If you are a business with multiple locations, it is important to find a phone service that supports all of your needs. Rather than piecemealing your phone service together with a different system or provider for each store or office, you need a solution that connects systems in multiple places and can be controlled from one central location.
Today's cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems are an ideal solution for businesses that have multiple locations. There is no equipment to purchase and install in each location. Instead, you can get your system up and running in each location by plugging phones into your network. Once plugged in, they are ready to use and can be managed online from a single administrator portal. The administrator can set system settings for one location or all of them, and they can assign phone numbers and monitor call logs for the entire company. Not having to purchase on-premises PBX equipment for each location can be a huge cost-saver for businesses with more than one office or store.
With regard to features, businesses with multiple locations have special needs. Scalability is a crucial one. You want a system that gives you the option to add more lines on the fly. It is also important to be able to forward calls to any device. The option to forward calls from an office phone to a mobile device or a phone in one of your other locations is important for employees who work in more than one of your offices or stores. Company directories, extension dialing and call routing are other valuable features for businesses with more than one location.
Nextiva is our choice as the best business phone system for businesses with multiple locations. Nextiva is a cloud-based VoIP system that can be spread across several offices and stores yet still be managed from one central platform.
The system is simple to get up and running, and the online portal is easy to navigate. The phone system is extremely reliable, offers several service plans and includes top-notch customer support. Nextiva also has a wealth of valuable calling, collaboration, and mobile features and tools. Additionally, Nextiva offers call center and virtual services.
View all our recommendations for business phone systems on our best picks page.
Nextiva Office is available in three service plans – Office Pro, Office Pro Plus and Office Enterprise – that differ in price and features. Each plan's price varies based on the number of employees using the system and whether you sign a 36-month contract. Monthly per-user prices range from $19.95 to $44.95.
Nextiva doesn't require businesses to sign long-term contracts. You can sign up for month-to-month service and cancel at any time. However, prices drop when you agree to a 36-month contract. There are no setup fees or hidden charges.
Each of the three service plans includes unlimited calling, free local and toll-free numbers, voicemail-to-email, virtual faxing, music on hold, shared call appearance, and the barge-in tool. Here's how the plans differ:
- For one to four users, the Office Pro plan costs $34.95 per user, per month without a contract and $32.95 per user per month for those who commit to a three-year deal. The price drops by $5 per user for businesses with five to 19 employees, $10 per user for businesses with 21 to 99 employees, and $13 per user for businesses with more than 100 employees.
- The Office Pro Plus plan includes one professional recorded greeting, conference calling, access to the mobile app, the Call Me Now tool, text messaging and the team presence feature. For businesses with one to four employees, the plan costs $37.95 per user, per month without a contract and $35.95 per user, per month for those with a three-year contract. The price drops by $5 for each user for businesses with five to 19 workers, $10 per user for businesses with 21 to 99 workers, and $13 per user for businesses with more than 100 workers.
- The Office Enterprise plan includes everything in the Office Pro plan plus three professional recorded greetings, call recording and the Nextiva Anywhere feature. In addition, it provides a range of analytics, plus automation and administration tools. For businesses with one to four employees, the plan costs $44.95 per user, per month without a contract and $42.95 per user, per month for those with a three-year contract. The price drops by $5 for each user for businesses with five to 19 employees, $10 per user for businesses with 21 to 99 employees, and $13 per user for businesses with more than 100 employees.
It is important to note that the pricing on Nextiva's website can be a bit misleading. The main prices shown on the website are for businesses with at least 100 employees that have signed a 36-month contract. Businesses should understand that the price will go up if they have fewer employees and don't want to sign a contract. Be sure to run your mouse over the question mark next to the main price to get a better sense of what your costs will be.
On all plans, you can get voicemail to text for an additional $2.95 per user, per month.
Nextiva also offers call center and contact center services, which businesses with multiple locations may need. There are four different service plans: Call Center Pro and Enterprise, as well as Contact Center Pro and Enterprise. The plans differ by price and included features. Prices range between $50 and $130 per user, per month.
Among the included call center and contact center features are advanced IVRs, automatic callback, unlimited call queues, enhanced greeting and queue announcements, auto-attendant recordings, automatic call distribution, queue and skill-based routing, remote agent support, voicemail to email, call recording, estimated wait times, bounced and stranded call services, and analytics.
Nextiva offers a wide selection of desk and conference phones that range from $70 to $625.
Ease of Use
Nextiva is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system that doesn't require any equipment or hardware. All it needs is a high-speed internet connection and IP phones. Since this is a cloud-hosted system, you don't need an IT team to install or maintain it. Nextiva provides all maintenance and handles all of the upgrades.
The entire system is run and configured through Nextiva's online portal, which is divided into several sections: Account Setup, Services, Usage and Billing. The online portal lets you add employees to the system, assign phone numbers and user IDs, record automated greetings, and create call-queue routes and priorities. You can also use the portal to designate which features each employee can access.
Employees can also access the system online. From either a Windows or Mac desktop app, they can log in to set preferences, change settings, conduct video conferences with screen sharing and chat with co-workers.
If you are an established business and want to keep your current phone numbers, you have that option with Nextiva. You can transfer local or toll-free numbers over to Nextiva after you have signed up for the service. This process typically takes two to four weeks to complete. There is an extra fee for this service.
Nextiva is an extremely reliable service. The company has a reported uptime of 99.999 percent. Nextiva has several fully redundant data centers worldwide to ensure customers never lose service.
For those using the system, Nextiva Office offers just about every calling, collaboration, and mobile feature and tool a small business needs in a phone system.
Calling features include unlimited local and long-distance calling, unlimited online faxing, an automated attendant, music on hold, HD call connections, and the option to receive voicemails via email and text messages.
Businesses with multiple locations will appreciate the shared call appearance feature. This allows you to assign the same line to several phones. Employees can make and receive calls on their own lines from more than one location.
The Nextiva Anywhere feature is a valuable tool for employees who often work outside the office. They can have calls made to their business lines ring not only their desktop phones but any other phones of their choosing, such as their mobile or home phones.
One feature that Nextiva offers that not all other business phone system providers have is the Call Me Now tool. With it, customers and clients visiting your website can click on a link or icon and immediately start a call with your representatives.
Other features include a dial-by-name directory, do not disturb, group paging, hoteling guest, hunt groups, selective call acceptance, intercoms, three-way calling, call return, caller ID, directed call pickup, call recording, custom ring backs and silent call monitoring.
The system provides a number of collaboration tools, including video conferencing, screen sharing, a presence tool that shows which employees are available and which are busy, and instant messaging.
Nextiva's mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, lets employees make and receive phone calls on their business lines, make video calls, chat via instant message with co-workers, access the company directory, and update and modify call settings. In addition, you can start calls on a desk phone and move them to a mobile device, and vice versa.
One potential drawback, however, is that not everyone has access to the mobile app. Businesses using the Office Pro plan cannot use it.
Another nice feature is the softphone. This allows you to make and receive calls from your desktop computer or laptop. To use this tool, all you have to do is plug headphones into your computer or use the microphone and speakers to make and receive calls.
Besides its traditional phone system and contact center services, Nextiva offers a virtual-only system, online fax service, cloud storage and PBX SIP trunking.
Nextiva has conference calling built into its phone system. With the conference bridge feature, which is included at no extra charge, each employee can hold their own conference call with up to nine callers.
If your company is looking to host conference calls with more people than this, you will need to use a conference calling service. These services allow for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people on each call. You can find more information on these services on our conference call services best picks page.
We were very impressed with the customer service from Nextiva. To determine the level of support a typical customer would receive, we contacted the company multiple times by phone, email and live chat, posing as a new business owner interested in phone systems.
During our interactions, the Nextiva representatives could not have given us a clearer understanding of what the company offers. They spent as much time as we needed explaining how the system works, its features, uptime stats and pricing. In some instances, representatives took the time to demonstrate the different features. For example, one rep toggled back and forth between a regular connection and an HD connection to show us how much clearer the sound was, and put us on hold so we could hear the on-hold music and announcements.
We especially liked that the representatives didn't pressure us to make a quick decision on purchasing the service. They were always respectful of our needs and timelines. We didn't always receive that same level of respect from other services we investigated.
After some of our calls, we followed up via email to see the type of response we got. Each time, a rep promptly responded with detailed answers to our questions and an offer for another call if we needed additional information.
We also tested live chat on several occasions. It was just as helpful. When we had quick questions, they were answered within seconds. Many of the other providers we considered don't offer this support option, or weren't nearly as responsive with it as Nextiva was.
For users who need help, the entire support team is U.S.-based and available by phone, email and live chat from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT, Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
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