How Does the Grasshopper Phone System Work?

 

Grasshopper Phone System

If you’re shopping around for an office phone system, you may have come across Grasshopper. But it can be tough to understand all of the information about it, because it’s often written in technical jargon.

Believe me, I’ve been there. It can feel like information overload when you’re trying to compare the features of different phone systems.

But I’m going to simplify all of the technical stuff, so you can decide if the Grasshopper phone system is right for you.

Let’s start with two of the technical terms that you may have heard about Grasshopper: “Virtual PBX System” and “Voice Over IP.”

What are Virtual PBX Systems and Voice Over IP?

These two terms are actually a lot less complicated than they sound. They both boil down to the same thing: Grasshopper doesn’t use the traditional telephone system to make and receive your phone calls. Instead, it handles the calls over the internet.

Why would I want to do this?

Placing your calls over the internet has a lot of advantages over traditional phone calls. You can get a lot more features at a much lower price, because you’re harnessing the power of the internet, instead of the power of a piece of hardware attached to your phone.

In fact, Grasshopper doesn’t use any hardware or software at all. You can set up everything online.

Personally, I’m a bit technophobic, so the fact that I don’t have to screw around with any equipment is a big plus for me.

Can Grasshopper be used by mobile employees?

Yes! Companies that have employees who are frequently on the move, or who work from home, will love Grasshopper. You can set up Grasshopper to route calls to any cell phone that you want.

Additionally, your employees will be able to place calls from their cell phones, using their Grasshopper phone number instead of their personal number.

How does Grasshopper route my phone calls?

There are actually a few different ways that you can route your calls with the Grasshopper phone system, depending on how your business is set up.

If you want, you can set up a traditional extension system, and give each of your employees or departments their own extension.

You can also customize your main menu greeting, to let your callers know what extension to dial to get in touch with the appropriate person or department.

If you aren’t a fan of extensions, you can set up a name directory so that your callers can search for the person they want by name.

Alternatively, you can set up your phone system to operate like a queue, with customizable rules for who receives each call.

For example, you could design your system so that the next-available employee automatically receives the next call in the queue as soon as they become available. Or, you could set it up so that each employee receives an approximately equal number of calls throughout the day.

This is very convenient, because Grasshopper offers unlimited call handling. The sky is the limit, so it’s very easy to scale up your Grasshopper phone system if your business grows.

What happens when I place my callers on hold?

If you anticipate that your business will occasionally have more calls than it can handle, you can customize your hold music. You can choose from a few different selections, or create your own.

Or if music isn’t your thing, you can create your own hold commercial to play while your callers wait for an employee to answer their call.

You don’t even need to voice the hold commercial yourself, if you don’t want to. In my opinion, one of the cooler features that Grasshopper offers is their voice studio, where you can get a professional voice talent to do your hold commercial for you.

Can Grasshopper act as a fax machine?

Yes and no. Grasshopper can be used to receive faxes, but not to send them out.

When you receive a fax, Grasshopper will automatically convert it into a PDF file and email it to you.

Unfortunately, there’s no similar function to send faxes (at least not yet). I’ve never found this to be a problem; most people prefer to be emailed anyway.

But if you’re going to be sending a lot of faxes and don’t want to get a fax machine, be aware that Grasshopper is limited in this capacity. Check out my Grasshopper phone review for more information about this.

How does Grasshopper handle voicemails?

Since the Grasshopper phone system runs entirely online rather than through your office’s phone network, your voicemails are online too.

Whenever you receive a voicemail, Grasshopper will send you an email with the voicemail attached as a WAV or MP3 file.

If you’d prefer not to listen to voicemails at all, Grasshopper will transcribe them for you and send you an email with the text of your voicemail.

How long do I have to commit?

Grasshopper is a lot better than its competitors in this regard. You don’t have to worry about prepaid yearly plans, because Grasshopper doesn’t offer them.

There’s no long term commitment with Grasshopper. In fact, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

Now that you know the features and limitations of Grasshopper, you can decide if it’s a good choice for your business.

If you want to give Grasshopper a risk-free try for 30 days, click the link below to be taken to Grasshopper’s official website.

Still Not Convinced? Click Here to Learn More About the Best Office Phone Systems.

This Grasshopper Phone Review Will Shock You

Grasshopper Phone Review

Don’t even think about getting the Grasshopper phone system until you read this review, because I’m going to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m also going to tell you how to make sure you’re getting a risk-free 30 day trial.

What is Grasshopper?

Grasshopper is a PBX (private branch exchange) phone system, which means that it isn’t technically a phone system at all, although you’d never know the difference from using it.

Grasshopper uses voice-over-IP technology, which means that instead of placing calls through traditional phone lines, it places them over the internet.

This has a lot of advantages over standard phone service.

In my opinion, the biggest advantage of Grasshopper is that you can harness all the power of the internet to handle your calls appropriately.

So what are Grasshopper’s most important features?

My favorite thing about Grasshopper is how convenient it is to use. If your employees are mobile, you can route calls directly to their cell phones, and allow them to make calls from their cell phones using their Grasshopper phone number.

You can have your voicemails emailed to you as MP3 or WAV files, or if you’d prefer not to listen to voicemail at all, Grasshopper will transcribe them for you and email you a text printout.

You can decide how to route your calls as appropriate. If you want, you can set up a main menu (with a customizable greeting) and give each of your employees or departments their own extension.

Or alternatively, you can set up call routing rules, so that the next-available employee automatically gets the next call in the queue. Or so that each employee receives an approximately equal number of calls throughout the day. Whatever you want.

If your business receives a lot of faxes, Grasshopper can act as an inbound fax machine. Grasshopper will convert your faxes to PDF files and email them to you.

When you place customers on hold, you can have your choice of hold music, or you can record your own hold commercials. If recording commercials isn’t your forte, Grasshopper has its own voice studio where you can find professional voice talents to record your commercials for you.

As a virtual PBX system, Grasshopper offers a lot more power than most office phone systems. However, it isn’t entirely without disadvantages.

What Are the Disadvantages of Grasshopper?

I’m nitpicking here for my Grasshopper phone review, because I generally think Grasshopper is a great choice for most small business. However, there are a couple things that you should be aware of.

Grasshopper doesn’t offer outbound internet faxing. I mentioned earlier that you can receive faxes with Grasshopper, as PDF files in your email. But as of now, Grasshopper doesn’t allow you to send faxes out.

Personally I’ve never found this to be a huge problem. It’s easy enough to just email the person you’re faxing, and sending them a PDF file yourself.

But if your business is going to be sending a lot of faxes and you don’t have access to a fax machine, it’s something you should probably be aware of.

Additionally, if you already have a toll-free or local number that you want to transfer to Grasshopper, they charge a slightly higher fee than some of their competitors.

In my opinion, the difference is well worth it for the better quality of service that you’ll receive, especially considering it’s a one-time fee. But bear it in mind.

Despite these minor disadvantages, I think Grasshopper has lots of advantages. So let’s get to the part of this Grasshopper phone review that you’ve been waiting for.

What Are the Advantages of Grasshopper?

Although Grasshopper offers lots of valuable features, it’s actually very simple to set up, since everything is online. In fact, you don’t need any new hardware or software at all. You just need to set it up to work with your office’s phones and email. This also means that Grasshopper is cheaper than a lot of its competitors, since you don’t have to buy expensive equipment.

If you’re a technophobe, you have nothing to fear from Grasshopper, because all of the technology is behind-the-scenes stuff that you’ll never have to worry about.

Probably the most important advantage of Grasshopper is its reliability. If your office is going to be receiving lots of calls, the last thing you want is for the phone system to go down. Grasshopper offers very stable, reliable service.

In the event that you do need to contact customer service, you can expect a very fast reply. One Grasshopper phone review that I read pointed out that Grasshopper’s customer service usually gets back to you within an hour; some other office phone systems can take a couple days!

I always hate it when office phone systems expect me to sign a year-long contract before they’ll even do business with me. When you’re picking out a phone system, this should be a red flag. Fortunately, Grasshopper makes it easy for you to try out the service without making a big commitment.

Grasshopper doesn’t require a prepaid yearly plan; in fact, they don’t even offer them. There’s no long-term commitment.

Additionally, Grasshopper offers a 30-day money back guarantee. So you can try out the system for yourself and see if you like it. If you don’t, just let them know and they’ll refund your money.

Now that you know the features that Grasshopper offers, and its advantages and disadvantages, you can decide for yourself if Grasshopper is the right choice for your business.

If you want to give Grasshopper a try, click the link below to be taken to Grasshopper’s official website. You can start your 30-day trial there.

Still Not Convinced? Click Here to Learn More About the Best Office Phone Systems.

Is Grasshopper Phone a Good Choice?

Grasshopper Phone

Many people who are looking for an office phone system have considered Grasshopper, and want to know if it’s a good choice. The honest answer, in my opinion, is that it depends on what your business needs are.

The Grasshopper phone system has all of the core features that most businesses need and offers reliable service, but if your business has special needs, it will be worth your while to look into the features that Grasshopper offers to see if it’s right for you.

First of all, let’s talk about the core features that any good phone system should offer.

What Are the Core Features That I Need?

Although the specific needs for your business may differ a bit, most businesses find that it’s necessary to have the following features:

A toll free or local phone number

Most solid phone services come with at least one toll-free or local phone number. Depending on the size of your business, you may need more than one. Some services offer multiple phone numbers as part of your service package, while others make you pay extra for multiple numbers.

If you already have a toll-free or local phone number, most services will allow you to transfer the number to their service. This may involve a one-time transfer fee though.

Grasshopper’s plans all offer at least one toll-free or local number. Its most popular plan, the “Grow” plan, offers two. Its elite “Max” plan offers three.

Multiple extensions

If your business has more than 2-3 people, you probably need multiple extensions. But even solo entrepreneurs often find this feature useful, because it helps them screen their calls better and gives their business a more professional appearance.

Good office phone systems should allow you to customize the main menu greeting, so that you can press 1 for a specific department or service, press 2 for a different department or service, etc.

Grasshopper offers this service. It also allows you to set up a name directory, which may be useful if you have a large office, so that your callers can search for the person they want by name.

It offers unlimited extensions, so everyone on your team can have their own.

Additionally, it allows you to customize the call routing if you want to. For example, you can route calls to the next available person, or set it up so that each person in your office receives an equal number of calls. (This feature is optional – you may not need to worry about it in a smaller office or home office.)

Reliable service

This should go without saying, but you absolutely must have a reliable phone service for your business. Many of the services are buggy or unreliable, with calls randomly dropping or routing to the wrong department or person. This is not acceptable from any phone service.

You also want to make sure that their customer service is reliable. Since problems with your phone service can disrupt your business, you want to make sure you have a provider who will get back to you within minutes or, at most, a couple hours.

You shouldn’t rely on services that open a ticket for your problems, then don’t get back to you for a couple days.

One of my favorite things about Grasshopper is that the customer service tends to respond to inquiries within an hour, rather than in a couple days.

Additionally, the quality of the service is very good. Most of the Grasshopper phone reviews that I’ve read are very happy with the reliability and call quality.

No long-term prepaid plans

This one isn’t strictly necessary, but it’s certainly nice to have. I’m of the school of thought that you should always be able to try out a phone service without committing to it long term, in case it doesn’t meet your expectations.

Month-to-month services are the best of all, especially if they offer a money back guarantee. This gives you a chance to make sure that you’re happy with the phone service you pick.

I don’t like to commit to a prepaid yearly contract if I can avoid it. Even if the phone service you select seems good now, there’s no guarantee that it will still be good a year from now.

Plus, I think that phone services will work harder to make me a happy customer, if they know that I’m not stuck with them for a whole year.

Grasshopper doesn’t require any long-term commitment. They don’t even offer yearly prepaid plans. Additionally, Grasshopper offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

These are the core features that I think any good office phone service should offer. Additionally, there are lots of other features that you may or may not need, depending on your business.

What extra features does Grasshopper offer?

The following items are not strictly necessary for most office phone systems, but I think they’re nice to have.

Mobile service

The Grasshopper phone system is a great choice for businesses where employees aren’t always in the office, or who are on call. It’s very easy to route an extension to a person’s cell phone.

This way, your employees can take calls without needing to give away their personal cell phone number to customers. Additionally, your employees can make outbound calls from their cell phones using their Grasshopper phone number.

Voicemail emails and transcription

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of checking your voicemail, you can have them emailed to you as MP3 or WAV files. Then you can easily play them on your computer at your convenience.

Additionally, for an extra fee, Grasshopper will transcribe your voicemails for you, and send them to you as a text file.

Convenience

Another thing I like about Grasshopper is that it’s very easy to set up and activate. You don’t need to worry about getting new hardware or software. Everything that Grasshopper does is online, so it’s very convenient.

Unlimited call handling

Grasshopper allows your business to handle as many calls as you need. You can customize the hold music, and set up commercials to play while your customers are on hold.

Additionally, Grasshopper even offers a voice studio service as part of their “Max” plan, where you can have professional voice talents record your hold commercials for you.

Your customers who are on-hold can be routed however you want. You can have them choose an extension, you can route them to the next available person, or you can set up your own custom call handling rules.

Drawbacks of Grasshopper

I think there’s a lot to like about the Grasshopper phone system, but it’s by no means perfect. As I see it, there’s one feature that some businesses might want, which Grasshopper doesn’t offer.

Grasshopper doesn’t offer outbound internet faxing. Although you can receive faxes as PDF files in your email, you can’t send them using Grasshopper.

Personally, I get around this by emailing PDFs to the recipient whenever I would otherwise need to send a fax. Nevertheless, this might be inconvenient if you’re planning to send a lot of faxes and don’t want to get a fax machine.

Additionally, Grasshopper charges a slightly higher fee than some of its competitors to transfer your local and toll free number, if you already have one. This is a one-time fee, and I think that you more than recoup the difference in the fee if you use the service.

Is Grasshopper Right For Me?

Now that you know the strengths and weaknesses of the Grasshopper phone system, you can decide for yourself if it’s a good choice for your business.

Grasshopper offers a 30 day money back guarantee, so click the link below to give it a try, risk-free.

Still Not Convinced? Click Here to Learn More About the Best Office Phone Systems.