The 8 Best Auto Attendant Phone Systems for 2023

Auto attendant graphic

Looking into affordability, reliability, and simplicity, our extensive research into automated phone systems led us to conclude that 8×8, DialPad, and Ooma are the top three autoattendant phone systems.

Most VoIP system providers offer this feature, with businesses relying on an automated attendant for its key functions: answering every call, delivering customized greetings, and routing calls to the right employee or team.

If you’re in the market for an automated phone system for your small business, check for a provider that offers this feature – also known as a virtual receptionist – on an affordable plan that comes with a good range of other inbound communication features. However, you must also consider other key factors, including outbound communication features, integrability, scalability, and customer support.

We've been writing phone system reviews for over a decade, so read on and let us equip you with everything you need to know about the eight best automated phone services in 2023. Or, if you want a faster way of getting paired with the perfect phone system for your business, try our free-quote finding tool. We'll match you up with providers who will reach out to you with obligation-free quotes.

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8×8

Dialpad

Ooma

RingCentral

Vonage

Net2Phone

Nextiva

GoTo Connect

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

$15 -$44 per user, per month

Price

$15 – $25 per user, per month

Price

$19.95 – $29.95 per user, per month

Price

$19.99 – $49.99 per user, per month

Price

$14.99 – $34.99 per user, per month

Price

$24.99 – $29.99 per user, per month

Price

$21.95 – $36.95 per user, per month

Price

$27 – $43 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

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1. 8×8: Best Overall Auto Attendant Phone System

8x8 logo
8x8
4.7
Pricing $15 – $44
Quick overview

Based on our in-depth research, 8x8 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 8x8'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 8x8'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 8x8'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.

Strengths

Virtual receptionist is included on all plans

Bundled with numerous useful inbound communication features

Weaknesses

Spam prevention is not included on any plan

No access to voicemail to text, ring groups, or call queue features on the Express package

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Express $15
X2 $24
X4 $44

2. Dialpad: Best for Conversational AI

Dialpad
4.1
Pricing $15 – $25
Quick overview

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, 8x8’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.

Strengths

All plans offer unlimited calling, SMS, and MMS

Built-in AI and analytics included on all plans

Weaknesses

The Standard Plan doesn’t come with a call queue feature

Call barge and call whisper features aren’t included on any plans

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

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

Ooma logo
Ooma
4.3
Pricing $19.95 – $29.95
Quick overview

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.

Strengths

Ooma's webform allows you to playtest the sound of your virtual assistant

24/7 support

Weaknesses

No spam prevention or voicemail to text on Ooma’s basic plan

Call queue feature only available on Ooma Pro Plus

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Essentials $19.95
Pro $24.95
Pro Plus $29.95

4. RingCentral: Best for Customer Services

RingCentral logo
RingCentral
4.7
Pricing $19.99 – $49.99
Quick overview

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.

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.

RingCentral’s auto attendant feature is bundled with a good range of inbound communication features, including voicemail, a customizable greeting, and spam prevention. 8x8, on the other hand, only includes a spam prevention feature on a couple of its plans (X2 and X4).

Strengths

Unlimited domestic calls

Free trial period offered on all plans (except Ultimate)

Weaknesses

Auto attendant isn’t included on its most basic plan

Call queues and ring groups are only available on the Premium and Ultimate plans

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Essentials $19.99
Standard $27.99
Premium $34.99
Ultimate $49.99
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5. Vonage: Best for Scaling Your Company

Vonage logo
Vonage
4.5
Pricing $14.99 – $34.99
Quick overview

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, 8x8, 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 8x8's X2 plan for $24 per user, per month.

What’s great about Vonage is that its 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 8x8’s plans.

Strengths

Unlimited domestic calls

Affordable plans

Weaknesses

Additional cost to add voicemail to text and call queue features

Customizable greeting and ring groups only available on Premium and Advanced plans

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

6. Net2Phone: Best for Low-Cost International Calling

Net2Phone
4.3
Pricing $24.99 – $29.99
Quick overview

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.

Strengths

Unlimited domestic calls and free international calls to 40+ countries

Offers a free trial period

Weaknesses

Doesn’t include voicemail to text and call queue features on Office and Office Pro plans.

Doesn’t have external live chat integrations on any plans.

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

7. Nextiva: Best for 24/7 Customer Support

Nextiva
4.3
Pricing $21.95 – $36.95
Quick overview

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. This earns 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, 8x8 doesn’t offer ring groups on its Express Plan and doesn’t offer spam prevention in any of its plans.

Strengths

Unlimited domestic calls

Multi-level auto attendant feature on its Professional and Enterprise plans

Weaknesses

Doesn’t include voicemail to text on its Essential and Professional plans.

Requires a Call Center add-on to access call queue feature

Pricing
Plan Starting price (per user, per month)
Essential $21.95
Professional $26.95
Enterprise $36.95

8. GoToConnect: Best for Low-Price Longevity

GoTo logo
GoToConnect
4.3
Pricing $27 – $43
Quick overview

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.

Strengths

Unlimited domestic calls

Free international calls to over 50 countries (Standard and Premium plans)

Weaknesses

Some outbound communication features aren’t included on all of its plans

Doesn’t offer external live chat integrations on all plans

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Basic $27
Standard $32
Premium $43
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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.

Written by:
Dudez Ignacio Expert Market Content Writer

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.