- Comprehensive software
- Built-in CRM
- Free team collaboration platform
- 30-day free trial
- User-friendly mobile app
- Lack of international numbers
- Not very intuitive admin console
- No 24/7 customer support
One of the most popular virtual phone systems on the market, Nextiva launched over a decade ago and has always stayed on top of the latest trends. Because of this, Nextiva has constantly developed its product over the years to ensure the best possible quality. The result is a comprehensive service with 99.99% uptime that is available on either desktop, mobile, or traditional desk phones. Not only that, Nextiva goes a step further by integrating other essential tools to help your business thrive. On top of a live chat, you can also take advantage of the built-in CRM platform, surveys, analytics, and a collaboration tool called Cospace. Prices start at $19.95 per month for each user, and you can test both the middle and upper-tier plans through the company’s 30-day free trial.
Nextiva provides a thorough service that comes with everything you need from a VoIP, and then some. It provides unlimited virtual faxing (standard or HIPAA-compliant), unlimited business SMS, and various tools that will push your company’s communication to the next level.
Unlike its competitors, Nextiva allows you to have conference calls with an unlimited number of participants and comes with peer-to-peer video calling. This is excellent for internal communication, as your employees will have the freedom to make all types of calls. On top of that, Nextiva also offers a collaboration and video package that you can get for free called Cospace. It allows users to communicate via chat or online meetings and offers a platform for task management.
Of course, handling calls is what you need from a virtual phone system. However, it’s even better when you can manage your customers without having to change platforms. That’s why Nextiva offers you the option to add its built-in CRM platform to the package. Although it’s paid separately, this is an excellent feature to have as it’s able to compete with the most popular CRM software out there, such as Salesforce or Zendesk.
While call queue is provided as an add-on, Nextiva offers access to its multi-levered auto-attendant for every plan. The IVR can be easily set up in Nextiva’s voice portal, where you can find all the management settings you’ll need.
No provider is able to become one of the best virtual phone systems in the industry without strong call handling capabilities. Obviously, all the essentials are there, and you can transfer, hold, mute, and forward calls seamlessly. Moreover, Nextiva provides a directory where you can make calls by dialing contacts’ names, add customizable hold music, and ask for professionally recorded messages.
If a call is made to your business when nobody is working, you don’t need to worry, as all users have access to voicemail. The virtual phone system will warn users every time a new message arrives through an SMS notification, and the recording (as well as its transcription) will be sent to users’ inboxes automatically.
If you want to get any desk phones, Nextiva provides a good array of options. You can select among desk, cordless, or conference phones. These aren’t included in the subscription, though, and need to be purchased separately. That being said, Nextiva allows you to either buy or rent phones by paying a monthly fee. If you already have physical phones, adapters are available as well.
Phone System Management
Nextiva’s browser dashboard is reserved for administration activities. This is where you’re able to add new users, edit their profile, and assign an extension. You can also manage locations, phone numbers, devices, and set up advanced routings, such as call groups, auto attendants, and call flows. The admin console is quite extensive, and although it allows you to play with all types of configurations, it’s not the easiest to use. If you’re a phone management beginner, you’ll have a hard time understanding everything and configuring all the necessary settings. Fortunately, help is always a button away, and there are a few built-in tutorials to help you get started.
For call handling, you either need to get the desktop or the mobile app. Nextiva is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and unlike the admin dashboard, the apps are quite easy to use. Helpfully, the mobile apps are a mirror of the desktop software, which means that if you understand how to work with one, you’ll have no problems using the other.
Nextiva provides both local and toll-free numbers at zero cost. There’s local number support for 43 American states and the service offers unlimited inbound and outbound calls inside the U.S. and Canada. Unfortunately, neither local international numbers nor vanity numbers are an option. When it comes to toll-free numbers, you can select among all the 800 prefixes (including true 800), which come with a monthly allowance that goes from 1,000 to 10,000 toll-free minutes.
If you already have a phone number, then you can port it to Nextiva. While the company doesn’t charge you for this, you’ll have to create an account with Nextiva beforehand and you’ll be responsible for paying your current provider and Nextiva services during the porting process.
Your Nextiva subscription offers you access to its iOS and Android apps. The mobile apps can automatically import all of your phone contacts, allow you to make and receive calls through the built-in softphone, and exchange text messages. Not only that, but the easy-to-navigate application lets you manage all the sections found on the desktop software. You can edit and create groups, go through your call history, listen to voicemails, and more. You can also change your availability and the mobile app comes with a ‘do not disturb’ button under the settings menu, which is perfect for when you’re outside working hours.
Since you can get all the essential platforms with Nextiva itself, you don’t necessarily need to integrate it with third-party software. Instead, you can speak with Nextiva’s customer support over the phone and ask them for help in importing your data. Despite this, you might want to continue using your favorite apps, and Nextiva provides integrations for around 15 third-party applications. The list includes software for CRM, training, payroll, documentation management, and more. Handily, users can also integrate their desktop applications with Outlook, allowing them to make calls without leaving their inboxes.
There are three different subscriptions available with Nextiva: Essential, Professional, and Enterprise. The first plan, which starts at $19.95 per month per user, already provides a decent virtual phone system. For this price, you get unlimited calling within the U.S. and Canada, a free local and toll-free number, 1,000 minutes’ worth of toll-free calls, and access to all devices and most features.
However, if you want to take advantage of unlimited business SMS, advanced collaboration features, voice analytics, and call recording, a Professional account is necessary, which costs at least $20.95 per month per user. Finally, the Enterprise subscription provides a whopping 10,000 toll-free minutes, supports unlimited audio conference participants calls, and voicemail transcription – all of this for as low as $27.95 per month per user.
There’s a 30-day free trial in place for you to test the service with no strings attached. However, this is only available for the middle and upper-tier plans. Nonetheless, the 30-day money-back guarantee works for all subscriptions, which means you can get a full refund if you’re not happy with Nextiva within the first month of use.
There are plenty of channels through which you can get in touch with Nextiva’s customer support. You can either send an email, submit a ticket on the website, or go for a more direct approach through the company’s live chat or phone number. It doesn’t provide 24/7 customer support, though. Instead, you’ll need to contact the team within the company’s working hours from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. PST on weekends.
Nextiva is also quite active on social media, through the company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you’re more of a reader, then you have a comprehensive knowledge base and a regularly updated blog page. Last but not least, Nextiva hosts webinars regularly with insightful information that you can attend for free.
Without a doubt, Nextiva is one of the best virtual phone systems on the market. However, it’s a shame that the admin dashboard is so hard to grasp, and that customer support isn’t available 24/7. It would also be nice to see Nextiva allowing users to get international numbers, as more companies are operating worldwide. Nevertheless, there aren’t many services providing so many features for such a low price. All the call handling tools you can think of are available, and you can even take advantage of more advanced features, such as the built-in CRM platform and team collaboration software. Prices start at $19.95 per month per user, and it’s possible to test everything out through the 30-day free trial.