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Hold time in a virtual call center.

How to Reduce Hold Time in a Virtual Call Center

Are customers abandoning calls because they are waiting in line for too long? This can hurt your business if not taken care of quickly. Here we will look at a …Read More »

Are customers abandoning calls because they are waiting in line for too long? This can hurt your business if not taken care of quickly. Here we will look at a few different ways you can reduce hold times in your virtual call center.

How Can You Reduce Hold Time in Your Virtual Call Center?

A virtual call center is meant to handle calls made to the businesses they represent and offer quick and reliable customer service. However, if your callers are on hold or in long queues, then they will take their business elsewhere. And that is not good news for your call center. So, what can you do to reduce hold time in your virtual call center?

1. Experiment with Call Routing Strategies

The most effective way to reduce hold times is to distribute calls effectively. If all calls are going only to a handful of agents, then they will be easily overburdened. Consider implementing different routing strategies that route calls based on:

  • The time of day
  • The location of the caller
  • Skills required for the call (language)
  • Caller history
  • A predetermined line or schedule of agents
  • Simultaneous ringing, and more

These different call routing strategies will help you effectively distribute calls, thus ensuring that callers receive service quickly.

2. Invest in Cloud IVR Tech

Cloud IVR or an interactive voice response system is an automated voice response system. This system is designed and customized by you to meet your specific needs. The IVR system answers an incoming call and provides the caller with menu options such as Press 1 for ___ and Press 2 for ____. Based on caller input, the call will then be forwarded to the next set of options or to a representative ready to help.

Having a cloud IVR system handle and distribute calls can ensure calls are sent to the right agent and not passed around. Furthermore, the IVR may even be able to assist the caller without the help of the agent.

3. Train Agents Effectively

Training agents is of utmost importance. Even if new agents come with some experience, it is essential to train them for your specific call center. That includes how to use software and tech involved, how to navigate to your support or knowledge base, how to resolve common issues, and what to do when they do not have an answer, etc. To learn more in this regard, check out our article about managing virtual call center agents.

4. Study Call Traffic

Another way to reduce hold time is to pay attention to the days and times when most calls come in. Identifying high call traffic periods can help you schedule more agents or route calls to remote agents as well during those times. Either way, your team can be better prepared if they know which periods will be hectic.

5. Consider Chat & SMS as Communication Options

While phone calls are still the most preferred option for customer support, there is a whole section of the population that prefers non-phone options like SMS, live chat, email, etc. Having an SMS and live chat option can help your agents multitask and resolve queries without keeping users on hold for very long. It is therefore highly recommended that your business invests in technology that lets you send and receive text messages and also offer live chat on your website.

6. Create a Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is an online support portal with posts meant to help current users troubleshoot common issues, learn how to quickly add new services, and other useful information. Most knowledge bases will teach users about:

  • Billing services
  • Adding new services or accounts
  • Managing their current account
  • Resolving common issues

Make your knowledge base easily accessible so that users can get to it quickly and agents can share a link to callers. If most of your callers can resolve their issues on their own, then you will have fewer hold times in your virtual call center.

7. Monitor Agent Performance

Lastly, monitor how your agents are performing. You may choose to join calls or record calls and review them. Track important call center KPIs such as:

  • First call resolution rates
  • Average hold time
  • Average time in the queue
  • Abandoned calls
  • Response time, and so on

These KPIs can help you understand how your agents are doing and which areas need improvement.

Get Virtual Call Center Software with Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding can offer you the tools you need to improve and reduce hold times and customer satisfaction. You can get cloud IVR, call recording, detailed call logs, SMS forwarding, and more with us. Call to get started today!

Set up a Virtual Phone System

How to Set up a Virtual Phone System?

Need to upgrade your business phone system? Thanks to advancements in telecommunications, a virtual phone system can help you organize and manage calls while expanding your reach. Follow these steps …Read More »

Need to upgrade your business phone system? Thanks to advancements in telecommunications, a virtual phone system can help you organize and manage calls while expanding your reach. Follow these steps and set up your business communications quickly!

What is a Virtual Phone System?

In short, a virtual phone system is just like a traditional phone system, except that it works virtually. With such a system, you can run communications from any location or device. You are not limited to your immediate physical location. Additionally, since communications are virtual, you can connect with long-distance clientele more quickly and with lower calling charges.

A virtual phone system is made up of:

  • Virtual phone numbers such as toll free, local, and international numbers.
  • VoIP or PBX set-up.
  • Features such as call forwarding, call routing, IVR systems, extensions, call recording, and more.
  • Online account management.

With a virtual or cloud phone system, you can keep communications running no matter where you are located. Plus, it facilitates easy communication between remote offices and employees. To get a virtual phone system, you need to sign up with a virtual phone service provider. Here are key steps to keep in mind.

1. Determine Your Needs

Before getting a virtual phone system for business communications, you first need to determine what you need from your virtual phone system. What type of connections do you want to maintain: just local or international as well? Do you need multiple toll free and international numbers?

Consider the various features virtual phone service providers offer. What features would you like your communication system to have? Do you need to record calls or a dynamic caller ID to display custom caller IDs?

Finally, what is your budget and how high are you willing to go? There are countless providers out there but you need one that can accommodate all your requirements and still fit your budget.

2. Research Virtual Phone Service Providers

Once you have a good idea of what you want from your business virtual phone system, start researching the market. Review various virtual phone service providers, how long they’ve been in the market, their pricing and list of features, customer reviews, etc.

Global Call Forwarding has been in the business since 2007 and continues the legacy of its parent company, United World Telecom, established in 1996. Global Call Forwarding has been offering toll free, local, and international numbers to businesses in more than 160 countries across the world. We also offer common and premium communication features such as call forwarding, IVR and extensions, call recording, outbound calling, and more. You can choose a plan suitable for your size and needs from our 5 plans.

3. Sign Up for the Service

Now, sign up for the provider that gives you everything you need at a price you desire. You can sign up for our service through our website or by calling 1 (877) 898 8646. Activate your service and start advertising your new number!

4. Set Up Call Forwarding

The main component of a virtual phone system is forwarding incoming calls to devices or lines of your choice. This is especially beneficial when receiving international or long-distance calls. To better explain, when you purchase an international or toll free number for a different country, residents of that country can call this number for local charges or for free. However, that call is routed through a call forwarding service to your office line, field office, or home office, as desired.

Therefore, if you purchase multiple numbers for different cities, states, and countries, then the first step is to map out how calls will be forwarded and where to. Route calls based on the location of the incoming call or the time the call is being made.

5. Set Up Features

Next, set up and organize the features you purchased. For example, create your custom greetings and voicemail messages. Map out and design your IVR system. If you have an outbound calling service, you may want to download the web dialer or outbound dialer that comes with your service and update it with current contacts and records. This way, you can start placing calls quickly.

6. Start Placing and Receiving Calls!

Now that everything is set up and ready to use, start making calls to local and international clients and prospects. And be prepared to offer excellent customer service to customers located in your target areas.

Get Your Virtual Phone System with Global Call Forwarding

Want to learn more about how we can help you build an ideal virtual business phone system? Reach out to one of our experts today and find customized solutions for your business!

ivr systems medical answering service

How to Create the Perfect IVR System for Your Medical Answering Service

As a business owner, it is your job to provide good and quality customer service to callers investing in your business. Whether it is hiring highly skilled agents or using …Read More »

As a business owner, it is your job to provide good and quality customer service to callers investing in your business. Whether it is hiring highly skilled agents or using advanced communication tools, you need to take the right steps to present your business as professional and valuable. Getting an IVR system for your medical answering service is one such step in the right direction.

IVR System: A Business Phone Solution

An Interactive Voice Response or IVR system is an automated voice response that answers calls before an agent connects. The system interacts with the caller, identifies the purpose of the call, and assists them by redirecting them to the appropriate department or by presenting more menu options. The IVR system uses pre-recorded messages and predetermined rules to do so.

Call centers and answering services generally have a large incoming call volume. Using an IVR system can help them organize and distribute calls so that customers are better served. This system can complete simple tasks and free up agents to focus on more complex duties. In some advanced cases, the caller may not even need to speak with an agent to get their query resolved.

IVR is one of the premium business phone solutions available to businesses in different industries. Virtual phone service providers, like Global Call Forwarding, offer a customizable IVR system along with their phone service plans. You can use this feature alongside call forwarding, call recording, extensions, etc.

Designing the IVR System

So, what is the best way to set up an IVR system for your medical answering service? Designing this system depends on what you want your callers to be able to do when they call your business. Before you create the system, map out the different options that callers will have and what actions you want them to complete without interacting with an agent. Consider these questions:

  • What departments will callers have access to?
  • How many levels do you want your IVR to have?
  • What actions can callers complete through automation?
  • Why should the caller be directed to an agent?
  • Would you like to distribute calls based on geographic location or language preferences?

If you have multiple office locations or want to cater to different language preferences, you can start by distributing calls based on geographic location and language. Then, you can move on to sort out new patients and existing patients:

  • If you are a new patient, press 1.
  • If you are a recurring patient, press 2.

The next level can then provide more specific options:

  • To make an appointment, press 1.
  • To request a prescription refill, press 2.
  • For our office hours, press 3.
  • To review our directory, press 4.
  • For queries regarding insurance, press 5.
  • For customer service, press 6.

Based on caller input, you can either have pre-recorded messages that provide the necessary information or direct calls to specific individuals specialized in providing the required help.

Why Does Your Medical Answering Service Need an IVR System?

Medical businesses use IVR for a variety of reasons, whether they are clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, clinical research labs, etc. It can be used to collect or provide information, process renewals and payments, and more. Your medical answering service can use such automation to:

  • Schedule appointments
  • Collect new patient information
  • Provide drug information
  • Offer company updates
  • Process payments
  • Record prescription refill requests
  • Perform basic clinical trial screenings
  • Register complaints and issues
  • Provide recall information
  • Collect feedback, and more

Organize, Manage, Serve

Global Call Forwarding offers IVR with every one of our plans. And this is because we know how essential such a system can be for the efficient running of a business. Our IVR system is customizable and can help you organize your medical answering service’s communications better. Sign up for a new business number, or port your existing number, and take advantage of the many virtual communications tools and services available. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 for more information.

how to find right toll free provider

How to Find the Right Toll Free Number Provider?

Choosing the right toll free number provider can be a daunting task. Learn what toll free numbers are, how businesses can use them, and how to find the right provider …Read More »

Choosing the right toll free number provider can be a daunting task. Learn what toll free numbers are, how businesses can use them, and how to find the right provider for your needs here.

Toll Free Numbers: How to Choose the Right Provider?

Toll free numbers offered by phone service providers make for an easy and free way for individuals to call a business. This is because calls made to these numbers charge the receiver instead of the caller. Large corporations and established companies will have a toll free business number as their contact number to encourage interested and recurring customers to connect with them and, by extension, promote sales. You can get a toll free number for the country you reside in. Calls made to this number from within the country will be toll free.

Virtual Toll Free Numbers

Virtual phone number providers, on the other hand, have more toll free number options. Such cloud-based providers offer numbers with an international toll free forwarding service (ITFS). This enables your business to get a toll free number for different countries spread across the world. Calls made to these numbers then get forwarded through the international forwarding service over the internet and are routed to a number of your choice.

Global Call Forwarding, for instance, offers virtual toll free numbers for more than 160 countries across the world. For example, your business enterprise is based in London but you have clients and customers in India, Mexico, Canada, the U.S., and the U.A.E. You can get toll free numbers for these countries, making it free for callers to call your enterprise. Calls are then forwarded to your London office for a cheaper rate than international calls usually charge.

Find the Ideal Feature Set

When thinking about which provider to go ahead with, consider the additional features and tools they offer. For example, do you have multiple offices working in different time zones? Then, you may take advantage of a time-related call forwarding service. Additionally, can your business benefit from tracking incoming calls to study where they are coming from, etc? Then, call logs and activity reports would be helpful. Furthermore, would you like to record business calls to see how employees are doing or to maintain compliance with regulations? And so on.

Global Call Forwarding offers the following features along with each plan:

  • Advanced IVR: automated voice response
  • Black and White Lists: to organize blocked numbers and accepted numbers
  • Call Transfer: manual transferring of calls between different departments
  • Customer Greeting: personalized greetings with company information
  • Dedicated Account Manager: account support to ensure smooth functioning
  • Failover Forwarding: forwarding calls to a set number of lines to ensure no call goes unanswered
  • Fax to Email: receive faxes in email format
  • Local Ringback Tones: plays signal tone of the destination the phone is ringing in
  • Simultaneous Calling: calls multiple lines and numbers at a time to ensure no call is missed
  • Time of Day Routing: routes calls to different locations or numbers during certain times of the day
  • Voicemail to Email: receive voicemails as MP3 files in your inbox
  • 24/7 Customer Support: to provide support and customer care

And, you can get these additional features:

  • Call Recording Software: record up to 100% of incoming and outgoing calls
  • Rollover Minutes: accumulate unused minutes to be used the next month
  • Inbound SMS Plan: receive texts from customers
  • Outbound Calling: call local and international customers with customizable caller IDs

Research Providers, Reviews Plans

Once you have an idea of what communication features and tools you want from your toll free number provider, research different providers and see what they have to offer. Compare prices alongside the quantity and quality of features offered. Most providers have free trials you can use to test the quality of service before you make a commitment. They will also have different plans based on different business types or sizes. This will give you a better understanding of how much time and money you would need to spend on the service per month.

Toll Free Numbers: Making Communication Easier

Toll free numbers are often associated with big businesses. Having a toll free business number will further solidify your company’s professional image. To learn more about toll free numbers and how Global Call Forwarding can help with your company’s communication system, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

Fingers dialing a number on a deskphone

How to Dial a UIFN Number

So, you’ve purchased a universal toll free number (UIFN) and want to learn how to use it. UIFN numbers are a good resource for businesses looking to expand internationally. But …Read More »

So, you’ve purchased a universal toll free number (UIFN) and want to learn how to use it. UIFN numbers are a good resource for businesses looking to expand internationally. But before we discuss how to dial a UIFN number, it is important to understand what such numbers are and how they work.

What are Universal Toll Free Numbers?

Universal Toll Free Numbers, Universal International Freephone Numbers, or UIFN are similar to international toll free numbers. They make it free for customers to contact your business, with the added benefit of using the same number in multiple countries. Businesses looking to expand their growth to cover more countries across the world will find a need for a UIFN number.

How this works is that the UIFN number is a unique number that can be reached from any country in the world. And so, instead of advertising multiple contact numbers for each country, you can advertise one universal number that is toll free, no matter where callers are calling from.

Countries Where UIFN Numbers are Available

Now, you can also request a UIFN for the 3 or 4 countries you want to connect with. Say, your business is located in the United States but you want to create a communication channel with Australia, Brazil, France, and Germany. You can request a UIFN for these countries and then add new countries — that is, new markets — while keeping the same number.

Only a limited number of countries participate and work with UIFN numbers but more are being added. UIFN numbers are currently available in more than 40 countries spread across the globe. A few of these are:

  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Costa Rica
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea South
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay, and more.

UIFN Calling: Regulations

While UIFN numbers seem like the ideal way to connect with customers across the globe, it is important to keep in mind that there are some regulations and restrictions applied. For example, certain origination countries may impose restrictions on calling abilities and the networks your customers can dial from. Additionally, countries have different prefixes that need to be dialed before dialing the 800 number. Some of the regulations regarding purchasing and dialing UIFN numbers include:

1. The UIFN number needs to be registered in at least two countries.
2. These numbers require a one-time set-up fee.
3. The number needs to be activated for inbound calls from at least two country codes within 180 days.
4. A different format is needed to dial UIFN. Customers will have to include a country code or international access code as a prefix at the beginning of the 800 number.

How to Dial a UIFN Number?

Now that you have a better understanding of how UIFN numbers work, let’s look at how to dial a UIFN number. UIFN numbers start with “800,” assigned to them by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). With this, customers from anywhere in the world can dial and call a UIFN number without being charged for the call. However, the format varies depending on which country is being called. The format generally is:

International access code (IAC) + 800 + 8-digit UIFN

And so, to successfully dial a UIFN number, customers need to know the appropriate international access code. Then, they can add 800 and dial the rest of your UIFN number. Always confirm with your provider what your customers will need to dial to reach you.

Now you know how to dial a UIFN number. But, as you can see, the process can be slightly complicated. Additionally, when dialing, customers may not recognize this number as a toll free number. They are typically more accustomed to 800 numbers or their national toll free number formats.

Universal Coverage with UIFN Numbers

If you want to expand your business globally and work with customers from different countries, then getting a UIFN number is a good place to start. You could also purchase multiple local access numbers for a cheaper rate. Customers are more likely to dial local numbers instead of numbers they don’t recognize. For more information call 1 (561) 908-6171.

Cisco IP Phone

Using Virtual Telephone Numbers With My Cisco Phone System

Cloud communication is the future. Making calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines can increase efficiency and reduce costs. To set a VoIP office system, you will need …Read More »

Cloud communication is the future. Making calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines can increase efficiency and reduce costs. To set a VoIP office system, you will need a VoIP service provider offering virtual numbers as well as an IP phone or a softphone to make calls from. Here, we will look at how to use virtual telephone numbers with Cisco phone systems

Cisco Phone System: An IP Solution

Cisco is a telecom company offering a variety of phone products and software to enable better communications. Paired with virtual numbers from Global Call Forwarding, you can build a strong office phone system that will support your internal and external communications. So, how do you use virtual numbers and VoIP service with your Cisco phone system?

Purchase Virtual Numbers

To use virtual numbers through your Cisco phone system, first purchase virtual telephone numbers from Global Call Forwarding. We offer toll free, local, and international toll free numbers for more than 160 countries across the world. You can get one or multiple numbers as you see fit.

To purchase numbers:

  1. Sign up for a new number on our homepage.
  2. Under “Select Your New Phone Number,” enter the necessary information for the new number you desire.
  3. Then, on the right, enter the destination number. This is where you want incoming calls to be forwarded.
  4. View rates and select one that is suitable for you.
  5. Add additional communication features such as Call Recording software and Outbound Calling.
  6. Complete your purchase and activate your number(s).

Make a Note of your SIP Information

Once your numbers are ready to be used, you will need to locate your SIP information to use later for configuration purposes. You will need certain information such as your SIP PIN number, the password, and the domain.

To locate the PIN number for your account:

  1. Log into the Global Call Forwarding control panel.
  2. Under Account Overview, select Outbound Calling.
  3. In the first column, locate your PIN number.
  4. Then, navigate to the right side and click on the Tools icon.
  5. A pop-up will appear.
  6. Scroll down to Password.
  7. Now, note your SIP PIN number and Password.
  8. The domain for Global Call Forwarding is mysipaccount.net.

Configure Your Cisco Phone System

A Cisco phone system is a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone system that, once configured, will enable you to make quick and easy calls over the internet. However, it needs to be connected to your VoIP provider first. Begin by setting up your device:

  1. Remove device materials out of the packing box.
  2. Connect the main desk phone to the handset by connecting its coiled cord to the “Handset” port on the backside of the desk phone.
  3. Then, connect the desk phone and the internet. Plug one end of the ethernet cable into the “LAN” port of your desk phone and the other into a port on your internet modem.
  4. Now, your phone is powered on and connected to the network.

The next step is to locate the phone’s IP address. This depends on the type of model you have. The most common way to find the IP address is through the Network configuration menu within the Setup menu on the phone.

Now, type this IP address into your internet browser and it should open up a Cisco webpage. Here, enter your Cisco login information. Check the documents included with the phone for the login and password. Contact the seller, if you cannot find the necessary information.

Once logged in, navigate to Basic settings and under Voice > Ext 1, enter your SIP PIN, password, and domain/proxy. On saving, your phone should now be compatible with your VoIP provider.

Using VoIP with Cisco Phone Systems

As you can see, the set up here is pretty easy and straightforward. Once you have everything ready to go, you can make high profile calls with high call quality and reliability. Build your IP office system and watch it increase efficiency and manage calls better.

4 Line Phone System

How to add Call Forwarding to a 4 Line Phone System

Businesses ranging from large corporations to small businesses must continuously improve and maintain good customer relations. Therefore, the choices you make regarding what phone system or multimedia channels to utilize …Read More »

Businesses ranging from large corporations to small businesses must continuously improve and maintain good customer relations. Therefore, the choices you make regarding what phone system or multimedia channels to utilize matter significantly. Setting up call forwarding for your office line is one such important decision. Whether your company handles calls through one phone or multiple numbers for different offices, call forwarding can help streamline call management and boost customer interaction. Let’s look at how to add this feature to a 4 line phone system.

Call Forwarding: Benefits for the Office

Call forwarding basically redirects incoming calls to a number different from the one dialed. This is convenient when you do not want to give out your real number. Or, when you want calls to be forwarded to different departments or offices at certain times of the day. You can move calls around in an efficient way to ensure no calls or prospects go missed.

Global Call Forwarding offers a variety of virtual numbers with call forwarding. Virtual numbers route calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines, making them a cheaper option. You can get a toll free number or a local number for a specific geographical location. Toll free numbers are free for callers as they charge the receiver. Local numbers have area codes for specific locations and this helps you have a virtual presence in a city or state without needing to physically move there.

Multi-Line Phone Systems

Standard phone systems carry audio between only two parties, that is, between the caller and receiver. However, multi-line phone systems, offered by Cisco, Grandstream, and other providers, allow multiple people to be on the phone at the same time. These lines can be 2 line or 4 line phone systems. You can set them up for internal communication between employees and colleagues or externally for customers.

Who Can Use Multi-Line Communication Systems?

Companies of any size can use a 2 or 4 line phone system to streamline and organize their calls. They can easily forward or redirect calls from one line to the next. There are different ways to set and organize multiple lines for your system.

choosing the best virtual phone system
Source: Stockphoto.com O#100001356953

With a 2 line phone system, you can have:

  • One line for home and one for business.
  • One line per employee and one for a fax number.

With a 4 line phone system, you can have:

  • Two lines for salespersons, one for toll free number, and one for the marketing team.
  • One line for customers in certain states, one line for local customers, and one for the remote team.
  • One line per department.

Let’s look at a few scenarios where having multiple lines on one phone system can boost communication.

  1. Businesses offering medical support, financial services, etc., will need to be constantly accessible to their clients. And so, having call forwarding set in such a way forwards calls to multi-site offices where someone will answer and help customers.
  2. One-person or small businesses, freelancers, and remote workers can use this service to protect their actual numbers. They can provide a virtual number which directs calls to their phone, without having to share their personal number.
  3. Restaurants and companies with high call volumes during rush hour or holiday seasons.
  4. Businesses with employees that travel a lot for work.
  5. Companies that want to provide around-the-clock service and improve their customer service.

Setting Up Call Forwarding on a 4 Line Phone System

Adding call forwarding to your 4 line phone system is easy and quick, and does not require expensive equipment. Just follow the steps below.

1)  Virtual phone service providers offer call forwarding and other communication features for businesses. We recommend Global Call Forwarding for its affordability and high-quality user experience.

2) Review plans and features: Choose a plan that fits your needs and budget from a variety of options. We offer 5 different plans based on business size and amount of minutes anticipated. Then, look at what other features you can add to enhance your phone system. For example, you can pair call forwarding with call recording, select country forwarding, interactive voice recording (IVR), or time-of-day routing.

3) Sign up for virtual service: Enter the necessary information on the sign-up page. For example, enter the type of number you want: toll free, mobile, UIFN, area code number, etc. Then, select the number you want from the options available. Finally, enter the destination number where calls should be forwarded. This could be your personal, office, or cell number. You can later go into your control panel and add additional lines.

4) Purchase multi-line phones: Purchase a desktop phone system that can run several lines. You can look at major phone companies for a device that works well for you.

Streamline, Organize, Control: Manage Your Call Volume Better

With a 4 line phone system and call forwarding, you can easily ensure that customers can reach your business at any time. Call Global Call Forwarding today at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more or to sign up for a virtual number with call forwarding now. It’s never too late to improve internal communication and customer service.

How To Get a Virtual Business Address

How To Get a Virtual Business Address

Companies with a global customer base need a local presence in the countries or states they are conducting business in. Customers need to know they can reach you easily without …Read More »

Companies with a global customer base need a local presence in the countries or states they are conducting business in. Customers need to know they can reach you easily without much hassle. Freelancers, on the other hand, hesitate to provide their home address as their business address in order to maintain a work-life balance. Additionally, a lot of official documents need a business address. So, what can you do to establish your virtual business as a professional one? This is where a virtual business address comes in handy.

Cost-Effective Business Address Option

A virtual business address is basically an address for a location separate from your business or home address. This location can be anywhere, depending on where you want to run or expand your business. Those who run a home-based company or have branches in other states or countries can make use of a virtual business address to establish a local presence. They are generally more cost-effective than renting an office space.

Who Can Make Use of a Virtual Address?

Companies, large and small, can utilize a virtual business address to expand and maintain relations in different markets globally. Enterprises/ business people that can benefit greatly from a virtual address are:

  • Small businesses
  • Start-ups
  • Solo professionals
  • Solopreneurs
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Freelancers
  • Companies looking to expand to other countries.

How to Get a Virtual Business Address

There are different options for obtaining a virtual address for your business. You can get a private mailbox or invest in a virtual mailroom or virtual office. Here’s an overview of how you can maintain mail through these options:

Private Mailboxes

You can sign up for a private mailbox at your local post office. Your address will have a P.O. Box number on it. Cost is usually less than $10/month for most places. However, the rate depends on the size of the box and the duration of use. It is the most cost-effective but has a few drawbacks. Private mailboxes cannot receive packages from other carriers like UPS or FedEX. You can also get a private box through UPS or Pakmail for a slightly higher price. These boxes do not have a P. O. Box number on the address and can receive packages from other carriers.

Virtual Mailroom

Virtual mailrooms provide addresses in a city of your choosing. A virtual mailroom scans and uploads images of your mail to a secure website. You can then decide to have the mail shredded, forwarded to your personal address, deposit checks, etc. Such mailrooms cost more than private mailboxes but offer more convenient services. Companies such as PostScan Mail and Earth Class Mail provide these services. Subscriptions for such services, depending on the type and volume of mail, start at $9.95/month and go up to $60/month.

Virtual Office

If you are looking for a virtual mailroom but also want access to office or conference rooms then a virtual office is the one for you. With a virtual office subscription, you will have the ability to meet customers, hold meetings, and therefore have a stronger local presence. These offices have live receptionists, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) systems, mail forwarding, and professional settings for meetings. And because of these facilities, they are the most expensive of the three with prices starting at $60/month.

Get A Virtual Phone Number To Go With Your Business Address

Now that you have your virtual business address figured out for your mail, it is time to consider virtual phone numbers for your calls. Customers are more likely to get in touch with you through your phone number than any other means of communication. This makes it highly important to invest in a reliable and resourceful phone service that can cover all your virtual needs. You need a phone number that has multiple lines and call forwarding to ensure no call goes unanswered. You can get a local or toll free number for the state or country you are interested in. Get all this and more with a virtual phone number from Global Call Forwarding. Sign up today and let us help you expand globally.

make iphone announce calls

How To Make Your iPhone Announce Calls

Want Siri to tell you when your annoying boss or an old friend is calling instead of searching for your phone as it’s ringing? Let’s face it, sometimes we don’t …Read More »

Want Siri to tell you when your annoying boss or an old friend is calling instead of searching for your phone as it’s ringing? Let’s face it, sometimes we don’t know where our phone is. Other times, we would like to do everything we can to make our lives easier. Having your iPhone announce calls is one more way to make answering your phone convenient. So, how can you make Siri announce calls for you?

Making Your iPhone Announce Calls

Apple is constantly trying to find easier and more handy (or hands-free) ways to use their devices. And Siri has been an invention for this purpose. One of the useful features that come along with Siri is having your iPhone announce calls. This feature came out in 2016 among more than 100 other new features for iOS 10.

With this feature, you will know who is calling you without having to look at your phone. iPhone uses Siri to announce the calls by saying their name out loud. For example, if John Doe is calling, the phone will first start ringing, then the ringtone volume will reduce and Siri will say “John Doe.” If Siri doesn’t know the name of the caller, she will announce the number. The process of making your iPhone announce calls is very easy. To enable this feature, follow the below steps:

make the iphone announce your calls
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#9135188 ID#27446420

iPhone

Step 1: Open “Settings.”
Step 2: Select “Phone.”
Step 3: Then, tap “Announce Calls.”
Step 4: Finally, choose when you want Siri to answer your calls:
• Always
• Headphones & Car
• Headphones Only
• Never

How Can You Use This Feature?

Now you know how to make your iPhone announce calls. But why should you use this feature? Assuming the caller is in your phone contacts, Siri will announce the name of the person calling you. This is a good reason to keep your contacts up to date so that there are no surprises. Otherwise, Siri may announce the number of the incoming call or tell you that it’s an unknown number.

You can determine in what circumstances you want your iPhone to announce calls. Set it up to always announce calls by selecting “Always.” If set to “Always,” Siri will announce the caller through the phone’s speakers only when the phone is in Ring mode. So, if the phone is set on Silent, calls won’t be announced.

Generally, when you are wearing headphones or using the phone hands-free, you can use this feature by selecting “Headphones Only” to let you know who is calling. This way, you don’t have to fish out or locate your phone to see who is calling. Select “Headphones & Car” if you want to answer phones hands-free when driving and when using headphones. Lastly, you can always disable the feature by selecting “Never.”

Customize Incoming Calls

Other ways to know who is calling you are through caller ID or by assigning ringtones to a caller. To set up caller ID functionality, go to “Settings,” scroll to “Phone,” and select “Show My Caller ID” and turn it on or off.iphone

To assign ringtones, open “Contacts,” select the person you want to assign a custom ringtone for. Then tap “Edit,” scroll to “Ringtone,” and select from a list of available tones. Then, tap “Save.”

Get A Virtual Phone Number for Your iPhone

Global Call Forwarding offers virtual numbers for more than 140 countries. You can get a local or international number for your business at a very reasonable price. Virtual numbers route calls over the internet to any device, in any location. Answer business calls on your iPhone, even when you are traveling for business. Sign up for a number with Global Call Forwarding today or contact us for more information at 1-(877)-898-8646.

Delete Google Voice Number

How To Delete Google Voice Number

Switching to a new phone service and want to get rid of your Google Voice number? It’s absolutely doable but a little complicated. However, by following a few steps you …Read More »

Switching to a new phone service and want to get rid of your Google Voice number? It’s absolutely doable but a little complicated. However, by following a few steps you can disable your Voice number and over time the number will get passed on to someone else. So, how to delete a Google Voice number? Read on!

Why Do Users Want To Switch From Google Voice?

Google Voice was launched by Google in 2009 after acquiring GrandCentral, the original owners of the service. Voice is a telecommunications service that works alongside existing phone services as a secondary phone number. It offers additional benefits of voicemail transcription, call forwarding, call screening, and SMS capabilities. You can use this number over different devices including laptops and computers, as this service works through the internet and a web-based application. You can download the Google Voice app from Playstore for Android phones or Apple store for iPhones. To access Voice on your laptop or computer, simply log in through its website.

While Google Voice provides all these useful services, there are a few limitations causing its steady decline. These drawbacks are:

Inability to make emergency calls: Users cannot make or receive emergency calls through their Google Voice number. For example, if a user dials 911, it will appear as an invalid number.

Limited international texting:

Users can send text messages to phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada only, but can receive messages from all over the world.

Call screening affecting call forwarding:

Users can set up Google Voice to forward calls from the Voice number to the desired number. However, when forwarding, if the desired number does not answer within 25 seconds, the call is rerouted to Voice’s voicemail system. This is Voice’s screening service where it provides caller information for users to decide if they want to answer or not. So, if the call is not answered in 25 seconds, it is considered unimportant and directed to voicemail, allowing little time to answer.

Delete a google voice number

Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#149139873 ID#27446420

No phone support for customer service:

Lastly, Voice has no direct phone support for customers who have queries or concerns about the service. Users can, however, find help through the Google Voice Help Center FAQ or Google Groups’ Voice forum.

How To Delete Google Voice Number

It is important to note you cannot delete your Google Voice account but you can delete call logs, voicemail, and text messages. If you are certain you don’t want or need a Google Voice number, you can disable Voice and then delete the Google Voice number. Since Voice has many pieces that make it work, you have to disable the different pieces in order to fully disable Voice. Let’s have a further look at how to delete Google Voice Number.

Steps to Delete Your Voice Number

Step 1: On your computer or laptop, go to Google Voice’s website.
Step 2: At the top, click on the ‘Menu’ icon and select ‘Settings.’
Step 3: You will be able to see your Google Voice Number here. Turn off voicemail by clicking on ‘Voicemail’ on the left and unchecking the box to ‘Get Voicemail via Message.’
Step 4: Uncheck other services you wish to stop.
Step 5: Enable Google Voice ‘Do Not Disturb’ on the left to stop calls ringing on your personal phones.
Step 6: Then, click on ‘Account’ on the left.
Step 7: And under your Voice number, click ‘Delete.’
Step 8: Finally to confirm, click ‘Proceed’ and that is how to delete Google Voice number.

Note that after deleting your Voice number, you will have 90 days to recover it. After 90 days, the number will be assigned to someone else. Your Google account will be accessible on the computer so you can listen to past call recordings and voicemails, unless you delete them.

Steps to Delete Your Text, Call Logs, or Voicemail

Note that once you delete texts, call logs, or voicemails, you won’t have access to them again. Additionally, you can only delete text messages one at a time. To delete texts, calls, and voicemails:

Step 1: Open Voice on your computer.
Step 2: Open the tab for ‘Messages,’ ‘Calls,’ or ‘Voicemail.’
Step 3: Select the items you want to remove by pointing your mouse over it and clicking the checkmark sign.
Step 4: Then, after making your selection, click on ‘Delete.’
Step 5: Confirm by clicking ‘Delete’ again.

Looking For A New Virtual Phone Service

In the market for a new virtual phone number for personal use or for your business? Consider Global Call Forwarding for your phone number needs. We have virtual, local, and toll free numbers in over 140 countries and aim to keep expanding. Give us a call today at 1-(888)-908-6171 or check out our website to see how we can help you with our cloud communications solutions.