Hiver Review & Alternative | Hiver vs Clientflow
If you are looking for a Shared inbox solution for your company, there is a chance that you might have considered Hiver. Hiver is a Gmail extension using which you can collaborate on a shared inbox, for eg. support@, sales@ etc. but there is a new and more comprehensive (which you will agree to by the end of this blog) product i.e. Clientflow, using which you can not only collaborate using shared inbox, but can do a lot more. Here, I have compared the features of Hiver and Clientflow.
1. Extension vs Product
This is the most important and defining difference between Hiver and Clientflow. Hiver is just an extension. It allows you to create a shared mailbox but that is pretty much it. Period. Clientflow is a full fledged product with a variety of different features such as task assigning, time tracking to name a few that is extremely useful in your day to day workflow about which I will explain in the following points.
So let us next compare the hallmark feature of Hiver with Clientflow and see where it stands
2. Shared Inbox
First let me explain you what a shared inbox means with an example. Suppose you are in the support team of your company which consists of three members and you want mails coming to your support@ email account to be accessible to all three members and anyone of them should be able to reply, you create a shared inbox. Now, Hiver and Clientflow do this job differently.
ClientFlow gets your personal email conversations, your team’s group email conversations and client communication on a single shared platform. It has all the essential functionality for you to manage personal, team and client conversations without the extensive feature set that an email hosting software provides. Also, you can have internal discussions with teammates in the comment section.
As of Hiver, after you sign up and give access to your shared inbox account, it displays it in the left column and any mail that comes to that shared inbox email by default goes to the unassigned tab that will be under that shared inbox mail until it is assigned to someone by the admin (the person who created the group), after which it gets into the assigned bracket under the same shared inbox mail.
You might want to read the above paragraph on Hiver once again because I know it is difficult to understand at once, but trust me it is even more difficult to execute. Add to it that if you want to chat with your group members, you can’t do it right there in the left column of gmail, you will have to go to the top right and click the hiver icon to have access to that. Confusing, right? Let me explain it further in the next point.
3. User Interface (UI)
Have you ever wondered why products like gmail or whatsapp for that matter are so widely used? That’s because of their simple UI. You clutter them and the whole essence of the product is gone. You just don’t clutter the wonderful UI that gmail has which is time tested for so many years, what you instead do is build products around these wonderful products. Hiver did just the opposite. It is like editing the Bible. They messed with the simple UI of gmail, whereas Clientflow’s UI is very similar to gmail and you get used to it quite quickly.
4. Client Communication
There is no concept of client in Hiver. You will have to create a new label for every client and manually add them to every incoming conversation. Organizing Client communication and Standardizing Client Approval process is a breeze in Clientflow.
Also in ClientFlow, you can organize your emails according to clients and projects. Just select a client and you’ll have all communication pertaining to the client at one place. It is the same with projects. Just go and select a project and you will have all communication related to that particular project at one place.
There is no concept of either client or project in Hiver.
5. Tasks and Time Tracking
In Clientflow, there is a separate tab for writing down tasks (which you want to do yourself or want to assign others) which you can add to a project or to a client and keep the track of the time you have spent on a particular task.
In Hiver, there is no such feature present.
6. Attaching Files and Documents
Attaching files and documents in Hiver is same as it is in gmail because hiver is just an extension.
In Clientflow, other than the obvious attaching options of files and document, there is option of drag and drop, as well as attaching files directly from google drive, dropbox, facebook and instagram accounts. Cool, isn’t it?
In Clientflow, there are multiple pre-built templates for you to choose from such as onboarding templates, status update templates, feedback templates, invoices templates, meeting templates, approval templates and many more. Additionally, you can create and customize your own set of templates anytime, so forget writing those lengthy and repeated emails time and again
In Hiver, they do have the option of creating canned response that you have to build them from scratch. They don’t have any pre-made template.
8. Sending emails for Approvals
In ClientFlow, You can choose to send an email in the format of a standardized approval email by selecting an approval template directly while composing the mail and make edits in it if you want. You can also choose one of your custom templates if you want that. While creating this product, ‘client communication’ was always the priority and hence we think about what your client would like to see.
The interesting part is when your client receives the mail, he will see two options at the end of the mail i.e. “Accept” and “Reject”. This makes client communication extremely simple. Clients will have an option to communicate with you within the same email thread before approving by simply replying to the mail. It makes communication with clients much simpler.
Now again, Hiver has no such feature.
9. Cost of Product/ Billing
Hiver has three plans which are Plus, Premium and Enterprise costing 18$, 27$ and 40$ per month per user respectively. The Plus plan allows you to create just two shared mailboxes. So you don’t even have to look for other features of this plan as it is completely obsolete. Now the Premium plan gives you the option of creating ten shared mailboxes which might be enough for you but it doesn’t give you priority support and dedicated CSM which it offers only to Enterprise customers.
For ClientFlow, it’s pretty simple and straightforward. You pay 19$ per month per user and you get all the features and integrations we have. And you are always our priority customer, no matter what.