Technology is constantly changing, and so is the customer service field. With the emergence of channels like group texting and email, it’s hard to believe that businesses still manage customer service and support through phone calls.
But customers want answers, and they want them fast.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones empower businesses to replace outdated, traditional telephones with a completely internet-based communications package. With easy setup, low costs, and greater functionality, VoIP changes the way we communicate.
Google Voice is a popular VoIP service that provides businesses with:
- Telephone numbers
- Call forwarding
- Text messages
- Voice messaging
Many small businesses and startups use Google Voice because of its affordable plans and business communication features.
Although it’s a great tool for small businesses, Google Voice has limitations you should know before integrating it into your business communication plan. Read on to learn more about the limitations, the most popular apps similar to Google Voice, and the features you should look for when choosing your VoIP provider.
What are the limitations of Google Voice?
Google Voice has long been one of the most popular VoIP services, but its limitations may pose problems for business communications. While it offers caller ID, businesses reported problems with this feature, particularly when using it for business purposes from a personal phone. When you dial from a personal phone, it displays your personal caller ID instead of the Google Voice number.
Other limitations are that Google Voice doesn't support toll-free (or vanity numbers) or provide users with call analytics. Additionally, you can only integrate this VoIP service with Workplace apps, which can be a problem for businesses looking to integrate a virtual phone system with other customer relationship management platforms.
Although Google Voice offers many standard business phone features, it’s only available in some regions, including:
- United States
- United Kingdom
What features should you look for in a VoIP provider?
Is your business in the market for an app similar to Google Voice? A good VoIP phone system provides more than a telephone service—so look for additional features that will help your business grow. Start by thinking about what your business needs, and ask yourself:
- How much can my business afford to spend each month?
- Do we make frequent international calls?
- Will we require a call routing solution?
- Do we need a toll-free number?
- Do we need audio and video functionality?
When you have a clear idea of the features and tools your business needs, it’s time to compare VoIP providers. As you weigh each option, consider its mobility, scalability, usability, security, and reliability. Look for a provider that offers the following features:
- Good call quality and connectivity
- Possible upgrades
- Straightforward telephone number porting
- Excellent customer service
- Reliable coverage
- Smooth installation and hassle-free management
Alternatives to Google Voice as a VoIP
Before choosing a VoIP provider, take your time and research each option to ensure it’ll integrate seamlessly with your business and help you in the long run. Here’s our list of the top 4 Google Voice alternatives available today:
1. Twilio Programmable Voice
Twilio Programmable Voice is a powerful cloud-based VoIP that you can add to new and existing communication systems. In addition to programmable SMS solutions, Twilio also offers programmable voice calls and the ability to customize a flexible contact center.
Users can take advantage of Voice Insights to track more granular call data. And with the full picture of call performance and caller behavior, you can make the necessary adjustments to your program. This VoIP provider also identifies anomalies and call quality issues.
Twilio emphasizes the ability to communicate across platforms, giving you access to channels like SMS, email, video, and WhatsApp. Plus, Programmable Voice is available worldwide, with the option to pay as you go with no further commitments.
Additional Programmable Voice features include alerts and notifications, call tracking, embedded calling, global conferencing, masked calling, and interactive voice response.
RingCentral provides software solutions to help businesses streamline communication from one secure platform. Designed to help large businesses get more done, RingCentral offers fully integrated messaging, video meetings, and phone calls on the device of your choice. It also offers plans for small businesses that need an easy-to-use phone system.
This VoIP provider supports interoffice communication and external communication with customers and clients. Additional features include video and audio conferencing, collaboration tools, and integrations with other business applications. Because RingCentral offers additional messaging and video meeting tools that go beyond a simple cloud phone system, it's a good VoIP alternative to Google Voice.
Grasshopper offers business communication solutions for small organizations. This software provides users with a business phone number to use across multiple devices, including iPhone, Android, and landlines.
Plus, this VoIP provider makes it easy to take calls from anywhere while keeping work and personal lives separate. Grasshopper offers affordable pricing starting as low as $14/month. Additional features include toll-free, vanity, and local numbers, custom greetings, call handling and forwarding, incoming call control, and extensions.
OpenPhone is virtual phone software designed as a modern business phone for small businesses and startups. This cloud phone software allows users to record voicemails and list their business number on websites and social media platforms without the risk of getting spam on their personal number.
Users can call and text as a team, see their teammates’ activity, and problem-solve together in threads, working together to give customers a seamless experience. Additional features include an interactive interface, snippets and autoreplies, call recording, group messaging, and more.
What's more, OpenPhone allows users to make and receive calls from virtually anywhere in the world with no roaming fees, making it a great Google Voice alternative in Canada.
Try Twilio Programmable Voice
There are many affordable Google Voice alternatives out there to make your business communication more efficient and cost-effective. Best of all, you can try many apps like Google Voice for free during a trial period before investing.
Twilio Programmable Voice empowers businesses to build custom VoIP calling solutions and add the features you need as you scale. And with Twilio’s flexible pricing, you can build the phone system you need—using your preferred web language, database, and development tools—at a convenient pay-as-you-go price.
Sign up today to start building the right solution for your business.