Google Voice is a free phone alternative that provides voice and text messaging services on your mobile phone, as an app. Though designed for individuals, the business world quickly started to use this service, since it offers some basic features at no cost. But more and more, businesses are starting to look for a Google Voice alternative due to a need for business text messaging features.
While Google Voice works well as a free phone service for a solo-run business, small businesses and departments in larger companies are realizing that the platform simply doesn’t fit their needs. Businesses with multiple team members need a scalable solution, like a business text messaging app.
Read on to discover the top 6 reasons businesses are looking for a Google Voice alternative—and what a viable option looks like.
Google Voice Alternative Reason #1: Limited Administrative Powers
Google Voice was simply not built for multiple users sharing a number. Because of this design limitation, teams who try to use Google Voice experience a wide variety of problems, particularly when it comes to administration.
Because employees have to use a single login, notifications only alert one user, leading to lost messages and difficulty logging in. This complicates the use of modern security features, like two-step authentication. Additionally, the entirety of each account is accessible to anyone with the password, a problem when a business wants to keep some administrative powers available only to high-level employees. Without advanced administrative powers, anyone can access customer messages, which can sometimes include confidential information.
The individual-centric administrative features of Google Voice are one of the top reasons businesses are searching for a Google Voice alternative. A business texting app, for example, will usually offer advanced options for team management. Business texting apps often offer a wide variety of potential roles, ranging from team owners to limited-access members. High level administrators can also choose from whom to hide customer PII.
Google Voice Alternative Reason #2: Inability to Mass Text
Because Google Voice is a free service intended for individual use, it doesn’t offer expansive texting capabilities. In other words, you can send another person a single text, but if you want to send ten people an identical message? Forget about it.
While you can send multiple people a message in a group MMS text, Google Voice doesn’t allow you to send individual messages simultaneously. If sending a group text is your goal, adding or removing someone requires the creation of a brand-new MMS thread, and there is no way to stop people from chatting on old threads. In addition, carriers vary in their support of MMS, so some recipients may not even receive your message.
A Google Voice alternative like a business texting app allows teams to divide customers into lists and easily send personalized mass texts with the help of merge tokens, so that each recipient receives a message that looks like it was sent individually.
Google Voice Alternative Reason #3: No Shared Inbox
Since Google Voice wasn’t designed for teams, there are no team-friendly features. But when multiple people are using messaging features, team-centric features are a must-have. Such features are often provided by business text messaging apps, including:
Shared inboxes. Shared inboxes are a must-have for teams that manage a lot of incoming messages. These inboxes allow each team member with the appropriate permissions to view incoming texts, so that no unseen messages slip through the cracks.
Private comments. Business texting apps also offer private commenting features, which empower coworkers to invite other coworkers into chats for help and simplifying team collaboration.
These two features can go a long way to simplify collaboration for your team.
Google Voice Alternative Reason #4: Lack of Productivity Tools
A business that receives a high volume of incoming customer texts needs workflow efficiency tools, which Google Voice doesn’t offer. These time-saving features, often provided by a business text messaging app, include:
Templates. Reusable business text messages, also called templates, help teams quickly send their most commonly used messages. A business text messaging app empowers teams to create and send templates that include text as well as photos, links, and custom fields.
Lists. A business texting app also allows teams to organize their customers into lists, which can then be sent targeted texts en masse.
Personalization features. Business texting apps can use merge tokens to fill in templates with personalized customer information. With this feature, teams can send personalized templated messages to large lists of recipients at once, instead of one-by-one.
Scheduled messages. Business text messaging apps also facilitate scheduled messaging, allowing teams to schedule texts to be sent at the date and time of their choice. This expedites the process of sending simple texts, like appointment reminders, order notifications, and chat follow-ups.
Automations. To help streamline team workflows, business text messaging apps empower businesses to automate actions based on keywords contained in messages, or time and day. Using automations to send after-hours replies or opt-in confirmations saves teams valuable time.
Google Voice Alternative Reason #5: No Reporting Features
Because Google Voice wasn’t designed for use by teams, it doesn’t have any features that simplify performance management. However, a Google Voice alternative like a business text messaging app does. Business text messaging platforms offer key reporting features like:
Chat exports. Whether you need them for a compliance review or meeting preparation, logged chats are critical for businesses. Top business texting apps allows companies to export chats that are logged into their system for easy sharing and review.
Reports. The only way for teams to improve their customer communications is for them to know how they’ve been performing. With reports, teams can track their performance over time. Metrics usually include response times, resolution speed, and number of incoming/outgoing messages, among others.
Google Voice Alternative Reason #6: Few Third-Party Integrations
Google Voice offers some integrations, but those integrations are with Google products, like Google Calendar and Gmail. For the average professional, who uses a wide variety of third-party apps, this is not enough.
On the other hand, a Google Voice alternative, like a business texting app, offers integrations with key apps, such as:
- Internal chat apps, like Slack and Microsoft Teams
- CRM systems, like Salesforce and Hubspot
- Email-based customer service platforms, like Zendesk and Help Scout
- OTT messaging, like Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, and Line
- Document systems, like Google Drive and computer-based documents (PDF, videos)
- Voice platforms, to text-enable landline, VoIP, and toll-free numbers
- Cloud call centers, like Aircall and Talkdesk
- Websites, like Squarespace, WordPress, and Weebly
- Mobile apps, like native iOS and Android apps
With these integrations, teams can easily streamline their workflows and organize their business app ecosystems, allowing team members to aggregate and capitalize on all available customer data.
Ready to make the switch to a Google Voice alternative? Try our business text messaging app for free today.