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Recording a Greeting

Google loves customization, so you probably won't be surprised to learn that the Google Voice voicemail system can be fully customized, which means you can customize the greetings people hear when they call you. You can set up one greeting for your spouse, another for your best friend, a different one for your mom, and a businesslike one for the boss. It's all up to you.

There are several different ways to customize the greetings people hear when they go to voicemail—you can record just the name they hear, or you can do an entire greeting. You can also specify which callers get which messages.

Let's take a look at customizing the voicemail greeting now.

Recording the Name Callers Hear

You can record your name so that callers know whose voicemail they've reached. Recording your name in this way does not customize any part of the voicemail greeting besides your name.

Here's how to customize your name in Google Voice's voicemail greeting:

  1. Navigate to the Google Voice site and log in (if necessary).
  2. Click the Settings link, which opens the Settings page.
  3. Click the SMS & Voicemail tab.
  4. In the Recorded Name section, click Record New. A drop-down box appears with a list of your phones.
  5. Select the phone you want Google Voice to use for recording your name and click Connect. Google Voice will call you on this phone so you can record your name.
  6. Pick up the call.
  7. At the prompt, say your name.
  8. Hang up.

Recording a Custom Greeting

Recording your name is just the beginning—you can record an entire custom greeting. In fact, you can record many different greetings and select which one is active at any one time.

To record a custom greeting, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Google Voice site and log in (if necessary).
  2. Click the Settings link to open the Settings page.
  3. Click the SMS & Voicemail tab.
  4. In the Voicemail Greeting section, click the Record New link.
  5. In the dialog box that opens, enter a name for the greeting. Choose a name that describes the greeting, such as "General," "On vacation," or "Out of office."
  6. Click OK.
  7. When the Record Greeting dialog box opens, select the phone you want Google Voice to call you on and click Connect.

    Google Voice will call you on the phone you select so you can record your new greeting.

  8. Answer the call.
  9. At the prompt, say your new greeting.
  10. Hang up.

Making a Recorded Greeting Active

After you've named and recorded a new greeting (such as "Happy Holidays"), you have to select that greeting so Google Voice will play it when callers reach your voicemail.

Here's how to make a particular greeting active:

  1. Navigate to the Google Voice site and log in (if necessary).
  2. Click the Settings link to open the Settings page.
  3. Click the SMS & Voicemail tab. That tab opens, as shown in Figure 5.7.
    Figure 5.7

    Figure 5.7 The SMS & Voicemail tab.

  4. In the Voicemail Greeting section, select the greeting you want to make active from the drop-down list box.
  5. Click the Save button. Now, when a caller reaches your voicemail, Google Voice will play the greeting you selected.

Selecting Which Greeting to Play by Caller

Here's a cool feature—you can actually specify which of your recorded voicemail greetings to use for which caller. That means you can play one greeting for work contacts, one for your spouse, another for the kids, and even one for the Boy Scout troop you head.

This feature works on a contact-by-contact basis—that is, you can select a greeting for each of your contacts.

Here's how to play a specific greeting for a particular contact:

  1. Navigate to the Google Voice site and log in (if necessary).
  2. Click the Contacts link to open the Contacts Manager.
  3. Click the name of the contact you want to select a greeting for in the center column of the page. Clicking this link displays the contact's information.
  4. Click the Edit Google Voice Settings link that appears beneath the contact's information. Google Voice opens the page you see in Figure 5.8.
    Figure 5.8

    Figure 5.8 Editing a contact's information.

  5. In the When This Contact Goes to Voicemail: section, use the drop-down list box to select the greeting you want this caller to hear when connected to voicemail.
  6. Click the Save button. Google Voice assigns the greeting you've selected to your contact.
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