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Ten years ago, if we were in a conversation about PBX Office Phone Systems, we would be using an entirely different vocabulary . Familiar names like Panasonic, Cisco, Samsung and Siemens would have been the brands mentioned, but we would certainly not have expected to stumble across a company with a name like “Grasshopper”. Today, it is as though we are speaking a foreign language when exploring options for our small or medium size business phone system. At the turn of the 21st century, the technical language of phone systems did not include terms like virtual phones, VoIP systems or something called “Virtual PBX”.
And then, along comes a company called “Grasshopper.” At its core, Grasshopper is a virtual PBX service that ties together existing phone lines by using the power of the web to connect mobile phones, land lines and VoIP accounts. It offers local as well as toll free numbers for long distance incoming calls, call forwarding to landlines and mobile phones, 800 numbers and unlimited extensions at a highly reasonable rate. Arguably the best thing about Grasshopper is that it requires no additional hardware to get started. You can add existing phones to your plan at will, manage your account online and extend your voice phone system as far as you need to.
Grasshopper was created in 2003 by David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddos. The company was originally GotVMail but was rebranded in 2009 to Grasshopper. Grasshopper is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts and is one of about five very popular computer-based virtual PBX phone systems that are the rage of the industry.
In the old days, we either had to buy, install and maintain an expensive phone system, or we had to rely on our cell and home phones for our main business line, causing us to miss important phone calls and sound unprofessional to callers. That’s no way to run a business and that’s why a company like Grasshopper was created. And as company representatives will tell you, Grasshopper, the virtual phone system, was designed for entrepreneurs.
Grasshopper has made it easier than ever to start and grow a business from anywhere. There’s no hardware to purchase, no software to install. It’s all in the cloud. It works rather simply: first you get a toll-free or local number. You then record a main greeting and add extensions for departments and employees. That’s it! In just a few minutes you are receiving calls and messages from customers and sound like a big professional company. It doesn’t matter where your team members are located. Extensions can forward callers to any phone number, anywhere in the world. You can have your extension to forward callers to your cell phone and Skype line, and sales calls to your partner’s home office.
Running a business has changed. As entrepreneurs, we’re starting businesses from home, shared offices, even our dorm rooms. We work with remote employees, distributed teams, freelancers, and we’re always on the go. While being so flexible is great for productivity and cost savings, it makes it more challenging to stay connected to our customers and our team. Grasshopper was created to solve that problem.
But Grasshopper isn’t just another virtual phone system – it is a bona fide business phone system that makes your business sound and act like a major corporation. It is loaded with features – like “Call Announce,” which gives you an option to accept a call, to hear who’s calling, or send the caller to voicemail. Grasshopper will even email you your voicemails and faxes, so you can focus on what really matters – building your business. Better yet, Grasshopper will transcribe your voicemails to text, so you can read your voicemails and save even more time.
When you’re out of the office, the Grasshopper Mobile App transforms your smartphone into a powerful virtual phone system. You can make calls using your Grasshopper number, manage your account settings, and check voicemails and faxes, so you never miss an opportunity to provide a great customer experience.
One of the most important criteria by which any IT-based service should be judged is its customer service and support. In this regard, Grasshopper performs quite well. They offer round the clock, 24/7 live technical support and a solid reputation for providing excellent customer service. Thanks to their simple, reliable service and terrific value, Grasshopper boasts a diverse customer base of over 100,000 satisfied users including many successful start-ups. With such a large and growing clientele, it’s clear that Grasshopper is doing something right.
There are several packages to chose from, offering a range of monthly options starting as low as $9.95 per month up to $199 per month. All plans include unlimited extensions and free 24/7 support.
These guys are certainly about making money, but what drives them is the desire to help entrepreneurs. Their demonstrated passion has carried them through their initial growing pains, and their chosen task today is to demonstrate the immense importance of the entrepreneurial spirit and drive, and how such people make a true and honest difference in the world of commerce.
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