Google Voice and Your Web Site

Google offers a lot of great services you can incorporate into your web site.  One such service that is sure to help out any web site owner in creative means of support communication is to offer Google Voice.

The problems

You’ve created a great web site.  All of your products and services are easily accessible on the web and you are starting to get quite a few customers.  As the web is global, many of your customers may be from halfway around the world.  Certainly you can’t be up twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  So, how do you ensure you can help those customers who may be awake when you aren’t?  What if you have a land line and a cell phone and you need customers to be able to reach you no matter where you are and without having to publish yet another number?  While on the go, how do you easily listen to messages left by your existing or prospective customers?

The solution

All of these questions can be answered with one simple service – Google Voice.  This service packs quite a lot of features all into one neat little online package.  You utilize one number for all your numbers, thereby allowing customers the ability to reach you at one number.  Google Voice allows you to choose the number (including area code) you’d like to use as your official Google phone number.  Once this is set, you can then set your preferences according to how and when you want to be contacted.  You can opt to enable call screening and choose between screening unknown callers or blocked calls, completely block unwanted callers and even listen in on the call prior to deciding whether or not to take the call.  To even further configure how you receive phone calls, you can have the service set to ring specific phones based on who is calling – a family member is calling, route it to your land line or even route your teenager’s calls directly to their phone line.  This alone is perfect for those who have had to incorporate their business into their own home and eliminate the need for yet another phone line specifically for business.

Voice mail and transcribing

When it comes to the voice mail part of the service, Google Voice doesn’t skimp.  Not only can you listen to your voice mails online but you can also opt to read the transcribed voice mails online.  At the moment, the transcribing process is still a bit shaky as the voice recognition software does make some mistakes due to softly spoken or misunderstood/non-standard words.  However, this will improve over time and with usage.  Another fun feature added to this is personalized greetings.  You can vary your greetings to callers based on criteria you put in place.  This means you can have one friendly greeting for family and friends, another for business calls and yet another for unknown callers.  A very handy feature to help split your calls as needed.

Putting it all together

How do you incorporate this into your web site?  Simply log in, click on your settings and then select “Call Widgets.”  Once at the Call Widget screen, click on “Add a new Call Widget.”  Create a new Call Widget is a quick process.  You create a name for your new widget, select which numbers you would like for the widget to contact, choose your greeting and then decide whether you’d like for call presentation to be on (this announces the caller’s name and gives answering options).  Select “Save Changes” and, at the next screen, you’ll have a small piece of Flash coding to copy and paste into your web site where ever you wish to have the widget available.  Now you have a quick and easy way for your customers to contact you without even having to give out your new Google Voice number.

Conclusion

Google Voice offers some fantastic bundled up features all in one package when it comes to a unique voice mail service.  With its easy to use program and fun options, Google Voice is an excellent and simple way to add not only the perfect way for your customers to be able to reach you easily but also allows you to do so all without having to publish out a brand new number.

At this time, Google Voice is by invitation only.  You can request your invitation at https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/.  It should also be noted that this service is only available in the U.S. at this time.


Ben looking cool

I hope you have enjoyed the posts that we continue to provide here at Solutions For Life. Our goal is to continually educate our users on the technology around us. We don’t write simply for our entertainment. Nope, our goal is to educate us all how to connect to the world around you…

Sincerely,

Ben Adams

SENIOR IT CONSULTANT

Google Voice and Your Web Site
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