Google Voice is a blessing when you are juggling multiple personal phone numbers. However, it is meant to be just that — a phone number management tool. Businesses, traditionally and for many reasons, need slightly more powerful phone systems. They could be on-premise, if your organisation is rooted to one place and has enough capital to invest in setting up extensive infrastructure. They could be cloud-hosted call center software, if the business wants to set up call centers or have agents all around the world at low costs. But either way, Google Voice do not have the basic capabilities of a business phone system, and here’s why.
1) No team or multi-user accounts
Even if you are running a business on your own, it won’t be long before you hire a few interns, if not a team. On Google Voice you can manage multiple numbers on a single login. But you won’t be able to create multiple logins or user profiles for your team members. Business phone systems not only allow you to create multiple profiles but also let you set different levels of access. For instance, you can be an admin with special privileges like purchasing new phone numbers or having control over phone credits. On the other hand, your team can be granted access only for making or receiving calls. This is not possible on Google Voice.
2) No real-time dashboard
Real-time dashboards show you the status of all ongoing calls made to your phone system or call center. They help you fix your bottlenecks immediately. Google Voice does not have a built-for-business, real-time dashboard. So, if you are running a business phone line on Google Voice, you won’t be able to get constant feedback on how your call center is running. Furthermore, you’ll have to resort to other tools to understand if your agents or members of your phone team working remotely, are online or offline to attend to your customers.
3) No IVR System
Google Voice does not support an IVR system. Any business needs an IVR system to manage the multiple calls they receive, and route them to the correct person. IVR systems also make sure that your callers are given the option for self-service too. This relieves the load on your phone team immensely and enables callers to get faster resolutions. For instance, if you have a set of frequently asked questions that callers ask you, you can simply program your IVR to answer them through pre-recorded messages.
4) No international numbers
Google Voice provides only US numbers. If you are a business in the US that intends to establish a remote call center in another country, or establish a local presence anywhere in the world, ever, then Google Voice is not for you. If you are a business outside US, it goes without saying that Google Voice is not the phone system you’re looking for.
5) No toll-free numbers
Toll-free numbers are an essential support tool for any customer-friendly business. They make your business more accessible. More importantly, they make your business look more accessible.
6) No smart call flows
On Google Voice, you can choose to hang up unattended calls or send them to voicemail only. Business phone systems like Freshcaller, a Google Voice alternative, allow multiple options for routing your calls. If someone calls when your team members in one location is busy, you have the option to route them to a team in a different location. You can even choose to outsource them to an agency after working hours to ensure that your customers are never left unattended. You can smartly escalate your calls even when callers have been waiting in a call queue beyond a prescribed amount of time.
7) No live support
Self-service is a mark of modern products. But businesses should be wary if that’s the only kind of support a product provides, especially when it is something as crucial as a phone system. Would you rather spend your time running your business or troubleshooting your phone line? This is where Google Voice falls way behind as an option for a business phone. They do not offer live support even when you are in deep trouble and your customers are getting angrier by the minute.
Many small businesses start with Google Voice and then move away to using real business phone systems. If you are still in the evaluation phase, you should consider these points before taking a call.