Google Voice is an excellent service that has a number of impressive advantages for businesses and casual users. In case you somehow missed it, this is a service from Google (of course) that allows you to unite all of your different phones under a single number. From there, you can then set some impressive rules that control how those numbers are handled. The service has been around for a while now but is still somewhat ‘under the radar’. If you haven’t already started using it then, here are three powerful reasons why you should!
One of the most impressive features of Google Voice is its ability to make free calls to a number of places around the world.
To accomplish this, Google Voice works similarly to Vonage, WhatsApp or Facebook – using an internet connection to make the call rather than a regular data plan. However, whereas WhatsApp or Vonage require that the other person have the same app installed, Google Voice actually lets you call real phone numbers. This means you can use it to make business calls, or to call Grandma and as far as they’re concerned it will be no different from a regular phone call. This is a truly great feature and something that a lot of people could get good use out of – especially if you still have a limit on your calls with your phone carrier.
There are only two real limitations of Google Voice. One is that it only lets you call numbers based in the US or Canada, with calls abroad incurring just a small fee. The other is that calls can only be up to three hours in length – though this isn’t much of a drawback seeing as you can call the same number again immediately afterward.
One of the other big selling points of Google Voice is that it allows you to control all your different numbers through one central one. This means you can hand out the same number to everyone but have certain callers transferred to your ‘home’ number or your ‘work’ number. Alternatively, you can have one number come through to all your phones at once ensuring you’ll definitely never miss it.
This also has considerably benefits for small businesses in that it can be used similarly to a switch board. You can have up to six people on your team answering calls to the same number this way, even if you’re working remotely! This is a great way to provide a more professional service and better custom care, without having to install a new telephone system.
One more great feature of Google Voice is the way it lets you screen calls. For instance, it allows you to pick up calls without the caller knowing at first. You can then see the person’s name and you’ll be given the option to answer, to send them straight to voicemail (and listen live), to record the call or to reject. Google will get the name by looking at your address book but if they’re not in there, then Google will ask for their name on your behalf – acting almost as a personal assistant. You can also pick up the call mid message or get a text transcription when someone is leaving a voicemail.
Anyone who is tired of being pestered by spam calls will see the appeal of getting callers to give their name before answering. What’s more, the ability to record calls and listen to messages has a number of applications for businesses in particular.
There are many more features that make Google Voice an incredibly handy tool as well, from SMS handling, to the ability switch phones mid call. If you haven’t already, then be sure to check it out!