In today's digital age, businesses of all sizes are constantly searching for the most effective ways to connect with clients and other organizations. Gone are the days when traditional landline phones sufficed for this purpose. With the advent of mobile phones, communication has become more seamless than ever before. However, the real game-changer has been the emergence of smartphones as the dominant technology. Virtually everyone owns one, and yet the primary mode of communication remains the same: voice calls. As such, telecommunication companies are continuously seeking ways to improve the affordability and quality of voice services.
In this context, it's worth noting that one of the most innovative players in the telecommunications space is Google. The tech giant has made significant strides in the field of voice communications, thanks to its pioneering Google Voice service. This innovative offering stands out in the market due to its unconventional approach and unique features.
In this post, we'll delve into the ins and outs of Google Voice and explore why it could be a game-changer for your business. So, be sure to read on!
What is Google Voice?
Google Voice is a service provided by Google that lets you use one phone number to make and receive calls from multiple devices like phones, computers, and tablets. It was launched in 2009, and the basic version is completely free.
Google Voice allows you to receive voicemails as text messages and offers features like call forwarding and personalized voicemail greetings. With Google Voice, you can make affordable international calls and block unwanted callers as well. It's a useful option for individuals and businesses who want a flexible and affordable way to manage their phone calls and messages.
Except for making calls and sending messages, google voice has got many more useful features:
- Automated voicemail transcription
- Voicemail greetings personalization
- International calls at low rates
- Spam calls and message protection
- Call Blocking
- Automated call screening
The business version of Google Voice offers more features geared toward business and enterprise use:
- Unlimited number of users
- Unlimited International Locations
- SIP Link
- Web Application
- Call recording and monitoring
- 24/7 support
So Google Voice is a powerful communication tool for both personal and business use. Now let’s take a look at how Google Voice works.
How do I Set Up Google Voice?
You can set up Google Voice using any device. The process is exceedingly simple. Just follow these steps.
For Android and iPhone just download the Google Voice app from the Google Play store or Apple App store. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose the plan that suits you. You should be set up in no time.
To set up Google Voice through the web, follow these instructions:
● Open voice.google.com in a new tab.
● Tap the 'Get Google voice 'button and then log in to your Google account.
● After accepting the terms & conditions, click 'continue' to open the page where you can choose a phone number.
● Then tap on 'select', and then verify with Google about your existing number.
● Make sure the entered phone number will be the initial line that you will be using for call forwarding from Google Voice.
● After clicking on the verify button, input your phone number. You will receive a text message containing a verification code. Input that number and then click verify.
● Once this step is done, tap claim to take control of the number.
What are the Features of Google Voice?
Google Voice for business has all the tools you need to support and enhance your business's voice communications. Some of the standout features of Google Voice include:
- Call forwarding: Google Voice lets you forward calls from your Google Voice number to any phone or computer, so you can answer calls on the device that's most convenient for you.
- Voicemail transcription: Google Voice can automatically transcribe your voicemail messages into text, making it easier to read and respond to your messages.
- Custom voicemail greetings: You can record different voicemail greetings for different callers or groups of callers, such as business associates or friends and family.
- Call screening: Google Voice allows you to screen calls before you answer them, so you can decide whether to take the call or send it to voicemail.
- Block unwanted callers: You can block specific phone numbers or entire groups of callers, such as telemarketers or spam callers.
- Affordable international calling: Google Voice offers affordable rates for making international calls and sending text messages to other countries.
- Integration with other Google services: Google Voice integrates with other Google services like Gmail and Google Calendar, making it easy to manage your communications across multiple platforms.
These features along with Google’s robust infrastructure and support make Google Voice a compelling option for a fully featured business phone solution. But there are some caveats. If you are a small business, some of these features may be entirely unnecessary for you, again, to access all these features you’ll need to subscribe to the premier plan which costs 30$ a month.
So one of the things you’ll have to look out for is the cost of getting Google Voice and if it’s worth the price.
The Cost of Running Google Voice
The very first thing you should consider is that you can’t get Google Voice as a standalone product. Google Voice comes as an add-on to Google Workspace. Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is a subscription-based office/business solution offering all of the most popular google apps as a bundle. Google Workspace costs 6$ per month but can cost as much as 18$ a month.
After getting Google Workspace you can choose to get one of the three Google Voice plans that are available. These plans offer more business-oriented tools in three tiers, each costing more than the last.
So let's compare between the three plans you can choose in Google Voice:
Starter - 10$/month
The Starter plan is the cheapest one Google offers for Google Voice users. This plan offers numbers for 10 users and up to 10 domestic locations. Unfortunately, this plan does not offer any international numbers.
Other features you can get in the starter plan include free calls to any number in the US and Canada, unlimited texting in the US, Google Fi compatibility, Voicemail transcription, usage and activity reporting 24/7 support, etc.
For a small business or startup, this plan makes the most sense as it offers the core features of Google Voice at an affordable entry point.
Standard - 20$/month
The Standard plan offers the best value, giving you all the features of the Starter plan along with some additional functionality. This plan provides an unlimited number of users and unlimited domestic locations.
The additional features you get in the Standard plan include Multi-level auto attendant, Ring groups, Desk phone support, Ad-hoc user call recording, and more.
The Standard plan is a good balance between cost and features suited for mid-sized to large businesses.
Premier - 30$/month
The Premier plan unleashes the full potential of Google Voice unlocking all of its features. But it’s quite costly at 30$ per month, making it the most expensive plan Google offers.
The Premier plan offers everything included in the Starter and Standard plans with more expert-level features. It includes Unlimited international locations, Sip linking, eDiscovery, advanced reporting, automatic Ad-hoc user call recording, etc.
Since this plan is geared toward enterprise solutions for large businesses, many of the features may be unnecessary for most small to mid-level operations. But it offers the very best of Google Voice with Google’s outstanding customer experience.
Some Drawbacks of Switching to Google Voice
Even though Google is a multi-billion dollar tech conglomerate, it isn’t immune from the pitfalls of running a high bandwidth global business service. As such, Google Voice’s track record isn’t flawless. Users run into bugs and glitches on a fairly regular basis and the service isn’t reliable in every corner of the globe.
Here are some of the issues you may face if you switch to Google Voice:
- Call Quality: Google Voice relies on your internet connection for calls, which means that call quality can sometimes be affected by network congestion, latency, or other issues. This can result in dropped calls, poor audio quality, or other call-related problems.
- Limitations on International Calling: While Google Voice does offer international calling, there may be limitations depending on the country you are calling. For example, some countries may not allow VoIP calls, or may block Google Voice altogether. Additionally, you may incur additional fees or charges for international calls.
- Integration with Other Apps: While Google Voice does integrate with some other Google services, such as Gmail and Google Calendar, it may not work seamlessly with all third-party apps or services. This can make it difficult to use Google Voice alongside other tools you rely on.
- Limited Support: Google Voice is a relatively niche product, and as such, it may not receive the same level of support or development as other Google products. This can lead to issues with bugs, compatibility, or other technical problems that may not be promptly addressed.
- Privacy Concerns: As with any online service, there are potential privacy concerns with using Google Voice. For example, Google may collect data on your calls or messages, which could be used for targeted advertising or other purposes. Additionally, there is always the risk of a data breach or other security issue that could compromise your information.
Google Voice is a great business call service, but not without its faults. If you are in the US or Canada, Google’s excellent customer support might help you sort out your issues in no time. But anywhere else in the world, the same level of hands-on customer care is just not possible, leaving you potentially stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Having Doubts about Google Voice? Try LimePhone
LimePhone is a no-nonsense VoIP business solution that gives you everything you need to run your business at no extra cost. You can set up your number in minutes, forward calls, automate text messages, follow up on leads, integrate with other apps, and much much more. Compared to Google Voice, it’s cheaper, allows more flexibility, and doesn’t lock you into any particular ecosystem.
Here are some of the features that LimePhone offers that beat Google Voice:
- HD Quality Calls: Enjoy crystal-clear calls with the nation's premium networks.
- Voicemail: Create voicemail mailboxes for individual users or teams, making it easy to stay organized and never miss an important message.
- Number Transfer: Keep your existing phone number and benefit from lower call rates, allowing you to save money while still maintaining your current contact information.
- No Extra Overhead: LimePhone is fully self-serve and doesn't have any salespeople, meaning we can keep our prices as low as possible.
- Manage Users: Our online dashboard makes it easy to create and edit users, giving you complete control over your phone system.
- Click to Call: Receive calls from the web and meeting links from anywhere, making it easy to stay connected even when you're on the go.
- Inclusive Calls: Reduce costs with inclusive calling to UK and US landlines and mobiles, helping you save money on your phone bill.
- Advanced Routing: Set random or simultaneous dialing sequences, ensuring that incoming calls are always answered quickly and efficiently.
- Receive Calls on the Web: Receive incoming calls directly on your web browser from anywhere, making it easy to stay connected on any device.
- Add or Remove Users: Easily add and organize users with the admin dashboard, allowing you to scale your phone system as your business grows.
- Call Recording: Meet compliance requirements with state-of-the-art call recording and AI, giving you peace of mind and ensuring that you always have a record of important conversations.
- Custom Caller ID: Choose the number you want your customers to see when you call, helping you maintain a professional image and brand identity.
- Call Analytics: Our online dashboard allows you to analyze peak times, missed calls, and more across your business, helping you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
- Web and Android: Our easy-to-use mobile apps for smartphones allow you to stay connected on the go.
- Flexible Working: LimePhone is compatible with the most popular desk phones in the market, ensuring that you can use the hardware that works best for your business.
- Windows and Mac: Easily make and receive calls on your desktop or laptop using SIP softphones, making it easy to stay connected while working at your desk.
- International Calls: Dial internationally at much lower rates than a traditional landline, allowing you to stay connected with customers and colleagues around the world.
- Slack: Receive calls and text messages on Slack, making it easy to stay connected with your team and collaborate seamlessly.
- Intercom: Initiate real-time audio calls with your existing chats on Intercom, making it easy to stay connected and work more efficiently.
- Zapier: Integrate with thousands of apps using our Zapier native integration, making it easy to automate your workflows and streamline your processes.
Cost: LimePhone vs Google Voice
LimePhone offers more functionality than Google Voice and is a better value proposition overall. No need to pay a monthly subscription for Google Workspace, just pay for what you need. And for Enterprise use, get a quote to personalize your plan.
In conclusion, Google Voice is a powerful communication tool that allows individuals and businesses to manage their phone calls and messages flexibly and affordably. With unique features like call forwarding, voicemail transcription, personalized voicemail greetings, and spam call protection, Google Voice is a game-changer in the telecommunication space.
The business version of Google Voice offers even more features geared towards business and enterprise use. However, it's important to note that Google Voice is not a standalone product, it comes as an add-on to Google Workspace, which is a subscription-based office/business solution. Additionally, the cost of Google Voice can add up, and businesses should carefully consider which plan suits their needs best. Overall, Google Voice is a compelling option for a fully featured business phone solution.