Social Media Commerce: Use Google Voice to Connect with Your Customers - dummies

Social Media Commerce: Use Google Voice to Connect with Your Customers

By Marsha Collier

Social media provides lots of ways to connect with your customers and answer their questions. In the 2011 Avaya Consumer Preference Report, the preferred mode of contact for customer service matters was the telephone. Google Voice offers a professional call solution that integrates into Google Mail and all other Google applications.

After you sign up for Voice service through your Google account, you can select a new phone number within almost any area code or any city. You can choose to keep this number private or put it on your business cards, e-mail signature, and more.

The beauty of this number is that it can be configured to forward calls to any of the phone numbers you choose to register in the system, such as your mobile, office, store, or home phone.

For customer service, Google Voice has website widgets that can forward calls to any of your numbers or directly to a prerecorded voicemail message that you’ve prepared for your customers. This figure shows you the easy configuration.


The features of Google Voice are robust:

  • You can assign custom voicemail greetings for different incoming phone numbers and use features such as call merging and free domestic calls.

  • International calling is available at highly reduced rates. For example, you can call a landline in the United Kingdom for 2 cents a minute (Google Voice International rates).

  • Your voicemail is stored in the cloud on the Google Voice site, where you can access it from any web browser or phone.

  • Google Voice can send you an e-mail message with the transcribed text of your voicemail. You can also receive a text message (SMS) with the transcription of the message.

  • From the web interface, you can send a text message via SMS to any mobile phone or other Google Voice number.

  • You can return calls from your mobile or place calls displaying your Google Voice number in caller ID.

Google Voice apps that enable you to make calls from your tablet via Wi-Fi or make international calls on your smartphone at Google’s reduced rates are available from your phone provider’s online app store.