If you’re looking for a way to stay in touch with your customers and provide them with a secure and affordable way to contact you, chances are you’re considering VoIP systems.
More flexible and affordable than traditional landlines, these services can be a great business investment that will make your agents’ jobs easier and improve your customers’ experience.
Grasshopper and 8×8 are among the most popular business phone systems. They are reliable, affordable, and used by many small companies. While they both may lack some more advanced features, they provide the basic offerings of VoIP phone service for businesses all over the U.S.
Both of these providers target a similar audience, so they can be hard to differentiate between. However, there are some important differences that we’ll point out in this article.
What is Grasshopper?
Founded more than 15 years ago, Grasshopper has since become one of the most popular VoIP choices in North America. With its strong focus on the domestic market, Grasshopper delivers a reliable VoIP solution predominately for small businesses and “solopreneurs”.
It was acquired in 2018 by LogMeIn to complete its business communications suite. This allowed LogMeIn to create a unified platform for small businesses. However, don’t be fooled by the “small business” tag – Grasshopper does its best to provide its customers with enterprise-level features for small business prices.
What is 8×8?
8×8 was founded as IIT (Integrated Information Technology) in 1987. They changed the name in the nineties and with that name change, came a change in their business model. Back in the eighties, the company produced microprocessors and graphics accelerator chips, later switching to video conferencing solutions.
In March 2000, 8×8 was relaunched, this time as a VoIP service. They took over 200.000 users from the liquidated SunRocket and made several acquisitions in the 2010s to broaden their service.
Thanks to these acquisitions, 8×8 can offer video conferencing, cloud-based call center capabilities, chat, and other important features for VoIP users.
How did we compare them?
We used each of these tools for two weeks and analyzed our findings across seven categories:
- Pricing – depending on the plan you choose, you could end up saving money or overpaying. Here, we’ll analyze which features are included in which pricing plans and how scalable each solution is.
- Ease of use and interface – you want your VoIP service to be as accessible and easy to use as possible. From the installation process to user experience and handling calls – everything should be easy to find and setup.
- Features – international numbers, free minutes, free SMS, and similar features are organized differently in different tools. Here, we’ll go over these features and highlight how each of these providers approaches them.
- Advanced features and team collaboration – if you have a customer service or sales team, they could use tools that would make it easier to collaborate. We’ll also take a look at some other advanced features like virtual receptionists, call recording, etc.
- Integrations – it’s easier to incorporate a VoIP tool in your daily routine if it has integrations with the tools you’re already using. You’ll want your VoIP provider to offer integrations at least with the most popular business tools like Office 365 and the G Suite.
- Customer support – if you run into problems or you need help with the installation process, you should have an easy way to get in touch with your provider. We’ll look at different support channels and how effectively these two providers handle them.
- User reviews – we’ve looked at several popular user review websites and summarized the most popular impressions. We’ve taken a look at both positives and negatives, to see if users may be experiencing the same issues.
Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s get to comparing!
Grasshopper vs 8×8: Pricing
Grasshopper and 8×8 both have different approaches when it comes to pricing. Most VoIP providers have anywhere between three and five pricing plans, each with more features than the previous one. They usually charge on a per-user, per-month basis, meaning that you pay more for each extension you need.
8×8 pricing plans follow this logic. They offer the 8×8 Express plan at $12 per user, per month, the X2 plan ($24 per user, per month), and the X4 ($44 per user, per month). If you choose to add Contact Center functionalities, prices quickly go up and you end up in the hundreds: X6 comes at $112, the X7 at $131, and the X8 at $170. All of these prices are even higher if you choose to pay monthly instead of yearly.
Grasshopper takes a simpler approach: there are three pricing plans and none of them depend on the number of extensions you have. These are the three plans: Solo ($29 per month), Partner ($49 per month), and Small Business ($89 per month). Keep in mind that the Solo plan is aimed at solopreneurs, so you only get one number and three extensions.
All of this can get too complicated to follow – Grasshopper might be too limiting with its number of extensions while 8×8 might be too pricey, especially if you’re interested in more advanced features.
If you’re looking for a more transparent and simple pricing plan, we suggest you consider Ringblaze – the tool we created. There is only one pricing plan and: $15 per user, per month (or $19 if you pay monthly). There are no hidden costs, no crazy additional charges, and no limitations as to how many extensions you can add.
Try Ringblaze now and see just how easy it is!
Grasshopper vs 8×8: Ease of use and interface
Setting up both of these tools is easy and should take no more than 10 minutes. Both of them use softphones, meaning you don’t need to install any additional software for them to work.
With 8×8, you get a welcome email with all your login information and everything else you need to get started. You can also schedule a call with someone from their customer service who can walk you through the platform and introduce you to its basic functionalities.
Grasshopper is almost as easy: all you need to do is choose your service level, choose your numbers (or port an existing one), and everything is ready to go. When it comes to choosing a number, you can do several things. You can choose a number from their list, set a location, and then choose a generated number from a dropdown menu, or search for vanity numbers.
Grasshopper vs 8×8: Features
Grasshopper and 8×8 come with standard VoIP features right out of the box: unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada is available even in the most basic plans, you can route and handle calls either through softphones or desktop phones, and you can use texting and chat features.
With 8×8 Express (the most affordable plan), you also get voicemail, auto-attendant, and music on hold. With Grasshopper, you get electronic fax services.
The key difference in the basic features between these two tools is the fact that 8×8 has an international calling. Grasshopper only works in the U.S. and Canada. If you try to access the Pricing page on their website, it will recognize your location and redirect you with a message that the service is not available. On the other hand, 8×8 offers its service in many other countries, including Australia, the UK, and France.
If you’re looking for a VoIP provider that you can use internationally, check out our Grasshopper alternatives. Ringblaze is one of those alternatives, with free international calling from worldwide locations. The best thing about it – all calls are completely free for your customers, no matter where they’re calling from.
Sign up for Ringblaze now – it’s quick and easy!
Grasshopper vs 8×8: Integrations
Integrations allow you and your team to connect your VoIP tool with other apps you might be using. That way, you can complete all the crucial tasks in one app and there is no need to switch frequently. For example, you might want to schedule a call through Outlook, in which case you’ll need a VoIP tool that has an Office 365 integration.
8×8 has done a lot of work on integrations in the past few years. Since they introduced the X Series in 2018, they have implemented an advanced integration framework that lets you connect your 8×8 system with several popular apps, including Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Slack, HubSpot, Azure, and others.
Unfortunately, Grasshopper doesn’t integrate with many leading apps, so 8×8 is the clear winner here.
Grasshopper vs 8×8: Advanced features and team collaboration
If you want to get the most out of your VoIP tool, you might be interested in some advanced features like team collaboration dashboards that could make it easier for your team to manage their collective workload.
Grasshopper doesn’t offer many such features but its Virtual Receptionist does seem interesting. The Virtual Receptionist can be either a live human or an auto-attendant system that can direct calls and take messages, much like a real receptionist would. Grasshopper partners up with Ruby to provide this service with professionally recorded messages.
With 8×8, you get a lot of advanced features if you’re willing to invest in one of the more expensive pricing plans. Video conferencing, supervisor analytics, call quality reports, and international calling to 47 countries are only available in the X4 plan that comes at $44 per user per month.
The same goes for team collaboration features – 8×8 has a lot of team chat solutions and integrations with the most popular team communication apps but you have to be willing to invest.
If you want advanced team collaboration at a lower price, Ringblaze might be your best option. You get a collaboration dashboard that allows you to record calls, leave comments on those calls, take notes, and assign responsibilities. That way, your whole team knows exactly what to do and their process will be as streamlined as possible.
Sign up for Ringblaze and check out the collaboration dashboard!
Grasshopper vs 8×8: Customer support
Both services offer impressive customer support, with options such as 24/7 phone service, live chat, and elaborate FAQ sections on their websites.
Grasshopper has 24/7 sales and customer support via phone, as well as a knowledge center on its website. You can easily troubleshoot a lot of issues using only their knowledge center and FAQs. You also have a ticketing system where you can create an official ticket for more advanced issues.
8×8 offers all of this but they include a 24/7 live chat option as well. This can come in handy if you’re not much of a talker but would still like 24/7 support.
Grasshopper vs 8×8: User reviews
8×8 phone system reviews praise it for its reliability and stable uptime. Users who have more expensive plans also highlight its advanced features like Virtual Office. On the other hand, one negative comment that keeps popping up is their sub-par support when it comes to major technical issues.
Grasshopper virtual phone reviews appreciate its simplicity and ease of use. It’s lauded for being user-friendly and easy to learn. Most of the negative reviews are focused on the lack of advanced features and difficulties in scalability.
Grasshopper vs 8×8: Summary
Each of these VoIP services has a role to play in a business setting.
While they both seem to target the small business market, it seems that Grasshopper might be better suited to individuals and very small companies. Because of its lack of advanced features and international calling, it’s hard to imagine that a small business with plans to grow will find Grasshopper satisfying.
8×8 is more advanced but to truly use all of its potential, you’ll have to invest in the more expensive plans, which could be a deal-breaker for small businesses.
If you feel that none of these are good enough for you, consider Ringblaze. It offers most of the advanced features that you will find in 8×8, combined with a small business mindset and a more affordable price of Grasshopper. You also get the handy team collaboration dashboard to improve your work organization.
Sign up for Ringblaze and try it now!