- Simple use, account management
- Handy iOS/Android app
- Good, useful integration options
- Business texting
- Complete 24/7 customer support
- 30-day money back guarantee
Grasshopper intends to do more than just move your phone lines to the cloud: they promise to turn the world into your office, all while making sure your office won’t disturb you when you’re with clients, business partners or family. By switching to this offering, you get all the necessary features a decent virtual phone system should have, with endless extensions and virtually no limits at all. With the simple and straightforward account manager you can easily customize everything from call forwarding and call routing to voicemails and individual greeting messages, while the iOS/Android app easily separates your business related calls and messages from personal ones. All of these features, plus such rarities as professional greetings and business SMS messaging, are available in 4 different pricing plans, ready to make your business sound as professional as a Fortune 500 company. And when you learn about the other pros, like the 24/7 superb customer service, you will be asking yourself why you aren’t a client of Grasshopper yet.
At first it might seem that Grasshopper is not very promising with its few call handling features, but like they say: less is more. You have the usual features like call forwarding to any number you want, call screening – with which you can decide whether to take the call, send it to voicemail or hear the caller’s number –, and conference calls (albeit available via Citrix’s OpenVoice service only). The latter feature allows you to enter a specific number to use as the line for the conference call so only those in possession of the number can join the conversation. However, if you want to speak with one person at a time, you can do that by putting an infinite amount of callers on hold and return to them whenever you want.
By the way, don’t worry about a drop in quality: no matter how many people use Grasshopper simultaneously, voices can be heard crystal clear any time. The same is true the other way around thanks to the call routing to unlimited extensions: you just have to associate a phone extension to your colleagues (which they can customize to their liking) or you can set up informational extensions which callers can turn to if they want to hear store directions, product descriptions and/or the operating hours of your business.
Despite the above mentioned call transferring and routing, answering rules cannot be set up in Grasshopper and you cannot keep caller analytics either. Blocking calls is possible only by asking Grasshopper to do so for you, and call returning is only supported by the Android app.
Phone System Management
Although the Grasshopper account dashboard looks very bland, it’s extremely simple to use. In fact, it is so simple those without any tech knowledge will understand everything within seconds – especially after going through the five-step setup process.
By default you can check your voicemails, faxes, deleted messages and the call log. You can also manage all of the extensions, even allowing your co-workers to customize said extensions to their liking or, if they are granted admin rights, the entire account. As part of the customization, you can change the on hold music and individual greetings which you can upload from your computer, record immediately with a microphone or use the default greeting provided by the company. However, the Representative, Sales, Support and Name Directory extensions are fixed with the latter being the most important, as it allows callers to search for the extensions by typing in the first or last name of the employee whom they want to call.
Speaking of fixedness, there are a few things which are unfortunately limited in Grasshopper: faxing and voicemails. Even though you can receive faxes in PDF and even get notified thereof via email, sending faxes directly is impossible, because you have to fax documents to your account and then allow callers to request those documents by calling a specific number. Voicemails are converted to wav or mp3 in order to be able to listen to them, but to see them in a readable format you have to pay an extra $10 per month.
Grasshopper possesses two extras that make it live up to its promise to help you sound like a Fortune 500 company.
The first feature is quite rare with VoIP service providers: business text messaging. Although it costs $10 per month per phone number, this feature allows you to separate your personal SMS messages from business related ones, whether you receive or send them.
The other, more interesting feature is Voice Studio. This is the advanced version of the main greeting customization as you only have to type in your custom greeting message (whether it’s in English or any other language) and a professional will read and record it for you. However, just like the business messaging option, this is also an extra, and a rather expensive one, though it is free if you are a Max subscriber.
With the exception of international numbers you can select any type of number for your Grasshopper account. Naturally you have the option to port your number from your current service provider, which comes with an extra fee unless you have subscribed to one of the two top pricing plans, as this gives you the option to port your number for free.
To choose a local number you just have to select the country (the U.S. or Canada), the state and the prefix of a major city, and the chosen number is ready to be used. The same can be said for toll free numbers as you have infinite options to refresh the page to get the number you want. However, if you want a toll free number with the 800 prefix or a customized toll free (vanity) number, you are obliged to pay a $30 fee each time you purchase such a number.
Choosing a mobile browser or an app is a no brainer with Grasshopper, because the website itself doesn’t adapt to mobile screens and it is quite irresponsive too. In other words: download the iOS/Android app which perfectly separates business from your personal life by allowing you to place calls and send text messages using your Grasshopper caller ID. With the app you can also check and view/listen to your voicemails and faxes separately from your personal messages.
There are major differences between the iOS and Android versions. The Android app is capable of call forwarding and it is easier to return your missed calls. The iOS app, on the other hand, lets you set up push notifications to be alerted when you are called or texted, lets you call the extensions on your account and, quite surprisingly, allows you to sign and email faxes and PDFs.
Integration is another forte of Grasshopper. The company doesn’t have a built-in softphone, so Grasshopper brings the biggest powerhouses into the equation: Skype, Google Voice, Zapier and Bitium.
The world renowned cost-friendly/free telecommunications software that is capable of instant messaging, voice and video calls, file transfers etc. whether you use it from a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone.
Integration with Google Voice
This low cost call management software intends to manage, log, screen and block calls via Gmail.
With this integration platform you have the option to link different apps and make them auto-perform tasks when you do something in your primary software.
A secure app manager that allows its users to sign into various accounts from a single interface and view analytics of the synced software.
The pricing policy of Grasshopper is more or less straightforward with very few extra or hidden costs. The company provides 4 pricing plans, all of which have the same features (with some minor additions), unlimited extensions, and a 30-day money back guarantee. One of the ways that Grasshopper’s pricing is different than others is that they price per account – not per user. In other words, no matter how many employees use the account, the price is the same.
The cheapest pricing plan is Pay As You Grow which is $12 per month with 1 toll free/local number, but without free minutes: each call costs the price of overage minutes which is $0.06 per minute. Ramp is $24 per month and it is basically the cheapest plan, thanks to the inclusion of 500 free minutes. Grow ($49 per month) includes 2,000 free minutes, 2 toll free/local numbers and the option to port 2 numbers for free, while the top pricing plan, Max, is $199 per month for which you get 10,000 free minutes, 3 toll free/local numbers, number porting for free as many times as you want and the option to use Voice Studio for free.
Speaking of the latter: Voice Studio normally costs $75 (and includes a professional reading your personalized greeting), while number porting is $30 per number. There is normally also an activation fee of $25 for the three lowest priced plans, but it is completely waived for all plans. Grasshopper isn’t known for having seasonal sales, discounts or special promotions of any kind. However, by making use of our special link you will get a whopping $75 for free valid on any of the plans available. This way you can enjoy up to your first three months of the Ramp plan or first six months on the Pay As You Grow plan for free.
Grasshopper’s 24/7 customer support is the prime example of how to provide quality support to customers. You can contact the staff via a (toll free) phone number, email, fax, and snail mail. You have the option to submit a request either via your account or on the support page, which also contains a brutally detailed knowledge base. Theoretically you can ask for help on Facebook or Twitter, but keep in mind that social media pages are not as frequently updated and they are mostly used for advertising purposes.
And this is still just one part of the equation. Grasshopper maintains a blog and a resource hub for entrepreneurs with useful tips. However, the company’s most advanced and unique support feature is the Grasshopper Academy where entrepreneurs of the present and future can learn how to start, run and advertise their businesses or can deepen their already existing knowledge via free webinars accompanied by professional support of the experts of the market.
Grasshopper is highly successful in its aim to make your office mobile and enable you to make and take calls professionally, regardless of where you are. It makes it easy to manage calls within your organization without any fuss thanks to its clean and straightforward online account management. This simplicity does come at the cost of certain features, including a couple of call handling options, the lack of call recording and outbound faxing, and the absence of answering rules. Many entrepreneurs and SMB owners won’t really miss these and will surely appreciate the business texting feature, the various integrations with services like Skype and the vast array of different numbers available. Grasshopper wins by a mile in a number of other fields as well: the application is perfect for handling business related calls/messages, the pricing plans (and their respective prices) are fair and the company’s support is superb on every level. Grasshopper puts the “VIP” in VoIP: it perfectly manages your calls and lets you handle them professionally, no matter where you are, all for great prices.