Updated | November 12, 2019
“Recently, (Google) tested and discovered that small businesses receive an average of 13 phone calls every day. If you apply that average to America’s 30.2 million small businesses, that would equal roughly 400 million incoming daily calls to local businesses from consumers placing a to-go order, booking an appointment, inquiring about inventory and more. “That’s why (Google) built CallJoy, a cloud-based phone agent that enables small business owners to measure, improve and automate customer service.”
Note: In this context, the term “phone agent” refers to a virtual Siri or Alexa that is narrowly focused on interacting (talking with) a customer.
CallJoy works like this
- After a quick setup, the small business owner receives a local phone number.
- CallJoy begins blocking unwanted spam calls.
- When the phone rings, the automated CallJoy agent answers, greets callers with a custom message and provides basic business information (like hours of operation).
- If the customer wants to complete a task which can be done online — like placing a to-go order or booking an appointment — CallJoy’s virtual agent will send the customer a text message containing a URL. For example, the agent may ask the customer “Can I send you our food ordering link?” If the customer says “yes,” the text is sent immediately.
- Whether the customer speaks with you or to an employee, or just interacts directly with the CallJoy agent, the call is recorded, encrypted and transcribed for quality purposes. This allows small business owners to tag and search each conversation based on topic. For example, a hair salon owner can search how many times a day callers ask about “men’s haircut pricing” or “wedding hairstyles.” From here, CallJoy compiles your data in an online dashboard and emails you a daily update, which includes metrics like call volume and new versus returning callers.
The recorded calls are also encrypted and transcribed, and these transcripts then become searchable in the CallJoy dashboard. The service works today with existing landlines, mobile phones, Google Voice lines or other cloud providers by routing calls to the business phone number.
Wait. Let’s check out the fine print
To start using CallJoy today, you will need to do something that few established business will do: Set up a new phone number.
Again for those who missed that last paragraph: To start receiving calls, USERS HAVE TO SET UP A NEW phone number — and your business information on Google must use this new number — including the website, business cards, online listings, ads, social media and anywhere else the number appears.
CallJoy is also tied to only one location and one phone number. Additional locations with their own lines can be added within the CallJoy dashboard, but businesses are charged per line. (For one line, there is a flat monthly fee of $39. )
Currently, CallJoy is available on an invite-only basis (a Google practice dating back to the launch of G-Mail). Businesses must request a spot on the waitlist from the CallJoy homepage. More invitation will be shared every day; eventually, the system will open to all.