This post was contributed by Urmi Shah of CallHippo.
From internal communication to managing communities, effective communication helps businesses succeed. Today, technology is the powerhouse of communication.
Want to manage a project effectively, get better at sales, provide excellent customer service? Nothing empowers these activities better than the right technology.
Internet-enabled devices and software have enabled a greater collaboration between teams across organizations and customers worldwide. The increasing pool of potential communication channels presents exciting opportunities to foster better connections globally.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is one such technology that empowers business communication with its robust solutions.
What is VoIP?
VoIP is a technology that lets you place calls and exchange multimedia leveraging the internet. This technology is based on the cloud, contrary to traditional telephone technologies.
VoIP involves a few aspects that may be foreign to the untrained eye. Here are a few things that can help you understand the potential of VoIP.
In our fast-paced stressed world, gadgets have become a sort of savior from the hustle and bustle. With the advent of VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – a premium class voice service has been made readily available for a savvy customer base. Network flexibility provided by VoIP has generated a consumer-friendly internationalization that allows broadband use to accept all kinds of calls from anywhere in the globe, irrespective of your network provider.
Voip gives businesses a productivity advantage. We’ve all been there. You’re in a meeting with two or more people from different locations who are trying to get on the same page. It takes a fair amount of back-and-forth via email to set up a time and place for all parties to connect in one place. VoIP is built to solve that problem.
In today’s networked society, the internet has extended the reach of businesses worldwide. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol allows businesses to connect customers and employees, and other offices using a virtually rendered network across digital platforms.
VoIP removes the limits on long-distance calls, helps companies strengthen their business profiles through online media control options, and enables firms to benefit from increased customer reach via strategic location allocations.
Profit is essential for every business to sustain its position in the market, and cost-cutting is one way to increase it. VoIP is a technology that can help reduce your communications costs considerably. Thankfully, there is no hardware cost involved as VoIP is mostly software-based – it works with almost every intelligent device. Low-cost plans, unlimited cost, no installation charges, and extensive features make it a perfect budget fit for businesses.
With businesses and customers spread across the globe, streamlining communication can be complex. This is where VoIP makes it a cakewalk for you.
If you want to focus on customer service, keep very close tabs on employee productivity, or simply track your company’s phone usage in general, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is an ideal solution. With VoIP, businesses can cut costs and improve efficiency because all features are integrated within the same system.
82% of all companies who switch to cloud computing and VoIP discover that they save money.
Google Voice is one virtual telephone service for customers. It offers voicemail, call forwarding, text, and voice messaging. However, Google Voice has some limitations.
Limitations of Google Voice
Call flow management
Businesses have calls that fall into multiple categories, and each of them has a specific requirement. A call management solution must include custom voice greetings, prompts, internal call forwarding, and primary data on the caller. Unfortunately, Google Voice fails to provide a solution to manage those calls.
The primary contact storage by Google Voice saves all your data in your general account. Managing a business account, you will need a dedicated space to manage your business contacts separate from your data. Furthermore, it lacks the functionality to sync and share the references.
A comprehensive dashboard enables a single source of truth. It provides you with all the necessary insights into your internal and external communication. Its absence in Google Voice makes it difficult for business owners to evaluate and optimize their communication process.
Toll-free numbers (1-800 numbers) are an effective way to encourage your customers to interact with your brand. It lets your clients reach out to you without a long-distance fee. Google Voice, however, doesn’t provide toll-free numbers.
For businesses that are highly dependent on calling or phone calls both online or physical telephony, live support to troubleshoot their communication challenges is crucial. At best, Google Voice has a help page for this concern. Unfortunately, it provides no live support.
How to Choose the Best Google Voice Alternative
Here are a few ways to help you discover the suitable Google Voice alternative for your business.
1. Understand your scope
Do you need call analytics or a toll-free number? Which geographies will your business operate in? The key to solving any problem is first to understand what your business demands.
To find a suitable google voice alternative, you must know the scope. In addition, it’s essential to make sure everyone is on board with the objectives. This way, you can find a solution that meets everyone’s goals.
For instance, you are a team of 5, and all you need is a simple application to manage 15 queries per day. In addition, you need free calling, texting, and away messages, and you have budget constraints. So WhatsApp might be the right choice for your business.
2. Decide on your budget
For a solution to be effective, it needs to suit your budget. Therefore, do not underestimate the importance of calculating ROI.
Any business cannot survive unless it carefully analyzes the expenses involved in the purchase of the software as well as the expected returns on that investment. No matter how attractive a software product seems, if someone goes beyond budget, it will be a liability for you instead of an asset.
You can never ignore this fact and hence, need to choose the right software that meets your business needs and delivers solutions within your budget.
For instance, you have an average budget but require a robust solution to manage your customer service department. The solutions – Freshdesk and CallHippo, both meet your needs. Since Freshdesk is at the higher end of the pricing model, CallHippo might be a better Google Voice alternative to go with.
3. Do your research
Don’t just go by our word. Instead, please take a trial, contact other customers of the solution and find out about their customer service and more.
The great thing about software today is that you get to see your purchase at work before deciding. Live demo or free trial is an excellent way for you to see the solutions in action and get a quick handle on how it works.
The best all guides can go is to suggest the best software for your solution. But, in the end, you’ll have to dive in and test them yourself. Include your team members in the process to check out the trial.
After all, they are the ones going to use it!
Once you’ve chosen your Google Voice Alternative, it’s crucial to set up an experimental environment. First, obtain a personal account and work with it for a month or two before introducing it permanently in your company processes.
Check results and compare them with metrics from your experimental work. Keep in mind: every new application causes some disruption. So be patient and wait for backlashes, required improvements. Study everything carefully and know what value the new software will add.
Remember – every new implementation takes time to show its benefits.
The last thing that you will need to do is port your number from Google Voice.
Top 7 Google Voice Alternatives
We curated a list of the top Google Voice alternatives—open source and commercial—to help you determine the best option for your business.
If you are looking for a VoIP application to support your customer service team, Freshcaller is your go-to application. This application is designed with support-specific features to minimize ticket errors and help you deliver an excellent customer experience.
With over 40,000 trusted customers and phone numbers from 90+ countries, Freshdesk is built for global businesses. The best part of Freshdesk is that you can integrate your CRM on every tier, and this functionality is available without any additional cost.
- Easy number management
- Custom reporting
- Advanced inbound routing engine
- Best in class supervisor controls
Freshdesk is extremely easy to configure and provides a great set of features if you want to set up a low-cost call center. However, it isn’t the best solution for general businesses. You might end up paying for features you never use.
Freshdesk Contact Center empowered a pet healthcare business based in Australia by decreasing its ticket resolution time by 20%. When VetShopAustralia decided to ace their business by providing exceptional support, they needed a tool that integrated phone, email, and chats into one platform.
Freshdesk allowed them to easily switch between the different tools and share context between them.
Customer Review About Freshdesk
“It is very easy to use and allows you to make calls without much hassle. Easy handling and getting a phone number from a country abroad so that the employees working in the customer-facing role can call using the customer’s local number which in turn gives more connectivity (My personal experience). Best is in when you use this with other Freshworks apps like Freshsales and Freshchat – It syncs the data across.” Assad A.
CallHippo is an intelligent business telephony solution. It empowers businesses to go beyond their work desks by enabling service mobility, efficient communication management, simplified conference calls, and versatile features.
Trusted by 5000+ global brands, this SaaS product is known for its intelligent and extensive features. With over 85 integrations and virtual business numbers of 50+ countries, CallHippo helps businesses enhance their communication and connectivity.
The application uses artificial intelligence to assess 100% of your calls and offers several groundbreaking features.
- Power Dialer
- Automatic Call Distribution
- Advanced Analytics
- Call Monitoring & Conferencing
- Call Recording
- Smart Switch
- Voicemail & Voice Broadcasting
- Call Queueing, Barging & Recording
CallHippo is a well-rounded solution that focuses on optimizing business processes. For example, the power dialer feature allows you to upload a list of contact numbers and eliminate the monotonous task of manually typing each one. As a result, you can automate business processes and increase productivity.
Small to medium-size businesses
CallHippo helped The USA Journal grow its business by 7%. The broad-based, open-access publisher was looking forward to transforming its communication channels and expanding its reach to the entire world.
CallHippo empowered the publication to connect better with its clients. From traditional communication to cloud telephony hosted by CallHippo, the entire shift enabled the business to foster new connections while nurturing old ones.
Customer Reviews About CallHippo
“CallHippo has been very helpful in our business. It has provided us convenience in receiving and making calls across the country and even abroad. We can listen to the recordings whenever we need to review cases or calls. All the staff has been very helpful whenever we encounter issues, specifically Manushi. Manushi has been very detailed in giving instructions and advice. She is very knowledgeable and responsive to any of our queries.” – Christie M.
OpenPhone is an Internet telephone service designed to provide standard phone numbers for any Internet-connected device to carry voice or video conversations.
Moreover, it empowers your sales, operations, and customer support teams to manage inbound calls and SMS messages together. Multiple members of your team can access a shared business phone number and collaborate on conversations. And when teammates are using different numbers, calls can be routed or forwarded to the right person.
- International calling
- Voicemail transcription
- Auto-attendant (IVR)
- Crystal-clear audio quality
- Can set business hours
- Multiple phone numbers tied to one account
- Dedicated customer support
OpenPhone empowered AirGarage by unifying customer communication in a single place and enabling their team to solve customer problems with full context.
AirGarage is an end-to-end parking lot management platform that provides marketing, collects payments, handles customer service, and enforces legal parking for garages and lots across the U.S. They needed more robust customer communications after they transitioned from a peer-to-peer network of small driveways to a more extensive operation managing several multi-space lots.
With OpenPhone, managing call volume and knowing when incoming calls are from parking lot owners or drivers are no longer issues. The company now has dedicated, shared phone numbers to provide support for parking lot owners, drivers, and their network of contract enforcement workers, as well as for sales. In addition, the Zapier integration helped them save time on onboarding new contractors.
Customer Reviews About OpenPhone
“OpenPhone’s dashboard has a simple interface. It’s built to enable multiple team members to communicate, follow-up, and reach out to contacts. Auto-replies based on different triggers (e.g. missed call or VM) are unique to OpenPhone and sadly not offered by any other VOIP providers.” – Krissia S.
Invoca is a platform that offers multiple products to enhance business conversations, right from the sales department to customer experience.
Invoca’s conversation intelligence turns every conversation into an opportunity to build a deeper relationship, sell more products, and increase sales. Invoca’s phone dialer technology powers the marketing campaigns of hundreds of the world’s most successful companies, connecting businesses with the people most likely to buy in real time.
Furthermore, Invoca’s AI-powered Conversation Intelligence Platform helps customers turn marketing, sales, customer experience and eCommerce data into actionable insights that drive results. Integration with leading technology platforms enables revenue teams to automate the actions needed to ensure consistent experiences across every digital touchpoint and human interaction.
- Visitor & Keyword Tracking
- Dynamic Number Insertion
- Multi-Channel Call Attribution
- Call Routing
- Call Scheduling
- Call Recording
- Advanced Reporting
- Martech Integrations
Invoca’s most distinguishing feature is its Signal AI conversation analytics algorithm, which can allow you to better understand the motivations of each caller in order to hone in on trends and topics that are meaningful to your business.
- Small Businesses
eHealth is an insurance partner that provides affordable health insurance and Medicare plans. They work with leading technology, far-reaching partnerships, consumer advocacy, and industry expertise to be the online standard for finding, comparing, and buying health insurance.
They advertise through multiple channels, including direct mail, direct response TV, search, display, and affiliate advertising. In addition, it drives online traffic to more than five websites and phone calls to four owned and up to seven outsourced call centers. To orchestrate the best possible customer experience and optimize marketing performance, eHealth had a lot of dots to connect in a customer journey.
eHealth implemented Invoca and integrated it with Adobe Analytics to combine marketing and demand generation efforts and website and phone experiences. As a result, it provided a more comprehensive, practical view of customers’ experiences across marketing, product, and sales.
They achieved a 20% Increase in Conversion Rate, a 60% Reduction in Click-to-Call CPA, Over $3 million in cost savings.
Customer Reviews About Invoca
“Invoca is a powerful platform that really takes the impetus off of our team when it comes to providing useful call insights to our customer base. Invoca’s AI tools continue to improve over time and save us hundreds of hours of work. The Invoca team is very responsive and are always willing to listen to feedback and make changes to the platform when they make sense. We’ve seen numerous features introduced over the several years we have used Invoca that have continued to make our experience better. Their Customer Success Managers always treat us like we’re their number one customer and I don’t doubt that they do that for all of their customers.” – Cody L.
Phone.com provides advanced phone system features without the cost and complexity. They believe that businesses should not have to worry about responsiveness and connectivity. As a result, their easy-to-use, affordable communications solution offers more than 50 features.
- Video conferencing
- Voice tagging
- Video conferencing
- Text messaging
Transcription of your voicemail messages is one of the most useful features of Phone.com. It lets you listen to voicemail messages directly in your online account, have them sent to your email address as a .mp3 file in text form.
- Small Businesses
Phone.com saved AppCard’s customer service hundreds of person-hours in outbound phone calls, in addition to reducing billing inconsistencies, thereby increasing customer retention.
AppCard is a personalized marketing loyalty program for retailers, independent grocers, and franchises. Beyond customer service inbound and sales outbound calls, they needed a service provider to partner with them on custom development applications and caller analytics for deeper data integration.
Phone.com facilitated them by providing CRM integration, caller analytics, custom IVR functionality, conferencing capabilities, and unique Click-to-Call functionality for customer retention.
The Click-to-call feature would initiate contact with current customers with technical, billing, or credit card issues. Once a customer received the AppCard call, they would be provided with a solution by the automated interactive voice response system.
Customer Reviews About Phone.com
“Phone.com has an admin portal that allows you to set up voicemail, multiple lines, etc. Through the admin portal, you are also able to send and receive faxes. It’s an excellent service, and we are so happy to have found it.” – Kimberly M.
If you are looking for an open-source resource, WhatsApp is a good short-term fix.
Although the application has its own set of limitations, such as restricted automation options and not GDPR compliant, it still does the job on a smaller scale. It empowers brands with secure and robust messaging services, free calling, and broadcasting. You will need to register with your current phone number to leverage this application.
- Interactive business message
- Automatic Away Message
- Contacts Labels
- Message Statistics
- Business profile
- Small Businesses
WhatsApp for Business helped RentMantra, an Indian property rental platform, save time, acquire 10% more customers, and increase sales by 15%.
Using the app, RentMantra assisted with property listings, shared company information like operation hours, and kept track of inbound messages.
The business mentioned that the WhatsApp Business app is also a great substitute for emails when their team needs to send out product images, pitch its services, and directly interact with clients.
Customer Reviews About
“A very integrated program, you only need a phone to be in contact with your customers or friends and family. You can log into it via a computer, and this is also a feature we have needed for a long time.” – Michael C.
Although Skype might lack some features to enable rapid scalability, it is again one of the best free alternatives to Google Voice.
Skype is the easiest way to make free video and voice calls. It is available on mobile, PC, and Mac, allowing you to instantly connect with anyone around the world.
- Smart messaging
- Screen sharing
- Call recording
- Live subtitles
- Audio and HD video calling
- Small Businesses
Globe University was looking for ways to improve student learning experiences and extend the reach of its instructors. As a result, they adopted Skype for Business for lecture delivery, staff communications, and voice capabilities across its 19 locations.
Skype helped Globe university implement technology without borders and set on a tradition of advanced communications. It enabled flexibility and collaboration, faster service and responsiveness, enhanced community interactions for the university.
“From online and remote learning to connected faculty to recruiting, we’ve made Skype for Business absolutely critical to our business.” – Adam Hite, Director of It, Globe University.
Customer Reviews About Skype
“Ability to conduct interviews and record for podcasting, I use a 3rd party app called Call Recorder in order to accomplish this. Most of the time it is a good connection as long as the internet has a strong connection. It is nice that it’s well known and available for mobile and computer. Easy settings to find the mic and headphones you want. I am able to instruct people who are not very well versed at computers.” – Kira D.
Choose a Google Voice Alternative for Your Business
The bottom line is that VoIP itself is not going away anytime soon. It is not a good idea to use a service with excessive downtime and spotty customer service. If you are looking for reliable phone lines for your business, take the time to check out each option thoroughly.
The current market is rich in options and different providers. Whether you want free VoIP service or a robust all-in-one solution, finding the right provider means looking at details like pricing, support, and service reliability. Check if you’ll need some specific features. Some providers offer much more than voice and video conferencing, so be sure to read the fine print. In addition, ensure that it fits your budget.
In the end, choosing a VoIP alternative is a matter of finding a service that’s right for you. We are constantly moving towards an era where the survival of the fittest is remodeled as survival of the agile. Flexibility, mobility, and scalability empower brands to put their best foot forward, and VoIP offers a solution.