The business phone service you choose to use for your small business defines your communication abilities. How you connect with employees, and them with each other, significantly impacts the way your business operates. Your customer’s experience loses its value when your business makes and receives poor quality phone calls. The customer relationship and business reputation will diminish. Eventually, causing both to disappear.

It is no secret; a business cannot run on an unreliable and inflexible phone system. To be confident in the phone system you choose, here are the six best phone services for small business in 2019.

6 Best Business Phone Services

What every employee and customer desires to achieve through the art of communication are two specific things: to be heard and understood.

Anything that comes between those two goals is considered an interruption, a breakdown, or interference. All of which often leads to miscommunication, poor quality service, and dissatisfaction.

As a small business, your job is to meet the two communication goals expected by your employees and customers and to do this; your phone service must be of the highest quality.

You must also think of various ways your phone service can help raise your employee productivity. Using the right automated solutions can improve the customer experience without having to sacrifice quality.

Here are the best six small business phone services to help narrow down your search so you can start better serving your customers right away.

1. Nextiva

Nextiva Logo

Starting at $20/month per user

Nextiva is a complete, cloud-based, VoIP business phone service. With Nextiva, your business does not have to compromise on scale, quality, or flexibility.

Nextiva offers a multitude of features designed to better your small business communication — Inside and out.

With features like,

  • Auto Attendant
  • Text Messaging
  • Nextiva App
  • Voicemail to Email
  • HD Video Calls
  • Call Queuing
  • Instant Messages and Chat Rooms
  • Unlimited Calling
  • Real-Time Analytics
  • Highly Reliable Network – Means 99.999% Uptime for Your Business
  • Plus Much More

Due to it being a VoIP phone service, employees can make and receive calls and text messages anytime; anywhere there is an internet connection. It offers you the option of remote employees, and your employees to continue working while on the go.

Nextiva aims to create a unified and seamless experience for your business with an easy to use and complete platform.

Transform your small business into an organized, productive, connected, high in quality, and easily manageable with the Nextiva VoIP business phone service.

2. 8×8

8x8 Logo

Starting at $28/month per user

8×8 is a VoIP cloud-based phone service that helps small businesses improve employee and customer experiences.

As one system of engagement, 8×8 offers businesses voice, video, collaboration, and contact center.

With features like,

  • Unlimited Calling within 14 Countries
  • Phone Number and Extension Dialing feat. High-definition Voice Quality
  • Voicemail
  • Auto Attendant
  • SMS Messaging (Only available in U.S. and Canada)
  • Call Recording
  • 1GB Media Storage
  • Call Queues
  • Mobile and Desktop Apps
  • Plus Much More

It is an excellent solution for business looking for a cloud phone, messaging, and meetings service.

With its use of VoIP, 8×8 will enhance your small business communication on multiple levels by improving team collaboration, employee productivity, and customer experiences.

3. Jive

Jive Logo

Starting at $19.95/month per user

Jive is a hosted VoIP business phone service that simplifies conferencing and phone management.

A cloud-based system, Jive will help improve employee-to-customer interactions through a variety of voice options.

With features like,

  • Missed Call Indicator
  • Call Hold
  • Caller ID
  • 3-Way Conferencing
  • Last Number Redial
  • Call Analytics
  • Dial by Name
  • Speed Dial
  • Custom Hold Music
  • Plus Much More

Improve the experiences with your small business using a phone system that can handle a high call volume and number of employees, no matter their location.

4. RingCentral

RingCentral Logo

Starting at $19.99/month per user

RingCentral is a small business cloud-based phone service that offers you a cloud phone, meetings, messaging, security, and analytics.

Your small business can get started quickly using your own phone number on a user-friendly cloud phone system.

With features like,

  • Unlimited Video and Audio
  • Meetings with Screen Sharing (4 people per meeting)
  • Unlimited Phone Calls
  • 100 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited Business SMS
  • Call Management
  • High-Definition Voice
  • Visual Voicemail and Voicemail-to-Email
  • Team collaboration
  • Plus Much More

As RingCentral is mobile friendly, your business can connect anytime, anywhere using mobile and desktop applications.

5. Ooma

Ooma Logo

Starting at $19.95/month per user

Ooma offers your small business the ability to stay connected while at home or in the office. It supports select IP phones, analog phones, and mobile phones.

When using Ooma as your small business VoIP phone service, you will look more professional and polished to your customers.

With features like,

  • Virtual Receptionist
  • Extension Dialing
  • Conferencing
  • Music on Hold
  • Local and Toll-Free Phone Number
  • Call Forwarding
  • Virtual Fax Extension
  • Port Existing Number
  • Voicemail
  • Plus Much More

Ooma offers an internet telephone service that can deliver crystal clear calling to customers. Your employees can work while on-the-go via their smartphones, allowing the convenience of mobility.

6. Phone.com

Phone.com Logo

Starting at $12.99/month per user for pay per minute plans and starting from $22.95/month per user for unlimited plans.

Phone.com is a communications and collaboration solutions for small businesses. It offers several methods to keep in touch with your customers and colleagues.

With the use of almost any device, employees can stay connected at all times.

With features like,

  • 300 Monthly Minutes
  • Unlimited User Extensions
  • 1 Local or Toll-Free Number
  • 5,000 SMS Messages4
  • Phone Number Porting
  • Call Queuing
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Address Book
  • Account Management
  • Plus Much More

Phone.com is a virtual phone system (VoIP) that offers your small business various ways to talk with people using the Cloud.

What are the Weaknesses of Your Current Phone System?

Create a list of all the improvements you want to make by switching your small business’ phone system.

Phone Service Weakness List

Here are some questions to review:

  • How often do customer calls drop?
  • What is the percentage of calls transferred to the incorrect department?
  • What is the average number of minutes customers are on hold?
  • Are your business department heads able to track and analyze call quality?
  • Does any part of the phone service cause difficulty in delivering customer service?
  • Is your current phone system able to handle the volume of calls received?
  • How flexible are your phone features? i.e., Does it offer you the ability to have remote workers?
  • Does it cause any part of the buyer’s journey to slow down?
  • Are your employees more or less productive when using the system?
  • Does it encourage collaboration?
  • Does it have mobility features? i.e., Are your employees only able to receive and make business calls from inside the office?

Once your “Phone Service Weakness” list is complete, make another list. This time, create one called, the “Phone Service Improvement” list.

What to Look for to Choose a Quality-Driven Phone Service

When searching for phone service, choose the one that improves the quality of calls. That one service aimed at bettering your employees and business operations.

You want the one that can handle the volume of calls your small business makes and receives.

There are other specific items you must look for as well, to ensure you choose the best one for your business.

Phone Service Improvement List

What to look for:

  • Easy to use interface. Most operations can be handled by the user, without the constant need of a technician.
  • Easily track call duration, hold times, wait times, and overall usage.
  • Offers call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, call routing, and more.
  • Provides the ability to share one number among several users simultaneously.
  • It offers flexibility and mobility. Employees can use their desk phone, mobile, tablet, or a computer to receive and make calls.
  • Affordability, for long-term usage.
  • Employees and customers can quickly and conveniently communicate with each other.
  • It offers automation to an efficient operation — increasing productivity.
  • Lessens the amount or eliminates the need for multiple vendors and tools.
  • It offers VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to enable employees to use your business’ local or toll-free phone number from any location. All that it requires is a high-speed internet connection.

As you are always looking for ways on how to use tech to save you money, using the internet to make and receive calls is one way to do it. As you eliminate the need for landlines, you can say good-bye to expensive monthly phone bills.

Always consider the needs of your business along with the wants when choosing a proper phone service.

There are many reasons startups fail, but your phone system should not be one of them.

Most small businesses focus on creating a communication strategy, and less on the system which delivers it.

Communication and communication strategy is not just part of the game – it is the game.” – Oscar Munoz

For your small business to efficiently and effectively provide exceptional customer experiences, it must first look at the quality of its communication.

The phone service your business uses can be a game-changer.

Prevent communication mishaps that spiral into further avoidable issues. You do not want your employees to feel like they always have to put out “small fires” every time they accept or make a phone call.

Instead, create a smooth and quality-driven user experience for both employee and customer communications.

Make 2019 the start of better communication at your small business. Choose the best VoIP phone service to make the service you provide the best choice for customers.

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.