Traditional phone systems may be going extinct, but virtual numbers certainly are not. In fact, more than 60% of companies nowadays are looking for a perfect VoIP provider to help them make the switch. Two of the most popular ones are Google Voice and Grasshopper — both excellent providers that will help communication in your business run smoothly. So which one to choose?
At first glance, Grasshopper may seem like a better, more professional solution. After all, this provider offers no free plans and targets already established businesses in need of exquisite features. However, when you take a look at what Google Voice’s payable plans offer, you will realize that it’s not so simple. In fact, in some aspects, Google’s provider certainly outmatches Grasshopper.
So before you make the final decision, let’s take a look at how the two providers compare and what each offers, shall we?
Grasshopper vs. Google Voice: Plans and Pricing Comparison
In total, Google Voice has four plans — a free, individual one and three payable ones. Since Grasshopper offers no free plans, that puts Google Voice at an advantage right from the start. However, the free plan has certain limitations compared to the payable ones — for instance, lack of proper tech support.
The basic plan, which costs $10 a month per license, is called Starter. It allows up to 10 users (or licenses) in 10 different locations in the US. Thus, it’s perfect for small businesses that want to save some money.
If you have a larger business that needs more options, though, choose the Standard plan instead. It costs $20 a month per license, but it has no user or location limit. However, if your business operates internationally, this plan won’t be right for you.
Finally, there is the Premier plan, which charges $30 a month per license and is perfect for international businesses.
Here is how the three payable plans compare:
Google Voice Pros and Cons
● Voicemail and Transcription. Google Voice will send any calls that you miss to voicemail, so you can listen to them later. On top of that, it can transcribe the voicemails and send the transcripts to your email.
● Mobile Apps and Sync Capabilities. There are two ways to use Google Voice — via the web or mobile app. The mobile app is available for both Android and iPhone and can be synced with other devices. To access all features on the web app, use Google Chrome or Firefox browsers.
● Call recording. Aside from the standard call features, such as forwarding and blocking, Google Voice offers call recording as well. This feature can be incredibly useful for businesses, as it allows them to improve their customer service.
● Limited Compatibility With Other Solutions. Google Voice is fantastic if you want to use it with other Google apps, such as Hangouts or Calendar. However, it doesn’t integrate that well with products from other companies. In this regard, Grasshopper is a much better solution.
● Frequent Lags and Crashes. Overall, Google Voice works well, but there are some complaints about lags and crashes. The mobile app seems to be particularly troublesome — you might need to open and close it frequently to get it to work.
● Limited Support With the Free Plan. If you opt for one of the three payable plans, tech support will be at your disposal 24/7. However, with the free, individual plan, you won’t be able to reach them for any immediate solutions.
Grasshopper also has four plans — three business ones and one individual — but none is free. Still, the features are similar across the board, with the main difference being the number of available lines and extensions.
The Solo plan offers a single number and three extensions which cost $29 per month or $26 per month if you choose the annual subscription. Google Voice doesn’t have an annual discount, which makes Grasshopper a better option if you want to save.
The other two plans are called Partner and Small Business. They cost $49 ($44 with the annual plan) and $89 ($80 with the discount), respectively. With Partner, you get three numbers and six extensions, while Small Business offers five numbers and unlimited extensions.
With Grasshopper’s individual plan, Grasshopper Connect, you get a single number, but various email, phone, and text integration features. This option is great for those who want to unify their business communication, and it costs only $39 a month, or $35 with an annual plan.
Here is how the three Grasshopper plans compare to one another:
Grasshopper Pros and Cons
● Versatility and Integrations. Grasshopper has one huge advantage over Google Voice — it integrates well with all sorts of apps. For instance, you can easily forward your Grasshopper number to Skype and use it for inbound calls. In fact, if you connect it to Zapier, you can integrate Grasshopper with over a thousand apps!
● Business Phone Numbers. Grasshopper goes a step further than most other providers and lets you choose your own custom vanity, toll-free, or local number. And if you already have a phone number, you can easily export it into the system free of charge!
● Virtual Inbound Fax. To satisfy all customers’ needs, Grasshopper included even a virtual fax feature. When someone sends a fax to your phone number, you’ll receive it on your account. Then, you can view it as an email attachment or in the Grasshopper app.
● Custom Greetings. Grasshopper allows you to configure IVR recordings and create suitable greetings that your customers will hear first when they call you. Though this feature seems small, it can make your business look more professional and trustworthy.
● No Call Recording. Google Voice wins this round — Grasshopper doesn’t allow call recording. As mentioned, call recording can be used for improving customer service, so the absence of this feature is a big disadvantage.
● International Calls Aren’t Easily Accessible. To enable international calls, you have to contact Grasshopper’s customer support. Even then, you might not be able to call every country in the world. Also, expect some additional fees per minute for international calling.
● Unexpected Off-Shore Call Fees. Although Alaska and Hawaii are part of the US, you may expect additional fees when calling them. That’s because they are considered off-shore and thus come with extra charges.
● Business Texting Is Limited. While business messaging is a great feature, it doesn’t allow you to text just anyone. For instance, you can’t send messages to international numbers, and if you have a toll-free number, you can only text other toll-free numbers in Canada.
Grasshopper vs. Google Voice: Ease of Use and Customer Support
If you were hoping that the ease of use would help you make a decision on which VoIP to buy, sadly, that won’t be the case. Both Google Voice and Grasshopper are extremely user-friendly with clean interfaces and simple set-ups. You won’t need to spend hours learning how to use your chosen VoIP — everything is readily available and easily accessible.
If you already have a Google account or use G Suite, you’ll find Google Voice slightly easier to set up and use. Still, that shouldn’t turn you away from Grasshopper — the service wasn’t made only for tech-savvy people, so you’ll have no problem figuring it out.
How Do They Treat Their Customers?
Every virtual phone provider needs reliable customer support to assist the clients with their call quality issues, troubleshooting, and answer queries. Luckily, both Google Voice and Grasshopper know that, so they made sure their support is accessible 24/7.
Grasshopper’s customer support responds to all queries quickly and resolves all potential issues as soon as possible. After the resolution, you will even get a follow-up email from the support that ensures you’re satisfied.
On the other hand, Google Voice offers FAQs and online guides, as well as excellent online support. The only service that doesn’t have their 24/7 tech support is their free plan, though your queries will still be answered fairly quickly.
What Do Users Say?
Ultimately, when deciding which VoIP to purchase, the actual customers’ opinions will help you the most. After all, they were the ones who tried the services and saw their good and bad sides.
Clean platform design, easy navigation, and cost-efficient plans are Grasshopper customers’ favorite features. In addition, the plans are fairly similar, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out if you use cheaper ones.
However, Grasshopper’s customer support doesn’t get such rave reviews. They usually respond fast, but unfortunately, they aren’t as successful in handling help requests. On top of that, call quality with customer support can be poor, which certainly isn’t a good look.
Google Voice is praised for being reliable, convenient, and easy to use. That’s not too surprising — after all, Google and its services are a staple in the online world.
Still, there are certain issues. For instance, many customers don’t like that integration works almost exclusively with other Google services. In addition, the voicemail transcription feature, which is incredibly convenient, doesn’t work as well as it should. In fact, it often makes errors, which can tarnish a business’s reputation in the long run.
Alternatives to Google Voice and Grasshopper
Google Voice and Grasshopper are excellent options for smaller businesses, but they do have their limits. If you’re looking for a VoIP provider that supports business scalability and offers more features, RingCentral might be the right one.
RingCentral comes with four pricing plans and a variety of crucial features such as voicemail transcription, unlimited virtual fax, and team messaging. Even with cheaper plans, you can integrate it with G Suite, Office 365, and Slack. Ultimately, this provider’s versatility is perfect for growing businesses, and the plans are not even that expensive!
Looking to expand your business internationally? Then look into Nextiva, the perfect provider for companies that operate 24/7 or in different timezones. The call quality and service uptime that Nextiva offers can’t be matched by either Google Voice or Grasshopper.
Nextiva has three plans with numerous excellent features and options for business scalability. The two more expensive plans offer a free trial, so you can test them before purchasing. In addition, Nextiva has bulk pricing options, which make it cheaper than other VoIP providers in the long run.
Other potential alternatives include:
So, which VoIP provider is better? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Both Google Voice and Grasshopper have pros and cons, and it all comes down to what your business needs.
On the one hand, Grasshopper has some exclusive features, such as virtual fax and business messaging, which Google Voice could only dream of. However, since all payable plans offer similar perks, it’s not great for businesses that hope to grow.
On the other hand, Google Voice’s two expensive plans are excellent for scaling your business since they offer unlimited users and locations. Still, these plans can prove too costly in the long run, which is why many people opt for the Solo plan.
Ultimately, if you can’t decide, sign up for Grasshopper’s 7-day free trial to test it out. Its professional look and excellent features are a great addition to every business, and if you don’t like it, you can always switch to Google Voice.