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.