By Lars Lofgren
Nextiva is a cloud-based virtual phone number provider and team collaboration tool that offers high-quality service and excellent technical support.
Easy to use but powerful enough to accomplish any task you throw at it, Nextiva doesn’t fall short and compares well against the competition. Above all, the communication features of Nextiva will likely satisfy the vast majority of its customers at prices that most will find acceptable.
Nextiva Pros and Cons
- Unlimited calling
- Stable service
- Easy to use
- Helpful staff
- Mobile app bugs
- No free trials
- Toll-free numbers
- Call routing functionality
- Cloud-based calling
- Starts at $18.95 monthly
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How Nextiva Compares to Top Virtual Phone Number Companies
Nextiva is up against some top competitors in the space, but it does well to meet them in terms of quality, features, and customer service. There are a few areas where its competitors offer more, but this is few and far between.
Nextiva focuses specifically on being a top communication tool for multi-location businesses. It combines useful features with competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and the management of multiple devices.
Other top alternatives such as RingCentral offer powerful video conferencing, file sharing, and a respectable setup process. RingCentral also offers toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, and all the prefixes except 833. Meanwhile, Ooma includes key features such as a virtual receptionist, enhanced call blocking, a mobile app, conference calling, virtual faxing, and call recording.
All of these are good choices, but this review will primarily focus on Nextiva.
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Nextiva Toll-free Numbers
Nextiva offers toll-free numbers, including the prefixes 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833. The benefits of using a toll-free number are numerous.
For example, when a customer notices a company is using a toll-free number, they are more likely to trust the business as a result. Toll-free numbers can also allow businesses to track advertising and measure incoming calls from different marketing campaigns.
Nextiva is also keenly aware that establishing a national presence is a central part of most businesses. This is complemented by vanity numbers, such as 1-800-CONTACTS, which help a business number be both memorable and professional. There are so many benefits to toll-free numbers, so I’m pleased to see that Nextiva offers them.
It’s also worth mentioning that toll-free numbers are exempt from calling restrictions, and auto-attendants can provide a menu of options for callers to reach, for example, the right department. I’ll focus more on that in the next section. The bottom line here is that toll-free numbers are useful business tools, although this is a standard feature overall for most virtual phone number providers.
Nextiva Extensions and Routing
Nextiva provides its customers with call routing functionality. This includes the ability to direct inbound calls to any person or department given a defined set of rules. Of course, this makes it useful for businesses with multiple departments who need the customer sent to the right place. Routing also allows companies to manage long wait times, scale their call centers, and provide a route to the customer service team if something needs extra attention.
This capability includes the option of announcing business times to customers. For example, special holidays where you can keep people up to date on limited opening times.
Nextiva offers two primary versions of call routing. The first is a basic setup that allows companies to use an auto attendant to customize greetings and business hours. The other is more advanced call routing, which is suitable for call centers. This involves deciding where calls go through priority-based or skill-based rules.
Both are good options and shouldn’t prove challenging to set up.
I think having two setups focused on basic and advanced call routing works well here. If all you need is something simple, you can opt for the first, but the advanced option is available for more specific needs. This is all good to see, but again, it’s not something that other providers don’t offer in the vast majority of cases.
Nextiva Setup Process
A good setup process, one without unnecessary problems and hassle, is what every business wants unless they have a lot of time on their hands. I also think a personal service here, so with dedicated team members standing by, adds that extra touch and helps customers feel like they’re being supported along the way.
I’m pleased to say that Nextiva’s setup process is quick to set up, and it’s simple overall. In fact, Nextiva breaks the setup down into four steps and claims you can get up and running within hours.
Of course, a lot of this setup process depends on whether you need VoIP Phones installed on-site or would just prefer a cloud-based option. These days, most companies will opt for the cloud-based route, as they will generally save both time and money and have everything they need from that alone.
I found setting up the desktop app to be straightforward, and most will spend their time here unless on the go with the mobile app. Live support is available too, which is always convenient.
It’s fair to say that most providers offer a quick and easy setup—how much you value guided support, however, will be something to consider here. Some will welcome it, while others will like to get stuck in and set up things independently. Nextiva’s team is ready to help and can answer any pressing questions, and the setup is simple, so this is a great result.
Nextiva Video Meetings
Video conferencing functionality is more important than ever, and while not all virtual phone number providers offer it, I think those that do should be worthy of your consideration. The good news for Nextiva and its customers is that they provide video meeting performance that rivals the best.
With Nextiva, you get access to HD video and audio meetings, live streaming, and webinar support. You can even schedule and host meetings, set a date, and invite everyone into that call with one click.
File sharing is another little extra here that is always good to see, and while for some it may not be essential, for others, it could prove vital. With this, you can share new ideas and pitch in one workspace, and screen sharing is also included so you can run through tasks together. The focus here is team collaboration, and it offers everything you need to do that successfully. I think this is a useful suite of video tools.
Another point to mention is that Nextiva’s video calls don’t feature time limits or restrictions in any form. Some providers here can limit the number of calls, and they usually base this on minutes in set bundles. Unlimited conference calling is part of almost all of Nextiva’s packages, so once you sign up with them, you don’t have to fear running out of minutes during a crucial call. This functionality is built on the same technology as VoIP phones, but it’s all cloud-based, which has the edge. This is one of the more impressive parts of the Nextiva offering overall.
It’s fair to say that reliable analytics can change the entire way a company operates. If you know what customers want, then you can deliver that to them more efficiently. Nextiva shines on this front with analytics that turns your data into actionable information.
This information is the key to getting ahead of the competition, and Nextiva handily provides it within the dashboard that controls everything else. The data can be displayed through a series of graphs and can be filtered down to specific locations and users.
Even better is that you can create custom reports that only focus on the areas you need. If you need more, then the ‘sentiment analysis’ scans communications for words that indicate a positive or negative experience for customers. Those that are negative can be flagged as such, and a customer support team can jump in to work out why. This is an excellent way of staying on top of any emerging problems in a systematic and organized approach.
Additional features of Nextiva’s analytics include access to call recordings directly from data reports, and you can listen, rate, and share your recordings with teammates. It feels fast and easy to use and is built for both now and the future. For those with a particular dislike of spreadsheets in general, Nextiva provides users with a compelling alternative.
Nextiva Mobile App
With the continued growth of mobile traffic, it’s always good to see mobile apps being offered as standard. What separates these apps comes down to the user interface, how easy they are to use, and how quickly they load.
Nextiva’s mobile app gives you the ability to keep business going wherever you are, and that’s something that only adds to a powerful suite of tools. Feature-wise I can’t fault it either, with conference calls, chat, video, and sharing capability all there and ready to go.
There were, however, occasional bugs that lessened some of the enjoyment I had while using the app. Specifically, the screen can freeze up and can be slow to load. The user interface could also be clearer and a bit snappier. The app can suffer under the demanding load of video calls and team collaboration too. It’s easy to see why—these are resource-intensive tasks that are better suited to a stable desktop setup.
What’s here is good, but I think some updates and refinement are needed to unleash the full potential.
The mobile app does extend the scope and capability of Nextiva’s service, and when it works, it’s great, but as a still-evolving area, it will need updates over time to make the experience a bit smoother for users.
Nextiva’s automation features are noteworthy. From automated welcome messages to surveys and more, it’s clear these are areas where you can save time and improve efficiency. I was particularly impressed with its ability to detect subjects related to a conversation and make real-time suggestions if the agent at the other end is stuck. It’s fair to say that some customers will prefer the human touch, but these are useful extras to have.
On top of that, you’ll also have access to automated friendly reminders, emails that effectively write themselves, to a degree, and an intelligence system that helps shape customer journeys and can see where things may have gone wrong. When automation works, it’s beneficial indeed, so it’s good to see Nextiva offer it.
How vital automation is to you will vary based on specific needs, but what’s on offer here is more than worthy of consideration.
I’ve talked about some of the collaboration features that Nextiva’s service provides, such as screen sharing, voice, and video calls. That said, it’s important to get across how unified the collaboration is in its shared workspace environment. For example, its communication tool, called Cospace, enables everyone in a company to stay tightly connected as they work on tasks and collaboration throughout the day.
We also have access to group chats like private workspaces for teams to share messages and updates, files, and more. It’s not just a team that can communicate on the platform though, Cospace can send an invitation to anyone to join in.
The nifty part is that they won’t need to download additional software to get started—follow the link and become part of the coworking environment. This is a hassle-free solution to collaboration that impresses from the off.
Tracking and scheduling meetings and tasks are streamlined, too, and these come with notifications to keep team members up to date. Reminders and due dates can be created, along with to-do lists and more. The amount of communication features bundled together in one app is convenient, and it shows a serious commitment to collaboration from Nextiva. A business that needs this level of teamwork will undoubtedly be well-served.
- Toll-free numbers
- Call routing functionality
- Cloud-based calling
- Starts at $18.95 monthly
Sign up today
The intersection of product offerings and services are inevitable when you talk about the top competitors in any given space. The same is true with virtual phone number providers. We see a general overlap in terms of toll-free numbers, call routing, and the setup process. There is some minor difference here, but not enough to be decisive. Nextiva impresses in all of these, though, and that’s notable in itself.
Where I do think there is a difference is in the analytics, the collaboration, and the robust automation features which stand out against the competition. If these are essential features for your business, you can have some confidence that you won’t be disappointed opting for Nextiva. It’s a great virtual phone number provider overall, and starting at $18.95 monthly, its prices won’t break the bank.