Phone services for businesses and non-profits
Communication is a big part of the business and non-profit world. Without effective communication technology, you can suffer. Cloud telephony is the future and many businesses offer this technology at reasonable prices. In this guide, we will go over a few different telephone providers that specialize in cloud telephony.
Why your business or non-profit needs a good cloud telephony system?
Technology is changing and so are the typical ways we communicate with people. The telephone will always be an important part of the business and the non-profit world. Cloud telephony allows you to expand beyond your reach and scale as needed. no more having customers get a busy signal, with cloud telephony you are always available.
Founded in 2006 Nextiva has been around for a little more than a decade and has built one of the most sophisticated cloud telephony systems out there. They are ranked the best by plenty of websites and magazines and win our recommendation for the best telephony system that is why we are recommending them first. Their platform is robust for any business. Nextiva has solutions for any business of any size. One of the products they offer is contact center software which is very beneficial for large businesses or non-profits to manage their communication more effectively.
Some other products they offer are SIP Trunking, Service CRM, Live chat software, Surveying software. We will discuss all of these products in more detail, for now, we are going to focus on their cloud telephony systems.
On all of their plans, they offer unlimited calling which is a huge win for your business or non-profit, this will allow you to call as many people as you want. Unlimited calling can allow you to speak to clients as much as you want or reach out to donors if you are a non-profit. If you already have a phone number Nextiva offers free phone number porting to their service. So be assured you can keep your phone number.
If you need to send a fax you can do it as much as you want virtually. Your voicemails can get sent directly to your email address if you want. When you place a customer on hold you can delight them with HD music which is a plus of this telephone system. If you need to record a call or all of them you can do that on their enterprise plan.
Here are the features of Nextiva:
As you can see there are a lot of features offered by Nextiva and you won’t be disappointed with their service they offer. If you want to speak to someone from our team to help you migrate to Nextiva just follow this link.
Vonage Business offers a lot of features for online calling capability. Founded in 2000 they have been around for nearly two decades. This has given them an advantage of developing a platform over years and perfecting their craft. Vonage Business is a very popular solution for small businesses/non-profits as there pricing is very well suited for those who are budget restrained. Vonage states you will save 36% over the top three providers of wireline service. While Vonage is mainly a wireline provider they have recently gotten into VoIP. Their base plan offers powerful features for getting started with cloud telephony.
As you can see they offer very powerful features. The only thing lacking is how many features they have. Stacked up against Nextiva they have nothing on cloud telephony but they are a great start and affordable for that matter.
If you want a toll-free number with Vonage you will have to pay $39.99 a month for the number with no per minute charge for calling. This is a positive as most cloud telephony providers charge per minute for calls using a toll-free number. With Vonage, you can also have an auto attendant to route calls to different departments or extensions if you wish. If you need help with this one of our consultants will be glad to help you set this up. A feature that Vonage has that Nextiva does not is the ability to send text messages from your phone number, this is important if you want to reach out to customers in a more simplistic way.
All plans with Vonage include the following:
The best feature we find is the ability to call and get support, most telephony providers offer support through tickets, this can become very handy for you. If you ever want to leave Vonage you can because they have no contracts which is great for you, you never have to be tied down. Just like most telephony providers you can keep your current number by porting it over to Vonage.
RingCentral offers worldwide service for cloud telephony systems. Products that RingCentral offers are Business VoIP, Hosted PBX, Web Conferencing, Team Collaboration, Unified Communication, Paperless Fax. As you can see they offer a lot of products for sale and they have a product that will fit your needs for cloud telephony.
What RingCentral does very well is the ability to have an extremely easy UI which equates to easiness for you. By using their platform you are doing your business/non-profit good by having a provider that has been around for over a decade. They have experience in cloud telephony and can provide all of the services you need.
Here is the pricing for a single user:
As you can see they are one of the most expensive ones for cloud telephony but offer a lot of features for the price you pay.
8X8 has been around the longest, they formed in 1987 and has been providing cloud telephony for three decades, they win the experience medal for cloud telephony. Through all their years they have provided cloud telephony they have captivated business with innovative features and pioneered the whole cloud telephony industry. They offer two products, cloud telephony, and contact center solutions. They are based out of San Jose, CA and offer service worldwide. There most purchased plan is Virtual Office PRO.
Their platform is set up very uniquely and offer encrypted communications which very few do so your communication is secure with 8X8. They offer a unified experience across the web and mobile. Like other providers, they offer virtual faxing so if you need to send them they can handle the request too. What we like most is the ability to call international as much as you want. You can call up to 45 different countries. If you are getting a lot of calls you can set up a virtual receptionist to handle all of the incoming calls and smartly route them to the right person or department.
Here is a pricing table for 8X8 service:
If you are using Salesforce you can easily integrate the platform with it and make calls directly in Salesforce to your customers or prospects. If you are a non-profit you can easily reach out to donors with the contact center solution, and even have donors work with live agents through the contact center to perform donations.
Here is a quote from a customer:
“Even though we have many locations, we want to retain a small-company feel,” explains Peter Mares, director of project management and technology at Pivot Physical Therapy. Mares serves as the sole IT professional in charge of Pivot’s phone systems and he gives high praise for 8×8’s flexibility and self-service system administration. “With 8×8, we can pick the way we want our phones to ring and make any changes ourselves. We’re not at the mercy of a service provider. And the admin interface is so simple that one person–me–can manage our whole 8×8 phone system.”
If you are unhappy with 8X8 you can request a refund within the first 30 days of using their service. Lets talk about their contact center software real quick. They offer robust solutions for a staff of 1 or 100. They offer three plans for the contact center software they are, Standard, Pro, Ultimate. With the standard plan, you get a lot of features but we recommend the Ultimate plan as you get Email, Voice and chat and so much more. If you need a chat solution for your website then choose 8X8 because you can have a unified platform that offers it built right in. Some features of the Ultimate plan are:
- FAQ Knowledgebase – create quick articles for when you are chatting with a customer.
- Skill-based routing – if you want to provide support, for example, you can route the call if it has to do with billing to your billing team or route a call to someone who speaks a certain language.
- Internal chat- if you need to ask a coworker for help on a call you can chat with them without the client knowing and easily get the answers you need.
- Personal Agent Connect – if you want the customer to reach you directly you can give them your direct number to call you at and even set up a voicemail for when you can’t answer.
- Web Callback – if your customers get stuck on your website and needs more answers they can fill out a three second form and request a call back and it is queued in the contact center for the next agent to take hold, it even tells you what page the customer was visiting so you can get an idea of what the call will be like.
- Survey – if after a call you want to collect a survey to see how good the rep did you can easily set that up within a few minutes.
As you can see 8X8 offers a lot of helpful features and can really be a benefit to your telephony solutions you need. There is no available pricing on the call center solution but you will have to contact the sales team. If you want to learn more about the virtual call center solutions click here.
As you can see there are a few solutions you can choose from, whatever you choose we are sure you will like it. Just keep in mind if you ever need one of our consultants to help implement a solution you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a quote.