The service focuses on flexibility with its features and usages, so you don’t end up paying for a lot of things that you won’t use. It’s single service for your voicemail, calling, and call assistance allows any business to properly manage all of its calling through a purely digital interface.
Essentially, Grasshopper is a website you use to create a new local or toll-free number, setup a directory and information, and then forward all calls to your phone or those of your employees.
Grasshopper calls itself a virtual telephone system it lives up to this branding. The company operates much in the same was as any other PBX system in terms of features and service, but you won’t need to purchase any extra equipment for your system. This focus allows Grasshopper to target small and mid-sized businesses that can’t afford to install a PBX system in their office.
The main thing to think about for Grasshopper’s virtual service is that it operates different from other PBX systems as well as other Internet-based phone options — often called VoIP services. While Google and Skype offer cheaper calling options and use your computer for most of their connections, Grasshopper uses true phones to make all of its connections.
Think of Grasshopper as a digital PBX that simply forwards all calls to your cell or landlines.
Some of the main features of the Grasshopper service include:
- Supports toll-free and vanity numbers in the 800, 888, 877, 866, and 855 domains.
- Allows regional numbers even if you’re not in the area code that you want to use.
- If you already have an existing number for your business, you can easily port it to Grasshopper. That means no change to your advertising.
- Completely customizable main greetings.
- Unlimited extensions for your business. This means every department and employee can get their own direct line.
- Grasshopper also provides On Hold Music so that your callers aren’t just sitting there with dead air. You can select music from Grasshopper’s selection, upload your own custom music, or even use existing commercials to run during the hold. Remember that standard royalty rates would apply to music not in the public domain and if you upload something it’s your responsibility to get permission and pay the proper amounts.
- Name Directories: Your Grasshopper virtual system also creates a virtual listing of everyone in your company. You’ll enter everyone’s information on a website and callers can search for everyone via a touchtone phone.
- Unlimited Call Handling: You can take calls from multiple people at once and Grasshopper will send them through your music instead of giving anyone a busy signal, even in a high-traffic volume time.
- Grasshopper allows you to set up conferences through your virtual system by entering a phone numbers and using the system itself to connect everyone. You don’t need a separate business tool.
Along with these system-wide uses there are also some options you can use for yourself and employees working on a smartphone. This includes multiple call forwarding options and call screening. The screening service allows you to use your phone’s keypad to answer the call, send it directly to a company voicemail, or even hear the caller’s information before deciding how to answer. Callers remain on hold and listen to music while you’re deciding.
- Grasshopper Caller ID: Unlike other services using your phone, Grasshopper allows you to call from a smartphone app so that your company’s phone number and caller ID information is shown up instead of your phone’s information. This does not appear to have a counterpart for a landline phone.
- Enhanced Emails: The main Grasshopper account holder and heads of departments can set up the service to email them voicemails and faxes. These are delivered as MP3 and PDF attachments, respectively.
- Read Your Voicemail: This feature allows you to get a transcription of your voicemail and have it delivered to your email address. The expanded option allows you to have a person transcribe it instead of relying on the automated process.
- Voice Studio: Grasshopper has a suite of recordings that you can use for your business and even helps you establish a personalized greeting that is read by a professional voice. You can also upload your greetings to a personal account and set them up for the bulk of your operations.
- Next Available Employee: Your sales and support systems can be created in such a way that your callers are put on hold and then automatically directed to the next available team member, no matter how many different phones your team is using.
- Information settings: In your PBX menu you can note information instead of just phone connections. This allows you to set numbers to provide directions, hours, and other information.
- Fax on Demand: One of the nicest features for your customers is the ability to have reports and menus faxed to them simply by using your menu. Users can select a document—such as an order form—and then provide a number. Grasshopper will automatically fax them the document. All of these documents are stored virtually, so you don’t need to do any work to have the fax go through.
Setting Up Your Service
After you sign up for Grasshopper, the process to start using it is fairly straightforward.
First you’ll pick a number for your business, typically one of its 1-800 numbers or one of the many local phone numbers for your area. You’ll be prompted to designate all of the service areas that you have—such as sales and customer service—and then recording a specific greeting for your overall business.
After you’ve approved your greeting, you’ll add department heads and employees to the listing, with everyone getting their own extension. When you add employees and departments, you’ll need to provide a variety of information such as the phone number and type of phone connection used. You can customize these extensions to forward calls to any location or phone.
When you’ve finalized all of your departments and employees, you’re ready to start using Grasshopper in your daily operations.
Grasshopper has four different pricing options to scale up your service as you expand your business. The main difference between your choices is the number of lines and the minutes each month that come prepaid. We’ll look at a quick comparison and then list all of the options that are the same across each package.
All packages include:
- Free activation
- Unlimited extensions
- Access to every feature mentioned above.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
You can try Grasshopper risk-free for 30 days. If you are not satisfied, you can cancel your service within 30-days of activation for a full refund, no matter what plan you’ve chosen. You can also switch plans at any time, and your balance will be applied to the new package you use.
Is It Right for You?
Are you running a small business or are most of your employees and contractors working offsite and in their homes?
Grasshopper allows some of the most flexibility available for PBX systems by tapping in to almost mobile phone on the market. This means that your call clarity is based on the phones and cellular connection of employees outside your office, but you don’t have to buy any new equipment to start using the service.
- No need to buy or install any extra equipment.
- Simple and easy-to-use.
- Users report no problems linking smartphones to the system.
- Multiple options to respond to calls, allowing your employees to support you anytime and anywhere.
- Call screening options so you can send something to voicemail or other employees when it’s after business hours or you’re in a meeting.
- Unlimited extensions.
- No long-term contract.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- Provides a professional face at a low cost.
- It is well suited for phone systems mainly used to provide information and connections to just a couple employees.
- This is pure call forwarding, so you’re not provided with any additional phone lines. That means you’ll need an existing phone number to use the service and any phone you add needs its own phone number.
- 6 cents per minute is on the high-end for calls
- Bills you immediately once you go $100 above your monthly allotment – that’s around 1,600 minutes.
- Outgoing calls listed personal phone numbers when not using the Grasshopper app or if using a home landline.
- Office-based businesses will be duplicating their costs if they go with Grasshopper.
- Limited coverage for international use.
- Connection quality relies on your phone’s existing network connection. That means in areas where cellphones service is spotty so is your Grasshopper service.
If your budget is your main concern and you don’t mind employees using their own phones, Grasshopper is your best bet. Grasshopper adds a lot of great services for your business and gives you a very professional face, without a big cost. You use a website to set up almost everything, and the service walks you through each step. It’s among the easiest, especially compared to PBX systems that involve installing hardware in your office.