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9 Tactics to Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

customer lifetime value

Knowing your customers’ value and how much they bring back to your business is essential in understanding where your business stands and what it can do to increase revenue and …Read More »

How Empathy Can Improve Customer Service Efforts

empathy improves customer service

Customer service has always been central to the success of any business. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted how businesses offer customer support as well as customer service expectations …Read More »

Call Center Trends in 2021

call center trends

Call center trends are changing, and managers and agents should be aware of the upcoming shifts that will be taking place. Here are the 2021 call center trends to keep …Read More »

10 Voice of the Customer Methodologies to Revolutionize Customer Feedback

customer feedback

Everyone is talking about Voice of the Customer (VoC) data as an essential tool to understanding your customers and improving their experience. But what is VoC and how do you …Read More »

Understanding Cold Calling vs Warm Calling

sales calls

What is the best way to sell to a new lead? This is the age-old question. Salespeople and marketers have tried and tested different methods and approaches and have collected …Read More »

Global Call Forwarding vs Legacy Telecom Carriers

global call forwarding vs big telecom

Considering an upgrade for your office phone system? Maybe your current service is hard to manage. You find yourself calling customer support every couple of weeks and they are not …Read More »

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9 Tactics to Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Knowing your customers’ value and how much they bring back to your business is essential in understanding where your business stands and what it can do to increase revenue and sales. In this post, you will learn how to calculate customer lifetime value (CLV) and how to improve your business’ CLV by increasing customer retention and loyalty.

What is Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)?

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a customer success metric that determines how much net profit your business is able to make from one customer over time. The CLV can tell you the dollar worth associated with a long-lasting relationship with any customer. This is a metric used to determine the value of your customers and how much money they bring to your business. This metric is key when it comes to bringing aboard new customers and deciding how much to spend on existing customers.

Why Measure CLV?

Going by this definition, the higher your business’ CLV, the more revenue each customer brings into your business. Therefore, with each customer’s value increasing, your sales and marketing teams can afford to take on new customers. In other words, your business can spend more on attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. And this is simply because each customer is valuable and brings more to your business. So, calculating CLV can give you insights into the quality of your customers and what your business can do to increase revenue and sales.

Calculating CLV

Calculating your customer lifetime value can be tricky. Understanding the core components will prove helpful. We break this down into easy-to-follow steps. Calculate your CLV scores by following the below steps:

Step 1. Calculate Average Purchase Value

Value of each purchase.

Average Purchase Value = Total Revenue / Number of Orders

Step 2. Calculate Average Purchase Frequency

Frequency of each purchase.

Average Purchase Frequency = Number of Purchases / Number of Customers

Step 3: Calculate Average Customer’s Value

Value of a customer.

Average Customer’s Value = Average Purchase Value / Average Purchase Frequency

Step 4. Calculate Average Customer’s Lifetime Span

Number of years that each customer visits or uses your service.

Average Customer’s Lifetime Span = Sum of Customer Lifespans / Number of Customers

Step 5. Calculate Customer’s Lifetime Value (CLV)

Your Business’ CLV score

Customer’s Lifetime Value = Customer Value (step 3) x Average Customer Lifespan (step 4)

How to calculate Customer Lifetime Value.

9 Ways to Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

When thinking of ways to improve customer lifetime value, there are three main factors to consider:

  1. Average Transaction Value
  2. Number of Repeat Sales
  3. Average Customer Retention Rate

By influencing or increasing these factors, your business’ CLV will improve. So, what can you do to better these numbers?

1. Conduct Surveys and Ask Questions

One way to improve your product or service is by increasing the number of repeat customers and subscribers. To do this, you need to identify what keeps customers coming back and any significant deal breakers. The best way to learn more about what your customers like and expect is by asking them. Conduct surveys, ask questions, and collect voice of customer data. Learn more about your customers so you can serve them better and convert more into recurring customers.

2. Enhance Customer Service and Customer Success

According to a study conducted by PwC, 32% of customers will end their relationship with a business after a bad experience. And so, this goes without saying but improving your customer support and customer success services can go a long way in retaining customers and making them advocates for your brand.

Consider investing in omnichannel and multichannel customer support. By increasing the number of channels that customers can use to connect with you, you can appeal to a wider customer base and offer more responsive service.

You may even find it useful to utilize self-service options such as knowledge bases and support centers, automate IVR services, chatbots, trouble tickets, and more. Self-service options give users the ability to solve their problems themselves and on their own time. Read our post about customer service trends to determine where your business is lacking.

3. Design Relevant and Easy-to-Use Products and Services

How relevant your business and products are can greatly impact how prospects view and interact with your services. Stay relevant, discuss current issues, and offer up-to-date information and features. If customers find more relevant usage elsewhere, they will go to a competitor without hesitation.

4. Develop a Customer-First Strategy

To enhance customer experience (CX) for your business, you need to create a customer-first strategy. Such a strategy requires your sales and marketing teams to take time to understand the customer, their needs, pain points, and preferences. And then develop a strategy that supports them and their needs.

5. Consider Usability Testing

Usability testing is a kind of market research. In usability testing, your marketing and services teams observe how users interact with your product, software, or service. You can test specific processes (sign-up, purchasing stage, etc.) or the entire system. Usability testing lets you identify areas that need improvement; specifically what processes and features are not clear or easy-to-use. Then, you can create better products and software that make customers more comfortable and less confused.

6. Cross-Sell and Up-Sell

Most sales teams already know that cross-selling and up-selling can greatly improve customer retention. Offering additional services and add-on features is a good way to reduce cart abandonment and build customer loyalty. Furthermore, offering products and services that are relevant to your customers will make a great difference. Customers appreciate personalization and customized recommendations and see them as an effort to really help improve their lives.

7. Create Valuable and Engaging Content

Keep your customers engaged by creating and sharing valuable and informative content. Utilize your blog page, emails, and social media platforms to educate and inform your customers and also establish your business as a trustworthy and credible one. Show readers that your employees know the industry and are developing first-class products.

8. Consider Loyalty Programs

Invest in customer loyalty programs to keep your customers coming back for more. Discounts, member-only promotions, etc., will help retain valuable customers. Treating them with special care and effort will give them more reasons to stay.

9. Continue to Delight Your Customers

Lastly, don’t stop delighting your customers once you lock them down. Keep them happy. Surprise them with small gestures; these can be holiday greetings, birthday cards, gift cards, etc. These little gestures can go a long way in securing customer loyalty.

After All, It’s All About Customer Relationships

Your customers drive your business’ growth. Without them, your business can easily fall behind and into the shadows. Competition is everywhere and so it’s up to you to make your business stand out. How far are you willing to go?

Learn more about how Global Call Forwarding’s communication features can help your business communicate better. Reach out to us today to learn more!

How Empathy Can Improve Customer Service Efforts

Customer service has always been central to the success of any business. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted how businesses offer customer support as well as customer service expectations held by consumers. Now, more than ever, each business needs to evaluate how they are engaging their customers and offering care and support. Here is where ensuring your reps and employees practice empathy in customer service becomes crucial.

What is the Role of Empathy in Customer Service?

The first thing we should learn about is the concept of empathy. It is the process of imagining or putting oneself into another’s shoes in an attempt to better understand the other and what they are going through. And so, empathy should be understood as one of the most important traits when interacting with customers. But what does empathy in customer service look like? And as a Chief Customer Officer, how can you train your team and yourself to be more empathetic?

What is Customer Empathy?

Customer empathy is the process of understanding your customers by digging deeper into their pain points, concerns, motivations, and more. This means taking a step forward instead of simply saying “I understand” and proceeding with stock responses.

Empathy in customer service, therefore, means taking the time to understand each customer individually. What are their concerns? What is their situation? How can your product help them specifically? And so on. By paying attention to these questions and each customer individually, your team can provide a more holistic and meaningful customer experience.

Why You Should be More Empathetic When Dealing with Customers

According to research conducted by PwC, about 32% of customers will end their relationship with a brand after having one bad experience. Customer service expectations have increased and customers no longer tolerate bad-to-moderate service. They expect businesses to go above and beyond and, specifically, to be considerate and empathetic.

Being more consciously empathetic in your customer interactions can prevent the loss of potentially valuable customers. If your business does not take steps to improve customer experience by creating products and services that are customer-focused, your customers will not hesitate to go to your competitors.

6 Signs Your Business is Lacking in Empathy

In order to determine whether your customer service team is lacking in empathy and needs to up its game, look closely at how your team is performing. Some key indicators include:

  1. Low customer satisfaction scores
  2. Negative customer feedback
  3. Multiple call transfers among agents
  4. Long wait times
  5. Bad customer reviews
  6. Low customer retention rates

9 Ways to Practice Empathy in Customer Service

Customer service and customer interactions happen in a variety of ways and across different platforms. Among these are:

  • In-person meetings
  • Phone and video conversations
  • Live chat
  • Email interactions
  • Social media platforms

Your customer service must be consistent across these platforms so that each customer leaves your business happier and more satisfied than when they arrived. How can you and your team be more empathetic in customer interactions? Here are some helpful tips:

1. Maintain Eye Contact

This one goes without saying — Always maintain eye contact. It is often considered rude if you are paying attention to anything other than the person you are interacting with. This becomes even more important when you are engaging with customers on video calls. It is easy to get distracted and focus on the slide share or other materials, but take time to look at your customer and listen to them. Make them feel seen and heard.

2. Adopt Active Listening

Don’t just assume that you know what the customer is going through and that it is a common issue. Even if the issue is one of the most common complaints you receive, try to treat it with a new perspective. Your customer may have tried different methods to resolve the issue. This could provide you with more information and insight.

Once they have described their issue, repeat it back to them so they know you were paying attention to every detail. Listen actively so you can provide helpful advice that they haven’t tried before.

3. Have a Positive Attitude

No matter what the situation, try to adopt a positive attitude throughout the interaction. Chances are your customer is really upset about the issue they are facing and their frustration may leak into their interaction with you. Don’t let that color the way you respond to them. Take a moment to understand what they may be going through and focus on solving the problem for them.

4. Be Patient and Respectful

Similar to the above tip, strive to be patient, kind, and respectful in your interaction. Give them time to speak (or vent, if they are really upset), avoid getting frustrated yourself, and focus on the end-goal which is resolving their concern so they can continue to enjoy your product or service.

5. Avoid Biases

As with any interaction, avoid making assumptions and biases based on your own perceptions. This means respecting the person for who they are and what they are trying to achieve. Don’t assume they don’t know anything or that they know everything. Always ask for clarification instead of making an assumption.

6. Be Careful When Cultural and Language Barriers are Involved

This is another area of concern where empathy in customer service is essential. When cultural and language barriers are present, there is room for confusion and misunderstanding. Take time to understand your customer. If you are struggling, ask to put them on hold, and find a supervisor or rep who can help. Make sure to get back to your customer soon, don’t keep them hanging on hold for long. Also, keep international phone etiquette in mind when calling customers in different regions and parts of the world.

7. Ask Follow Up Questions

This is a good way to show your customer that you are interested and invested in this conversation. Ask follow-up questions that are relevant and can help narrow down the issue at hand. This can also help you offer more personalized solutions.

8. Match Your Customer’s Tone

Whether it is through email or phone conversations, try to match the tone and enthusiasm of your customer. Don’t be too formal if your customer appears informal and casual, and vice versa. Personalize your interaction with each customer to connect with them in a better way.

9. Build a Bond, Be Flexible

Look for common interests. For example, the online pet company Chewy’s customer service agents always ask customers about their pets and share stories about their own pets. This is a good way to create a bond with their customers and talk about something both parties love: their dogs or cats!

10 Voice of the Customer Methodologies to Revolutionize Customer Feedback

Everyone is talking about Voice of the Customer (VoC) data as an essential tool to understanding your customers and improving their experience. But what is VoC and how do you collect such data? Here is a detailed guide to what VoC is and what to keep in mind when collecting customer data through these top 10 Voice of the Customer methodologies.

Voice of the Customer: Definition and Methodologies

First, what is Voice of the Customer? VoC is the way your customers talk about your products and their experiences or interactions with these products and services. It is a market research method where a business collects detailed customer feedback about their products and services used.

Why is VoC Important?

So, why should you collect customer feedback and pay attention to the voice of the customers? Customers using your product are in the best position to explain how useful, user-friendly, and worthy your product or service is. When collecting VoC data, look for:

  • Customer pain points
  • Hesitations or objections
  • Desires and needs
  • Requirements and expectations
  • Benefits, usage, results

And so, learning how they use the product and how successful it is in helping them complete tasks will help your business create better products as well as market your current products more effectively.

By collecting VoC feedback, your business can gain:

  1. Comprehensive and detailed insights into what your customers look for and need from your products and services.
  2. Data that can be put towards product development and marketing efforts.

VoC Program Stages

A VoC program — that is, collecting and using Voice of the Customer data — typically involves three stages:

  1. Collection — Collecting feedback and information via interviews, surveys, polls, etc. related to specific products or services.
  2. Evaluation — Analyzing and studying responses to identify customer needs and expectations.
  3. Implementation — Using feedback and analysis to create better experiences and products that boost business performance.

Voice of Customer Program Stages.

In this post, we will specifically focus on the collection phase of VoC data and what methodologies work best.

And when collecting VoC data, it is good to be prepared with the following questions for each data collection project:

  1. What is the purpose of this data collection project?
  2. What is your target audience or group? (Current customers or new prospects?)
  3. How will you collect this data? (In-person interviews, online surveys, social listening, etc.)
  4. What stage is the customer or prospect in? (Unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware, most aware)

Once you have these factors in place, you can focus on questions to ask your customers and prospects.

What to Ask Customers?

Before we dive into VoC methodologies, let’s quickly run through how to prepare for customer interviews and surveys. In other words, what questions to ask your customers so you can get the best feedback and insights. Your questions can be focused on how customers perceive your business or how they use your product or service; customize questions accordingly. Here are some questions to consider:

What made them look for your business/product/service?

  • When did you realize you needed something like [product/service]?
  • What brought you to [business/product/service]?
  • How did you find out about [business/product/service]?
  • What problem were you trying to solve with [business/product/service]?
  • How did you go about researching for a solution to your problem?

How or why do they pick a business/product/service?

  • What matters most to you when choosing or signing up with a business or purchasing products or services?
  • What characteristics do you look for in a business, product, or service before purchasing or signing up?
  • Why were you interested in trying our [product/service]?
  • Did you consider any alternatives to our [business/product/service]? What were they?
  • Why did you choose our [product/service] over [competitor]?

About your business/product/service

  • What comes to mind when you think about our [business/product/service]?
  • How are you using our [product/service] at the moment?
  • How would you describe the [business/product/service] to a friend?
  • What do you like the most about [business/product/service]?
  • What is the most useful feature of the [product/service]?
  • What surprised you about [business/product/service]?
  • Would you recommend [business/product/service]? To whom and why?
  • How can [business/product/service] improve your customer experience?
  • How can [business] improve the [product/service]?

Understanding pain points, concerns, and issues

  • What would you like changed or modified regarding the [product/service]?
  • What features do you wish the [product/service] had, that it doesn’t currently have now?
  • What concerns do you have about [product/service]?
  • What competitor would you prefer over our [product/service]? And why?
  • What’s the #1 thing you can do with [product/service] that you couldn’t do before without the [product/service]?
  • What’s the biggest problem that you were able to solve/fix with our [product/service]?
  • What concerns or hesitations did/do you have before deciding to buy or sign up for [product/service]?

Understanding results and outcomes

  • What has changed for you since using [product/service]?
  • What measurable results have you noticed since you started using [product/service]?
  • What results are you hoping to achieve with our [product/service]?
Voice of Customer methodologies.
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#61863947 ID#27446420

Top 10 Voice of the Customer Methodologies

Let’s now look at the 10 different Voice of the Customer methodologies that you use to collect customer data:

1. Detailed Customer Interviews

One of the traditional VoC data collection methods is conducting detailed interviews with consumers. These interviews can help you get insights into the customer’s perspective about your business or specifically about a product or service you offer.

You can conduct in-person, phone, video, or email interviews, depending on your capabilities. However, in-person interviews are considered the most effective for this purpose. You can choose to interview particular customers or target groups, depending on why you are collecting this data and how much information you need.

Be prepared with a list of questions and follow-up questions before conducting the interview. Inform customers how long this interview will last and what the purpose is.

2. Customer Surveys & Feedback Forms

A customer survey is another good (and common) way of collecting customer information and understanding customer expectations, needs, and pain points. There are a few different ways to send out customer surveys:

  • Online surveys through links or emails through survey tools such as SurveyMonkey
  • Phone surveys through customer service teams or automated IVR systems
  • In-app or in-software surveys
  • In-person or suggestion-box surveys
  • Contact forms surveys, etc.

You can send out such surveys and feedback forms when prospecting new leads or to new and long-term customers. As mentioned above, be prepared with questions to include in your survey form. When appropriate, include and offer multiple-choice options, drop-down lists, text-boxes, and so on. This will enable customers to provide more information and give you detailed results.

3. Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews are a great spot for collecting information about how customers are using your products and determining how they feel about them. You can look up Google reviews as well as industry-specific review sites such as G2, TrustPilot, Capterra, etc.

Additionally, since these reviews appear online and are visible to potential customers, you will want to watch these reviews and respond to them as well. Respond to good reviews with “We appreciate your business.” And respond to negative reviews with positive and solution-focused responses. In other words, show new prospects how your business handles negative reviews and customer concerns.

Related: Global Call Forwarding Reviews

4. Call Detail Records

Call detail records can be helpful when putting together insights and data based on history. You can use call records to understand the preferred communication channels and contact times. Additionally, you might even identify common complaints that require the help of your customer support team. This information can be used to create support content that helps customers solve issues through self-service options, when appropriate.

5. Recorded Calls

Next, record and review calls with customers. A call recording service is a great tool for sifting through common customer needs, expectations, and complaints. Here, you can identify patterns, anomalies, and more. These insights can then inform better product development and enhanced customer experience.

6. Email Groups

You can use highly personalized emails to specific segments or send well-written generic emails to all your customers. Make it easy and less work for your customers to answer the survey. You may choose to include the feedback form or poll within the body of the email or include a link for them to click. Let them know the purpose of the survey and how long it will take them to complete it. You may even choose to include a reward for a lengthy survey that will take up a good amount of their time.

7. Social Listening

Social listening refers to paying attention to what your customers and clients are saying on social media platforms. More specifically, what are they saying about businesses, products, and services like yours? You can choose to simply listen or actively participate in the conversation to learn more about customer expectations and interests, directly from customers and in real-time.

8. Live Chat

Live chat (whether monitored or AI-enabled) is a popular customer support channel. Web visitors often use live chat to connect with a company as opposed to calling or emailing them. This makes live chat a good source for collecting VoC feedback. You can collect feedback by asking questions in real-time or scheduling a follow-up survey after assisting the customer.

9. Focus Groups

Focus groups are groups of people who asked to share their thoughts, feelings, and expectations about a product or service. You can use focus groups to test new products or features, gain feedback on existing products and services, learn how to improve user experience, and more. This is another common way of understanding the Voice of the Customer at different touchpoints.

10. Customer-Focused KPIs

There are two customer-focused KPIs or metrics that can help you gain insights into how satisfied your customers are and whether they will advocate for your brand:

1. Net promoter score (NPS) measures the loyalty of a business’s customers. NPS provides quick feedback from customers focused on whether they are likely to recommend your product or service. A common example of this is — “How likely are you to recommend our [business/product/service] to a friend or a colleague?

2. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) measures the level of customer satisfaction after interacting with a business or using a product or service. Use questions similar to those in NPS measures and customers can answer with ratings such as a scale of 1-10 or range of Very Satisfied-Very Dissatisfied.

Let Voice of the Customer Methodologies Enhance Your Services

It’s not an underestimation how important customer satisfaction is, and companies should aim to ensure they are delivering on this fully. As we have demonstrated, Voice of the Customer data is a key tool for businesses to understand what customers appreciate about your business, and ultimately, where your business can improve. If you are aiming to maximize the experience for your customers, be sure to implement VoC methodologies and learn more about how to please those seeking out your products or services.

Understanding Cold Calling vs Warm Calling

What is the best way to sell to a new lead? This is the age-old question. Salespeople and marketers have tried and tested different methods and approaches and have collected varied results. Two of these methods that salespeople continue to use are cold calling and warm calling. But what is the difference between these methods and which approach is more helpful for your business?

The Difference Between Cold Calling and Warm Calling

Both cold calling and warm calling are outbound calling sales approaches. In these approaches, salespeople reach out to prospects and try to sell or move them down the sales funnel. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these methods and their pros and cons.

What is Cold Calling?

Cold calling is a sales technique where a sales team reaches out to prospects and leads who may or may not have heard of the business. In other words, these prospects have not interacted with your business or purchased products and services from you. They have not heard from your business or representatives before. Some of these prospects may not have even heard of your business.

Cold calling then is the attempt to increase brand awareness and sell products and services to these prospects by introducing them to your brand. Usually, sales teams are given a list of prospects deemed fit for specific products and services. This list is put together through market research of target audiences. Your job then is to reach out to them, educate them about the brand and product, and make a sale or set up a sales appointment.

Pros and Cons of Cold Calling

So, what makes cold calling successful and why do some business managers say that cold calling is dead? Here are the benefits and issues that come with cold calling:

Pros of Cold Calling Cons of Cold Calling
Solo hunting; reach out to customers on your own Customers are usually wary of unknown phone numbers and may not answer
Connect with new customers Customers are usually annoyed by cold calls
Lets you weed out bad leads and uninterested customers Inconsistent results
Sales calls can be conducted from anywhere No proper structure in place; you work alone
Helps increase inbound sales and brand awareness Chances of getting flagged as telemarketers or scams

Related: 7 Cold Calling Tips to Close More Sales

What is Warm Calling?

Warm calling, on the other hand, is a sales process where sales representatives reach out to prospects and customers who have previously interacted with the brand. These individuals are aware of your business and demonstrated some interest. Maybe they liked a social media post or downloaded an eBook from your website or submitted an inquiry about a product.

Additionally, warm calling also includes gathering feedback through surveys, informing regular customers about new promotions, or inviting them to webinars, etc. In some cases, calls made after cold emails may also be considered warm calling. This is because you have already established a connection and familiarity with the customer.

With warm calling, your job as the sales rep is to answer their questions, provide more information, and engage them. By doing so, you are moving them down the funnel and closer to a sale.

Pros and Cons of Warm Calling

If cold calling isn’t the way to go, can your business benefit from warm calling? Let’s look at how warm calling can convert more customers and what potential issues to keep in mind.

Pros of Warm Calling Cons of Warm Calling
Leads are aware of your business and interested Sales reps may not take these calls seriously enough
Leads are more likely to become customers Over-calling may discourage the prospect
Personalize calls to meet prospects’ needs Customers may prefer other channels of communication
Develop stronger customer and business relations Stock scripts may discourage leads

What Does Your Business Need?

Whether cold calling or warm calling is right for your business depends on your business structure, values, and goals. Also, another factor is where your business lies in its growth process. If you are a new business, then cold calling is the way to increase brand awareness and identify key markets and audiences. On the other hand, if your business is relatively established and has a strong online presence, then warm calling and inside sales will help maintain credibility and attract valuable customers.

How Can Global Call Forwarding Help?

Global Call Forwarding offers a variety of virtual call center tools and features that can support both your cold calling and warm calling efforts. Get outbound calling, particularly, to connect with customers and leads around the globe with local and toll free numbers. You can even use call forwarding services to maintain connectivity across different locations and time zones. Speak with our representatives to learn more about how we can help your specific business. Call us today at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online!

Global Call Forwarding vs Legacy Telecom Carriers

Considering an upgrade for your office phone system? Maybe your current service is hard to manage. You find yourself calling customer support every couple of weeks and they are not easy to get a hold of. The platform or software is not user-friendly. Your business has to juggle multiple providers because of limited coverage — to name a few business telecom issues. Legacy telecom providers promise a lot but are not always able to deliver.

Enter: Global Call Forwarding.

Global Call Forwarding offers business communication tools to streamline internal and external business, boost in-house collaboration, and make it easy for customers to call your business, no matter where you are located. So, how does Global Call Forwarding stack up against legacy telecom carriers and why should you consider our service for your business communication needs?

Why Choose Global Call Forwarding Over Legacy Telecom Companies

Since 2007, Global Call Forwarding — under its parent company, United World Telecom (founded in 1996) — has been offering call forwarding services to businesses worldwide. For years, we’ve been a trusted provider of toll free and local numbers for large multinational companies like Novartis, MongoDB, AbbVie, SanDisk, and more. Our high-availability network enables us to offer our customers:

  • Carrier-grade reliability
  • High-quality voice calling
  • Phone numbers even in remote locations
  • Fast number delivery
  • Easy number management through an online portal
  • Around-the-clock 24/7 customer support

What is the problem with legacy telecom carriers? To name a few:

  • Services and software are hard to manage
  • Takes days to reach representatives for support and more time for resolution
  • Adding and provisioning new numbers can take time
  • Limited global coverage forces you to deal with multiple providers at a time

All of these reasons can greatly impact your business’s ability to offer sales and customer support as you intend to: excellent, uninterrupted, and reliable.

So, why should you choose Global Call Forwarding for your business communication needs over legacy telecom companies?

1. Straightforward Ordering Service & Quick Delivery

Our ordering process is simple and straightforward.

Simply select the types of numbers you want along with additional features or services. You can sign up on your own through our website or speak with our representatives. Current users can add new numbers directly through the Control Panel.

Our ordering service is quick with fast delivery: purchase and activate your numbers within minutes.

We offer a no-contract, no-long-term commitment service. You do not need to enter long-term contracts with us.

2. One Platform Managed Online

Everything you need to use our service is available to you through our online Control Panel.

This user-friendly Control Panel can be easily accessed anywhere and includes all our service features. Log in to manage your account and services, make changes, and adjust settings from one easy-to-use online platform. All in real-time.

This self-service option means you do not have to wait for our agents to get the features you need.

3. Cost-Effective Alternative

Global Call Forwarding’s pricing is much lower compared to giant telecom operators. This is because large telecom companies tend to have sky-high prices due to their inefficiencies.

Legacy telecom companies are large enterprises hosting thousands of employees across various business locations.

This means high overhead expenses which eventually get passed on to their customers, leading customers to pay for more than what the service is actually worth.

In comparison, Global Call Forwarding provides high-quality and reliable business phone service for much lower prices — customers pay only for the service they subscribe to and nothing else. This way, Global Call Forwarding has helped customers save tremendously when switching from a legacy service to our service.

4. Worldwide Coverage

Global Call Forwarding also has the largest inventory and worldwide coverage of local and international toll free numbers. In fact, we also have availability for numbers from the most remote countries that are not always accessible from other providers.

Whether you want to test new markets, outsource business operations to new locations, or expand your international coverage, we’ve got you covered! Browse through our inventory on our website to find the right number for your business.

5. No-Code Tech Solution

Global Call Forwarding provides a turnkey, plug-and-play solution for customers looking to streamline their business communications.

We offer our customers a no-code solution so they can seamlessly integrate our service into their existing office phone system. A no-code solution lets users create and use software through easy-to-use user interfaces instead of working with traditional programming.

This means your business does not have to worry about:

  • Entering or working with code
  • Programming to change call forwarding settings
  • Configuring advanced settings

In other words, you do not have to work on the backend of our telecom solution — that’s what we’re here for!

Simply sign up and start making and receiving calls right away. Make changes, adjust settings, download call-detail records and invoices, as needed, all through our Control Panel’s simple-to-use interface.

Customers who want to integrate our service more closely with their own system can benefit from our API (which requires coding). Common use cases include syncing call detail records, auto-downloading invoices, and auto-ordering numbers.

6. Dedicated Account Managers & 24/7 Customer Support

Each of our customers gets a dedicated account manager who is always available, reachable, and ready to go the extra mile to offer support. Additionally, our tech support team is also available 24/7 to provide technical assistance.

Whether you need help adding new users, purchasing additional numbers, adjusting settings, or managing quality issues, get in touch with your account manager or our tech representatives through chat, phone calls, trouble tickets, etc. You will receive a response from real humans quickly. No long queues or automated menus adding to the frustration.

7. Flexible Payment Options

We know how stressful it can be to pay for various services.

This is why we offer flexible payment options and plans for our customers so that they can find a system that works well for them.

Choose from our 5 different virtual phone number plans that come with included minutes and an additional per-minute rate, once the included minutes have been used. Find a plan that works well for your communication needs.

Flexible payment options include Purchase Orders (POs), Pay Upon Receipt of Invoices, credit cards, and PayPal.

Whether you want to use your credit card or send invoices to your finance department for payment, we offer various payment options to ensure you feel comfortable paying for your service.

8. Proven Track Record

Lastly, we have a proven track record of over 25 years with thousands of satisfied multinational clients worldwide.

With numerous global points of presence, we are known for our reliable and high-availability facility-based network with multiple layers of redundancy.

Our time in the industry and extensive global coverage positions us to offer advanced and reliable service to each of our customers. Our state-of-the-art technology, in-house IT team, and experienced representatives work together to ensure your business has uninterrupted and high-quality service at all times.

Unlike legacy telecom empires — which are managing dozens of services — our team is focused on one mission only: making sure our customers’ virtual numbers are working properly at all times.

It comes as no surprise, then, that year after year Global Call Forwarding has been selling additional numbers and services to its satisfied customers.

Ready to Work With Us?

Think Global Call Forwarding is a good fit for your business? Sign up today or take advantage of our 15-day free trial for business accounts so you can get a feel for our service before you make a decision. Chat with our representatives at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more!

Related: 14 Reasons to Choose Global Call Forwarding

Conducting Market Research with a Local Phone Number

Market research is essential to understand your target audience, their pain points and goals, and how you can serve them better. Without these insights, your product or service does not reach its full potential. Learn how to use local phone numbers when conducting market research to achieve the best results.

Local Market Research: Definition

Local market research is the process of evaluating a current or new market. More specifically, when researching a market, researchers pay attention to customers’ and prospects’ needs, pain points, goals, and motivations. These insights then fuel product development and marketing efforts. If you do not know who your target audience is and where they are, you will be selling to the wrong crowd. Market research can help your business find the right customers and the best ways to reach them. There are many different ways to conduct market research such as interviews (in-person, phone, video), observation, surveys, etc. Check out our comprehensive guide to local market research.

Why Should Your Business Research Your Market?

Local market research helps your business gain insights into various aspects such as:

  • How customers view your business
  • What lucrative markets should you target
  • How to best develop buyer personas
  • How to develop your product in comparison to competitors
  • In what ways you can improve customer experience and loyalty

Market research studies current and new markets so your business can develop good and relevant products and market them effectively.

How to Conduct Market Research with a Local Number

Here we will look at how a business can use local phone numbers when conducting market research. Businesses can get local phone numbers for various countries, cities, and regions around the world. Local numbers have specific area codes and formats assigned to them which are recognizable by locals within that area. This makes local numbers great tools for conducting research and test marketing. So, how can your business use local numbers to conduct research?

1. Market Segmentation

You can segment your target audience into smaller groups to get more detailed information and feedback from them. This process is called market segmentation. You can then use different local numbers for each segment to track responses and measure results. The four main types of market segmentation include:

  1. Demographic (B2C): based on individual attributes
  2. Firmographic (B2B): based on company/business attributes
  3. Psychographic (B2B/B2C): based on attitudes, traits, values, motivations, etc.
  4. Behavioral (B2B/B2C): based on usage, user status, purchasing/researching habits, etc.

Depending on what information you are looking for, you can either focus on behavioral or demographic elements or more. Information that you receive through market segmentation can help you tailor the product and its features as well as refine your marketing strategies to better appeal to each segment.

2. Brand Awareness Research

You can also use local phone numbers to learn more about your brand awareness. In other words, how much do customers know about your business, and how aware are they of its existence. Furthermore, you do not need to limit yourself to your own country. You can measure brand awareness in neighboring countries as well as target markets.

Your marketing and sales teams can take this a step ahead and study your customers’ awareness of the problem your business can solve. Most customers do not know that they have a problem or that there is a solution (your product or service) to their issues. Teams can take this opportunity to learn what stage of the buyer’s or customer’s journey your target audience is in.

You can also use local phone numbers to improve brand awareness in these target areas. You can do so by purchasing local numbers and advertising your product locally as well as focusing sales efforts in those regions.

3. Campaigning & Marketing ROI

Next, local numbers can help with marketing and campaigning efforts as well as measuring ROI. Use local numbers along with specific campaigns and promotions and study the results. How many customers are coming through specific campaigns or promotions? How many of these customers are converting? And how many stay on as repeat customers? The customers who don’t convert, what are they looking for?

These questions can help you determine better ways to appeal to customer pain points and display your product as a valuable solution.

4. Qualifying Leads via Presale Surveys

Presale surveys include questions marketing and sales teams use to qualify leads and determine quality prospects. This is a good way to weed out low-rank prospects as well as customers that won’t add value to your business. It also helps reduce time spent chasing bad leads. Your teams can use local numbers to easily connect with potential customers and vet them before they move further down the pipeline.

5. Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty Research

Lastly, use local numbers to keep in touch with existing customers. Your current customers are much more valuable than new customers because they are the ones who are likely to stay and become advocates for your brand. And so, you want to ensure your business and products are satisfying current customers. Measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty can help you understand how your product is performing and how much customers value it. If it is not performing well, you will need to make changes and improvements.

Survey New Markets with Local Numbers

You can get local phone numbers from Global Call Forwarding for target countries and areas. We offer international virtual numbers for more than 160 countries around the world and provide call management tools to effectively organize calls when conducting research. Browse through our inventory today or call us to learn more!

5 Phone Number Porting Myths Debunked

When your company is moving locations or changing phone service providers, the last thing you want is customers calling the wrong number and struggling to reach your company. Number porting is a service that can help your company ensure business continuity in such situations. Let’s look at some common phone number porting myths so you can feel confident about this service.

What is Number Porting?

Number porting — also known as local number portability — lets users move their phone service from one provider or carrier to another while keeping the phone number.

Customers that want to keep their current phone number unchanged but want to switch phone service providers can do so via a number porting service. This way, when moving or “porting” to a new service or carrier, you do not need to change your phone number.

Why Port Your Number?

The most common reason is that users want to switch their service but not lose their contacts. It can be a hassle having to change your number and update your contacts with your new number. Number porting makes the process easier. But why do users want to switch providers?

  1. Bad phone service quality
  2. High phone bills
  3. Limited coverage
  4. Moving locations or offices
  5. Limited features and services
  6. Hard-to-reach customer support, etc.

To opt for a better and more reliable service without losing your number and contacts, consider a number porting service.

5 Phone Number Porting Myths

While it is easy to port your number, customers often have concerns about the porting process and how it may affect their service. In this post, we will attempt to resolve common phone number porting concerns. Read on to learn more!

1. Service Interruptions

Most customers think that while porting their phone number from one provider to another they will lose service or face service interruptions. This can be a big issue when your business is switching carriers and has customers calling an inactive service.

However, thankfully, this is not the case. When porting your phone number from one service provider to Global Call Forwarding, you will face no service interruptions. This is because your service line with the previous provider continues and remains active till your porting process is complete.

Once your number has successfully ported over to our network, you will receive an email notification, and it will be ready to use. This way, you can seamlessly switch over from one service provider to the next.

Additionally, certain customers may wish to disconnect their previous or original service before the porting process is complete. In such cases, customers will have to wait till the process is complete because, in order to port from one carrier to another, the port needs to be active and in good standing. A disconnected service will affect the porting process.

Some customers want to disconnect the service of their original carrier/ inactive phone at the time of porting. At this point, we will have to inform the customer that the port will need to be active and in good standing.

Related: 14 Reasons to Choose Global Call Forwarding

2. Long Time Frame

Another key concern users have when porting their phone service is the amount of time the porting process will take. Each provider has a different porting time frame and this depends on the provider you are leaving (old provider) as well as the provider you are joining (new provider).

The estimated time for most number porting processes is between 7-14 business days. However, in some cases, there may be delays from the old provider’s end; that is, to release the number. In such a scenario, Global Call Forwarding communicates with the provider or vendor to identify the cause of the delay and reach a resolution.

Here, again, you do not need to worry about losing service. Your service remains active while we try to expedite the phone number porting process. We handle everything, so you can rest assured.

3. Limited Porting Options

Are there any limitations in terms of what or how many numbers I can port? This is another common concern we hear from our customers.

Porting is a slightly complicated process, concerning what number types can be ported from service to service. For the most part, it is easy to port numbers from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US.

However, for other countries, porting capability depends on the local provider. These work on a case-by-case basis and may cause some delays. Once you submit your porting request, our representatives connect with local carriers and confirm number portability. Only then do we proceed with the porting process and you will be informed accordingly.

Note that you can port multiple numbers to Global Call Forwarding. Speak with our representatives to get specific details on your number type.

4. Number Ownership

Many customers are also concerned that once the porting process takes place, their number now belongs to the new provider. This is not the case — the FCC guarantees that your phone number belongs to you. And if you decide to switch providers again, you will be able to.

5. Missing Functionalities

Lastly, customers are concerned about the functionality of their new number and service. This, again, depends on the new provider you choose and the service they offer. Most providers offer a porting process that does not change or affect the functionality of your number.

However, in some cases, the number functionality may change after porting. For example, some providers may not offer wireless or cellular data that was available with the original provider. Others may vary in the functions; in other words, they may or may not provide additional functionality such as two-factor authentication and access to 911 service.

Be sure to check with your new provider before you start the porting process so that there are no surprises later on.

Port Your Number to Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding has the largest inventory of business phone numbers from countries around the world. Port your phone number to Global Call Forwarding to take advantage of high-quality call service and advanced virtual communication features. Want to learn more? Speak with our representatives or chat with us online today!

Telemarketing Versus Inside Sales

Telemarketing, telesales, cold calling, inside sales; they’re all the same, right? Sales approaches where a salesperson calls a lead and tries to sell a product or service? There is some truth to that. However, these approaches differ in their methodology and how involved salespeople need to be to convert leads. Learn about the key differences between telemarketing and inside sales so you can adopt a sales approach that is most effective for your business.

The Difference Between Telemarketing and Inside Sales

Telemarketing, inside sales, and cold calling are terms often used interchangeably. This is because they are similar services that make outbound calls to prospective customers and try to convert them. However, each approach and its methodology is different. Here we discuss telemarketing and inside sales so you can better understand the differences between the two sales approaches.

What is Telemarketing?

Telemarketing as a cold calling sales tactic has been around for years. The general understanding of telemarketing is that it is a scripted, one-call closing sales technique. In other words, telemarketing calls are highly scripted and they aim to close a deal or disqualify a lead in one call. These calls or prospects are usually about small-ticket, B2C products while the leads are low value.

Most people have come to expect telemarketing calls as spammy, disrespectful of time, and monotonous. Telemarketers get to the point; they engage with potential customers just once and decide if it is a closed or lost deal.

On the contrary, some businesses view telemarketing as more than just impersonal and monotonous selling. In this case, telemarketers don’t just try to close a deal in one call. Instead, they work on prospecting, building relationships, and sourcing opportunities, all during a phone call. And more recently, there has been a shift from scripted conversations to more personalized ones.

In short, telemarketing is quick and supports smaller sales cycles for low-ticket products.

What are Inside Sales?

The inside sales approach takes telemarketing to the next level. Inside sales includes multiple calls at various touch-points. The selling process in these calls is more complex with the reps taking a more involved approach and working closely with prospects. These calls are not scripted and tailored to the prospect’s specific situation and needs.

Inside calls target B2B and high-end B2C sales; that is, high-ticket sales. And they require longer nurturing and strategic targeting. Salespeople performing inside sales are well-trained and focus on personalization and relevance to bring new customers aboard. Inside sales also include:

  • Researching the market
  • Identifying and qualifying valuable leads
  • Studying customer pain points, goals, and needs
  • Understanding the lead before interacting with them
  • Building rapport and trust with the customer or prospect
  • Providing expertise and information to help prospects make informed decisions
  • Developing genuine relationships with prospects

In short, inside sales is more detailed, has a higher value, and a longer sales cycle.

Telemarketing Versus Inside Sales

As you can see, the key difference between telemarketing and inside sales is how involved the salesperson is.

Telemarketers may not be required to study leads beforehand or work closely with prospects to help move them down the sales funnel. They may use call center software and predictive dialing to go through their list of prospects.

Inside sales teams may use more advanced call center software and virtual communication tools such as outbound calling, web dialers, engagement tracking, sales forecasting, and more. The sales acceleration technology used by these teams helps them identify and convert valuable prospects by finding the best times to call and preferred methods of communication. This leads to a better experience for both the prospect and the salesperson.

Making Sales Calls with Outbound Calling

Global Call Forwarding offers a variety of call center software tools that help businesses make sales calls more effectively. You can use our outbound calling service with our web softphone to make sales calls from any location. Our virtual phone numbers enable you to increase your local presence in a variety of markets the world over. Want to learn more? Speak with our global specialists or chat with us online today!

What is a Follow the Sun Model?

More and more customers expect their brands and businesses to offer 24/7 customer support. This is significantly important for businesses with a wide and international customer base. The Follow the Sun customer service model can help your business become more reliable and accessible. Secure valuable global clients and increase their trust and faith in your business by letting them reach you easily!

Follow the Sun Model: How it Works

So, what is the “Follow the Sun model”? Follow the Sun is a customer service and support method that focuses on providing consistent customer support without regard for geographic location or time restraints. In other words, Follow the Sun is a 24/7 customer service approach for local and international clients.

Medium to large companies, especially international and multinational companies, can use Follow the Sun to offer 24/7 global customer service without relying solely on one customer service team. With such a model, customer service reps are not overburdened or forced to work late shifts. Instead, businesses can use remote or distributed customer support teams or BPOs to offer uninterrupted customer service. This constant workflow helps businesses:

  1. Offer accessible customer support and assistance
  2. Increase response times
  3. Build customer trust
  4. Position your business as a reliable one

3 Principles of a Follow the Sun Model

The main purpose of such a model is for businesses to offer uninterrupted customer service without geographical and time constraints. To accomplish this goal, Follow the Sun is based on the following principles:

1. Availability Across Multiple Time Zones

For this approach to work effectively, customer service and support teams need to be spread across different locations and time zones. This way, businesses can maintain continuity of workflow and support, and customers can find help wherever they are located.

2. Faster Responses

Customer service teams need to be on top of their jobs and resolve queries quickly and accurately. First call resolution rates should be high with agents available 24/7, not only for phone conversations or chats but also to resolve trouble tickets.

3. Knowledge Hand-Outs

Finally, a system should be designed where information, knowledge, and business processes are seamlessly transferred from one team to another. Handoffs for pending tasks and queries are essential so the next team member can resolve them and the customer does not have to connect with the business again for support.

Pros and Cons of a Follow the Sun Model

There are numerous customer service approaches and models out there. All are trying to help businesses offer excellent and uninterrupted service. However, which model works best for your company depends on the type of business you run, your communication infrastructure, and your budget. More importantly, what are you hoping to achieve with a new customer service model? To determine if Follow the Sun can help your business, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of such a model.

6 Ways Follow the Sun Can Benefit Businesses

1. Increased availability and accessibility

By having your customer service team work around the clock or in multiple locations, you greatly increase the chances of being available to every customer who calls your business. Every customer call is valuable and a potential sale. And so, losing out on customers who call during off-hours can hurt your business. Additionally, your business also becomes accessible to customers outside your target market. And this can help you find new leads (more on that later).

2. Faster responses and problem-solving

By employing agents at all times and locations, you can train your customer service teams to offer quick and accurate responses. Customers calling for assistance want their issues resolved as soon as possible and correctly. And if your business’ response times and first call resolution rates are high, your customers will come back for more and recommend you to their networks.

3. Consistent and reliable customer service

By doing all of the above, you can position your business as a reliable source of customer support. Current customers will rely on your service and continue to invest in it. You can then showcase them through customer reviews and testimonials that will inspire other similar customers to connect with your business.

Related: 6 Ways Customer Service Expectations Have Changed for 2021

4. Access to new markets and leads

Ah, the new leads. By making your business available in multiple time zones and locations, you have the opportunity to get customers in multiple countries. These may even be customers your business does not ideally include in top business personas. You can get insights into other areas for growth, new customer bases, and new ways to improve your product.

5. Considerate employee experience

A Follow the Sun model means not having to make your employees work overtime or odd shifts. Employees can work within their regular daytime office hours and provide support to customers in those time zones. This can help employees maintain a work-life balance and do a better job when interacting with customers.

6. Establish a global presence

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, your business gets to be on the global stage. You can establish a global presence without needing to open up multiple physical locations around the world. Some companies don’t need a physical presence to do business. However, an approach like this helps your company maintain a virtual presence in multiple locations and offer support to all customers.

follow the sun map

Issues to Consider With This Approach

1. Communication and collaboration issues
When teams are distributed or spread across multiple locations, there’s a possibility of miscommunication and it is harder for teams to collaborate and be on the same page. However, we now have technology and communication tools that can help ease this process. Project management systems, chat, cloud-based CRM, and so on. Users can use these tools to enter and update customer info, assign tasks, update progress, and more.

2. Lack of coordination
Similar to the above point, a common issue with a Follow the Sun model is improper hand-off coordination. This happens when the previous team does not properly hand off pending or incomplete tasks to the new team or individuals in the next shift. Again, a well-designed CRM or project management system can help ease this process. However, employees need to take the time to update their records.

3. Unfamiliar tools and tech
Most of the issues mentioned above can be solved if efficient processes are set in place and advanced tools are used to streamline these processes. However, this means that your employees are well-versed in the different tools and technologies used. If not, then employees may spend more time learning the software or re-doing simple processes instead of taking care of customers.

How Can Your Business Offer 24/7 Global Support?

If you think your business can benefit from offering global 24/7 customer support, then you need to start planning how to provide this service.

First, Make a Plan
Establish goals and create a plan for how your business and customer service teams will offer round-the-clock, global customer support.

Some companies do this by having multiple customer service hubs or remote teams. They will use separate phone lines for each country or hub. Then, these companies get time-based routing or location-based routing from a virtual number provider like Global Call Forwarding. These routing strategies enable incoming calls to forward or route to different locations based on specific rules set by the business.

For example, time-based routing forwards calls to specific locations or numbers based on the time of the call. Location-based routing forwards calls to specific customer service teams based on the location of the caller. These strategies help callers connect with the most appropriate customer service agent in their time and location (and at times, language) preferences.

Another way to offer 24/7 service is to have all incoming calls (from different countries) forwarded to your main customer service hub and have employees work in shifts.

Next, Invest in the Right Technology and Tools
Don’t just “go with the flow.” Pay attention to the ways your teams can streamline and standardize the communication and hand-off process. Your teams will need the right tools and phone system to make this approach work. For example, consider global SIP trunking to easily configure and manage your shift to a Follow the Sun model. Additionally, you will want project and content management systems that can help your managers and customer service teams communicate and collaborate virtually in real-time.

How you plan to adopt the Follow the Sun model depends on your communication infrastructure, business phone system, remote teams, and budget. Make a decision that works best for your business.

Reach More Customers by Being Active

The Follow the Sun model, if adopted and executed well, can help businesses reach more customers and a wider audience. More importantly, by offering reliable and responsive customer service, your company can secure valuable customer relationships and attract new leads. Learn how our call routing and call forwarding solutions can help your global expansion efforts. Call us today at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online!