Thinking twice about using Five9 as your business phone solution? This guide can help you make an informed decision with the nine best Five9 alternatives of 2023.
We also explore why teams move away from Five9 to more intuitive solutions.
Just looking for the CliffsNotes? You can see all nine alternatives in the chart below.
The best Five9 alternatives compared
Here’s how the best Five9 alternatives line up side by side:
|Unlimited calling to US & Canada
|SMS/MMS to US & Canada
|Shared phone numbers
|Additional phone numbers
|Starts at $149 per user per month
|Toll-free numbers only
|Starts at $15 per user per month
|$5 per number per month
|Starts at $75 per user per month (based on a minimum 3 year commitment)
|Starts at $15 per user per month
|US & Canadian customers only
|Starts at $20 per user per month
|$4.99 per number per month
|Genesys Cloud CX
|Starts at $75 per user per month
|Starts at $25 per user per month
|Unlimited calls to Canada from US only
|Ring groups only
|Starts at $10 per user per month
|Unlimited inbound only with upgrade
|US & Canadian numbers only
|$250 per user per year
|$5 per number per month
|Starts at $30 per user per month
|$6 per number per month
|Starts at $12.99 per user per month (office phone)
|Starts at $8 per number per month
Now, let’s take an in-depth look at all nine alternatives.
The top 9 alternatives to Five9
Five9 isn’t the best fit for every business.
Thankfully, you have lots of options.
Let’s look at the best Five9 alternatives of 2023, starting with the most popular solution that teams use.
1. OpenPhone: The best Five9 alternative for growing teams
OpenPhone is the #1 VoIP business phone system as rated on G2. You can sign up for a plan almost anywhere in the world, then make or take calls from your WiFi connection.
Unlike Five9, OpenPhone lets you easily scale your plan as your team grows. Each user added to your account comes with one local number in the US or Canada or a North American toll-free number. If you want to split responsibility for incoming calls, you can create shared numbers so everyone on your team can manage calls, texts, and voicemails together.
With OpenPhone, you can make unlimited calls to the US and Canada on every plan. Plus, you get free SMS and MMS support to the US and Canada. You also don’t have to worry about upgrading before you’re ready — you can have unlimited users on every tier.
Thousands of businesses use OpenPhone to improve their customers’ satisfaction with their service. For example, a whopping 71% of global consumers say they expect a company to share information so they don’t have to repeat themselves. You can do this in OpenPhone by adding custom properties to each contact so customers don’t have to share the same information twice. Plus, team members don’t have to waste valuable time asking callers to re-verify their details.
But custom contact properties aren’t the only way OpenPhone can save you time:
- We offer dozens of ways to save time texting, including snippets, auto-replies, and scheduled messages.
- You can automatically log all call recordings, texts, and voice messages in your CRM using our HubSpot and Salesforce integrations.
- Our Zapier integration lets you save time on repetitive tasks and automate specific workflows. Want to send an appointment confirmation message after someone fills out a form on your website? You can do that right from the Starter plan ($15 per month per user).
Managing your team’s business phone system shouldn’t feel like a part-time job. With OpenPhone, it’s easy to customize your phone’s settings and get up and running in under 20 minutes.
Sign up for our seven-day free trial to test the platform yourself.
OpenPhone key features
- Unlimited calls to the US and Canada
- One free number per user on your account
- SMS and MMS support
- International calling support
- CRM integrations (HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.)
- Multiple apps available (Android, iPhone, desktop, and browser)
- Texting automations like snippets, scheduled texts, and auto-replies
- Voicemail transcriptions
- Call recordings
- Starter: $15 per user per month for voicemail to text, voicemail-to-text transcriptions, and call recording
- Business: $23 per user per month for call transfers, phone menus/IVR, and HubSpot and Salesforce integrations
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for audit logs, priority support, and a dedicated account manager
2. Talkdesk: Best customer self-service option
Talkdesk is a cloud-based contact center platform designed to connect all your communication channels together. This omnichannel solution can help you consolidate customer touchpoints into a single dashboard for calls, texts, emails, and social media.
You can use Talkdesk to create self-service workflows that remove unnecessary work from your live agents. For example, you can answer repetitive questions with an AI assistant or let callers use IVR to route themselves to the right department. But this comes at a price: Talkdesk starts at $75 per user per month with a three-year minimum contract.
In addition to its self-service tools through chat, you can also enable Talkdesk to make calls or texts through existing devices. Just keep in mind you have to pay extra for basic features — you can’t access SMS unless you pay for the CX Cloud Elevate plan ($95 per user per month).
Talkdesk’s high price tag may be frustrating to small business owners. And since the starting price doesn’t include the cost of inbound calls, outbound calls, and texting, your monthly bill can add up fast.
There are a few other limitations of Talkdesk to keep in mind:
- Talkdesk’s business phone system is only available in select countries, including the US and 25 countries in Europe. The system isn’t available to users in Latin America or parts of Canada.
- There’s no support for voicemail transcriptions or voicemail to email.
- Users can only manage up to five phone numbers at once.
- Some Talkdesk products don’t work correctly in Talkdesk Phone, including CX Agent tools, integrations with Salesforce and Zendesk, and reporting features like real-time dashboards.
- You can’t use the Talkdesk mobile app unless you pay for the CX Cloud Elevate plan ($95 per user per month).
Talkdesk provides several options for self-service customer workflows, but the features provided by its business phone system are bare-bones at best. If you’re looking for a more robust solution that offers unlimited calls and messages in the US and Canada, you should look for a Talkdesk alternative.
Talkdesk key features
- 60+ integrations
- Set business hours
- API access
- Self-service tools for customers (like AI-powered virtual assistants)
Talkdesk offers three different plans:
- CX Cloud Essentials: $75 per user per month for IVR, call routing, and 60+ integrations
- CX Cloud Elevate: $95 per user per month for screen recording, quality management, and access to the mobile app
- CX Cloud Elite: $125 per user per month for performance management, custom reporting with Live and Explore (not compatible with Talkdesk Phone), and one free add-on depending on your needs
All prices are based on a minimum three-year contract. And remember: all Talkdesk plans require you to pay extra for outbound calls and text messages.
In addition to these basic plans, you can purchase Talkdesk Experience Clouds, which are contact center solutions for specific industries. These include:
- Financial Services Experience Cloud for Banking Edition
- Financial Services Experience Cloud for Insurance Edition
- Healthcare Experience Cloud for Providers Edition
- Retail Experience Cloud Edition
These plans don’t have any direct pricing on the website. The only way to get a quote is to contact Talkdesk directly.
3. Dialpad: The top option for AI-based coaching
Dialpad is a unified communications platform offering AI contact center solutions. For example, you can tap into their AI coaching solutions to help your team communicate more clearly with callers.
But what you can’t do with Dialpad is far more extensive than what you can do.
On the basic plan, you can’t:
- Purchase additional numbers
- Send international text messages
- Access 24/7 customer support
- Set up auto-replies
Plus, keep in mind some of Dialpad’s listed features can’t be accessed at all. Quality of service reports aren’t available on any plan, although they’re advertised in the feature lineup.
Upgrading with Dialpad can get expensive fast. It’s $10 extra per user per month to unlock international numbers and texting capabilities and another tier up for guaranteed uptime — which could be problematic for growing brands. But perhaps most concerning, Dialpad’s toll-free numbers and global SMS only apply to US customers. And even if you do get a toll-free number with Dialpad, you end up paying $.02 per minute for every inbound call.
If you’re located outside the US and trying to call customers overseas — or just want a more predictable monthly budget for your business phone system — Dialpad may not be a good fit for your team.
Dialpad key features
- Integrations with the Google Suite and Microsoft Teams
- Unlimited inbound and outbound calls in the US, Canada, and your country
- Internet fax (available in the US and Canada only)
- SMS and MMS support (US and Canadian customers only)
- Voicemail transcriptions
- Standard: $15 per user per month for unlimited calls, SMS and MMS support, and unlimited video meetings
- Pro: $25 per user per month for local numbers in 70+ countries, up to 25 ring groups, CRM integrations, and international SMS (three user seat minimum)
- Enterprise: Custom monthly price for guaranteed uptime, unlimited ring groups, and (100 user seat minimum)
4. RingCentral: Best option with desk phone rentals
RingCentral is a cloud-based phone system offering calls, texts, and video conferencing. Businesses can also rent compatible desk phones for their physical workspaces (like offices and cubicles).
However, many of RingCentral’s best features become inaccessible using desk phones. You can’t join video conferences with your team or send text messages at all.
You also don’t have much room to test RingCentral’s desk phones on your own. During the free trial, you can only trial up to two desk phones at once. You may be charged for the hardware if you don’t return them within 21 days.
Another potential deal breaker: RingCentral users are limited to just 25 texts per user per month. You can’t unlock unlimited texts no matter how much you upgrade, maxing out at 200 texts per user per month. And since SMS isn’t available on the free trial, you can’t see if the platform’s a good fit for your team before buying a full plan.
Finally, RingCentral doesn’t allow you to store text messages, call recordings, and voicemails indefinitely. All records are subject to time and size limits unless you upgrade for unlimited storage ($35 per user per month). Even then, ‘unlimited’ only gives you more space — your records are still subject to time limitations.
The only way to get true unlimited storage is to use a RingCentral alternative.
RingCentral key features
- Unlimited calls in the US and Canada
- Voicemail to email
- Multilevel auto-attendants and IVR
- Shared numbers
- On-demand call recording (automatic call recording requires upgrade)
- Core: $20 per user per month for phone menus, 25 text messages per user, and on-demand call recordings
- Advanced: $25 per user per month for CRM integrations, 100 text messages per user, and automatic call recordings
- Ultra: $35 per user per month for additional file storage and 200 text messages per user
Keep in mind there are a few add-ons to consider:
- Additional local or toll-free numbers: $4.99 per user per month
- Additional international numbers: $5.99 per number per month
- Additional international toll-free numbers: $14.99 per user per month (plus $25 one-time fee)
- Additional vanity numbers: $30 one-time fee
- High-volume SMS: $0.0085 per message sent or received
5. Genesys Cloud CX: Best Five9 alternative that’s PCI DSS compliant
Like Talkdesk, Genesys Cloud CX is a customer experience platform that combines all your customer touchpoints into a single dashboard. It’s also a PCI DSS-compliant solution, which means it meets safety standards to accept, process, and store customer payment details (like credit cards).
Unfortunately, Genesys Cloud CX isn’t an out-of-the-box solution:
- First, you need to purchase a license to the platform, starting at $75 per user per month
- Next, you need to purchase an add-on to unlock local, toll-free, or ported numbers
- Finally, you need to download one of seven apps (three for Android, four for iOS) depending on your role at work; a single app won’t serve all the functions your team likely needs to complete
Even once you’ve downloaded the Genesys app(s) to your device, be aware they may not work as intended. Many customers point out clunky interfaces with poor call quality. Just check out what they had to say below:
“It is unforgivable that in this day and age, a major voice company like this does not have smart assistance integration. I should be able to tell my phone to contact a client or a specific phone number using your app, completely hands-free. Without that, cell phone plans are $25 a month at T-Mobile with magenta if you have more than four lines. For an enterprise solution I do not understand why anyone would use pure cloud without this.” — Google Play
“If you want a phone system that delivers calls 90% of the time, this is the system for you. Most calls go through just fine, but sometimes your phone never rings and a voice message pops up. Sometimes you end a call and the app stays locked on the call. Sometimes you call other people and it just rings and they never get notified. For us, missing 10% of our calls is not acceptable, but it may be the right system for you.” — App Store
Genesys Cloud CX key features
- Call flows
- Call recording
Genesys Cloud CX pricing
Although Genesys Cloud CX lists five different price plans, only three support both inbound and outbound calls.
- CX 1: $75 per user per month for voice routing, voicemail, and IVR
- CX 2: $115 per user per month for quality management reports, screen recording, and text support (SMS and MMS)
- CX 3: $155 per user per month for performance analytics, speech and text analytics, and workforce management tools
You also need to purchase a separate add-on to use local, toll-free, or ported phone numbers. This means you have to pay extra fees, including:
- Per-minute pricing for landline and mobile numbers ($0.015 per minute)
- Per-call pricing when calls last six seconds or less ($0.0025 per call)
- Per-minute pricing for inbound calls through a desk phone ($0.009 per minute)
Keep in mind these are just the numbers for customers in the US. If you’re based overseas or looking to call international customers, you need to contact Genesys for a quote.
6. CloudTalk: Top solution for manager-based live coaching
CloudTalk provides a cloud-based phone system to inbound contact centers. Whether you’re training new agents or upskilling team members, you can use live coaching software (like call barging and call whispering) to get them ready for solo calls.
With CloudTalk, all internal and inbound phone calls are 100% free — most of the time. ‘Free’ inbound calling doesn’t apply to phone numbers within CloudTalk’s predetermined set of high-cost countries. There’s no way to know what these countries are without contacting the company directly.
You should also know CloudTalk doesn’t offer free and unlimited outbound calls. You have to pay per minute to reach numbers outside your business and per message for any text messages you send (even domestically). Upgrading to the Enterprise for ‘unlimited outbound calls’ just unlocks flat rates — you can’t get unlimited calls or texts on any plan.
Still want to try out CloudTalk’s live coaching tools? You can — although none of them are available on the basic plan. First, you have to upgrade to the Expert plan ($50 per user per month) to unlock call monitoring features. Then, you have to contact the company directly to set up a free trial.
CloudTalk key features
- Click to call
- Access to 160+ countries
- Unlimited call queuing
- Mobile app support
- Call recording
- Starter: $25 per user per month for unlimited intracompany calls, automated call distribution, and international phone numbers
- Essential: $30 per user per month for third-party integrations, SMS support, and agent reporting
- Expert: $50 per user per month for call barging, call whispering, and unlimited concurrent calls
- Custom: Get a quote for unlimited outbound calls, enterprise security, and custom reporting
7. Zoom Phone: Best option for international numbers
You’ve likely heard of Zoom before: it’s a unified communications platform mostly known for video calls. But you may not know about Zoom Phone — its VoIP calling feature. You can use Zoom Phone to make domestic calls in your country or purchase international numbers in 40+ regions worldwide.
Unfortunately, none of these international features are available on the starter plan.
To unlock international calls, you have to purchase Zoom Phone’s second most expensive plan ($180 per user per year). Then, you have to buy an add-on (starting at $120 per year) to reach callers in 19 countries and territories.
To unlock international numbers, you must upgrade to the most expensive plan ($240 per user per year) and choose a number in one of 40 countries. All additional numbers cost $60 per number per year — not including the $120 per year international calling add-on.
You should know Zoom Phone doesn’t offer all its features on a single plan. For example, upgrading to the highest tier causes you to lose SMS and MMS support.
You also can’t use Zoom’s video conferencing tools unless you buy a more expensive plan in a different category (Zoom One). The first Zoom One tier compatible with Zoom phones starts at $250 per user per year, which is $10 more than the most expensive plan on Zoom Phone.
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to make international calls, you should look for a Zoom Phone alternative with more competitive per-minute rates.
Zoom Phone key features
- Unlimited internal calling
- International phone numbers in 40+ countries (requires upgrade)
- Domestic SMS and MMS support (requires upgrade)
- Automatic and manual call recording
- Video conferencing (on Zoom One only)
Zoom Phone pricing
If you don’t care about making video calls, you can purchase Zoom Phone for calling and texting. There are four plans to choose from:
- Pro: Custom quote for call recording, internal calling, and iOS and Android apps
- Metered: $120 per user per year ($10 per user per month) for metered outbound calling, phone extension numbers, and SMS and MMS support (for US and Canadian numbers only)
- Unlimited: $180 per user per year ($15 per user per month) for unlimited outbound calling and an optional add-on for international calls in 19 countries
- Select: $240 per user per year ($20 per user per month) for unlimited domestic calling in one of Zoom’s supported 40+ countries (although you lose SMS and MMS support)
If you want all of Zoom’s core features, you need to pay for a Zoom One plan. There are two tiers that support Zoom Phone’s features:
- Business Plus: $250 per user per year for 300 attendees per meeting, 10 GB of cloud storage, and unlimited regional phone calls (comes with SMS and MMS, call queuing, and ACD)
- Enterprise: Custom price for 1,000 attendees per meeting, unlimited cloud storage, and PBX phone features (includes metered outbound calls and IVR, but does not come with text support)
8. Aircall: Best Five9 alternative with an API
Aircall is a virtual phone solution for customer-facing teams. Apart from its out-of-the-box VoIP platform, you can also use its API to connect your existing infrastructure.
But small businesses just getting their feet on the ground may want to think twice about Aircall’s API. Not only do users cite specific limitations with contact data automations but the existing documentation is somewhat light and difficult to follow. Plus, API developer support is only available on the most expensive plan (which requires a custom quote and a 10-user minimum). Unless you’re a seasoned developer or willing to pay for support, you may want to look for an Aircall alternative.
This customer review sums it up well:
“Dev support has room to improve, as there are certain important functionalities weirdly omitted. For example, you can add phone numbers to a contact via REST API call, but there is no way to remove a phone number from the contact. Better documentation would also be nice.” — G2
Not interested in Aircall’s API? You can always opt for their established phone solution. However, this doesn’t necessarily come with fewer limitations. For example:
- There’s a user minimum on all three of Aircall’s plans, meaning the actual price of the cheapest plan is $90 per month.
- SMS is restricted to 4,000 messages per user per month in just five countries (US, Canada, France, Australia, and the UK). You also can’t send GIFs, documents, or photos to customers since MMS isn’t supported.
- You can’t send text messages and have a phone menu on the same number.
- Some of Aircall’s best features are hidden behind more expensive plans. If you want custom analytics, API developer support, and prioritized customer support, you need to get a quote for the Enterprise plan.
We have yet to discuss Aircall’s biggest limitation: the lack of data storage. Call recordings are limited to just one year of storage, while analytics are kept for just six months. You have to upgrade if you want unlimited storage for call recordings — although no amount of upgrading can give you more than six months of analytics.
If your business relies on detailed records and can’t afford a data gap, you may want to look for an Aircall alternative that offers unlimited storage.
Aircall key features
- Unlimited inbound and internal calls
- APIs and webhooks
- Ring groups
- Shared inboxes
- Custom music and messages
- Essentials: $30 per user per month for IVR, call recording, and 4,000 SMS messages per user per month (three user minimum)
- Professional: $50 per user per month for queue callback, call whispering, and the Salesforce integration (three user minimum)
- Custom: Call for quote to get unlimited international calling bundles, custom analytics, and API developer support (10 user minimum)
9. CallHippo: Best outbound sales solution
CallHippo is an outbound call center solution designed for bulk communications. You can use their power dialer to queue up phone numbers automatically, then use an automated voice messaging system to leave important messages.
But none of these features are available on CallHippo’s basic plan. The first tier only provides basic features like call forwarding, voicemail, and SMS support (there’s no MMS support available). And don’t get too carried away with their advertised $0 price — you still have to pay for the numbers on your account, which start at $8 per number per month.
You should also know CallHippo requires you to purchase add-ons for key features. These include:
- Call recording transcriptions: $15 per user per month
- Caller ID names (only in US and Canada): $100 one-time setup fee
- Voicemail transcriptions: $1.50 per user per month
If you’re a growing organization that wants better features at more affordable (and transparent) prices, you should look for a CallHippo alternative.
CallHippo key features
- Power dialer (requires upgrade)
- Automated voice messaging (requires upgrade)
- Call forwarding
- Click to dial
CallHippo’s prices depend on the number of users on your account. The more you have, the less you pay — and the less you have, the more you pay.
Here’s what teams of one to 20 users can expect to pay for a Call Center Solution plan:
- Basic: $0 per user per month for team numbers, smart switch (DD), and ‘last dialed by’ information (costs $8 per number)
- Bronze: $16 per user per month for one free number per user, skills-based routing, and call recording (still costs $0.005 per minute)
- Silver: $24 per user per month for free call recording, IVR, and holiday call routing
- Platinum: $40 per user per month for power dialing, voice broadcasting, and analytics and reporting
Don’t want to pay extra just for having fewer users? You can always upgrade to CallHippo’s Office Phone System plans. Just keep in mind they may be more expensive than the Call Center Solution plans (depending on the features you want).
You have three plans to choose from:
- Starter: $12.99 per user per month for unlimited calls in the US and Canada, IVR, and ring groups
- Professional: $21.99 per user per month for unlimited calling to 14 countries, call recording, and reports and analytics
- Ultimate: $30.99 per user per month for unlimited calling to 48 countries, webhooks, call blocking, and a professionally recorded phone greeting
There are also a few add-ons to keep in mind:
- Custom caller ID: $12 per number per month
- Voicemail transcriptions: $1.50 per user per month
- Call transcriptions: $15 per user per month
Why teams switch to Five9 alternatives
Five9 is a call and contact center as a service platform, otherwise known as CCaaS. You can use their platform to manage communications across multiple channels, including social media, web chat, and email.
But because Five9 invests so heavily in unified communications, many of its calling features can’t compete with other business phone systems.
Here’s why users are making the switch from Five9 to more effective phone systems.
Five9 costs far more than other solutions
Five9 starts at $149 per user per month — almost twice the price of the most expensive provider on this list. Even then, the features you get for the price aren’t enough for most small business owners. The voice-only plan only comes with a desktop app, call recording, and predictive dialing. You can’t even integrate with multiple channels unless you upgrade to the Premium plan ($169 per user per month).
You also can’t access all of Five9’s features on any plan. While upgrading to the most expensive plan ($229 per user per month) provides customer interaction analytics, it removes your ability to integrate with SMS, MMS, and social messaging channels.
You may be frustrated with how Five9 forces you to pay a lot for a little. For many small business owners, the cost for value wasn’t high enough to justify a renewed contract. Here’s a recent review from a former customer:
“We changed to a different provider. Cost was a big factor and quite frankly it was overpriced. The bang for the buck just was not where it needed to be. High cost solution. Negative.” — TrustRadius
Texting is only available on one plan
We mentioned earlier you couldn’t integrate with SMS and MMS on Five9’s most expensive plan. However, you should know this is a limitation on all Five9 plans — except the first option.
You can only access SMS and MMS on the Digital plan for $149 per user per month. However, buying this plan prevents you from accessing more advanced tools for workforce management, quality management, and predictive dialing.
You’re also unable to connect your voice channels on Five9’s Digital Only plan. In other words, you have to choose between making phone calls or sending text messages — not ideal for growing small businesses.
Take a look at this recent review:
“We were hoping to have a platform that joined together telephony, SMS, and other capabilities. What we ended up getting was a completely disjointed structure. The platform is completely disjointed. SMS isn’t integrated with the phone components. They remind me of a Blackberry. They were probably good at some point but today they’re past their prime.” — G2
Customers report issues with the app
Thousands of customers say the Five9 app is slow and clunky at best. Not only does it have a history of freezing, but its unreliable uptime has led teams to look elsewhere.
Five9’s customer support for these problems and outages may not be particularly responsive. Some customers say it was difficult to get in touch, while others waited multiple days for a reply.
Here’s what one customer had to say about Five9’s poor uptime:
“During almost 4 years using Five9, there have been 5-10 outages for minutes to hours at a time that cost us a lot of money and caused frustration. Although this happens very rarely, these times can be painful for a business where time is money and when we’re not on the phones, we’re losing thousands.” — TrustRadius
Five9 has a steep learning curve
Dozens of reviewers say Five9 simply isn’t an intuitive platform. Users say the interface is hard to navigate, and many of its tools take multiple weeks to learn.
The downtime required to master Five9’s interface could be debilitating and costly to your brand. Not only do you have to contend with agent comments and questions, but you need to consider how mishandled calls could damage your customer experience.
This review summarizes it well:
“When we transitioned from Zendesk Calls to Five9, the transition was hard for a whole month since navigating their tool for inbound and outbound calls was difficult to process. It took some time for our employees to adjust with the platform and for months we had influx of disconnected calls and ghostcalls.” — G2
Bottom line: If your team continues to grow and you have to continually onboard new teammates, there are better options mentioned in this guide.
OpenPhone is the best alternative to Five9 for growing small businesses
Five9 is an expensive phone solution with a fragmented set of features. Unfortunately, not all Five9 alternatives offer a noticeably better platform — or the features your business needs as it grows.
If you’re looking to meet the increasing expectations of your customers, OpenPhone can help your team deliver more personalized service that can delight your customers. Our competitive prices scale alongside your team and never force you to upgrade before you’re ready. You can get a free number for every user on your plan, then set up shared numbers to manage incoming calls as a team. Callers can get where they need to go with our easy-to-use IVR, which gives your team more time to do meaningful work — like building better relationships with your customers.
You can start using OpenPhone to delight your customers in 15 minutes or less. Sign up for a free seven-day trial today to test the platform with your team.