Grasshopper brands itself as the phone system for entrepreneurs.
The system acts as a professional, automated answering solution for small businesses with a dispersed work force.
Companies are provided with a toll free or local number with multiple extensions. When a call is received, callers are greeted and, based on their menu selection, routed to the appropriate line.
Employees’ extensions are synched with their home, office, or smartphone so that calls can be answered from any location, at any time.
Meanwhile, outgoing calls can display your Grasshopper caller ID, even when dialed from a personal cell phone.
Grasshopper eliminates the need to invest in telecom hardware, and allows entrepreneurs to access professional phone services on a small scale.
Product, Service and Feature Overviews
- Call Routing
- Virtual Receptionist
- Voice Studio
- Voicemail And Fax Delivery
- ACD Queues
Grasshopper is essentially a call-routing service. The company’s answering solution directs your incoming calls, taking the burden off of you.
You also don’t have to bother with giving out multiple phone numbers for different lines or employees. The company aligns them all with your main business number.
Often it’s not practical for entrepreneurs or small businesses to invest in a receptionist. And bare-bones answering services aren’t as dynamic as many people need them to be.
As an alternative to these options, Grasshopper provides a virtual receptionist. It not only answers calls and records voicemails, it can transfer, forward calls, manage conferences and more.
Rather than using your own voice or a stock automated greeting, Grasshopper lets you take advantage of its voice studio. Using one of their voice talents, you can pick the perfect sound for your business.
You can even record on-hold commercials for callers on request.
Voicemail And Fax Delivery
Grasshopper delivers voicemails and faxes – via audio and PDF files – to multiple email addresses and devices.
For an additional fee of $10 per month, Grasshopper will record and transcribe your voicemails in the event that you’re not able to listen to the mp3 recording.
Transcriptions are done by humans, so you don’t have to worry about struggling to read incomprehensible translations from a computer.
One of Grasshopper’s most advanced features is its ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) queue. In other words, the service can put multiple callers on hold at once.
You can either program the system to connect holding calls to the next available employee, or to distribute them out across your work force, so that each employee gets an even share of calls every day.
Grasshopper’s 4 price plans are available as Pay as You Grow, Ramp, Grow and Max.
Pay as You Grow starts at $12 / month plus $.06 / minute. Its other 3 plans range from $24 and 500 minutes / month through $199 and 10,000 minutes / month.
Each plan includes all features and unlimited extensions. You can up or downgrade it at any time.
Created with small businesses in mind, BatchBlue is a social CRM. It provides cloud-based services to help companies stay organized online.
The Rhode Island-based small business of 14 employees chose Grasshopper for its phone system. In addition to its ease of use, BatchBlue liked Grasshopper’s voicemail transcription.
The company fields product support calls, so having customer inquiries transcribed helps prioritize the urgency of the call and expedite response.
Bambu Earth offers all-natural and sustainable soap and skincare products. Based in Mission Viejo, CA, the company of 1 deals exclusively in handmade, pure materials (the labels are even plantable).
Founder, Amber Hawthorne wanted a professional phone service for her budding business. She enlisted Grasshopper to provide reliable call-routing and to accept incoming faxes without needing a separate, dedicated fax line.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Grasshopper is an affordable service that allows small businesses to provide a professional, familiar calling experience for customers.
Even if you’re a work force of 1, you can still impress callers and take advantage of features that were previously exclusive to big-budget phone plans.
The company is more than a simple answering service, as it provides businesses with many of the benefits of a traditional receptionist.
However, while Grasshopper does have call forwarding options, it lacks some common VoIP features that small business might find useful.
For example, it does not offer Find Me / Follow Me, which can forward or re-direct a call from one line to another, guaranteeing that you’ll always receive it no matter your location.
Grasshopper is cost-effective and – this can’t be emphasized enough – easy to deploy.
You need no additional hardware to get started. Adding phone lines is also a breeze, and you can manage your account online.
The system is scalable, which makes hiring additional help, either seasonally or on a more permanent basis, very easy.
The company also offers excellent customer service. It has 24-hour-a-day live tech support, and a representative may even call to make sure the system is working after initiation.
It’s a great system for small businesses that don’t necessarily have a dedicated work space.