Now that I have my third 212 Area Code phone number in hand and successfully ported over to Google Voice, I can finally begin to set up that service to be my one-stop communications portal. Since I have many online business interests, I am using Google Voice to create sculpted website responses by embedding “Call Me” widgets that are specific to the website they serve. You can set up your own Google Voice “Call Me” widgets by clicking on the “Call Widgets” in your Google Voice Settings:
Those Call Widgets are not as convenient as an automatic, numeric, call attendant — “Press 1 for Boles University, Press 2 for Hardcore ASL…” — but I can more keenly focus my communication ability to address a specific interest. When you record your directed greeting for a widget, you copy the widget into your webpage HTML and then save the file to your server.
I created Google Voice Call Widgets for Boles.com, Boles Books, Boles University, Hardcore ASL, Script Professor and and the Boles Blogs Network. Each widget has a unique Voice Mail greeting and I chose to send all those web-initiated calls directly to Voice Mail without ringing any of my phones. I can change that call processing behavior by editing the widget in Google Voice without having to re-paste my HTML widget code. My phone number is not revealed to my callers.
Here’s how the embedded Google Voice “Call Me” widget looks on Hardcore ASL:
Clicking on the “Call Me” badge brings up a “Name” and “Number” dialogue that a caller will fill in to call me. Clicking on the “Connect” button starts the magic. The Google Voice widget calls the number of the calling party, identifies itself, and then connects the caller to my Voice Mail. Nifty! Clean! Precise!
I wish the recorded bit rate were higher for Google Voice. The Voice Mail greetings sound a little scratchy to my ear. I know Google Voice will offer an automated call attendant feature in the future — and I will definitely use that service — but having all those strategically placed Call Widgets allows me to direct market without wasting my caller’s time because they don’t have to wait through a “Press 1 for…” menu. They just click, call, and are connected!
Google Voice is also great for blocking nuisance callers. If someone starts bothering you, just “block” them in Google Voice and they’re gone for good. If they come back at you with a second phone number, block them again. I guarantee you it’s simpler for you to block them in a single click forever than it is for them to keep finding new phone numbers to use to noodle you.
I know as time and tide rides on, Google Voice will become even more deeply ingrained in my everyday work and personal lives, and I’m thrilled to have the professional help.
Do you use Google Voice for business? If so, let us know how it works for you in the comments below!