Google Voice alternativesVoice over internet protocol (VoIP) services have become more popular among small business owners and startup teams. One of the leading services is from the search giant Google. If you're considering porting your umber to Google Voice, here's everything you need to know.
It’s a VoIP service that lets you make and receive phone calls and text messages. Launched in 2009, Google Voice also lets you forward and manage your calls and texts.
Like all VoIP services, it works over the internet. This means that you can make calls from your mobile phone, laptop or other digital devices that have an internet connection.
Porting a number is carrying it from one provider to another. If you port, you’ll retain your number under a new telecom or VoIP provider.
This means you won’t have to inform all your contacts that your number has changed. For small business owners, it also means that you won’t have to inform your customers and clients of your new number.
When you port to Google Voice, you can decide where your calls will go. For example, you can direct it to your office phone when you’re in the office, and your personal smartphone when you’re away from the office. You can also route it to multiple devices at the same time. When at work, you can use it from either your laptop or your office phone, for example.
With Google Voice number porting, you can make an unlimited number of calls and texts. You can direct it to a VoIP or landline to make and receive calls or texts by visiting the Google Voice website or by installing the Chrome extension.
You’ll also get a number of additional features, including an advanced voicemail which comes with intuitive call handling, text transcription and an archive that you can search. You can also forward the same call to more than one device and change devices during the call.
If you don’t like the service, you can always port your number back to your previous telecom provider or find a new one. This also lets you carry your existing number to a VoIP provider in case you want to stick to an internet-based phone connection.
With Google Voice number porting your existing mobile plan will get cancelled. Then you’ll have to contact your telecom provider and request to resume the services with a new number.
If you don’t have your new number, Google Voice won’t be able to forward your calls. The complexity of this depends on how smooth the cancellation and resumption will be with your current provider.
While you can make unlimited calls and texts, Google Voice number porting will cost you money. You will have to pay $20 for porting. But more than that, you may have to pay early termination charges to your current provider if you’re in the middle of a plan.
If you’re an Android user, it’ll be easy to make calls and texts through the app. When you call or text someone, they’ll see your ported number. But if you use any other operating system, things can get messy. You won’t be able to use your phone’s dialler but open the Google Voice app to call.
If there’s any disruption to Google services, your phone might also suffer the consequences. While this isn’t common, it can never be ruled out. Importantly, if there’s any data breach on the search engine, your phone number and the associated information are also at risk.
Plenty of small business owners ask the same question. At first glance, Google Voice can look like a good option for businesses looking for a second number. It works like other second-line apps; you download it and you can make and receive calls on your smartphone, laptop or tablet with an internet connection.
Google Voice for business offers some of the features you might expect from virtual number apps. The most common uses for Google Voice are customer support, to reach local customers in an area you might not be physically present and to allay privacy concerns.
However, Google Voice comes with a significant number of disadvantages, many of which make it less suitable for business use. These include:
You’ll be able to download the app and start using your second number in a few minutes. This also limits the exposure of your private number.
If you're not an Android user, number porting for Google Voice can be complex and unnecessarily confusing. There are many Google Voice alternatives that would better suit small businesses, including Chalkboard. Unlike Google Voice for business, Chalkboard offers businesses very useful review aggregation. 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. 📲
Everything a business owner needs to know about number porting – including alternatives