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TalkNText or Google Voice? Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

January 10, 2023

The contents of this blog are based on publicly available sources, and are for information purposes only. We recommend that you do your own research to verify features and capabilities to determine the solution that's best for your business.

When it comes to computer applications, the name Google is as ubiquitous as it comes. In your small business, you may conduct Google searches, share files through Google Docs and promote your products and services through Google Ads. But what about Google Voice: Business, the tech giant’s option for virtual business communications? Is it a good fit for SMBs?

Here’s a quick overview, and why TalkNText has the edge in five key areas:

1. Core Voice Capabilities

First, it’s important to establish that Google Voice is only available as a paid add-on to Google Workspace, not as a stand-alone product. So if you’re not a Google-centered office, you may want to shop around for another product (like TalkNText) that offers more flexibility.

That said, TalkNText and Google Voice are similar in that both are app-based services that let you interact with staff and customers using your smartphone, computer or tablet. 

Both services have important standard features that businesses need, such as call forwarding, unlimited local and long-distance calls in the US and Canada*; mobile and desktop apps; voicemail transcription and more. Both are compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices as well as MacOS and PC desktops.

Where TalkNText pulls ahead is by including several options that Google doesn’t offer or only offers in its higher-level plans. These include:

  • Text-enabled landline – TalkNText allows you to text-enable an existing business landline phone number so you can send and receive text messages. Google Voice doesn’t offer this capability.
  • Shared numbers – All TalkNText plans offer the ability to use a shared number, so anyone on the team can answer calls and texts from customers and also review the entire conversation thread to keep everyone in the loop. That’s an important feature for busy SMBs where employees tend to share responsibilities and cover for one another. Google Voice’s ring groups allow various members to answer phone calls, but not texts, and they do not allow for next-level information sharing.
  • Toll-free numbers – You can add a toll-free number for your business with TalkNText. This is not available with Google Voice.
  • International numbers – If you have customers abroad, you can add an international phone number that builds a localized presence while still allowing calls to connect to a centralized call center. Google Voice only works with numbers available through a U.S. carrier.
  • IVR/Auto-Attendant – This important, time-saving feature, which directs callers to the right service representative or department, is standard with TalkNText, but only available in higher-level Google Voice packages.

2. Portability (Getting Started)

Whether you currently use a landline or your personal cell phone for your business, you can get started easily with TalkNText. As mentioned above, you can text-enable your existing business landline phone number by submitting it through the TalkNText web portal to be text-enabled, or choose an entirely new number. 

You can also port your existing number over to TalkNText. Doing so allows you to keep your existing voice service and add Business Texting and answering services features, like Smart Call Routing, by choosing the plan that works best for your business. This solution is great if you  don’t want to switch to a new business phone number. You also won’t need to pay for a voice subscription with your carrier – you’ll pay for your voice, texting and answering services through TalkNText, which is much more cost-effective than paying for separate service subscriptions. It’s a seamless transition and a no-brainer.

That’s more cumbersome with Google Voice, which does not allow you to port a landline phone number directly to Google Voice. Instead, you’ll have to first port your landline to a mobile carrier and then port your mobile number to Google Voice. You’ll also pay a one-time fee to do it. 

See How TalkNText Compares to Google Voice 

Cloudli gives you a unified, affordable solution that combines business voice, business texting and answering service in a single subscription. That saves you from having to pay separately for individual products. Cloudli TalkNText provides you with combined voice, texting and answering service for as little as $25 per month for two users, an 81% savings over comparable third-party providers.

 

Features

Cloudli

Google Voice

Text-enabled Landline ✔️  
Shared Phone Numbers ✔️  
Dedicated US or CA Phone Number ✔️ ✔️
Unlimited Calling* ✔️ ✔️
SMS & MMS ✔️ ✔️
Text Auto-Replies ✔️  
SMS Broadcasts ✔️  
Smart Call Routing (Ring Groups) ✔️ ✔️
Ring Options ✔️  
Contextual AI-Powered Call Screener ✔️  
Auto-Attendant ✔️ ✔️
Voicemail Transcription ✔️ ✔️
Apps ✔️ ✔️
Feature comparison based on publicly available data, published on competitor websites, as of August 8, 2022. All product names, logos, brands, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners. All information provided as-is with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

3. Texting

Here’s where TalkNText really shines. Cloudli TalkNText is the first single-subscription app to combine Business Texting with business voice. That’s especially important in today’s ecommerce climate, which requires small businesses to compete against larger companies that make it easy to shop online and communicate via text.

According to a survey of 1,000 consumers, 93% say they would like to call and text local small businesses, 78% believe texting local businesses makes it easier to support them and two-thirds say they would switch to shopping local if the business offered text messaging.

Google Voice’s texting capabilities are designed only for one-to-one personal SMS messaging, which sharply limits functionality. If you send the same text message to multiple recipients, include URL links or send large numbers of messages in a short period of time, your number might be marked as spam or even blocked.

In contrast, texting is built into TalkNText’s architecture, as the name implies. You can send group texts to your most loyal customers who have opted into receiving texts—for instance, to announce a special event, product rollout or flash sale. You can also program automatic text responses to cover a wide variety of needs, like letting customers know they reached you after business hours, but you’ll respond the next business day; or confirming you received their order and will send text confirmation when it’s ready for pickup. It’s that kind of responsive, personalized attention that will build customer loyalty and satisfaction.

4. Unified Conversation View

If you’re interacting with customers by both voice and text, or more than one team member is working with customers, it can get tricky keeping track of what was said and when. A unified conversation view, available through TalkNText, gives you a way to see at-a-glance the entire arc of the conversations and reply in the way you prefer, including responding to a voicemail that has been transcribed and sent by text. 

You simply log into the app to see all texts, emails and voicemail transcriptions in a single view. You can also add notes to a contact that can be seen by everyone who shares the same phone number—a cost-effective alternative to a CRM. 

With Google Voice, voicemail transcription remains  siloed and separate from text conversations, and potentially separate from other members of your team who may have interfaced with the customer. That makes providing a unified, coherent response to customer messages much more difficult.

5. Cost

Both TalkNText and Google Voice are highly affordable options for small businesses. TalkNText’s Start Up package costs only $25 USD per month for two users, unlimited US and Canada calling, unlimited team messaging and 500 Business Text messages. You’ll also get all the helpful features mentioned in this blog, including AI-powered Call Screener, IVR/auto attendant, text message auto-replies and much more.

For businesses with slightly more robust needs, TalkNText offers Small Business or Small Business+ plans, which allow for more users, as well as expanded Business Text messaging quantity and features (eg, text message auto-reply templates, keyword-generated text auto-replies and SMS broadcasts).

Google Voice plans range from $10-$30 USD per month per user. As mentioned, you’ll miss out on some helpful features with the Starter plan, like auto attendant and ring groups. If those are important to you, you’ll probably find TalkNText a better value.

How to Decide? Give It a Try

Though comparing products on paper can help you narrow down your options, the best way to confirm your decision is by trying it for yourself. TalkNText offers a 7-day free trial (Google Voice for Business does not offer a free trial). Try TalkNText today and see for yourself how it can take your business communications to the next level.

*Some restrictions may apply. Subject to Cloudli Terms of Service and Fair Use Policy.

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