Google Voice is a popular Voice over IP (VoIP) service. Because it’s a free product and easy to use, many small businesses and startups use the service as their business phone through their mobile phones. Google Voice even has a dedicated mobile app and can work on desktop devices. However, it’s not a product meant for business use. Even Google’s support team says it:
“GV (Google Voice) is a consumer-targeted offering that is great for personal, non-business use. It does not have any direct technical support, and it does have occasional outages and hard-to-diagnose bugs.” – From the Google Voice Help Forum
When starting a small business or a startup, it might make sense to use Google Voice because it’s free and your expenses are likely tight. As your business grows, you might notice some limitations of Voice including:
- No customer support from Google
- No toll-free numbers or vanity numbers
- Can’t sign up outside of the US
- No auto-attendant or IVR features
- No ability to share a business phone number with your team
- Poor call quality
Ideally, you want a phone system that can grow as your business grows. For business owners, you want a business phone service that allows you to stop using your personal phone number for phone calls or text messages. If you search for a Google Voice alternative, you’ll see there are many limitations to its platform compared to other VoIP services. Even searches on Reddit and Quora show results for many different Google Voice alternatives.
How does Google Voice work?
Like most VoIP services, Google Voice uses an Internet connection (wifi or data plan) to make phone calls and send text messages. No desk phones or landlines required. As long as you have an Internet connection and an Internet-enabled device (cell phone, laptop, computer, other mobile devices, etc.), you can use Google Voice. Google Voice is a free service that just requires an email address to work. Similar to Skype, it can be used for both personal and professional reasons.
Examples of Google Voice Alternatives
While there are some advantages to using Google Voice for your business, there are alternatives available that are affordable and offer advanced features required for business phone systems.
Due to a lack of features around call handling, local phone numbers, call forwarding, phone number sharing, and more, Google Voice isn’t a sustainable phone option – especially if your business is growing.
Google Voice Alternative for Small Business
As a small business owner, you’ll need a phone solution that can be used by your sales and customer support teams. For example, multiple members of your support team need to access the main company phone number. That’s not available through Google Voice, so using it as a customer service line won’t work. If you want to create a call center for your business, Google Voice lacks the key features needed.
That’s why you need a phone solution built specifically for business. With the right business phone, you can let multiple users have access to the same phone line for customer support and other inbound calls. We call this a “shared phone number” and you can use it to share responsibility for your phone number with your team.
Google Voice Alternative for Startups
Startups need a business phone system that can scale as their business grows. Google Voice can’t scale with your business because team members can’t share responsibility for the same phone number and calls can’t be routed to the appropriate team member. Additionally, Google Voice lacks integrations and has no dedicated customer support team. While you may think you need to spend hundreds of dollars a month for a business phone, that’s not the case. Many VoIP providers offer the key features needed at a cost that’s affordable for startups.
Google Voice Alternative for Canada
Google Voice is currently not available in Canada and likely won’t be supported. If you’re running a business in Canada and need a business phone, check out services like OpenPhone that support Canadian calling and offer local Canadian phone numbers.
Is Google Voice Being Discontinued?
Google is a company known for canceling services even if they have a sizeable user base. While Google continues to support Google Voice, they’re also investing heavily in a new phone service called Google Fi.
Google Fi is a paid phone plan with many of the same features as Google Voice. Because of its similarity to GV, there are many people who think Google will reduce its support for Google Voice in the coming months. While Google hasn’t officially commented on the future of Google Voice, note that the concern of Google Voice being canceled is there.
OpenPhone – The Best Google Voice Alternative
If you’re looking for a Google Voice alternative, look no further than OpenPhone. OpenPhone is a business phone built specifically for startups, small businesses, and individuals.
Why should you use OpenPhone? We have many required features for business phone systems including:
- Toll-free numbers
- Unlimited calling and text messaging
- Voicemail transcription
- Shared phone numbers for teams
- Auto-attendant (IVR)
- Call forwarding to different phone numbers
- Support for local numbers
- Works in the US and internationally
- Crystal-clear audio quality
- Can set business hours
- Multiple phone numbers tied to one account
- Works on iPhones, Android phones and web browsers
- Dedicated customer support
See a detailed comparison of Google Voice and OpenPhone.
Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what businesses have to say about switching from Google Voice to OpenPhone:
“I messaged OpenPhone about potentially porting over a Google Voice number and they let me know that it could be done & how to initiate the process. I set up a temporary number in OpenPhone and took the plunge. A week later, and my number was in OpenPhone and working as expected (actually better than expected, given my Google Voice headaches).” – Nicholas Bentley, CEO @ Merus
How to Switch and Port Your Number from Google Voice
Want to switch from Google Voice to an alternative like OpenPhone? Here’s how easy it is to switch:
- Create an OpenPhone account
- Unlock your Google Voice number – www.google.com/voice/unlock (Note: Google charges a one-time $3 fee to transfer your number away from Google Voice)
- Submit this 1-minute porting request form ⤴️
Ready to make the switch from Google Voice? Start calling and texting with your new OpenPhone business number here.