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Google launches CallJoy small-business phone service

Google has launched CallJoy, a new cloud-based phone service that provides small businesses with automated phone agents for customer service for $39 per month.

Google has launched CallJoy, a cloud-based phone service for small businesses to provide customer service options that are normally reserved for larger corporations.

Once a small business signs up with CallJoy, they will be assigned a local phone number. When customers call, they will get an answer from an automated CallJoy agent that can be customized to provide basic business information, such as hours of operation. CallJoy also blocks spam calls. Google claimed nearly half of small-business calls go unanswered, because owners are too busy or assume the caller is another spammer.

If the customer is calling about something that can be completed online, CallJoy will send the customer a text message containing a URL. If a customer is calling from a landline, this feature will be disabled, and calls will go through to the business line. All calls, whether the customer speaks to an employee or to the CallJoy virtual agent, are recorded and transcribed for quality purposes.

Using these transcriptions, business owners can tag and search conversations based on topic. From there, the small-business phone service compiles data in an online dashboard and emails daily updates that include metrics like call volume and new versus returning callers.

According to Google, CallJoy was designed to help small-business owners offer better customer service, make more informed business decisions and ultimately increase productivity. CallJoy is available for a flat fee of $39 per month. During the initial launch period, the product is invite-only.

To request an invite, business owners can click "request early access" on CallJoy's homepage. An invitation code will be sent out on a daily basis. During the early access period, businesses with a Google My Business profile will be prioritized. Eventually, the product will be available to all small businesses.

CallJoy is comparable to products for larger businesses such as the 8x8 X Series. Released in July 2018, 8x8 X Series offers voice, video, collaboration and contact center functions in a single platform. It also helps companies track customer contacts by using the same back-end infrastructure to handle both calls to a local retail store and the customer service line at headquarters.

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