If it’s a product from any of the tech giants, pretty much everyone has heard about it. On top of that, if the product happens to be free, there is bound to be ever greater popularity. Google Voice is one such product. But before you get it for business use, it’s important that you know the pros and cons of Google Voice.
Google Voice allows users to make and receive phone calls and text messages over the internet. Plus, it’s a free service. While that should be enough information for regular users, businesses need more. In this article, we’ll examine the pros and cons of Google Voice to help you make the right decision.
Those looking for a basic VoIP service would be happy with the following benefits that Google Voice offers:
Among the pros of Google Voice, the biggest is that the service is free. That is if you choose the personal use plan. With this, you get a local area code, which will help make your business seem more professional and credible.
But the free personal use plan is only for users in the US and for phone numbers registered in the US. There’s also no help in the form of customer support in case you have an issue.
Those looking for the pros of Google Voice will be happy with its support for hunt groups or ring groups. When a call comes in, you can set it to ring on several devices until someone answers the call. You can also allow the call to ring in sequential order.
Support for call groups doesn’t come with the free plan. You’ll have to get the Google Voice Standard plan, which will set you back $20 per month per user.
Another advantage of Google Voice is the number porting that comes with even the free plan. You can port your existing phone number, whether it’s from a desk phone, mobile phone or another VoIP. Do remember though that there are pros and cons of Google Voice number porting.
It’ll cost you $20 to port your number to Google Voice and $3 to port out from the free plan. There are porting restrictions on Google Voice’s business plans such as the inability to transfer from one Google Workspace account to another account.
Is Google Voice the right choice for business owners? These cons of Google Voice suggest otherwise.
When analysing the pros and cons of Google Voice, you’d immediately notice that the app works well with other apps in the Google ecosystem. If you use Gmail, Google Calendar or Google Drive, it will easily sync with those.
But Google Voice won’t connect with other apps in your tech stack. For access to other apps, you would have to upgrade to Google Workspace.
One of the biggest cons of Google Voice is the cost associated with the service. Of course, the personal use plan is free but the paid plans can be expensive for small business owners.
The plans start at $10 per month. That excludes the $6 you’ll have to pay per month for access to Google Workspace.
Google Voice for Workspace has an upper limit of 10 users for even the paid Starter plan. To upgrade to the next tier with unlimited users, you’ve to pay $20 per month. But there are more expenses if you have a larger team.
To track the metrics of individual users, you’ve to pay $30 per month per user. That’s when you’ll get to use data analytics.
Collaboration isn’t a strong point of Google Voice. For starters, Google Voice doesn’t come with shared access if you use its free plan. Secondly, you won’t be able to text users on a different app.
You also can’t add mentions or comments on individual messages. Finally, there are no ring groups on the free version of the app.
The lack of toll-free numbers or vanity numbers is one of the other cons of Google Voice. If you have want to expand into different markets, this could be a real problem.
It also forces some callers to pay for their calls, which wouldn’t look good for your business.
Any message with more than 160 characters will be sent as multiple messages on Google Voice. Typically, the service only allows you to send messages to up to five recipients. If you exceed that limit or send multiple messages in a short span, you’ll be marked as spam.
If you include URLs in your messages, they will again be treated as spam. All these texting limitations make Google Voice an unviable option for marketing and customer service.
Chalkboard is a feature-rich, simplified and affordable alternative to Google Voice. It allows you to share numbers among team members, which will further collaboration. Unlike Google Voice, the app is built for text-based marketing.
It has group broadcast and advanced chat for conversational marketing. You can set auto-replies to calls that you might miss. You can also use its automated review aggregation to send requests to your contacts for online reviews.
Download Chalkboard today and start your free trial. It’s a business app developed to improve communication, collaboration and marketing.
While Google Voice has its advantages, it's time to consider some better alternatives if you run a small business or are a freelancer