In the 21st century, digital communication has changed the way we connect, the ability to instantly send vast amounts of data and transformed business at a global scale. With the birth of the Internet, social media and other advancement in telephonic technology, one is no longer confined to a single mode of communication. This digital mobility allows people to connect to anyone, at any time, anywhere and has led to numerous waves in the communication channel particularly in the business sector.
One of the effective modes of digital communication is the VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol that allows anyone to place calls over the Internet. The VoIP technology has radically replaced the traditional public telephone system and forever changed the way business communications are conducted. While there are many alternatives in the market, one of the popular VoIP phone services that has revolutionized the method of making phone calls is the Google Voice.
Google Voice is a one phone solution that allows users to make and receive free phone calls as well as text messages to anyone, anywhere free of charge. It combines home, personal cell phone, office phone into one device making it a reliable option to save money instead of having to buy additional phones. Apart from making free calls, it offers services such as forwarding incoming calls to any device, sending and receiving text messages via web platform, record voicemails and transcriptions, video conferencing, cheaper international call rates and much more.
From providing a cheaper, more effective alternative to the traditional phone services, boosting in overall productivity and leveraging communication with useful features and modernized applications, Google Voice offers the option to create an advanced network of multi-purpose and internet- enabled office phones. Google voice provides an outstanding line of features that one should not miss out. Here is everything you need to know on the features of Google Voice.
But first, what is Google Voice?
Google Voice is an internet based phone service, that allows users to obtain a single number that can be used on all their devices all at the cost of nothing. One is no longer constricted to using multiple devices for multiple purposes, with Google Voice users can combine their home phone, personal phone, and business phone using one single device. Whenever the Google Voice number is dialed it will ring on the specific phone or device that is synced with it. Google voice also lets users port their existing number from any mobile carrier, thus no more worries about switching numbers.
Google Voice users can make free calls and texts to any US or Canadian based numbers, record voicemails, receive voicemail transcriptions, make cheap international calls, screen and block calls and much more. To access the features of Google Voice, one needs to create a Google account and provide an existing number for verification purposes.
Google voice offers users an effective way to minimize monthly phone bills and acts as a reliable service to handle most of the primary communication needs. Whether you’re a small business owner, an independent contractor, or just need it for personal uses, Google voice is packed with outstanding features that are most convenient for you.
Features of Google Voice accounts you need to know
1. All Mobile Calls and Texts integrated in one place
Google voice offers users the ability to forward calls to one or multiple phones at a time. By signing up, one can install the Google Voice app (available for both android and iPhones) to their phone and send & receive calls, check voicemails, send texts as well as check their current phone balance. More importantly one can receive calls directly or dial out calls from their phone using their Google number. This is a useful feature especially for small businesses as they can obtain a unique number that can be routed to different phones based on who is calling. Whether one wishes to receive calls on their mobile phones or ring multiple phones at once, Google voice makes it all possible.
2. Screen out calls
With the advent of Google voice, one has the ability to screen out calls before answering them by simply listening to the beginning of the message. Google voice screens calls by asking callers to provide their names especially if it is from an unknown number or not found in the contact book. Once the user hears the caller’s name, they have the option to either immediately receive the call or send it to voicemail. This is helpful for businesses to sort out various calls such and forward the specific calls to respective departments or personnel.
3. Voicemail transcriptions via email
Google voice offers automatic voicemail transcriptions if one is unable to listen to a voicemail. This feature uses Google’s advanced speech recognition technology that transcribes the voicemail and allows the users to read the message instead of having to listen to long voicemail. Along with that, one can receive voicemail transcriptions or attached audio files via emails and can check their voicemails from any device. To enable this feature – go to Settings – Voicemail – Get Voicemail via email
4. Record calls and save texts
Through Google Voice, one has the option to record incoming calls. When one receives the call, simply press the number 4 on any device to start the recording. Both the caller and the receiver will hear a small announcement that the recording has started. Although there are no transcriptions for recorded calls like that for voicemails, one can replay the conversation or download the recording as an MP3 file by simply going to voicemail in their Google voice account. Google voice also provides an archive of text messages which can be easily searched and accessed online.
5. Customize greeting messages
One can customize their Google voice to whichever way they want it to be. From the way it handles and routes phone calls to the voicemail messages, it acts as a personal secretary or a phone switchboard. This customization feature is handy for businesses especially when responding to important clients or representing a division in the company. For instance, the sales and customer support department can have customized voicemail greetings that provide more relevant information such as whom to contact, which time etc. To access this feature, one can assign the legacy version of Google voice which they can find in the settings option – Groups, where they can create groups, edit individual settings, select which to phone(s) to ring, select or record the customized greeting or even disable the call screening for a specific group.
6. Easy portability of existing numbers
As Google Voice offers users a special number for their cell phone that allows them to forward calls to other numbers without having to switch phones in the future. For instance, if they intend on moving from one cellular carrier to another, they don’t have to take up the hassle of porting a cell phone number, they can simply get an entirely new phone number and all calls will be forwarded to their main Google Voice number.
With the advanced Google voice, it is now easy to port existing phone numbers to Google voice without having to give the new Google voice number to everyone. Number porting with Google Voice basically means the actual phone number will be undisturbed and the new one number provided by Google voice will be used for everything. Once you have ported the number all calls to this number can ring on the assigned devices even on the computer, save voice messages along with the other features at a small cost. This feature is easy for new users to switch to Google voice and no one will note the change.
7. Block spam calls
No more wasting time answering unnecessary calls from telemarketers and debt collectors, with Google Voice, spam calls are blocked automatically. Calls and text messages from unknown numbers that are identified as spam will be directly transferred to the Spam folder in the Google voice account and the caller will receive a ‘Number not in service’ message. To enable this feature, go to settings – calls – Global spam filtering.
8. Receive calls on multiple phone numbers
With a Google Voice account, one can set multiple numbers to forward calls. For instance, if any one calls on this number, all the assigned devices with these numbers will ring at the same time. To enable this feature of adding more numbers to receive incoming calls, go to settings – Phones – Forward Calls
9. Call Flexibility
Google Voice offers a set of powerful tools to set up the phone service as the way that seems fit for their users and continues to provide an array of features to improve call experience. Google Voice integrates with the phone book and links names to numbers for identifying caller ID. If Google voice is unable to recognize the number or does not find a match, it will ask the caller to record their name, a feature called Audio Caller ID which acts as a vocal identification. Once the user picks up the call, Google voice allows them to switch devices while taking the call without any interruption, since the number is linked to more than one device. No more worries about low battery or missing calls, one can easily switch calls to either their desk phones or even the computer to continue the conversation or stop the call at any point.
10. Call forwarding rules
Google voice is not just about forwarding calls to one number, one can set up call rules and priorities based on their preferences. For instance, forwarding calls automatically to the office phone for a specific time period during the day or to one’s personal cell phone after office hours. One can also set their Google voice to ring on one device and continue to ring on another if they are not able to answer the first time such as first the call can be transferred to the home phone, work phone and then cell phone or in any other order that fits right.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to create a Google Voice mail account?
To create a Google voice account one needs to simply go to voice.google.com or download the Google Voice app available on both Google Play store & App store. To get the Google voice number, one needs to have a Google account. Once logged in; search for any available area code, select the desired number from this list, and finally verify your account with your existing phone number.
2. Is Google Voice Free?
Yes, creating a Google voice account and getting a Google Voice number is absolutely free. Most of the features are free to use except for some such as number porting, call recording, making international calls depending on where one is calling.