When successfully signed-up to, Aircall is pretty easy to use - but do note that to automatically register you need to use a company email (ie, @mycompany.com). Free email addresses are not accepted, which means if you already use a business gmail.com or outlook.com email email account you will need to contact Aircall support to whitelist it to sign up with.
Once past that everything else was relatively simple. Aircall comes in two parts:
- a web app to provide the main dashboard,
- and a call dialer app that you download to your desktop
The web app is where you configure your settings, add your team, and generally edit/manage/admin your account. The dialer app is what you use to make calls.
Mobile apps are also available for iOS and Android.
At this point you can either port in an existing number or else pick a free number from a range according to country and location, allowing you to choose where your calls come from.
Not only was there a choice of over 50 countries (mainly in Europe and the Americas) but selecting one allowed for the selection of specific area codes - potentially handy when aiming to use local numbers for local marketing, or codes for capital cities for national campaigns. Some countries could be set up automatically, though others required support help to set up. For the US there were options for local and toll-free numbers.
You're not limited to just one number either, with the ability to assign multiple numbers to each person or team member. However, do note that these numbers are charged for at €6 per month (around $7 or £5.50).
However, to make calls you have to use the desktop app rather than the main dashboard in the web app - there doesn't appear to be one-click calling from the main dashboard itself. Also watch out for the country code in the desktop app when dialing out as it doesn't appear to default to your IP or phone number location.
Trying out the mobile apps instead of the desktop app to make calls proved problematical - while I could easily install the Aircall app on both the iPhone 5 and Xperia Z1, neither appeared capable of completing voice calls.
On the iPhone the call would drop as soon as the call was made, resulting in a "missed call" entry in the web app dashboard. For the Android phone, any call was immediately redirected to voicemail. A direct landline call to the assigned number was able to connect fine with the web app.
While the immediate suspicion is that Aircall may not work too well on older phones, both apps suffer poor reviews on the Apple Appstore as well as the Google Play store, suggesting that Aircall needs to do more to support the mobile versions.
Routing and settings
Back to the web app, and after installation a basic routing configuration was already set up (see above image). Team member availability could be edited to ensure calls only went to them during their working hours, and there was a voicemail option that could be configured from a standard message from a range of voices, to a customized one using text-to-speech or, of course, a custom MP3 recording.
Wait music was also available with editable settings, allowing you to use a couple of supplied music library options, or ring tones specific to different territories (US, UK, Europe, Japan, Australia), with the additional option to upload your own custom MP3 track as required. If you do use your own music, do ensure you have the rights to use it - you can find a selection featured in our best on-hold options here.
IVR and menus
You can also set up a central IVR to run all of your numbers through. As well as providing a directory tree to call team members directly, there are also different message options available for a welcome, on-hold, absence, or call-back later message.
Call recording is also on by default, allowing you to playback calls through the web app after for monitoring purposes. However, you can switch this off at anytime in your setting options.
While it takes a few minutes to find your way around the different menus, simplicity is clearly at play here, which offers both positives and negatives. On the one hand, the settings options provided are clearly laid out and easy to use. On the other, there were no obvious options to customize the system outside of the available options. This is in contrast to some other vendors who allow you to build your own IVR and call routing tree using a visual editor, or even code it directly.
The assumption appears to be that Aircall has covered all the most important bases, and to be fair, they almost certainly have for most small businesses. Larger ones may struggle with the constraints offered, though.
There are various basic stats and analytics included in the basic tier, though more advanced ones are promised in more expensive plans.
The basics stats included information such as the number of calls, including separation for inbound and outbound. There’s also a section for missed calls, such as how many went to voicemail, to show how to improve performance.
There are also stats available on calls per person, length of time per call, and how many calls made per person.
Curiously, though, it listed my account as making 3 inbound calls in the overview, but a drill down stated only 2 inbound calls. However, you can export the stats as a spreadsheet, and there it showed a call from the Android app that had gone straight to voicemail was counted as a call in the overview but not at the team member level.
Analytics allows you to filter stats by various parameters mentioned above, though again this is quite basic.
In addition there are call tagging feature options available, and there is an activity feed available.
Over 30 integration options are available in the dashboard, such as for Desk.com, Freshdesk, Hubspot, Magento, Microsoft Dynamics, Pipedrive, SalesForce, Shopify, Slack, Zendesk, and Zoho.
This mean that while Aircall can run fine by itself as a phone system, additional CRM, communications, and ecommerce integrations can really extend Aircall’s functionality and usefulness.
Aircall offers a fully-functional cloud-powered business phone system that can work well for small businesses and teams, but the lack of detailed customization options may limit its attractiveness to enterprises.
Even still, it does offers a lot of essential features for setting up and working with groups of agents, and the addition of integrations make this a potentially powerful platform to work with.
Where it lets itself down are two areas. One is the poor mobile support, which reduces it’s usefulness for those on the go. The other is a lack of video conferencing, which is a shame because Aircall otherwise does a lot of other things well.
Pricing may also be a concern, as the cheapest Essentials tier is priced at 30 euros per user per month, which makes it more expensive on price alone compared to basic plans from rivals such as RingCentral and Mitel. However, that depends on how sales taxes are applied to those US services as compared to Aircall as a European one.
Another important plus is that there’s live chat support alongside your dashboard through most times of the day, so if you have a technical question it can usually be answered very quickly.