Updated: Oct 30, 2020
A continuous Internet connection and a smart device are only two requirements if you wish to communicate with your business customers. Various online platforms allow you to interact with customers constructively through free phone calls, text chats, and video calls. Google Hangouts, now known as Google Meet, is one such popular platform that allows you to connect with people in either of three ways. Over the years, Google Hangouts have evolved and is today used by millions of people across the globe for video conferencing, remote interviews, virtual education or training classes, and more. Google Hangouts comprises two primary products - Google Chat and Google Meet. Of these, Google Chat is a built-in chat program and Google Meet is an online platform for a meeting.
1. Hangouts Meet has witnessed 60% growth across the globe since February 2020.
2. In March and April 2020, the Meet’s daily growth was 25% higher than in January 2020.
3. Free Google Meet calls can support up to 100 participants and one host.
4. Anyone with a Google account can initiate a call from Gmail.
5. In case of security threats, the host can easily remove users when a call is in process.
6. Google is experimenting with a low-light mode and noise-canceling audio filter for improving acoustic the experience of users.
7. Starting from March 2020, Google Meet allowed unlimited call duration, however, it plans to introduce a 60-minute limit from September 2020.
Benefits of Using Google Hangouts
1. Google’s Hangouts Meet app is free for all G Suite customers.
2. The Company is also offering Meet Hardware to its clients in markets such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, and South Africa.
3. You can easily integrate Hangouts Meet with different Google applications like Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Analytics, and so on using third-party apps.
4. You can directly launch text chats and video calls from calendar notifications or email.
5. You can use Google Meet Audit Log to track the attendee details. For instance, this audit log allows you to check when did the user join the meeting, how long he or she attended the meeting and so on. Even details for costs of phone calls made can be found in the audit log.
6. All chat messages on Google Chat will be saved and you can easily pick up text communication from any point.
7. Google Meet employs various counter protection measures to secure video conferencing or online meetings. It authorizes meeting creators and calendar owners to approve or deny the request of users.
How to Set Up Google Hangouts for Business Communication
1. You must possess a Google account to set up Google Hangouts. So, if you do not have one create a Google Account first.
After this, type hangouts.google.com on your browser. You can see - video call, phone call, and message at the center of the screen.
Image Source - Google
2. Choose the Appropriate Communication Method
l Message: Click on the Message icon and you will see the list of people connected to you. You can click on the name of the person with whom you want to chat. If you want to chat with a person who is not on the list then you can send them an invitation to chat. Once the person accepts your invitation, you start chatting with them. If you want to message multiple people or team at a time, click on Create New Group, and enter the email ids or phone numbers of people.
l Video Call: To make a video call, you can click on the Icon of Video Call. A screen seeking your permission to use camera and audio will pop up. On accepting the request, you will see a invite people screen. You can enter name or names of people you wish to connect with. Click on INVITE button after entering the names. The recipients will receive an invite and they can accept or decline the invitation. If you want to add more people to the call, then you can Copy Link to Share and paste it in the email and send it to multiple participants. They can join the call by clicking on the link in their email box. Alternately, you can also add people using the + sign appearing on the top right side of the screen. You can use this feature to conduct video calls with your team. You can use the Share Screen feature to share your current screen with the team to impinge on your point. You can use this feature for conducting webinars or for consultation. The video calls can be easily recorded and stored on Google Drive. It provides the user with 30 GB storage space on basic accounts. However, enterprise users can avail unlimited storage space.
l Phone Call: You can make free calls to your team members in the U.S. and Canada because the calls to these countries are almost free. However, a few destinations in Canada and the US may cost you 1 cent per minute or any listed rate of your currency.
There are many ways start-ups, mid-sized businesses, and top business enterprises can utilize Google Hangouts to connect with their team members, customers, vendors, and others. With its advanced features, this platform is slowly emerging as a strong alternative to Skype, GoToMeeting, Zoom, and several other communication apps.
About the Author
Saas-Expansion is a leading sales as a service (Saas) company in Singapore. Our clients can leverage our expertise in sales, telesales, partnerships and account management, clients, and revenues to fast-track their growth in Southeast Asia. Since, inception, we have helped our clients to test waters in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, & Singapore with minimal investment.
This will be common to all user guides.