We understand the attractiveness of the free version of Google Voice, but is it really benefitting your law firm? Let’s dive into the facts.
Who Is Using The Free Version Of Google Voice?
The free version of Google Voice has continued to increase in popularity among small businesses. It’s easy to understand why: Small business owners need to save money where they can and will always be on the lookout for ways to do so. In fact, the majority of the companies that use this version of Google Voice have less than fifty employees.
Google Voice Is Not Meant To Be Used For Business
Unfortunately, the free version of Google Voice simply isn’t intended for business use. In fact, Google actually changed the name of this version to include, “For personal use”.
When you consider all of the known issues and the frustration this service has caused business owners and administrative staff, it makes sense that they are dissuading businesses from utilizing the service. Though, perhaps the most concerning aspect of this for businesses is the fact that the quality cannot be guaranteed. When you’re running a small business like a law firm, you need reliability. Google Voice simply doesn’t provide that.
There Is No Customer Support
The only support offered to users of the free Google Voice is a list of commonly asked questions and community forums. Run into an issue and need tech support? You’ll be left hoping that someone else has publicly solved that same problem on a forum in a way you’re capable of accomplishing by yourself.
Do you really want the operations of your business reliant on a “fingers crossed” situation?
Call Forwarding Is Tricky And Known To Not Always Work Properly
The most common complaint with Google Voice is that call forwarding simply stops working out of nowhere, sending your calls straight to voicemail.
If you were trying to find a lawyer and had a list of numbers to call in front of you, would you really waste your time waiting around to see if someone gets that voicemail and returns your call? Not if another firm answers and can get your process started right away.
This is where that lack of technical support can really cause some issues.
Here’s the scenario: It’s the middle of your workday. You’re busy and working on time-sensitive cases. After a while, you realize all your calls have been going straight to your voicemail.
What can you do? Spend the rest of your workday on Google’s community help forums? Lose all of your potential new clients for the rest of the day? Neither of those is ideal, so why chance putting yourself in that situation in the first place?
Your Receptionist Only Has So Much Control Over Your Calls
There are a couple of things to consider when using Google Voice with a virtual receptionist service such as Back Office Betties:
Google Voice is designed to quickly locate a human for a live answer. If the call is not answered within a few seconds, it then forwards to Google Voicemail. Unfortunately, this means that if a call comes into our system during a high-volume time and rings more than a couple of times, the call will route to Google Voicemail.
Not only does this take the call out of the hands of the professionals you’re paying to WOW your callers, but it’s also sending messages to yet another voicemail box that you’ll need to check.
Many of our clients do use the free version of Google Voice in conjunction with our services successfully, but the fact that some law firms have issues is enough for us to work out some alternative suggestions for your law firm.
Keep in mind, the Betties team will always do our best to troubleshoot anything within our power. We can track a call once it’s entered our system and your receptionist team has successfully answered. However, if the issue of Google Voice sending the call to Google Voicemail arises, we may not be able to offer a full resolution to the problem.
We Recommend Taking A Look At These Other Providers
You might be thinking that sure, there are some drawbacks, but doesn’t the fact that it’s free make up for that? Not really.
If you want to grow your law firm, client experience is everything. When it comes to phone services, saving money now might lose you business later.
There’s a saying that goes “If you buy quality, you’ll only cry once.” While we don’t expect your phone service provider to be a big enough ticket to have you crying, it will absolutely help you avoid crying every time you miss a potential client’s call due to Google Voice acting up!
Phone Service Providers That We Have Had Positive Experiences With:
With an annual contract, RingCentral’s Standard plan is $24.99/user/month. This includes 24/7 support, quality-of-service reports, integrations with popular applications, unlimited audio conferencing, and internet fax, among others. Take a look at their solutions for small businesses.
Dialpad boasts serving some of the most innovative companies like TED, Uber, and WeWork. Their Standard plan is $15.00/user/month with an annual contract. This includes unlimited calling, SMS and MMS, G Suite & Office integrations, among others. Take a look at their small business solutions.
8×8 has a special page on their site for legal solutions. They have mobile and desktop apps, enterprise-grade security, and 14 countries in their unlimited telephony calling zone under their Standard plan, which costs $24.00/user/month with an annual subscription.
Now serving companies as large as Glassdoor and Allstate, their original business model catered to families and small businesses. Vonage uses a pay for what you use by the minute/message pricing system. Outbound calls start at $0.0139/minute. Some features include, 24/7 customer support, call analytics and reporting, integration with popular applications, among others.
Made for small businesses, Grasshopper includes mobile and desktop apps, incoming call control, virtual fax, voicemail transcription, detailed call reports, and more with all of their plans. Their Solo plan with 1 phone number and 3 extensions is $26.00/month with an annual contract.
Rated the Best Business Phone Service in 2020 by U.S. News, Nextiva offers unlimited calling, texting, and faxing worldwide, 24/7 support, unlimited conference calls, and video conferencing, among others. Their Professional plan is priced at $31.95/user/month for 1-5 users with an annual agreement, and costs are lowered with longer agreements and a higher number of users.
All of the above were featured in either The Best Small Business VoIP Providers of 2020 from GetVoIP or Best Business Phone Systems of 2020 from U.S. News and many of our clients have success in using them.
We are here to ensure all your calls are answered – don’t let your phone provider sabotage you! If you have any questions about forwarding calls to Back Office Betties or ensuring that your current call process is suitable for your law firm, give our Growth Solutions Strategist a call at 800-958-8591.