Use these top-rated small business phone systems to remain connected with your customers at all times.
For a small business like yours, every customer call is important, but you’re no longer stuck with those old, bulky land phones that wouldn’t let you step away from your desk. You can now use advanced phone systems that allow you to make and receive calls from anywhere, even on your cellphone.
Business phone systems also offer many communication and collaboration features for your small business. Call recording, call forwarding, call conferencing, and automated interactive voice response (IVR) are just to name a few. These systems not only help save time and money but also offer the flexibility to choose only the features you need.
You’ll want to choose a phone system that grows with your small business. But with so many options available, that decision can be tough to make. To help you, we’ve listed (alphabetically) the top five small business phone system options in this article. All products have 4+ ratings (out of 5) and 30+ reviews on Capterra. The detailed selection methodology can be found here.
Asterisk is an open source communications solution that can be deployed on-premise or on the cloud. It helps manage business communication via private branch exchange (PBX) and session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking technology. Its key features are call monitoring, call queuing and routing, remote call pickup, three-way calling, and conference bridging.
The software can integrate with several applications, including Apptivo, Tenfold, Vtiger, Bitrix24, and Atmos. Its support options include live instructor-led classes, a knowledge base, and a discussion forum.
Asterisk’s key capabilities:
- Users can log and save the details of all received calls. These details include call date, time, and duration; caller’s device type (Android or iOS mobile phone, landline, etc.); reason for call; and follow-up activity schedule.
- The call routing feature, equipped with IVR technology, automatically routes callers to service agents most capable of handling their queries.
- Callers can be parked—i.e., kept on hold—without tying up the desk phone. Users can continue making or receiving other calls, and the parked call can be answered on a different phone line by any other available user.
- SIP trunking lets multiple participants join a call via a conference bridge. Admins can mute, unmute, add, or remove participants at any time during the call.
We analyzed user reviews of Asterisk to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.
CloudTalk is a virtual PBX system that offers capabilities such as automated call distribution (ACD), a multilevel IVR menu, and call queuing and recording. It’s most suitable for businesses with customer service and sales teams. These users can set up a new account or link their existing call center infrastructure to CloudTalk.
The software can integrate with several applications, including Pipedrive, Salesforce, HubSpot, Intercom, Zendesk, Magento, LiveAgent, and Zapier. User support options include email, phone, and a knowledge base.
CloudTalk’s key capabilities:
- Based on the caller’s input, the ACD feature routes incoming calls to an agent or agent group most qualified to handle the query.
- Dedicated customer cards display complete customer information, including call history, active orders, and notes from past calls, during live calls. Agents can view these cards even before answering the calls.
- All calls are recorded automatically, and they can also be replayed later via an internet browser.
- The telephone system records missed calls for callbacks and automatically dials back the phone numbers to connect customers with available agents.
Pipedrive integration in CloudTalk virtual phone system (Source)
We analyzed user reviews of CloudTalk to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.
JustCall is a cloud-hosted PBX system with capabilities such as web conferencing, call logging, call recording, call monitoring, call routing, voice recognition, and caller ID. For call center teams, it offers virtual call centers and call center analytics that help provide better customer service and track live call activity.
The software can integrate with several applications, including Salesforce, Slack, Zoho CRM, Freshsales, Groove, and Agile CRM. Support options include live chat, email, and a help center with knowledge base articles.
JustCall’s key capabilities:
- The call whispering feature lets supervisors speak to agents during live calls without the customers knowing, and the call barging feature allows them to speak to the customers directly.
- Supervisors can view their teams’ ongoing call data. They can also track a live call’s activity data for the past 30 minutes.
- SMS Bot, JustCall’s instant messaging app, automatically responds to customer queries received via SMSes.
- Users can make calls from JustCall’s website (via a web-based VoIP phone dialer), mobile app, or Chrome extension (from any web page on the Chrome browser).
Call analytics in JustCall cloud phone system (Source)
We analyzed user reviews of JustCall to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.
MV-Business VoIP is a unified communications and PBX system that can be deployed on the cloud as well as on-premise. Its features include call recording, voicemail management, anonymous call rejection, call forwarding and transfer, call logs, call waiting, and video conferencing.
MV-Business VoIP’s key capabilities:
- An automated phone attendant can be set up to answer incoming calls, which can then be forwarded to users’ cell phone.
- A click-to-call button automatically makes a call to the customer service team from a mobile app, web page, or even an online add.
- Over 200 participants can join a video conference and share their screen to collaborate in real time. Users can also send and receive fax via the internet.
Contact management in MV-Business VoIP PBX phone system (Source)
We analyzed user reviews of MV-Business VoIP to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.
VoIP.ms is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system with features such as call logging, call recording, call monitoring, voicemail management, and web conferencing. It can be used for business as well as residential communication.
Users of the VoIP solution can access a knowledge base, live chat, email, and fax for support. The software also offers a self-service customer portal.
- The call hunting facility routes an incoming call to multiple phone extensions until an available extension answers the call.
- The three-way calling feature allows up to three callers to be connected on a conference call.
- Users can answer a call even if they’re already on another call. They can speak to the caller or choose a predefined action such as send the call to voicemail or play the hold music or a prerecorded message.
- Users can set up a virtual receptionist (an IVR system) to manage incoming calls and route them to the correct extensions without engaging an agent.
We analyzed user reviews of VoIP.ms to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.
As you get ready to choose a business phone service for your small firm, we recommend following these steps to shortlist a suitable option:
- Analyze your requirements. Are you looking for a simple office phone system for internal communication, or a digital phone system with unified communication capabilities to manage business calls as well?
- Evaluate the pros and cons of available deployment options (cloud and on-premise), and choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.
- Check out the integrations offered to ensure you can use your existing solutions without facing any data loss.
- Attend demos and use trial versions before finalizing. Also, make sure you have sufficient training resources and customer support options, so onboarding is smooth.
- Read reviews from real users and explore more small business phone system options on Capterra.
Methodology and Disclaimer
The solutions highlighted in this article are business phone systems that offer call management capabilities for business call centers.
Here’s an overview of our methodology: We referred to Capterra’s business phone systems category and shortlisted products that had 4+ overall user ratings and 30+ reviews on Capterra (as on 24 July, 2020).
For the “what users like/would like” sections, we performed sentiment analysis of reviews left for each product in the 18 months previous to the creation of this report. Reviews data may have changed since publication and may not reflect current conditions.
Note: The content in this piece provides the opinions and points of view expressed by users and does not represent the views of Capterra.