Grasshopper Full Review
What is Grasshopper?
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Grasshopper is essentially a virtual PBX service system that connects existing phone lines using the Internet. These lines can be land lines, mobile phones, or VoIP accounts. Users have the facility to use local numbers as well as toll free ones for call forwarding to mobile and landline phones, long distance incoming calls, 800 numbers, and an unlimited number of extensions.
Quite possibly, the greatest thing about Grasshopper is that there’s no additional hardware required to get going. Users can add any existing phones to their plan as desired, manage their accounts online, and extend their voice phone system as much as needed.
Who Can Use This Virtual Phone System?
The Grasshopper system has been specially designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs who require a professional and cost-effective PBX service that’s always on.
Though larger corporations are in a position to spend large sums of money on installation, soft phones, and other hardware setup and fees; the smaller ones often cannot afford to invest in a full-fledged IP phone based platforms. Grasshopper proves to be an alternative that’s fiscally prudent for them.
How Does Grasshopper Work?
On dialing a Grasshopper 800 number, callers hear a custom greeting which prompts them to choose from various options. This would be something like “Thank you for calling the ABC Company; dial 1 for marketing, dial 2 for support…”
Because every phone extension has the ability to forward a call to any number, owners can easily be accessed at their office, mobile, home, or VoIP phones. Once extensions are assigned to various departments and employees, the find-me-and-follow-me functionality of the call forwarding setup locates the desired contacts and connects callers to them.
Using Informational Extensions, businesses can give their callers the information related to their products, working hours of their stores, and driving directions. Additionally, business owners can receive faxes and voicemails online or through email as picture or audio attachments.
Since Grasshopper is a virtual system, it does not provide a dial tone and only service incoming calls. The daily outgoing calls of a business continue as usual with local and long distance service providers.
Since Grasshopper extensions forward calls to numbers specified by business owners such as their office or cell number, these numbers have to be kept active on a local service, even at the minimum billing.
Plans & Pricing
There are various plans available to suit different requirements. All plans allow unlimited extensions with comprehensive features and free activation.
Toll Free Numbers
The main benefit of using these numbers for help lines and customer service is that customers can call up businesses free of cost.
- Get instant numbers with an option for customized vanity numbers
- Select from 800, 855, 866, 877, & 888 numbers
A small business can be given a community appearance using a local U.S. number with Grasshopper. For a multi-city look, multiple numbers can be used. Existing local numbers with other providers can be easily ported to Grasshopper.
All employees can customize their individual extensions since each has its own call forwarding, message delivery, and voicemail settings. With unlimited extensions, a small business setup can sound professional even if it has a small number of employees.
Music on Hold
Callers can be kept engaged while they’re on hold with Grasshopper’s music selections. Custom music and commercials can also be uploaded if desired.
The Name Directory feature is commonly found in the phone systems of large companies. A similar Grasshopper feature can lend a Fortune 500 image to a small business with other added conveniences for the business and its callers. Once employee names are entered online, callers can search for them on the basis of first or last name.
Unlimited Call Handling
Users can take calls from multiple callers simultaneously even when the volume of calls is high. The lines are always kept open and callers never get a busy tone.
Users need to enter the phone numbers participating in a conference and Grasshopper gets everyone connected. No separate service is required for conference calls with Grasshopper.
Prompts and greetings can be recorded using Grasshopper’s voice studio. A suitable sound can be selected from the available professional voice talents. Recording in different languages and production of high quality on hold commercials is also available on request.
The Worldwide Call Forwarding facility allows employers and employees to be accessed on virtually any telephone in the world, whether it’s a cell phone or one at the office or home.
Call Screening & Announce
There are 3 options for answering a Grasshopper call – answer, forward to voicemail, or hear the caller’s number. There’s an option to first hear a caller’s name and then decide the action to take. While this is being done, callers are put on hold with music.
Voicemail & Fax Delivery
Messages can be delivered to multiple mobile devices and email addresses. Voicemails are converted to WAV or MP3 format and sent through multimedia or email messages. Faxes can also be sent as PDF attachments.
Even when it’s not possible to check voicemail, the Read Your Voicemail feature allows receiving of voicemail transcription as readable text via email for only $10 a month. The human transcription option can be included at no extra cost.
Callers can access important information 24/7 through Informational Extensions and have access to everything they need to know instantly. Customers can get store directions, information regarding operating hours, and product descriptions.
Call Routing Extensions
Call Routing Extensions are extensions that can be customized for unique calling needs. Holding Extensions or Automatic Call Distribution queues (ACD) allow multiple callers to be on hold before they’re automatically connected to an available employee. Rotational Extensions can be used to route calls in such a way that each employee receives an even share of the total calls.
Fax on Demand
The Fax on Demand feature allows callers to help themselves to forms and printed information. Libraries of documents can be created and callers can request a document instantly via fax at any time. This is ideal for product sheets, order forms and maps.
The Grasshopper iPhone app allows users to run their businesses from anywhere.
- Make calls showing a Grasshopper caller ID
- Review call history, voicemails and faxes
- Set up push notifications for messages and missed calls
- Sign & email PDFs and faxes
- Easily call up extensions on a Grasshopper account
Make Calls Showing Grasshopper Caller ID
Mobile phone numbers can be kept private and users can be made to appear always in office. Calls can be made from an iPhone but shown as being made from a Grasshopper caller ID.
Listen to Voicemails & View Faxes
All voicemails and faxes are compiled in a single place. It becomes easy to return calls, listen to voicemails, and view and sign faxes. The Read Your Voicemail feature makes transcription of a voicemail possible with one tap.
See Recently Dialed Calls
All recently dialed calls are displayed in one place. Numbers can be added to iPhone contacts. Missed calls are displayed and it is easy to get back quickly to prospects and customers.
Use a Finger to Sign PDF Email Attachments &Faxes
You can bid adieu to scanners and fax machines. It is easy to open a PDF in the Grasshopper App and sign it using a finger.
Grasshopper provides free U.S. based live technical customer support 24/7 with all its plans. There’s a comprehensive online knowledge base which provides answers to service related frequently asked questions. Users can also submit queries online for quick resolution.
There are no long term contracts with Grasshopper. A user can downgrade or upgrade at will. The 30 day money back guarantee keeps users risk free and opting out is easy. When users send a cancellation request, they receive an email at the address on record. Accounts are cancelled after verification of identity.
- Grasshopper does not require any additional hardware to get started.
- Grasshopper functions both in the U.S. and in Canada. A great thing is that the minute rate for all calls, whether forwarded or incoming, is the same throughout.
- Since Grasshopper is a virtual phone service payable by the month, it does not require any kind of long term contract and users are allowed to upgrade to any other plan at any time. Additionally, the 30 day money back guarantee allows users to go ahead and try the service risk free.
Not all of the four virtual phone number services from Grasshopper come with the included minutes that are used for the receiving of inbound faxes and calls. Only the three higher priced plans contain them. Since the cheapest plan has none, users of this are required to pay an additional amount for every minute of usage.
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