If you are a freebie lover or if you single-handedly run a startup, Google Voice for business will surely be your first choice. Small businesses that want to cut costs prefer Google Voice to manage their communication system. Though Google Voice was meant for regular customers and their calling needs, its free service and great features appealed to businesses as well.
To decide if Google Voice is worth the purpose, we need to have a better understanding of its various advantages and drawbacks. We will talk about its various features and where it falls back when compared to the performance of other paid services. Even with all its free and efficient services, Google Voice for business must be scrutinized so that users can decide what will work best for them.
What is Google Voice?
Google Voice is a free, internet-based phone service owned by Google. You can use this service by simply logging into or signing up for a Gmail address or Google account. After providing an alternate forwarding number, it will let you choose a free number with any area code. You are all set with your Google Voice service and can start making calls or messages.
All these functions are performed through the internet. The Google Hangouts are used to make phone calls, free and unlimited. You can text any number from the same app and even listen to voicemails and transcripts. Many other great features, paid otherwise, are offered for free by Google. And here is the best Google Voice Alternative for your reference.
Some of its functions include:
- Forwarding calls to the alternate number
- Allowing users to communicate through calls over the app through any device
- SMS service
- Record and transcribe the voicemails
- Support high call traffic by call forwarding
- Display full call history
- Basic level conferencing supported for U.S. residents
- Performing Video conferencing with the Google Hangout app
There are some shortcomings of Google Voice for Business that have a significant impact on its efficiency. However, its impact depends upon the individual requirements, which differ in every case. Some of its limitations include:
- The requirement of an alternate mobile number
- Cannot make emergency calls to 911
- MMS service is limited and only accessible by those who use Google Hangouts
- Restricted messaging service as the people using iOS cannot do texting via Google Voice
- Accessible on a very limited type of hardware
- Call forwarding is restricted in the sense that phone calls unanswered within 25 seconds are automatically sent to voicemail
- No direct customer assistance available
So what is the advantage of the paid telephony systems?
The limitations of Google Voice for business can be the advantage of the other paid web communication services. Let’s have a look at the features provided by the alternatives that make them a better choice for big businesses.
Robust system and tightly secured networks
Google powers the Google Voice app, and that removes the question mark of trust. However, for a business operation, it would be better to get a service provider that has a wider network of data centers. That way, in times of server slowdown, your data would simply be transferred to another nearby data center, and it will remain safe.
How efficient and available the customer support service is matters a lot. You may want to have the least of support available when your entire business is dependent upon your phone. Some paid phone services have extremely helpful support teams, and you will no longer have to wait for a response the way you have to with Google Voice for business.
Additional innovative features
Google Voice offers all the standard services anyway. However, the list will fall short when compared to the huge list of unique innovatory features like dashboards, API developers, extensions, automated attendants, etc. These are some of the myriads of additional benefits that are provided by the paid phone systems.
Understanding the nitty-gritty of Google Voice for business
Google Voice changed the realm of internet communications with its launch. However, with advancing demands and innovations, the communication systems are also changing. It is here that we need to look into the efficiency of Google Voice for various business needs.
The basics of Google Voice and its privacy system
The basics include the standard features that Google Voice offer related to calling. It also includes the features that indicate the privacy measures taken by the system to ensure a safer communication experience to its users.
- A free phone number: Google Voice for business offers a free number to the users that may be used for any purpose. All the calls to this number will appear on your device. You can also route these calls to many other devices at the same time.
- Caller ID: The feature is included in the system, but it remains sort of non-performing. Users report their malfunctioning, and the contacts also face syncing problems. Call overlapping is also a frequent issue.
- Privacy set up: Just like other apps, the data related to the Google vice app remains stored in the Google servers. You get to choose if you want to share the data or not. However, it is not that private as you might think.
How is convenient Google Voice for business?
The system is free, so it is bound to come with a set if certain limited features. However, it is not necessary if you will be able to adjust your demands with the available services. Google does offer most of its services for free, but it can charge you for certain additional features as well.
- Local phone numbers/ area codes: You can easily choose a number in your local area and that too, for free. However, this would only depend upon code availability in the area you choose.
- Toll-free number: You cannot avail of such numbers through this service.
- Number portability: Google Voice does provide this service to its users, but not for free. You will be charged $20 for porting in your number. The process also would be a little difficult to deal with.
- Number extensions or call flows: These two services are essential for a large business system. It adds a professional touch to the work system. It also makes the processing time-efficient with an automatic voice system. Google Voice doesn’t support either of them.
- High-quality audio: Google Voice services mostly work over Wi-Fi; it is not worth expecting H.D. audio calls.
- Customer assistance: A very important feature where Google Voice for business falls back is user support. The Google Voice help forums are just FAQs and long threads where you can only get help from the community discussions. Or else, Google the problem itself.
How is useful Google Voice for business development?
Every business aspires to grow, sooner or later. Communications is considered as a vital step to retain the consumer base. Thus, there is a constant need for businesses to keep their communication system updated and innovatory. The features developed by the VoIPs have to be more customer-focused. Let’s know what all such features are provided by Google Voice for business (or not).
- Texting via SMS: Google Voice relies on an internet connection to send or receive messages without any fee (you can send messages only to Canadian or U.S. numbers). This feature doesn’t work that great for business purposes. It is a complicated process to reply to the text forwarded on your mobile number from the Google caller I.D.
- Voicemail transcribing: Reading the transcribed voicemail is a lot more time saving than listening to all the audios mails. Google Voice helps you do that. However, this can cause occasional errors, so make sure to listen to the important ones.
- Conference calls: The voice app lets you make basic conference calls with a maximum of three people at a time.
- Call menu: An integrated and comprehensive call flow is very important to manage a business efficiently. It includes automated audio greeting messages and prompts, updated business info that helps in reaching the clients in no time. Google Voice doesn’t have this feature as it was not designed for businesses.
- Integrated contact storage for business: Google Voice for business does store the basic contacts. However, storing business contacts is not supported, and they will get saved in your general Google contact section. All this becomes a messy affair to deal with.
- Analytic Dashboard: A comprehensive and integrated dashboard is a must for managing communication well. Detailed call logs, call recordings, voicemail transcriptions, etc. makes up the call data. Google Voice doesn’t support this feature. If you are a Google Voice user, then transferring this data through Gmail or Google hangouts can be the only option.
- Integrated software applications: These days, social commerce is a new trend, and the businesses have to stay updated. Unluckily, Google Voice users will need to get these services by paying additional charges. It is only then that they will be able to integrate their social media content to the clients over simple communication.
Is Google Voice for business a suitable option?
Business communication is more than just phone numbers; it is a way to deliver the best customer satisfaction. Choosing the right web phone service is essential as per your business needs. If you are a solo business person, then Google Voice for business may just do the job for you. However, if you want to manage a bigger business, you must avoid freeloading and choose a good paid telephony service loaded with better features. So, get your needs sorted and there you go.