Grasshopper Alternatives for Your Small Business Phone System

by Corey Philip //  October 8, 2022

When you're running a small business, the last thing you want to worry about is how your phone system works. You want to focus on what makes your company thrive: the products, the customers, and the employees.

But until now, this was hard to do with outdated and expensive phone systems that didn't work as well as they should. The good news is there are now plenty of Grasshopper phone alternatives available that don't require any technical training or expertise — and they're affordable too!

What is Grasshopper?

Grasshopper is an app that can transform your mobile phone into a virtual phone system for your business.

It works on any device with an internet connection, meaning you can receive calls from anywhere in the world as long as you have your phone. You can make calls within the app or use it to access extensions in other cities and countries.

Why would You want to Look into a Grasshopper Alternative?

The Grasshopper plans are expensive! It's a great app but the Solo Plan is almost $30 a month while their most premium service for small businesses is priced at around $80 monthly. This can be quite steep for many businesses that are just starting out which is why we’ve taken the liberty of exploring possible alternatives.

Another reason you might want to look into a Grasshopper alternative is it lacks certain features. For example, businesses usually use more than just one phone number, but this isn't an option with the app.

So, let’s take a look at some Grasshopper alternatives, shall we?

1. Dialpad Talk

Dialpad Talk offers integrated video and voice as well as messaging features from a single interface. You can use it with work and collaboration software such as Microsoft Office 365, LinkedIn, Zendesk, Okta, Salesforce, and G Suite.

The platform's features include real-time call recording, screen sharing, video conferencing, and live chat, making it a great Grasshopper alternative.

You can access Dialpad Talk from a web browser or mobile device. For $15 a month, their entry-level plan, you already get unlimited calling, multimedia messaging services (MMS), and short message service (SMS) or texts. For $10 more each month, you can have a local number in over 70 countries and multiple phone numbers per account.

  • Where it shines

Dialpad Talk can quickly transfer calls and lets you easily set up conference calls with multiple people. It offers smooth integration with its partner apps. Plus, you can view and access messages on the Dialpad Talk platform. The platform also has a robust security suite that includes two-factor authentication, fraud protection, and encryption.

  • Where it lacks

The app could use more keyboard shortcuts to make navigation quicker and more efficient. The app has a glitch where it will show the wrong caller ID. It’s also a little hard to navigate, especially for those unfamiliar with the technology.

DialPad Talk isn’t available in all countries, so those who travel may not be able to use it. It's also unable to send files and documents via email.

2. Aircall

Compared to Grasshopper, Aircall is more expensive but the $30-a-month starter plan has unique features that you can’t get with Grasshopper. This includes automatic dialing, the ability to monitor and record calls, as well as video conferencing and queue management features.

  • Where it shines

The call routing is excellent. It supports remote users and multiple numbers, and the interface is user-friendly. The app is easy to use and offers everything you need to seamlessly manage your virtual communication system.

  • Where it lacks

Call quality and SMS integrations could be better. For example, the dashboard could look cleaner, and not all area codes are available for new numbers. Overall, the only thing Aircall could improve is calling quality which can sometimes be inconsistent.

3. Ringcentral

Ringcentral is a comprehensive cloud phone solution that offers unlimited numbers, call forwarding and routing, voicemail-to-email capabilities, and more. The app is an excellent choice for small businesses that need a reliable phone system. Ring Central’s cheapest plan starts at $29.99 a month but you can get a $10 discount if you prepay the entire year. There are four subscription plans with the most premium option available at less than $50 monthly — significantly lower than Grasshopper’s $80.

Advanced features include device status reports and alerts, automatic call recording, multi-site admin and management, advanced call handling, the ability to hold video meetings with up to 200 participants, and more.

  • Where it shines

Screen robocalls are present, calls are easy to transfer and set up, and you can provide ghost numbers for different states. The app is easy to use and has many features that allow you to manage business phone calls. The app also includes a chat feature, which allows you to talk directly with customers through text messages.

If you're looking for a simple phone service that doesn't cost a lot, RingCentral is worth checking out. The app offers many features that help business owners manage their calls, including call recording and the ability to transfer calls between multiple devices.

  • Where it lacks

Customer support is difficult to reach and the setup process may be a little too complicated for some users. In addition, the app does not include a desktop version, a drawback for many small businesses that prefer to use their computers rather than smartphones or tablets.

The app lacks features that would make it more useful for small businesses. For example, there is no option to set up multiple accounts or manage multiple users within the same account. This can be a drawback for business owners who want to use their phone service for personal and professional purposes.

4. Nextiva

Nextiva provides scalable pricing plans for one to four users that can go up to over 100 users. Their Essential Plan for up to four users is priced at around $30 but can be had at a discounted rate of around $25 monthly if you pay for the entire year. Their priciest service is around $40 monthly or a little over $30 per month for a full year’s subscription.

Nextiva offers several features that make managing and using your softphone easy. These include call forwarding, voicemail-to-email, conference calling, and access from the web and mobile devices.

  • Where it shines

Nextiva offers excellent customer support during the setup process. When new users access the service, the phones are already set up, making them easier to access and use. They also have a streamlined onboarding process that enables new clients to get up to speed quickly. Instead of the documentation that Grasshopper provides, Nextiva has video tutorials that can be easier for many to follow.

Another area where Nextiva has an advantage is its service offerings for large companies whereas Grasshopper is tailored to support very small to small businesses. As long as you’re willing to subscribe to its more premium plans, Nextiva can be a worthy alternative to Grasshopper.

  • Where it lacks

The most expensive plans offer excellent service and features, but the lowest-priced plans may not include the features you're looking for. Their lower-end offerings don’t have features that many clients consider essential such as SMS, conference calling, software integrations, call recording, and video conferencing.

In addition, some customers who have tried Nextiva pointed out that the service has poor call quality and bugs in the software. Unlike Grasshopper, Nextiva does not have 24/7 customer and chat support.

5. iPlum

Unlike the other voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) providers on this list, iPlum lets customers choose between unlimited and consumable call credits per month. Because of this, it has the lowest subscription option at less than $10 a month if you pay annually and about $6 a month if you get the plan with consumable credits.

Many of its features are useful for inbound call centers. For example, organizations can reply to inbound calls through text or voice during business hours and route them to voicemail after hours. It's also an excellent tool for businesses with field agents who need to be in touch with the office. The software allows organizations to make calls from any device, including mobile phones or tablets. You can even connect multiple phones and landlines into one account.

  • Where it shines

On the flip side, companies that receive a lot of inbound calls can benefit greatly from iPlum’s features and competitive pricing. Its low rates and consumable pricing structure can provide small businesses with more flexibility, allowing them to avail of its services at an affordable price with the option to buy additional features and credits as the need arises.

Available on iOS and Android, their software allows customers to set up and manage different users who share the account. Furthermore, the phonebook allows you to keep your personal and business calls separate.

Healthcare companies can rest easy knowing that iPlum is compliant with Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) as well as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) standards. Plus, its text messages use encrypted channels.

  • Where it lacks

If your company makes a lot of outbound calls, you may find iPlum’s consumable plans limiting. Also, many of its features such as auto-reply texts for missed calls and out-of-office greetings are useful for inbound calls.

iPlum clients who want additional features like call recording and voicemail to email transcriptions can purchase them at around $5 each. These can easily jack up the price and make your “bargain buy” more expensive.

The Verdict

Grasshopper may be one of the most popular unified communication solutions out there but its expensive prices can deter many small businesses. Thankfully, there are many alternative options that can offer similar services for less.

Dialpad Talk offers many of the same features for half the price. If you’re looking for a subscription that supports more than one user, Nextiva’s entry-level plan lets you have four for the same price as Grasshopper. Iplum also provides multi-user access and management while offering the utmost flexibility in its pricing and features.

In the end, finding the right Grasshopper alternative for you will depend on knowing what your needs are, which functionalities are important to you, and how much you’re willing to pay.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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