No matter whether you’re a freelancer just starting out, or a young entrepreneur branching out and delegating work – you need to maintain a cohesive business identity. This means that you have to create a personal brand and show presence on different platforms and channels of communication – from social media to your website.
Having a dedicated business phone number is part of that. Just like a business email address, a business number will help you appear professional – and convince customers. It will also help you juggle the different aspects of your professional and private life.
Luckily, there is a broad offer of modern business phone services that work via the cloud. This is possible through a technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It eliminates the need for a second phone – or, god forbid, a landline – for business purposes. Instead, you can install a business phone app and access your business number on your iPhone, Android, as well as your tablet and computer.
What’s more, using modern business phone services you can create a holistic phone structure for your entire company. You can easily add and delete extensions in an online admin space. Your team can access these numbers no matter where they are. This is a huge advantage, especially in the age of lockdowns and social distancing.
Finally, cloud-based business phone services also offer countless additional productivity functionalities – like advanced call management (queuing, blocking, redirection), video calling, conference calling, messaging, or visual voicemail. Many also integrate with other business apps like Microsoft Office, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms such as HubSpot and Salesforce.
That said, here is a closer look at the five best business phone platforms of 2021 for freelancers and entrepreneurs.
1 – Nextiva
Nextiva is undoubtedly the best business phone service available. It’s based on proprietary software and offers reliable service, countless additional features, and outstanding customer service. Plus, they’re at the lower end of the price range, with monthly plans starting at $19.95.
Voice and video calling, conferencing, and messaging, as well as voicemail and call transcription, and advanced call management are all included in the offer. In addition, Nextiva also offers in-depth analytics powered by AI through its NextOS platform and a virtual workspace platform for team collaboration. This is extremely handy if you’re working with a distributed workforce, or freelancers scattered across the world.
Nextiva can boast an uptime of 99.999% (‘five nines’). If you ever do run into problems, their award-winning customer service is available 24/7 via email, live chat, and phone.
Finally, apart from offering their own CRM, Nextiva also integrates natively with platforms like Zendesk and HubSpot.
2 – Aircall
Are you managing a large team dealing with high volumes of customer calls? Take a look at Aircall. This provider specializes in call center functionalities.
Aircall is designed for managing large numbers of users. Its platform is extremely reliable, simple to set up, and offers voice and video calls, as well as messaging. It further includes a wide range of productivity features, native CRM capabilities, and helpdesk options.
It also offers high-powered analytics tools, which give you actionable insights into client relationships – and the performance of your team members.
Pricing starts at $30 per user and month for the Essential plan. The Professional plan, which comes at $50 per user and month, also includes advanced analytics and reporting, a dedicated account manager, and more extensive integrations.
3 – OnSIP
Unlike Aircall, OnSIP targets small to mid-size businesses. It offers voice and video calling, conferencing, and messaging, as well as integrations for platforms like HubSpot, Zendesk, and Slack.
Another attractive feature is their sayso click-to-call service. This allows you to place a button on your website. Users can click it to call you directly via voice and video. Best of all, sayso is also available on its own – for free.
OnSIP’s pricing strategy is different from the other providers on this list. While the basic plan costs $18.95, it only includes the essential functionalities. In addition to that, there is a large menu of features that you can subscribe to, from call recording and hold music to auto-attendants. The advantage? You just pay for features that you actually need.
4 – Vonage
Vonage is particularly adapted to rapidly growing businesses. It offers an all-in-one communications platform and is renowned for its outstanding flexibility and scalability.
Vonage’s Business Communications platform offers voice and video calls, messaging, and some team collaboration tools. Advanced features like call transcription and call routing are also part of the package.
This provider’s strongest suit is the huge variety of integrations it offers. You can easily connect it to HubSpot, Zoho CRM, Office 365, and G Suite, among countless others. This makes Vonage a prime choice if you’re aiming to centralize your business communications.
In terms of pricing, Vonage’s Mobile plan starts at $19.99 per month, but many features only become available at the Premium ($29.99) or Advanced ($39.99) tiers.
5 – Dialpad
The last provider on this list is Dialpad, which shines is with its focus on business phone AI applications.
Dialpad’s business phone offer includes voice and video calling, email, chat, and text messaging, plus advanced capabilities for call queuing and routing. It can also boast AI-powered features like automated note-taking, call transcription, and real-time sales support. In addition, machine-learning analytics tools offer in-depth, actionable insights.
In terms of third-party integrations, Dialpad connects to G Suite, Office 365, Salesforce, HubSpot, and more.
Dialpad’s Standard tier starts at $15 per user and month and is suitable for very small teams. The Pro plan is $25 per user and month. It includes 24/7 phone support and more integrations.
Wrapping It Up
In 2020, COVID brought global difficult economic conditions and uncertainty. The challenges won’t let up in 2021. That’s why you need to prepare your business as best as you can.
Maintaining a cohesive, professional business identity is part of that. A good business phone service can help you with that.
With some time and research, you’re bound to find a service that fits your unique needs and will help you succeed in the world of business communication. And connect with customers more smoothly than ever before.