The best Google Voice alternative - Freshcaller

Dear Google Voice, you’ve been benched.

Written by on June 20, 2018

Find out what freedom feels like with Freshcaller — the best Google Voice alternative

 

Freida is a small-business owner. Apart from a product developer and a salesperson, she doesn’t have any other employees yet. Freida doubles as the customer support agent too on most days. Nevertheless, she has immediate plans to build bigger sales and support teams. She uses Google Voice to manage her personal numbers and her business phone calls, for the time being. But she’s unsure if Google Voice is equipped to handle her future sales and support teams’ phone needs. Should she look for a Google Voice alternative that’s specifically built for her growing business?

To figure out the answer to this question, Freida made a checklist of fundamental capabilities her phone teams would expect from both Google Voice and its alternatives.

Checklist of basic business phone features

Here’s what her checklist looks like. Spoiler alert: It looks like Google Voice is falling short of her requirements.

  • Intuitive and easy setup: Her developer is busy working on the core product and won’t have any time to spare for setting up a new phone system.
  • Zero maintenance and live support: Support docs are helpful, but her sales and support teams will have little time to spare for troubleshooting.
  • Easily scalable: The phone system should be able to support the functioning of her (future) sales development and contact centers, and help them scale up too.
  • Maximum calls answered with minimum resources: The system should have smart routing and phone tree (IVR) capabilities to handle high volume of inbound calls.
  • Real-time monitoring: Call center supervisors should be able to monitor all the phone operations from within the dashboard of the phone system itself.

While Google Voice was easy to set up, it doesn’t meet some of these other requirements. Without sparing another moment, she evaluates the next call center software on her radar – Freshcaller.

Looks like Freshcaller checks all the right boxes. But Freida is not one to judge a book by its cover or a product with a basic checklist. She is going to put Freshcaller under the microscope to make sure that it is a good Google Voice alternative.

Google Voice vs Freshcaller

The first thing to keep in mind while switching from Google Voice is that the alternative must also have the features that Freida was already enjoying — parity is as important as differentiation.

Points of parity between Google Voice and Freshcaller

Features/AttributeGoogle VoiceFreshcaller
Cloud-hostedYesYes
Self-service customer supportYesYes
Call recordingYes (only incoming calls)Yes (all calls)
Call maskingYesYes
VoicemailYesYes
Vanity numbersYesYes
Free planYesYes
GDPR complianceYesYes

Points of difference between Google Voice and Freshcaller

Next, she sees what are the other Freshcaller features that can, apart from meeting her basic requirements, also help her –

  1. Scale up a team
  2. Talk to a global audience
  3. Not leave even one phone call ignored
  4. Minimize or eliminate downtime
Features/AttributesGoogle VoiceFreshcaller
Live SupportNoYes
Team (multi-user) accountsNoYes
IVR or phone treesNoYes (multi-level IVR)
Smart EscalationsNoYes
Real-time dashboardNoYes
Toll-free numbersNoYes
International numbersNo (only US numbers)Yes (numbers from over 50 countries)
Voicemail transcriptionYesNo
Native app support of iOS and AndroidYesAndroid support available
NotesNoYes

Here’s a closer look at some of the key capabilities Freshcaller has.

1) Notes

Freida used to extensively take notes during calls and afterwards, summarizing it. This very important feature is missing in the new version of Google Voice. She has to keep switching to the GV Legacy version to access all her previous notes and there is no way for her to download them too. Freshcaller comes with the call notes feature that enables users to document important points from their conversations and later refer to them for context during follow-up calls.

2) Multi-level IVR

With multiple channels of support and communication available, like chat and email, customers usually call up a business number in times of urgency. It would be nightmarish for them (and damaging to the business) if they are repeatedly transferred from one team to the other until they find the right person to talk to. This is exactly what the Freshcaller IVR system will solve for Freida and her customers. First and foremost, it helps the caller find quick resolution by giving them a menu of teams or functions to connect with. Second, it makes sure that every caller is engaged especially when there are huge volumes of incoming calls and only few agents to provide personal attention. IVR systems bring together the best of self service and one-to-one support. Google Voice does not have an IVR while most Google Voice alternatives do.

Multi-level IVR or phone trees in Freshcaller - Google Voice alternative

Multi-level IVR or phone trees in Freshcaller

3) Smart escalations

‘Smart escalations’ is probably the most powerful Freshcaller feature that every call center must have! It makes sure that every call that comes to a call center is taken care of. Freida can set up smart escalations to route calls to another active avenue (voicemail or a different team, for instance) when agents are unable to attend them. These are some of the scenarios where smart escalations come in handy:

  • The phone team is online but busy on other calls, and calls have to be routed to another team or voicemail.
  • The phone team is online and not busy, but unable to attend calls.
  • It’s after business hours in one location, agents are offline, and the calls have to be routed to an active team in another location.
  • All agents are offline and the calls have to be sent to voicemail.
  • Call queues are full and the caller has to be put in another queue or sent to voicemail.
  • The caller has been waiting for more than a prescribed amount of time and needs to be attended to.

Smart Escalations in Freshcaller - Google Voice alternative

Smart escalations in Freshcaller

There will be several other instances unique to every business but then again, this feature is highly customizable to address any such use case.

4) Phone numbers

Business numbers often speak volumes about how customer-friendly a business is. Toll-free numbers make a business more accessible to their customers. Vanity numbers are a handy and often overlooked branding tool. Local numbers on Freshcaller enable Freida to establish virtual call centers and local presence in over 50 countries while sitting in the US. Google Voice, on the other hand, does not provide local numbers outside the US or toll-free numbers.

5) Real-time dashboard

Freshcaller’s real-time dashboard gives a bird’s-eye view of all the activities taking place in a call center. It also gives access to additional capabilities like:

Call monitoring

With Freshcaller, call center admins can listen in on agent-customer conversations in real-time. Call monitoring helps in identifying areas of improvement in the way customer conversations are handled. Moreover, it helps in building remote teams since there’s no need for the supervisor and the agent to be in the same room anymore.

Call barging

Call barging helps in preventing escalations when a customer call is going south. A supervisor can take over the call at any point from an agent who is unable to calm down an angry customer. It also helps admins or supervisors with more expertise to provide on-the-spot support and improve First Call Resolution.

Checking agent presence status

The real-time dashboard also shows the availability status of all team members using Freshcaller. You can see who is offline, who is on mobile, etc.

Monitoring wait queues

A supervisor can also look at all active calls and check how long a caller has been waiting in a queue. 

Real-time dashboard in Freshcaller - Google Voice alternative

Real-time dashboard in Freshcaller

Freshcaller has most of the features on Freida’s wish list. It is definitely a better choice than Google Voice to meet her requirements too.

Porting a Google Voice number to Freshcaller

However, there’s one more thing Freida needs to take care of while making the switch from Google Voice to Freshcaller. She has already shared her Google Voice number with her customers, and wants to retain it.

The easiest way for Freida to do this and transition to Freshcaller is by porting the Google Voice number to Freshcaller. All she needs to do is to drop an email to support@freshcaller.com and voila! The porting will be taken care of by the Freshcaller team. That’s it!

Is Freshcaller the best Google Voice alternative for you?

Freida has found a good Google Voice alternative. And as fictional as Freida is, her problems are real and rampant among all small-business owners who are hiring more hands. Every business reaches a point where it has to take the next step without being restrained by its existing processes and systems. This is exactly the freedom Freshcaller can help your business achieve. If you are looking for a simple and robust alternative to your existing business phone system, or want to establish a new one, you can sign up for Freshcaller and see for yourself.

Switch from Google Voice

Illustrations by Nikhil Kanda

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