GoDaddy may be best known for its web domain registry (a business that’s been in the headlines recently), but it’s also moving into the voice and telephone business, starting with last year’s acquisition of FreedomVoice.
Today the company is launching a new app called SmartLine, aimed at addressing a basic need of small businesses — more and more of them (86 percent, according to a GoDaddy survey) are using their smartphones for both work and personal calls, but they don’t necessarily want to give everyone their personal phone number.
So SmartLine creates a second number that connects to a customer’s iOS or Android device. The obvious comparison is Google Voice, but Barry Saik, GoDaddy’s senior vice president and general manager of telephony, said SmartLine is different because “the other products in our category are not as singularly focused on that small business owner.”
So there are some distinctions that may look relatively subtle, but which Saik said are important to GoDaddy customers, like showing both the caller ID (assuming they’re in your contacts) and the fact that a call is coming from SmartLine (so that you know it’s business-related) on the same screen.
Other features include the ability to fully configure SmartLine from the mobile app (without visiting a website), to set business hours (so that calls outside of those hours go directly to voicemail) and to receive voicemail transcriptions.
Saik also pointed out that the SmartLine app brings all your interactions with someone — both voice and text — together in one window.
And there are plans for more features, like vanity numbers, toll-free numbers and sharing a single phone number between multiple employees’ cell phones.
A SmartLine with unlimited calling and texting costs $9.99 per month. You can also pay $3.99 per month for up to 100 minutes and 100 text messages — Saik said this “basic” plan is designed for customers who are just getting their businesses off the ground and want a professional phone number, but they’re “not ready to use all the minutes.”