Google Voice has trended upward in its use since it was first released back in 2009, especially among sole practitioners and small law firms. It’s ease of use, separating of business and personal numbers, and the fact that it is completely free are just some of the reasons that many people have started to use the service, but amidst the benefits, a lot of users do experience the drawbacks of the service as well. While we can not tell you the perfect way to run your business, we can tell you the explicit issues that you’ll face when using Google Voice, especially if you’re using it in combination with an answering service.
Google Voice Was Never Intended For Business Uses
Even though many business owners, professionals, and sole practitioners use Google Voice because it’s free, Google never actually intended it for business, and even has a disclaimer when signing up that this application should not be used for business. There are a multitude of reasons for this:
Call Forwarding Issues
While there is no exact reason for this phenomenon, Google Voice will sometimes reset or even delete your call forwarding instructions at random. If you are forwarding your Google Voice number somewhere else, whether it be because you got a free number that you’d like to answer at a different location, or because you’re using a service to help answer your calls, your forwarding will at random, stop working. Unresolved Google Voice call forwarding issues can cause problems for lawyers because your incoming calls will be sent to your Google Voicemail, which might cause those callers to hang up and look for help elsewhere.
Because of the busy nature of professional calls, i.e. businesses, lawyers, and professionals, your phone may sometimes be receiving calls from multiple callers simultaneously. This is a problem for Google Voice users, as the application does not allow multiple calls to exist at the same time. What this means is, if you are receiving a call, or placing an outgoing call, any call that is trying to come in will automatically be pushed to your Google Voicemail, whether you have that number forwarding anywhere or not. This is problematic for anyone using an answering service, as their intention is to never send a caller to voicemail. You might think that this is not the case, because Google Voice does have call waiting, meaning that while you’re on an ongoing call, you’ll see an incoming call, and that incoming call will forward to your answering service if you don’t answer it. However, we suggest that you test this for yourself.
- Make a call from your Google Voice number.
- While that call is ringing, try to call your Google Voice number from another phone.
- You’ll notice that your Google Voice application never showed you an incoming call, and instead, placed the call directly into your voicemail.
We can’t explain why this happens, but we do know that this is a big problem for anyone attempting to use Google Voice in coordination with an Answering Service.
What’s the Solution?
Well, there are many solutions! Using one of a few different paid applications, approximately $10-20 per month, you can port your existing Google Voice number to an application that is actually intended for business. Companies that work exactly like Google Voice that are a lot more reliable are:
- Line2 ~$12 per month
- MightyCall ~$20 per month
- Dingtone ~$10 per month
These applications are used by tons of professionals looking to get away from the horrible experiences they’ve had with Google Voice, and keep the features they always wanted, while actually getting the functionality!
We won’t tell you to switch away from Google Voice right away, but if you experience the aforementioned issues at all, it might be time to spend the small amount of extra money every month for less frustration and better service.