Is Google Voice Great for Business Use?
You’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, independent service professional, or freelancer, and you’ve decided to take the plunge and get yourself a business phone number. Congratulations! You’re ahead of the pack, as more solopreneurs rarely separate their business and personal information. This mindset of combining your personal and business contacts can lead to a lot of confusion, not to mention potentially lost income.
One popular phone option for a lot of new business owners is using Google Voice as their business’s phone system. After all, it’s a free service so it’s great because you don’t have to spend money on it when starting out a new business. Google Voice uses the Voice over internet protocol (VoIP), so you can make phone calls as long as you have an internet connection.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the topic of using Google Voice as a business phone line or alternate business number separate from your personal cell phone. We’ll discuss the key reasons why you’d want to do this as well as walk through a quick tutorial on how to set up a Google Voice number. You’ll also learn the main perks of why many small business owners elect to use a work number through Google Voice as well as the potential drawbacks and features you’re missing out on by going with Google Voice for your business.
I hope you are on the edge of your seat because you’re about to get a brand-spanking new business line! Look at you. You are official and you’re moving up in the world! 😉
Why A Business Line is Essential for Growing Your Business
First of all, let’s talk about how much more professional your business looks when you have a business line.
You can put your phone number on your business cards and not worry about giving everyone your personal cell phone number.
Texting with clients and customers is becoming more common. You can encourage your clients to text your business number if you don’t have time to take a call.
How about group messages (for example, if you offer classes, events, or a team?) Google Voice allows that as well.
Separate Business and Personal Contacts
Finally, you can separate business from personal in a convenient way. No longer will you see an incoming call and wonder if it’s a client or your close friends asking why you haven’t called them in ages. You can also forward calls to your personal number if needed.
Quick and Customizable
Additionally, Google Voice is a great choice because you can get your number in literally one (1) minute. All you need is a Gmail account and you’re good to go! Not to mention, you can even customize your phone number, such as choosing your area code and several different combinations of digits. Anyone who has ever wanted a vanity phone number, this is your opportunity! 😉
You also get a voicemail that Google automatically transcribes and emails to you. So you get an audio message and a written email message for any call that you miss when a client leaves a message. That being said, the voicemail transcripts can be spotty at times (i.e. Customers may be asking for deep cleaning, but it comes across as “cheap feeling”). I assure you these are not the same and may leave you confused and need to seek clarification for what should be a straightforward request to begin with. Lol. Excuse me for that chuckle.
Forward to your Cell Phone
How about forwarding your business line to your cell phone? Of course, this is possible – it wouldn’t be very useful to have a business line that didn’t ring to your main phone. Text messages get forwarded also, although thru email, which is pointedly less convenient (for obvious reasons) than regular SMS.
All in all, getting a dedicated Google Voice number is a great choice for your business. Its ease of use makes like easier for business owners. How do you go about doing such a thing? Ask no more! The good news is, it couldn’t be easier.
Simply go to voice.google.com (don’t you love how easy Google makes it to find their services?) Then choose For Work from the selection, which will route you to Google’s cloud services. It’s basically the same thing as the Google Voice app for personal use, but with some extra features.
What’s that I hear? You were looking for a free solution? Well, that’s what most people say, and for that reason, I’d recommend that you click Back and click For Personal Use instead. (Note that I’m not advocating breaking any terms of service)
However, it’s a shame that Google doesn’t offer some pretty sweet and much-needed extra features for busy professionals. For example, how awesome would it be if you could do any of the following with your brand new business line? (Unfortunately you can’t do any of the following with Google Voice.)
P.S. Want a better alternative to Google Voice? Check out PocketSuite on the App Store or Google Play Store to see how our phone system has more features than Google Voice, and how it can help grow your business.
The Drawbacks of Google Voice for Business Use
While Google Voice does have its benefits, the truth is that it lacks the critical features needed to run a business. Here are some of the drawbacks to using Google Voice for businesses:
What if you could add your missed calls to your contacts automatically? How much time would that save you digging thru your missed call records and emails trying to figure out which client reached out from which number? Ugh, annoying!
No Support for Team Members and Phone Number Sharing
Google Voice numbers are limited to the Google account the user signed up with. If your business is large enough that you have multiple team members who need to share a phone line for customer service, Google Voice can’t support that feature. You’d have to use a separate phone system to share phone numbers across multiple team members.
Only Works in the United States
Running a business in Canada or any other part of the world? Unfortunately, you can’t set up a phone number for international countries.
No Personalized Responses
What if you could send a personalized response to one or more clients based on certain criteria? (Such as the date of their last booking, or whether they owe you money, or on their birthday or anniversary, or when their package is going to expire, or when you have special classes, extra availability, promotions, discounts, etc) – can’t do any of that with Google Voice personal (or business!). I know, I know it’s tragic…hang in there.
Limited Forwarding Options
What if you need to forward your number to another line that is not your mobile phone? Like when you drop your phone and have to leave it in the repair shop overnight or when you are away on vacation out of the country and don’t have an international voice plan, or you just hired an assistant and want him to answer all of your calls. So sad, can’t do that with Google Voice either.
Headache of Multiple Apps
Google Voice is great because it gives you a free number, but does that truly mean it’s good for business? If you’re using Google Voice for your business line, which app or software are you using to manage your clients’ bookings? Which app are you using to process client payments? How about contracts…do you have an app for getting them signed online? Where are you storing notes, class info, etc? That’s right – you have to use multiple apps, which makes everything exponentially more difficult, manual, and inefficient.
PocketSuite – a Better Alternative to Google Voice
How can you take advantage of these amazing business features without having to shell out $30 per month to Google Drive, Google Wallet, and more? The answer is a tool that you may already have heard about since you’re reading this article:
An amazing mobile app called PocketSuite, it’s an all-in-one solution:
1. MISSED CALLS ADDED TO CONTACTS AUTOMATICALLY – every missed call you get (remember, these are only business calls because you get a dedicated business line with PocketSuite) will be added to your contacts automatically. No more sifting through missed calls or staring at a number, wondering which client called you!
2. SMART MARKETING TO SEND PERSONALIZED RESPONSES – Send personalized, automated responses to your new leads and clients based on any criteria you set – hello discounts, hello promotions, hello increasing your bottom line income!
3. CUSTOMIZABLE FORWARDING INCLUDED – Easily forward your line to your admin or support team, and start spending your time growing your business while your team (or assistant) takes care of the support tasks! Unlike Google Voice, with PocketSuite your business line isn’t attached inseparably to your cell phone number. It default forwards to your cell phone but you can temporarily or permanently forward it to any other phone, including (ironically) to a Google Voice number.
Manage Your Business With One App
Finally! Running a business these days already requires so many moving pieces. It can be overwhelming. That’s why if you have a business line, you shouldn’t have to use a separate app just to manage it. With PocketSuite you get a business line integrated into the same app that you already use for payments, messages, scheduling, contacts, and pretty much any other task you need to do for your business. Phew!
Not to mention PocketSuite also allows you to get a brand new number easily and quickly, customize the area code and digits, and the best part…
If you already have a current Google Voice or Google Voice Business line and you love it, no problem! You can easily port your current number to PocketSuite and keep the Google Voice number that you already have (and that your clients have). Boom! You can have it all!!!
If you’re just looking for a business line and that’s it, you can get one from PocketSuite for the nominal cost of $9.99. However, for an extra $10 you also get the entire PocketSuite app with all the amazing features that I outlined above. And that’s still less expensive than Google Cloud’s Premier solution, which doesn’t have any of the features that I referenced above.
It’s a no brainer to do a test drive, even if it’s on PocketSuite’s free plan. There is also a 30-Day FREE Trial – so you have no excuse. Check it out!
So what are you waiting for? We’ve discussed all of the steps to getting either a Google Voice line or a PocketSuite business line or BOTH – now it’s time to make use of this information because you’ll never get back the ten minutes you invested in reading this article. Carpe diem! (Seize the day!) As service professionals, let’s be bold and keep expanding and growing our brand and income. We’re laying the foundation for our continued success, one delighted client at a time!
If you liked this article, you’ll love PocketSuite’s Business line – try out the 30-Day FREE trial Premium plan, if you’re not sure, you’ll get the business line benefits! You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!