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Top 12 PBX Phone Systems for Small Businesses
Phone Number Porting
Yuan Yang
Content Editor and Customer Support at Textr
Published Feb 26, 2021

Are you a small business owner looking for a PBX phone system? After all, it is important to have a phone system that lets you easily call and connect with others. As a result, you should look for something that suits your needs. In this article, we are going to discuss what a PBX phone system is, what to look for in a virtual phone system, and 12 phone systems for you to consider.

What is a PBX phone system?

PBX stands for private branch exchange, and it is often referring to a business phone system. With a good phone system, your company can communicate internally with your team and externally with your customers.

In the past, some PBX phone systems were expensive to buy and maintain. As such, it wasn’t always possible for small businesses to invest in a phone system. Nowadays, it is much more common for small and big businesses alike to use some kind of phone system in the office. With more people working from home, it’s a good idea for businesses to find a PBX phone system that allows individuals to stay connected even remotely.

Common phone communication channels include VoIP (voice over internet protocol), ISDN (integrated services digital network), and analog. Many PBX phone systems have various features such as extension dialling, call conferencing, call recording, and much more.

What to look for in a business phone system?

While doing your research, you should take some factors into consideration before deciding on a virtual PBX phone system. As a small business, keep in mind the cost not only to purchase the phone but also to maintain the system. Some private branch exchange phone systems are more expensive than others, so try to find an affordable one that covers your needs.

It is no surprise that PBX phone systems have limits to the number of calls and extensions it can have. For that reason, you should look into the pricing plans for different phone systems, and choose the one that makes the most sense for your small business. Think about the phone system features you want and will use such as voicemail to email, intercom, call forwarding, and others.

You likely don’t want to be limited by the number of minutes or calls you can make, so try to find a phone system with unlimited calling. Some PBX phone systems have a mobile app, which is convenient because it lets team members stay connected even when they aren’t in the office. Something else to keep in mind is that we use many different types of communication nowadays from making a phone call to sending a text message or email. A PBX phone system that helps you unify your communications with everyone is preferable.

What are the best PBX phone systems for small businesses?

1) Textr

Textr is an app that enables you to respond to your customers using calls, SMS, and MMS. It works well for start-ups who need a business phone number to communicate with team members as well as customers. Freelancers and sole proprietors can also use this phone system to text their clients.

Pros 

  • The app lets you add collaborators, so you can keep in sync with your projects. 
  • Textr is perfect for small businesses because it lets you answer calls from any device. 
  • You can quickly bring your team onboard and never miss a business inquiry from a potential client.
  • You can connect your existing phone number to Textr, making it easy to call or text customers in one place.

Cons

  • Textr is a newer app that isn’t as established as other PBX phone systems.

2) Mitel

Mitel offers high-end PBX phone systems for companies that want unified communications. Many mid-sized to large organizations such as schools, government agencies, and call centres use Mitel.

Pros 

  • Features include messaging, conferencing, and more, which enables users to stay in touch with colleagues as well as customers. 
  • They have different pricing plans, so you can choose the one that works best for your needs, and easily upgrade or downgrade the plan if you need more users and features down the road.  

Cons

  • Mitel is more expensive than other competitors, so it may not work if you are a small business on a budget.

3) Nextiva

Nextiva is a cloud-hosted platform that combines a VoIP phone service, a built-in CRM, and a help desk software. CRM refers to customer relationship management, and a CRM software lets businesses manage their relationships and interactions with existing and prospective customers.

Pros 

  • Nextiva offers conferencing and collaboration tools, which makes it simple for your team to connect with each other and your clients. 

Cons

  • There is no location tracking for emergency calls.

4) Ooma

Ooma is a phone system suitable for small businesses who want core features like voicemail, conference calling, and on-hold music.

Pros 

  • It works with both voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and analog phones. 
  • The PBX phone system lets you call local and long distance numbers.

Cons

  • Users only have the ability to host conference calls with a maximum of 10 callers at a time.

5) GoToConnect

GoToConnect is a cloud-based communication solution for businesses. It was formerly known as Jive, and this PBX phone system provides call recording, conference calling, automatic call distribution, and more.

Pros 

  • The software is easy to use, and as your small business grows, you can add more products and features. 
  • Their products are suitable for small businesses to enterprises, and the pricing is competitive.

Cons

  • GoToConnect doesn’t provide much customer support or training.

6) Dialpad

Dialpad has a business phone system that provides native voice intelligence features. Dialpad is built on the Google Cloud Platform and thousands of businesses all over the world use it.

Pros 

  • They offer integrations with cloud applications such as G Suite, Salesforce, and more.
  • DialPad provides a standard that is $20 a month and a pro pricing plan that is $30 a month. You can get a free 14 day trial and try it out for your business.

Cons

  • They have no call quality reporting. 
  • There is also limited reporting customization available.

7) Phone.com

Phone.com is another phone service that small businesses can look into for standard features like caller ID, call routing, conference calls, etc.

Pros 

  • You’re able to integrate the phone system with a CRM software such as Zoho and Salesforce. 
  • There are different pricing options, so you can choose whichever one suits your needs. A basic user starts at $12.99 a month, the plus user is $19.99 a month, and the pro user is $29.99 a month.

Cons

  • The website is a little difficult to navigate, and the app has some bugs.

8) RingCentral

RingCentral is a cloud-based phone service that comes with many features such as local calling and long distance calling, conferencing, and auto-recording.

Pros 

  • It is easy to set up and use. In fact, RingCentral doesn’t require any special equipment to install. 
  • You can make and receive calls, assign phone numbers and extensions to your employees, and host conference calls with up to 1,000 callers. 
  • There is a mobile app that employees can download on many devices such as a smartphone or tablet.
  • It can be integrated with applications such as Google Docs and Dropbox.

Cons

  • The workflow isn’t very intuitive.
  • You have to pay more for additional hardware.

9) PanTerra

PanTerra is a cloud-based VoIP solution that lets users take or make calls from a business phone number. Small and large businesses use this phone system.

Pros 

  • You can get unlimited calling, instant messaging, cloud sync, and much more. 
  • The software also offers cloud storage and enterprise-grade data security. 
  • It can interface with CRM applications like Salesforce and email programs like Outlook.

Cons

  • The installation and other minor costs aren’t included in the original invoice, so keep in mind that you may have to pay more than you expected.

10) Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a virtual PBX phone system that lets businesses use VoIP to connect with customers or clients.

Pros 

  • Grasshopper offers basic features such as call waiting, call hold music, and more. 
  • You can choose from local or even toll-free numbers. 
  • With a virtual phone number, you have the ability to forward calls to an existing number on a mobile device.

Cons

  • It doesn’t offer many features beyond the basic ones. 
  • You need to have an existing phone number.

11) Five9

Five9 is a cloud contact center solution that permits users to connect with customers across phone, email, mobile, and social channels.

Pros 

  • It works well for incoming calls, call recording, voicemail, and other basic phone features. 
  • Five9 is easy to set up and use.

Cons

  • There are some stability and connectivity issues.

12) 8×8

8×8 is also a PBX phone system that works for small businesses as it has core capabilities such as call forwarding, SMS, and voicemail to email.

Pros 

  • Their pricing is cheaper and more affordable than other phone systems. The small business phone system starts at $12 a user per month. For all in one voice, video, and chat, you pay $24 a user per month. The plan with the most features costs $44 a user per month. 
  • You can get a free one-month trial as well.

Cons

  • They don’t have as many features as other competitors.
  • It is tough to get a hold of a live support person.

What is the best PBX phone system for your business?

If you are looking for a PBX phone system for your small business, there are many options to consider. We hope this article helped you with conducting your research into a private branch exchange phone system. Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about how Textr can help your business stay in touch with your team members and your customers.

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