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Businesses today face seemingly endless options for phone systems. Your search can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. We get it—so we sat up, cracked our knuckles, and got to work. We researched dozens of business phone system providers and their hundreds of features, and extracted the nine best. We recommend Nextiva as the best for most businesses. Their easy-to-use phone service solutions offer rapid customer support, dazzling benefits that get you results, and the flexibility to accommodate any business size and needs.
The Best Business Phone System for Most
This guide provides you with all the best resources to make your first choice using business phone software. Or update your current service to a next-gen platform like Nextiva that’ll boost your lagging support.
Nextiva’s authoritative shadow casts over the phone service industry like an umbrella shielding you from the dangers of terrible storm. The infrastructure has survived and thrived through the years, keeping calls from dropping and making sure problems get solved, instead of playing phone tag, like you can do with other providers.
The 8 Best Business Phone Options to Consider:
- Nextiva – Best for most businesses
- RingCentral – Best no-sweat integrations
- Ooma – Best low-risk soliution for small businesses
- Freshcaller – Most reliable call center phone system
- 8×8 – Best for free and clear international calling
- Mitel – Best for global call quality
- Intermedia Unite – Best ongoing support
- Line2 – Best setup for solopreneurs
- Dialpad – Best automated call coaching
When Does It Make Sense to Invest In a Business Phone System?
Are you burning cash with your existing plan?
Most seek a new business phone solution if their existing plan is too expensive or they’re looking to grow.
Traditional phone plans are expensive and can bleed you dry in no time. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 phone lines or 200. The old way is obsolete.
However, modern technology, such as VoIP phone systems, helps drastically reduce your phone bill regardless of the number of lines you have.
And some providers also offer additional features you don’t get with traditional phone systems, including:
- Video conferencing
- Call analytics and recordings
- Extra security and encryption
- Advanced user management options
- A virtual receptionist
So, even if you’re a freelancer, launching a startup, running a single-member LLC, or a side hustle, a business phone system adds a level of professionalism you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Plus, it gives you the opportunity to separate your business from your personal life, which is an essential distinction when you’re just getting started.
With that said, you can hold off on investing if you’re still in the “thinking about it” stage of starting a business.
In fact, using your personal phone number to communicate with your accountant is fine. But once you start landing clients, hiring employees, and dealing with customers, it’s time to upgrade to a business phone system.
#1 – Nextiva Review – The Best for Most Businesses
is the all-in-one business phone platform that takes all the craziness of running a business and makes it streamlined.
When you own a business, poor communication with customers is damaging. With the cloud-based service Nextiva provides, you can establish better service with VoIP that you can count on.
You need a phone infrastructure that’s reliable and won’t drop calls or make customers, clients, stakeholders, or other team members wait on hold. Unstable phone service won’t be tolerated by today’s business world.
Nextiva delivers the stability your business phone service needs.
What also makes Nextiva best for most businesses is their award-winning customer support. The provider can guide any company—even those with dinosaur calling systems—into the 21st century.
Plus, not only will Nextiva endow your business with solid, reliable outgoing communications, but tools for collaboration between teams, such as group messaging and video conferencing, are built right in.
For most businesses and organizations this is necessary to make quick confirmations on tasks and work together on projects. Nextiva makes these features simple to use, which is great for teams that may include folks who are not so tech savvy.
The integrations available make the resources and tools you’re currently using even better by automating things you used to do manually. Nextiva plays very nicely with Microsoft Office, Salesforce, and many other popular platforms, unlocking easy, automated data importing.
With this customer data visibility, you can personalize your customers’ experiences like never before.
Nextiva has several pricing tiers for their business phone services:
Essential plan – $18.95/user per month (paying annually):
- Unlimited voice and video calling
- Toll-free numbers
- Basic integrations (Outlook, Google Contacts)
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Unlimited internet fax
- 24/7 support
Professional plan – $22.95/user per month (paying annually):
- Everything in Essential, plus:
- Unlimited conference calls of up to 40 participants
- Unlimited video conferencing for up to 250 participants
- Unlimited SMS
- Further integrations (Hubspot, Salesforce, and more)
- Call pop (up to 250 contacts)
Enterprise plan – $32.95/user per month (paying annually):
- Everything in Professional, plus:
- Unlimited participants on voice and video conferencing
- Unlimited call and conference recording
- Unlimited call pop
- Voice analytics
- Voicemail transcription
- Integration with Microsoft Teams, Oracle, and more
Ultimate plan – $57.95/user per month (paying annually):
- Pipeline management
- Sales and service productivity tools
- Ticket management
- Automated surveys
- Customer journey analytics
Altogether, Nextiva offers a robust powerhouse of a business phone solution. For most businesses, you can’t do better than Nextiva.
You can get started with a demo by contacting Nextiva today.
#2 – RingCentral Review — The Best No-Sweat App Integration
RingCentral is easily one of the best business phone systems on the market today, with more than 400,000 customers worldwide utilizing its robust communication tools.
Why are all these businesses using RingCentral? Before we answer that, picture this for a moment.
Imagine you had to hand-squeeze your orange juice every time you wanted some. At first it may be a nice ritual, but later it becomes just another chore.
The same goes for manually repeating routine tasks—this slows down progress and hurts your wider operations.
Businesses love RingCentral because of their reliable integrations. So often, you can end up with a service provider claiming you can integrate your favorite applications, but it doesn’t work how you need it to. Not the case here.
RingCentral offers you its App Gallery for applying any integration you can need. And it’s reliable as your favorite stuffed animal was back in the day.
This phone service plays well with over 100 different popular apps and RingCentral even offers sections of its App Gallery dedicated to syncing with brand partners like AT&T, TELUS, and Avaya.
When you sign up, you also get access to a ton of powerful features, including:
- Enterprise-grade security
- 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat
- Visual voicemail
- Call screening
- Shared lines
- Multi-site management
- Automatic call recording
- Dial-by-name directory
Pricing is based on features and the number of users on your plan. So, the more users you have, the less you pay per user.
For up to 20 users, rates start as follows:
- Essentials — $19.99 per user per month
- Standard — $24.99 per user per month
- Premium — $34.99 per user per month
- Ultimate — $49.99 per user per month
No matter the tools your team relies on in their day-to-day, RingCentral’s phone service and accompanying integrations have you covered.
#3 – Ooma Review — The Best Low-Risk Solution for Small Businesses
Ooma has small business plans perfect for smaller teams without the need for advanced communications features.
It stinks when you need something to work and it doesn’t live up to expectations. Especially in a service you pay for.
VoIP can fall into this category if you’re not careful about whom you select as your provider. Bargain pricing can trip up the most intelligent consumer with hidden limitations, causing you major headaches later on.
Ooma provides crisp and reliable call quality with no need for an annual contract. That gives you the freedom to switch without hassle or risk of being tied into a long-term commitment if they don’t meet your needs.
For a small business owner, not being tied into a long contract and being able to test things to make sure it’s a great fit for you is smart business and will save you more than just money.
Plus, Ooma’s setup works right out of the box and you can get a phone number for free, further making it an excellent choice for small businesses.
Need physical phones? Whether you need an office base station or wireless extensions, this provider has it all. They even have some great deals, including frequent buy-one-get-one deals on hardware.
While Ooma is on the simpler side of business phone systems, it still provides everything you need, including:
- Mobile and desktop app
- Virtual receptionist
- Hold and transfer music
- Extension dialing
- Call transfer
- Conference bridges
- Call forwarding and recording
There are two small business plans—Ooma Office and Ooma Office Pro.
These plans are $19.95 and $24.95 per user per month, respectively, with unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada, plus expert 24/7/365 customer support.
While Ooma does offer custom plans for larger organizations, it lacks the advanced features required for enterprise-grade businesses.
As such, it’s definitely better for smaller businesses with a single location.
#4 – Freshcaller Review — The Most Reliable Call Center Phone System
When you need something done right you go to a specialist.
It’s no different when you’re dealing with customer service business software. Freshcaller leverages this specialty to offer you the most reliable call center software.
We’ve all been on a call that we’ve invested a lot in, and then the signal fails and the call just suddenly drops. Just like that, you lose the lifeline to the solution you’re seeking so badly.
Oftentimes sweaty palms, and swear words follow on both sides. You want your business to keep that from happening, right?
Bad customer experiences lead to terrible reviews and we all know what that means. So, Freshcaller consistently strives to improve call reliability through their cloud-based infrastructure.
Plus, you don’t have to buy any hardware from Freshcaller, which can save you hundreds—if not thousands—over the years.
Some of the top features of Freshcaller include:
- Number management tools
- Custom reporting
- Inbound call routing
- Supervisor controls
- Conversation monitoring
Freshcaller is commonly used in industries like healthcare, travel and hospitality, software, banking, and financial services.
What we also love about Freshcaller is the clear and transparent pricing, based on usage.
- Incoming calls via web browser — Starts at $0.016 per minute
- Incoming calls via phone — Starts at $0.028 per minute
- Outbound calls in the US — Starts at $0.022 per minute
You’ll also have the opportunity to buy phone numbers for as low as $1 per month.
#5 – 8×8 Review — The Best Free and Clear International Calling
Best for International Calling
Starting at just $12 per month, 8x8 is an affordable and flexible small business phone solution. They offer unlimited calling and a 30 day free trial.
When you run a business, your customers might come from all corners of the globe. Being able to communicate and service anybody, from anywhere, is a top priority.
But how do you do that without breaking the bank? 8×8 solves this with their X Series of cloud- based plans.
The X Series offers completely included international calling to 14 countries on their lowest plan and 47 in the others.
No one else on this list includes international calling in the base price. This gives you peace of mind that you can make and receive calls internationally without worry.
The countries and territories included at the lowest pricing tier are:
- United States (plus Puerto Rico)
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
Along with the breakthrough global calling plan, you get everything you need in a single app available for desktop and mobile devices. Which means you and your team can use the hardware and devices you already have.
Another eye-widening feature is 8×8’s advanced call analytics.
It’s especially useful for sales and customer service calls, but it’s also an excellent feature for identifying trends in customer and employee behavior.
And while 8×8 excels with call analytics, that’s not all it does. You also get a ton of other features, including things like:
- Unlimited calling
- Call recordings
- Hold music
- 3-way calling
- Local number porting
- Role-based user access
- Multi-site support
- Integrations with existing apps and CRM
To take advantage of the X Series’ included international calling, you’ll need to contact 8×8 for a quote.
#6 – Mitel Review — The Best for Global Call Quality
Best Call Quality
Best-in-class call quality from one of the most recognized names in phone service. 25+ different business phone solutions. Launch in the cloud or deploy on site.
Mitel is the global leader in custom voice communications and they pride themselves on providing businesses with best-in-class call quality.
The recognition they’ve received for their communication solutions, collaboration software, security, and continual improvements places Mitel in a class all by itself.
Google powers the cloud infrastructure for Mitel, and its strict standards help ensure reliable call quality while allowing the platform to easily be set up. Because of the strong foundation provided by the Google cloud, every call from the far corners of the earth will come in clear for your team to manage.
Mitel’s cloud-based system, MiCloud Connect, is an easy-to-use platform that enhances internal collaboration while making sure your contact center services are available no matter where your customers are.
And Mitel also has on-site business phone solutions that are just as intuitive and take very little onboarding to manage efficiently. Mitel also integrates with software you’re already using, like web browsers, Salesforce CRM, and Microsoft.
Overall, the phone system is built for scale. It can accommodate the needs of businesses with 100,000+ users.
Pricing is not available online. Contact the Mitel sales team for a quote.
#7 – Intermedia Unite Review — The Best Ongoing Support
When it comes to support, Intermedia Unite proudly says they offer a “Worry-Free-Experience™”, meaning you are assured no problems when managing your services. And this is what any business large or small needs from their phone service provider.
It’s a highly reliable system, backed by a 99.999% uptime SLA with exceptional 24/7 customer support. So, you don’t have to worry about the system going down or navigating your new solution on your own.
After-sale support is often overlooked by business owners. Oftentimes, it’s features and benefits that get all of the attention. But having a team you can turn to when problems arise is just as valuable, if not more so for the long haul.
Intermedia handles careful onboarding of your phone services, migrates all your data, and sets up your services for free.
Intermedia offers five communications tools. However, Intermedia Unite is the best all-inclusive package available.
With it, you get all the benefits of a business phone system with added capabilities for video conferencing, integrated internal chat, screen sharing, and file collaboration.
With the introductory plan, you can host video conferences with up to 30 participants and audio-only conferences with up to 200 participants. Plus, you can share files, chat with participants, and collaborate together in real-time using screen annotations and file sharing.
With the Intermedia Unite package, you also get:
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Remote office features
- File backup with 10 GB of storage
- Virtual fax
- Spam caller protection
- SMS support
- Unlimited voicemail storage
On top of that, Intermedia Unite integrates with various business tools like Salesforce, Slack, Zendesk, Zoho, G Suite, and more.
Reach out to Intermedia today to get a pricing quote on implementing Unite in your business.
#8 – Line2 Review — The Best Setup for Solopreneurs
Best For Solopreneurs
Add a second phone line to your personal device and separate your personal and business calls. Perfect for independent and freelance workers on the go. Unlimited texting.
If you run a business but you are the sole employee, you still need to maximize your communication with your customers and clients. Intertwining your personal phone line with business is like trying to blend oil and water. It just won’t mix.
You end up getting confused and accidentally send personal messages to business clients. Any mix-up because of using a personal line for your work can be bad for business.
It’s better to use a provider like Line2. They make setting up business phone service for entrepreneurs and freelancers as easy as 1, 2, 3.
The sign-up process is as simple as it gets. You can get up and running in minutes with just three steps.
It’s simple enough to help you keep things organized and pricing is transparent, to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need at the right cost.
Here’s a quick overview of Line2’s plans and pricing:
- Standard — $9.95 per month
- Pro — $14.95 per month
- Elite — $19.95 per month
The Standard plan will be more than enough for the vast majority of you. It’s made for solo users and comes with unlimited SMS messaging as well.
If you sign up for an annual contract, you’ll get two months free.
All plans are backed by a 30-day guarantee, so give Line2 a try today.
#9 – Dialpad Review — The Best Automated Call Coaching
Best Call Coaching
Dialpad leverages AI smart calling for sales teams, allowing incredible detail for in-the-moment call coaching. Improve sales and service calls with ease. Plus, dozens of features and integrations. Starts at $15.
Voice intelligence software is changing how calls are managed by businesses far and wide. Dialpad features rich AI automation in its business phone service that makes coaching your team on calls incredibly easy.
Dialpad is one of the most popular business phone systems on the market today. It’s used by 70,000+ businesses, including household names like Uber, HubSpot, Motorola, Xero, Stripe, and WeWork.
Dialpad’s voice intelligence highlights specific action items mentioned during team members’ calls and provides AI-driven coaching to improve calls in the future, in order to provide an enhanced user experience.
The software also takes notes so you don’t have to. Calls are analyzed in real time to provide detailed opportunities. It eliminates the need to stop work for training sessions and empowers team members to improve on their own.
The reliable VoIP delivers crystal-clear call quality so you don’t miss something vital to the improvement of your service to customers and to your employees.
Dialpad is a complete communications platform. It offers internal chat, video conferencing, and integrations that improve workflows with push-button usability. And the AI-powered reporting and analytics let you dig deep into call volume, focus on conversations, and capture what was said and by whom.
You can even use specific keywords to find critical parts of the call for even faster coaching.
Moreover, Dialpad is one of the most feature-rich tools that you’ll find on the market today:
- Number porting
- Seamless integrations
- Business SMS
- Voice intelligence
- Dynamic call routing
- Call analytics
- Administrative tools
- Call center tools
- Satisfaction surveys
- Call history
- Web conferencing
These are just a handful of the dozens of features offered by Dialpad. You’ll also benefit from a fast and hassle-free setup.
There are two business phone system plans—Standard and Pro. These start at $15 and $25 per user per month, respectively.
This cloud-based solution gives you the peace of mind that your coaching will be as accurate as possible. Imagine your business productivity increasing because of dynamic call routing and your customers raving about your team’s attention to detail in instantly provided satisfaction surveys.
How would that change the bottom line?
This can happen in just a few short weeks of using Dialpad.
Methodology For Choosing The Best Business Phone System
How can you find the best business phone system for you? There are certain factors that must be taken into consideration as you’re shopping around. I’ll explain our methodology for narrowing down the top solutions on our list in greater detail below.
Integration with Your Favorite Tools
If you want to be granted your wish of having more time, integration and automation is how you achieve it. The problem occurs when you buy a service that should provide straightforward integration, but you actually spend more time trying to get things to work.
Here’s what we mean.
Some providers will offer you the world, saying they can integrate with QuickBooks to make accounting a breeze or Salesforce to improve your lead generation and organization. But when you get down in the trenches, they only offer a portion of the functionality or, worse, it doesn’t work as advertised.
Ever read “use our platform on all your devices?” Yeah, it’s pretty much standard-issue nowadays. But, truth be told, some business phone providers don’t live up to the hype.
We’ve only selected providers in this list that follow through on these promises. But some, like Nextiva and RingCentral, rise to the top for how easily you can integrate them with your other favorite software and tools.
If you want to save enormous amounts of time, pick a provider that offers the industry standards and multi-functional features that are relevant for today’s consumer.
Think of the services you already use, then compare providers and make sure those integrations are available.
Want to make this simple?
Ask for a demonstration, utilize a free trial entirely for testing your integrations, and see what benefits and issues present themselves. Or, at the least, make sure there’s a penalty-free cancellation policy, so if you are not satisfied with the performance you can cut the cord after test driving.
It may sound like a lot of work, but it makes your business run smoother in the long run and prevents you from paying for services you won’t be using because they don’t work properly.
8×8 is a great way for small businesses to wield powerful integrations with apps you currently use. They are an industry leader and make set up super simple.
If you’re running a small business, you can’t afford downtime and software catastrophes. So keep in mind that if you enjoy using current tools to run your business, you want to pick a provider with integration resources that will compliment them.
Trustworthy After-Sale Support
Ever get sold something and needed help setting it up? This is not uncommon. And when it’s time to get help, don’t you want support that gets results?
What good is a product or a service if there is no one capable of fixing a problem you have?
We don’t know about you, but most of us are not whiz kids about the intricacies of complex phone systems. When you run a business that relies on communicating over the phone, not getting the help you deserve from your provider is enough to scream to high heaven.
It’s terrible when things are out of your control and boiling over and a support rep someone treats it like it’s just another day at the office.
As you’re selecting your provider, don’t be blinded by the pricing and amenities alone. The features that will allow you to skip the morning commute and come in at noon are nice, yes. But having reliable customer support is better; it can even save lives, depending on your industry.
Say you have customers calling and it’s going straight to voicemail for no apparent reason. Or your CRM is not syncing properly and it’s mixing customer data with one another.
Those can be serious issues, especially if unresolved. You need a business phone partner who is quick on the draw when you need technical support.
Providers like RingCentral offer a trifecta of 24/7 support. Phone, email, or live chat, are accessible and this provider is just one of the many we recommend on this list that performs well.
But Intermedia Unite may be the top choice when weighing support above all else. They’re the company that trademarked “Worry-Free Experience” after all, and they back that up with stellar support that’s been recognized by J.D. Power for five consecutive years.
Remember, before the bells and whistles are purchased, outstanding aftersale support is something to keep at the forefront of your decision.
VoIP vs. Landline
Imagine being on the most important conference call of your life.
Sleepless nights and mind-bending research have paved the way for this opportunity to pitch your proposal. You’re walking tall, spewing facts and figures, and floating around the room with a closer’s glow. Then, you ask, “do you have any questions?” and there’s silence.
Your call was dropped without you knowing it. And the scariest part—you don’t know when. What part of the proposal didn’t they hear? The anguish and embarrassment is enough to make you want to hide away for a week.
When it comes to VoIP services this is a possibility, but some providers shine brighter than others with their uptime percentages keeping this at bay. Depending on your business and the clients you will manage, reliability at all costs is top priority.
VoIP is extremely affordable, but at what cost?
You want to ask yourself the tough questions about having a landline infrastructure over a cloud-based one. And, if the pricing benefits outweigh other areas of doing business and your needs.
VoIP is useful because you don’t need hardware installation and can use hardware you already have.
But dropped calls, and limitations on making calls while calls are inbound can make your life a living you know what. So, make sure the reliability of the cloud service you select is solid as a rock.
When you have a landline, you know things are hardwired and you’ll have fewer issues. If you run a call center, it’s usually the way to go. But, providers like Freshcaller’s cloud service rises to the occasion for call centers and has been doing so for years.
When considering your business phone system, remember landlines require hardware and other pricing obligations that can really drive up the price. If you need to get up and running quickly, VoIP is the way to go. But, in the end, it depends on your specific needs for reliability.
The Pricing Fine Print
It’s key to take your time and comb through the nuances of pricing for each potential business phone provider.
Pay attention to major features and benefits that matter to you most, then magnify what shortcomings could cause you the most headaches later. The details matter.
For instance, you’ll want to know:
- What are the costs for adding new users later?
- How will pricing change on renewals?
- Are there hidden surcharges for going over call limits per month?
That’s just to name a few general examples.
For user-based pricing, you can explore if it’s more worthwhile to add each user as needed or if it’s more economical to buy a roomier plan with some user add-on wiggle room.
It could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Plus, with providers who offer contract-based service, you can lock in promotional pricing.
You don’t want any surprises. Take your time and read over the terms to make sure you aren’t subject to unannounced changes to monthly fees or odd extra charges that aren’t clearly part of your monthly fee
Consistent Call Quality
We have all been on a call where we could not quite hear the other person. It’s frustrating and is a sign of a poor service. Your calls should be clear no matter the device when using a cloud based service.
Some software can affect calls from inbound callers depending on if they are using a cellphone or landline. If you are taking calls from a computer, it’s wise to do test calls for both inbound and outbound calls to check for adequate call quality before making a final decision on a provider.
Another consideration is if you do conference calls. They happen often and you want to be sure your provider has the infrastructure to support this. And, that calls don’t drop or sound like you’re talking into your sweater’s collar because of poor connections or lacking features to smooth out the rough edges of a conference call.
A great way to combat this issue of poor call quality and exterminate any doubt on your end is to make sure your internet service is the best it can possibly be.
A weak signal when using VoIP phone service can be a reason for poor call quality. That’s something you don’t have to worry about with landline services.
All cards on the table, if you can’t communicate clearly over the phone, no one is going to want to keep doing business with you. It will be a hassle to call and work with your team.
Several providers on this list proudly boast about their software infrastructure and make it a priority to keep improving it for your benefit. Mitel has a reputation for fantastic call quality, but it does rely on a solid internet connection to reap that benefit.
What’s the best business phone system?
Nextiva is our top recommendation. This will be the best option for the vast majority of you.
With that said, there are plenty of other viable options to choose from. Use this guide and the methodology described above to help narrow down your choices as you’re shopping around. In most cases, you can try a phone system for free before committing.