Imagine two competing brands in the same industry. Brand A limits its presence to Instagram, relying solely on a single channel to promote its product.

Brand B casts a wider net. This brand is active on all major social media platforms, runs targeted ads on Google and YouTube, regularly sends out a newsletter, and even features its campaigns on billboards.

Which brand do you think reaches its customers more effectively and offers a better customer experience (CX)? Brand B, obviously.

This is a clear example of a company using multichannel marketing to reach its audience, provide a positive experience across different channels, and ultimately, boost sales.

In this guide, you’ll learn what multichannel marketing is as well as its benefits, how it impacts the customer experience, and three tips on how to unify your marketing channels for better CX.

What Is Multichannel Marketing?

Multichannel marketing is a marketing strategy that involves engaging with customers across different online and offline channels. Unlike omnichannel marketing, where the different channels are interlinked, multichannel marketing platforms are often in silos: 

For example, if you were to use a multichannel marketing strategy, you might launch a social media ad featuring a special offer. 

Interested customers might then look up your brand online and visit your website. 

There, they can explore the offer further and read customer testimonials or FAQs. For additional queries, customers have options such as chatting with online support or contacting the call center.

The main aim of multichannel marketing is to increase the reach of your marketing message and improve your company’s CX and engagement by being wherever your audience is.

It includes reaching your audience through various channels, including:

  • Email
  • Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn 
  • Websites
  • Direct mail
  • Printed flyers
  • In-person stores
  • Direct mail
  • Events and trade shows

5 Benefits of Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing campaigns rely on data-driven insights, personalized messaging, and unified experiences across various channels to:

  1. Reach more people 
  2. Increase engagement 
  3. Drive conversions 
  4. Build brand loyalty 
  5. Gain deeper customer insights

Let’s look at these benefits in more detail.

1. Reach more people

    Your customers are everywhere. They’re scrolling through social media feeds, checking emails, and visiting in-person stores. 

    With multichannel marketing, you can reach them through all those channels. Potential customers can discover your brand, find the information they need, and make purchases more easily. 

    The results? Increased brand awareness, enhanced customer engagement, and more sales.

    2. Increase engagement

      Multiple touchpoints give customers more opportunities to engage with you on their preferred channel. 

      This makes your CX more accessible and convenient. People are also more likely to interact with and remain loyal to a brand that engages with them where they’re most comfortable.

      For instance, imagine that your company has a contact center and offers in-app tutorials. 

      A customer who prefers direct communication can easily reach out to the contact center for immediate assistance. Meanwhile, another customer who favors self-service can benefit from the in-app tutorials by getting to know your product at their own pace.

      3. Drive conversions

        Each touchpoint in multichannel marketing is an opportunity to streamline the customer journey with consistent messaging and calls to action:

        A marketing message that’s consistent across all channels reinforces your brand and what you’re offering. This repetition makes customers more familiar with your product or service and gradually builds their trust in your brand. 

        And as long as you include clear calls to action, they know exactly how to make a purchase or what step to take next, increasing conversion rates.

        Imagine you run a health and wellness website. 

        So you post an engaging article about healthy eating on your blog and share snippets of the article on social media. In your newsletter, you include a link to a free meal planning guide, which requires an email signup — your direct call to action.

        A reader who’s been following your blog and social media posts and finds value in your content will be more inclined to sign up for the guide than someone who’s had less exposure to your brand.

        4. Build brand loyalty

          Effective multichannel marketing helps build brand loyalty by ensuring that your audience has consistent, positive interactions with your brand across various channels.

          And positive interactions are good for your brand because 80% of consumers find the experience a company provides equally as important as the company’s products or services. 

          By consistently engaging with your customers across different channels, you’ll build a loyal following.

          These loyal customers could even become brand advocates by sharing their positive experiences with others, leaving good reviews, and recommending your brand to friends and family.

          5. Gain deeper customer insights 

            Marketing on many different channels allows you to gather information from various sources. 

            You can then use the customer data you gather to personalize your marketing efforts, remove sales blockers, and optimize your strategies to improve conversion rates.

            By tracking customer behavior and engagement across different channels, you can gather valuable insights on your audience, including:

            How Successful Multichannel Marketing Impacts Your Customer Experience

            Here are four ways a multichannel marketing approach helps improve your CX and brand reputation:

            1. It puts your audience in control.
            2. It feeds into personalization. 
            3. It creates a seamless customer journey. 
            4. It leads to faster issue resolution.

            Let’s look at each of these outcomes in more detail.

            1. It puts your audience in control

              Multichannel marketing allows customers and prospects to interact with your brand on their terms —  anywhere, anytime. 

              Sportswear company On Running is an excellent example of being wherever your audience is. They use OFF, their in-house magazine, to share inspiring athlete stories and showcase their latest products.

              They’re also active on social media platforms, with 46,000 followers on TikTok and 1.6 million followers on Instagram:

              Finally, they team up with athletes to help people interact with them through their favorite sports influencers. All these interactions complement their direct-to-consumer online and in-person stores.

              2. It feeds into personalization

                Being on different platforms means you can tailor your CX, offering your target audience exactly what they want where they’re most active.

                For example, you can analyze the types of content your audience engages with most on each platform. 

                If they interact a lot with how-to videos on social media, you could focus on creating more of these videos. 

                If they tend to download white papers or case studies from your website, you can tailor your newsletter to highlight these resources. 

                This way, you’re not only providing content that interests them but also making it available on their preferred platform, enhancing their overall experience with your company.

                3. It creates a seamless customer journey

                  By using the same data and strategies across different channels such as email, social media, and in-store interactions, you ensure that your customers get a uniform message and brand experience. 

                  Customer-journey

                  So whether they’re shopping online or in your physical store, the experience feels continuous and familiar.

                  Seamless journeys are crucial because customers expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel they use. If customers feel a disconnect in their interactions with your business, they can become frustrated and lose trust in your brand.

                  On the other hand, customers who experience consistency and personalized attention are more likely to remain engaged, make purchases, and recommend your brand to others. 

                  4. It leads to faster issue resolution

                    Nobody likes waiting for support, especially when it puts their business on hold. 

                    A successful multichannel marketing strategy ensures that customers have multiple ways to reach you when they need help, including:

                    • Chatbots for quick questions
                    • Knowledge bases for self-service troubleshooting 
                    • Email support for more complex issues
                    • Contact centers to speak to a human in real time

                    Pro tip: Be careful with chatbots. They might seem cost-effective, but customers often rank chatbots as the least desirable support option:

                    This means you should always ensure that other touchpoints are available so customers can get the support they need whenever they need it.

                    3 Ways to Unify Marketing Channels for Better Customer Experience 

                    Customers get confused when your marketing on different channels appears disjointed. Creating a unified experience can boost customer satisfaction, build stronger relationships, and help you meet your growth goals. 

                    Here are three ways to make that happen:

                    1. Combine data for a holistic view 
                    2. A/B test your multichannel approach 
                    3. Focus on customer lifetime value

                    1. Combine data for a holistic view

                    When you focus on just one type of data, like website analytics, you limit yourself to just one part of the story. 

                    But when you add more information, like customer feedback and support interactions, you start to see the whole picture. 

                    Imagine that your marketing team has noticed a dip in online sales conversions through your website analytics.

                    Meanwhile, your CX department is receiving complaints about confusing checkout processes.

                    If your marketing and customer experience teams worked together, the combined CX metrics would likely help them discover that the decline in sales could be linked to the checkout process. 

                    Now that they have the whole picture, they can work on addressing the issue, potentially recovering the loss in sales and improving the CX.

                    Start by identifying the key touchpoints customers use to interact with your brand. These might include your website, social media platforms, customer service calls, email inquiries, and online reviews. 

                    Next, use an analytics tool that can integrate the data from these touchpoints. 

                    Nextiva voice analytics

                    Look for patterns and correlations in the data. 

                    For example, are there high traffic times on your website that correlate with many customer service calls? 

                    Are there common issues mentioned in online reviews and customer emails? 

                    Once you identify these patterns, you can take targeted actions to address any problems and ultimately improve the overall customer experience.

                    2. A/B test your multichannel approach

                      A/B testing is a method where you compare two versions of a marketing asset to see which one performs better. 

                      This can involve testing different aspects of your multichannel approach, like your email formats, social media content, or in-store promotions. You can even A/B test your buyer personas to ensure you deliver the right message to the right people through the right channels.

                      The first step is to identify which elements of your multichannel strategy you want to test. 

                      These could be the wording of your calls-to-action, the design of your ads, the timing of your email campaigns, or the type of content you post on different platforms. 

                      Once you’ve pinpointed the elements you want to test, create two different versions of each and deploy them simultaneously to similar audience segments. 

                      By analyzing the performance of each version, you can determine which resonates better with your audience and optimize your multichannel strategy accordingly.

                      3. Focus on customer lifetime value

                        Customer lifetime value (CLV) represents the total revenue a customer is expected to bring to your business over the entirety of their relationship with you.

                        By factoring CLV into your marketing mix, you can prioritize long-term relationships and customer retention over short-term sales.

                        Start by measuring the CLV for each of your traditional and digital marketing channels. The goal here is to understand which channels bring in customers with higher lifetime values.

                        This way, you can adjust your strategies to strengthen and invest more in channels that are proven to attract and retain high-lifetime value customers. 

                        Multichannel Management with Nextiva

                        Multichannel marketing expands your brand’s reach by letting you tailor your messaging to different platforms, drive conversions, and track customer data more successfully. 

                        However, managing multiple channels can become overwhelming and disjointed without the right tool.

                        This can lead to inconsistent customer experience, unsuccessful marketing efforts, and a greater workload for your team.

                        That’s where Nextiva steps in.

                        Nextiva’s AI-powered cloud-center software integrates your customer communication channels, including phone, SMS, email, video chat, and social media, to ensure a unified customer experience. 

                        By using Nextiva, your customer success agents can pass on valuable insights on customer behavior across channels, helping you refine your marketing strategies and improve customer engagement.

                        A complete call center solution.

                        See why thousands of businesses made the switch to Nextiva.

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                        Hava Salsi

                        Hava Salsi is a content writer and editor specializing in B2B SaaS, HR, and tech. With over five years of experience working with startups and businesses around the world, she produces engaging, user-centric content that educates, ranks highly, and drives conversions. She spends her time building her virtual writers' community, the H Spot, and tending…

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                        Talkdesk vs. Five9: How Each CCaaS Platform Stacks Up

                        April 15, 2024 7 min read

                        Robert Pleasant

                        Robert Pleasant

                        There are many great cloud-based contact center platforms on the market today — so many that it can be hard to find the right one for your business. With all the various vendors, packages, features, and pricing plans out there, finding the right one can feel overwhelming. 

                        Perhaps the best way to pick a platform is to compare the options and see which ones come out on top. With that in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons of Talkdesk and Five9, what features each one provides, and how they compare to each other.

                        Talkdesk vs Five9: The Pros

                        Both Talkdesk and Five9 are popular Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) platforms and for good reason. Both provide several features designed to improve agent productivity and customer satisfaction, but which one has the right tools for your contact center?

                        UCaaS versus CCaaS. Which one to choose

                        Pros of Talkdesk

                        Talkdesk is a contact center platform praised for its ease of use, customization, and robust functionality. Its platform and agent desktop are very intuitive, which makes Talkdesk easy to learn and allows agents to get right to work without any difficulty.

                        Talkdesk’s platform is also designed for collaboration, as it features communication tools for both customer support and internal teams. Agents and reps can seamlessly work together, consult experts, and help customers as a team without leaving the Talkdesk platform.

                        Additionally, Talkdesk uses artificial intelligence (AI) to empower agents and assist customers. This includes AI-powered self-service tools, customer insights, and a suite of customer experience (CX) applications.

                        Other popular Talkdesk features include:

                        Talkdesk has four subscription options:

                        • CX Cloud Essentials and Digital Essentials, each of which costs $85 per user per month
                        • CX Cloud Elevate, which costs $115 per user per month
                        • CX Cloud Elite, which costs $145 per user per month

                        Pros of Five9

                        Five9 is a leading cloud contact center software provider that offers a comprehensive package, which includes an integrated dialer, lead management, and reporting tools.

                        Five9 also has a strong focus on employee engagement, as its CCaaS platform includes tools for workflow optimization, workforce management, and quality management. These tools help keep agents organized, scheduled properly, and equipped to provide the best service possible.

                        Additionally, Five9 uses task automation and multi-channel orchestration to optimize and automate support. These features can help companies maximize revenue and improve customer loyalty.

                        Five9 supports customers across channels, including SMS, phone calls, messages, email, social media, and video calls.

                        A few extra Five9 features include:

                        Five9 offers five different packages, all of which are priced per user:

                        • Digital and Core packages, which each cost $175 monthly
                        • Premium at $235 a month
                        • Optimum at $290 per month
                        • Ultimate at $325 per month

                        Talkdesk vs Five9: The Cons

                        While Talkdesk and Five9 each have plenty of benefits, they still fall short in certain areas. Here are some of the downsides of each:

                        Cons of Talkdesk

                        Users looking for a more customizable contact center platform might be frustrated with Talkdesk. User reviews have stated that certain features can’t be customized on the user end, so users need to contact Talkdesk to make any changes, but support is not always responsive.

                        Additionally, although Talkdesk offers call recordings, the audio quality could be better. A common complaint is that recordings don’t balance the caller’s and agent’s voices.

                        This means that if you’re listening to a call, the volume and audio quality can shift dramatically whenever someone speaks, which is not only annoying but also impacts the quality of the review process.

                        While Talkdesk’s integration library is a point in its favor, setting up and customizing the integrations is another story. Getting integrations to work seamlessly with existing systems can be a complex and time-consuming process.

                        Cons of Five9

                        Five9 offers comprehensive and powerful features, but that makes for a steep learning curve. New users often struggle with the complexity, so it can take a while to really see benefits from the platform.

                        This is made even more difficult when there are technical issues, and some users have reported intermittent login problems where they couldn’t log in for a time. 

                        Needless to say, being unable to access the contact center makes it impossible for agents to work, so there were operational disruptions any time they couldn’t log in.

                        Additionally, some Five9 customers have reported connectivity delays in which calls lag for a few seconds before they connect to an agent. Not only are these delays off-putting for customers but those few seconds can add up over time and end up costing hours of productivity.

                        Nextiva vs. Talkdesk and Five9

                        After going through the pros and cons of Talkdesk and Five9, you might be uncertain. Perhaps Five9 is out of your price range, and its learning curve and technical issues are putting you off. Or maybe you need more customization than Talkdesk offers.

                        Fortunately, there is another option: Nextiva.

                        Nextiva’s AI-powered contact center platform is a flexible, scalable, enterprise-grade contact center solution built for omnichannel communications.

                        Nextiva users save time and money on every customer interaction when compared to alternative platforms. According to customer reviews, Nextiva is also rated higher overall than Talkdesk and Five9.

                        In addition, Nextiva offers a wide range of contact center and telephony features, including:

                        ComparisonTalkdeskFive9Nextiva
                        PlanCX Cloud EliteUltimateProfessional
                        Monthly price$145/user$325/user$119/user
                        Key featuresDigital engagement across all channels
                        Performance management
                        Real-time dashboards
                        Chat, voice, email, SMS/MMS, and social messaging channels
                        Full-platform workflow automation
                        Blended inbound/outbound functionality
                        Full omnichannel capabilities
                        Plug-and-play advanced AI
                        Quality management
                        Customer rating (G2)4.4 out of 5 (2,199 reviews)3.9 out of 5 (385 reviews)4.5 out of 5 (3,100 reviews)
                        Best forSupport teamsSupport teamsSales, service, and support teams

                        So, why should you choose Nextiva? Let’s look at what it brings to the table.

                        Versatility

                        Nextiva provides more than just call center software. It provides unified communications and omnichannel contact center capabilities, giving users a broader range of business communication tools.

                        Organizations looking for an all-in-one VoIP communications solution for their teams and contact centers will find everything they need with Nextiva.

                        CX focus

                        Nextiva is dedicated to creating a great CX and user experience. So, not only does Nextiva’s contact center enable users to provide a quality CX, but its own customer support is also awesome.

                        Nextiva uses AI-driven data and analytics to manage and enhance the CX. It can identify trends, analyze customer sentiment, and improve first-call resolution rates, all of which are great for businesses that prioritize customer satisfaction and engagement.

                        Nextiva itself also has a quality CX, as Nextiva’s customer support is highly regarded. Anyone contacting Nextiva for support will quickly get firsthand experience of how well their contact center solution works.

                        Customizable solutions

                        A contact center is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every business will have different communication and contact center needs based on its size, industry, and more. That’s why customizable and scalable solutions are so important. 

                        Nextiva is known for its scalability. Users can add seats as needed so their contact center system can grow with their business. 

                        Additionally, the Nextiva contact center solution is highly customizable, so organizations can add any apps, CRM integrations, and capabilities they need.

                        AI

                        Nextiva also has several AI-powered tools and features to enhance agent productivity and customer satisfaction.

                        AI-call-center-improvements

                        These include customer self-service tools, such as an AI-powered chatbot and speech-enabled IVR, and tools to assist agents with their everyday tasks.

                        Nextiva’s AI-powered features include:

                        Nextiva: There’s Something for Every Business

                        Talkdesk and Five9 are fine contact center solutions, and each has plenty of features and benefits to offer organizations. They specialize in providing robust contact center software with a focus on AI, automation, and omnichannel support and are well-regarded by their users.

                        However, Nextiva stands out with its broader focus on wrangling multiple business communication channels, optimizing CX management, and providing versatile solutions that can be tailored to a wide range of business needs.

                        Now that you know what Five9, Talkdesk, and Nextiva can offer a business, the choice is clear: when you need a robust contact center platform, you can’t go wrong with Nextiva.

                        Wow customers every day.

                        Level up the customer experience in every interaction they have with your agents.

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                        Robert Pleasant

                        Robert Pleasant is an experienced content writer, having begun his career as a freelancer for BCStrategies before moving on to work for several tech and unified communications companies, including ShoreTel and Dialpad. He currently works as a freelance writer, bringing his experience in UCaaS, CCaaS, and AI to news sites and blogs across the communications…

                        Posts from this author

                        Comparing Cisco vs. Avaya contact centers means you’re putting two telecom heavyweights up against each other.

                        Who comes out on top in this title fight?

                        Read on to see the pros and cons of each contact center solution to discover which best suits your unique business needs and find out whether there’s a third option worth considering in this battle.

                        Cisco vs. Avaya Contact Center: The Pros

                        To make this a fair test, we’re going to break down the pros and cons of both Cisco and Avaya.

                        In the past, both Cisco and Avaya have provided on-premises and hosted contact centers.

                        Today’s modern offerings take the shape of virtual call centers and omnichannel contact centers. This means you get channels like voice, SMS, email, web chat, and social media as standard.

                        You also get a wide range of calling features, like call queueing, auto attendants, and interactive voice response systems.

                        How IVR works

                        These are table stakes.

                        But there are some neat new features you might not be aware of — and they just might make your decision for you.

                        Pros of Cisco

                        Administration and customization

                        By handling incoming calls, providing comprehensive reports and dashboards, and integrating with other collaboration solutions​​, Cisco helps transform contact center efficiency holistically rather than app-by-app.

                        This is thanks, in part, to its integration into the Webex portfolio (Cisco bought Webex back in 2007 and drip-fed functionality into its unified communications (UC) and video conferencing products over time).

                        Upon deciding to incorporate all communications into a single stack, an interface refresh and focus on usability began. This overhaul signified a major brand and usability refresh compared to traditional Cisco Systems UC solutions. This change coincides with Gartner’s inclusion of Cisco as a Niche Player in its Magic Quadrant for contact center as a service.

                        The number of integrations seems to be growing every day at Cisco, making it a flexible solution with a large partner base. This stems from a move away from on-premises Communications Manager setups, favoring web-based SaaS.

                        There are also several Cisco products that you can integrate with Webex. If you’re a Cisco customer for networking, security, or voice, everything can now live under one roof, with a global admin center for all moves, adds, and changes.

                        Advanced features

                        Features include intelligent routing and customizable contact flows, as well as queue management, wrap-up codes for tracking reasons for call ends, and options for callbacks to reduce wait times and provide a better overall customer experience.

                        Stand-out features of the Webex Contact Center include:

                        Cisco’s Webex Contact Center is built for scalability and flexibility, with cloud technology allowing easy deployment and omnichannel support. It includes 360-degree customer journey analytics and predictive analytics for call routing, as well as integration with CRM systems for a comprehensive customer view​​.

                        Webex offers staff scheduling, as well as efficient and customizable call reports and call flows. This combination helps both agents and customers become more productive.

                        AI capabilities

                        Building on an already impressive feature set, AI opens the door to even more functionality designed to make agents more productive and less stressed.

                        As an example, take the agent-break feature, Thrive Reset, which is focused on user experience. By detecting burnout or stress, Webex will now prompt agents to take breaks so they don’t continue putting themselves under pressure.

                        By prioritizing agents’ well-being, Webex has a rather nice differentiator when comparing Cisco to Avaya.

                        That said, when mentioning this feature over dinner the other day, a friend and industry analyst with EnableUC, Kevin Kieller, pondered the repercussions of such a feature. What happens when certain agents keep needing more breaks? Are they the first out the door if downsizing needs to happen?

                        In the same conversation, Dom Black, Research Director at Cavell, said this would be a good thing for contact center management. Having access to this unique data presents an opportunity for training and better resource planning.

                        Pros of Avaya Contact Center

                        Digital and blended interaction capabilities

                        Avaya’s platform supports digital interactions and blends agents effectively, facilitating seamless transitions between different communication mediums​​.

                        This encourages the cross-skilling of agents, leading to a more efficient use of your workforce. When agents can tend to both inbound inquiries and outbound calls, there is less dead time when they aren’t contributing to your business. Everything becomes one workflow instead of disjointed departments.

                        Customer prioritization and skills-based routing

                        Intelligent algorithms ensure customers get routed to the most appropriate agents, enhancing personalized service delivery and managing queues efficiently​​.

                        This reduces the customer’s hassle of getting through to the wrong person, repeating their inquiry, and then getting transferred again.

                        Once a customer interaction is complete, Avaya’s powerful suite of analytics translates data and customer outcomes into trend analysis and graphical displays of your business’s performance.

                        Comprehensive contact management

                        Avaya has come a long way since being thought of as a phone system with some call queue treatment. Back in the on-premises days, Avaya was in danger of losing out in the cloud-contact center market.

                        Now we see key contact center features like:

                        With a renewed focus on contact management, Avaya has stepped into the 21st century, enabling the service of your customers on their channel of choice.

                        Cisco vs. Avaya Contact Center: The Cons

                        It’s only right to also point out the weakness of contact centers. Let’s take a look at what real users report as the cons of both Cisco and Avaya.

                        Cons of Cisco

                        SMS limitations

                        While Cisco’s acquisition of IMImobile in 2021 added SMS messaging to its omnichannel roster, business texting remains one-to-one and text-based only. As of early 2024, there is no support for MMS or group chat.

                        The alternative is to use an app in the Webex store, but this creates a disjointed reporting experience as information gets siloed.

                        Reporting limitations

                        There’s no denying Webex has a ton of reports available. But some users find challenges in obtaining detailed reports for specific call scenarios and integrating with recording and other communication solutions​​.

                        When using multiple platforms for different calling components, some admins report that it’s challenging to find what they need to piece together a full customer journey.

                        Complex licensing and upgrades

                        Licensing can be complex, and provisioning specific features may take time. That’s the feedback from those outside the Cisco community.

                        Rob Harris, an independent technical consultant, scores Cisco 10/10 but still points out, “Licensing is complex, and to get certain things provisioned takes a little bit longer than it probably could.”

                        If you’re an insider with connections and a dedicated resource, this problem disappears. But new customers getting set up for the first time cite the initial implementation of new features to be problematic.

                        Even the biggest fans of Webex report that there should be more testing before releasing new features into the wild:

                        “Upgrades can be problematic, Cisco should do more testing before releasing updates and new versions of software.”

                        ~Verified TrustRadius user

                        Cons of Avaya Contact Center

                        Reporting and launch latency

                        Some users experience delays in reporting and system launching, affecting operational efficiency​​. When considering Avaya alternatives, cloud-native platforms like Five9 and Nextiva tend to get the nod.

                        App and dashboard limitations

                        The mobile app can be slow, and TrustRadius reviewers have noted a desire for dashboards that are more customizable to better suit individual needs​​.

                        In a market that must be highly responsive to demand and fulfill customer satisfaction, taking customer considerations and deploying new features and iterations is a must if Avaya wishes to remain competitive.

                        Integration and usability challenges

                        While Avaya integrates well with CRM systems, there can be challenges in streamlining these integrations and ensuring ease of use​​. Often, you need the help of an Avaya support rep when setting up third-party integrations. This potentially lengthens implementation and drives up unexpected costs.

                        This problem appears to extend to overall implementation and onboarding. Ethan, a writer for SYSGeeker, concludes the following:

                        “Due to its extensive features and functionalities, Avaya Call Center Elite may require some time and resources for proper implementation and training. Some businesses may find the learning curve a bit steep initially.”

                        Comparing Cisco and Avaya Contact Center vs. Nextiva

                        When comparing Cisco vs. Avaya, there’s a third name you need to know about.

                        Here’s where Nextiva excels when standing next to these old heads.

                        FunctionalityNextivaCiscoAvaya
                        Ease of use✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅☑️✅✅✅☑️☑️
                        Cost-effectiveness✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅☑️☑️✅✅✅☑️☑️
                        Robust features✅✅✅✅☑️✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅☑️☑️
                        Quality of support✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅☑️✅✅✅☑️☑️

                        Ease of use

                        Nextiva is known for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible even to those who aren’t technologically savvy.

                        If you have a team of agents who need to get up and running fast, Nextiva makes it possible to turn up to work and learn on the go. The learning curve is minimal, taking UI inspiration from familiar apps agents already have at hand.

                        Nextiva contact center solution

                        This simplicity extends to the setup process and ongoing management of the system​​​​. As a cloud-only solution and SaaS model, you can provision licenses at the click of a button and make changes on the fly in Nextiva’s admin portal.

                        Cost-effectiveness

                        Nextiva offers competitive pricing, often coming in as a more affordable option compared to other solutions, without sacrificing features or performance​​.

                        With the essential package starting at just $99 per user monthly, you can turn on inbound and outbound capabilities, access advanced analytics and reporting, and use its API, if desired.

                        Upgrading to omnichannel starts at just $20 more.

                        That means you get web chat, email, SMS, and social media for a few dollars per channel.

                        Robust features and flexibility

                        From auto attendant menus, call routing, and supervisor monitoring to advanced reporting and call recording options, Nextiva provides a wide array of functionalities.

                        As a cloud-native platform, Nextiva customers benefit from new features as soon as they come to market.

                        There’s no legacy-on-premises hangover, and the culture is very much that of innovation and customer empowerment. You don’t need to be a premium-rate customer, and there’s no waiting list.

                        If there’s new functionality, like call center automation, you too can start benefiting from 30% cost elimination while automating up to 90% of your routine customer interactions.

                        High-quality support

                        Nextiva boasts a 99.999% uptime and is backed by a 24/7 support team and world-class monitoring. The company recognizes the importance of having both self-service customer support and someone on the end of the phone for you.

                        Nextiva’s technical support is frequently praised for its helpfulness and effectiveness in resolving issues and assisting with system setup and optimization​​.

                        “We made a phone call to Nextiva and they were able to switch us over immediately, so we had no downtime. The temporary numbers Nextiva gave us rolled in, and it was seamless.”

                        ~Jeff Bratschie, Franchise Director of Operations, Stanley Steemer

                        Nextiva: There’s Something for Every Business

                        Nextiva offers the advanced features, flexibility, and support needed to scale your contact center affordably.

                        That’s why this newcomer always sneaks into the conversation when comparing Cisco vs Avaya contact centers.

                        While there are use cases for both Cisco and Avaya, unless you’re an existing customer, there’s little drawing you to each vendor when compared to an agile contact center provider like Nextiva.

                        If your priority list includes:

                        • Ease of use
                        • Cost-effectiveness
                        • Robust features
                        • Quality of support

                        Then you need Nextiva.

                        Don’t just take our word for it, either. We won Best in Show at Channel Partners Expo 2024!

                        To find out why customers choose Nextiva, check out our customer stories library. It really is a library. There’s that many.

                        Elevate your CX standards.

                        Nextiva’s contact center solution delivers the ultimate customer experience and boosts agent productivity.

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                        Dominic Kent

                        Dominic Kent is a content marketer specializing in unified communications and contact centers. After 10 years of managing installations, he founded UC Marketing to bridge the gap between service providers and customers. He spends half of his time building content marketing programs and the rest writing on the beach with his dogs.

                        Posts from this author
                        What is an AI-based call center?

                        An AI-based call center uses artificial intelligence to handle customer interactions, automating time-consuming tasks to boost efficiency and satisfaction.

                        In the race for a competitive edge, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to deliver exceptional customer experiences. This is where an AI-based call center comes in.

                        AI (artificial intelligence) has the power to enhance customer connections, streamline support processes, and provide valuable insights from customer data. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of integrating AI into your contact center, common use cases for AI-based call centers, and future trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.

                        Benefits of AI Call Center Solutions

                        AI-based call centers offer solutions that have plenty of benefits that transform the way businesses handle customer interactions and optimize contact center operations. Here are some advantages you’ll get by deploying AI into your contact center. 

                        Five ways AI can improve call center efficiency

                        Improves agent efficiency

                        With the help of AI, you can automate routine tasks to streamline operations. For instance, during high call volume periods, AI can efficiently manage simple customer queries, allowing agents to dedicate their attention to addressing more complex inquiries.

                        In fact, chatbots can handle up to 80% of routine questions, significantly reducing agent workload. This efficiency boost helps agents handle more customer calls effectively, leading to higher productivity and shorter wait times for customers.

                        Enhances customer experience

                        By combining the power of live human agents and artificial intelligence, you can greatly enhance your customer experience (CX).

                        Nextiva call center software dashboard

                        For example, AI enables hyper-personalized interactions, a feature sought by 76% of customers in their call center experiences. 

                        AI algorithms can analyze vast sets of customer data, including past interactions, purchase history, preferences, and demographics. By processing this information, AI can generate detailed customer profiles that agents can use to tailor interactions based on customers’ needs and preferences. 

                        Reduces costs

                        With automated tasks and optimized resource management, AI offers opportunities to reduce costs. For example, intelligent virtual agents can efficiently handle tasks that would otherwise require human intervention, leading to potential labor cost savings of up to 30%. Organizations can decrease operational expenses by streamlining processes and minimizing human involvement without compromising service quality.

                        Provides real-time customer insights

                        AI call center solutions offer actionable customer insights through real-time data analysis, enabling organizations to identify trends and areas for improvement. For example, sentiment analysis tools can detect customer dissatisfaction during calls, prompting agents to intervene and resolve issues proactively. By using these metrics and insights, businesses can continuously optimize operations, improve service quality, and effectively adapt to evolving customer preferences.

                        Lowers agent turnover

                        With AI handling repetitive tasks, agents can focus on more complex and meaningful interactions, reducing burnout and churn rates. This shift results in significant cost savings for organizations, with each agent turnover costing around $20,000 annually in replacement costs alone. 

                        Graphic showing why call center turnover rates matter

                        Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and retention by empowering agents with AI-powered tools, which maximizes operational efficiency.

                        Top 5 Use Cases for Call Center AI

                        From streamlining interactions to minimizing mistakes, there are plenty of use cases for call center AI. Check out how you can use artificial intelligence in your contact center. 

                        Top uses for AI call centers: Predictive analytics, intelligent product recs, repetitive tasks, natural language processing, regulatory compliance.

                        Predictive analytics

                        AI-based call centers can use the power of predictive analytics to personalize the customer experience. Call center predictive analytics analyzes various data points about a caller. These analytics can include:

                        • Past interactions
                        • Purchase history
                        • Demographics

                        For example, if a customer contacts a telecom company’s call center about their internet service, predictive analytics analyzes their history to gauge their technical expertise and past issues. Based on this, the AI system uses machine learning to predict the likely reason for the inquiry and suggests custom solutions to the agent.

                        Intelligent product recommendations

                        AI algorithms can also provide intelligent product recommendations during customer interactions. AI can suggest relevant upsells or cross-sells to customers by analyzing customer data and purchase history. 

                        For instance, when a customer orders an appliance, AI can recognize the context and suggest compatible accessories or warranty extensions. This ensures your customer is getting the most out of their purchase.

                        Virtual agents and chatbots call deflection

                        Businesses increasingly use virtual agents and chatbots to deflect routine inquiries away from human agents to reduce wait times and improve overall efficiency. These AI-driven systems can handle repetitive tasks, like answering frequently asked questions or processing simple transactions. These can help free your human agents to focus on more complex issues. 

                        Organizations can streamline their operations by automating customer service and delivering faster, more responsive customer service.

                        Natural language processing (NLP) for smarter communication

                        Natural language processing helps call center AI grasp and reply to customer queries in everyday language, which can streamline communication. AI systems have the capacity to do the following:

                        • Chat naturally with your customers. 
                        • Pick out important details in a conversation.
                        • Give fitting replies, whether spoken or written. 

                        This knack for understanding and responding suits interactions better, easing customer frustration and boosting satisfaction and loyalty levels.

                        Industry or regulatory compliance

                        Call center AI plays an important role in ensuring industry or regulatory compliance by monitoring customer conversations in real time. AI can ensure that mandatory disclosures are communicated to callers effectively by analyzing dialogue and detecting specific keywords or phrases. 

                        For example, in financial call centers, AI can verify that an agent made a disclosure to a customer before pulling their credit report. This ensures adherence to regulatory requirements and mitigating compliance risks.

                        Call Center in Action

                        💡Our collection of case studies shows how thousands of companies grow and succeed using Nextiva’s AI-powered contact center solutions.

                        Future Trends and Predictions for AI-Based Call Centers

                        Call centers evolve with AI technology and changing expectations, shaping customer service. Here are key trends to note.

                        Future trends and predictions for AI-based call centers.

                        Omnichannel becomes even more important

                        As communication preferences change, traditional phone support is no longer the only choice for customers. Live chat is now the preferred channel, which 41% of customers favored.

                        However, phone calls still remain a popular support method, especially when dealing with complex customer inquiries. Having an omnichannel system in place is essential to meet evolving customer expectations. This includes integrating communication channels to provide a seamless experience across all touchpoints. With AI, maintaining consistency and streamlining communication becomes more manageable.

                        Hyper-personalization becomes the CX norm

                        As businesses strive to deliver better customer experiences, hyper-personalization is emerging as the new standard. By leveraging AI, companies can tailor interactions to individual preferences, customer behaviors, and past engagements. 

                        This approach fosters deeper connections and drives brand loyalty, from personalized product recommendations to customized marketing messages. Embracing hyper-personalization allows companies to stand out in the competitive landscape by delivering memorable experiences that resonate with customers on a personal level.

                        Customer support benefits from AI-driven quality assurance

                        AI-driven quality assurance is changing the game in customer support. With AI analyzing customer interactions, it spots patterns and trends, helping businesses improve service quality. 

                        Plus, AI can give instant feedback, helping improve agent performance so they can provide top-notch service every time. It also helps call centers stay on top of regulations, catching potential issues early. By using AI, businesses can: 

                        • Make their customer support smoother
                        • Keep customers happy
                        • Work more efficiently

                        Answer More Calls with Nextiva

                        Consider implementing AI-based call center solutions to boost your team and enhance customer experiences. Start by adding features like website chat to engage customers instantly. If you feel swamped with inquiries, deploy chatbots to handle basic queries, freeing up your team for more complex interactions. With AI platforms handling routine tasks, your team of live agents can focus on delivering personalized support.

                        Nextiva’s AI-based tools, including our advanced interactive voice response (IVR) system, offer unparalleled efficiency for phone systems. They automate tasks and facilitate seamless support across channels, allowing your team to assist customers without interruptions.

                        Scale up with contact center AI.

                        The modern contact center has arrived. See how Nextiva helps you deliver the best customer experience at scale.

                        AI-Based Call Center FAQ

                        Discover more about AI-based call centers with the answers to these frequently asked questions below.

                        Will AI replace call center agents?

                        AI won’t replace call center agents; instead, it’ll boost their abilities to add more value along the customer journey. According to HubSpot, 62% of customer service specialists believe AI and automation help them understand customers better. While they support using AI, they also advise against over-reliance on it.

                        How does AI help improve customer service?

                        AI improves customer service by making service available 24/7, streamlining processes, and offering real-time insights for better decision-making. For instance, customer service professionals have reported saving an average of 2 hours and 11 minutes per day by utilizing generative AI to craft responses to customer queries.

                        What are the challenges of implementing AI in call center operations?

                        The challenges of implementing AI in call centers may include integration with existing systems and ensuring effective training for agents to use AI tools efficiently. In fact, a HubSpot report found that 32% of teams found it difficult to integrate tools with existing systems. 

                        Can I add AI functionality to my call center?

                        Artificial intelligence functionality requires connectivity between customer data and a large language model (LLM) provider to deliver AI benefits to customers and agents. However, businesses can gracefully transition their call center to the cloud using Nextiva one team or department at a time. Whenever ready, you can easily enable modern AI features as your business needs.

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                        Alex Doan

                        Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

                        Posts from this author

                        RingCentral Pricing, Plans, & Feature Breakdown

                        April 14, 2024 11 min read

                        Alex Doan

                        Alex Doan

                        RingCentral is a cloud-based communication platform offering a suite of business solutions. As a cloud phone system, it lets businesses ditch traditional landlines in favor of a more flexible and scalable solution. But how much does it all cost? And is it worth it?

                        In this guide, we’ll explore RingCentral’s pricing structure and help you decide if it’s the right fit for your business communication needs. We’ll also discuss scenarios where alternative solutions might be a better match.

                        RingCentral Plans and Pricing

                        RingCentral offers VoIP services, virtual meetings, call centers, and AI solutions. It’s a common choice for organizations looking for a business phone system, particularly mid-sized businesses and enterprises.

                        RingCentral’s phone system offering, RingEX, has three core plans: Core, Advanced, and Ultra. Earlier these plans were part of RingCentral’s MVP offerings, but are now rebranded under RingEX.

                        Here’s a quick comparison chart of RingEX’s main plans.

                        FeatureCoreAdvancedUltra
                        Price per user (per month, billed monthly)$30$35$45
                        Ideal forSmall businessesGrowing businessesLarge enterprises
                        Included minutes (US & Canada)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
                        PBX featuresYesYesYes
                        Auto attendantYesYesYes
                        Team messagingYes (limited storage)Yes (limited storage)Yes (unlimited storage)
                        Unlimited online faxingNoYesYes
                        Video conferencingUp to 100 participantsUp to 100 participantsUp to 200 participants
                        Call recordingOn-demandAutomatic /on‑demandAutomatic / on‑demand
                        Voicemail transcriptionYesYesYes
                        Advanced analyticsNoLimitedYes

                        Note: These are starting prices, and the exact cost may vary depending on the number of users and specific features you choose. RingCentral also offers a discount for annual billing, so you can save money by paying for a year upfront.

                        All three plans add or upgrade features from the prior tier.

                        While this structure enables organizations to purchase a plan that best meets their size and business needs, there are some features only available as add-ons for an extra charge, regardless of the plan.

                        Let’s look at each plan in detail:

                        Core plan

                        RingCentral’s Core plan begins at $30/user/month if paid monthly or $20/user/month when paid annually. This is their most standard offering, including basic call features, limited team messaging, and file-sharing capabilities, as well as:

                        RingCentral’s first pricing tier covers the basics for a small business just getting started. However, it’s pretty limited when it comes to functionalities that allow businesses to be flexible in today’s work environment, including hot desking, custom roles and permissions, and advanced analytics.

                        Advanced plan

                        Moving beyond the Core plan, RingCentral’s Advanced plan adds features and upgrades such as enhancements to its team messaging and file-sharing capabilities. This comes at a higher cost, with a price tag of $35/user/month if paid monthly or $25/user/month when paid annually.

                        RingCentral’s Advanced plan includes everything in the Core plan, plus:

                        RingCentral’s middle tier is the most popular plan according to their website. This plan is built for established companies that are looking for a solution to grow and scale their business, as it includes more features focused on system management and admin.

                        There are a few notable downsides to the Advanced plan, including the lack of device-specific analytics and limited storage for files, messages, and recordings.

                        Ultra plan

                        RingCentral’s third tier has the most features but is also the most expensive. The Ultra plan is available at $45/user/month if paid monthly or $35/user/month when paid annually. 

                        This tier includes everything from the Advanced plan, plus:

                        RingCentral’s highest tier includes all the advanced features you would need to implement and manage a communication system for a large business. The biggest advantage for businesses using the Ultra plan is the ability to centralize communications, including phone calls, video, chat, SMS, and fax, into one app.

                        Options and add-ons

                        Given the price of the Ultra plan, you might assume that it includes everything RingCentral has to offer, but that’s not actually the case. RingCentral has options that are available as add-on features to any plan, albeit at a higher price.

                        These add-ons include:

                        While it’s convenient to add these features to any plan, it can quickly push you over budget. With add-ons, you need to make sure you have a process for license and seat management so you’re not overpaying for users who don’t need these features.

                        Notable exclusions per plan

                        While each RingCentral plan offers a respectable number of features, there are still some key capabilities they lack. Organizations looking for these specific features may have to either spend extra for a higher tier or look elsewhere.

                        For the Core plan, there’s no access to advanced business analytics. This is an important feature for business communications platforms, and its exclusion is worth noting.

                        Nextiva Contact Center - Analytics Dashboard

                        Additionally, this plan only offers limited team messaging and file sharing, so collaboration may be challenging. Automatic call recording is also only available as an on-demand feature.

                        While the Advanced plan has more features than the Core plan, it still only offers limited storage for team messaging and file sharing. And while there are business analytics capabilities, they’re not as comprehensive as those in the Ultra plan, making it hard to fully manage your business communications system at this middle tier.

                        RingCentral Contact Center Plans and Pricing

                        RingCentral Contact Center (RingCX) is an omnichannel contact center that allows customers to connect with a business across voice and over multiple digital touchpoints.

                        It offers features such as workforce engagement management, which includes quality management, conversation analytics, and workforce management. It can also be used for outbound sales, collections, and proactive support.

                        The plans start at $65, but no clear pricing structure is available on RingCentral’s site. You need to contact their sales team for a custom quote.

                        RingCentral’s Pricing Compared To Competitors

                        Now that we understand what RingCentral’s plans provide, it’s time to explore some RingCentral alternatives and glean how much value RingCentral provides compared to its competitors.

                        We’ll take a look at Nextiva’s business plans — RingCentral’s top competitor — and see how they compare.

                        Note that what’s shown below is the monthly price — you can save even more on annual plans.

                        “I recently changed from RingCentral to Nextiva for several reasons, one of which was to make things SIMPLER. So far using Nextiva, it has been remarkable. It’s everything, and more than I previously imagined. If one is looking into a VoIP Provider, I highly suggest you take a deep look at Nextiva.”

                        ~ Miranda S, Nextiva customer since 2022, G2 Reviews

                        Essential plan

                        Nextiva’s Essential plan offers business communications necessities for $25.95/user/month if paid monthly or $18.95/user/month when paid annually. This includes a wide array of important features for VoIP calling and omnichannel communications:

                        Professional plan

                        One tier up from the Essential plan is the Professional plan, which is ideal for growing companies with larger business communications needs. This plan is available at $30.95/user/month if paid monthly or $22.95/user/month when paid annually.

                        The Nextiva Professional plan includes everything in the Essential plan plus:

                        Enterprise plan

                        Last but certainly not least, Nextiva’s Enterprise plan is aimed at big businesses with big communication requirements. This plan, available at $40.95/user/month if paid monthly or $32.95/user/month when paid annually, provides the most features, toll-free minutes, and integrations, making it a great choice for larger organizations. 

                        The Nextiva Enterprise plan includes everything in the Professional plan plus:

                        Common features across all plans

                        While each tier adds and improves upon the last, some features are universal. Whether you only want the essentials or are looking for enterprise communications, you’ll find these in every plan:

                        Nextiva call pop

                        With Nextiva, there are several features you can always expect. All users across every plan have access to amazing service 24/7, making sure Nextiva is easy to use and stress-free so you can focus on your business. 

                        Notable exclusions per plan

                        Nextiva’s plans are packaged based on common business scenarios and use cases. Some features are saved for higher tiers, so customers looking for specific features might want to consider upgrading.

                        The Essential plan doesn’t include conference calls, SMS, or CRM integrations (although it does integrate with Outlook and Google Contacts). It also has fewer toll-free minutes than the higher tiers.

                        The Professional plan doesn’t include call recording or voice analytics, which are reserved for the Enterprise plan. It also has fewer toll-free minutes than the Enterprise Plan, although it has more than the Essential plan.

                        Top Features of RingCentral and Nextiva

                        Now that we understand what RingCentral and Nextiva offer, we can break their plans down into their top features and see what value each can bring to businesses, teams, and employees working in the office or on the go.

                        “We had RingCentral and changed to Nextiva. Nextiva’s service has been top-notch so far compared to RingCentral. It’s made our business so much easier, and we look forward to growing our business with them. Before, we were always scared of our service going down and being stuck again.” 

                        ~ Tom W, TrustPilot review

                        RingCentral

                        The most important features of RingCentral’s communication solution include:

                        Nextiva

                        Nextiva’s top features are quite impressive, with an array of tools to improve business communications and the customer experience. These include:

                        Nextiva vs. RingCentral Comparison Table

                        Feature or functionalityNextiva EssentialNextiva EnterpriseRingCentral CoreRingCentral Ultra
                        Monthly price (billed annually)$18.95$32.95$20$35
                        User capacityUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
                        Unlimited voice & video calling (US & Canada)
                        Mobile apps (iOS & Android)
                        Toll-free minutes1,50012,50010010,000
                        Video conferencing participantsUnlimited200
                        Video meeting recording
                        Meeting scheduling and calendar integrations
                        Team messaging
                        Voicemail to email
                        Toll-free numbers
                        Unlimited internet fax
                        Auto attendant
                        SMS/MMS
                        Call recording
                        Multi-level auto attendant
                        Salesforce and HubSpot integrations
                        Call queues
                        Voicemail transcription
                        Advanced analytics and reporting
                        Microsoft Teams integration
                        Single sign-on

                        Key findings:

                        Which Provider Is Right for Your Business?

                        Now that it’s clear what RingCentral and Nextiva have to offer, we can weigh the pros and cons for each to see what they bring to businesses.

                        RingCentral

                        RingCentral provides a good selection of features for businesses looking for:

                        Nextiva

                        Nextiva is an excellent choice for organizations that want:

                        Final Verdict on RingCentral Pricing

                        RingCentral offers a feature-rich cloud communication platform with various plans to suit different business needs. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

                        Pros:

                        Cons:

                        RingCentral vs. Nextiva: Nextiva Edges Out on Price

                        While both RingCentral and Nextiva offer competitive services…

                        Nextiva is the best choice for both growing small businesses and larger organizations that are looking for a cost-effective solution to scale.

                        And with Nextiva’s recent expansion in the contact center software space, you’re sure to have everything your company needs to stay connected, serve customers, and scale faster. 

                        Nextiva’s Essential plan provides all the necessary tools and features businesses need for excellent communication and collaboration, with an intuitive user interface.

                        Learn more about Nextiva’s enterprise communications platform and what it brings to your business.

                        See what your phone system is missing.

                        Level up your business communication. See why top brands use Nextiva to handle calls at scale.

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                        Alex Doan

                        Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

                        Posts from this author

                        How to Get the Best SIP Trunk Pricing for Your Business

                        April 13, 2024 11 min read

                        Jeremiah Zerby

                        Jeremiah Zerby

                        SIP trunking can be an ideal communications technology for many businesses, typically offering great cost savings, solid scalability, and high call quality for outbound and inbound calls. Choosing a SIP trunking provider, however, is trickier.

                        Like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), not all SIP trunking services are created equal, and you rarely want to go with the lowest-cost plan on the market. 

                        In fact, some that claim to offer the lowest cost may have the lowest monthly fees yet charge high rates for extra phone numbers, e911 access, text messaging, long-distance calls, and so much more. 

                        It’s not just about finding the lowest cost but finding the best value without getting tricked into paying more than you have to. Our SIP trunk pricing guide helps you figure out which service is best for you and your budget. 

                        What Is SIP Trunking?

                        Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP, is an open standard for telephone connectivity between devices and software. It provides the technical means for calling, answering, and maintaining internet-based voice calls between users. 

                        SIP trunking acts as a bundle of phone lines using SIP. Many small and large companies rely on the trunking provider to provide their office with a backbone of business phone lines for everyone in the office so long as you have enough SIP channels.

                        SIP trunking provides VoIP connectivity between an on-premises private branch exchange (PBX) and the public switched telephone network (PSTN). 

                        SIP trunk doesn’t use analog telephone equipment to route voice calls. Instead, it sends your voice calls over data networks. 

                        In other words, SIP trunks serve as an intermediary between your phone systems and a cloud phone service provider. That happens through a SIP server — a program that handles signaling and voice access to a centralized service, such as an IP PBX.

                        Simply put, a SIP trunk provides an office PBX with service for all its phone extensions to the outside world.

                        Why businesses choose SIP trunking

                        Many businesses today are considering VoIP systems relying on SIP trunking for several reasons:

                        These perks are easy to understand on their own. Still, SIP trunking with reliable providers consistently allows for high-quality calls at a massive scale, even if everyone in the office is placing a call at the same time. 

                        FeatureSIP TrunkingTraditional PRI
                        Cost per lineLow, ~$20/month (metered)High, ~$100/month (fixed)
                        ScalabilityEasy (add/remove lines)Difficult (requires hardware)
                        FlexibilityUses existing internetLimited routing options

                        SIP Trunk Pricing Models

                        There are two main ways SIP trunk providers price their services:

                        Here are some other factors that can affect SIP trunk pricing:

                        It’s important to shop around and compare prices from different providers before you decide on a SIP trunk plan. Be sure to factor in all of the costs, including the monthly fee, per-minute charges, phone number fees, and any additional features you need.

                        How Much Does a SIP Trunk Cost?

                        Before choosing a SIP trunk service, it’s a good idea to understand what factors impact pricing and how that drives the total cost associated with the system. 

                        On average, most businesses can expect to pay between $10 to $25 per SIP trunk per month, but the pricing can vary based on your VoIP provider and your call volume. For those on a metered plan, many providers charge additional fees for phone numbers (DIDs) and assess different charges depending on the volume and origination/destination of phone calls.

                        Addressed below are different factors that impact pricing, including monthly costs, setup fees, outbound call rates, add-ons, additional business phone numbers (direct inward dialing), and PBX costs. 

                        Monthly costs

                        Many SIP trunking plans have monthly service costs, which are priced per channel of voice service. These typically offer an unlimited number of calls, though the number of minutes you get in those calls or additional features available to you (including call logs) may vary by pricing tiers. 

                        Per-minute costs (pay as you go)

                        Some SIP trunk services offer per-minute costs, which are also known as “metered” costs or “pay-as-you-go” plans. In this case, you’ll be charged a flat fee for every minute spent using the SIP trunk system. Sometimes, these services will charge a flat monthly rate in addition to the metered per-minute costs. 

                        It’s common for SIP pricing plans to charge a flat fee for calls to local numbers and another fee for long-distance or international calls. 

                        SIP trunks are usually sold in either a metered or unmetered (unlimited) calling plan.
                        SIP trunks are often sold in metered or unmetered (unlimited) plans.

                        Set up fees

                        Many VoIP and SIP trunk services require one-time set-up fees when you first sign up as a customer. They’ll get your system set up and connected for you. Some companies, however, may not charge setup fees. 

                        Add-on products 

                        Some SIP trunk services come with additional optional add-on products, which may include features such as caller ID and CNAM, call data records, and even business SMS connectivity.

                        Make sure you’re accounting for this when reviewing your budget; you either need to find an all-inclusive plan that has the features you need for a flat fee or find a lower-cost plan that you can still afford with all the additional products added on. 

                        Additional PBX costs

                        SIP trunking is the service used to connect your on-premises phone system with the PSTN. As a result, you must still use a PBX to operate the SIP trunk service, which means that you can incur additional PBX costs.

                        Indirect PBX costs that can impact your costs associated with SIP trunking include: 

                        SIP Trunk Provider Pricing Comparison

                        Looking for a quick breakdown of SIP trunk provider service costs side-by-side?

                        Some companies offer straightforward and transparent pricing online, while others may require you to contact sales for customized quotes. That said, here’s the SIP pricing information you need: 

                        SIP ProviderKey FeaturesMonthly Plan (Unlimited Calling Nationwide)Per Minute Costs (Metered)
                        NextivaEasy setup and works with almost all PBX solutions 
                        Straightforward pricing
                        Includes a free local phone number and a toll-free number
                        Superior reliability and customer support team
                        $24.95$14.95 monthly and $0.008 per minute
                        BroadvoiceOmnichannel cloud contact center
                        24/7 tech and customer support 
                        Features like call attendants and routing available 
                        $17 per user per month
                        Three-year contract required
                        $11 monthly (5000 minutes included) and $0.029 per minute over 5000 minutes
                        Three-year contract required
                        SIP.usFast and easy setup through an online dashboard
                        Flexible options allow you to choose your own providers, including phones and carriers
                        Microsoft Teams integrations 
                        $24.95 per channel per monthN/A
                        TwilioEasy scaling up or down
                        No contracts, channel fees, or porting fees 
                        Fraud prevention features
                        Worldwide coverage
                        Need to talk to sales for an unlimited plan.$0.0053 per minute outbound (depending on location), $0.0034 per minute inbound
                        $1.15 – $2.15 monthly for each phone number 
                        $0.75 per number for e911
                        TelnyxFeatures such as call recording, emergency calling, and custom voice routing
                        Five-minute set-up process
                        Private multi-cloud network with excellent uptime
                        Need to talk to sales for an unlimited plan.$1 per month per number
                        Inbound local calls: $0.0035 per minute
                        Outbound local calls: $0.005 per minute
                        E911: $1.50 per month per number

                        Trunking vs. Business Phone Service

                        You might be wondering about the differences between SIP trunking vs. an all-inclusive business phone system. While they both use VoIP, they differ in terms of features, functionality, and ease of use. 

                        Business phone systems are hosted and managed entirely on the provider’s side. This is one option for VoIP phone lines, allowing you to leverage the power of the internet to increase call quality and overall scalability, even with simultaneous calls. 

                        SIP trunking, on the other hand, potentially lets you use hardware that you already have in the office.

                        How VoIP and SIP trunking compare

                        These are the core differences you’ll see:

                        ​​If you’re considering hosted PBX and SIP trunking, here are the key differences and comparisons you should keep in mind:

                        SIP trunking typically requires that businesses are technical, and it can become complicated relatively quickly. It may also lack customer support that IT managers (and users!) need, though this depends on the provider. 

                        Diagram: VoIP vs. IP PBX Architecture

                        It’s worth considering that the cloud phone system by Nextiva can offer all the advanced features, call uptime, customer support, and ease of use that growing businesses need. 

                        Estimating SIP Trunk Usage

                        If you’re trying to assess how much you’ll spend with SIP trunking, you first need to consider your estimated SIP trunk usage.

                        First, you’ll need to know the direct-dial numbers, known as direct inward dialing. These phone numbers allow your company to connect a block of phone numbers to your business’s PBX and its extensions so you can set up virtual numbers. Direct Inward Dialing is easily scalable as your business grows. 

                        Diagram showing elastic SIP trunking in action to support multiple business phone numbers.
                        Diagram: SIP trunking in action for a business

                        You’ll also want to consider the cost of E911, which is part of the emergency phone system that automatically provides the location of the caller to 911 dispatchers. This has been a mandated service for VoIP providers since 2005. 

                        Finally, think about your average inbound and outbound call volume. It’s important.

                        Knowing how many lines you use concurrently will affect the cost of a SIP trunk. Here’s a quick video that explains this for the rest of us.

                        This changes month-over-month during seasonal trends, or you might expect it to increase as your business scales up. Your estimated monthly averages are a good place to start. 

                        Tips to Lower Your SIP Trunking Costs

                        If you know you want to use a SIP trunk service but want to keep your costs down, consider these tips:

                        1) Choose the right pricing model

                        Consider your volume of inbound vs. outbound calls, average call minutes, and the features you need. This can help you choose the right monthly price point and the right pricing model.

                        If you generally have lower usage, a metered plan could work. But if you’re continuing to scale your voice usage, an unmetered SIP trunk plan offers the best value.

                        2) Bundle your services

                        Many SIP trunk providers, such as Nextiva, offer other VoIP or telecom services. You can bundle services and, in many cases, receive a discount on the total package.

                        3) Negotiate your contract

                        Work directly with a sales representative to find a custom plan for you. This may not be an option with all SIP trunk providers, but it never hurts to ask to find the best monthly fee.

                        For instance, if you don’t need direct inward dial numbers for every user, you could save on those extra costs.

                        4) Manage your call volume

                        While this can be tricky, there are strategies you can use to reduce call volumes. A lot of SIP trunk services and PBX systems are priced by concurrent calls — or phone calls happening in real-time.

                        For example, having support and help desk sections on your website can answer commonly asked questions that customers may have otherwise called for. Live chat options on your site can also help mitigate a high call volume. 

                        Example of a support knowledge base coupled with live chat - Nextiva
                        Example of a support knowledge base coupled with live chat

                        Choosing a Reliable SIP Trunk Provider

                        When choosing a reliable SIP trunk provider, look for the following:

                        SIP trunking is a cinch with Nextiva. Simple. Affordable.

                        Get your business voice, messages, video meetings, and more integrated in ONE powerful cloud PBX.

                        With affordable SIP trunk pricing, you can take your business to the next level for less. Nextiva can power your entire phone system with our powerful cloud-based PBX. 

                        Imagine a business VoIP phone system that lets you grow and doesn’t let you stress about its cost or ongoing maintenance.

                        … It’s here. NextivaONE is the complete business communications solution for companies so their teams stay connected and work smarter. Hang up the old-school PBX and answer the call to the better way to work. 

                        FAQs

                        What are the benefits of SIP trunking?

                        Businesses choose SIP trunking for several reasons. The top benefits include:

                        – Allows companies to use existing hardware and phone lines
                        – Offers cost-effective voice service and scalability compared to traditional phone systems
                        – Handling concurrent phone calls with multi-channel trunks
                        – Straightforward setup and maintenance with a qualified IT technician
                        – Attractive domestic and international calling across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom

                        How do I set up a SIP trunk?

                        Set up a SIP trunk with the following steps:

                        1. Access your PBX software settings as an administrator.
                        2. Add credentials from your SIP trunk provider, including username, password, phone numbers, and the host/domain. 
                        3. Verify with a few SIP calls in and out from a known working cell phone

                        What is the difference between SIP trunking and VoIP?

                        VoIP provides internet-based phone calling for one user at a time. VoIP most commonly operates on the SIP protocol. The SIP protocol is an open standard for calling others and providing the media (audio) reliably. 

                        With a VoIP provider, you can access many calling features, such as call forwarding, call recording, call routing, and softphone/desk phone connectivity, without any technical setup.

                        A SIP trunk, on the other hand, is meant for multiple users (of an office) to use for phone calls. SIP trunking uses a PBX installed either on-site or in the cloud to provide users with phone service. 

                        How do I lower my telecom costs?

                        There are a few ways to optimize your telecommunications costs.
                         
                        1. Switching to SIP trunk or cloud-based VoIP solutions that cost less than traditional phone lines
                        2. Monitor your inbound and outbound call volumes
                        3. Choose a pricing plan from a provider that aligns with your budget and needs
                        4. Consider a multi-year commitment to obtain the best SIP trunk pricing

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                        Jeremiah Zerby

                        Jeremiah Zerby is a marketing specialist at Nextiva. He spent three years on the front lines of technical support, troubleshooting internet and VoIP topics. He moved forward into the technical writing and content creation space. He’s helped set up hundreds of businesses and advised thousands of people with their cloud communications.

                        Posts from this author

                        Let’s face it, dealing with difficult customers is inevitable in a customer service role. Whether it’s an angry outburst, a rude comment, or endless indecisiveness, these situations can test your patience and professionalism.

                        But the good news is, with the right approach, you can not only de-escalate the situation but also find a solution that leaves the customer feeling heard and valued.

                        In this article, we’ll discuss different types of difficult customers you may come across, explore key strategies to deal with difficult customer situations and find a resolution that leaves everyone feeling good.

                        Types of Difficult Customers

                        1. The angry or rude customer

                        Angry customers are impatient, disrespectful, and prone to outbursts. They might yell, use abusive language, or make personal attacks when things don’t go their way.

                        Example: A customer waiting in an IVR queue yells at the customer service agent about the slow service.

                        Some ways you can deal with them:

                        2. The demanding customer

                        These customers have unreasonably high expectations and make demands that exceed company policies. They might insist on special treatment or exceptions not offered to others.

                        Example: A customer demands a full refund for a slightly used item they bought a month ago, even though the store’s policy only allows returns within two weeks.

                        How to deal with them:

                        3. The indecisive customer

                        Indecisive customers struggle to make decisions or provide clear instructions. They might constantly change their mind or take a long time to choose.

                        Example: A customer browsing a clothing store keeps going back and forth between two different shirts, unsure of which one to buy.

                        Here are some ways to deal with them:

                        4. The complainer

                        These customers frequently voice complaints, even after their issues have been addressed and resolved according to company policies. They may nitpick or find new things to complain about, making it challenging to fully satisfy them.

                        Example: A customer complains about a slight imperfection in their product, and after receiving a replacement, they complain about the packaging or shipping time.

                        How to deal with customer complaints:

                        5. The price-sensitive customer

                        These customers are primarily focused on getting the lowest possible price and may try to haggle or demand discounts beyond what is reasonable.

                        Example: A customer tries to negotiate a 50% discount on a new TV that’s already on sale.

                        Dealing with such customers:

                        6. The unresponsive customer

                        Unresponsive and uncommunicative customers fail to provide necessary information or respond to requests for clarification. This can significantly delay the service or resolution process.

                        Example: A customer doesn’t reply to emails requesting information needed to process their service request.

                        How to deal with them:

                        Understanding the Why Behind Difficult Behavior

                        Difficult customers come in all shapes and sizes. While their behavior can be frustrating, it’s important to remember there’s often a reason behind it.

                        Maybe they’ve had a bad experience with your company before, or perhaps their frustration stems from a genuine issue that hasn’t been addressed.

                        Some customers may be dealing with personal challenges or circumstances you’re unaware of, which could contribute to their behavior. Extending a little compassion and understanding can go a long way in turning a difficult situation into a positive one.

                        Approach difficult customers with empathy, actively listen to their concerns, and work together to find a resolution. You’ll not only resolve the immediate issue but also foster stronger, more positive customer relationships.

                        Empathetic customer service

                        How To Deal With Difficult Customer Situations

                        1. Embrace active listening

                        Sometimes, the best course of action is to simply let the customer vent. Listen attentively without interrupting, and focus on understanding the root cause of their frustration.

                        This doesn’t mean accepting abuse — it means staying calm and collected while they express their concerns. Once they’ve finished venting, paraphrase their issue to confirm your understanding.

                        Active listening is a powerful tool. It shows the customer you’re taking them seriously and helps build rapport.

                        Here’s a simple technique: After they finish speaking, try saying, “What I hear you say is…” followed by a summary of their problem. Once they confirm that’s accurate, you can move forward.

                        2. Maintain your calm

                        It’s easy to get flustered when faced with a customer’s anger. But remember, their frustration is likely directed at the situation, not you. Don’t take it personally.

                        Respond with confidence and calmness. Avoid phrases like “I’m sorry for the inconvenience” — these don’t address the core issue. Project a calm body language and maintain eye contact in a customer-facing situation.

                        Staying calm has several benefits. It helps you focus on finding a solution instead of getting caught up in the emotions. It also makes it easier to find common ground and build trust with the customer. Plus, a calm demeanor prevents the customer from getting even more upset.

                        Developing strong conflict resolution abilities is crucial for customer service professionals to navigate difficult situations and find mutually agreeable solutions effectively.

                        The customer support team should be well-versed in various conflict resolution techniques to defuse tensions and ensure a positive outcome when dealing with challenging customer interactions. And calmness sits at the top.

                        3. Empower with options

                        Once you understand the problem, it’s time to explore solutions. Don’t just present a single option — offer the customer a few choices for resolving their issue. This empowers them and gives them a sense of control, reducing their frustration.

                        For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product malfunction, you could offer a replacement, a refund, or a store credit. Let them choose the solution that best suits their needs.

                        What do customers actually want from customer service? (Chart from GetApp)
                        What do customers actually want from customer service? (Chart from GetApp)

                        Remember, there’s almost always something you can do, even if it’s just taking detailed notes and sharing them with your product team or management. Often, frustrated customers simply want to feel heard and know their concerns are being addressed.

                        4. Be genuine and show empathy

                        When faced with an irate customer, the first step is to carefully understand the customer’s problem from their point of view, which requires active listening and empathy — two key customer service skills.

                        Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to understand how they feel. Empathy is a powerful tool for building customer loyalty. Loyal customers are responsible for a whopping 65% of a company’s revenue.

                        Be sincere in your interactions, even when explaining limitations. Honesty is always appreciated. Let them know their concerns are heard and explain how their feedback can help prevent similar issues in the future.

                        5. Use humor carefully

                        Humor can be a powerful tool for diffusing tense situations with customers, but it needs to be used carefully. Only attempt humor if you’re comfortable with it and the situation seems appropriate. Don’t try to be funny if the customer is extremely angry or upset — it may backfire.

                        The key is to keep any humor light and positive. Avoid sarcasm or jokes that could come across as offensive. Be sure to read the customer’s reaction. If they don’t seem receptive, drop the humor immediately.

                        When used correctly, a bit of levity can help put the customer at ease and make the interaction feel more positive overall. But use discretion — not every situation calls for jokes.

                        6. Maintain a consistent channel & automate

                        Imagine being halfway through explaining your problem on the phone, only to be told to switch to email or chat. Frustrating, right? Avoid switching communication channels (phone, email, chat) throughout the interaction. This creates friction and makes the customer repeat.

                        Invest in a unified communications solution if possible. This allows your team to seamlessly support customers across different channels. They can see all past interactions and customer information in one place, while the customer gets to choose their preferred communication method.

                        Nextiva unified CX platform

                        Automate some of your workflows (where possible). Use self-service options to help customers find information on their own and chatbots to answer regular customer queries.

                        You can also invest in a conversational IVR to connect your customers easily to your contact center team without waiting in long queues.

                        Automation saves your time and deals with everyday customer situations. When customers can easily connect with you or discover answers to their problems, they’re less likely to get frustrated or churn.

                        7. Use de-escalation techniques

                        The situation might call for additional techniques to calm a particularly upset customer:

                        8. Teamwork makes the dream work

                        If the situation gets complex or requires specialized knowledge, don’t hesitate to involve your support team or product experts. The key is to find a solution quickly and efficiently.

                        Involve the customer in the process as much as possible, keeping them informed. Use chat tools to connect with team members or product experts while relaying information. If you need to share knowledge base articles, explain their relevance and why they’re helpful.

                        Remember, some customers might be new to your product. Explain information in multiple ways, including visuals like videos or annotated images, to increase understanding and customer satisfaction.

                        9. Don’t forget self-care

                        Dealing with difficult customers day in and day out can be mentally draining. That’s why it’s crucial to practice self-care techniques that help you de-stress and recharge.

                        Schedule short breaks throughout your shift to step away from the phone. Practice positive self-talk to counter any negativity from challenging situations. Develop healthy relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to manage stress.

                        And don’t be afraid to lean on your support system. Talk to colleagues or friends about particularly difficult customer encounters or bad days. Sometimes just venting can help relieve tension.

                        Example of a Customer Service Script To Use With Difficult Customers

                        Here’s an example of a difficult customer interaction and how to handle it.

                        Type of difficult customer: The demanding customer

                        Scenario: A customer calls in demanding a full refund for a product they bought a month ago, claiming it arrived damaged. However, the company’s policy only allows returns within two weeks for unopened items.

                        Customer: “I received this product a month ago and it’s completely damaged! I want a full refund now!”

                        Customer service representative (CSR): “I understand how frustrating that must be. Can I get your order number and some details about the damage?” (Calm and professional tone)

                        Customer: “My order number is #12345. This thing is in pieces! You should have better packaging.” (Angry tone)

                        CSR: “I apologize for the inconvenience. Our policy allows for returns of unopened items within two weeks of purchase. However, I can see if there are other options available. Would you be interested in a replacement or store credit?” (Acknowledge their frustration and offer solutions within policy)

                        Check out some more script templates here.👇

                        Know When To Involve a Manager

                        There are times when it’s in everyone’s best interest to involve your manager or business owner. Here are some key situations:

                        The Power of Delightful Service

                        Great customer service requires equally great efforts and investment in your customer success.

                        Difficult customers can be an opportunity to shine. With excellent customer service and going the extra mile, you can turn a negative customer experience into a positive one. Remember, most customers simply want to get things done — they have goals and lives outside of interacting with you.

                        Focus on being genuinely helpful in every customer interaction. Your mission is to make their day a little bit better, even if it’s just replying to a follow-up email with a clear solution. Following these steps can deliver exceptional service and leave a lasting positive impression, even on your most challenging days.

                        There’s no magic formula for dealing with difficult people, but treating them respectfully and understanding their needs.

                        Learn from a real-world example. See how Rack Attack is driving customer service excellence with Nextiva.

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                        Joe Manna

                        Joe Manna was a senior content marketing manager at Nextiva. He blends his marketing acumen and deep technical background to improve people's lives with technology. His expertise helps companies large and small serve more customers. He enjoys a rich iced latte and a non-fiction business book when he's not pressing words.

                        Posts from this author

                        What Is VoIP Number Porting? How Does It Work?

                        April 12, 2024 10 min read

                        Jeremiah Zerby

                        Jeremiah Zerby

                        Is your phone number the cornerstone of your customer connection? Imagine losing it during a move or provider switch. VoIP number porting saves the day.

                        VoIP number porting saves the day, whether you need to port a mobile number, a toll-free number, or a regular phone number to your new VoIP phone service helps you keep your business number — the one your clients know and trust.

                        This comprehensive guide equips you for a smooth transition to VoIP, covering:

                        Whether you’re switching VoIP providers or relocating, this guide empowers you to make the change seamless for your business and customers.

                        What Is VoIP Number Porting?

                        VoIP number porting allows you to retain your existing phone number when switching to a new VoIP service provider. This way, you can keep your familiar phone number even when switching to a new service.

                        The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that telephone numbers be portable between providers, as long as you remain within the same geographic area, also known as a rate center.

                        The rate center determines the phone number and area code assigned to you.

                        As long as you stay within those geographic limits, your new VoIP provider should be able to port your existing number to their service. This means you won’t have to go through the hassle of updating your contact information on business cards, websites, and with your customers.

                        You get a VoIP phone number (a virtual number) when you sign up for a VoIP service from a telecom provider. The VoIP provider will assign you a new phone number that routes calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines.

                        However, with number portability, you have the option to transfer or “port” an existing phone number that you already have from a previous provider (VoIP or traditional landline) to your new VoIP service. This allows you to keep using a familiar number that may already be known to customers, friends, family, etc.

                        Number portability is a significant advantage for small businesses looking to lower their communication costs by switching to a more affordable VoIP provider. It eliminates the disruption and inconvenience of changing phone numbers, ensuring a seamless transition.

                        The porting process should be straightforward, whether you’re moving from a traditional plain old telephone service (POTS) or another VoIP provider. However, if your current provider refuses to port your number, the FCC recommends contacting your local public utilities commission as a last resort.

                        Why Port Your VoIP Number

                        Porting your existing phone number unlocks several benefits when switching VoIP services:

                        Why get a VoIP phone number

                        The benefits of porting your number are significant. You’ll experience a smooth transition, all while getting set up quickly with your new VoIP provider. For both individuals and businesses, porting your number makes switching providers a hassle-free experience.

                        How Does VoIP Number Porting Work?

                        There are a few things you should know before starting the VoIP porting process. Here’s how VoIP porting typically works:

                        1) Contact your new VoIP provider about porting numbers

                        When signing up with a new VoIP provider like Nextiva, inform them that you need to port your existing phone number(s) over. This may need to be specified in the contract and could involve an additional porting fee from some providers.

                        Just to be clear — there’s no charge to port your number to Nextiva. 

                        2) Maintain your current phone service

                        Do not cancel your existing phone service until after the port is completed. This avoids any interruption in service during the porting process. If a quick transition is needed, ask your new VoIP provider for temporary numbers to forward calls while the port is pending.

                        3) Provide account details for a Letter of Agency (LOA)

                        Your current/old provider requires a Letter of Agency (LOA) authorization to verify and approve the number port request. You’ll need to provide accurate account information like account numbers, PINs, tax IDs, etc. Have recent billing statements ready.

                        4) Comply with porting requirements

                        There are typical porting requirements like the numbers being active, no pending orders on the lines, accounting for any outstanding balances, service frozen for some time, etc. The new and old providers coordinate the technical aspects.

                        5) Port processing timeline

                        The porting process timeline can vary but generally takes 5-7 business days for simple ports once all requirements are met. More complex ports with multiple numbers or toll-free numbers could take 4-6 weeks.

                        6) Port completion

                        Once the port is completed successfully, the phone numbers are now active on the new VoIP service. You can cancel the old service after testing the ported numbers.

                          Proper planning, maintaining your existing service until completion, and providing accurate account data ensure a smooth VoIP number porting process with minimal disruption.

                          What you'll need to port your VoIP number:

                          Requirements and Considerations for Porting

                          Here are some key points to consider before porting your VoIP number:

                          Once you’ve signed the contract, you’ll need to provide your new vendor with a list of information so they can begin the phone number porting process.

                          Challenges With VoIP Number Porting 

                          While porting phone numbers should be a straightforward process, sometimes hiccups can occur. You may face two main types of issues when porting numbers.

                          1) Your number isn’t portable

                          These are significant problems that inhibit you from porting your phone number. While the FCC requires numbers to be portable, there are a few exceptions that could occur:

                          If you find yourself in one of these situations, unfortunately, you’ll have to find an alternative to porting your number or select a new one.

                          2) Other errors that may occur

                          The second set of problems that may arise are generally fixable, albeit sometimes time-consuming. These issues include:

                          The good news is that while most of these issues are inconvenient, the porting process is generally not impossible with some additional effort. Clear communication with your new and old providers can help resolve many of these challenges.

                          *Digital Subscriber Line. “Dry loop DSL” is a telephone line without an associated dial tone.

                          Choosing a New VoIP Provider

                          Moving your phone numbers to a new system shouldn’t be a headache. Here’s how to pick the perfect VoIP phone system for a smooth transition and long-term communication success:

                          Port Your Numbers With Nextiva

                          Nextiva product shot

                          VoIP number porting is a convenient way to maintain your existing phone number when switching VoIP providers. You get seamless customer communication and avoid the hassle of updating contact information.

                          Understand the benefits, processes, and considerations involved when porting your number.

                          Above all choose the best VoIP provider for your needs. Nextiva’s VoIP phone system offers a wealth of new features, greater functionality, and friendly and helpful customer service.

                          Work with a proven VoIP service provider, like Nextiva, to ensure a streamlined, successful porting process.

                          Experience the reliability and clarity of Nextiva VoIP.

                          Get your questions answered and see how Nextiva can help you easily port your numbers.

                          VoIP Number Porting FAQs


                          Why would I want to port my number to VoIP?

                          There are several reasons to port your number:
                          – Cost savings: VoIP services often offer cheaper rates compared to traditional phone lines.
                          – Features: VoIP providers typically offer a wider range of features like voicemail to email, video conferencing, and call forwarding.
                          – Flexibility: You can use your phone number from anywhere with an internet connection, making it ideal for remote work or travel.

                          How long does it take to port a number to VoIP?

                          Porting phone numbers should be a simple process. Phone number porting takes between 2–4 weeks to complete.

                          In the meantime, you should still have access to your phones and be able to place inbound and outbound calls. Your new VoIP phone provider will communicate the next steps and inform you when the number will port over.

                          Porting toll-free (800, 866, 888, etc.) numbers can take longer. Your service should not be interrupted during this time.

                          Is it possible to port any type of phone number?

                          Most landline and business phone numbers can be ported to another VoIP service. However, some exceptions might exist, so it’s always best to check with your providers.

                          How much does VoIP number porting cost?

                          Some carriers might charge a fee for releasing your phone number. Others like Nextiva don’t charge you anything extra to port numbers with them. Check with both your current provider and the new VoIP service about any potential porting fees.

                          Can a VoIP number be ported to a cell phone?

                          If the area code of your VoIP number matches the coverage area of your cell phone provider, then porting is usually straightforward. However, if they don’t match (e.g., you have a VoIP number with a California area code but live in New York), your cell phone carrier might require you to choose a new local number. This is because they may not have the infrastructure to support VoIP numbers outside their service area.

                          Not all cell phone providers offer VoIP number porting. Check with your specific carrier to confirm their policy on VoIP number portability before you initiate the process. They might have a tool on their website to verify if your number can be ported.

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                          Jeremiah Zerby

                          Jeremiah Zerby is a marketing specialist at Nextiva. He spent three years on the front lines of technical support, troubleshooting internet and VoIP topics. He moved forward into the technical writing and content creation space. He’s helped set up hundreds of businesses and advised thousands of people with their cloud communications.

                          Posts from this author

                          When evaluating contact center solutions for your business, it’s important to do your research and match available product features to your specific needs — current and future. 

                          There isn’t a one-size-fits-all contact center provider, but some options are more flexible than others.  

                          Perhaps you’ve heard good things about Aircall and RingCentral but aren’t sure which one is the best fit. Here, we’ll break down the features each service provider offers to help you make an informed decision that best suits your business needs. 

                          Let’s dive in and explore their pros and cons and see how they stack up against an alternative contact center platform like Nextiva.

                          Aircall vs. RingCentral: The Pros

                          Both Aircall and RingCentral bring a compelling feature set to the table, catering to diverse business needs. Let’s examine their standout advantages.

                          Pros of Aircall

                          Aircall has gained popularity as a business communications and call center software solution thanks to its user-friendly design and versatile feature set.

                          Aircall-smartflow-dashboard

                          Its key advantages include:

                          • Simplicity and flexibility: Aircall is widely praised for its ease of use and adaptability to various business requirements. Its intuitive interface streamlines navigation and enhances usability for agents and administrators.
                          • Over 100 integrations: Aircall boasts extensive collaboration features with popular business tools, from CRMs to helpdesks, ensuring seamless workflows and data synchronization across platforms.
                          • Advanced analytics: Aircall provides detailed insights into call handling and agent performance metrics, empowering businesses to optimize operations and drive productivity improvements.
                          • Comprehensive call center tools: Aircall offers a robust feature set, including customizable interactive voice response (IVR) menus, call queuing, tagging, call whispering, and real-time call center analytics to enhance team efficiency and customer satisfaction.
                          • Minimal setup and dedicated support: Aircall’s strengths include an easy onboarding process with minimal setup requirements complemented by dedicated account managers who provide personalized support.

                          Pros of RingCentral

                          While Aircall focuses on core contact center capabilities, RingCentral distinguishes itself as a comprehensive unified communications platform.

                          RingCentral-dashboard

                          Its strengths include:

                          • Comprehensive UCaaS features: RingCentral offers excellent unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offerings and provides a comprehensive suite of tools for document sharing, team messaging, and high-definition voice calls.
                          • Extensive integrations: With support for over 200 platforms and API access for custom integrations, RingCentral seamlessly blends into a company’s existing technology stack.
                          • Seamless video conferencing: RingCentral supports enterprise-level virtual meetings with a wide range of video conferencing capabilities, ensuring high-quality audio and video experiences.

                          Both Aircall and RingCentral offer compelling solutions tailored to the diverse needs of modern businesses. However, it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks.

                          Aircall vs. RingCentral: The Cons

                          While each phone system has some compelling advantages, they each have some drawbacks.

                          Cons of Aircall

                          Despite the strengths we just discussed, some users look for alternatives to Aircall because of its drawbacks.

                          Common Aircall complaints include the following:

                          • Aircall has a slight learning curve, as new users may initially find the call log system confusing.
                          • Aircall’s customization options are limited, report some users, particularly when it comes to tailoring features to their business processes.
                          • Numerous Aircall users have reported inconsistent call quality, including dropped calls and poor clarity. In fact, many contact center platforms have this problem, which can negatively affect your customer communications. Using an analytics tool, such as Nextiva Voice Analytics, can give you an instant overview of your call quality.
                          • As businesses grow or their needs evolve, they may find Aircall lacks some of the advanced features found in more comprehensive UCaaS platforms, such as those offered by Nextiva.

                          Cons of RingCentral

                          Similarly, RingCentral users have also reported a number of issues with the platform.

                          Common RingCentral complaints include the following:

                          • While RingCentral offers a robust set of features, smaller businesses or those with strict budgetary constraints may need to consider its higher pricing. These businesses might benefit from a scalable price structure, such as that offered by Nextiva.
                          • Some user reviews have reported user experience issues, such as delays between dialing and the information being displayed on their computers, which impacts call handling efficiency. 
                          • Frequent software update notifications have also been mentioned as a minor inconvenience, potentially disrupting workflows.

                          Aircall & Ringcentral vs. Nextiva

                          Having discussed the strengths and limitations of Aircall and RingCentral, we should consider how these two popular choices compare to a third option, one with all the strengths but none of the limitations — Nextiva.

                          Nextiva is a comprehensive UCaaS solution that offers scalable pricing, an outstanding user experience, and one of the best, if not the best, customer support service from any contact center platform on the market.

                          Comparison Table

                          Here’s a comparison chart for all three solutions to make it easy to review features and see which is best: 

                          FeatureNextivaRingCentralAircall
                          Monthly price (20–99 users)Starts at $18.95 per userStarts at $20.00 per userStarts at $30.00 per user
                          Ease of use (G2)8.7 out of 108.3 out of 109.0 out of 10
                          Ease of setup (G2)8.3 out of 107.5 out of 10
                          Quality of support (G2)9.0 out of 107.7 out of 109.0 out of 10
                          Video conferencingUp to 250 participants per meetingUp to 100 participants per meeting5 participants per conversation
                          Communication channelsVoice, SMS, video conferencing, team messaging, internet fax, social media, voicemailVoice, SMS, video conferencing, team messaging, internet fax, voicemailVoice, email, web chat, MMS, SMS, team messaging, voicemail
                          Annual discountYes, approximately 27%.Yes, approximately 33%.Yes, approximately 25%. 
                          Reliability99.999% uptime99.999% uptime99.95% uptime
                          Unlimited online faxIncluded on all plansAvailable on Advanced and Ultra plansN/A
                          Included monthly toll-free minutes1,500+100Unlimited within the US and Canada*
                          Screen popsAdvanced: caller ID and multiple fieldsBasic: caller IDCustomer details and relevant call context
                          Customer support24/7 email, chat, and phone supportPhone and live chat supportEmail, phone, and non-personalized onboarding sessions

                          Features

                          Aircall offers many call center tools and easy integrations, but it falls short of being a comprehensive solution for large businesses with mature needs. While RingCentral is an extensive UCaaS platform, its higher cost — with potential call quality and user experience issues — makes it a tough choice.

                          Nextiva, on the other hand, delivers comprehensive features for businesses of all sizes, maintaining high quality and an exceptional user experience. From advanced call routing and IVR systems to seamless CRM integrations and video conferencing capabilities, Nextiva provides a one-stop shop for all your business phone system needs.

                          Nextiva call center

                          Reliability

                          Aircall users have reported occasional call quality issues and challenges with integrations. Similarly, RingCentral users have expressed concerns about software updates and delays between dialing and information display.

                          In contrast, Nextiva excels in reliability and user satisfaction, consistently earning high praise for call quality and ease of use. Its robust infrastructure ensures minimal downtime and seamless communication even during high call volume periods.

                          Support

                          Where Aircall’s support receives mixed reviews, and RingCentral users experience challenges receiving timely support, Nextiva stands out for exceptional customer service. With a dedicated team of experts available 24/7, Nextiva ensures quick issue resolution and maintains high customer satisfaction rates.

                          Scalability

                          Aircall and RingCentral are scalable solutions, but as businesses grow, these platforms may present challenges, or customers may incur additional costs to accommodate evolving requirements.

                          Nextiva shines in its scalability. It is designed from the ground up to effortlessly grow with businesses of all sizes. Its robust infrastructure and flexible pricing plans ensure a seamless transition as your communication needs expand, backed by reliable service and unwavering support.

                          You Get It all With Nextiva

                          While Aircall and RingCentral are solid solutions with their own strengths, Nextiva builds upon their weak spots by offering its customers a complete UCaaS and VoIP solution with exceptional functionality, key features, and excellent customer support when needed.

                          With Nextiva, you get a feature-rich contact center platform that includes powerful tools like:

                          • Advanced call routing: Ensures optimal call management and directs calls to the right agent or department, thus reducing wait times, improving customer satisfaction, and ultimately leading to loyal, profitable customers.
                          • IVR: Customize your phone menus and greetings to provide callers a professional, automated experience.
                          • Call recording, call monitoring, and whisper coaching: Enhance agent training and quality assurance by allowing supervisors to listen in on calls and provide real-time coaching.
                          • CRM integrations: Seamlessly connect your contact center with popular CRM platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zendesk to ensure customer data is always at your agents’ fingertips.
                          • Video conferencing and screen sharing: Facilitate remote collaboration and virtual meetings with high-quality video and screen-sharing capabilities.

                          Nextiva’s reliable infrastructure and dedicated customer support teams ensure your communication needs are always met no matter how rapidly your business grows.

                          Whether you’re a startup, a small business, or an enterprise-level organization, Nextiva provides a scalable, feature-rich, user-friendly solution that streamlines your communications and enhances customer experiences.

                          While Aircall and RingCentral offer compelling features, Nextiva’s comprehensive approach, exceptional reliability, and outstanding customer support make it the best choice for businesses seeking a truly unified communications platform.

                          Ready to grow your business?

                          All conversations in one platform. Empowering agents. Satisfying customers.

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                          Danny Grainger

                          Danny Grainger is a seasoned copywriter who specializes in helping brands build awareness and effectively communicate their value to both businesses and clients. With a focus on business marketing, advertising, and SaaS, he has a knack for translating the intrinsic worth of products and services into compelling narratives.

                          Posts from this author

                          Genesys and NICE are two of the most popular contact center solutions on the market. But how do they stack up against each other? 

                          Depending on the size of your business and your budget, one might be a better option than the other: Do you need advanced integrations? Do you need a cloud-based service?

                          Let’s compare their features, pricing plans, and capabilities to see which contact center software comes out on top. As a third option, we’ll also discuss how Nextiva measures up to these platforms.

                          NICE CXone vs. Genesys Cloud CX: The Pros

                          Let’s take a quick look at the key benefits of each platform.

                          Pros of NICE

                          NICE is a leader in AI-powered self-service and human agent–assisted contact center platforms.

                          nice-CXone-dashboard

                          1. Omnichannel customer engagement

                          NICE serves as an all-in-one contact center software to deliver omnichannel customer experiences. It integrates over 30 digital channels, including email, live chat, social media, and mobile apps. 

                          This allows you to coordinate customer interactions from one central platform. Things are less likely to slip through the cracks this way, and you’ll get 360-degree data to personalize inbound and outbound interactions throughout the customer journey.

                          2. Extensive features 

                          NICE offers robust features, such as advanced call routing, interactive voice response (IVR), and advanced analytics, to boost your contact center’s efficiency. 

                          For example, you can set up NICE to route customer calls to the best-fit agent using skills-based criteria. This reduces wait times and eliminates the hassle of manually assigning calls to agents.

                          3. AI integrations

                          Keeping up with the latest technological advancements, NICE integrates AI into different contact center functions for a more efficient workflow. Specifically, it offers AI-powered virtual assistants and employee virtual attendants to automate customer service and improve agent performance.

                          Pros of Genesys

                          Genesys offers a robust customer experience platform, combining several digital channels in one app.

                          genesys contact center software

                          1. Intuitive user interface

                          Several customer reviews suggest that Genesys Cloud CX has a sleek interface that’s easy to understand and navigate. This makes agent onboarding a breeze on the platform.

                          You can also deploy the cloud contact center software independently without any technical oversight from the support team. This is very useful for customers, as it might take some time to receive a response from the support team.

                          2. AI integration

                          The platform offers extensive AI tools for automation, including predictive engagement, routing, scheduling, workforce management, and outbound campaigns. It also has advanced features for self-service through IVR, voicebots, and chatbots​.

                          3. Open cloud-based contact center 

                          Rather than relying on traditional on-premises infrastructure, Genesys uses cloud computing to handle customer interactions across various channels, such as phone calls, emails, chats, social media, and more.

                          This has several benefits. First, your agents can access the contact center from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing them to work from different locations. Cloud contact centers also offer built-in redundancy and data backups, reducing the risk of downtime due to hardware failures or natural disasters.

                          NICE vs. Genesys Cloud CX: The Cons

                          Here’s why users might start looking for an alternative to NICE and Genesys.

                          Cons of NICE CXone

                          Some of the challenges users face with NICE include:

                          • Cost: User reviews suggest that pricing can be an issue for NICE customers. The platform’s cheapest plan costs $71 per user per month. So, if you have a mid-sized call center with 200 agents, you’ll spend $14,200 per month, not including ad-hoc costs like set-up fees and annual recurring charges. This makes the annual cost of running your contact center very high.
                          • Poor user experience: NICE’s user experience isn’t the best on the market. Some users find it difficult to navigate through the platform due to its complex user interface. It also has limited integration capabilities. Although it is compatible with multiple CRM tools, it doesn’t integrate with third-party systems like customer data platforms.

                          Cons of Genesys Cloud Cx

                          Some of the drawbacks users face with Genesys include:

                          • Poor user interface: While the agent interface is generally well-liked, some aspects of the platform are less intuitive. Take, for example, the email client. It sometimes blocks valuable information, which can be frustrating for agents who need to refer to hidden information while speaking to a customer. 
                          • Limited capabilities: While Genesys offers many features, some of them aren’t fully developed, limiting users’ actual capabilities on the platform. For example, its reporting feature is missing key functionalities like the longest wait time, unlimited rows for historical data, and customization options.

                          Comparing NICE and Genesys vs. Nextiva

                          Now that you have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of NICE and Genesys, let’s look at how Nextiva compares.

                          FeatureNICEGenesysNextiva
                          PlanCoreDigital + VoiceProfessional
                          Monthly price$169+$115+$119+
                          RestrictionsDated user interfaceLong implementation timesDoesn’t support every type of social media
                          Key feature sAI-powered self-service Forecasting and scheduling simulationComplex deployment specialists In-house professional services UCaaS integration Simple implementation Built-in AI
                          Customer rating (G2)4.3 out of 5 (1,617 reviews)4.3 out of 5 (1,311 reviews)4.5 out of 5  (3,100 reviews)
                          Best forAI-ready organizations Large businesses with complex requirementsSales, service, and support teams of all sizes

                          1. Pricing

                          NICE and Genesys target larger enterprises with higher prices per feature, so costs quickly rack up for smaller businesses. 

                          Nextiva, on the other hand, offers competitive, transparent pricing that scales with features and users, making it more accessible to a range of businesses. 

                          Say you’re a small business with 20 agents. If you opt for Nextiva’s Essential plan, you’ll only pay $18.95 per user per month (billed annually) to access core contact center capabilities like toll-free numbers and voicemail. This is a steal compared to NICE’s cheapest plan, which costs $71 per agent per month.

                          nextiva pricing plans

                          2. Ease of use and integrations

                          You don’t need advanced technical skills to deploy and work with Nextiva because it’s easy to use. 

                          As one customer explains:

                          “I love that Nextiva’s administrator portal is so easy to use. You can make changes on your own with ease if you feel comfortable. The system we used before Nextiva required a lot of calling in, and we couldn’t make many changes ourselves.”

                          Genesys, on the other hand, can be complex and has a significant learning curve. Users often require lengthy training sessions to grasp the tool’s core features and use it independently.

                          Nextiva also has a robust third-party ecosystem comprising numerous apps you already use for your business. For example, it integrates with CRM software like Salesforce, allowing you to deliver real-time customer data to contact center agents for personalized communication.

                          Nextiva integrations

                          3. Scalability

                          Nextiva scales quickly to match your changing business needs. Let’s say you started with the Essential plan for 20 agents, but your contact center has now grown to 50 agents. 

                          In that case, you can pay for more seats on your plan and enjoy a discount per agent (the more seats you purchase, the less you pay). You can also upgrade to the Professional or Enterprise plans to access advanced contact center features like a multi-level auto attendant and voicemail transcriptions.

                          4. Customer support

                          Nextiva is known for its excellent customer support and extensive resources, effectively catering to businesses of all sizes. Its support team is available via phone, email, and an in-app chat. The company also provides a comprehensive knowledge base with self-service resources to troubleshoot issues independently. 

                          But don’t just take their word for it. See what one of users have to say: 

                          “It is very quick and easy to get in touch with the customer support team at Nextiva. I had an issue with one of the new desktop phones I set up in my office, so I called Nextiva, and they fixed the issue within 15 minutes. The service rep I spoke with, Dillon, was very friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable about how to address our problem.”

                          5. Product offerings

                          Nextiva provides a comprehensive suite of straightforward and adaptable communication solutions, making it a well-rounded choice. From VoIP and SIP trunking to intelligent cloud contact center capabilities, you get everything you need for omnichannel engagement to deliver top-notch customer experiences.

                          Make the Switch: Get It all With Nextiva 

                          NICE and Genesys are both solid contact center solutions. But when you weigh their features, usability, and pricing against Nextiva’s offerings, the winner is clear. 

                          What makes Nextiva stand out is its affordable plans, which cater to businesses of all sizes, ease of integration, and stellar customer support.

                          Elevate your CX standards.

                          Nextiva’s contact center solution delivers the ultimate customer experience and boosts agent productivity.

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                          Alex Doan

                          Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

                          Posts from this author

                          Choosing a contact center solution for a business requires a ton of research, especially in the late stages of narrowing down your choices. Amped-up marketing makes solutions appear almost similar until you dive a little deeper.

                          When you’re comparing RingCentral vs. Five9, you can focus on a few areas to make your decision easier. Here, we will highlight these areas and compare the platforms in detail to uncover the pros and cons of each.

                          We’ll also take a look at how Nextiva stacks up against these two popular contact center solutions.

                          RingCentral vs. Five9: Comparing the Benefits

                          Let’s explore RingCentral and Five9 and their respective strengths according to our research and the customer feedback we found online.

                          RingCentral: The pros

                          Established in 1999, RingCentral allows teams and businesses to connect anytime, anywhere, and from any device. Its benefits for users are listed below:

                          RingCentral dashboard

                          Outbound calling

                          RingCentral’s outbound calling features include progressive, predictive, and preview dialers to boost agent productivity and reduce manual dialing. Intelligent call suppression makes real-time adjustments to the dialing list when a customer takes action, which could be completing their payment or submitting a do-not-call request.

                          RingCentral allows admins to reserve customers for a specific agent using agent filtering. Simply ensure that you have an updated lead list to compile, upload, and assign to different outbound calling campaigns. You can enable this at a dial group level.

                          Omnichannel features

                          RingCentral routes customer queries across various channels, including emails, SMSs, social media, voicemail, and live chats. Incoming calls are sent to interactive voice response (IVR) to determine customers’ concerns. For example, when you hear, “press 1 for account details,” that’s an IVR in action.

                          How-a-call-moves-through-an-IVR-system

                          The automatic call distributor then queues inbound calls based on the IVR response and the agents’ expertise and experience. You can configure omnichannel routing based on an agent’s availability, capacity, and custom routing strategies.

                          Analytics and reporting

                          RingCentral offers detailed analytics, including speech, text, and predictive analytics to show what’s happening in real time. These reports allow businesses to identify and troubleshoot urgent issues, reducing overall ticket volume and time-to-resolution through alerting and quality scoring.

                          RingCentral’s reports highlight historical patterns and workflows, making it easier for businesses to recognize bottlenecks and gain insights into customer journeys. The reports cover a global system’s health, network, endpoints, rooms, and devices.

                          Integration across platforms

                          RingCentral integrates with over 300 business applications, including Google WorkSpace, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and popular CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce. It adds communication workflows to the tools businesses use daily through APIs to increase productivity.

                          RingCentral integrations

                          The automation speeds up the sales cycle and ensures you get insights into every call. Integrations bring admin and operational processes together on the customer support front to improve your company’s support delivery.

                          Five9: The pros

                          Two years after RingCentral’s inception in 1999, Five9 arrived, offering a competitive cloud-based contact center solution. Here’s what customers like about the platform.

                          five9-agent-assist

                          Outbound calling

                          The platform’s predictive dialer automates outbound dialing, saving agents time. It calculates how many calls to dial, considering the connection rates, real-time data, and historical agent statistics. It allows a progressive dialer to place calls based on agent availability so you can see the order in which your agents will work on calls.

                          predictive-vs-automated-auto-dialer

                          This is done in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prevents any automated dialing that is not compliant with the regulations.

                          Omnichannel features

                          Five9 allows organizations to engage with customers across multiple channels, including voice, email, SMS, web chat, video, social messaging apps, and more, from a single desktop. This helps increase customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing agent effort.

                          It also offers self-service and gathers customer intent over a call with speech-enabled IVA or on a mobile device with visual IVR.

                          Analytics and reporting

                          Five9 offers comprehensive, real-time call center analytics and reporting tools. It provides over 120 pre-made reporting templates and custom analytic parameters. You can use data visualization and drill-down capabilities to gain insights and make data-driven decisions.

                          The interaction analytics feature uses natural language processing to process conversation insights. This feature works with 28 different languages, helping you analyze sentiments in your customer’s language.

                          Integrations

                          Five9 seamlessly integrates with leading CRM software such as Salesforce, ServiceNow, Oracle, and Zendesk. These integrations help companies deliver a remarkable customer experience while increasing agent productivity.

                          Five9 integrations

                          Such integrations help agents work seamlessly across apps without endlessly switching platforms.

                          Check out: Nextiva’s Five9 integration that enables seamless VoIP connectivity between the two systems

                          Five9 vs RingCentral: Comparing the Drawbacks

                          While both platforms have some of the best features and benefits available, they also have shortcomings.

                          RingCentral: The cons

                          Although the RingCentral contact center solution offers a range of features, there are some cons that you should look out for, including: 

                          • Complexity: While RingCentral’s interface may look relatively easy to use, it’s easy to get lost between several submenus and widgets. This makes it tricky to find the page you’re looking for. The wide range of features can also overwhelm smaller teams with limited IT support.
                          • Pricing: The basic RingCentral plan is reasonably priced, but it excludes many essential features, such as 24/7 support, unlimited audio conferencing, and integrations. With its comprehensive features, the premium plan comes with a hefty price tag, making it unaffordable for many small and medium businesses.
                          • Integration: Despite its 300+ integrations, some users have reported difficulties setting up and customizing these integrations for their existing workflows. Some have also experienced below-par customer service while dealing with the RingCentral team.
                          RingCentral customer review

                          Five9: The cons

                          Below are some of Five9’s notable cons. Consider these when choosing a contact center solution for your business.

                          • Steep learning curve: Five9’s user interface is comparatively easy and intuitive, unlike RingCentral’s. However, the more advanced features often require more detailed and in-depth training to get agents up to speed. This makes it more challenging to train new users or teams with limited contact center software experience.
                          • Cost: Like RingCentral, Five9’s premium features, such as analytics capabilities, come with a hefty price tag. Their Core and Digital plans require businesses to choose between voice and digital, and companies must pay more for the omnichannel solution.
                          • Technical issues: Businesses using Five9 occasionally report technical glitches and reliability issues that affect their call quality and system performance. Also, due to its complexity, setting up Five9 for businesses can require a significant time investment.
                          Five9 customer review

                          Exploring a Third Option: RingCentral vs. Five9 vs. Nextiva

                          Nextiva entered the market in 2006, offering a more competitive contact center solution than RingCentral and Five9. Below are some features and capabilities that make Nextiva a preferred solution for users:

                          FeatureNextivaRingCentralFive9
                          Monthly price (20–99 users)Starts at $18.95 per userStarts at $20.00 per userStarts at $175 per month
                          Ease of use (G2)8.7 out of 108.4 out of 108.4 out of 10
                          Ease of setup (G2)8.3 out of 107.7 out of 107.8 out of 10
                          Quality of support (G2)9.0 out of 107.8 out of 108.4 out of 10
                          Communication channelsVoice, text messaging (SMS), video conferencing, team messaging, internet fax, social media, voicemailVoice, text messaging (SMS), video conferencing, team messaging, internet fax, voicemailChat, voice, email, SMS/MMS, social messaging
                          Reliability99.999% uptime99.999% uptime99.994% uptime
                          Unlimited online faxIncluded on all plansAvailable on Advanced and Ultra plansIncludes fax as one of the channels
                          Mobile appiOS and Android apps with full-featured calling, messaging, and video conferencing capabilitiesiOS and Android apps with calling, messaging, and video conferencing. Some advanced features may be limited on mobile compared to the desktop appiOS and Android apps with visual IVR and visual customer surveys
                          IntegrationsOutlook and Google Contacts; additional integrations based on tierAvailable based on tierCRM and UCaaS integrations available
                          Customer support24/7 email, chat, phone supportPhone support and live chat24/7 via phone or email

                          Comprehensive suite

                          Nextiva offers businesses a one-stop shop for managing customer communication. It streamlines your VoIP phone system, CRM, and customer experience management to deliver a complete solution to customer-facing teams. This way, teams avoid the complexities of navigating fragmented and siloed applications.

                          Nextiva call center dashboard

                          User-friendly interface

                          RingCentral and Five9 make it challenging for businesses with comparatively less extensive IT support to adopt and use the solution.

                          However, Nextiva provides a user-friendly and intuitive interface, making it easier for the customer-facing team to ramp up quickly and focus more on delivering a better customer experience. It’s also easy to set up and implement, making it less hassle for admins.

                          Exceptional customer support

                          Nextiva’s support teams are available 24/7 to offer decent customer support. Whether you have an issue setting up your system or a feature-related query, you can ping Nextiva’s support anytime for quick resolution.

                          Nextiva stands for exceptional customer service, empowering businesses to support their customers promptly and efficiently.

                          Competitive pricing

                          Unlike other options, Nextiva’s pricing is cost-conscious. It offers advanced features like auto dialer, call recording, call routing, and analytics, and when paired with its affordability, it supports businesses of all sizes. The solution eliminates expensive hardware or heavy maintenance and provides a cloud contact center solution. It can be highly cost-effective for diverse business needs.

                          Nextiva pricing

                          Reliability and scalability

                          Nextiva offers a reliable service that you can scale as your business grows and its communication needs evolve.

                          The solution promises a 99.999% uptime to help enterprises always be approachable to their customers. The platform updates real-time network status, so if there are any system performance issues, you’ll instantly receive notifications.

                          Nextiva also delivers a broad knowledge base and FAQs to support self-service users facing difficulties or confusion.

                          Verdict: Add Nextiva to Your Contact Center Shortlist

                          RingCX and Five9 offer competitive call center software and have their strengths. However, if you’re looking for more functionality, ease of use, and support at a lower cost, Nextiva is the best choice.

                          We’ll bottom line it for you:

                          • Fact: Nextiva has higher customer satisfaction than RingCentral and Five9 (G2)
                          • Fact: Nextiva is the best-rated contact center infrastructure solution (G2)
                          • Fact: More users recommend Nextiva over RingCentral or Five9 (Gartner Peer Insights)

                          That’s why we consistently receive an overall higher rating than RingCentral or Five9:

                          Nextiva offers a holistic and integrated communication solution for businesses of all sizes. It is easier for admins to set up and customer-facing teams to use, making it a go-to contact center solution for top brands.

                          Raise your CX standards.

                          Nextiva’s contact center solution makes it easy to deliver exceptional service and boost agent productivity.

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                          Alex Doan

                          Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

                          Posts from this author

                          April Product Update

                          April 12, 2024 3 min read

                          Tallon Brown

                          Tallon Brown

                          NextivaONE: Bulk import contacts

                          Instantly import all your business contacts and easily access and manage them directly from NextivaONE.

                          Choose to upload your contacts as private or public to share with teammates.

                          To bulk import, under Contacts, click Add contacts > Import from CSV file. Download the template and fill out the information. Once filled out, click Import and upload the template.

                          Confirm that your spreadsheet fields are matched with the appropriate Nextiva fields to ensure the values from the CSV file are imported into the correct fields in NextivaONE.

                          Choose how you would like to handle duplicates (if any) and click Start Importing.

                          NextivaONE: Desktop app update available

                          Take a moment to update your NextivaONE desktop app to ensure you’re getting the best experience with our latest update.

                          How to get the latest update: On the desktop app, go to Nextiva menu > About Nextiva > Restart app.

                          NextOS Admin: Did you register your phone numbers?

                          New regulation from mobile network operators requires you to register your phone numbers for business texting/SMS. To maintain business texting functionality, complete your registration now. It takes about 5-10 minutes to submit a form, and the registration process can take anywhere from 5 to 20 business days.

                          From the NextOS home page, select Administration > Messaging > Register now.

                          For more information, click here

                          Want to learn more?

                          Check out our Product Updates page to see what else you can do.

                          Still need the Nextiva app?

                          Download App

                          Desktop

                          Download for Windows
                          Download for MacOS

                          Mobile

                          Get it on Google Play
                          Download on the App Store

                          Desktop – Windows 8 & earlier.

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                          Tallon Brown

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