Grasshopper is one of the best virtual phone systems because it gives small businesses an easy way to provide employees with some of the valuable phone system tools they need, without having to install any equipment or phones. The service works in tandem with mobile and home phones, offers a range of important features, and includes an unlimited number of extensions.
- Best for: Virtual
- Phone service: N/A
- Hosting: Cloud
- Costs: $12 to $200 per month
- Mobile app: iOS and Android devices
- Support: Phone and email
System & Features
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system for small businesses that doesn't use any equipment or special wiring. Instead of connecting with desktop phones like most traditional phone systems do, Grasshopper's virtual service works in conjunction with mobile and home phones.
When a customer or client calls, the system's automated attendant answers the call and then forwards it to the employee or department they are trying to reach. With this service, employees designate the phone numbers they want their calls forwarded to. This could be a mobile device, a home phone or any other phone of their choosing.
Employees have total control over how calls are routed to them. They choose the numbers – up to 15 – they want their calls sent to, in which order those numbers should be rung, how many rings should occur before switching to the next number and when they want calls forwarded to them. For example, they can choose to be able to receive calls 24/7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or only on the weekends.
When employees get calls, they have several options on how to handle them. They can answer the call, send the caller directly to voicemail, or hear the caller's phone number or name to decide if it is someone they want to speak with right away.
In addition to each employee having their own extension, employers can create department extensions, such as for sales or customer service. Employers then group workers into the proper department and set those employees' numbers to ring when someone tries to reach their department.
Besides the automated attendant that can be customized with any greeting and all of the call-forwarding options, Grasshopper offers a number of other features. The system includes music on hold, a name directory, the ability to take calls from multiple people at one time, conference calling, voicemail, voicemail-to-email, online faxing and fax-to-email. With Grasshopper, businesses have the choice of picking a new local phone, using a new toll-free number or keeping a number they already have.
The Grasshopper mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, allows employees to make and receive calls from their business lines, check voicemail messages, see their faxes and call history, set up push notifications for missed calls and messages, and change call-forwarding options. Additionally, the iOS app lets users sign faxes and PDF email attachments with their finger.
Grasshopper also offers text messaging services. With this, employees can send text messages to each other, customers or clients from their business phone number.
Grasshopper's services are available in four plans that differ in price, talking minutes, and number of included local and toll-free phone numbers. All of the plans include unlimited extensions and nearly all of the features Grasshopper offers.
The Pay As You Grow plan is the only option where businesses pay on a per-minute basis. The plan is $12 per month, plus 6 cents per minute. Minutes start accruing when a call is connected and stop accruing when the call ends. It is important to remember that, if a call is being taken on a mobile device, mobile minutes are accruing at the same time, even if the mobile app is being used.
The Ramp plan costs $24 per month and includes 500 minutes and one local or toll-free number. The Grow plan is $49 per month and includes 2,000 minutes per month and two toll-free or local numbers.
The most expensive option is the Max plan, which costs $199 per month. It includes 10,000 minutes, three toll-free or local numbers, and unlimited use of the Grasshopper voice studio. The voice studio, which typically costs $75 per recording, offers professional voice talents who record the greeting of your choice. In addition to customized greetings, which can be recorded in different languages, you can get on-hold commercials.
Other costs include $5 per month for additional phone numbers, $10 per month for unlimited text messaging and $10 per month for access to the Read Your Voicemail feature, which sends you a transcript of all voicemail messages. There is also a monthly $10 charge to have all call-forwarding numbers ring simultaneously instead of in sequential order. There are one-time $30 fees for 1-800 toll-free numbers, for vanity numbers and to have numbers transferred into the system.
Grasshopper offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you sign up for the service and find out it doesn't fit your needs, you can cancel within 30 days of activation for a full refund.
We found Grasshopper's support to be adequate when we contacted the company posing as a business owner interested in the service. We contacted Grasshopper several times by phone, and each time we were greeted by pleasant and generally helpful representatives. There were times we had to wait on hold for several minutes for someone to speak with us, but most of our calls were answered immediately.
During many of our calls, the representatives we spoke to provided clear and thorough answers to our questions about how the system works and its features and costs. During one of our calls, the representative answered all of our questions, just not in as much as detail as some of their peers had.
The Grasshopper support team is available by phone 24/7. In addition, users can request help via an online form. Grasshopper's website also offers a comprehensive support section that includes user guides and FAQs.
To read reviews of other phone system providers, or simply learn more about business phone systems, check out our business phone systems buying guide.
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