Beginning  as a startup we required a low-cost phone solution as we grew we opened more offices we needed additional local numbers for the offices we were opening.

The solution  we needed would be a VOIP one, Skype had facilitated our growth with little investment. We had used Skype on daily basis for the last 8 years, it enabled our business to have lines so that we were able to operate collocated offices in Germany, France, UK and also America.

Skype was by no means perfect but for us it worked up until the day that Skype decided to kill off personalised voicemail… We never received any prior notification that our voicemail would be deactivated. Our first realization was when our phone started to ring out, no stand in voice mail just the phone ringing out.

We needed a quick solution that would allow us to recover have voicemail and integrate into FrontApp any other feature at this moment was just nice to have.

The options we reviewed were TalkDesk, AirCall.io & JustCall

 

TalkDesk

This solution looked promising and came highly recommended there were a couple of issues so that we could never get started.

— Required to go onto book a sales call before we could give the solutions a spin

— Sales team took a long time to respond to initial enquiries

— No self service free trial

As we needed a solution FAST we moved onto look at other providers,

 

JustCall

Initial impressions of JustCall were positive it was easy to setup and the support team were responsive. One slight negative was we have to provide a CreditCard before we had any idea if the solution was suitable to a company we had never heard of.

In the end it turned out that the web interface was quite buggy fundamentally defaulting to USA area codes, additional features were not yet there.

— Web interface defaulted to USA

— Difficult to manage missed calls

— Difficult to transferring to other operators and was unfortunately not intuitive enough

— Integration into FrontApp was just a missed call inbox not an actual integration that would allow calls to be made from inside FrontApp.

** This test was made in the spring of 2017 so many things could have been improved since our trial.

One recent issue we did have was that we closed the account but this caused the account to be deleted. Unfortunately this caused 2 additional issues.

— Credit Card was continued to be charged for 2 additional months

— Was difficult to obtain past invoices

After one email they cancelled the charges and refunded immediately. Getting all the past invoices was much more of an issue requiring multiple email exchanges over a multiple months. Both issues were resolved but it was a little tricky to deal with them – I am sure that this will also improve as they grow the business.

 

AirCall

Aircall was quick to get us onboarded with a trial and a trial number, while we did have a few issues aircall was the best out of all the above services and some others that we did try that have not been mentioned above.

The one slight negative of AirCall was they are a bit expensive, also requiring a minimum of 3 operators per account.

But here are the positives of AirCall

— Personal voicemail which is easy to change with typed messages and sounds human

— Call distribution easy to other operators

— Integration into FrontApp perfect;

— Call inbox in the app

— Integrated side panel for receiving and dialing calls.

— Reliable service

— Support staff are friendly and responsive

— Able to transfer our Skype numbers to their service

We have now been using AirCall for over 6 months and they have been a suitable replacement for Skype.

 

If you would like to get in touch or have any questions then please do not hesitate to get in contact. Or take a look at my previous post on using FrontApp