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!

Posted by David Boles

David Boles was born in Nebraska and his MFA is from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an Author, Lyricist, Playwright, Publisher, Editor, Actor, Designer, Director, Poet, Producer, and Boodle Boy for print, radio, television, film, the web and the live stage. With more than 50 books in print, David continues to write 2MM words a year. He has authored over 25K articles and published more. Read the Prairie Voice Archive at Boles.com | Buy his books at David Boles Books Writing & Publishing | Earn the world with David Boles University | Get a script doctored at Script Professor | Touch American Sign Language mastery at Hardcore ASL.

10 Comments

  1. David,

    These badges look superb! I love how easy it makes contact via the phone.

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    1. It’s a really simple way, Gordon, to broadcast a specific, unique message to a niche while still being able to control all communication in a single instance. I love Google Voice!

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  2. UPDATE:

    I’ve been getting lots of calls today — and the calls must be from my Google Voice Call Me widgets because I haven’t really yet released my new phone number to all my friends and family yet — but it seems there’s no way to track where and how you are getting called via the widgets! I think that’s important to know. Give it to us, Google! Let our Call Me widget call notifications indicate which widget was clicked to call us!

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  3. […] did Microsoft drop $8.5 billion on Skype?  Are they that terrified of Google Voice that they’ll drop major change on an acquisition they don’t really need?  The deal is […]

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  4. […] her heaps, and I am happy to help whenever the call for assistance arrives from the Midwest into my Google Voice Inbox via SMS.  Janna has her iPad with her and her creaky, water-soaked-and-barely-usable, iPhone 3G.  Her 3GS […]

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  5. […] immediately logged into my Google Voice account and went into the Settings area to make my secondary number […]

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  6. […] There’s nothing more scandalous than getting a brand new phone number that formerly belonged to a deadbeat who did not pay her debts.  That’s what happened to Janna when we bought her a new 212 Area Code phone number and hooked it into her Google Voice account. […]

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  7. […] are some of my current services I hope to one day add to Greplin for indexing: Google Voice Google+ Readability Google Music […]

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  8. […] styling refresh” with the grey backgrounds and slimmer feeling formatting that is so much easier on the eye.  On August 26, 2010, Google Voice arrived in Google Apps, and today, Google Voice feels reborn […]

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  9. […] expect anyone with a protected brand or original content to want to use it, or circle it, beyond […]

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