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Google Voice for Business: Pros & Cons
If there are things everyone is enthusiastic about, it’s freebies. From “buy one get one free” deals to free music, movies, and even software, we try to grab anything we can for free. But turn the same mindset onto business and suddenly things get a lot more complicated. How do you know whether a free VoIP solution like Google Voice is really “no strings attached”? Should you put unconditional trust in the almighty Google brand? Why does Google Voice work for some users but not others?
When you’re struggling with those kinds of questions, it’s time for a quick catch-up.
Here are the Google Voice pros and cons we’ll cover in this article:
You’ll also learn how MightyCall solutions effectively close the communication gaps left open by Google Voice and let you focus on cost-effective growth.
Google Voice: basics and privacy
Back when Google acquired its VoIP technology in 2009, Skype seemed the apogee of virtual calling innovation – albeit one that still tied us to a computer. When GVoice came along, people jumped at the idea of a free virtual phone line that worked with their cellphone. The solution seemed so cool that Google Voice turned heads even in the small business world.
But times have changed, and our idea of communication has skyrocketed in the past decade. What can Google Voice do for business in 2019? Let’s start with the basics.
+ Free number
Just like 10 years ago, Google Voice recruits clients with the offer of a free virtual number that may be used for personal or business purposes. This means that similar to other VoIP solutions, all incoming calls to the GVoice number will be redirected to your mobile phone. You can also choose to route this number to several different devices which will ring simultaneously.
– Reliable Caller ID
Look around and you’ll see Google Voice definitely has the Caller ID feature. Now look closer, and you’ll see it sort of has it. One of the most frequent problems Google Voice users report is trouble with their Caller ID. For one, calls dialed from your mobile phone touchpad will use your personal ID. Only calls from the Google Voice app will show up as your GVoice number. Google also shows trouble syncing contacts with its other voice systems like Hangouts, which means incoming calls from your personal contacts may fail to appear as such and will cause confusion between business and personal calls. Moreover, sending SMS from the GV number will involve more Caller ID trouble.
Outgoing phone calls will display your brand name. This lets people know that a trusted company is calling, not some random person or call center.
Any inbound business call will display your company name instead of the caller’s number. This instantly shows you if it’s a business or personal call.
Google Voice is no exception to other social apps: all your confidential communication information (calls, call logs, messages, voicemail, etc.) is stored on Google servers, side by side with the rest of the info gathered about you by Google. Whether you want to share the privacy of your conversations and messages with Google is for you to decide, but it turns out your personal data isn’t strictly private when it comes to any free social service like Google.
Unlike Google Voice – a VoIP solution which is just a tiny part of Google’s mega-corporation – MightyCall has been focused exclusively on Virtual Telephony for over 15 years. No wonder we’ve had a lot of time to think about small and mid-sized business needs.
Here are 3 important things we’ve learned:
First impressions are vital.
For small business, a toll-free or vanity number with a friendly call menu is a huge leap from a simple local number and standard voicemail system. Even if you’re just starting out as a part-time business, your customers will appreciate the professional approach.
Every SMB owner needs work/life balance.
This is only possible when you keep business separate from your personal life. MightyCall never confuses calls or SMS dialed to your MightyCall business number with personal calls/messages directed to your regular mobile phone.
Choosing between cost-effectiveness and reliability is not an option.
You just need both. While this doesn’t mean a great service can be free (because of all the hard work that goes into developing a product daily), it does mean it has no hidden costs and provides exactly what it says.
Google Voice: business convenience
When you get something for free, it makes sense not to expect too much. But how do you reconcile a basic feature set with modern business demands? In order to retain customers, at this point most free products drop their “no strings attached” policy and offer additional services for additional fees. Google Voice is no exception to the rule.
Here’s what you can get for free, what you will need to pay for, and what you should be prepared to skip if choosing Google Voice for business.
+ Local area codes (based on availability)
On the upside, Google Voice allows you to choose a number with a local area code for free. The downside is that you’re in for a game of “musical chairs” where most of the good numbers are already taken. What if your business is in one of the nation’s populous cities? Good luck finding available area codes on the Google Voice page.
– Toll-free/vanity numbers – Google Voice offers only a limited list of local numbers to choose from. Toll-free or vanity numbers aren’t supported.
+ Number porting–Not long ago, Google Voice finally let its users port in their own number. The service, though, is no longer free – porting in a mobile number (the only kind that’s supported) will cost you $20. Another thing is time and hassle– porting isn’t a regular feature, so you should be prepared to go through quite a bit of trouble to actually set it up.
– Extensions/call flows
Call flows and extensions are super useful if your business involves more than two people. It also gives a professional image and saves you time on providing info that can be delegated to an automated voice system. As Google Voice isn’t really a VoIP provider, setting up a structured call flow won’t be possible.
– HD audio quality
As Google Voice doesn’t support top-notch HD audio and relies heavily on Wi-fi, the connection may get sloppy depending on your location.
– User support
If you think Google Voice is as infallible as Google Search, take one look at the Google Voice Help Forum. By the way, if you find yourself in the same position as those users, that’s also the only official resource you’ll have access to. Aside from googling, of course.
MightyCall offers all of the above business features for free on all of its 3 plans which support every type of business out there.
In contrast to grab-a-number services like Google Voice, MightyCall gives you a professional image with a local, vanity, or toll-free number of your choice. You may also keep using your current business number with our free number porting option.
Allow incoming calls to show your business number instead of the caller’s number to know it’s a business call
Choose a toll-free and local number for free
Set separate call routing rules for your business numbers
Port in your business number for free
Enable text messages and read texts on web & mobile
Enable call recordings for inbound & outbound calls
As MightyCall’s telephony system is incredibly reliable and is constantly updated by our team of developers, you can be confident of high-quality audio wherever you’re calling to and from. And if you ever need our advice or help, our support team is always just a call, a chat, or a message away.
Finally, our plans are designed for any type/size of business and put you in charge: there is no long-term contract, no hidden fees and no mix-up about what you’re paying for. You can see for yourself anytime with our free trial.
MightyCall’s review on G2Crowd
Google Voice: Business development
Growth is something every business, no matter how presently small, has on its radar. One of the most cost-effective ways to retain loyal customers and bring in new ones is revolutionizing your communication system. To make sure clients feel a professional approach in everything you do, VoIP systems have come up with a whole array of impressive customer-centric features.
Let’s look into some smart features provided (and not) by Google Voice:
Google Voice uses Wi-fi or mobile data to send texts and messages at no additional charge (for SMS sent to U.S. and Canadian numbers). This works fine for personal use, but not for business: replying to texts automatically forwarded to your mobile phone will betray your personal Caller ID.
When you have no time to listen to multiple voicemails, scanning through their text version can be a lot easier. Like VoIP providers, Google Voice offers this option to its users. However, be sure to listen back to any important messages –no voice-to-text system is exactly foolproof and may cause occasional confusion.
+ Conferencing calls
Basic conferencing with up to 3 additional people is supported within the Google Voice app.
– Call menus
When you have a business, a well-managed call flow makes all the difference and saves a great deal of time. An informative call menu should include custom voice greetings and prompts, business information that’s constantly updated, and instant connection to the person clients need to reach. As a non-business option, Google Voice has no structured call flow or call menus for your clients.
– Business contacts storage
While Google Voice has a basic Contacts section, any business contacts you add will be saved to your general Google account. As a result, your phone becomes a confusing hodge-podge of personal and work contacts that will take effort to make sense of. With Google Voice, there’s also no way to sync business contacts within teams, resulting in the lack of a shared client base.
– Comprehensive dashboard
Communication is a service and needs to be managed from one place. This is the place that will store call logs, missed calls, call recordings (if necessary), voice-to-text transcriptions, and call analytics that can give you tons of useful data. Forwarding this data bit by bit via Gmail or Hangouts (as Google suggests) isn’t exactly an option within a busy workday.
– Integrated web widgets
Any business has a webpage or social media presence. Unfortunately, Google Voice does nothing to use that to your advantage. As a result, you’ll have to use additional services (with additional costs and apps to check) to provide the handy chat and call-back options your clients expect to see.
The great thing about a professional VoIP solution like MightyCall is that however much your business expands, you’ll never grow out of its features.
Here are just a few challenges our VoIP system is ready to solve for you:
Think about adding more staff? – We’ve got unlimited extensions, after-hour call routing, call screening, and custom voicemail for you and each new colleague –free on all plans.
User status shows if a user is currently available for calls, out of reach or on the call.
Add users to your team for free so every user gets an extension.
Create user groups to direct calls to the right specialists.
Running short on time? – Our auto-attendant and custom voice system will save you tons.
Looking for simple, built-in CRM functionality? — MightyCall’s innovative Contact Book PLUS is more than a place to store business contacts. A mini-CRM built right into our VoIP system, it allows you to import business contacts and comment on interactions with clients right in the journal section shared with your team. As a result, it’s easy to personalize customer service and help the whole team stay on track of individual client inquiries. Best of all, the mini-CRM comes free of extra charge on all MightyCall plans. Find it both in the user profile and the MightyCall Mobile App for one-touch convenience on the go.
Need to improve customer retention? –A MightyCall plan gives you powerful call analytics and features such as call recording to analyze work with clients
Want to attract different categories of customers? –We cover communication for young and old, introvert and extrovert clients– from calls, to chats and messaging, to super useful online call-back widgets.
Want to take your business across the street, city, country, or galaxy? – We have all of those communication challenges (except well, the intergalactic one) taken care of. Connect any number of devices to your business number so you never miss a call – wherever you are and whichever office the call is directed to.
Need single storage for all your call data? – Our comprehensive multi-activity dashboard will be your favorite place for overlooking customer interaction
More good news: with our Mobile App for iOS/Android, you’ll manage all of the above on the go!
Many small business owners think their business isn’t big enough to “invest” in a professional VoIP plan. They end up making a huge mistake: thinking of virtual telephony as a quick ‘fix’ to set up and get into more pressing issues. But business communication is so much more than getting the extra number –it’s your window into the world of customer satisfaction.
While it’s convenient “lite” VoIP software for personal use, using Google Voice for business is like putting a foot into the wrong shoe: you can pretend it fits, but not for long.
To feel confident with managing a business, save time, and forget about extra costs, avoid the ‘free stuff’ and choose a transparent, cost-effective VoIP solution based on your business size and needs. You’ll be amazed at how this solid approach transforms business for both you and your customers.