If you were to search for alternative phone numbers, one of the first options to appear would be Google Voice. This VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service is popular among individuals looking for free phone services. But for small businesses, solo contractors and freelancers looking for value-added features, there are better alternatives to Google Voice.
Launched in 2009, it’s the search giant’s application for making and receiving phone calls over the internet. The service also has voicemail and call forwarding features. What has aided its popularity among individual users and some business owners is the fact that Google Voice allows number porting.
So, why are people searching, “What can I use instead of Google Voice?” Because although it’s popular, it has certain disadvantages:
It doesn’t have a presence everywhere. For small businesses and freelancers with international clients, this will be a problem.
The service doesn’t have functional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or auto-attendant features.
There is no reliable customer support for Google Voice.
The choice of numbers is limited.
No seamless integration with Google Workspace products, which is something most business owners expect.
As with most VoIP services, Google Voice uses an internet connection to make phone calls and send text messages. All you need to get started with Google Voice is a stable internet connection and an internet-enabled device, such as mobile phone or laptop.
Google Voice allows you to make free calls just by signing up with an email address. Although people do use it for both personal and business reasons, the service was specifically built for personal communication.
Although it does have attractive features, Google Voice may not be the right solution for small business owners. For those wondering what’s similar to Google Voice or what’s comparable to Google voice, here are some credible options:
For small business owners looking for alternative phone numbers, Chalkboard is one of the most effective and user-friendly options. For starters, you don’t need to buy an additional device to get a different number for business. You can also select your number and share it with customers and clients, ensuring the separation of your business and private lives.
Importantly, you don’t have to pay for calls or texts. It’s also easy to set up. Download the app and you can make and receive calls, create a professional voicemail, and route them to other team members if required.
One of the most popular instant messaging platforms, WhatsApp, offers video and audio calling services, along with the ability to share documents, images and user locations. WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook, also lets you make free calls to those countries where it’s legally permitted.
A major disadvantage is that things can get crowded. For most people, WhatsApp has become the primary messaging platform, and therefore, it may not be feasible to properly separate business and private contacts and conversations. Plus, this solution doesn’t come with auto-reply for missed calls or other advanced features.
Before Zoom, there was Skype. The brand is still favoured by several users who use it for free voice and video calls. The app was synonymous with early-stage video conferencing and was the preferred channel for many businesses. It also lets you also share instant messages and files.
Like WhatsApp, anybody else participating in the call or video conference must download Skype for it to work. This isn’t the case for everybody, as many users report that the connection can be patchy.
Grasshopper is one of the most common VoIP services for medium-sized enterprises. The app lets you select a virtual phone number and customise your call greetings. You can also direct calls to other devices, making it well-suited for remotely placed employees.
But its pricing may not suit those starting out, solo contractors or freelancers.
If you’re looking for a reliable Google Voice alternative, take a look at Chalkboard.
Chalkboard is a second-line app that is built for business and is ideal for small businesses and startups.
Chalkboard gives you a second number for work, allowing you to keep your personal number private, easily recognise work calls, and get extra tools to help you stay organised and grow. With no hidden fees and no extra equipment required, you can simply install app, choose your new phone number and start using it straight away. There is no need for a second phone or SIM card.
Ready to try Chalkboard? You can start calling and texting customers today – try all of the great features for free, and then pay less than a cup of coffee per week after that. Sign up for a free trial.
It pays to have an alternate phone number if you're a business owner or startup founder. Find out more about the best alternative phone number for business