And 3 alternatives that are
For many small businesses, Google Voice appears to be a great solution. It has an easy to use interface and it’s free. Having said that, if you are thinking about using or are already using a Google Voice number you should be aware of the downsides.
1.) Google Voice was not created for businesses. Even Google states in its standard disclaimer that it is not intended for business use. As far as I am concerned, I would never use any service in my office that specifically states it is not intended for business use; especially if my office needs it to function.
“Google Voice is not recommended for business or Institutional use. There is no direct support from Google and in the event of problems, you’re limited to seeking help on this public forum where users attempt to assist users with their questions and problems. Although fairly reliable for personal use, random glitches and problems can severely impact your Institution should you encounter problems with Google Voice and there is no guarantee of service. Please scroll through these public forums to get an idea of the common problems that Google Voice users encounter.” – From the Google Voice Help Forum.
2.) Limits on concurrent calls. One of the common reasons business owners like Google Voice is that they can have it ring multiple lines at once (i.e. home phone and cell phone). Some business owners use it to ring five or six salespeople (or more) to make sure customers are not waiting for assistance. However, this does not mean that if five customers call at once that all calls will be connected to a salesperson. After just two calls come in concurrently all other calls will be transferred to voicemail; most customers will not leave a message and may call a competitor.
3.) Google voice is not compatible with all carriers. Users have complained they can forward calls to only some providers but several carriers will not accept Google Voice forwarded calls. Additionally, some callers cannot get through to a Google Voice number at all. I realize every phone service can have problems; the difference is that those other providers offer service and support if you do. As noted earlier, Google Voice does not offer support beyond a public user forum. More info here https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/voice
Google Voice Alternatives
1.) Contact One’s solutions. If you are looking for a better solution to help route certain calls to your sales team and others to your office line (or answering service), Contact One offers some great solution for our customers. You can have a phone tree, VM and more, and all for one small fixed monthly rate.
2.) Grasshopper.com. This service is designed for businesses and has all the features of Google Voice and more. Check out their website for pricing.
3.) MightyCall.com. This service has a few less options than Grasshopper but is still very affordable for as little as $10 per month.