCast.
Learn more about what Webex has to offer in our review.
The Best Business Phone Systems for Internal Communication
Although business phone systems are often used for customer-to-business communication, organizations also use their phones for internal communication and collaboration. Voice calling, text communication, and video conferencing can be vital for multi-department businesses working together.
A simple initial setup and a user-friendly platform are crucial for organizations of any size, and Nextiva delivers in this area.
With a clean and organized UI, anyone on your team with any level of technical skill can learn to communicate using the Nextiva phone system. And, on the administrative side, that ease-of-use extends to managing the system’s administrative tasks, like setting up voicemail, adding users, and customizing the call flow. Plus, the platform’s Admin Portal gives you step-by-step guides to help you set things up fast.
But Nextiva doesn’t just handle phone calls, either. Use its video conferencing to meet and collaborate with up to 250 people or allow your teams to collaborate on an upcoming project through group SMS/MMS.
Unlimited calling within the United States and Canada and a wide array of UCaaS features make RingCentral another excellent option for internal communications. You’ll get one primary business phone and fax number with each plan, but extra numbers are just $4.99/month.
RingCentral allows you to host video calls with up to 200 participants. Plus, you get unlimited faxing and a robust team messaging system that delivers document sharing and SMS texting.
Perhaps best is the ease of switching between phone, text, and video conversations on RingCentral. Say you’re on a video call but need to head to another area of the office for a meeting. You can switch to text or a phone call with the click of a button on the mobile app and bring the conversation with you.
Learn more about RingCentral’s features in our detailed RingCentral review.
Users praise Ooma for its ease of use and convenient setup, especially when it comes to adding new users and configuring the system to work with a business’s specific needs. Even if you still rely on desk phones. Ooma can provide preactivated hardware that works as soon as it’s plugged in.
So, whether your operation is entirely virtual or bound to an office, most small businesses can get set up and running on Ooma Office in just 15 minutes.
Ooma’s system gives you local or toll-free numbers with unlimited calling to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Combined with low international per-minute call rates, that means your global team can communicate with one another without wrecking your budget. And although Ooma doesn’t include team messaging or file sharing, some plans allow for video conferencing, texting, and virtual faxing in addition to voice calling.
Read our Ooma review to discover its pros and cons.
GoTo Connect lets team members take calls, send messages, or participate in video meetings from their smartphones or computers to keep them connected throughout the day. With unlimited calling, business numbers, and extensions, you won’t have to pay any extra fees to ensure all team members are able to collaborate with one another.
When remote teams need to work together, use GoTo Connect’s screen sharing feature. Share documents via screen sharing for instant feedback and use markup tools to annotate or add to the discussion.
In addition to unlimited calling and messaging, GoTo Connect’s entry-level plans also offer between 1,000 and 5,000 toll-free calling minutes, while its higher-octane plans also include faxing, and SMS texting.
Is GoTo Connect right for you? Read our review to learn more about its features.
Mitel is a potent choice for an on-premise business phone system. With an array of on-site PBX options, Mitel makes communication between teams and departments a breeze.
MiVoice Office 400, for example, is designed for small and medium businesses. You get a streamlined setup that anyone on the team can navigate, plus web, mobile, and desktop applications for easy communication.
While on-premise deployments can quickly get complicated, Mitel makes it easy on admins to manage their phone system. The Connect Director delivers a map of your entire configuration in one view, no matter the complexity or number of phones or users in your system.
Call the Mitel sales team to learn more about customized options for your business.
1-VoIP is a potentially good option for businesses needing a simple phone service without a bunch of bells and whistles. Its business phone system offerings may lack UCaaS features others deliver, like faxing and team chat, but you’ll pay a low monthly rate per extension for voice calling.
This platform allows you to use up to 5,000 numbers, making it easy to connect staff with one another through 1-VoIP’s business phone system. Choose from numbers that are toll-free or based in the United States, Canada, or one of 30 supported other countries.
Higher-priced plans also include fully unlimited calling. The product’s softphone app offers conference calling and texting, but you’ll need to pay extra for a virtual faxing add-on.
Read our 1-VoIP review to get the low-down on its business phone service.
Companies that rely on heavy internal communications might like the plans delivered by 3CX, which charge per user rather than per minute. Each plan comes with unlimited calls, whether they’re inbound or outbound.
You’ll also get plenty of UCaaS features on these packages, including team messaging, file sharing, and video conferencing for up to 250 participants. This is a company that markets itself as one built for remote businesses, and those features back that claim up.
With its browser and mobile apps, 3CX eliminates communication accessibility roadblocks that can arise with remote teams. Users can take calls from their computer, play voicemails via either app, and keep working on their desktops as they take calls.
Try two of 3CX’s plans for free, or try a higher-tier plan for free for 12 months.
Expect to get tons of UCaaS features in any 8×8 plan you choose. Each comes with just about everything a company needs for internal communications, like unlimited app-based voice and video calls, file sharing, and team messaging.
8×8’s technology creates reliable calling through direct pathways, resulting in fewer dropped calls and moments of silence that can interfere with daily team communications. Whether you opt for DIY implementation or pay a bit more to have 8×8 set your system up for you, you can count on this platform’s call quality day in and day out.
There are also multiple available integrations with products your team already uses routinely, like Salesforce, Google Workspace, and Freshdesk. With this capability, 8×8 is a solution that can enhance your team’s overall productivity.
Learn what makes 8×8 unique as a cloud-based business phone system.
Avaya brings teams together, regardless of whether they work in the same office or are scattered across different continents.This is particularly true if you like using desk phones, as Avaya offers a wide variety of IP phones and conference phones.
Staff can work through the Avaya Cloud Office platform, which brings phone and video calls and team messaging together in one convenient admin panel. On video calls, teams can share their screens or files for collaboration and feedback. Cloud Office also includes task management features to help everyone adhere to a workflow.
Unlimited calling to Canada and the U.S. tops the list of Avaya’s perks, while its plans also allow up to 10,000 toll-free calling minutes at no extra cost. Avaya also provides local numbers in over 100 countries, far more than we’ve seen from other providers.
Contact the Avaya sales team for a personalized business plan.
The Best Business Phone System for Remote Work
A business phone system designed for remote work should make connecting convenient with a simple, hardware-free setup, mobile accessibility, and reliable connections. Remote workers also appreciate systems that include business phone numbers to keep their private numbers and information separate and secure.
Nextiva is one of the simplest business phone systems to set up and use, regardless of whether you’re an administrator or user. Guided setup tours make it easy to have your system up and running within minutes, and the one-page admin panel is organized, easy to navigate, and completely user-friendly.
Team members can work from anywhere using the mobile or desktop Nextiva apps. Hop on a voice call or conference with a click from any device. Plus, unlimited video calling comes on select plans, making remote collaboration a breeze.
While Nextiva’s mobile apps have less than stellar reviews, its desktop app has proven to be fantastically reliable for Windows and Mac users.
Continuous 24/7 network monitoring and multiple compliance certifications and encryptions keep remote users and their contact points secure, no matter whether they’re working from home, the coffee shop, or on public WiFi.
Check out our Nextiva review for more features.
RingCentral is built for teams, whether they collaborate in the office or remotely. Share files and documents through this cloud-based system, send team messages or texts, and start video conferences with up to 200 participants to keep teams productive wherever they are.
RingCentral apps for mobile devices receive high overall ratings, with reviewers enjoying the ability to access the phone system and make calls from anywhere. That’s a big difference maker; you can tell RingCentral understands the importance of a reliable mobile app to remote work. You can also use RingCentral’s full admin or user panel from its PC and Mac apps.
Remote teams can also benefit from RingCentral’s App Gallery, featuring integrations with popular third-party platforms your team is already using and feature-adding tools like coworker polls, notification apps, and team messaging bots.
Team messaging, file sharing, and video conferencing are just a few features for remote team collaboration that Microsoft Teams includes standard. It’s a powerful platform that can make your team work together better from afar.
Microsoft Teams’ all-in-one apps for desktops and mobile devices let teams communicate via team messaging, video meetings, phone calls, and collaborative tools. This software is made for huddles, team-wide meetings, and one-on-one brainstorming. Be aware, though, that this platform doesn’t offer team texting or faxing.
Plus, beyond obviously integrating with the full suite of Microsoft products like Microsoft 365, Teams syncs with many other crucial apps for project and customer management, like Trello, Workday, and Salesforce.
Microsoft also offers a full range of connectable equipment for remote workers to create their ideal workspace, including Bluetooth speakers, webcams, and video meeting monitors.
Find out more about Microsoft Teams with our complete review.
With Phone.com, you get a solution that can knock out remote work accommodation and external communications for a smaller organization in one go. On its entry-level plan alone, you get 500 shared minutes, one number per user, and conferencing for up to 10 participants.
Remote workers can take and make calls, send and receive text messages, and collaborate with their teammates via mobile or desktop apps. Phone.com even lets workers keep their personal and business communications on the same account for easy access, but without sharing any data between the two.
The modern and clean interface greets users with the features they need to get working, including access to settings and support. Multiple call management features are included for teams with high call volumes that blur the line between teamwork and client work, like caller ID, call recording, and call handling rules.
Read our Phone.com review to determine if it’s the right fit for your business.
Zoom is best known for simplified video calling, which is certainly a useful feature for remote teams. However, it also provides an easy way to make phone calls through its omnichannel contact center platform that you can access via its desktop or mobile apps.
Unlimited calling is available for the United States and Canada. You can also unlock calling to 40 other countries with Zoo Pro Global Select. Calls and video meetings both include high-level encryption and users can also choose from multiple authentication methods to secure their accounts.
Use Zoom’s online whiteboard in or out of meetings to brainstorm, give feedback, or illustrate ideas in real-time. Share files or share your screen during a call to get everyone on the same page. And your team can leverage all of these features on Zoom’s highly rated mobile app, one of the best phone apps in this category.
With Mitel, remote teams can always feel like they’re just a few clicks away from other team members. With MiVoice Border Gateway, you can extend the quality of Mitel’s PBX systems to your remote workers via IP phones and softphones.
Collaborative tools abound, with support for team messaging, video calls, and chats from within a single platform.Mobile apps are available on select plans for working on the go, while Mitel Connect’s Chrome browser extension lets remote workers operate the system from their browser without an additional software download.
Remote workers can also use visual voicemail to check messages quickly and find out through the user control panel what staff is available for help if needed. Mitel gives you a bunch of ways to loop dispersed and remote workers into one workflow.
Contact Mitel sales to get the right solution for your company.
8×8 is a user-friendly solution for your business phone system, letting you set it up without needing a tech support department. Its clean, intuitive design prevents hiccups and bottlenecks that can result in reduced productivity for remote teams.
Get up to 500 conference call participants at a time, depending on your plan. An array of security measures offer multiple layers of encryption and monitoring to maintain compliance and thwart privacy and data breaches.
Log into the 8×8 control panel via a browser or use the convenient mobile apps to connect. The mobile apps include the same functionality as the browser app, making them ideal for teams on the move.
Read our 8×8 review as you compare business phone system options.
As a virtual phone system, Talkroute can operate without any pieces of equipment. If your distributed team prefers to work solely from their computers or mobile devices, Talkroute makes sense for a simple yet effective deployment.
Accommodating any type of device, from its Android and iOS apps to its ability to run on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines, Talkroute is extremely friendly on users and admins. And since it’s fully cloud-based, adding users, changing access permissions, and general management of the platform is super simple.
Users can make unlimited calls to the United States and Canada, and video meetings have room for up to 100 participants. A whiteboard feature, screen sharing, and file sharing keep employees productive through real-time collaboration and feedback. This is a lightweight solution that can work for a lot of North American-based teams.
Remote teams that work primarily on a PC or Mac rather than their mobile devices can get a lot from Zoho Voice. Its mobile apps have some usability issues, but the computer app offers reliable voice calling and SMS texting that integrates with multiple CRM platforms, including Zoho’s own.
Toll-free numbers are available in virtually any country where your business operates, and workers can port their own numbers into the system for simple transferring of calls to wherever they’re working from. Unlimited calling between users keeps everyone on the team connected with no restrictions.
Visual voicemail, in-app extension dialing, and multi-language messages are just a few bonus features for busy remote workers prioritizing productivity. Zoho Voice is a great solution for teams that are spread across the globe.
The Best Business Phone System for Virtual Phone Numbers
Whether your workers need their own numbers to keep work calls separate from personal communications or your business wants to offer convenience and trust to customers through local or toll-free calling options, virtual phone numbers can hold a lot of value to an organization.
Businesses and solopreneurs operating within the continental United States and Canada can benefit from using Grasshopper for their business phone system and virtual numbers. Calling is unlimited within these areas, but an initial deposit of $500 is necessary for international calling.
Through Grasshopper’s clean interface select from toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, local numbers, or port your current number to the system. In addition to unlimited calling, you’ll also get unlimited texting so that you can contact your customers quickly in whatever way they prefer. Or, offer them a way to text you for an even more convenient way to contact your team with questions or issues.
Grasshopper’s cloud-based VoIP system takes no time at all to set up and, whether you’re using it on mobile or desktop, it’s every bit as easy to use as it is to get implemented.
With highly rated mobile and desktop apps, Talkroute is a reliable virtual phone system made to follow your business anywhere it takes you. The intuitive interface keeps your calls and messages incredibly organized, letting you switch between conversations with a tap or click. There’s no extra equipment needed, so you can easily take or make calls or participate in video meetings from any device.
Talkroute supports toll-free, vanity, and local virtual phone numbers, but you won’t be able to secure an international number. This is a solution focused on the U.S. and Canada, so you will get unlimited inbound and outbound calling to and from those areas.
Make your business phone system as simple or complex as necessary with call management features like custom greetings, call stacking, and phone availability based on hours of operation.
OpenPhone adds a virtual number to your existing phone line to separate business and personal communications. The system has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, plus a web-based portal.
This newer company prioritizes a wide array of virtual phone number options. Secure a local U.S. or Canada number for just about any state or province (with a couple exceptions), or select from one of six toll-free prefixes. You can even port your number over from your current service. It’s a great option for people or organizations doing business in North America but mostly operating from abroad.
Like other business phone systems, OpenPhone emphasizes ease of use. Its interface is decluttered, modern, and clean for straightforward navigation. We really love its unique search feature allowing you to find specific words or phrases in your texts or transcribed voicemails. OpenPhone has a lot of potential to grow into a serious competitor to other, more established options in this category.
Get 20% off your OpenPhone plan when you pay annually.
As absolutely the best way to get toll-free and vanity numbers, 800.com is a great solution for making your operation appear bigger than it may be. Its basic plan also includes 1,000 minutes per month to the United States and Canada, but higher tiers offer unlimited calling. However, this is specialized provider, so there are no options for securing a local virtual phone number.
With nothing to download and an elementary setup, you can get your business phone system up and running in minutes. Plans include detailed call tracking and analytics to gain insight into call trends, keywords, sales, and more.
The downside is the lack of a mobile app, so you’ll need to make any changes to your settings from the 800.com web portal.
Get at least one toll-free number on any 800.com plan.
eVoice is a good option for solopreneurs or small business owners who get decent call volumes but don’t want to spend the majority of their day answering calls. Plans come with one free local or toll-free number, but you can add vanity or international numbers to your account as needed.
This is one of the few providers that make it easy to gain a virtual number for a different country, just be aware it will cost a bit to add it to your eVoice plan. But it can be worth it, considering that add-on unlocks calling to hundreds of countries, some of which are accessible at better calling rates than you’ll see elsewhere.
Regardless of your setup and the amount of numbers you need, you get unlimited calling to the United States for $14/user/month. That also comes with useful features like an auto-attendant. Or, you can opt into eVoice’s live receptionist service to have your calls handled by a team of professionals.
Get started on any eVoice plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Like other Google products, Google Voice comes with a beginner-friendly setup and interface that virtually anyone can figure out from the start. Switch between desktop and mobile apps with ease or just control everything on the go from your smartphone.
Google Voice is among the most reliable platforms out there, too. Dropped calls are slim to none, preventing unwanted interference when communicating with customers.
We do want to note this may not be the best option for businesses that make international calls. Google Voice charges a calling rate per minute for calls outside the United States or Canada. And, as far as virtual numbers go, you can only secure phone numbers in the U.S. (no toll-free options, either).
Learn how Google Voice works for businesses in our review.
The Best Business Phone System for Call Centers
Call centers take high volumes of calls on any given day, so call management features are of the utmost importance. A business phone system for call centers should also have call monitoring for training purposes, high levels of security from end to end, and an intuitive interface that’s easy for any agent to operate.
Nextiva truly does the most when it comes to call management. The powerful system handles every customer contact in a single app, including calls, messages, videos, and emails. Still, its array of features, like caller ID, multilevel auto-attendant, and custom branded surveys make it anything but stripped down.
Call agents can jot down notes about customers before escalating or transferring calls. They can also add tags to customer interactions to keep like situations grouped together.
Nextiva also caters to customer needs with an advanced interactive voice response system for self-servicing, multiple communication methods like text and phone, and feedback surveys.
Explore the many benefits of a Nextiva phone system in our Nextiva review.
RingCentral gives businesses entirely customizable phone systems with answering rules, call parking, a multi level auto-attendant, and tons of additional call management features that assist both agents and customers.
It really stands out in its call recording and transcription, which is ideal for agent training. Choose between automatic or on-demand recording for full departments or individual users. Businesses can save up to 100,000 recordings at a time for long-term training and monitoring.
Other benefits for call centers include robust end-to-end security, a mobile app featuring a full admin control panel, and unlimited calling within the United States and Canada.
Learn what perks RingCentral offers businesses in our in-depth review.
Has your business experienced massive overall growth or a large call amount of turnover that’s affecting your ability to provide customer support? If so, Aircall might be the business phone system for you.
This cloud-based software has some of the most robust analytics. Available data showcases agent productivity, hold times, missed calls, and call trends to paint a clear picture of what your agents are doing right and where they could improve.
Supervisors can also use Aircall’s many reporting filters to find the exact information they need to make informed decisions going forward to improve call center processes and training. This is all in addition to plentiful call management features necessary for call centers, like interactive voice response, call queue call backs, and voicemail to email.
CloudTalk is specifically built for call centers, trusted by companies like Mercedes-Benz, Booksy, and Fujitsu.
On top of its incredibly detailed analytics about your call center’s performance, CloudTalk’s system also has some of the most comprehensive call management features. Create a caller blacklist, transcribe calls for future searches, and categorize calls with relevant tags.
A real-time customer calling card instantly pulls up information about a caller without interfering with the rest of an agent’s user interface. Agents can also add notes or custom fields of information to each calling card to assist with future customer contacts.
Dialpad relies on artificial intelligence to make your contact center the best it can be. The AI can detect specific keywords or phrases spoken on calls to alert a supervisor when they occur. It can also detect negativity during a call to let someone like a call center manager know that it might be time to intervene.
Supervisors or trainers can also participate in live voice coaching for agents in training to speak to them while they’re on a call. Or, send real-time messages to coach them without interrupting.
Dialpad offers encryption using TLS and is compliant with HIPAA, GDPR, and SOC2 Type II for added layers of security and privacy for your business and customers.
Read our review to learn more about Dialpad Meetings
Vonage includes several call management features most contact centers need, like call routing, call waiting, and optional continuous or on-demand call recording.
However, it also has perks that similar business phone systems don’t offer, like call screening with routing options, up to three devices on one extension, and an AI virtual assistant to help engage and drive customer conversations.
Vonage can also boost your team’s productivity by keeping your business tools connected through integrations. The system connects to popular tools like Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and more.
Discover what we love most about Vonage in our review.
What Matters When Reviewing Business Phone Systems
When combing through business phone systems, we found eight critical criteria for businesses to consider in determining their best fit. Our research team explored the way these criteria and the five use cases work together to ensure that we include only the most qualifying products in our guide. Below, we go into those eight criteria in greater detail.
Phone System Setup
No matter what you use your business phone system for, a straightforward setup and beginner-friendly usability are critical to successful integration with your company. Although an IT department can help set up the system for larger companies, each agent should be able to operate on the system with ease.
When It Matters Most:
- Internal communication – Employees should be able to interact with each other quickly and reliably via a phone system with a clean and user-friendly interface.
- External communication – You need a phone system that can be implemented quickly, to prevent any downtime in fielding or making calls to customers.
- Remote work – Setting up a system without equipment is key for remote workers who might prefer communicating using their computers or mobile devices.
- Virtual phone numbers – Solopreneurs and small businesses can benefit from the simple setup that virtual phone number providers deliver.
- Call centers – A platform built for call centers needs to easily be set up to deliver elements like detailed customer profiling and reporting, in-depth analytics, and training features.
Inbound and Outbound Call Tools
Businesses with high call volumes lean on business phone systems that can send customer calls to the right person and make it easy for agents to find customer information.
When It Matters Most:
- External communication – Phone systems with streamlined control panels and tools allow agents to look up and dial customers without sacrificing productivity.
- Call centers – Agents who field dozens to hundreds of calls daily need features that simplify managing those calls.
Call Recording and Analytics
Businesses may record calls and monitor call analytics to ensure that customers’ needs are adequately met. For example, recordings can show supervisors when extra training might be necessary, while analytics could indicate areas of improvement with holding times, support escalations, and other factors.
When It Matters Most:
- Call centers – Companies can reduce turnover rates and strengthen their customer support with the right recording and analytics tools.
UCaaS features bring together collaborative tools alongside an array of communication methods. From video calling and file sharing to texting and faxing, some businesses need a lot more than voice calling.
When It Matters Most:
- Remote work – A phone system with collaboration tools can assist remote workers in staying focused and connected, even when they’re miles apart.
- Internal communication – From video conferencing to group messaging, a UCaaS-focused business phone system enhances a team’s communication ability without interfering with work.
- External communication – UCaaS features like faxing, SMS/MMS messaging, and live chat keep agents in quick, convenient communication with clients and customers.
Desktop and Mobile Apps
Today’s desktop and mobile apps sync with one another so that users can switch between them seamlessly to take calls, answer text messages, and participate in video meetings.
When It Matters Most:
- Virtual phone numbers – Remain accessible by phone anywhere with a virtual phone number that you can use from your current phone or a desktop app.
- Remote work – Whether you run a remote business or you’re part of a remote team, having diverse options for accessing a phone system is a must.
Connecting your business phone system to the tools your team uses every day can streamline communications and productivity. For instance, some phone systems integrate with CRM software to make customer information available within seconds of a phone call.
When It Matters Most:
- External communication – Spend less time switching between apps and more time focusing on customers and clients.
- Call centers – Get access to customer information and their status within your pipeline with integrations with your CRM or marketing tools.
Global businesses need to make and take international calls. However, if a business phone system plan doesn’t include international calls, overage charges can eat into a company’s communications budget fast.
When It Matters Most:
- Call centers – Large call centers often accept and make calls across the globe, so it’s necessary to have plenty of international calling minutes available.
- Virtual phone numbers – The option of having an international virtual phone number can ensure that you have a presence wherever you want more visibility.
Phone Security and Compliance
Many companies do a lot of business over the phone, meaning that sensitive information, like bank numbers and identifying data, travels over their phone lines. High-level end-to-end encryption and security can keep this information safe. Also, by law, your phone system may need to comply with specific regulations, like GDPR or HIPAA.
When It Matters Most:
- External communication – Encrypted data traveling to and from your company’s phone system can stay safe with a secure and compliant phone system.
- Call centers – Keep customer information secure to provide an additional layer of trust in the company.
- Remote work – Multiple device connections from various locations can lead to security vulnerabilities without the right phone system.
Finding the best business phone system for your needs is just one part of running a successful business. Below, we’ve gathered several other reviews and helpful guides related to business phones to explore as you create the ultimate communication solution.