I first encountered the Grasshopper Phone System when as a member of drop shop lifestyle. That business model requires the use of telephones to speak with suppliers and customers. Many members subscribed to the service for convenience’s sake and due to the high cost of traditional telecommunication companies.
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system designed for entrepreneurs. It makes it easy to start and grow a business from anywhere in the world. Although I live in Canada, I know of several people who reside in Chang Mai, Thailand using the system to operate an e-commerce business out of the United States.
There is no hardware to purchase or software to install. Everything resides in the cloud, an external storage facility. There is an app to download to your smartphone and desktop if you like. I know in Canada the large corporations overcharge customers to the point where it is criminal.
I believe this kind of service is definitely a godsend for entrepreneurs that need an affordable phone system and who wish to keep their business and personal numbers separate. The following article will give you a brief overview of this unique business product.
Phone Pricing System Provides Suitable Plan For Everyone
The grasshopper monthly plans provide services for entrepreneurs at different stages of their business development. Presently I am using the Solo plan. I will upgrade as my business grows. Please read further to see what is included in each of the grasshopper plans.
All the plans offer the following features:
- 24/7 Support
- Unlimited Minutes
- Custom Greetings
- Desktop App Access
- Mobile Apps and WiFi Calls
- Inbound fax
The difference is in the number of telephone numbers and extensions provided, as shown in the screenshot above. The Solo is one and three, Partner is three and six and Small Business is 5 and unlimited.
How Does Grasshopper Work For Business Entrepreneurs?
The system is quite simple. First, you pick a number for your business. It may be an 800 number or a local number. You may also keep your present number for an additional charge. I was lucky enough to get an eight hundred number using all the digits of my regular telephone number excluding the area code.
Secondly, you can customize your greeting for the voice mail service. Grasshopper provides a generic main message but it can be changed. There is also a pay for service whereby professional greetings are recorded at the voice studio. In addition, background music is available while customers are waiting and you may choose the music you like, as well as record your own messages.
The third step, if needed, is to add extensions for departments or employees. I use it to organize my calls – sales questions, blog feedback and one for the members of the business community I belong too. Lastly, receive telephone calls, voice mail messages or faxes anywhere.
Notable Mentions Making Grasshopper Pretty Darn Awesome
There are numerous features available to make doing business easier but there are two that stick out in my mind. Firstly, we can use our own existing smartphone. There is no need to purchase a new smartphone like with a company I had once used called Mobal.
This service can be downloaded on to any phone operating with the iOS or Android operating systems. What I like is we can make calls and our grasshopper caller ID will appear to the people we phone. This makes us appear professional and at the same time, callers will never know we are using a mobile phone.
The second benefit I love is we can get voicemails and faxes delivered by email. This is especially significant if we are super busy or working from a country outside of North America. Have the message transcribed, we can read it and then take appropriate action.
This is great for doing business overseas as it helps to keep long distance charges under control. I spend a few months of the year Japan and although the long-distance charges with Grasshopper is very reasonable (4 cents a minute) for larger businesses with many employees expenses could add up quickly.
Top FAQ From Grasshopper
Information in this article used to write about frequently asked questions was researched at Grasshopper. The full set of questions may be found at grasshopper.com/faq.
How Can Virtual Phone Systems Help Your Business?
The system will assist your business to project an image of professionalism. The toll-free number on your website will ensure visitors that you are reachable and trustworthy. Professional greetings provide them with a choice of services and the recorded messages sent to your email allow you to respond to inquiries quickly.
These features will keep customers happy, encouraging them to spread the word about your company, return for future purchases and promote to others. It will help build your business without spending advertising revenue.
Do I Still Need to Use My Original Phone Provider?
The answer is yes because it is a virtual phone system which means it only has the capability to receive your incoming calls. The telephone calls you make from your smartphone locally or long-distance will have to remain with your original providers. However, I did notice that long-distance is now being offered through Grasshopper.
They may simply need to update some of their FAQ. I am not sure how it works but the rates are about 4 to 7 cents per minute. It requires a $500 deposit and you must have been a member for two months before being allowed to use the service.
The system forwards the calls to the extensions and departments set up to receive those outside calls. So people phoning my eight hundred number would be forwarded to the smartphone number give to me by my provider.
Is It Necessary to Sign a Contract?
Grasshopper has a month to month non-contractual agreement. There is a 30-day money back guarantee which means you can try the virtual service risk-free. You are welcome to upgrade or cancel at any time.
Does It Offer Service for International Callers?
Many of their users are international. However, they only provide toll-free and local numbers for Canada, the US, and the UK. The extensions can forward callers to any type of phone either domestically or internationally.
All local numbers can accept international incoming calls. However, not all countries can call the toll free numbers. There are different rules and systems for calling toll free numbers from various countries. It is dependent on the country.
I mentioned earlier there is a deposit which has the charges deducted from it over a six-month period. The money is refunded if you cancel your account. Also, the balance is returned after the six months if there is any left.
Is It Possible to Send Faxes With The Grasshopper Phone System?
You can receive faxes which can also be emailed to you. However, the system does not support sending faxes to other people. Grasshopper has a feature called Fax on Demand whereby you can upload documents to be faxed to callers. I haven’t checked but I imagine there is a charge.
What Else Does This Virtual Phone provider Offer?
I first looked at the Grasshopper website a couple of years ago and at that time they were only offering the virtual phone services. Since then, they have expanded. They have a blog, resource section, and academy. All the content, courses and tools are geared towards Entrepreneurs.
For example, the academy is divided into three sections; Starting Your Business, Running Your Business and Marketing Your Business. Each one consists of lessons with both written content and videos. It is basically a crash course which I think is ideal for newbies and it’s FREE.
I think they are still in the process of creating or adding materials to the courses.
The resource section is impressive in the way that it is not just a list of affiliate links to click. The authors go out of their way to do write informative posts while incorporating advice from knowledgeable people in the corporate world. The recommended courses are then posted with a short description of what it does near the end of the article.
Some of the recommended tools I am familiar with but marketing is not like the olden days. Prices are quickly escalating I believe because more and more businesses and corporations are moving to the internet and they require tools to lessen the workload. However, you can still find some great deals.
For example, HootSuite is a social media management tool. I was surprised to see they offer a FREE platform to individuals. Three social profiles and analytics are included. A great starter package for solopreneurs. Even the entrepreneur package is only $19 per month with 10 profiles, automatic posting and more.
Who Will Benefit from the Grasshopper Phone System?
This is one of those really cool products I like to write about. I think it seems to be for those folks who have customers who call regularly or for someone with a team of employees who need to keep in touch regularly. Remember when making out calls, you do need the use of your regular carrier.
A single individual business owner who operates a blog and receives traffic and sales through affiliate marketing which does not require customer service probably won’t need it. However, if you’d like to appear trustworthy and professional adding a telephone number to your website would be a good option.
Another example someone building a Drop Ship Lifestyle e-commerce store would be dealing with customers daily so it would be imperative to have a system such as Grasshopper. Also, you could take it a step further and outsource your customer service using the virtual phone system.
Do you own a virtual phone system? Have you ever tried Grasshopper? What’s it like? What are some of the pros and cons when using it for your business?