No matter how much marketing tools evolve, there is something that will always be of the utmost importance to any business – the customer experience. Even though there are lots of tools launched every day, there is nothing that can beat the power of a good old phone. Your customers love hearing someone on the other side and in general, it’s much quicker than trying to solve a problem through chat.
The good (and bad) news is that there are lots of business phone providers nowadays and choosing the right one can be a chore. With similar features and pricing, you can be stuck for days without making a decision. Today, we’ll take a look at three great business phone providers: RingCentral, Grasshopper and Google Voice, so we can help you make the right choice for your website and business. By the way, we have a great article with the best Ringcentral alternatives, if you want to learn more about this tool’s competitors.
We will judge all three business phone providers based on three criteria which are important to small business owners:
– The features
– The ease of use and setup
– The pricing
On a side note, if you’re interested in a business phone platform that lets you communicate easily with your customers, we encourage you to give Ringblaze a try! We put lots of work to create a powerful yet affordable tool that is a perfect fit for SMBs. It comes with a set of handy features such as a click-to-call website widget that lets your customers call you instantly while browsing your website regardless of their location. You can learn more about it here.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick comparison table of the three tools so you can find out the best one for your use at a single glance.
RingCentral vs. Grasshopper vs. Google Voice comparison table
|Free trial||7 days||15 days||Unlimited|
|Standalone phone functionality||✓||–||✓|
|Call recording||✓||Only in the Premium plan||✓|
|Integrations with CRMs||✓||–||–|
A review of RingCentral vs Grasshopper
For companies who depend on a business phone system, the debate between RingCentral and Grasshopper is probably something they’ve had for a while. Both platforms have been around for longer than a decade and they have amassed quite a few fans and followers. Both do some things great, but which is the better all-rounder?
RingCentral vs. Grasshopper features
To start things off, RingCentral gives you 100 toll-free minutes with its basic plan. This plan also gets you unlimited calls, visual voicemails, integrations with tools like G Suite and Box, as well as voicemail transcription. If you opt for the pricier plan, you can unlock unlimited audio and video calls for up to 4 people per one meeting, as well as the feature of an auto-attendant who can receive your calls instead of you. The top-end features, such as automatic call recording, multisite support and integrations with CRMs like Salesforce are all reserved for the most expensive plan.
On the other hand, Grasshopper’s cheapest plan gives you toll-free numbers, support for multiple extensions and call forwarding. You get a desktop and mobile app that lets you receive voicemails, send text messages and handle simultaneous calls. You can also transcribe all of your voicemails so that they are easier to search later on. Unlike Ringcentral, it doesn’t support CRM integrations with apps like Salesforce or Zendesk and you cannot use it for internal video calls.
Overall, there are nuances that make the difference between these two apps. For small businesses, Grasshopper has a better pack of features, while larger companies can appreciate the feature bundle in RingCentral.
RingCentral vs. Grasshopper ease of use and setup
The two apps are different in the fact that Grasshopper will require a dedicated phone number before setup. This means that getting started will take a little bit longer, which can put off some users. RingCentral is easier in the sense that you can pick a number as soon as you sign up and you’re ready to go. By the way, in RingBlaze you get your phone number upon sign up as well.
When it comes to ease of use, we would say that the apps are more or less equal. Both are envisioned as phone-based systems that can be used online and it doesn’t take too much to find what you need, be it communicating with your customers or your internal team. However, bear in mind that RingCentral has more features and will take more time to get familiar with all of them.
RingCentral vs. Grasshopper pricing
Before discussing paid plans, it’s important to note that both products have a free trial. The only difference is that Grasshopper’s free trial is 7 days, while RingCentral offers 15 free days to try out their product.
Having said that, the cheapest RingCentral plan is $19.99 per user per month, while the equivalent Grasshopper plan is $24.99 per month. Naturally, you would expect that the pricier Grasshopper would have more features and functionalities, but that is not the situation.
The cheaper RingCentral has the ability to use a phone as a standalone service, and it also provides some great features like the multilevel auto attendant and visual voicemail. When you consider the fact that Grasshopper costs more per user and requires an existing phone line to work for your business, it’s definitely clear that RingCentral is the more affordable and logical alternative here.
RingCentral vs. Grasshopper summary
Overall, Grasshopper is a good choice if you have a small company or if you’re a solopreneur looking for a great way to get in touch with your customers. RingCentral is more affordable and offers more features, so it is the better choice in terms of what you get for your money. Couple that with the fact that you need an existing phone just to get started with Grasshopper, and it’s clear that RingCentral is the better choice of the two.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a powerful tool that packs the same number of features at a great price, give Ringblaze a try! Ringblaze is ideal for small businesses and freelancers looking for a professional way to be available to their customers, but it works quite well for large companies too.
A review of Grasshopper vs. Google Voice
Joining the business phone industry quite late in the game, Google wanted to launch a service that would make it easier for businesses to make and receive calls. The biggest difference between Google Voice and everything else on the market is that it’s completely free. However, does that really make it better and can it really compete with Grasshopper?
Grasshopper vs. Google Voice – features
Grasshopper packs a good amount of power in a single app. With the basic subscription, you get unlimited domestic calls and messages, as well as the ability to buy more numbers through Grasshopper. You can make and receive international calls too. The automated attendant feature is very useful since you can have a high-tech answering machine to be on the front lines until someone is able to pick up the call.
You have all the most important call management options, from forwarding, blocking, screening and transferring. Also, with every new account you purchase, you can also get another number, including toll-free numbers, which are great if you want to minimize costs for your customers.
On the other hand, Google Voice acts as a forwarding system for an existing phone number. You can use it to receive and make calls from any number or app, as long as you are using their softphone from the Google Hangouts application. It also supports sending and receiving text messages as well as displaying an entire call log for a given number. If you’re in the USA, you can also use it for conference calls. Moreover, video calls are available through Google Hangouts.
While it does come with a nice set of features, there are also certain limitations. For starters, you need an existing phone line to do anything in Google Voice, which could be a major deal-breaker for some businesses. You can only send text messages in the USA and Canada. Overall, a small price to pay, considering that you’re not paying anything for Google Voice.
Grasshopper vs. Google Voice ease of use and setup
The biggest hurdle with starting Grasshopper for the first time is that you need a dedicated phone number, which RingCentral provides you immediately. Once you do that, the rest is pretty easy.
We would go as far as saying that Grasshopper has the most user-friendly interface out of the three apps. Everything is clearly laid out and easy to access and you can get started within minutes from registering. Their mobile app is even better because it’s even simpler. In fact, because it has fewer features than RingCentral, Grasshopper is that much easier to use, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned customer support pro.
If you want to start using Google Voice, all you have to do is head to their main web page and register. Of course, you will first need an existing Google account and a phone to forward your calls to. After that, you can start using Voice from your Hangouts account or download it for your phone. If you know your way around Gmail and Hangouts, Voice is super easy to set up and use.
Grasshopper vs. Google Voice pricing
It’s kind of unfair to compare the pricing of the two apps, giving that Google Voice is completely free to use. However, it offers quite a set of features for anyone just starting to use a business phone system and for most people, it will be hard to justify $24.99 per month for something that they can get for free. Although Grasshopper offers more functionality, Google Voice definitely wins in the pricing department.
Grasshopper vs. Google Voice summary
For someone just starting their own business and website and who rely heavily on G Suite to get their work done, Google Voice is a no-brainer. They will need to invest in a separate line to connect with Voice, but this still makes it an excellent business phone solution for beginners. For more experienced businesses that need advanced business phone features, Grasshopper is the better choice of the two and it’s worth every penny spent on it.
However, there is an alternative – Ringblaze offers all the features of Grasshopper (and Google Voice) in one powerful package, at a great price. No matter the product or service you’re selling, Ringblaze will make you look like a pro in front of your customers.
A review of RingCentral vs. Google Voice
It may not be fair to Google Voice to compare it to a business phone powerhouse like RingCentral, but for the sake of fairness, let’s give it a shot. The two apps have similar features at their core, but RingCentral is by far the more advanced tool of the two.
RingCentral vs. Google Voice features
In a fight of David vs. Goliath, it’s not difficult to predict the outcome. RingCentral has a host of useful features, such as local numbers, toll-free and vanity numbers, call delegation, call screening, call forwarding, visual emails and much more. On the other hand, Google Voice offers the very basics and their features don’t go much further than call forwarding. Once again, if you are testing the waters with a phone business system and you need something bare bones to see whether you need a business phone system at all, this is the choice to go for. If you’ve used a business phone system before, RingCentral’s features will be much more suited for you.
RingCentral vs. Google Voice ease of use and setup
The RingCentral app is easier to set up than Grasshopper and it doesn’t take too much time to get started. When it comes to use, the problem is that RingCentral is packed with features that novice users may not need at all, and it can take a little bit to get used to the layout and interface and find where everything is. However, it’s fairly easy for most users and even non-tech-savvy folks can manage their way without grabbing the FAQ or reaching for support.
As mentioned before, Google Voice is very easy to use, especially if you’re accustomed to using Hangouts and you’re a fan of the G Suite package. Even if you’re completely new to Google’s products, you’ll have no issues getting up to speed quickly.
RingCentral vs. Google Voice pricing
RingCentral is the cheaper of the two paid apps in this comparison at $19.99 per month, but that’s still more expensive than Google Voice, which is completely free. Whichever way you put it, you can’t beat a free offer, but let us just say that RingCentral’s offer is worth the monthly subscription price. If you’re having a hard time deciding between the two, the list of features and options should be enough to convince you to pay for RingCentral. If you don’t need any of those features, just go for Google Voice instead.
RingCentral vs. Google Voice summary
These two tools obviously have completely different target audiences. While RingCentral is for businesses that have an established need for a phone service, Google Voice is for those who don’t depend on phones to get new customers. They are both great tools in their own right, it’s just that they serve different types of users.
On the other hand, if you’re after a powerful tool that has all a small business needs in an affordable package, give Ringblaze a try! It’s great for beginners and established companies because it’s super easy to set up and use, regardless of what you use your business phone for.
Having looked at all three contenders, one thing is certain – the difference between RingCentral, and Grasshopper are mostly minute and you really have to research your own use case to find out which of three is the best tool for your business. Google Voice is not exactly a fair competitor in terms of features, but it’s a good choice for complete beginners who are just considering using a business phone app.
RingCentral is the household name in the business phone system industry and it’s a good fit for anyone with a strong online presence and lots of inbound and outbound calls that happen every day. Grasshopper is a similar solution but more catered toward solopreneurs and small businesses and it offers a similar service at a slightly bigger price. Google Voice is a good choice for anyone who wants to see if they even need a business phone system without subscribing to a paid service first.
Overall, the three apps all work well for their intended audiences. If you would like to try a business phone app that can meet the needs of small businesses and large companies, that works with worldwide phone numbers and has the ability for customers to get in touch instantly – make sure to try Ringblaze!
You can use Ringblaze to let your customers contact you faster than ever, and all of that comes with affordable rates, a super-fast setup, and a shared dashboard so you can work together for your team. Sign up today or grab our free 20-minute demo with one of our team members!