The Best Virtual Phone Number in 2023
Updated: September 12,2023
Running a customer care or technical support center is no easy task. It becomes an organizational nightmare if you don’t have a receptionist or system for offloading calls. Luckily, there’s an app for that.
More than one app, actually. It’s called a virtual phone, and there is a whole market of platforms designed especially for handling customer calls. Although iPhone sales are soaring, as are phone sales in general, it’s still wiser to conduct your business through dedicated virtual phone apps.
These apps can quickly connect the caller to the exact person who will be able to resolve their issue. Nowadays, these systems have actually outgrown their original purpose and are used as complex organizational tools. So what is the best virtual phone number right now, and how can you get one?
We’ve gathered all the information on these companies, scoured their sites for the best deals, and compared prices. Here’s what we found.
- Affordable plans and add-ons
- Free trial available
- Lots of features
- Not suitable for large teams
Unlike those found in the old kung fu movies, this grasshopper has already learned a lot about the industry it operates in. This hosting service has become an inseparable companion for many small businesses and solo entrepreneurs, who cannot imagine an office without phone systems running through Grasshopper. It’s a perfect solution for business VoIP as long as you don’t have more than 15 people on your team.
With that downside out of the way, there’s a lot to like about this excellent virtual phone service for both landline and VoIP. First of all, you can transfer your existing number, but you can also choose a local phone number as well as international and vanity numbers.
Feature-wise, it’s a well-rounded product with a great set of management tools. This includes voicemail recording and transcribing, instant replies to callers, and business contacts that keep your whole conversations in a handy timeline view. Of course, the basics like call forwarding and transfers are included. It has both desktop and mobile apps with seamless transitions between the two work environments, making it perfect for solopreneurs on the go.
Grasshopper is also an affordable virtual phone number provider, with pricing plans that won’t break the bank. Starting with the Solo plan, you can expect monthly costs of $29, with the Partner plan being the best buy option at $49 a month. The prices go down to $26 and $44 per month, respectively, if you opt for an annual subscription.
For slightly larger teams, the best choice is the Small Business Plan at $89 a month ($80/mo if billed annually), which also grants you five numbers and unlimited extensions. Extra numbers cost $10 each, and you can add the Ruby virtual receptionist system as a separate package, saving 35% during your first month of subscription.
We don’t consider Grasshopper the best virtual phone number company only because of its fair pricing and feature-rich app - its customer experience is also impeccable. With 24/7 phone and email support and an extensive knowledge base available on the website, it really is a top-notch service. Finally, there’s a seven-day free trial, so you can test the system and see for yourself why everyone’s praising it.
- Team-oriented solution
- Numbers in 100+ countries
- Integrates into many apps
- Some unnecessary features in the most expensive plans
RingCentral is a company that has been giving other VoIP providers a run for their money for more than 20 years. It’s the top virtual phone number provider for both entrepreneurs and their teams, providing a lot of team-oriented features along with business and toll-free numbers. This is a VoIP solution, first and foremost, with high-quality audio and video calls.
Right off the bat, RingCentral offers a lot of useful tools for small businesses. The basic plan is great for companies with up to 20 employees since it includes unlimited calls and texts in the North American region.
It’s an excellent landline alternative, especially when we take team messaging into account, along with document sharing and integrations with popular apps like G Suite, Office, and Slack. In fact, it’s one of the best virtual phone number apps on the market, thanks to its easy integration. Customer support platforms like Zendesk and Salesforce don’t require any special setup to work with RingCentral.
Conferencing is another strong point of this platform. Up to 200 participants can join in on a video call, while audio conferences don’t even have a limit to the number of participants. The service becomes even more valuable to call centers at the higher price points, as it adds automatic call recording, some advanced features for handling business calls, and even real-time analytics.
You pay for this service per user per month, but it becomes an affordable virtual phone number in its higher tiers. Plans start at $19.99 per month, and all include unlimited SMS and calls, although the Essentials plan is strictly limited to 20 users. A direct upgrade of the basic plan is the Standard plan, which costs just $8 more but adds so many features, especially for conferencing and integration.
The most popular plan costs $34.99 a month and is the best option for call centers since it includes a lot of management and compliance tools. We didn’t see the appeal of the Ultimate plan for multiple users, except for companies that get a lot of toll-free calls.
- Perfect for big teams
- Call monitoring and recording
- Team-oriented features
- Charges activation fee
When it comes to the enterprise phone system category, no other platform is as beloved as 8x8. It has become almost synonymous with call center management, providing professional call forwarding, waiting, and monitoring services. The company has three decades of experience, after all.
The reason we consider this platform to be an excellent solution for a small business is its sheer quantity of features. Just listing all of them could take up this whole page, so we’ll stick to the highlights.
The 8x8 system offers plenty of automation, which is why so many call centers use it. Whether it’s automated call attendance or the receptionist system for guiding callers to the right department, you can rest assured that 8x8 can handle it.
There’s also an operator switchboard allowing manual transfers and a set of monitoring tools. The app can record calls and create detailed reports on them, helping call center managers analyze the productivity of their teams.
Granted, this is not a cheap virtual phone number, especially if you’ve got a big team dedicated to answering phone calls. The monthly fee for this call center solution is priced at $12 per user, although there’s no minimum number of licenses you have to purchase. With this plan, you’ll get unlimited calls across the United States and Canada, as well as video conference features with screen sharing tools.
Need even more features and international calls? Sign up for the X Series X2 plan at $24 per user per month, and you’ll also get a voicemail transcription service. A $44-per-user plan - the X4 plan - is the top virtual phone number option for call centers, as it includes the aforementioned analytics and switchboard tools.
There is also a super-premium X6 plan that includes unlimited calling to 47 countries and many additional tools for a hefty price of $110 per user per month. It may seem expensive but could be a lifesaver for dedicated customer care centers.
This leads us to the customer experience, one area where 8x8 surprisingly lacks options. Live chat is the preferred point of contact here, with a lot of hoops needed to get to the ticketing system. Fortunately, there’s a knowledge base on the website with answers to pretty much all common issues you may run into with this system.
- Free toll-free number
- Phone rental
- Free trial available
- Expensive for small teams
- No international numbers
Nextiva is a popular virtual phone number provider among businesses. It’s another platform with a heavy focus on team organization and internal communication. It’s not just an answering service; it’s a fully-fledged solution for running a company.
There are quite a lot of features in Nextiva’s toolset. Like many similar services, it supports BYOP (bring your own phone), so there’s no need to change your number when signing up. Both video and phone calls are supported even in the basic package, along with call management tools that will speed up the workflow of any call center.
Although it doesn’t offer an international phone number, just local phone numbers, Nextiva has proved to be the best virtual phone number app for companies that rely on toll-free phone calls. It’s actually one of the most affordable ways to get thousands of toll-free minutes compared to its competition.
Among other features, what stood out were its integrations with numerous apps and online services. From Google Workspace to Slack, Outlook to Salesforce, you can connect Nextiva to pretty much any platform you’re currently using for office tasks.
There are also productivity features like screen sharing, call analytics and call recording - something every customer care center will appreciate. Moreover, it features a multi level auto attendant that handles automatic call forwarding seamlessly.
Nextiva’s virtual phone number pricing is pretty fair and on par with other companies we’ve featured on this page. Plans start at $18.95 per user per month if your company has between 20 and 99 users. It gets cheaper above 100 employees but will be more expensive for smaller teams. The most popular Enterprise plan is just $32.95 per user per month, at least if you opt for annual payments.
Granted, this pricing system isn’t ideal for smaller businesses, especially if they need some of the premium tools available only in the higher pricing tiers. Still, it’s worth noting that each plan at Nextiva comes with unlimited 24/7 customer support.
- HD voice
- Easy to set up and use
- Very limited plans
- Call recording only available as a paid add-on
You may not be able to get a free virtual phone number, but that doesn’t mean you should dish out a fortune for it. The numbers and services Phone.com provides are some of the most affordable we’ve found, and, best of all, the features aren’t locked to specific pricing tiers. That means each customer gets 40+ amazing call management features right off the bat.
Whether you need local, international, or even vanity numbers, you can get them all with this service. As for the aforementioned feature list, the highlights include an automated attendant, an address book with a call-by-name directory, scheduling, and custom hold music. There’s even a fax to email feature.
The virtual phone numbers that this company offers can be global, too. You get a selection of more than 40 countries - primarily European - with rather competitive prices. Additional phone numbers will set you back between $1.99 and $4.99 depending on how many you need, and all plans other than the basic one have unlimited minutes and text messages.
From the organizational side of things, conference calling supports up to 500 participants. Video conferencing - as well as analytic and monitoring tools - cost extra. In fact, there are a lot of optional add-ons, including more text messages and minutes, but we’ll get to that later. One of the better extra features is live reception. It’s a bit pricey, but it will surely give your company a more professional image (and sound).
We mentioned that getting a virtual business phone number at Phone.com doesn’t cost a lot. The starting price is just $12.99 per month, or $10.39 if you choose to pay annually, but there’s a catch. The basic plan is limited by the number of minutes and text messages you can use each month.
You’ll have to go for the $15.99/mo/user plan (if billed annually) to get an unlimited number of calls and texts. Otherwise, you get 300 minutes and text messaging with 1,000 pooled segments each month (1000 x 160 characters).
The Best Virtual Phone Number Services in 2023
Our Methodology for Identifying the Best Virtual Phone Number Providers
Cloud computing has impacted businesses like nothing before in history. All of a sudden you can automate pretty much any part of the working process or move it online where it’s safer. After VPS hosting solutions and press release distribution services, the time has come for phone customer support to get automated.
The main reason for getting a virtual phone line is offloading the traffic from one phone to your whole support team. Redirecting the caller to a specific department or person not only streamlines your support service, but it makes your customers happy and more likely to continue using your products or services for many years to come. Cutting down on those wait times and the number of transfers is what many customers consider good service. Thus, it is what we look for first in these apps.
Once your business picks up, the number of callers will increase. A good virtual business phone number app should offer call queueing, keeping the customers waiting in line and the system ready to transfer the call once there’s a free line.
Automation is another significant feature we look for in our reviews. It’s fine if a service only features manual call transfers, but that’s not enough anymore to stand out from the crowd. These systems can become your new virtual reception with call routing that’s much faster than any human.
Lastly, there’s the matter of monitoring business phone calls. This has become an integral part of the best virtual phone services, and it’s a highly requested feature by call centers, so we’ve included it in our requirements. Both monitoring and recording are a must, but if the service also offers reporting tools and other metrics, it’s a big plus in our book.
Since we’re potentially getting several phone numbers, it’s essential not to be limited to a local number. Instead, we’re looking for both variety and quantity. The amount and type of phone numbers you can get is often a deal-breaker with these services.
The best virtual phone number service should offer both local and international phone numbers, but also vanity and toll-free numbers. The latter can really make your company look more professional and are often requested by business owners.
It should go without saying that the quality of phone calls is important if you don’t want to lose customers. A bad connection could lead to mishearing crucial information on both ends, which can lead to even more problems for both customers and your company. We take into account how stable the connection is when assessing this criterion.
The importance of saving a few pennies here and there shouldn’t be overlooked. Therefore, we try to find the most affordable virtual phone number service that provides good value. We compare the plans (if there are more than one on offer), look at how well the pricing is scaled from the basic to the most premium plan, and find the best choice. We also look at any extra fees and optional add-ons, comparing them to the competition.
Additionally, we evaluate any discounts that the company offers, whether they’re for purchasing annual licenses or combo deals. Free trials are highly appreciated, too, as are generous refund policies. In short, we look for the best virtual phone number service provider in terms of value and consumer-friendliness.
When you’re just learning how to manage your calls online, you’re bound to have some questions about the brand new service you’ve just subscribed to. Maybe some part of the UI isn’t 100% clear to your coworkers, or you’re having an issue setting up a particular feature. Whatever the case, you’ll need an expert’s help, and it’s even better if that help comes directly from the company whose product you’re using.
That’s why the top virtual phone number providers need to have solid customer support platforms. This includes competent, friendly staff, different avenues of contact, short waiting times, and a good knowledge base where the user can browse for solutions on their own.
You might still be wondering why you would even use a virtual instead of an analogue phone. Isn’t it simpler, faster, and even cheaper? That may have been the case in the past, but in recent years, a serious company should switch to an online phone if it plans to include a phone number as one point of contact with customers. Here are some of the reasons virtual US numbers are such a hot commodity right now.
The phone rings, you answer it. End of story, right? True, but if you have a virtual phone number provided, you can do that and much more. These services have evolved way beyond what a landline can offer. Yes, you can still receive incoming calls and make calls but you also get a whole set of management tools that help spread the workload and direct the customer to the exact department they need.
These systems work like a receptionist, automating the process of transferring a caller to a specific department or person who can solve their problems faster. You can have a waiting queue, hundreds of operators answering the same phone number, automatic responses, and more. The best virtual phone number provider can deliver dozens of productivity tools. Some of them may even be able to integrate into the systems you’re already using.
There’s also the matter of leaving a better impression on your clients and customers. Getting a few easy-to-remember 1-800 numbers and offering customers the chance to call you for free when they have issues with a product – it all adds up to a better company image.
You know the line “this phone call might be recorded” when you call customer support? Call centers record calls through virtual phones for several reasons, but most often as a legal precaution. They pick the best virtual phone system based on whether it can monitor and record calls or not.
Whether for their own safety or if requested by law, call centers record their calls. That way, any issue that may arise will be documented, hence you’ll always see this feature listed in virtual phone companies’ offers. Another reason these services record calls is simply for employee training. A manager of a call center can evaluate the productivity of their employees by listening to either live or recorded calls.
Today, small business owners who deal with a lot of phone calls are better off getting an internet phone than a landline. These services can easily save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars a month, since many offer unlimited calls and texts. Compared to cell phone plans, these services are usually a steal and you can even use them on your mobile phone, so it’s a win-win situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting virtual numbers for a small business requires a quick signup with one of the companies that offer these kinds of services. In most cases, your virtual phone will be ready to go in a matter of minutes, and you can use your existing phone number, so you’re not cutting off the service to your customers.
Yes, calling and managing phone calls through virtual phone number systems is very safe. Most platforms that offer this service employ strong encryption, protecting all the data stored in the system, including your address books.
Compared to regular landlines, the best virtual business phone numbers are not limited when it comes to the number of devices or their locations. When you get a virtual phone, you can use it anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access. There’s pretty much nothing more convenient than that when it comes to making personal and business calls.
Many companies offer 1-800 numbers or an 800 number when you sign up for their virtual phone services. As we mentioned in our article, five companies provide the best virtual phone number options we have today. These are Grasshopper, 8x8, RingCentral, Nextiva, and Phone.com.
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