Nothing says cheap like “The Google Voice customer you’re trying to reach…”

Google is a wonderful company, but Google Voice is not really for small businesses as its functions are simply not robust enough. Personally, I think Google Voice is good for allowing for people to not find you, which is the opposite of what small businesses want.

Google for Small BusinessesFor example, some analyst firms offer free whitepapers written by vertical industry experts. It helps to be able to get the statistics that these firms have spent tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars on. But often filling out these forms means that you’ll get a phone call or a series of emails asking me to subscribe to a premium service. Google Voice, in these instances, is a great way to give out a number for such marketing lists. I can check the voicemails when I want, but can also choose when and when not to have such calls go to my cell phone.

To provide even a basic level of customer service, callers should at least be greeted with an automated attendant to forward calls to the best extension or allow degrees of self service.

There is also the fact that Google Voice is free. “The Google Voice customer you’re trying to reach…” tells customers you are willing to invest little in way of customer service or customer experience. Not the best way to start off a potential sale or greet a potentially frustrated customer calling for support.

I’m not hating on Google by any means – I love their search experience, love Gmail (most of the time) and am beginning to like Google Docs much more than Microsoft Office.