Business Phone Numbers: What Are They?
A business phone number is a number solely meant for your company or enterprise’s communication needs. The business number is the means through which new and existing customers can contact your organization either for more information or to resolve an issue. And so, business phone numbers are necessary in order to conduct customer service. It is, therefore, important to get business phone numbers from reliable phone service providers that you can trust. You should aim for one that can provide you uninterrupted and strong service that reduces dropped or missed calls.
Now, when getting a business number, there are a variety of factors you need to consider. Do you need a regular local number? Or, could you benefit from a virtual business number that lets you expand your company to other areas and locations? Or, would you like a toll free number to make it free for your customers to call you?
Toll Free Numbers: Just Like The Big Guys
You have probably noticed that most businesses and large corporations have a toll free number attached to their name. The main reason for this is that calls made to toll free numbers are charged to the receiver instead of the caller. This makes it free for customers and clients to contact the organization. And customers appreciate it when a company makes an effort to make it easier to contact them. A customer who has to go through many processes to reach you will be less motivated to invest time and energy in your company. And so, toll free numbers are the number one choice for a company’s phone number.
Consider Virtual Business Phone Numbers
Virtual phone numbers are a popular business communication solution. These numbers route calls through the internet and enable you to make and receive calls on any device: smartphones, laptops, desk phones, and more. You can get a virtual number as a local, international, toll free, or universal international freephone numbers (UIFN). This gives you the opportunity to get the best phone system for your needs. Additionally, virtual business phone numbers come with features that improve communication as well as customer interaction. With virtual numbers, you can track and measure call logs, forward calls to alternate numbers, work remotely and create a virtual office, and more (read below). So what are the different types of numbers you can get for your business? And which businesses can take advantage of these virtual communication solutions?
Who Can Use a Business Phone?
Some enterprises that can benefit from virtual business phone numbers for their communication needs are:
- Large corporations with various departments and sub-departments and offices in different locations.
- Businesses looking to tap into potential markets in new cities, states, or countries.
- A company looking to outsource or hire customer service or appointment setting services.
- Small business owners who need reasonable phone plans for remote employees and virtual offices.
- Solopreneurs or freelancers requiring a business line on their personal smartphones to maintain a good work-life balance.
- Business owners who travel for work and need to be accessible to customers and clients at all times.
Now that you know the various ways businesses can use business numbers, let’s have a look at the types of virtual numbers available. Note that Global Call Forwarding offers all of these kinds of numbers for purchase.
ITFS/UIFN: For the Internationally-Ambitious
Now, all toll free numbers are not always internationally-capable. This means that they may not work for an international caller dialing your virtual number from a different country. To avoid these customers from being charged high long-distance fees, you have the option to use an international toll free service (ITFS) and/or Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN). Instead of paying high international calling fees, callers calling an ITFS number only pay their local calling rates. And your company pays a low fee from a call forwarding company that directs your calls to desired numbers or phone lines.
UIFN numbers can be used in multiple countries and are currently available in more than 40 countries including the United States, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Australia, and more. Any customer, anywhere in the world, can easily reach a business with a UIFN contact. With these numbers, your corporation can offer toll free calling for international consumers.
Local Access Numbers: To Expand to Specific Markets
Another option is to get a local number for specific countries, cities, or regions. For instance, Global Call Forwarding has local numbers in more than 160 countries and various cities and regions. And so, if you want to extend your business to Dallas, you could get a 214, 469, or 972 area code number. This establishes your business as part of the Dallas market. Similarly, you can get local numbers for other countries as well. And you can use call forwarding to have calls to these numbers directed to one single phone line through your virtual phone system. This helps those trying to target select countries or cities.
Vanity Phone Numbers
Have you noticed how some large corporations have a customized number with letters or easy-to-remember patterns? Those are called vanity numbers. Vanity numbers are usually toll free numbers that spell out words or phrases related to the business. For example, a lighting store selling various lights, chandeliers, etc., could have a vanity number such as 1-800-LIGHTSS. If not letters, you can also use a pattern to make your phone number recognizable and memorable, like 866-222-2222. These attract more customer attention, mainly out of curiosity with the additional benefit of being a simple number to remember and dial. They also add a personal touch to your business, which helps it stand out among the competition.
Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Virtual Business Phone Number
Business phone numbers provide a lot of benefits; from making easy communication happen to supporting marketing efforts. If used correctly and creatively, they can not only increase the number of incoming calls but also convert those calls into sales. So, what else can you do with your virtual business number?
Open Multiple and Convenient Communication Channels
All business numbers are accessed through various platforms. And so it doesn’t matter whether you are using fixed lines, smartphones, laptops, tablets, computers, fiber-optic cables, or satellite networks. Calls can be made and answered through all these different means.
And what’s more? You can utilize different means to stay in touch with clients as well. Most virtual numbers come equipped with voicemail, email, fax, and SMS-related features. Global Call Forwarding offers SMS Forwarding which enables subscribed companies to receive incoming texts from customers as emails. This way, clients can easily get in touch with a business through a highly-convenient means: text messaging. Other features are Voicemail to Email and Fax to Email. These enable voicemails and faxes to be received in email format as well. You can then listen to the voicemail through your email. This reduces the number of missed voicemails and also organizes all communication (voicemail, fax, SMS) in one place.
The CallMe-Click service is another new and exciting solution offered by Global Call Forwarding. It’s a widget that subscribed businesses can attach to their websites. Their clients can then fill out a form through the widget to automatically receive a call from the company.
Become More Credible, Professional, and Trustworthy
Having a number solely for your business is an important step in building the company’s professional image. You can set the number up with a receptionist or interactive voice response (IVR) that directs callers to different departments. This shows that you take your customer service seriously by investing in methods that make communication easy.
Additionally, this helps with increasing credibility in the eyes of international clients. Calling virtual toll free or local numbers is inexpensive for customers. They will not be burdened with long-distance calling fees or obstacles such as dropped or missed calls when reaching a business. Because with virtual numbers, you can forward calls to other team members during certain times of the day or when you are unavailable. Additionally, as mentioned above because these numbers route over the internet, the charges are cheaper than traditional phone lines or roaming.
Increase accountability and show your customers that you care about their concerns and, in turn, they will trust your services more.
Stay Connected From Anywhere: More Mobility
Any company, large or small, always needs to be reachable. Customers who have to jump through different loops to get in touch with a human representative are most likely going to take their business somewhere else. And so, they need to have a reliable phone connection and service that allows them to be accessible at all times.
And this is especially true of owners that are constantly traveling for business, connecting with and expanding to new client bases. For such international needs, virtual numbers offer great flexibility and mobility. You can forward or redirect calls via international call forwarding to hotels you stay at. Or you can make and answer all calls through your device: smartphone, laptop, etc. Virtual numbers make it easier to stay connected without worrying about high long-distance calling charges or bad phone networks.
Improve Efficiency and Productivity With Useful Features
Most virtual phone number providers offer a basic set of features with their services. This generally includes:
In addition to these, Global Call Forwarding also offers relevant and easy-to-use features and services such as:
- Rollover Minutes: The option to accumulate and carry over unused minutes from one month to the next
- Outbound Call Recording: The call recording feature for outbound calls
- Time of Day Routing: To redirect or forward incoming calls to another destination based on certain times of the day
- Simultaneous Ringing: This enables an incoming call to ring on a number of phones at the same time so no call goes missed
- Sequential Forwarding: This feature delivers or directs incoming calls down a list of predetermined phone numbers if the first doesn’t answer
With these options, companies can stay connected with clients in ways convenient for both parties. There are fewer chances of missed calls, leading to better customer service rankings.
Track and Record Calls for Analysis
In order to maintain good and effective customer service, businesses need to constantly train and track their employees. Business phone numbers with additional features that record call history can be very helpful. For example, if you are in the call center business, then call center quality assurance (QA) is not a new term for you. QA ensures managers study calls and interactions made by their customer service reps. This helps them conduct performance analysis to improve the overall standard of the company. Small businesses also need to study their call logs and activity to understand customer preferences and behavior.
Call recording, access to call activity logs, and call tracking can help with this. Record calls and use them for reference when determining what areas of customer care need improvement. Pay attention to your call activity log to see how many calls go to voicemail, or what peak times your customers prefer calling, and so on. Additionally, you can have different virtual numbers for different geographical zones or advertising platforms and track where your calls are coming from. You can understand where your product/service is in demand and increase marketing efforts (promotions, incentives) for those areas. All of this information is helpful when deciding where to expand your services or what areas are functioning successfully. This makes business phone numbers more valuable.
Increase Marketing Efforts
Not many people know that virtual numbers can also be used for marketing purposes. Use a memorable vanity number to draw more attention and recognition. Then, advertise your vanity number everywhere: billboards, business cards, marketing emails, social media, etc. Or, you can purchase different virtual numbers and spread them across different locations and social platforms. This way, you can track which marketing efforts are most successful and which need more work.
Getting Business Phone Numbers from Global Call Forwarding Today!
Now that you see how useful it is to have virtual business phone numbers, do you think your company could benefit from one? You can get a number from Global Call Forwarding quickly with just a few steps. Sign up on our website or contact us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more about how we can assist your business.