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Google Voice is a telephone service that provides their services to Google Account customers in the U.S. and Canada. This service was released in 2009 by Google.
The user is provided an American phone number, based on the availability in the selected area codes, or the user has the possibility of changing their current number. This call management software comes with a mobile application and a desktop/tablet interface enabling users to log calls, block callers, create logs, and perform regular telephone functions.
Other features like voicemail, texting, transcribed and audio voicemails can be activated by the user. PC-to-phone calling is available within Canada and the United States.
Is Google Voice actually free?
You can use Google Voice for both personal and business purposes. While the former is free, you need to pay for a subscription if you need it for your business.
As a Google Voice Personal customer, you will be able to create just one phone number account. On the other hand, Google Voice Business customers can create multiple accounts, depending on the plan they have chosen (Starter, Standard, and Premier).
The costs will depend on the features of each subscription. While personal users can use the account only in the U.S., Google Voice business users can currently buy available phone numbers from 13 countries!
Google Voice Personal accounts come with basic features like call forwarding, voicemail transcripts, and mobile application feature. You get much more from your company's Google Workspace managed voice account, such as desk phone compatibility, do not disturb button, and auto attendants.
Google Voice Pricing
Source: Google Voice pricing on cloud.google.com on the 04/26/2021
Google Voice's monthly plans for businesses range from $19 to $30 per user.
The base model is only applicable to emerging startups as it has a limit of 10 users.
The standard plan is priced at $20 per user per month and has no limits on the number of users but does not offer international calling.
If you have more than 10 users and need to make international calls, the premier plan at $30 is the only option. While all plans offer free calling to the USA from any country, Google Voice is not available in all countries.
Why move away from Google Voice?
You need a more complete solution
Google Voice is a great software for quickly gaining a new phone number and making VoIP calls. But the offer remains very limited and there is a possibility that individual entrepreneurs will need to replace their mobile number with a new number.
Google Voice is oriented towards business, but the features are weak compared to other solutions on the market. For example, you won't be able to set up phone support or voice menus to manage customer calls, even with the $30 per month/per user package.
Pros: Google Voice is good for making VoIP calls
Cons: The features offered by Google Voice are weak compared to other solutions
You need more affordable pricing
Google Voice appears to be a free solution since it allows you to get a local US number at no cost. However, if you want to use Google Voice on a professional level, you will need to switch to a paid plan ranging from $10 to $30 per user per month. Very few features are offered in these packages, much less than most other business solutions available on the market. Better alternatives can be found quite easily.
If you want to set up an auto-attendant to manage your calls like an established business, that option is available starting from $20 per user. If you have a team of 3 people managing calls, you will need to spend $60 a month. With Quicktalk, you'll have the same option with more features at $19.
Pros: Google Voice provides a free basic phone line for domestic use only
Cons: Adding essential business features is costly. For the same price, you have better options with other VoIP providers
International calling fees with Google Voice
When you want to place calls overseas, you'll need to add credits to your account to pay for service. In most cases, however, the fees are minimal and just a couple of cents per minute.
Here's a handy tool from Google on call rates. You can input the country you're planning to contact and see associated costs.
International calling might not matter at this point for your business, but things can move quickly if you have an international phone number. Whether you start using foreign providers to manage your business or expand internationally, having a business phone that covers international calls will undoubtedly make a difference at some point.
With Quicktalk, enjoy unlimited outbound and inbound calling towards 36 countries.
Data privacy matters
When it comes to Google, privacy has been a concern for everyone. When using Google Voice, you unknowingly endup sharing your call logs, information about your callers, the text exchanges between you and your clients or any such details with them.
However, in a world of increased scrutiny and where the debate of block-chain based and privacy-oriented Web 3 is gaining momentum, it is not desirable to have your personal and business critical information stored on third party servers owned by the GAFA.
If privacy matters to you, you need to consider a different service provider that you are sure that they won't save and use your data to further their business.
Your need quick and effective customer service
When choosing a business communication service provider, it is important to go for a provider that gives the utmost importance to addressing customer complaints. However, Google Voice doesn't even have a dedicated phone number where you can reach their customer care for immediate resolution of your concerns.
And once you raise a complaint they take around 10 working days to resolve it. Unfortunately, a business can't wait for 10 days to resolve an issue, especially when it is related to call quality that can affect your daily business.
So, you need to ask yourself, should reaching a support center be this complicated?
Google Voice only integrates with Google Workspace
Integrating your phone number system into your office CRM or e-commerce software can be highly beneficial for your business. It not only saves time and costs but also improves your business's overall efficiency and customer experience.
Google does not integrate with anything other than Google Workspace. However, being able to integrate your phone system with other tools unleashes a lot of potential in your customer service. Here are some examples:
CRM and Ecommerce Integrations: These help you get customer info from your CRM for each incoming call - customer history, call activity, last orders etc. Calls are also automatically logged on the customer record.
Click to Call: Call customers in one click instead of tapping in their whole number
Since Google Voice does not have these integrations, and alternative like Quicktalk would be a better option.
Porting your number out can be complicated
Many users complained about outbound portability issues. When customers usually port their numbers to Google Voice, it works most of the time, even if it costs them a $20 fee. But if you need to switch from Google Voice to another provider, porting your Google Voice number can be complicated. You can't reach out to someone at Google and get it fixed quickly. Everything is happening online, and you may face certain issues.
A lack of call monitoring options
To manage customer calls, established businesses must have their team trained on how to answer the phone. You can't really do that efficiently without call recording and live call listening.
Then, in order to monitor your call activity with efficiency, you need the minimum call statistics options. How many calls did your business miss last month? How is that improving? How much business are you losing every month because of missed calls? How can you manage to take more calls with smarter call routing? etc.
You need something easy to use and set up
Whenever you choose a new software solution for your business, you must always go for something that is simple, yet highly advantageous. When it comes to virtual phone systems, you need to choose a provider that can offer state-of-the-art solutions to help you set up a cloud phone system in a matter of 3 minutes or less.
If Google Voice takes longer to connect, worry not; there are many other alternate providers such as Quicktalk who offer fantastic solutions.
Top 5 Alternatives to Google Voice
Are you looking for a better option than Google Voice? Compare the other solutions on the market to select the best tool for your small or medium-sized business. Below, you will find a review of the competitors in terms of price, features, and ease of use:
Alternative #1: Quicktalk
If you are a small business looking for a virtual phone number system that is easy to set up, at affordable rates, consider Quicktalk. With over 15 years' experience in the telecom industry, Quicktalk has the expertise to help small and medium businesses manage their customer calls effectively, making it an excellent alternative to Google Voice.
As of now, they have just one unique pricing plan which comes with fantastic features, including call recording, live monitoring, and call statistics.
Enjoy mobile and desktop unlimited calling from anywhere: Quicktalk allows you to take calls from your desktop and also redirect calls to your own mobile phone which makes it super easy to manage your customer calls from anywhere.Pricing: enjoy unlimited calling for only 19€ per month per company (up to 3 users included).
Connect your number to your workspace: Run your business efficiently by connecting your number to your CRM, e-commerce software, and other workspaces like Slack.
Keep your existing phone number: Got customers who identify your business with your number? You can keep your same number when you use Quicktalk!
Alternative #2: Grasshopper
Grasshopper is a business VoIP system that offers all the communication tools you need to manage your business proficiently. When you sign up for Grasshopper, you will get a unique number for your business, which you can use to make and receive calls and texts from any desktop or mobile application.
Calls made to the number can have specific greetings to redirect the customer to the precise department/team member. What's more, you can even answer multiple calls by redirecting them quickly and not miss a single call.
You can use Grasshopper to get vanity, toll-free, and local numbers, as well as the functionality, to port your own number. Other features include making calls via VoIP and Wi-Fi, voicemail transcription, virtual fax, extensions, and incoming call control.
They have three plans currently - Solo ($26 per user), Partner ($44 per user), and Small Business ($80 per user).
Alternative #3: Spoke Phone
Spoke Phone does away with the traditional PBX and cloud phone systems and uses a modern solution, a software application for Twilio.
This VoIP platform can be set up in a few minutes, has excellent security features, and offers smart solutions as per individual requirements like personalized call answering options, quick call handling, excellent call quality, and swift deployment.
As they offer customized solutions for different needs, the plans start from $99 per month per feature.
Alternative #4: Skype
Skype is one of the leading VoIP communication service providers and comes with many useful features.
Skype is one popular application that allows users to make video calls, share pictures, send voice messages, and more. The company also offers unique virtual numbers, called Skype numbers, which can be used for both business and personal use.
From forwarding incoming calls to sending voice chats, do all this at very affordable rates with Skype. Though the prices start from just $3.59 per month, the total costs will depend on your call minutes and the destinations you are calling. As soon as the payment is processed, you can start using your Skype number.
Alternative #5: magicJack
If you want to receive unlimited calls from your clients (and potential ones) from the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, this application is right for you. magicJack is a telephone service provider that uses VoIP services to connect customers via their computers or telephone devices. You just need a high-speed internet connection to ensure high-quality calls.
You can use magicJack to port your existing number, make conference calls, forward calls, send voicemails, and so much more.
They have 1 to 3 annual plans, and their basic plan starts from $43.
Google's Voice has a starter pack with basic calling features priced at $10 per user per month. This is for up to 10 users. The standard pack is priced at $20 per user per month for unlimited users. If you need to upgrade to permit international calling, you will need the Premier pack priced at $30 per user per month.
Who are the top Google Voice competitors?
Google Voice has many other U.S. based competitors that offer cloud communication solutions like business phone systems, call center solutions, video calling, etc. Google Voice is generally compared to Quicktalk, Skype or magicJack that provide similar features.
Top 5 Google Voice competitors
3: Spoke Phone
What is the best alternative to Google Voice?
If you are an entrepreneur or small business wanting another alternative to Google Voice, Quicktalk could be a great alternative for you. It is easy to set up, affordable, and will help improve your customer experience.
Paul is a tech and business phone system enthusiast always open to discuss ideas. If you’re interested in collaborating on content projects or getting a product listed on our blog, don’t hesitate and reach out to us: [email protected].