The 8 Best Automated Phone Systems

Auto attendant graphic

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Our rigorous research has found that 8×8, Dialpad, and Ooma are the best automated phone systems. These providers score highly in our research for their features and customer support.

With automated technology taking the world by storm, it's high time your business adopted an automated phone system to streamline your operations and customer experience.

Keep reading for our deep-dive into each of these providers or you can use our free quote comparison tool to receive obligation-free quotes from trusted phone system suppliers.

What is an automated phone system?

An automated phone system cooperates with callers without human interference. The benefit of automated phone systems is that it optimizes your agent's time and resource. It saves your business money and provides your callers with an efficient service.

How exactly does this work you might be wondering, no fear, we're here to help break it down for you.

  1. A caller will dial the number linked to the automated system which is then routed to the system's server
  2. The caller hears a pre-recorded greeting and is presented with a menu to choose from. These will typically be departments or the service they require.
  3. The system can detect which key has been entered and routes this call to the appropriate person/department.
  4. If the caller has requested specific information, they might hear pre-recorded information.
  5. If relevant, the system may collect the caller's details, such as name and account number.
  6. Once the caller's inquiry has been dealt with, the system can either provide further information, end the call or transfer it to the appropriate department.

An automated phone system helps reduce wait times, streamline operations, and increase efficiency. What we really like about these systems is that it can be customized to suit your business's unique needs. This provides your business with a uniform brand and your callers with excellent service.

Our Top Picks for the Best Automated Phone Systems

We've rigorously tested and rated 11 different telephone systems through product led research. That's why we're so confident in recommending you our top picks:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

8×8

Ooma

Vonage

Net2Phone

Nextiva

Expert Rating
4.7
Expert Rating
4.1
Expert Rating
4.3
Expert Rating
4.7
Expert Rating
4.5
Expert Rating
4.3
Expert Rating
4.3
Expert Rating
4.3
Best For

Overall Auto Attendant Phone System

Best For

Conversational AI

Best For

Low-Cost 24/7 Support

Best For

Customer Services

Best For

Building Your Company

Best For

Low-Cost International Calling

Best For

24/7 Customer Support

Best For

Low-Price Longevity

Price

$24 -$140 per user, per month

Price

$15 per user, per month – Bespoke

Price

$19.95 – $29.95 per user, per month

Price

$20 per user, per month – $35 per user, per month

Price

$19.99 – $39.99 per user, per month

Price

$18.99 – $29.99 per user, per month

Price

$18.95 – $40.95 per user, per month

Price

$27 – $32 per user, per month

Key Features

Unlimited calling in the US and Canada

Basic auto attendant

Music on hold

Voicemail

Key Features

Unlimited calling

High-definition (HD) voice

Multi-level auto attendant

Visual voicemail

Departments/ring groups

Hold queues

Key Features

Virtual receptionist

Ring groups

Music on hold

One toll-free number

Key Features

Voicemail to text

High-definition (HD) voice

Multi-level auto attendant

Visual voicemail and voicemail to email

Key Features

Auto attendant

Busy lamp field

Call announce

Phone call hold music

Spam shield

Simultaneous ring

Virtual voicemail service

Visual voicemail

Key Features

Unlimited nationwide calling

Unlimited international calling

Auto attendant

Call queue

Ring groups

Voicemail

Busy lamp field

Key Features

Unlimited calling within the US and CA

Free local and toll-free number

Voicemail to email notifications

Auto attendant

Busy lamp field

Hold music

Key Features

Existing number porting

Local, toll-free & vanity numbers

Auto attendant recorded greetings

Ring groups

Call queues

International calling

Prices accurate as of July 2023.
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1. 8×8: Best Overall Auto Attendant Phone System

8x8
4.7
Pricing $24 -$140 per user, per month
Quick overview

Founded in 1987, 8x8 is one of the biggest providers of cloud-based communication solutions, with over one million users worldwide. 

Over the years, 8x8 has made several strategic acquisitions to expand its portfolio. In 2018, it acquired the open-source technology Jitsi, enhancing its ability to offer versatile communication capabilities. In 2020, 8x8 acquired callstats.io, a Finnish startup that provides SaaS call quality monitoring for popular communications apps.

Strengths

24/7 support

Multiple compliance certifications + multi-factor authentication

Easy to scale

Weaknesses

Premium pricing

Mediocre consumer review score

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
X2 $24
X4 $44
X6 $85
X7 $110
X8 $140

Based on our in-depth research, 8×8 bags the title of best overall automated attendant phone system as it hits the trifecta: easy management, affordability, and it's bundled with other important inbound communication features. This is why we gave it an overall score of 4.7/5 in our extensive research, the highest score among all the phone system providers we evaluated.

An auto attendant feature is included in 8×8's Express package for only $15 per user, per month. Aside from its key functions, you're also able to customize auto attendant profiles, allowing you to set up auto attendant schedules, define time zones, and select a language for voice prompts. You'll get a multi-level auto attendant feature when you upgrade to 8×8's X2 and X4 plans, where the prices are still very affordable when compared with other top providers on this list. For example, GoToConnect’s least expensive plan, which starts at $27 per user, per month, only offers the basic auto attendant features, such as customizable greetings, call queue, and call router.

To offer a better call experience, you’ll need more than just an automated attendant. All of 8×8's plans offer useful inbound communication features, such as a customizable greeting, hold music, and voicemail. Nextiva, on the other hand, only offers a voicemail to text feature on its Enterprise Plan, which is its most expensive plan.

What's new for 8x8? July 2023

  • 8×8 have enhanced call logs so you can now choose how to display caller information. For example, you can choose for the information to show the ring group name and caller number or the caller's name and number.

2. Dialpad: Best for Conversational AI

Dialpad
4.1
Pricing $15 per user, per month – Bespoke
Quick overview

Dialpad creates revolutionary collaboration tools fueled by advanced communications AI. Its mission? To completely transform how the world works together.

Dialpad’s all-in-one workspace empowers teams of any size to seamlessly communicate with customers and colleagues through calling, messaging, and video conferencing, all while utilizing cutting-edge AI technology to streamline productivity. It was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Strengths

24/7 reliable customer service

Impressive list of features

Stellar customer reviews

Weaknesses

Limited ready-made integrations

Not very scalable

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Standard $15
Pro $25
Enterprise Bespoke

Dialpad is our top choice when it comes to innovative solutions. Based on our in-depth research, Dialpad provides the best conversational AI, earning a solid 4.1/5 overall score in our research. Dialpad's AI technology is powered by natural language processing (NLP), and has machine learning features. This tool can be used to help your agents by transcribing conversations in real-time, analyzing the sentiment of the call based on the flow of the conversation, providing post-call summaries that highlight action items so you can easily follow up.

Dialpad’s autoattendant feature makes sure that spam calls are blocked. Not only that, its custom call routing feature makes use of AI tools that can help route calls to a live agent when a call needs to be escalated. For as little as $15 per user, per month, you'll get access to Dialpad's multi-level auto attendant feature, with which all calls are AI-powered and unlimited. Meanwhile, 8×8’s cheapest plan also costs $15 per user, per month, doesn’t come with spam prevention or conversational AI, and its autoattendant isn't multi-level at this price.

Dialpad also comes with useful inbound communication features, such as customizable greetings, voicemail, and ring groups. Vonage, however, doesn’t include customizable greetings or ring groups in its cheapest plan, which costs $14.99 per user, per month.

What's new for Dialpad? July 2023

  • Agents will now be alerted when connecting to a customer that has requested a callback.

3. Ooma: Best for Low-Cost 24/7 Support

Ooma logo
Ooma Office
4.3
Pricing $19.95 - $29.95
Quick overview

Ooma is a cloud-based communications provider based in Sunnyvale, California. It offers advanced phone, video, and messaging solutions that are customizable for businesses of any size and home phone services for residential customers. 

In 2023, Ooma won PC Magazine's Business Choice award for the top VoIP service for offices for the tenth year in a row. The company was founded in 2004 and has grown to serve over one million users.

Strengths

Offers dependable customer support 24/7

50+ call features such as call conferencing and call flip

Rave reviews from users

Weaknesses

Limited collaboration features

Weak security and authentication service

Pricing
Enterprise Standard $19.95
Enterprise Enhanced $24.95
Enterprise Call Center $29.95

Ooma’s affordable and feature-rich plans, bundled with customer support that’s round the clock, are the reasons Ooma makes it into our top three. With an overall score of 4.3/5, our research shows that Ooma is the best for low-cost, 24/7 support.

Ooma offers a virtual receptionist as a standard feature on every plan. So, at $19.95 per user, per month, you can maximize this feature’s services by customizing messages, routing calls to extensions and ring groups, creating menu options for different languages, creating different modes for business hours and after hours, and dialling by name. In addition to this, Ooma is one of the few providers that allows you to vet your virtual receptionist by typing a possible greeting into a webform to hear instantaneous playback.

Net2Phone, on the other hand, offers an automated attendant feature, but it's pricier, with its cheapest plan costing $24.99 per user, per month.

Ooma offers a lot of inbound communication features alongside its auto attendant, including ring groups, a customizable greeting, and voicemail, but call queues are available on Ooma Pro Plus and above. Meanwhile, Nextiva’s call queue feature requires a call center add-on before you can use it.

4. RingCentral: Best for Customer Services

RingCentral logo
RingCentral
4.7
Pricing $20 - $35
Quick overview

With its innovative collaboration solutions, RingCentral empowers businesses to connect, seamlessly with their customers, teams, and partners. Founded in 1999, RingCentral has established itself as a trusted partner for businesses of all sizes, offering reliable, user-friendly, and flexible communication solutions. 

In 2021, RingCentral was announced as Mitel's exclusive unified communications partner, providing its cloud-based software to Mitel's customer base of over 35 million users.

Strengths

24/7 customer support for users

Highly scalable

High uptime guarantee

Weaknesses

Mediocre consumer review score

Prices are a touch on the expensive side

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Core $20
Advanced $25
Ultra $35

RingCentral, one of the top automated phone system providers, receives an overall score of 4.7/5  in our research and is our top pick for customer service teams. However, it also ranks among the best VoIP systems for small businesses.

We think that the services that RingCentral offers are superior, especially when you upgrade to its Premium ($34.99) and Ultimate ($49.99) plans. Its cheapest plan starts at $19.99 (all prices are per user, per month), but a multi-level auto attendant will only be accessible when you upgrade to RingCentral's Standard plan ($27.99). This multi-level auto attendant comes with Interactive Voice Response (IVR), offering submenus with advanced features, such as a dial-by-name directory and live operator, which is perfect for businesses that are focused on providing exceptional customer service. This is also one of the reasons RingCentral is our favorite hotel phone system.

In comparison, GoToConnect’s least expensive plan costs $27 per user, per month, but its auto attendant’s functions only include basic call routing, a customizable greeting, and the ability to share business information.

We like that RingCentral’s auto attendant feature is bundled with a good range of inbound communication features, including voicemail, a customizable greeting, and spam prevention. 8×8, on the other hand, only includes a spam prevention feature on a couple of its plans (X2 and X4).

What's new for RingCentral? July 2023

  • Call handling settings are now consistent across web portals and apps.

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5. Vonage: Best for Scaling Your Company

Vonage logo
Vonage
4.5
Pricing $19.99 - 39.99
Quick overview

Vonage is a trusted partner for businesses looking for user-friendly and innovative communication solutions. Founded in 1998 as Min-X, its original goal was to provide residential VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone services. Now, it has expanded its cloud-based services to include virtual phone systems for businesses, and advanced communications APIs.

In July 2022, Vonage was acquired by multinational telecommunications company Ericsson, which employs around 100,000 people. It’s headquartered in Holmdel Township, New Jersey.

Strengths

Integrates with tons of CRM software

Easily scalable

All plans include 24/7 live support

Weaknesses

Limited security options

Missing some important outbound communication features

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Mobile $19.99
Premium $29.99
Advanced $39.99

Vonage earns an overall score of 4.5/5 in our research thanks to its effective and scalable business solutions. Its plans offer key call management features, including call barge and call whisper, as well as important software integration tools that make it easy for any business to scale.

For only $14.99 per user, per month, Vonage’s auto attendant feature is a customizable and reliable piece of call routing technology. You also have the option to prioritize schedules and share settings between schedules, allowing your business to address calls at any time. In addition to this, Vonage's customer support uses an AI virtual assistant to ensure that all calls are addressed during peak business hours, resulting in better customer engagement. This feature is one of the reasons Vonage ranks among the best phone systems for call centers, as it allows the easy management of high volumes of calls. In comparison, 8×8, our top provider on this list, doesn’t offer this feature on its cheapest plan (at $15 per user, per month). It only becomes available when you purchase 8×8's X2 plan for $24 per user, per month.

We think it's great that Vonage's automated phone system comes with other important inbound communication features, including voicemail, spam prevention, and customizable hold music. Meanwhile, spam prevention is not included on any of 8×8’s plans.

6. Net2Phone: Best for Low-Cost International Calling

Net2Phone logo
Net2Phone US
4.2
Pricing $24.99 - $29.99 per user, per month
Quick overview

Net2Phone is a fast-growing unified communications provider that offers simple and stress-free cloud phone solutions. Founded in 1990, it’s a subsidiary of IDT Corporation. 

In 2022, Net2Phone was named a UCaaS (unified communications as a service) growth and innovation leader by Frost & Sullivan. To date, it has 1,800 employees and 200,000 customers worldwide, with operations in nine countries across three continents. It’s headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.

Strengths

Affordable pricing

24/7, US-based customer support via phone or email

Rave reviews from users

Weaknesses

Limited ready-made integrations

Not very scalable

Doesn't offer call flip, barge, or whisper

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Office $24.99
Office Pro $26.99
Office Power $29.99

Perhaps your business operates globally, and needs an automated service that runs 24/7. Net2phone offers affordable plans with free international calling to over 40 countries, making it our top choice for low-cost international calling. It also earned a great overall score of 4.4/5 in our extensive research.

Net2Phone’s unlimited auto attendant feature is included with its Office plan for $24.99 per user, per month and, because it can handle more calls as well as field calls 24/7, caller wait time is reduced. This means you could have fewer dropped calls.

Net2Phone’s unlimited automated attendant feature is bundled with other must-have inbound communication features, such as voicemail, ring groups, and spam prevention. However, it doesn’t include voicemail to text or call queues on either its Office or Office Pro Plans. In comparison, GoToConnect does offer voicemail to text and call queue features on all of its plans including its cheapest, but this plan, which will set you back $27 per user, per month, only comes with a single auto attendant, as opposed to Net2Phone's unlimited automated attendants.

7. Nextiva: Best for 24/7 Customer Support

nextiva
Nextiva
4.3
Pricing $23.95 - 37.95
Quick overview

Founded in 2006, Nextiva is a connected communications company that offers a comprehensive suite of tools and services to help businesses thrive. With a focus on smart and efficient communication, the company provides VoIP phone services, video conferencing, text messaging, and CRM software to more than 100,000 businesses. 

 

In 2022, Nextiva ranked #2 on Comparably.com's list of the best places to work in Phoenix. This is based on anonymous employee sentiment, which demonstrates Nextiva's dedication to fostering a positive work environment for its staff.

Strengths

Excellent customer service

Rich set of features

Weaknesses

Not easily scalable

Limited ready-made integrations

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Essential $18.95
Professional $22.95
Enterprise $32.95

Nextiva is an award-winning business phone service that has bagged multiple Stevie awards for its amazing customer support. Its team of live agents can be reached via chat or phone where its phone support is made up of 100% live agents. We gave it an overall score of 4.5/5 making them the best for 24/7 customer support. While most callers prefer live agents, Nextiva’s automated chat services are still top-notch.

For $21.95 per user, per month, Nextiva’s automated phone system allows businesses a scalable solution. Its menu system is capable of routing calls to the right department and its automated attendant functions like an interactive voice response (IVR). An IVR is an advanced version of an auto attendant that can perform more tasks through the use of verbal commands. Net2Phone’s auto attendant, on the other hand, only offers basic functions, and its cheapest  plan costs $24.99 per user, per month.

Nextiva’s automated attendant comes with other top features, such as voicemail, ring groups, and spam prevention. Meanwhile, 8×8 doesn’t offer ring groups on its Express Plan and doesn’t offer spam prevention in any of its plans.

What's new for Nextiva? July 2023

  • With enhanced caller ID history, unknown numbers will display as “Maybe: last name, first name” until caller is saved as a contact.

8. GoToConnect: Best for Low-Price Longevity

GoTo logo
GoToConnect
4.3
Pricing $27 - $32
Quick overview

GoTo offers a range of cloud-based products – including GoToConnect, its VoIP system – designed to help businesses work and collaborate more efficiently and securely from anywhere. Founded in 2003 and based in Boston, Massachusetts, GoTo was formerly known as LogMeIn Inc. before its rebranding in 2022.

With tens of millions of users, over $1.3 billion in annual revenue, and a global workforce of more than 3,500 employees, GoTo is one of the largest SaaS companies in the world.

Strengths

Very easy to scale

Glowing reputation among users

Offers fantastic value for money

Weaknesses

No 24/7 user support channels

Few ready-made integrations

Smaller variety of features

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Basic $27
Standard $32

Earning an overall score of 4.3/5 in our research, GoToConnect‘s plans offer great value for money while also being super scalable, making it our top pick for businesses that are searching for low-cost longevity in their automated phone service.

GoToConnect's auto attendant feature allows you to customize your messages, set up advanced flows for calls to be routed efficiently, and share important updates with callers. Meanwhile, RingCentral’s auto attendant feature can only be accessed when you upgrade to its Standard plan for $27.99 per user, per month, and this system doesn’t include call queues and ring groups on its Essentials and Standard plans.

Starting at $27 per user, per month, GoToConnect is one of only two automated phone services to include all the inbound communication features we deem most important on every one of its plans, with features including call queues, ring groups, and of course, an auto attendant. In addition to this, GoToConnect doesn’t limit the number of users you can have on your system.

What's new for GoToConnect? July 2023

  • New ‘Conversation Review' feature provides better insight into customer interactions and includes a call recording playback, an overview tab, and interaction details tab.

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How Did We Compare the Best Auto Attendant Phone Systems?

Our research team conducted comprehensive research, comparing ten top automated phone services based on the categories that matter most to businesses:

  • Pricing – we compare each provider's rates alongside the features, add-ons, tools, and services included per plan.
  • Features – we take inbound and outbound communication, management, and collaboration features into consideration, examining which plans these features are available on.
  • External connections – we find out what software platforms each system comes ready to integrate with. We also confirm whether the software can be accessed via a mobile app, and whether it can integrate with third-party desk phones or the vendor provides their own phones.
  • Scalability – we analyze the product’s ability to scale through the presence of management and collaboration features, the overall capability of those features, and the security and software integration features available.
  • Security – we find out what security options are available to keep your data safe, and how each provider manages their privacy policy.
  • Customer reviews – we gather customer feedback as well as an overall average customer rating across business user review sites, including Capterra, G2, TrustPilot, and TrustRadius.
  • Customer support – we determine whether each provider gives users all the necessary customer support channels, and whether they can be reached 24/7.
Verdict

With an almost-perfect overall score of 4.7/5 in our research, 8×8 is our top auto attendant phone system. Aside from its affordability, it offers some of the ultimate VoIP features needed for an effective automated phone service to work. These features include voicemail, a customizable greeting, and customizable hold music, among others.

We suggest you try our free quote comparison tool to connect with the phone service provider that best fits your business’ needs. Just answer some questions about your business, and we'll link you to trusted providers. They'll reach out to you with tailored, obligation-free quotes for you to compare. It's a quick and easy way to zero in on the best options and prices for you.

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FAQs

What is an automated phone system?

An automated phone system is call routing technology that presents a voice menu system at the onset of the call. This helps ensure your caller is transferred to the right department without you having to provide an operator to assist your callers.

Most automated phone systems allow you to assign different functions, including business updates or information, such as weather updates or opening hours. Not only that, you can also set a language so that callers can  easily navigate the menu.

What is the best automated phone system for small businesses?

There are countless options for the best phone system suited for your business’ needs. To help you decide which is perfect for you, we’d recommend considering these six key factors:

  • Pricing
  • Inbound communication features
  • Outbound communication features
  • Integrability
  • Scalability
  • Customer support

Based on our extensive research, 8×8 is the leading phone system provider of business communications technology, earning an overall score of 4.7/5. Its reliable and superior service drives business growth, making it the best phone system for small businesses. Aside from that, it offers free trials to businesses with 50 users and below.

How much does an automated telephone system cost?

There is no fixed telephone system cost. The prices depend on the business size, the number of users and the add-ons that you choose to be included with your package.

Phone system rates for small businesses would normally range from $15 to $40 per user, per month. This goes slightly up for medium-sized businesses, with prices ranging from $25 to $40 per user, per month. However, if you need a phone system setup for large-scale businesses, rates would range from $40 to $60 per user, per month.

What features should I look for when choosing an automated phone system?
You should choose a automated phone system that has the following features:

  • Queue updates: if you anticipate a steady amount of caller traffic, a queue update will provide your callers with an estimated wait time and keep them from getting antsy.
  • Conversational: some phone systems come with automated speech recognition or natural language understanding so the system can help provide your callers with more helpful info.
  • Verification: if your business requires callers to verify their identity, having an automated system carry this out will streamline the calling and inquiry process.
Can an automated phone system integrate with an existing CRM software?
Yes, an automated phone system can integrate with an existing CRM software. But, not every system will be able to do this so before choosing a phone system, check that it's compatible with your current CRM software.

For example, 8×8 integrates with the following: Salesforce, Copper, Freshdesk, Hubspot, MS Dynamics, Pipedrive, Zendesk, Zoho, 1CRM, Bullhorn, Copper, Sugar. 

Are automated phone systems customizable?
Yes, you can customize automated phone systems to ensure the information provided is accurate.
How does an automated phone system ensure data security and compliance?
Automated phone systems typically come with built-in security measures such as encryption and compliance certifications. These vary from provider to provider so ensure you check this before choosing a system.
Can an automated phone system handle high call volumes during peak times?
Yes, it can and high call volumes is one of the main reasons you should choose an automated phone system. An automated system will help you deal with higher call volumes much easier as it reduces wait time and can deal with straightforward caller inquires.
Written by:
Dudez Ignacio body shot image
Dudez Perez-Ignacio is a Content Writer for Expert Market, specialising in writing about phone systems and helping readers learn about innovative communication technology trends and insights, prioritizing value to help drive business growth. Researching and writing about this every day means Dudez is fluent in the complex vocabulary of business phone systems.
Reviewed by:
James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.