In the last few years, there's been a 35 million VoIP line increase in businesses and a 48 million VoIP line increase in residential users.
With the current global state and 70% of global workers now working remotely once a week, we can expect these numbers to rise.
Grasshopper is a popular name in this thriving market, but it's important to question whether popularity means the best. Rarely when it comes to work is it a one-size-fits-all situation. Considering alternatives is an important step in this decision-making process.
If you're in the market for a VoIP phone line, whether business or residential, then keep reading.
We'll provide an overview of Grasshopper and discuss why Grasshopper alternatives could be a better fit. We'll also show what to look for in them.
What Is Grasshopper and How Does It Work?
Founded over 15 years ago, Grasshopper is a well-known name that sold itself as the VoIP business phone system for "solopreneurs".
With a focus on small businesses and freelancers, Grasshopper markets its brand as second lines and basic features at an affordable price.
Offering desktop and mobile applications where users can manage their accounts. It aims to help small businesses and freelancers.
The Pros of Grasshopper
A few benefits that make Grasshopper a strong contender in the VoIP world are:
Signup process. Go to their website and create an account. Once that is complete, you can start setting up your account. Customize the second line by creating a custom greeting or allowing call forwarding. You can also start adding employee extensions.
Grasshopper will assign a random number to the business, or you can attempt to create your own. Enter numbers into a generator and see if it's available. There's also a port option for existing numbers that companies want to transfer over.
User experience. The platform may not be cutting edge, but users find it a comfortable and easy user experience.
It's important to remember its main audiences are freelancers and small businesses, so it's designed to operate as an entry-level service.
Choice of number. With each line added, there's an option of choosing a local number or toll-free 1-800 number.
Toll-free numbers are a popular choice for smaller businesses as it adds a sense of sophistication to their business. Making the business seem more established than it is.
And to reiterate, there's also the option to choose your own number, transfer an existing number, or let them randomly assign one.
The Drawbacks of Grasshopper
While Grasshopper provides useful features, there are serious drawbacks to this VoIP system. Most of the lacking properties are features hosted by other modern VoIP phone systems.
Grasshopper offers a mobile app for account management. However, the app's network struggles with connectivity. Users continue to struggle with dropped calls and inadequate text channels.
More and more companies and users are moving to a mobile interface, and providing innovative mobile applications is a standard, not an option. Look for a company that offers dual reliability by operating on wifi and data.
Lacking in Privacy Capabilities
Grasshopper does offer voicemail transcription and auto-attendant, two essential features of any VoIP system, however, that's where it ends.
It does not offer live transfers, encrypted text archival, secure messaging channels, or other protective safeguards. This is especially concerning for those in the healthcare industry where confidentiality is a legal requirement.
Grasshopper markets itself as a product for "solopreneurs", yet the price may be a bit exhausting for freelancers and small businesses. Grasshopper starts at 26$ a month for one line. With the lack of hardware and features, this is a steep price.
Live chat, email, and phone options are available for customer support. But, it's mentioned by users as a struggle to get effective support. Attendants seem unknowledgeable about the system, and live chat and email offer no reprieve.
Grasshopper Alternative for Small Businesses
As a small business, customer support is quintessential to building your client base.
Having auto-attendant features that can handle multiple lines, extensions, and departments are crucial to achieving customer success, as well as professional branding.
This capability ensures clients and customers can always get a hold of the necessary parties and adds professional flair to the company.
Small businesses need personalization. To control the in and out of office auto-replies and voicemails, manage employees within the mobile app, and a complete and secure fax channel to handle client-sensitive information.
Data protection and security are also a necessity. Look for optimized features like encrypted text archiving and secure channel messaging between employees and customers.
As a budding business, there won't be excess funds to play around with, so every platform used needs to have multiple benefits.
That's why connectivity is an essential element.
As a new business, making sure every customer's needs are met is pivotal to building a consumer base. A VoIP system that works internationally and works via wifi and data guarantees a customer can always connect to the company.
Scalability is also a big factor to look at when researching alternatives.
It's imperative that the second line app can grow with the business. Auto-attendant elements that allow you to add lines as the company grows. A platform that has compatible add-ons you can adopt as they become necessary.
Examples of Grasshopper Alternatives
Grasshopper offers great basics and great usability at a decent price for small businesses. However, lacks content and features for the price, and isn't flexible around a company's target growth.
If you're a small business owner, freelancer, or startup, here's what to look at in future providers.
Here's What to Look For:
The conversations between businesses and clients, customers, and employees should remain between the named parties. Choose a plan that offers enhanced security and data protection, protecting you from third-party marketers and future issues.
Keep business conversations private with encrypted text archives and secure texting channels amongst employees.
HIPAA & HITECH
The healthcare and medical industries are bound by strict laws and regulations, privacy being one of the most important.
A significant element to look for in an alternative is a HIPAA and HITECH-compliant phone number. Phone systems compliant with these regulations confirm your company is in line with strict privacy and security regulations.
Auto-Attendant and Virtual Extensions
Any platform operating with your business in mind will support scalability. The ability to grow and match the needs of your business.
With an auto-attendant, a virtual number can store and relay different extensions and is capable of directing customers to the correct departments.
Since it can store and add multiple extensions, you can edit and expand your second line side-by-side with your business.
Opting for this kind of scalability provides great customer service as you can assure they get correct assistance in a timely fashion, and the phone will always be answered.
Secure Fax System
While receiving fax is useful, most, if not all, alternatives out there offer fax sending and receiving. Look for companies that offer secure faxing to handle all your confidential information.
Companies and customers should feel comfortable knowing their information is only going to the intending party.
The ability to personalize the content of your second line is a great way to integrate it seamlessly into your work life.
Features like setting business hours and personalizing auto-text replies offer transparency and a personal touch for your clients.
Also, keep boundaries intact between work and personal life with direct to do-not-disturb options. Alleviating any fear of a second line on your iPhone blurring lines between home and work.
Best Grasshopper Alternative: iPlum
Knowing what specs to look for in alternatives is only half the battle, searching for the perfect platform housing these specs is another. To save you some time, here at iPlum we offer all the benefits listed above, as well as some extras.
With our brand and pricing catered to helping businesses like yours, you can look for success with:
HIPAA and HITECH Adherence
HIPAA and HITECH are a tiered set of privacy regulations that the healthcare industry must abide by. The strict rules ensure doctor-patient confidentiality and privacy. Failing to abide by these rules can result in hefty fines.
Security and data protection isn't only for clients. With iPlum, get secure messaging channels on your phone so you can text employees. Also comes with encrypted text archival.
While doing business, you shouldn't have to worry about your data being sold off. Your data stays secure with us and never reaches the hands of third-party advertisers. We also do not use it for our own advertising benefit.
Receive a candid view of your iPlum usage with our in-depth reports. Our report contains details of usage patterns, utilization reports, and account activity.
These reports can help you manage your account and understand the logistics of your companies communications. You can check and see how iPlum is helping manage your line.
Whether you're working from home or going on a vacation, iPlum can keep you connected (or disconnected) as needed. Use our mobile app internationally.
REST API Integration
Experience connectivity with iPlum's REST API integration. This technological feat aids usage management.
REST APIs are what allow different computer systems to communicate or share data. Engage in visibility and compliance at an organizational level as our technology allows you to connect to external systems.
Starting at 4.99$, we offer prices with real solopreneurs in mind. With monthly and annual plans, you can construct the plan that's best for you with our extensive list of add-ons.
How to Transfer and Port Your Number from Grasshopper
Porting a number is the process of taking your previous business line and transferring it to your new phone system supplier. This is a useful function as it keeps you from having to contact clients and customers about several changes, simplifying your job.
Feel free to bring your old number with you and transfer it into our system. Grasshopper offers free port-out services.
While iPlum offers free number ports, check with your provider first to be aware of any transfer fees. It's better to act sooner rather than later as companies can take up to 6 weeks to process and release your current number.
Alternatives to Grasshopper Phone Systems
Grasshopper is an established VoIP system that has served millions. However, Grasshopper alternatives can offer cutting-edge features at better prices. Take the time to research options before deciding what service is best for your company.
Or if you enjoyed this article, feel free to contact us with any questions! We also have a blog where you can read more about up-to-date industry insights.