Thursday, February 11, 2021

RingCentral Phone Review

RingCentral is a deep and fully-featured virtual phone number provider, and it stands tall among the competition. Easy to use, affordable, and powerful enough for almost anything you can throw at it, RingCentral doesn’t disappoint. While others may have a slight edge in an area or two, what you receive for the monthly subscription fee is both compelling and hard to resist. It’s a consistent and dependable VoIP solution.

RingCentral Pros and Cons


  • Affordable
  • Packed with features
  • Easy to set up
  • Dedicated mobile app


  • Resource intensive
  • App needs improvement
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How RingCentral Compares to Top Virtual Phone Number Companies

RingCentral compares favorably to other products in the virtual phone number provider space. It doesn’t win on every front—no product does—but it gets a lot right in the areas that count. RingCentral specifically offers robust, enhanced features such as video conferencing, team messaging, and file sharing across multiple devices. In a nutshell: it’s a product for those that need everything for their team, instead of just a few typical features.

Other top alternatives such as Talkroute offer a powerful suite of tools, including extensions, call stacking, and call forwarding functionality. Nextiva has unlimited calls, call queueing, and free toll-free numbers, as well as one of the most affordable enterprise plans.

RingCentral Toll-free Numbers

RingCentral offers toll-free numbers at an affordable price with high-volume minute bundles available to help you connect with customers—in a way that benefits you and them. Choices available on RingCentral include the well-known 800 number prefix and 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844.

If you desire a more custom number, you can purchase a vanity phone number from RingCentral. Vanity numbers are easily remembered for both you and your customers—for example, 1-800-DENTIST. I think these numbers are priced well on RingCentral, with bundles available from 1000 to 100,000 minutes for high-volume business. If that’s not enough for you, additional minutes can be purchased. It’s a great offering.

With that said,—another good virtual phone number provider—offers all of the toll-free prefixes RingCentral does but includes 833 as well. Talkroute also provides the 833 prefixes in competitive packages, and Nextiva does offer the 833 prefixes and offers a free toll-free number in its Business Phone Service package. The bottom line is that all of them are worthy choices, and RingCentral doesn’t fall behind.

RingCentral Extensions and Routing

RingCentral provides flexible phone extensions for different departments. These extensions can be connected to mobile devices for portability away from the desktop. I particularly like how every extension has its own voicemail inbox and how employees can set up custom greetings for their extensions. Departments can even set up recorded announcements for events to prevent the need to answer the phone for frequently asked information. It’s impressive little extras like these that make RingCentral a practical option.

On the routing front, RingCentral allows each number to have its own call routing flow to make sure calls go through to the right department without manual input. This routing takes place quickly and means customers won’t be kept waiting for too long to get through.

RingCentral Setup Process

Virtual phone providers’ setup process should be easy, but it might be an area businesses fret over. RingCentral promises it should take no more than 30 days to get set up and running with them, although it should be far sooner than that, depending on the package and plan.

There’s a multi-stage approach to the initial set up—which has no additional fees—and it starts with a welcome call from RingCentral to discuss a project timeline and to set expectations. A couple of training sessions are provided in the setup process, so you’ll be familiar with the critical areas by the end of them.

Impressively, a team is ready to drop in and help should you become stuck at any point. This includes a professional service advisor who leads the training sessions. An account executive can also go through pricing information and provide any additional assistance for the product. It’s fair to say RingCentral does an excellent job of looking after its customers in the setup process.

How much you value that initial setup support does vary—some will want independence and like to tackle things on their own where possible—but it’s clear RingCentral does very well in this area if you need it, and the setup process is guided from the start. While its competitors generally offer great support and easy setups, I think RingCentral more than holds its own here.

RingCentral Video Meetings

RingCentral offers robust and reliable video meeting functionality, and the quality and system on offer are impressive. For example, no additional downloads are needed—you can jump into a video call, host one for others, or invite people in a few simple clicks or taps in the app. Each call you make is backed up with HD video clarity and audio. You can password protect any meeting set up, and I think this extra control is small but important, especially to minimize potential disruption throughout a day.

Notably, RingCentral allows you to invite up to 200 people to a video call. The process for doing this is as simple as sending a link, an email, or a text. While calls of this size might not be regular for some, it’s good to know the ability to do so is, in fact, there. For others, especially larger businesses, this functionality is vital. In other words, RingCentral caters to companies of all sizes.

Top competitors in the space, such as Talkroute and CallHippo, don’t offer a conferencing or video calling feature as RingCentral does. RingCentral is easily ahead of the game here. While it’s only one area of the whole package, video conferencing and calling might be critical for a business, especially one that combines it with an intelligent phone system. This is a new offering from RingCentral, and it certainly adds another notable feature to an already great line-up.

RingCentral Messaging

RingCentral is no slouch when it comes to the messaging options on offer either. For a start, anyone can join a conversion on the platform, whether that’s a customer or a teammate. On top of that, you can send files to them, connect tools like Google Workspace, and pin documents for later. I feel like RingCentral has thought about a variety of different scenarios here and has implemented the functionality to back them up. It doesn’t stop there, though, as the option for dedicated threads for projects is available, including topics and teams.

Anyone familiar with Skype or Zoom will appreciate the moments where sharing your screen with another comes in handy. Whether that’s to run through a task or to discuss a new project, it’s a useful feature of that platform. The good news is that RingCentral offers that functionality as well, allowing a whole team to see your screen as you navigate whatever is on the agenda. Losing track of files and notes is also taken care of, and you can search for keywords and filter results by emails, teams, or just a name.

RingCentral Mobile App

A business that takes itself seriously really does need a mobile app. RingCentral offers one with a host of features, as you might expect. From sending messages to sharing files and with the option of managing tasks directly from your phone or tablet, there’s a lot you can do on the go with the RingCentral app. Video meetings are possible on the app, too, although they aren’t as stable as they are on the desktop.

The app itself is generally easy to use and quick to load, and signing in and uploading prove to be hassle-free. Although I have found the app doesn’t always notify users when a message has been sent to them, which can be a little bit problematic in the right circumstance. Being able to take the system anywhere is undoubtedly impressive. Overall, while I do believe the app needs some refinement, it’s a good offering. It’s also worth mentioning that the app is new, so expect some extensive updates and improvements over time.

Overall, there isn’t a great deal of difference between the top competitors here, but it’s good to see mobile apps offered in the first place, certainly with the continuing growth of mobile users.

RingCentral Contact Center

RingCentral essentially turns a business into an inbound contact center when it needs to be one. With the ability to handle calls and connect them to the right people, along with advanced routing and analytics, it proves to be both a powerful and flexible virtual phone system. There are even SDKs available to allow you to adapt to new digital platforms that customers might move to over time. All of this makes it feels like a future-proof system ready to tackle any problems a company might face.

Supervisor tools can be used when a situation might require it, too. For example, if an agent needs to take a different course of action on a call, whisper coaching allows managers to steer them on the right path and coach them. Barge-in functionality is also a part of this should a manager need to take over the call directly. It’s a scenario that can happen to any business, so this option is another reason RingCentral excels.

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To summarize, there are areas in which top providers overlap. Specifically, we see a lot of the same offering regarding toll-free numbers, extensions, and routing functionality. That’s true with the general contact center features and the mobile app side of things. Where RingCentral edges ahead here is in its exclusive video meeting functionality, its powerful messaging system, and a setup process that feels more personal overall with team members on standby.

from Quick Sprout