In 2009, Google broke new ground when it launched Google Voice, a voice and text communications app that was built on the back of GrandCentral, the phone management service which Google acquired in 2007. As Google does, they bought a company who had already created a product, made a couple of tweaks to it, and offered it to a much broader market.
GV has plenty of users, and for many people, it’s an efficient service that suits their needs just fine; however, for businesses who need a phone service that they can rely on every day, GV has some clear deficiencies that could make it a deal breaker.
Google Voice is designed for consumers, not businesses.
Even Google itself may not have anticipated how strong of a response businesses would have to GV. It was mainly targeting the general consumer for casual or personal use, not for small businesses who would use it as their primary phone management system. This is why GV is not exactly professional-grade, missing key features that businesses need for their phones to keep up with the demand of everyday operations. So, what is it that GV is lacking?
1. Customer Support
No matter how good your service provider is, there will be times when you need an assist, whether it’s help with adjusting your settings, or a more critical issue. Google simply does not offer direct customer support when you need assistance with something. General and technical support is vital for a business because a problem with your phone system can rapidly become urgent and has to be resolved expediently. When a problem arises with your GV system, all you have to go on are online support docs and FAQs that you can only hope contain information about the issue you’re having.
Talkroute prides itself on providing comprehensive care that is always there when you need it, as you would expect from a phone service provider. You can reach the support staff by email, online chat, or by phone. Even if you just have a quick question, you can get the answer you need right away.
2. Connection Quality & Reliability
Many people don’t realize when they sign up for GV, that it’s actually a VoIP service. VoIP providers sometimes give you a great connection with superb sound quality, and some give you a pretty bad connection; so you really have to give it a good test before you decide to sign on. Talkroute is not a VoIP service, but instead connects calls over the existing networks of your phones, utilizing the PSTN (traditional telephone network). So, the service is effectively as reliable as the phones you already have.
3. Porting Limitations
When switching to a new service provider, most businesses will need to keep their existing number, which means that the number has to be ported to the new provider. Google Voice has a unique limitation on porting: Cell phone numbers are pretty much the only numbers you can directly port to GV. This is another aspect of GV that shows it is more consumer oriented, as an individual is less likely to care about losing their personal number.
It is possible to port a VoIP or landline number to GV, but it’s a really cumbersome work-around. What you have to do is first port your number to a cell phone provider like Verizon, then port it again to GV. So, you actually need to port the phone number twice, which can be time-consuming and the number might even be out of service for a couple of days, and you’re getting charged a $20 port fee for your trouble.
When you sign up with Talkroute, the cost of your first port is free of charge, and each additional port costs a one-time fee of $10. Just about any phone number can be ported to Talkroute—landline, VoIP, cell number, satellite phone, or any other phone number that you have, and there is no downtime during the porting process. A porting specialist is there to walk you through every step of the process, until your port is complete.
4. Hold Queues and Call Stacking
Talkroute allows you to receive multiple calls at the same time, and “stack” them on hold until you are able to answer them, or send them to an alternate destination if you are unable to answer a call. Your callers will never hear a busy signal, or be unintentionally sent to voicemail. This feature is not available on Google Voice, so if you get multiple calls at a time to your GV number, some may get disconnected or receive a busy signal.
Additionally, you can play music or a custom promotional message for your callers while they are on hold, and if the call goes unanswered, you can route it to your voicemail, or another destination. Record or upload your own audio files to be used for any part of your system, such as greetings, announcements, and on-hold music.
5. Call Menu (auto attendant)
One notable difference between Google Voice and Talkroute is that, with a Talkroute account, you can set up a Call Menu—also called a phone tree, or auto attendant—to give your callers options like, “Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Technical Support,” and so on. This is a great way to sound professional when customers call your business, and it also helps you to manage your calls by directing the caller to the correct department or individual. If you don’t need the use of a Call Menu and just want to forward calls directly to your phones, then you can always just turn the Call Menu off.
There’s no denying that Google Voice is a highly useful communications app, but if you have a business that demands a phone system with professional features, Talkroute is the go-to virtual phone system for businesses. Try it for free today! No contracts or commitment required.
To Learn more about Talkroute, check out the video below:
“Our Coffee Shop switched from Google Voice to Talkroute. We couldn’t be happier.” -Lauren K.