When businesses are looking for a new telephone service as a second line, many of them turn to Google Voice. However, Google Voice isn’t the best fit for every business.
If you feel like Google Voice isn’t the right service for you, read on to learn why you should consider Google Voice alternatives.
What Is Google Voice?
Google Voice is a telephone service that offers voice messaging, text messaging, voicemail services, and call transfer. Because Google Voice is a VoIP-like service, it only works over the internet. As long as you have an internet connection, you can send texts, make calls, and access the service.
When you first sign up, you can either use your own number to port to the service or get a new one.
If you choose to get a new number, you’ll need to share your area code and you’ll randomly be given a number. If you want to choose your own digits, you can input them to see if they’re available.
Once you have a phone number, you can record a voicemail message. Then, you can start making calls and using the service.
The Pros of Google Voice
So, why do people choose to use Google Voice? Here are some of the benefits of Google Voice:
- It’s free to place calls and text messages as long as you use it to communicate with other US numbers
- It works on iPhones, Androids, and desktop computers
- Can block spammers and unwanted calls
- Ability to customize text messages
- Receive transcribed voicemails
With Google Voice, you’re also not locked into a cellphone company. You can switch numbers at any time and have Google Voice forwarded to the new number.
The Drawbacks of Google Voice
While Google Voice, is convenient for some, it’s not the best option for most businesses. One thing a lot of people don’t realize about Google Voice is that it’s actually not designed for business use.
Rather, it’s a consumer product meant to collect metadata for advertisements. Here are some other drawbacks of Google Voice:
Lack of privacy is perhaps the biggest drawback of Google Voice. By allowing Google Voice access to all of your phone activity, you’re exposing a lot of personal information to Google.
Everything from the people you call to what you discuss is stored in Google’s servers. Of course, Google isn’t going to publish your life story with the data they’ve collected on you. However, putting your data in someone else’s hands means it could be used for purposes other than your personal perusal.
Caller ID Issues
While Google Voice does have a caller ID feature, it’s not known for being super reliable.
If you dial a number from your mobile phone touchpad, then your personal ID will show up. Your Google Voice number will only show up if you’re making the call from the Google Voice app.
Google also has trouble syncing contacts with other voice systems. This means that incoming calls from your personal contacts may fail to show up with a name, which can cause a great deal of confusion.
While they don’t happen often, Google-related service outages have occurred over the years. If Google Voice goes down, then your number may temporarily stop working.
For businesses that need Google Voice around the clock, this isn’t ideal.
What to Look for in a Telephone Service
Google Voice is also missing a lot of key features that you should look for in a telephone service. Here’s what you should look for:
Privacy and Protection
When you are looking for a reliable second line phone service, you need one which is not recording your or your client data to send targeted advertisements.
If you work in the medical field, then you absolutely need to choose a phone service that’s HIPAA compliant. Not only will this help protect your patients, but it’ll also help protect your business from lawsuits.
Auto Text Reply
When you are running a business you want to make sure you can provide the best customer service to your clients and be responsive without having them wait for you.
Another key feature you should look for in a phone service is call recording. Recording business calls will help you keep track of everything, and it may help you out down the road should there ever be a legal dispute over what someone said.
You’ll want to look for a service that has a free consent message that plays before the call is recorded.
Listening to voicemail can be tedious, which is why voicemail transcription is such an important feature. With this feature, your voicemails appear as easy-to-read texts with audio files that are sent directly to your inbox.
No Need to Change Carriers
Changing phone carriers can be a huge hassle, which is why you want to look for a service that can sync with your existing carrier.
Then, you’ll get a separate line with unique calling, texting, and voicemail sounds. This way, you never have to carry two phones with you.
Auto Attendant With Virtual Extensions
If you want to give your business a professional look, then you need to look for a phone service that comes with an auto attendant. This auto attendant can list the different extension numbers for your business to ensure that customers are speaking to the right person.
Google Voice Alternatives: Are You Ready?
Now that you know why you should look for Google Voice alternatives, it’s time to start searching for a different service. There are services out there that are specifically designed for businesses that have all of the features you need.
If you’re looking for a phone service with all of the above features, check out iPlum. You can contact us today to learn more about our features and services.