Google voice is a new way to make international phone calls from your smartphone device. But, is it really the best way to reach your consumers overseas? Find out if a Google voice number is what you need to make business easier. Or, if it’s something you and your business may want to steer clear from to avoid any inconveniences.
What is Google Voice?
Google Voice International Calling is a new feature from Google that allows smartphone users the opportunity to combine their phone numbers, choose the devices they want their numbers working on, and to make international phone calls. Furthermore, this app also offers a number of other customizable features like voicemail recording, and group text messaging. It can even integrate with other useful apps like Hangout.
Features of Google Voice
Google Voice has been around since 2009. So, for over 10 years, it has served consumers with various international smartphone features. There’s a reason it is still being downloaded to mobile phones all over every single day. That reason is that Google Voice offers a number of features many individuals may wish to take advantage of. Some of the best Google Voice International Calling features include:
- Free National Calls: If you’re in the US, Google Voice provides you with the option to make free domestic calls to anyone in the US and Canada. While there are certainly other methods of calling domestically for free (Instagram, Facebook, Skype, etc.), Google Voice offers another easy way.
- Group Text Messaging: Another free feature from Google Voice is group text messaging. And, this feature also now allows for free photo messaging as well. This can come in handy if you know other people who use Google Voice as a way to communicate.
- Voicemail Recording: Google Voice can record and replay voicemail just like a cellular service offers. But, this feature also comes equipped with transcription, which means that it can be converted into text and sent to your email or through text message. This allows you to check your voicemail even when you can’t be on the phone.
- Customizable Greetings: Ever wished you could have voicemails for specific people or for business only? This feature allows you to set up personalized voicemail options to do just that.
- Call Recording: Ever got off of an important business conversation and forgot what a client said? Never miss anything important with this call recording feature from Google Voice that allows you to record all of your incoming and outgoing calls.
- Call Forwarding: A Google Voice account comes with one phone number that can be forwarded to a number of devices. This means that you can have one number that’s paired to all of your devices, whether landline, fax machine, smartphone, or what-have-you. This makes it easier for people to reach you. And, allows you to only have to remember one phone number.
- International Calling: Google Voice international calls provide individuals with a way to reach international customers. But, there is a charge, so you’ll need to make sure that your balance has some money before making international calls. Furthermore, the charge differs from country to country, so each call you make may have a different cost. Certainly, these prices are better than what you’ll get from mobile carriers. However, if you frequently do business overseas, you may want to find an even cheaper option.
Why Businesses May Choose Google Voice
Many people may choose Google Voice because they believe that it’s the only application that offers such diverse features. In this regard, it may be set up to be utilized in a small business setting. However, most people who use Google Voice don’t use it for the call quality or its ease of use. They use it because it’s completely free (besides international calling). Some of the free features Google Voice offers include:
- Free group text messaging
- Free domestic calls
- Free voicemail and voicemail transcription
- Free voice recording
Why Most People Reconsider Using Google Voice for Business
If Google Voice sounds too good to be true, it might be because it is. While most of the features are free to use, free doesn’t always mean no cost. For example, if you’re not wanting to get a new number to use your number in the Google Voice platform, that’s a $20 charge right off the bat. For most, changing business phone numbers can lead to the loss of business relationships. Considering the time, effort, and money involved to gain clients, losing them due to communication barriers seems entirely futile.
Furthermore, while many of the features Google Voice offers may not be chargeable by Google, they still may be charged by your initial phone carrier. For example, Google Voice group text messages may be free from Google, but may not be free in the eyes of Verizon. So, you may not get charged from Google, but you’ll still be charged by your phone carrier depending on your contract.
Finally, all this proves is that Google Voice isn’t as free and transparent as they may want you to believe. So, before choosing Google Voice International Calling for your business platform, make sure you do your research. And, understand the hidden fees and charges you may be up against.
Some Features Not Available Through Google Voice
Along with not being altogether transparent about pricing and fees, Google Voice also doesn’t offer a number of features you may need for business. For example, VoIP system business solutions like those offered by United World Telecom include a number of features that aren’t available on Google Voice. These include:
- IVR extensions
- Time of day routing
- Fax transcription (to email)
- Enterprise API
- Simultaneous ringing
- Select country forwarding
- Sequential forwarding
- Local ringback tones
- Online account management
Other Cons of Google Voice
Along with the features that Google Voice doesn’t offer, there are a few other things small business owners should consider before diving into this application. The first is that Google Voice only offers ONE local phone number with the service, as opposed to the unlimited number you can get with other services like United World Telecom. This means that your clients who are not local would have to use your local Google Voice number, regardless of where their customers may be located. With no extension offerings, Google Voice’s one number system may not be best for many business settings.
Secondly, another con of Google Voice is that you can’t make phone calls directly from your phone. First, you have to make the call on the Google Voice platform from your desktop or laptop computer. Then, the call is forwarded to the device of your choosing. This means that you need to be near a laptop or computer whenever making domestic or international calls from Google Voice. Other VoIP providers like United World Telecom provide the option of making calls from any of your virtual telephone numbers from any of the applications you have, including your smartphone device.
Finally, one of the last cons of Google Voice to identify is that their international calling service is subpar. While pricing may be consistent or even lower than mobile phone companies offer, Google Voice doesn’t offer international phone numbers. That means if you’re trying to reach customers overseas, they better be prepared to have you call from a US telephone number. Furthermore, if you’re outside of the United States, you can’t use Google Voice for international calling. The international calling service from this application is designed to be utilized from inside the states alone. This can limit how you do business, or where you can do business from.
International Calling and Other Features from Other Services
If you’re not sure that Google Service is right for you, whether it be the limited number of features or the limited capabilities of international calling this application provides, there are other options for these features. Fortunately, you’re not limited to using a hidden fee service like Google Voice. Companies like United World Telecom offer a number of VoIP services like Google Voice, but offer personalized settings, unlimited virtual phone numbers, and forwarding to any and all devices. If you’re looking for pricing or have questions about VoIP service features from United World Telecom, contact us today.