MightyCall Virtual Phone System – Full Review

MightyCall is a Seattle based virtual telephone service that began life as Infratel back in 1999. The cloud based web-service providing small businesses with a virtual telephone number and incoming call answering service. Virtual telephone services are a practical solution to the problem of maintaining communications with potential clients whilst keeping private and business call separate especially when travelling or when you are away from the office. For entrepreneurs and business people who spend a lot of their time visiting clients or potential customers a virtual telephone system is a necessity rather than a convenience. Luckily for small businesses not all voice based communication platforms are IP/PBX based and focused on the SMB market, some like MightyCall are instead providing a service for small businesses and the Small Office Home Office (SoHo) market.

How does MightCall work?

MightyCall is a virtual telephone service, which provides a SoHo client with a virtual number. Now to understand the virtual service we need to realize that it is based upon the concept of a virtual telephone number. The concept of the virtual telephone service is very simple and if performed well it is an exceptional service for small businesses as it frees up the need to man phones or an office and allows the freedom of movement to visit prospective clients or existing customers without the fear of missing any business related calls.

Virtual systems are based upon a virtual business number which can be connected to a cloud based incoming call answering service which will then guarantee to answer the call quickly and professionally greet the caller with a customized message and a menu of options for example, Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Support, etc. The clever bit though is that the caller is then transferred to an extension of their choice but in the background the call is actually transferred to a mobile/cell phone, landline, Skype phone or VoIP phone that the business has configured for use with that extension. Moreover, more than one phone can be configured against an extension meaning that you can have more than one extension for the sales department or more than one phone listed for each employee so that no calls go unanswered. As a result calls incoming to the business number are transparently redirected to a list of preconfigured phones in either a hierarchal order or they can all be rung simultaneously. That is essentially the basis for a virtual telephone service and apart from that the only differences in the services are down to individual features and basic monthly prices.

Understanding Virtual Telephone Numbers

With virtual telephone services the cloud-service provider hosts on behalf of the business a virtual telephone number. The telephone number is said to be virtual only in the sense that it is not tied directly to a specific device, i.e. a landline, or mobile/cell phone. In all other respects it is a very real telephone number that can be either an existing business number that you can transfer or port over to MightyCall or a local or toll-free number supplied by them. Being a real number it is listed in local or national directories and can be direct dialed from existing telephones from anywhere in the world. Depending on the price plans which we will address later, you can receive between 1 to 5 local or toll-free numbers. Obviously the choice of 5 numbers is for the more expensive plans but in any case it is still worth putting some thought into whether to go for local or toll free telephone numbers for the business.

Local or Toll Free

With the MightyCall service they offer a choice of local, tool-free or vanity numbers. Vanity numbers are those numbers such as 247 (24/7) which can have a meaning and be easy to memorize or they can be words used to replace numbers such as TAXI which substitutes the letters for the numbers 8294. Using vanity numbers can be a good idea if you have a brand name that fits a vanity scheme as they are easily remembered and will therefore spring to mind when a customer requires the services you provide. The choice between whether to go Toll free or local though is not quite as intuitive as there are several conditions where one method is better than the other. For instance if the business is very small and only operates locally then a local number beats a toll-free number as potential customers are going to be looking for a local service such as a plumber rather than a large national company as a toll-free number implies. Conversely, a toll-free number is best if you operate nationally as the number implies a large business with national reach so will not only be free for you prospective customer to call it will also instill initial confidence in the business. Toll-free numbers are very advantageous when used with customer queries and especially support calls because the company is effectively paying for the call and not disadvantaging the customer who has an existing issue without being charged for the privilege of calling to resolve the problem. Hence, with MightyCall’s price plans you can select 1 to 5 local, vanity or toll free numbers so you can effectively match the ideal telephone number type per department thereby separating sales from contact center or support services. MightyCall offers toll-free numbers in codes 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888 and Local numbers in any area. In addition to the choice of over 1 million available virtual telephone numbers MightCall also has a set of very impressive features to support business functions.

MightCall Features

The MightyCall auto-attendant is designed to:

As we have already seen a virtual telephone service boils down to an incoming call answering service which will greet calling customers then forwards the call to an employee, group, or department and if the call goes unanswered route through to voicemail. However an addition purpose or feature is the use of an information playback which runs according to the purpose of the call and business rules. This facility called FAQ is often used to provide self-service to customers for commonly requested queries and also to reduce employees’ involvement in call handling in addition to efficiently and automatically delivering information to calling customers. The MightCall FAQ information service reduces call handling overheads and provides better call and resource management as well as increasing the customer experience.

One feature that really stands out when first browsing MightyCall’s feature list is their social media texting function. This feature is one of several website and online oriented features that cross over from a plain telephone service into the domain of unified communications with the addition of online texting and website support widgets. The Facebook/Twitter messaging service provides a means for employees to interface and address customer queries through both these companies messaging services without having to fully immerse themselves in the site and its many distractions. Instead employees can interact with prospects and customers queries by receiving, updating and posting replies through the MightyCall interface. In addition there are several other key online tools such as click to call website widget, request for email, ‘contact us’ and ‘call me’ services all provided from a website.

Another distinctive feature of the MightyCall auto-receptionist is that an instance can be applied to each number, so for example in the price-plans that provide between 1 and 5 numbers you could configure a different auto-receptionist per number or even have one receptionist for office hours and another for out-of-hours and vacations. This ability to configure unique receptionists per department or business number get around the problem of long and confusing IVR menus that hinder rather than help callers get to the correct person or department. Another interesting feature of the auto-receptionist is that because you can configure the system on a department basis with say several phones configured within the Sales department, the auto-receptionist will ring and intelligently distribute the call between call members using one of four algorithms; simultaneous ring, round-robin (circular) sequential (by qualification) or freest first. However, it is important to understand with MightyCall as with their competitors how they define extensions as it can be confusing and expensive if you misunderstand by thinking that you have almost limitless free extensions and this is where the notion of team members comes into play.

Full feature comparison by plan:

Team Members Vs. Extensions

In order to understand and find the tariff that best suits your business size and make up it is essential to understand how MightyCall defines phone numbers, extensions and team members. In essence an extension is just a short internal number assigned to an employee or a department which is accessible internally or via the IVR menu but actually when an employee Alice calls the ‘123’ extension belonging to another employee called Bob, MightyCall forwards this call to all of Bob’s actual (landline or mobile) numbers, web phone, and mobile client that he has configured. All these phone sets can ring simultaneously or in sequence. There can be up to 3 landline or mobile phone numbers attached to the extension. Hence you can have 3 phones attached to each extension which can in turn be assigned to a person or group. Depending on the price plans MightyCall supports from 2 to 25 team members per plan. Therefore choosing the correct fit for you business size is essential when selecting the right price plan as it can also affect the features that are supported.

Feature/Price Plans

MightyCall comes in three versions; Basic, Standard and Ultimate of which the middle tier Standard variant is the most popular. The service variants are distinguished by several factors of which the number of free talk minutes per month is possibly the most important from a pricing perspective. For example with the Basic plan ($14.92 per month) comes 500 free talk minutes, Standard ($37.49 per month) comes with 3,000 and Ultimate edition ($69.99) with 10,000 talk minutes. However the cost of the additional minutes doesn’t fully account for the price hike between variants as some features are premier and only available in the more expensive plans. For example, although many of the features are shared across all editions such as number of contacts (1,000), the number fo conference call participants (5) and the number of supported call trees (unlimited) other features are determined by the plan price. For example, the number of voicemails is limited to Basic (1,000), Standard (3,500) and Ultimate (12,500) and texts are also limited to only the Standard (500) and Ultimate (4,000) editions as are many of the web features such as the ‘call me’ widgets indeed none of the website services are supported in the basic plans. Another important thing to recognize is that one of MightyCall’s attractive feature is their direct link to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter messaging services. But be aware that this is only available and supported in the Ultimate edition. The same goes for softphone use on a PC with support only available on Ultimate price plans for 3 simultaneous softphones in use.

Summary

MightyCall is a relatively new service in the burgeoning virtual telephone service market but it introduces some very interesting features which makes it a serious contender with the likes of Grasshopper and Phone.com for the title of best virtual telephone service. Online features and innovative messaging interfaces along with a host of mobile apps and softphone features makes MightyCall an impressive service at first glance however many of these features are only available to customers buying the Ultimate edition price plans which may well be out of the budget for SoHo customers.

Alasdair Gilchrist

Alasdair is a technical writer with interest in business practice, operational strategy, start up philosophy and affordable technology. He lives in Nonthaburi, Thailand with his wife and daughter, and writes terrible novels as a hobby.

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