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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

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!

7 Best Practices for Call Center Scripts that Convert

How your agents communicate over the phone can make a huge impact on the success of your call center strategy. Convert more callers into returning customers and reel in the sales with effective call center scripts. Here we outline 7 best practices to keep in mind when creating your scripts. We also include tips for effective scripts and how to train your employees to meet your standards.

How to Create Effective Call Center Scripts: 7 Best Practices

Call center scripts can make or break the way your business interacts with its customers. These scripts carry information about your products and services intending to convert callers into recurring clients and ultimately, generate sales.

When creating your call center script, focus on developing scripts for both inbound (incoming) and outbound (outgoing) calls. This way, your customer support teams are prepared for callers seeking customer support and product inquiries and your sales teams are prepared for sales pitches and lead calls. Additionally, call center scripts can help reduce training time and agent turnover. Businesses that don’t have time to offer rigorous training and provide in-depth knowledge can use scripts to get the job done quickly.

Here are 7 call center script best practices to consider when developing your business’ scripts.

1. Hire Excellent Customer Service & Sales Reps

First, hire quality customer service and sales talent. Use business networking sites to find agents and reps that have experience, training, and certification. This will ensure you have a robust team ready to tackle whatever issue comes their way. Plus, they will have developed the right personality needed for delivering scripts naturally and effectively.

2. Keep Call Center Script Writing Tips in Mind

When creating your script and training your agents to make the most of the script, keep these key tips in mind:

  • Develop scripts that lead to action and be clear in their purpose.
  • Plan for multiple scenarios.
  • Allow for flexibility (but not too much) and more genuine interaction with customers.
  • Write scripts keeping common customer complaints and preferences in mind.
  • Emphasize the importance of understanding customer needs so they can be helped efficiently.
  • Include positive phrases and reword negative phrases.
  • Focus on personalization and train agents on proper etiquette.

3. Create an Effective Call Center Script

Your call center script should include these useful elements:

  1. Greet the customer and say the name of the business.
  2. Introduce yourself.
  3. State the purpose of your call (outbound call) or find out why they are calling (inbound call)
  4. For outbound calls: go through your script at a decent pace and pause for questions or concerns.
  5. For inbound calls: listen carefully and attentively to the caller. Take note of key issues or questions, repeat to clarify, and offer practical solutions. Provide accurate information or offer a follow-up call, if you do not have the information on hand.
  6. At the end of the call, ask if they need any additional assistance, thank them for calling, and add a pleasantry.
  7. Score the call.

4. Train Agents & Employees Well

Besides merely providing your employees with quality scripts, you also need to train them in how to use the scripts well. Spend sufficient time teaching employees bad and good call center practices. Help them understand the company’s goals and standards. When training employees:

  • Focus on making customer service a top priority.
  • Keep communication two ways; adopt active listening.
  • Demonstrate examples of bad customer interactions and provide solutions.
  • Use call recording to identify positive and negative behavior.
  • Use call monitoring to listen in on calls with new employees so you can train them “on the job.”

5. Emphasize the Importance of Utilizing Customer Data When Using the Script

Part of executing a call center script well is personalizing it for each individual customer. This means using customer data alongside your script. Businesses with a customer first strategy or those that are customer-focused need to use customer data to offer better, more customized service.

Before your agent or rep answers the call or calls a customer, they must pull up the customer’s data, history, purchases, and so on. This ensures your agent is prepared for the conversation and has all the context needed. Additionally, the customer won’t have to repeat their query again and again or bring the rep up to speed. You can save time for both your agent and customer. And move towards resolution faster.

6. Use Call Recording to Analyze the Effectiveness of Scripts

Recording business calls can help you and your teams listen in to calls from the past. This is a good way to identify what is working and what isn’t and how to improve your phone interactions. Pay attention to your best-performing agents. How are they effectively bringing new clients on board? What techniques and strategies are working? Then integrate their practices into your call center script so others may attempt them as well.

7. Provide Agents with Knowledge Bases and Support

Finally, make sure your reps can provide accurate responses to customer questions quickly. And to do this, they will need access to knowledge bases or support resources that outline common customer questions, product descriptions, company policies, and so on. This way, they can consult accurate resources if they are hit with a question or query they do not have an answer for.

Improve Sales with Call Center Scripts

Call center scripts have a great impact on whether a customer continues to do business with your company. Ensure your scripts are customer-centric as well as informative and helpful. Train employees to have an upbeat attitude and treat each call as a new slate. And before you know it, your scripts will be an effective aspect of your strategy that brings more and more customers to your business!

7 Useful Tips for Creating a Call Center Scorecard

Call center scorecards are quality monitoring tools that help you test and analyze call center and agent performance. By doing so, managers can identify areas for improvement and success. Here we look at 7 useful tips for creating a call center scorecard and what you need to focus on.

How to Create a Call Center Scorecard: 7 Tips

First, what is a call center scorecard? And why do you need one? Call center scorecards are a great tool used by many call centers when conducting performance analysis. You can track and measure call center metrics, agent responses, and phone interactions, as well as conversions. Here are 7 tips to help you create an ideal scorecard:

1. Define the Purpose of the Scorecard and How it will be Used

First, you must decide and be clear on the purpose of your scorecard. What elements do you want to include? How often will you utilize the scorecards? How will you collect information about agent performance? What parameters and metrics will agents be scored on? Additionally, is every parameter equally important? Defining the purpose and the various elements that the agents will be tested on can help aid in quick and accurate analysis.

2. List Down Parameters that will be Assessed

Part of using a call center scorecard is testing your agents on various parameters that help you and them understand what they are doing well and where they can improve. Some parameters to consider include:

  1. Greetings: Agent greeted customers politely and with a clear introduction of the company and themselves.
  2. Script adherence: With outbound sales calls, agent followed the script naturally and paused for customer questions or concerns.
  3. Account and identity verification: With inbound calls, agent verified the caller’s information and identity to find their account and gather information about the customer’s past interactions.
  4. Customer service quality: Ability to clearly determine the caller’s needs, provide accurate and useful assistance
  5. End-of-call protocol: After resolving the issue, agent must ask if there is anything else they can assist the caller with.

3. Define and Note Different Call Center Metrics

Next, you might consider including certain call center metrics that apply to your particular business. Call center metrics or KPIs assess how a call center is performing. They also help managers understand how individual agents are performing. For example, which agents resolve calls quickly and accurately or which spend too long on calls, and so on. Most call centers use call center software and call analytics to track and measure relevant metrics. You may want to consider including the following on your scorecard:

  1. Average time in queue
  2. Response time
  3. Average speed of answer
  4. Average handle time
  5. First call resolution rate
  6. Customer satisfaction rate
  7. Occupancy rate
  8. Agent absenteeism

4. Include Different Types of Customer Interaction

Often, phone conversations might be the most common communication method for your call center. However, more recently, call centers have been striving to offer multi-channel or omnichannel customer support. If your call center offers more than one channel of customer interaction, then you should measure performance on each different channel. As such, try to include different types of customer interaction (live chat, email, video, etc.) used often in your call center in your scorecard.

5. Focus on Various Skills

Depending on the type of center you run, your agents may need to multitask using multiple skills. For example, you may have agents on both phone and live chat duty simultaneously. Or, agents may need to research solutions while managing the conversation and documenting each part of the conversation.

Different departments require different skills. Customer service will need to look at knowledge bases or support documents to provide help. Reception will need to ensure the customer arrives at the right department quickly. Sales needs to make pitches using customer data and personalization.

6. Monitor, Collect Data, & Refine

Since the purpose of a call center scorecard is to collect data and measure how your business and agents are performing, these scorecards need to be monitored regularly. By monitoring on a regular basis, you will not only gain insight into how well or badly your agents are doing, but also what elements or parameters are worth measuring and which ones are not useful.

Then, you can make the necessary adjustments and refine your scorecard for functionality and accuracy. Additionally, you can make necessary changes to improve agent and call center performance.

7. Treat Your Agents as Humans, Not Robots

Finally, remember that your agents are humans and not customer service robots. As such, set realistic goals and expectations when creating and monitoring your call center scorecard. Be flexible and leave room for error. Provide sufficient training materials so agents can continue to do better.

Evaluate Performance with an Effective Call Center Scorecard

Designing a call center scorecard takes time and refinement. Get started now by developing your own scorecard or using online templates and tailoring them to your needs. There are many resources available for tracking, measuring, and improving productivity. Take steps in the right direction and watch the efficiency grow in your call center.

Your Complete Guide to Call Center Offshoring & BPO [2021]

What are the advantages of outsourcing your communication needs? Do the advantages outweigh the cons? Learn everything you need to know about call center offshoring & BPO services.

Call Center Offshoring & BPO Explained

Businesses can save money by outsourcing their business processes to an offshore call center. Call center offshoring, and business process outsourcing (BPO) can help you delegate certain sales and customer service duties.

Why Do Businesses Outsource Process?

From large enterprises to small businesses, companies across the board have outsourced (some, if not all) of their services to BPOs. And the main reason for this is to reduce costs.

How Does an Offshore Call Center Work?

An offshore call center takes on some business processes such as customer service, lead generation, technical support, and human resource management. As such, they work to bring on new clients and retain existing ones.

These call centers are well-equipped to handle customer inquiries and concerns. And they have the most advanced virtual call center software and tools that support call management, performance monitoring, data security, and more.

What Services Does a Call Center BPO Offer?

Businesses in almost every industry are outsourcing various processes to offshore call centers. These industries include business services, healthcare, retail, e-commerce, telecom, banking, and more. The plethora of services covered by offshore call centers has, in fact, led to subspecialties such as:

  • Customer service & lead generation — Which focuses primarily on generating sales for a business and offering customer support services. As part of the lead generation process, agents contact prospects and leads on a predetermined list provided by the business. Some BPOs may even help with the creation of lead lists through market research. As part of the customer support service, agents answer calls made to business-clients and offer troubleshooting help, resolutions, and more.
  • Customer interaction — Oversees a company’s communication channels such as email, phone conversations, voicemail, and social media; appointment-setting and scheduling services; marketing and telemarketing services; order and payment processing; customer support and customer success; customer feedback, and more.
  • Travel & tourism — Focuses on offering support and itinerary-planning services to travelers. Works with local and international tourism companies for deals and promotions.
  • Financial services — Focuses on finance and banking-related services such as payment processing; activation of services; collection; billing and counting services; general accounting, auditing, and more.
  • IT and software-focused — Offers technical support; technology-related troubleshooting; offshore software product development; implementation services; IT helpdesk, and more.

Pros & Cons of Call Center Offshoring

So, should your business take advantage of call center offshoring & BPO services? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of using an outsourcing service.

Pros of Using a Call Center BPO

1. Lower communication-related costs

Sending your business processes offshore can help reduce or eliminate costs related to business communication or running a call center. Since you do not need a comprehensive team of sales agents and customer service reps, and managers, you can save on hiring costs as well.

2. Lower staffing issues

Your BPO will be responsible for hiring, training, and managing agents and reps. You won’t have to worry about conducting performance analysis or scheduling agents, or managing call center agents. This can save you time and money.

3. Better call management

Offshore call centers come equipped with advanced call center software and tools. This ranges from call management features to call recording and analytics. With these services, you can often get better customer support and learn how to appease customers better. Additionally, you can handle high call volumes or high periods of call traffic by outsourcing to your BPO from time to time.

4. Better business continuity

Virtual call centers can have multiple geographic locations spread across the globe. This can help your business offer 24/7 customer support in regional languages and time zones.

Cons of Call Center Offshoring & BPO

1. Lack of company knowledge

When you outsource business needs, not every agent may be thoroughly schooled in your company’s mission, values, and product education. As such, they may not be able to provide the level or standard of service your business promises.

2. Less control over business functions

When outsourcing, you give control of basic and core services to agents and employees you have not worked with. Additionally, it may be hard to track and monitor each agent representing your business for quality assurance.

3. Decreased customer satisfaction

Usually, agents and reps from a BPO don’t offer the same personalized service as your business would. Customers realizing this may be less satisfied with the service they have received and may seek better service elsewhere.

Choosing Between BPO and KPO

The terms BPO and KPS are often used interchangeably. However, these two types of outsourcing services differ in a variety of ways. In this section, we will discuss Knowledge Process Outsourcing services (KPOs) and the differences between KPOs and BPOs.

KPO: Definition and Types

What is a KPO? Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) is the outsourcing of information-related processes. KPOs are considered an extension of BPOs and require more complex skills outsourcing business processes. Knowledge process outsourcing services include specialized expertise and advanced technical skills. Common types of KPOs include:

  • Market Research
  • Business Research
  • Legal Services
  • Medical Services
  • Accounting & Financial Consulting
  • R&D
  • Content Development & Design
  • Data Analysis
  • Corporate Training
  • Education and Learning Solutions

Benefits of KPOs

A company may choose to use a KPO to handle high-level, complex tasks instead of hiring in-house employees to handle those tasks. KPOs are built to handle such tasks and provide expertise, making them a reliable source. Here are the benefits of using knowledge process outsourcing services:

1. Cost-effective & scalable

KPOs can help your business reduce costs in a number of ways. Get access to expert services at reasonable rates while increasing profits, cut down on infrastructure and operating costs, and increase or reduce staff as needed. Overall, using KPOs make for a cost-effective solution.

2. Access to experienced professionals

Your business does not have to take on hiring and training experts for different internal functions. Instead, you can spend time focusing on core services like product development and sales while outsourcing other services to a KPO. This also helps reduce the cost of recruiting and training new employees.

3. Low asset & equipment investment

When outsourcing services to a KPO, you can save on office space and equipment costs. No need for extra hardware or high investment in real estate and tech equipment.

4. Better use of resources

Additionally, you can utilize your own resources in other activities or processes when you outsource certain services. For instance, you may invest in workflow automation to support your employees’ productivity and efficiency, or chatbot services to boost your customer service efforts.

BPO vs. KPO

So, what is the difference between BPO and KPO? Here are some key differences:

Skills needed: BPOs are less complex and require low-level skills, while KPOs are more complex and need analytic and technical skills.

Level of expertise needed: Employees working at a business process outsourcing service need basic professional expertise, while those at a knowledge process outsourcing service need advanced and specialized expertise.

Types of tasks: BPOs focus on administrative tasks while KPOs focus on analytic and more complex tasks.

Offerings: BPOs are all about efficiency and streamlining processes; based on a set process and rules. KPOs provide professional expertise and knowledge.

Day-to-day: Call center BPO employees may have a standard, monotonous routine designed to reach targets. KPO employees, on the other hand, offer specialized insights (such as forecasts) and may work directly with the client.

Related: Call Center Trends [2021]

Is Call Center Offshoring Right for You?

Depending on the size and needs of your business, a combination of onshore call center and offshore call center services may be a better choice. This way, you still have control over your own call center. Additionally, you can take advantage of virtual call center software to utilize the same tools and features that call centers use. And you will have the backup support of offshore centers as well. To learn more, speak with our experts at 1 (888) 908 6171.

What is Virtual Voicemail & How Does It Work?

When looking for a convenient way to manage your phone calls, you may have come across the term “virtual voicemail.” But how does it work and what are the benefits of using an online voicemail service? Read on to learn more.

Virtual Voicemail: Definition & Benefits

Voicemail is a virtual number feature that enables users to receive voicemails online in the form of an email addresses. Virtual voicemails are stored in the cloud. By doing so, you and your teams can access voicemails from your phone, work computer, or laptop and store them for future use.

1. Get Voicemails the Way You Want it

So, how does virtual voicemail work? There are a few different ways virtual voicemail functions. However the most common is the email forwarding feature. This feature forwards voicemails directly to your email or even two email addresses listed on your account.

Users that have access to these emails can access the voicemail through their email inbox on their phone, office computer, home laptop, etc. Some providers not only forward the voicemail to the inbox but also provide a transcript or voicemail preview. This is also known as transcription.

Visual voicemail lets you “see” voicemail messages so that you can identify and focus on messages with the highest priority. Not all voicemails may be important. Scanning them can help you prioritize your actions.

virtual voicemail

2. Access Voicemails Anywhere

Most businesses struggle with voicemails as they receive hundreds of messages per day along with the regular call traffic. However, customers who leave voicemails usually have a sole purpose. Most likely, it is because they have an important issue or inquiry. Losing these messages or not paying equal attention to them may cost you valuable customers.

By using a virtual voicemail feature, ensure that your team can access important and urgent voicemails from anywhere. Virtual voicemails come with an audio attachment and transcript or preview. This lets your team know what the message is about and determine how quickly they need to respond.

3. Utilize Cloud Storage

A voicemail inbox can only store so many messages at a time. However, if your business has been operating for years and has long-term customers, then you will want to save any and all documentation of customer interaction.

Here is where cloud storage proves useful. Save your virtual voicemail messages online and store them for longer periods of time. Additionally, since they are stored in the cloud, if your device or equipment changes, you will still have access to these messages.

Get Voicemail to Email with Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding’s Voicemail to Email feature lets you access and manage voicemail messages when it is most convenient for you. Additionally, by going virtual, you can enable customers to interact with your business 24/7. This is because their voicemail gets forwarded to your email where there is no limit. Get voicemail to email with any of our virtual phone number plans and adjust settings through your control panel to suit your individual needs. Sign up today on our homepage or call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more!

5 Ways to Leverage Time-Based Routing for Global Expansion

Improve your business’ reach and connect with more customers globally with time-based routing. Use this feature to make your business more accessible and to conduct operations in a flexible and reliable manner.

5 Ways to Use Time-Based Routing to Grow Globally

Time-based routing — also known as time of day routing — is a call routing or forwarding feature based on the time customers or business contacts call your business. You can set various call forwarding rules to best suit your business’ communication needs.

For example, with time of day routing, you can forward incoming calls during specific times of the day or days of the week to different numbers, lines, or devices. And so, send incoming calls during specific time periods to your satellite office, home phone, VoIP number, voicemail, or smartphone.

Here are 5 ways you can use time of day routing for global expansion.

1. Expand to New Regions & Time Zones

Part of running an international company or expanding globally means that your business will have customers in different regions and time zones. This means that you need to be available for sales and customer support during these regions’ peak hours. Which, for some companies, depending on their global reach, means being available at all hours.

Time-based routing can help you route calls to satellite offices in these regions during their peak hours and then back to another location during their peak hours. This way, your business is available for its clientele whenever they need you.

2. BPO & Off-Shore Team Management

Most businesses that want to expand their reach globally choose business process outsourcing or BPOs to conduct standard business princesses and functions and ensure the continuity of operations overseas. Generally, these services include:

  • Sales and lead generation
  • Customer service
  • Accounting and payroll
  • Human resources

With time of day routing, you can have better control over your BPO and off-shore team management. For instance, have calls routed to these services during specific times of the day when the call traffic at your business is high or during off-hours.

3. Remote & Distributed Team Management

Time of day routing is also useful for businesses that have remote workers and distributed teams. Call management is made easy with this feature as you can have calls sent to these remote workers no matter where they are located.

Additionally, you can easily add or remove users to/ from specific ring groups. You can manage and keep track of your distributed teams with this simple functionality.

4. Flexibility for Entrepreneurs & Solopreneurs

Solopreneurs and small business owners need good call management to ensure they are not overwhelmed by customer calls. For this reason, time-based routing can help entrepreneurs decide which times to be active via phone and when to let calls go to voicemail or outsourcing services.

Maybe a tech solopreneur wants to accept calls only between 12 pm and 2:30 pm. For the rest of the day, calls can be forwarded to voicemail or remote offices, as needed. This way, time-based routing ensures business owners more flexibility so they can continue to focus on the product and service development or marketing efforts.

5. Work from Anywhere!

Lastly, time of day routing frees users to work from anywhere. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure or need to relocate, etc., simply have incoming calls sent to your location during time periods convenient for both you and your customers.

Leverage Time-Based Routing And Succeed Globally

If you are ready to expand globally with convenience and ease, time of day routing can be a highly beneficial tool. Get time-based routing when you sign up for any virtual phone number plan with Global Call Forwarding. You can set and adjust time of day settings for your calls as and when needed. Everything can be managed through your online control panel and go into effect immediately. Sign up on our website or call us today to learn more!

Virtual Call Center Software: A Complete Guide [2021]

Virtual call center software can help you expand your business’ reach, attract and retain more customers, and improve your outbound calling strategy. And it does all of this while keeping your monthly bill low. Here is a comprehensive guide to virtual call center software, it’s benefits, and how to choose the perfect type for your needs.

What is Virtual Call Center Software?

Virtual call center software helps connect agents and employees from different locations or offices. Such a software makes remote working and work-from-home a possibility. Virtual call center software generally uses VoIP technology and virtual phone numbers to enable inbound and outbound calling regardless of agents’ locations.

Voice over IP technology makes it possible to send voice and video messages through the internet. This way, you are not bound to your landline and location to make and place calls. As long as you have an internet connection, you can route calls to any device of your choice (smartphone, computer, laptop, tablet, etc).

With this ability, your call center and its agents can operate from anywhere in the world while still offering high quality service.

Call Center Software: On-Premise vs Virtual

So, why should you consider a virtual call center software instead of an on-premise call center software? Here is a table to highlight the key advantages of going virtual instead of on-premise:

Virtual On-Premise
Location needs Call can be placed and answered from any location Calls can be placed and answered from the main office only
Scalability Flexible Static
Hiring Flexible In-house IT team required
Office expenses Low to zero costs due to remote working and telecommuting Office space, desks, chairs, laptops, computers, desk phones, etc.
Agent turnover rate Low agent turnover rate 30-45% agent turnover rate (US)
Communication features Access to virtual communication features in one platform; call recording, outbound calling, automated IVR, etc. Limited access to communication features; call transfer, extensions, voicemail, etc.

Elements of a Virtual Call Center Software

What does a virtual call center software offer users? The purpose of a virtual or cloud-based software is to create and maintain reliable connections from any location. Here are some key elements of a virtual call center software:

1. Handle Calls from Any Location
With such a software, your business is accessible from any location and is not limited to one specific geographical area. Remote workers and traveling agents will benefit from this the most. Additionally, if you have employees in different states or countries, you can offer customer support to more time zones. Customers in those states and countries can receive service during the times most convenient for them.

2. Offer Global Support
With virtual phone numbers, you can get local or international toll free phone numbers for more than 170 countries across the world. This way, you can offer your services to more businesses beyond your state and country and increase profits. And if you hire agents in these areas, they can offer real-time support to locals.

3. Use Outbound Calling to Connect with Local and International Customers
Outbound calling is a service that uses VoIP technology to enable local and long-distance calling for inexpensive rates. Instead of paying international calling fees, you will be paying your monthly subscription. Furthermore, with the dynamic caller ID feature, outbound calls can display specific local or toll free numbers to increase the chances of recipients answering or returning calls.

4. Use Automatic and Intelligent Call Routing
Use an interactive voice response or IVR system to route and direct calls based on a variety of rules or strategies. This way, incoming calls move to the right department or employee, saving time and improving the caller experience.

5. Record Business Calls
A cloud-based call recording software is capable of recording up to 100% of all incoming and outgoing calls. Depending on the type of business you run, you can use these recordings to:

  • Train new employees
  • Conduct performance reviews
  • Define company standards
  • Protect against business or personal liability
  • Resolve misunderstandings, and so on

6. Improve Customer Experience and Satisfaction
Excellent customer experience is extremely crucial to your business’ overall growth. If current customers aren’t happy with the service they receive, they will look for a better service elsewhere. It is therefore recommended to use a virtual call center software with advanced communication tools to enhance caller experience. Such a software can help reduce wait times, transfer callers to the right department, offer 24/7 customer service through different channels, and more.

7. Keep Track of Important KPIs
The best way to manage call center performance is by tracking relevant key performance indicators (KPIs). Call center KPIs include:

  • Average response time
  • Average handle time
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
  • First call resolution (FCR)
  • Percent of abandoned calls, and more

These KPIs can help you, as the manager, identify how each agent or employee is performing and where they need to improve.

8. Offer Multi-Channel and 24/7 Customer Support
The most attractive feature of virtual call center software is its ability to offer not only voice but other forms of communication as well. You can offer phone, email, live chat, troubleshooting help via IVR, and more. With live chat, chatbots, and an informative IVR system, you can also provide customer support 24/7 by routing calls to different offices or by using pre-recorded and automated messages to assist callers/users.

5 Top Reasons to Switch to Virtual Software

A virtual call center software offers a wide range of features to enhance business communications. And it does so without increasing hardware costs. Here are the reasons why your business should consider getting such a software:

1. Greater Efficiency and Lower Costs
Virtual call center software does not include excessive hardware or installation. Plus, you do not need a specialized IT team in-house to maintain the system. Furthermore, since it works virtually, you can choose to have a small office space and have employees work from home or remotely. All of this helps cut down costs while maintaining efficiency and productivity.

2. Offer Work-From-Home Flexibility
You can offer employees the option to work from home. This broadens your hiring pool and helps you expand not just your staff but your business’ reach. You can have multiple remote workers in different time zones and offer extended customer service hours. Additionally, with growing work-from-home trends, you’ll be providing your employees with a flexible and comfortable work lifestyle that helps with retention and motivation.

3. Set Up New Centers Quickly with Low Costs
Furthermore, if you want to add or set up new centers, you do not have to worry about getting new phone lines or purchasing additional hardware. You can set up new offices quickly and simply have calls routed to the new location, keeping your existing numbers and lines.

4. Gain Access to a Multitude of Virtual Communication Features
With virtual call center software, you have access to voice calls, video conferencing, SMS/instant messaging capabilities, and more. This gives you the opportunity to offer better customer service in ways that customers and prospects will appreciate.

5. Improve Employee/Agent Satisfaction
Finally, with easy-to-use software and flexible work options, you will be increasing employee/agent satisfaction. This is essential to training call center agents and motivating them to continue to do a good job.

How to Choose the Ideal Virtual Call Center Software?

When choosing the perfect call center, consider the following factors and look for a virtual call center software that:

1. Is Easy to Set Up and Use
When researching various software and virtual phone system providers, pay attention to the software’s ease-of-use. Is it too complex? Would the complexity hinder use and performance? Global Call Forwarding’s virtual communication system is quick to set up and use. You don’t have to worry about extra hardware to purchase or install. And you can train new employees to use the software within minutes.

2. Comes Equipped with Relevant Features
Virtual communication features are an important aspect of any virtual call center software. However, not all features may be relevant to your needs. Determine what features you need and which would be good additions. We offer the following features:

  • Multiple virtual phone number types (toll free, local, and international numbers)
  • Call forwarding and routing options
  • Call recording
  • Outbound calling (with dynamic caller ID)
  • Interactive voice response (IVR system)
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Call transfer
  • SIP trunking, and more.

3. Helps You Cut Down Communication Costs
With a VoIP phone system, you can cut down on costs while still expanding your business and entering it in international markets. Therefore, look for a software provider that can give you the global reach you desire. List down the cities, markets, and areas you want to target and find a provider that offers you communication solutions for these areas within a reasonable budget.

4. Offers Reliable and Quality Service
Additionally, you want to choose a provider that has had some experience and credibility in the industry. See how long providers have been in the market and what customer reviews and testimonials are saying about the service. Is this a service you can rely on? If you’re not sure, can you easily get out of the service or is it contract-based?

5. Has a 24/7 Customer Support
Finally, look for a provider that offers 24/7 customer support, whether it is phone, email, live chat, trouble tickets, or an online knowledge base to assist you with issues. A provider should be easily accessible and reachable whenever you need them.

Get Virtual Communication Solutions with Global Call Forwarding

Want to learn about our virtual call center software solutions? Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online to see how we can help improve your business phone system today.

Call Center Best Practices: 20 Proven Tips for 2021

Call centers are everywhere and if you want to up your game and become a reliable call center, then you need to make some changes. Here we outline 20 proven tips and call center best practices to help you grow positively.

Call Center Best Practices: Proven Tips for 2021

The following list of best practices for call centers is meant to help you enhance the way agents interact with customers as well as improve overall call center productivity.

1. Focus on Customer Experience

Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance when considering call center best practices. This includes good product development, offering satisfactory customer service, and improving customer experience. Customers interact with your business through different mediums: website, chat, phone, email, etc. Ensure that their experience on all these channels is acceptable and excellent. Some ways to do so include:

  • Reducing wait times
  • Solving issues quickly
  • Offering multi-channel support
  • Responding quickly and effectively

2. Track Call Center KPIs

In order to make sure that your call center is performing as per your standards, it is important to track progress through metrics or call center KPIs such as:

  • Average Time in the Queue
  • Average Handle Time
  • First Call Resolution
  • Average Response Time
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Average Number of Calls
  • Abandonment Rates
  • Occupancy Rates

Watching these metrics can help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses within your call center. Then based on this information, you can train employees to better meet the company’s standards and mission.

3. Train Agents Effectively

This one goes without saying. Training agents is a must. Do not just assume that newcomers who have worked in other call centers will do their jobs as you desire. Train them for your company’s specific needs and goals. Furthermore, they may not be familiar with your management systems, technology, or software. Use webinars, guides, workshops, etc., to help employees understand how processes work and how to achieve goals set by the company.

4. Reduce Agent Turnover Rates

Agent turnover rate refers to the percent of agents quitting a call center. This is an important KPI to track because it is better to retain your agents than constantly hire new agents. Understand that working in a call center can be monotonous with little to no reward. At times, agents may even feel overburdened or unable to achieve goals set for them. Taking care of your employees is extremely crucial to reducing agent turnover rates and increasing the chances of good customer satisfaction rates. After all, happy employees lead to happy customers.

5. Consider Work-from-Home

Work-from-home as an employment option is growing more popular. And with advancements in VoIP technology, it is now possible to work from a call center from the comfort of one’s home. Being able to offer this option can help employees save on commuting costs while providing them with flexibility. This in turn helps reduce agent turnover rates. Plus, it helps your call center offer jobs beyond your immediate location. This way, you can hire agents in different states and even different countries, making your call center more geographically accessible.

6. Invest in the Right Virtual Call Center Software

Virtual call center software supports on-premise as well as virtual call centers. It comes with a variety of features that help your employees manage calls better and produce desirable results. Common virtual call center software features include:

  • Call forwarding and routing options based on location, time, skills, agent history, customer history, etc.
  • Inbound/outbound call recording
  • Interactive voice response
  • Extensions and call transfer abilities
  • Access to virtual phone numbers (toll free, local, international, universal toll free numbers)
  • Outbound calling with web dialers and dynamic caller IDs
  • Black and white lists
  • SIP trunking to enable voice and video transmission over the internet
  • Simultaneous ringing, and much more

7. Consider Workforce Optimization Solutions

Workforce optimization (WFO) software can ensure workforce satisfaction and productivity. With workforce optimization solutions, you can track quality and performance. All of this helps you manage your workforce better in ways that are beneficial to you as well as your employees.

8. Record Business Calls

Recording and reviewing business calls can assist managers in studying how their agents are performing. You may choose to review failed calls to see what went wrong or successful calls to see what went right. Managers can even review early recordings of a newly hired employee to help them with ways to improve their interactions. Recording VoIP calls also gives agents an incentive to do well as they know they are being recorded.

9. Use an Outbound Calling Service

An outbound calling service supports your outbound call strategies by making it inexpensive and easy to connect with local, long-distance, and international customers. Such a virtual communication service comes with a customizable caller ID. With this feature, you can choose which of your purchased numbers to display as the outgoing caller ID. Display toll free or local numbers when calling different states or countries and present your company as a local one.

10. Regularly Check in with Agents

One of the top and most commonly practiced call center best practices is to regularly monitor the performance of your agents. How are they performing? Are they overburdened or taking on too many or too few calls? How long are they taking to complete post-call activities? Are they struggling with the software or technology used? And so on. Checking in with them will help you get a better idea of how your call center is running and what, if any, changes need to be made.

11. Choose Easy-to-Use Software

Agents and employees at a call center will find themselves using a variety of software to track and store information and more. For this reason, ensure that the software you’ve selected is easy to use and learn. Agents should not have to spend days and weeks learning how to use these systems.

Best practices for virtual call center agents.
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#75940443 ID#27446420

12. Use Automation Appropriately

Consider using automated IVR systems to appropriately distribute incoming calls. This ensures callers receive help from the right department or agent. It can also be used to equally distribute calls among agents so that no one employee is over- or under-burdened. Calls can be routed under different rules such as:

  • Location-based routing — based on where the call is coming from
  • Time-based routing — based on the time of day of the call
  • Skill-based routing — based on agent skills needed
  • Least occupied routing — routes calls to agents who have answered the least amount of calls
  • Regular routing — routes calls down a predetermined list of agents
  • Simultaneous routingring multiple phones with one number

13. Get the Right Project Management & CRM Systems

Project management and CRMs are necessary to store, track, and share important customer information in any call center. Find systems that work well for your needs. You may even consider free trials at the beginning to see which ones are most suited and easy to use.

14. Offer Real-Time and Multi-Channel Support

More recently, call centers are offering real-time support through multiple channels such as phone, email, live chat, trouble tickets, and more. In order to step up your customer service game, it is highly recommended to offer more channels of communication. You may even consider chatbots, online knowledge bases with guides to common issues, an IVR system, and more to offer callers and users quicker ways to resolve their queries.

15. Provide 24/7 Customer Service

Most customers also expect 24/7 customer service from a company they are doing business with. Being able to offer customer service whenever a customer needs it can greatly impact customer satisfaction and retention. Here is where multi-channel support comes into play. Chatbots and IVR systems can provide solutions to common issues or FAQs. Guides or knowledge bases only can help users resolve their queries on their own; it is best to offer a range of options to fulfill as many needs as possible. This way, even if an agent is not immediately available, they can get help another way.

16. Improve First Call Resolution Rates

First call resolution rate refers to the percent of calls resolved on the first try. As a call center manager, this is an important KPI to track and maintain. A good FCR rate implies quick and effective customer service. And this can directly impact customer satisfaction rates. To resolve calls on the first try, agents need to be well-versed in their knowledge of the product or service and possible issues that come up. Provide agents with easy access to necessary information so they can offer help quickly.

17. Use VoIP to Expand Your Team

A VoIP phone system or cloud phone system can revolutionize your call center’s communication. Such a system enables agents to work and stay connected from any location. It also gives you access to virtual communication features and software as well as access to a multitude of virtual phone numbers. All of this is possible while keeping your monthly bill low.

18. Collect Customer Feedback and Conduct Satisfaction Surveys

One of the most important call center best practices includes collecting customer feedback to improve your service. You can gather feedback through surveys via email, phone, IVR systems, SMS, chat, etc. Customer feedback is essential to understanding the customer experience. Oftentimes, even if you think your call center is doing well, there may be certain aspects you are overlooking and surveys can help highlight these areas. Develop your surveys based on specific areas you want to get feedback on and then use the feedback to make necessary changes.

19. Prepare Guides and Knowledge Bases

Create easy-to-understand guides and knowledge bases that can be used by agents as well as customers. You may choose to create two versions; one for agents and one for customers. The point of such guides or content that provides quick solutions and support is so that when the need arises, agents can help customers and at times, customers can help themselves. Being able to resolve concerns quickly is instrumental in retaining valuable customers.

20. Stay Open to Change

Finally, be open to change. Any call center manager worth their salt is open to feedback, criticism, and change. Change implies growth and you should always look for ways to grow and expand your business.

Put These Call Center Best Practices to Use

Now it’s time to apply these call center best practices and give your agents the support they need. While these tips may not prove useful to your specific business, choose the ones that are most applicable. For information about virtual phone systems and call center software, contact us at 1 (888) 908 6171 today!