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Written by
Katy Ratican
7 Mar 2022
4 minutes

Google Voice for business: What is it and how does it work?

Considering Google Voice for business? Here’s what you should know about the service and whether you should look at Google Voice alternatives
What is Google Voice for business

If a product is from a tech giant, chances are you will have heard about it. Google Voice by Google Workspace has become popular among individual users in certain countries. Here’s everything to know about the service if you’re thinking about using it for business.

Virtual numbers are redefining business communication. Some of them also have enhanced features that make it easy to communicate with customers and clients. But does Google Voice for business have all the necessary features your business needs? Or should you look at some Google Voice alternatives?

Google Voice for business: What is it?

A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone service, Google Voice lets you make and receive calls over the internet. It’s integrated into Google Workspace and is intended to provide a virtual phone service for those in the Google ecosystem.

How does Google Voice for business work?

Google Voice for business works like other second-line apps. Once you download the app, you can make and receive calls on your smartphone, laptop or tablet with an internet connection. You can port your current phone number or get a new number from Google Voice for business.

What should be noted about Google Voice for Workspace is that it’s only available for those who have a Workspace account. The service comes with three pricing plans based on the features you need.

How to set up Google Voice for your small business or startup

Unlike several other virtual apps, it requires some effort to set up and activate your Google Voice for business number. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Visit the Google Voice website.

  2. Click on “Get Started” and choose a pricing plan if the website prompts you to.

  3. Sign in to your Google Workspace account.

  4. Choose “Add or upgrade a subscription.”

  5. Click on “Google Voice” in the sidebar on the left side and select a plan.

  6. Click on “Get Started,” then on “Checkout” and finally on “Place order.”

  7. Now you can choose area codes and assign your new numbers to your team, depending on the availability of the feature in your location.

  8. If you’re in the US or Canada, you can port your existing number by filling out the details in the porting request.

  9. You can also activate the features that you would need, from Ring Groups to auto-attendant, based on their availability in your plan.

Using Google Voice for your own business: How can it help?

Google Voice for business has some of the features you would expect from virtual number apps. If you’re a small business, you can use it for:

Customer support: Now customers will have a dedicated number to reach you with queries or complaints.

Reaching local customers: By getting a Google Voice for business, you can create a local number for an area you may not have a physical presence in.

Privacy: With a dedicated number for work, your personal number will remain protected from robocalls and spammers.

The disadvantages of Google Voice for Workspace

Small business owners and startup teams are looking at Google Voice alternatives because the service has certain significant disadvantages.

1. Lack of flexibility

You can use only one number with Google Voice. Moreover, Google Voice for business is available only in select countries.

2. You need a Google Workspace account

You can’t use Google Voice for business without a Google Workspace account. This means you’ll have to pay a minimum of $6 per month on top of your pricing plan.

3. No toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers make it easy for customers to reach you free of cost. But Google Voice doesn’t have these dedicated numbers.

4. Porting limitations

If you decide to move to another service from Google Voice, it would be difficult to keep your number. Porting from the service can be tedious and challenging.

5. No external integrations

While there are integrations with other apps from Google, you can’t integrate with external apps like Slack or Hubspot.

6. No auto-replies available

You’ll have to type out each reply even for repeat messages since the service doesn’t have auto-replies.

7. No group broadcasts

Google Voice for business is for messaging individuals and is not suitable for marketing. You can’t broadcast messages to groups of contacts.

Chalkboard: The better alternative to Google Voice for business

When you compare Google Voice and Chalkboard, you’ll realise that Chalkboard is better designed for the needs of small businesses, startups and freelancers.

The app lets you organise your contacts, which makes it easier to separate your business communication. You also get enhanced chat features and group broadcast which allows you to send promos or marketing messages to groups of contacts. Chalkboard also gives you auto-reply that will send pre-crafted messages to calls you might miss.

Importantly, unlike Google Voice for business or any other Google Voice alternative, Chalkboard gives you review aggregation and notification. By sending automated review requests to your contacts, the app becomes an automated marketing tool for small and local businesses.

If you’re looking for a virtual number that will streamline your business communication and give you value-added features, Chalkboard should be your choice.

Download it today and start a free trial to experience it for yourself. 📲

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