1800 number grasshopper entrepreneur

Image source: www.Grasshopper.com

You might think that ‘dialing 1-800' is only for big businesses as seen on TV, but in fact it's really pretty simple and inexpensive to set one up for your own small business. Adding a boost of professionalism, an 800 phone number service is another helpful internet tool that will increase your customers' confidence and trust in your company, which will in turn increase sales and the number of returning customers. With 800 number services, you can generally forward the calls to one or more other numbers, like your cell phone or Skype, and you also get several extension numbers for other employees and departments, unique greetings, and voicemail options.

Now, there are several different companies out there to choose from which supply 800 numbers and services, but I'm going to focus on just four. They all seem fairly similar, but differ in the details. I personally have been using Grasshopper Phone Service since 2011 and have found it extremely useful and easy to use. Please note that some of the links mentioned in this article are affiliate links meaning I will get a small commission if you go through the link during purchase. I really appreciate your support for Think Entrepreneurship!

Grasshopper.com Coupon

Once you click on the coupon, you will see a $75 coupon code pop up on Grasshoppers website. If you do not see this, try a different browser window or comment below and I will see if I can help ya out! 🙂

2018 Grasshopper phone coupon code

I'm going to break this up into comparisons of different features, instead of just going company by company. The four services I will discuss are Phone.com, Phonebooth.com, RingCentral.com, and Grasshopper.com.

1800 number Phone.com entrepreneur

Image source: Phone.com

Each virtual phone number services offers the basics, like forwarding calls to different devices, creating and managing extension numbers and greetings online, and call-holding music. Details such as cost, contract length, minute plans, and smartphone apps are where they differ.

Cost/Plans (updated 2020)

1800 number phone.com entrepreneur 1

Image source: Phone.com

Phone.com offers the lowest price at first glance, at just $12.99 for one number, one voicemail, and 300 minutes. 300 minutes is pretty low compared to the unlimited-minute starter packs with the three other services, and it’s 3.9 cents/minute over your 300 on Phone.com. They do have a pretty clear table to show all the different money numbers though, unlike RingCentral, which has a bunch of little number-astericks leading to fine print below—so be sure to check that out. Phone services like Grasshopper and Phonebooth each have monthly plans for more of a “pay as you grow” style, and Phone.com has a slightly ambiguous “no long term contract.” Most 800 number services offer a deal if you pay for the whole year at once, instead of month to month.

Grasshopper Phone Service charges $26 per month per user, with unlimited minutes. This is the cheapest “solo” level, and billed annually. You can find more information by reading my Grasshopper.com review.

Voicemail Management

1800 number Ring Central cloud

Image source: RingCentral.com

All of the services can convert your voicemail messages to text and email them to you so you can read them at your convenience. Though sometimes they can sound a little off, voice-to-text technology has been getting better and better, and can be especially useful when you’re stuck in a meeting or on the golf cart between holes and really can’t stick the phone to your ear. Also, faxes can all be turned to PDFs viewable on your phone or computer, with the exception of Phonebooth.com.

Extension Numbers

They also all can route each call to different extensions, so you can have employees across the country operating under the same number, just with different personal extensions. And to direct these calls you can record a greeting and message, “for sales, press 1,” etc. etc.

1800 number Phonebooth entrepreneur phone

Image source: Phonebooth.com

Caller ID on Outbound Calls

The white elephant in the room may be that you couldn’t always call out from these numbers, however, that is mostly taken care of. Grasshopper has a newish smartphone app that allows this, as does RingCentral. Phone.com doesn’t have an app per se, but just includes it as a feature that you can choose your outgoing caller ID, plus each extension can choose their own ID. In 2020, they all have apps.

Managing Online

Adding extension numbers, greetings, and customizing caller IDs can all be managed online, so to add a new employee’s extension, it is generally pretty quick and easy, and updated immediately. RingCentral claims to be the “first and only cloud touch system”… but as far as I can tell, the others are all are pretty similar, and they might just be running with specific the word, “touch.”

1800 number Ring Central add employee entrepreneur

Image source: RingCentral.com

Old-fashioned Phones

While all these calls can be forwarded to your smartphone, which probably makes the most sense for small operations anyway, they do all sell old-fashioned phones too. These might be helpful to make sure that the office always has a phone, in case there’s only an intern around or someone else without a connection. They also sell conference speaker-phones, which are flatter, UFO-looking phones that work well in the center of a conference table where everyone can contribute. Phone.com and Phonebooth.com also boast High Definition voice quality with their HD equipped phones.

1800 number Phonebooth HD voice quality

Image source: Phonebooth.com

Conference Calls

You can also set up conference calls with your 800 number. Phonebooth.com can handle up to 8 conference callers, Phone.com can supposedly host 500 attendees, RingCentral 1000, and Grasshopper doesn’t give a number.

Summary

In summary, getting an 800 number is an important and very handy step to take in developing your business. These are all pretty great services, but vary in different ways and you’ll have to decide what’s best for you. Study the fees a little more for individuals versus larger groups and how much you think you’ll use it. Like I said, I’ve been using Grasshopper Phone Number Service and been very happy with it, and the pay-as-you-go system works well if you’re just starting and want to give it a try. Good luck, and please comment with your own findings!

PS – Grasshopper has since contacted me and offered an exclusive coupon if you'd like to get started with them. It is a $75 off coupon and will cover your first few months of service. Making it a WIN WIN situation. Click here to get the $75 off coupon from Grasshopper.

Grasshopper.com Coupon

Image source: Grasshopper.com

Image source: Grasshopper.com

Once you click on the coupon, you will see a $75 coupon code pop up on Grasshoppers website. If you do not see this, try a different browser window or comment below and I will see if I can help ya out! 🙂

2019 Grasshopper phone coupon code