chatIcon
Live Chat
Are you working remotely and need options to stay connected? We are here to help. [ Learn More ]
Home » Archive by category 'Learn'
44 industries that need great customer support

44 Industries That Need Great Customer Support (2020)

Customer support is essential for almost every business. This is because how you treat and serve your customers directly impacts customer satisfaction. And quality support helps you retain more valuable …Read More »

Customer support is essential for almost every business. This is because how you treat and serve your customers directly impacts customer satisfaction. And quality support helps you retain more valuable customers.

How to Offer the Best Customer Support

So, what are some ways your business can offer useful and relevant customer support?

  1. Hire the right people and train them well
  2. Focus on improving caller experience by understanding your target audience better
  3. Pay attention to the customer and adopt active listening
  4. Personalize and customize the customer experience
  5. Make yourself accessible by offering multi-channel communication (live chat, SMS, email, phone, etc.)
  6. Provide quick and easy solutions, and so on

Additionally, check out these helpful examples for quality customer support.

Related: 23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

Industries which Provide Excellent Customer Support

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) ranks businesses within their industry based on customer satisfaction and evaluation of goods and services. According to the ASCI, these are the industries which have been offering great customer support so far in 2020:

1. Cellular Telephones
2. Consumer shipping
3. Video streaming
4. Wireless telephones
5. US postal service

In 2019, the figures were different, with the following industries topping the list of excellent customer support. Companies in these industries must, therefore, continue focusing on strategies and methods that improve customer experience and increase customer satisfaction rates:

6. Breweries
7. Personal care and cleaning products
8. Food manufacturing
9. Television and video players
10. Soft drinks
11. Full-service restaurants
12. Internet investment
13. Internet retail
14. Household appliances
15. Life insurance
16. Banks
17. Cellular telephones
18. Financial advisors
19. Internet travel services

Industries that Need to Offer Better Customer Support

However, the following industries received low scores regarding customer satisfaction in 2019. Hence, companies in these industries must up their game and provide useful and resourceful customer service in 2020:

20. Internet search engines and information
21. Apparel
22. Internet news and opinion
23. Ambulatory care
24. Department and discount stores
25. Health and personal care stores
26. Cooperative energy utilities
27. Hotels
28. Wireless telephone service
29. Health insurance
30. Airlines
31. Gasoline stations
32. Municipal energy utilities
33. Investor-owned energy utilities
34. Hospitals
35. Internet social media
36. Fixed-Line telephone service
37. Video-on-demand service
38. Internet service providers
39. Subscription television services
40. Network/Cable TV news
41. Cigarettes
42. Newspapers
43. Pet food
44. Motion pictures

Companies Ranked for the Best Customer Service

Here is a list of companies with their industries that provided the best customer service in 2019, as compiled by ASCI:

Airlines:

  • Southwest
  • JetBlue

Automobiles:

  • Lexus
  • Daimler – Mercedes Benz
  • Toyota
  • Subaru

Cellular phones/Computers:

  • Apple

Consumer Shipping:

  • FedEx

Department & Discount Stores:

  • Costco

Digital Services (content & social media):

  • HubSpot
  • MailChimp
  • Buffer
  • Pollfish

Full-Service Restaurants:

  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Cracker Barrel

Furniture Stores:

  • IKEA

Household Appliances:

  • LG

Internet Retail:

  • Amazon
  • Shopify

Internet Search Engines:

  • Google

Life Insurance:

  • Thrivent Financial

Limited-Service Restaurant:

  • Chick-Fil-A

Specialty Retail:

  • L Brands

Supermarkets:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Aldi
  • HEB Grocery
  • Publix
  • Wegmans Food Markets

Newsweek, with Statista Inc., has a different list of America’s Top 10 Best Customer Service 2020. This list was put together based on a few factors such as quality of communication, professional competence, range of services, customer focus, and accessibility:

  1. Disney Cruise Line
  2. Neiman Marcus
  3. The Ritz-Carlton
  4. Edward Jones
  5. Chick-fil-A
  6. L.L.Bean
  7. National Storage Affiliates
  8. Embassy Suites
  9. Publix
  10. Beau Coup

Start Showing Customers Your Care Today!

Customers need to know that they are being valued and they can count on your team if any problem arises. You must make it easy for them to connect with you and resolve their concerns quickly. As you improve your customer service and experience, you will notice a rise in customer satisfaction. After all, happy customers equal happy businesses!

best customer service examples

9 Best Customer Service Examples for 2020

Customer care and support are essential as they can determine how well a company performs. If you are looking to upgrade your service, check these best customer service examples and …Read More »

Customer care and support are essential as they can determine how well a company performs. If you are looking to upgrade your service, check these best customer service examples and give them a try!

Best Customer Service Examples for 2020

From small gestures to quick responses to individual care, customer support can go a long way in securing valued customers and clients. Here we list 11 best customer service examples of companies that try hard to offer quality customer care and please their valued customers.

1. Amazon.com

Amazon has risen tremendously in the past decade. Almost every individual uses Amazon to purchase gifts, household equipment, clothing, books, and more. In fact, users tend to look at Amazon first to get products that may not be available in any other physical or online retail store. Plus, the e-commerce giant is quick to offer refunds and even makes the return process easy with multiple drop-off locations. This makes Amazon one of the top customer service examples to model your support team after.

2. Google

Google, like Amazon, has grown into a service most people use on a daily basis. From its search engine to Google phones, Chromebooks, and apps, to marketing and advertising, Google is embedded in almost everything we do. It is, therefore, necessary that they pay attention to how we use the service. The company is extremely accessible via live chat, email, and phone. They even have an extensive forum for common issues and frequently asked questions. This helps users get quick answers to their concerns and resolve them successfully. They also offer deals and discounts (and at times, even gift products for free) to valued and loyal customers.

3. Chewy.com

Chewy has been steadily growing and earning its place in customers’ hearts. The key is to genuinely care about the pets and animals they are providing resources for. If a customer is unsatisfied with a product, they are quick to respond with a refund and possible solutions or alternatives. All the while keeping the interaction friendly and empathetic. With pets, it is often possible that you purchase a product that might not work out. Having a customer support team to right that wrong in the easiest way possible can be a huge load off your shoulders.

4. Publix

Publix is another top pick from great customer service examples because they’ve been voted the “South’s Best Grocery Store” and selected as one of “America’s Best Supermarkets,” both in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, Publix has continued to care for customers as well as their own employees. Employee satisfaction is an essential key to good customer service. If your employees are unhappy, how do you expect them to translate happiness to customers? Publix has this nailed down!

5. Starbucks

Starbucks pays great attention to details and uses that to meet exceptional customer service standards all over the world. Each type of drink is uniquely made with a precise pattern and ingredients that are easy to imitate elsewhere. From specialty drinks to cozy store designs to even their own music profile on Spotify for customers who care about music, Starbucks has been innovating in regards to customer care for years and continues to do so.

6. Chick-Fil-A

The customer service team at Chick-Fil-A is known for being professional and courteous. In fact, in 2016, they were rated the most polite employees for always including the magic words “please” and “thank you” in their interactions.

7. Aldi

Aldi has won many customers’ and shoppers’ hearts over the years with their low cost, high-quality items, and selection of produce. Even though the store is a supermarket, it creates a personal feel that appeals to customers of different sectors.

8. Costco Wholesale

Costco is a favorite all over the United States. Their low prices, top quality, bulk purchasing, easy policy, and free samples make them one of the best customer service examples, easily. And these factors are the reason why they receive loads of new members every year while retaining the ones they already have.

9. JetBlue

JetBlue is considered one of the top best customer service examples because they use small gestures to make their customers feel valued and cared for. In fact, in the 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, this company was awarded the Top Customer Satisfaction Honor Among Low-Cost Carriers. From cheap cancellation fees to complimentary snacks, JetBlue makes an effort to take care of its customers and offer a worry-free service.

Why are These Customer Service Teams Successful?

The reason why these companies and businesses are mentioned in lists of top customer service examples is because they are doing something right. So, what are they doing well? These companies:

  • Are accessible through different channels.
  • Customize and personalize wherever applicable to make users feel special and involved.
  • Practice active listening and quick responses.
  • Study customer behavior and preferences in an attempt to serve better.
  • Provide self-service content and FAQs.
  • And are highly motivated to serve well.

Let us leave you with these questions to consider: Is your business trying to achieve these goals? Where do you see room for improvement? How can you enhance customer experience and service? What is the next step?

Related: 23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

cold calling tips

7 Cold Calling Tips to Close More Sales

Many in the sales industry ask if cold calling still works. The short answer is: yes, it still works but only if done right. Here are 7 practical cold calling …Read More »

Many in the sales industry ask if cold calling still works. The short answer is: yes, it still works but only if done right. Here are 7 practical cold calling tips that can help you generate better sales.

Generate Sales with These Cold Calling Tips

Businesses have been using cold calling for years to garner new customers and improve their sales growth. It is the most effective way to set appointments with relevant decision makers at your target accounts. However, while calling cold is easy it may not always convert into a sale, booking, or an appointment.

Here are successful cold calling tips that can help you manage these calls better with improved results.

1. Be Personable, Focus on the Prospect

Most individuals are not interested in being pitched to and may try to get off the phone as you try to make your sale. For this reason, it is important to develop a personable and human interaction at the very beginning of the call. Avoid sounding monotonous or reading straight off a script. Pause to ask prospects how they are doing. Try to understand their demographic and needs so you can present your product or service as a solution. Listen to their concerns or questions and provide easy-to-follow answers. Give them reasons to listen to your pitch and consider your product or company.

2. Follow Scripts But Don’t Be Robotic

It is recommended to stick to the script so you are not promising or adding anything that may cause an issue later. However, customize your interaction with each client. People can tell immediately if you are robotically reading a script and not pausing for questions. To avoid putting clients off, personalize the interaction by using their name, repeating something they mentioned before, and more. This will let them know they are not simply one of the million people you are speaking to and that their business will be valued.

3. Use Technology to Speed Up Processes

One of the most important cold calling tips is to upgrade the technologies used. Agents and employees performing cold calling in large volumes need the right tools to support their efforts.

Consider investing in a business phone service with customizable caller ID capabilities and a dialer. This way, you can override the caller ID to display a toll free or local number of the area being called. Prospects are more likely to answer a local number or one they recognize as local instead of a random number.

Use a web dialer to quickly place calls, save contact information and call notes, etc. A well-designed CRM to keep track of customer interaction can also greatly improve productivity and efficiency.

4. Be Respectful of Their Time

When contacting prospects, let them know you consider their time valuable. Start calls by asking how the client is doing. Let them know that this call won’t take long. If they seem to reject it or are busy, ask them when is a good time for a follow-up. Additionally, when booking appointments, instead of giving them a time, ask when would be convenient for them.

5. Make Calls During Certain Times and Days

One of the most common and oldest cold calling tips is making calls during specific times and days. For years, we have been told that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call, and it still rings true. Mondays and Tuesdays are important business days because people are usually planning their week, catching up on emails and updates, etc. They are more likely to reject calls during these days.

Additionally, you want to place calls during specific times of the day where they are more likely to pay attention to you. Studies have found the best times to call are between 11 am and 12 pm (before lunch) or 4 pm and 5 pm (as the workday ends). Calling early in the morning as people are scrambling to get to work will be more of a hindrance than a successful call. If you’re calling across time zones, we recommend using a world clock like timeanddate.com or 24timezones.

6. Always Follow-Up

Follow-up either by calling again or sending an email or text message. This follow-up can be to answer a question or query, to remind them of the upcoming appointment, collect feedback, or simply to check in.

7. Use Collaborative Language

Lastly, studies show that the use of collaborative language results in more successful calls. Use “we” and “our” language instead of “I/my” language. Make yourself appear as part of a bigger team. This can help build credibility and demonstrate your company as large and capable.

Try These Cold Calling Tips!

Keep these tips in front of your employees or refresh them in your next upcoming training. Experiment with them to see which works best with your product and service.

To learn more about Global Call Forwarding’s business phone service and how it can support your cold outbound calling efforts, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

call center web dialer

9 Ways for a Call Center to Use a Web Dialer

More and more companies (call center or not) are using a call center dialer or a web dialer to support their outbound calling strategies. The main reason is that this …Read More »

More and more companies (call center or not) are using a call center dialer or a web dialer to support their outbound calling strategies. The main reason is that this type of dialer can be used on any device and from any location. Here we will discuss what these dialers are and 9 practical ways you can use them to increase productivity and customer relations.

Call Center Dialer: 9 Practical Uses

A call center dialer is a keypad tool that allows your employees to make business calls through a computer or smartphone. Call center dialers and web dialers are not meant for call centers exclusively. Regular businesses that engage in outbound calling for sales or customer retention purposes can use this dialer to connect with local and international customers. Virtual phone service providers like Global Call Forwarding offer web dialers with their outbound calling service.

Depending on what type of company you operate, there are two types of calling:

  • Inbound calling: incoming calls by customers, prospects, and vendors usually for customer service and support.
  • Outbound calling: outgoing calls made by your team to customers and prospects to increase sales.

A web dialer allows you to receive and make calls from your computer or smartphone. This means that you do not need to invest in desk phones for every employee. They simply download a software, application, or browser extension. Most providers will offer a call center dialer with additional features such as the ability to save caller notes, update contact information, check voicemail, CRM integrations, etc.

Here are the top 9 ways your team can use a call center dialer to increase productivity and efficiency.

1. Sales and Lead Generation

Use the call center dialer to quickly contact various prospects on your sales list and generate new leads. You can store and update prospect information, notes on the interaction regarding whether they qualify, whether they are interested in the product, need a follow-up call, and so on. This way, you create a contact and the next time you call them, you have a history to build off of, and can quickly dial the number. Dialers are a call center favorite when it comes to calling large volumes of customers.

2. Increase Brand Awareness

Besides merely calling to make a sale or appointment, you can use a web dialer to promote your brand and increase visibility. Use market research to identify target audiences and demographics. Then, contact these potential prospects from this list and introduce them to your brand and its products and services. You can offer them a promotion or direct them to your website where they can learn more about the services you offer. This will help you get closer to target consumers.

3. Connect with International Clientele

Global Call Forwarding’s outbound calling service comes with a customizable caller ID capability. This means you can customize your outgoing caller ID and override it with a toll free or local number (of the location being called) previously purchased. Customers who receive such calls will see a toll free number or a local number and are more likely to answer the call. The main reason is that local or toll free calls are inexpensive compared to international calling.

You can get multiple international toll free and local numbers for countries across the world. With this service, you can call internationally for much cheaper rates and avoid paying long-distance calling fees.

4. Welcome New Customers

Use your call center dialer to welcome and verify new customers when they sign up or make their first purchase. This will demonstrate customer care as it shows that you value their business. You can verify purchases, offer to help them understand your service better, activate accounts, and so on.

5. Follow-Up on Recent Purchases

Check in with customers who made recent or repeated purchases with follow-up calls. Ask for feedback, how the experience was, or anything that can be done to improve the service. This too will display that your business cares about how customers interact with it. Your team should always try to improve customer service and this is one way to do so.

6. Reach Out to Abandoned Carts

Abandoned carts occur when an interested customer starts the check-out process but does not complete it. In other words, they abandon their cart and don’t make a purchase. Follow-up on abandoned carts with calls to identify reasons why customers may hesitate to purchase your product or service. Inquire how processes can be made simpler or help them complete the purchase.

7. Execute Customer Retention Strategies

Bringing new customers abroad can be more expensive than retaining customers. Having the ability to quickly contact important and valued customers can help you improve customer relations. Some good customer retention strategies include calling customers and prospects to:

  • Schedule new appointments
  • Set sales appointments at more convenient times
  • Remind them of upcoming appointments, payments, renewals, etc
  • Help reduce abandoned carts, and more

Keeping in touch with customers shows that your business is customer-focused and this will help you retain existing customers.

8. Raise Funds/Donations

Another useful application of a call center dialer is when your organization is conducting a fundraising campaign. You can reach out to members or prospects, present your campaign, and more through an outbound calling service.

9. Collect Customer Surveys and Feedback

Finally, a call center dialer can speed up phone surveys and help you collect feedback from customers about certain services, products, or interactions. Use this feedback to improve your overall service and offer better customer care.

Need a Call Center Dialer for Your Business?

Voice IP and web dialers can work together to give you the right tools to support inbound and outbound calling. Your business may fall behind if you do not take advantage of the right tools.

You can get a web dialer with our outbound calling service attached to your virtual phone number plan. Sign up today on our homepage or contact us for more questions!

What Is a Softphone?

What is a Softphone?

When looking for a new business phone system to handle your office communications, you may have come across the term “softphone.” Here we will discuss what a softphone is, its …Read More »

When looking for a new business phone system to handle your office communications, you may have come across the term “softphone.” Here we will discuss what a softphone is, its uses, and how your business can benefit from one.

Definition of a Softphone

A softphone is a software that converts a device into a phone that makes and receives calls over the internet. In other words, it enables any device such as a computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, iPad, etc., to place virtual calls. Add a headset with a microphone, a camera, and a voice over IP service, and you can even make and answer video calls through this software.

A voice over IP service works alongside a softphone as it converts voice signals into digital signals. And then transmits these signals from one destination to another through a stable internet connection. This is how virtual or VoIP calling is possible. Using VoIP technology makes it possible for businesses to stay connected and remain accessible from anywhere in the world.

Purpose of Softphones

More and more businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems for their business communications. Because of this reason, softphones are being developed to provide maximum benefit to users. What features come along with your softphone depends on your provider. Some offer extensive, advanced features while others offer basic ones. However, what features you need will be based on what you want to accomplish with your softphone. Consider these questions:

  1. Do you want to simply make and answer calls?
  2. Would you also like to set rules for forwarding and rerouting calls during off-hours?
  3. Would you like a softphone that complements your outbound calling efforts by providing a customizable outgoing caller ID option?
  4. Is it important for you to be able to update contact information and call notes within your softphone? And so on.

Most standard softphones will allow you to:

  • Make and answer calls
  • Transfer calls to different departments
  • Forward and reroute incoming calls
  • Set call forwarding rules
  • Call outbound by customizing your caller ID to display that of the region you are calling
  • Use call waiting settings
  • Call by dialing through a dial pad
  • Call with a single click
  • Update and manage contacts (name, phone number, email address, physical address)
  • Add important call notes that can be later referenced
  • Check voicemail
  • And more

Businesses That Use Softphones

So, what types of businesses can benefit from softphones? In other words, who uses a softphone? Companies that have the following services or business factors can utilize a softphone to increase productivity and efficiency:

  • Customer support teams
  • Sales and lead tracking teams
  • Call center services
  • Remote or multiple offices
  • Telecommuters
  • Traveling agents
  • International clientele or contacts
  • Businesses that need to record calls, and so on

Why Your Business Need a Softphone

The main reason companies are keen on using VoIP is its great cost-effectiveness. With a voice over IP service and softphone, you can:

  • Call internationally for lesser fees
  • Lower monthly communication charges
  • Work remotely or from any location with the same business number
  • Use advanced features in one platform

Get a Softphone Today

Are you ready to get a softphone to enhance and streamline your business communications? Global Call Forwarding can help! Sign up for our virtual phone number service and use our GCF Web Dialer for any device to make and answer calls through the internet. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to get started!

What is a Business Phone Number?

What is a Business Phone Number?

For any company, it is extremely important to build strong communication channels between potential customers and the company. A business phone number is one such reliable source. Here we will …Read More »

For any company, it is extremely important to build strong communication channels between potential customers and the company. A business phone number is one such reliable source. Here we will look at what business numbers are, the different types available, and how to decide what number is right for your company.

What is a Business Telephone Number?

A business phone number is a telephone number customers use to contact your company. You can get a traditional or virtual business phone number. The difference is that virtual business numbers enable you to make and receive calls over the internet as opposed to traditional phone lines. This way, you are not limited to one location — such as your office — to make and answer calls.

Virtual business numbers let you convert any device — computer, desk phone, desktop, smartphone, etc. into a business phone system. With these numbers, you can stay connected and accessible no matter where you are.

Such cloud-based phone systems provide small-large businesses with a variety of benefits. For example, you can get different types of business telephone numbers. And along with that, you can access virtual communication tools and call center-like services that can help your team improve the way it interacts with callers.

What Are the Different Types of Business Phone Numbers?

Virtual phone number providers like Global Call Forwarding can offer you a variety of business phone numbers to choose from. However, what type of number you need depends on what you are trying to achieve with your business. Below are the virtual business numbers that we offer:

1. Local Phone Numbers
Local phone numbers can help your company connect with local clients in a particular city, state, or region. These numbers are generally assigned an area code that precedes the numbers. Customers calling these numbers pay regular local calling charges. Plus it establishes your company as a local one, making customers more comfortable to connect with you.

2. Toll Free Numbers
Toll free numbers are used by businesses of all types and sizes for a simple reason: they increase incoming call volumes. These numbers are telephone numbers with a distinct 3-digit code at the beginning such as 800, 888, 877, etc. Calling a toll free number is free for customers, making it a highly convenient calling option. Improve credibility and make your business accessible to more clients with a 1800 toll free number.

3. International Toll Free Numbers (ITFN)
Each country across the world has a set of toll free prefixes and numbers. Virtual phone service providers can help you get toll free numbers for international countries, which is an international toll free number, allowing you to have incoming calls forwarded to a number or line you desire using a call forwarding service. This way, you can enter your business into international markets and provide customer support to individuals using your products and services in those areas.

These customers do not have to pay for calling your business. And since calls are forwarded over the internet, the international calling rates are heavily reduced.

4. Universal International Freephone Numbers (UIFN)
A UIFN is a singular toll free number that can be accessed by 45 countries across the world. Customers and contacts in these countries can call your UIFN business phone number for free. However, there are certain restrictions and dialing codes to take into consideration. Furthermore, unless you are conducting business in all these countries, a UIFN can prove more expensive than useful.

These countries include: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

5. Vanity Numbers
Vanity numbers are business telephone numbers with patterns, repetitions, or letters inserted to make them more memorable. Some examples are 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-FLA-BLUE, 888-455-4555, and so on. These numbers attract more attention and are easier to remember, keeping them in your target audience’s mind for longer.

Business Phone Features

When you purchase a business phone number from Global Call Forwarding, you gain access to an array of communication features that help increase productivity, streamline workflow, and build better customer relations. These are some of the top features and services we offer:

Multiple Call Forwarding Options
Forward and reroute incoming calls to different destinations based on your needs. You can have calls routed to your smartphone or home office. Additionally, with our Time of the Day Routing feature, you can even have calls forwarded to a different office location or remote employees in another time zone during off-hours or certain times of the day and maintain 24/7 customer support.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR System)
An automated IVR system answers calls, identifies the purpose of the call, and assists the caller. The system can do so by transferring the call to the right department or right agent or by providing self-service options for the callers to complete themselves. The IVR system can even provide basic information about the company and answers to common questions or concerns without getting an agent involved. This helps with freeing agents or employees up for more complicated calls. Learn how to design a customer-friendly IVR system here.

Call Recording Software
Record business calls to improve quality assurance by identifying successful and unsuccessful interactions. Train your employees with past recordings and use their recordings as a performance analysis tool.

Outbound Calling
Our outbound calling service comes well-equipped to support your local and international calling needs. Use our web dialer and customize your caller ID when calling long-distance and international clients and display a purchased local or toll free number instead.

Customized Greetings and Voicemail Message
Create customized greetings and messages for your callers so they have a personalized experience when interacting with your business phone system.

Click here for a list of all our features and services.

Get a Business Phone System Designed for Your Needs

With Global Call Forwarding, you get a business phone service equipped with all the tools you need to communicate efficiently internally and externally. Get a business phone number with us today and start building a reliable business communication system for your company. Still have questions? Speak with an expert at 1 (888) 908 6171.

get business phone number

How Do I Get a Business Phone Number?

Need a business phone number for your small business? Here is everything you need to know about these numbers and what to consider when purchasing them. How to Get a …Read More »

Need a business phone number for your small business? Here is everything you need to know about these numbers and what to consider when purchasing them.

How to Get a Business Phone Number

Business phone numbers are telephone numbers used by businesses to open communication channels between them and their customers. In other words, business numbers are used by customers to contact a business, either to inquire about a product or service or for customer support.

Getting a business phone number is a must as it is one of the first (and most used) methods an interested customer uses. Once a call is made, your team has the opportunity to convert the call into a sale and provide excellent customer service that makes the customer come back for more.

When creating your office phone system, there are a few things to take into consideration such as how to choose:

  1. What business phone system is right for you
  2. The type of business phone number(s) that will complement your needs
  3. What phones or softphones you’d like for placing and receiving calls

Choosing the Best Business Phone System

When you get a business phone number, it is important to invest in a business phone system that supports it. Choosing the right business phone system can be tricky if you do not know what is available. You want a phone system with call forwarding, recording, video conferencing, IVR systems, and more.

Most new businesses will first consider getting a traditional phone system. However, thanks to advancements in technology we can now use cloud phone systems that come equipped with multiple communication features and are more cost-effective.

A cloud phone system works through voice over IP (VoIP); that is, it uses the internet to send voice messages between two parties. This makes it possible to have multiple numbers on the same line, have remote offices connected through the same number, and more. No extra hardware or set-up is needed. You simply get a business phone number from a VoIP provider like Global Call Forwarding and start making calls using any device you want, anywhere in the world.

How to Choose a Business Phone Number Type

Next, you must choose a business number most suitable for your needs. VoIP providers like Global Call Forwarding offer a variety of options. However, the ideal number for you depends on what you want to accomplish or achieve with it. Here are the different business telephone numbers we offer:

Local numbers
Local phone numbers are phone numbers assigned to specific areas, cities, or states. They have predetermined area codes that distinguish them from other number types. You can get a local number for any city or state you’d like to establish your business in.

Toll Free Numbers
Toll free numbers start with a 3-digit code such as 800, 888, 877, etc. Large and established corporations have been using toll free numbers for years as they tend to generate higher incoming call rates. This is because calling a toll free number is free for the caller. A toll free business number is easy to forward to any location.

International Toll Free Numbers
International toll free numbers (ITFN) give you access to customers and contacts in more than 160 countries across the world. This is a good option for businesses looking to enter new markets and provide global customer support. You can have incoming calls forwarded to your main office or remote offices through an international call forwarding service.

Vanity Numbers
These are great examples of vanity numbers: 1-800-TAXICAB or 1-800-FLA-BLUE. Vanity phone numbers use letters or patterns to create a more recognizable and memorable number.

Deskphones or Softphones?

Once you settle on a business phone service, you need to decide how you will handle incoming and outgoing calls. VoIP calls need an IP-based phone from brands like Cisco, Panasonic, etc., to function. A softphone or web dialer enables users to make and receive calls from their computer, laptop, tablet, or any device that is not a traditional desk phone.

Get a Business Phone Number

Now you know how business phone numbers work and what is involved in using a business phone system. To get business phone service from us, you can sign up on our homepage or contact sales at 1 (888) 908 6171.

business communication

What is Business Communication?

The way a business communicates — internally or externally — is key to its success. Through communication, you can determine the strengths and weaknesses in your business and its products. …Read More »

The way a business communicates — internally or externally — is key to its success. Through communication, you can determine the strengths and weaknesses in your business and its products. You can also work with the necessary parties to improve quality and serve your valued customers better. In this post, we will discuss what business communication entails and how to better enhance it to align with your business’s goals.

Business Communication: Definition

What is business communication? Business communication refers to sharing information internally (within the office and its teams) and externally (between the business and its customers).

Effective communication in a business should be goal-oriented. That is, everyone in the company interacts and works towards a common goal. And this goal should revolve around creating better experiences for customers, thereby improving customer satisfaction and sales.

And so, communication within teams and departments or between management and its employees will generally include:

  • Making plans and setting goals
  • Presenting new business, marketing, and sales ideas
  • Making decisions
  • Compromising, as needed
  • Meetings with agendas and goals in place, and so on

Good and reliable communication systems can help increase a business’s productivity and organization. Unclear or miscommunication can lead to the core systems failing. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to pay attention to both internal and external business communication.

Different Types of Business Communication

A business communicates in two general ways: internal and external communication.

Internal communication

This type of communication is focused internally within business teams or departments. Internal business communication consists of different types of communication:

  • Upward communication — going up the organizational hierarchy such as from a subordinate to a manager.
  • Downward communication — going down the organizational hierarchy such as from a manager or supervisor to a subordinate.
  • Lateral communication — also known as technical communication refers to cross-departmental interaction between team members or coworkers.

External communication

This type of communication relates to any interaction or communication leaving the office or coming from outside the office. External business communication deals with interacting with customers, business contacts, vendors, etc. Examples:

  • Sales and telesales
  • Conducting market research
  • Obtaining customer feedback
  • Managing leads and prospects
  • Account management, and so on

Communication Methods: Ways to Communicate for Business

Like any other type of communication, businesses interact internally and externally either verbally or in writing. And so business communication takes place in person or face-to-face, through phone conversations, video conferencing, chat, email and SMS exchanges, etc. In broader terms, businesses generally communicate in-person or remotely.

Choosing what method of communication is best for your company depends on a few factors. For instance, written communication is good for documentation of ideas and actions while verbal allows for instantaneous and collaborative idea formation. Additionally, your communication methods would depend on where your business is located, its hours, how many people are involved, whether you have offices in different time zones (remote offices), and so on.

So what are some different methods that can be used for effective communication?

  1. Written communication — This consists of emails and mail primarily and can also include chat and instant messaging portals. Examples: Gmail, Outlook, Slack, Teamwork, Google Hangouts, etc.)
  2. Phone conversations — This consists of communicating via telephones, smartphones, or a cloud phone system where two or more people are actively involved and participating in the conversation.
  3. Video conferencing — This takes phone conversations to a visual level where remote teams can work more in sync through video, mimicking in-person meetings.
  4. In-person meetings — In-person meetings are every business’s most preferred communication method as they promote clear interaction and decisions more quickly.
  5. Web-based communication — This includes communication over web applications or a cloud phone system: email, live chat, virtual phone numbers, messaging apps, video-chat apps, and so on.
  6. Official documents — This refers to any essential documentation such as agreements, terms and conditions, medical records, and so on. Such documents reduce confusion, protect against liability and fraud, and provide clarity.
  7. Presentations — Presentations through PowerPoint slides or using other tools can come in very handy when presenting ideas, strategies, and even training to a large group.
  8. FAQs and content — This type of communication is externally-focused. Having a well-designed website includes providing informational and educational content and FAQs so web-visitors can find what they are looking for and witness your company’s expertise.
  9. Surveys and feedback — This refers to internal surveys studying how teams are working and customer surveys to determine how customers can be served better. The ultimate goal is to identify areas of weaknesses and convert them into strengths as well as opening up a communication channel between all levels of the office hierarchy.
  10. Customer-related — Covers customer interaction, support, CRM systems, reviews, etc.

Setting Up Business Communications

It is important to find the right business communication system for your company. Ideally, you want systems that you need and will use effectively. When setting up your communication system, keep these steps in mind:

1) Review your current business communication set-up and identify new goals.

Before reinventing your communication system, review the current one to understand its strengths and weaknesses. This will help you determine what to look for in the new system. Consider some common reasons why communication systems need replacement:

  • Low employee satisfaction
  • Low customer satisfaction or weak caller experience
  • Information being lost due to remote work or improper documentation

Then consider what your company’s goals are:

  • Low employee turnover rate
  • High customer satisfaction rate
  • Proper tracking of projects, documents, interactions, tasks, etc.

2) Consider how you want your core groups to communicate with each other.

Next, develop a structure for how your teams will communicate:

  • Horizontally (departments)
  • Vertically (between teams and managers)
  • Externally (between the company and customers, suppliers, partners).

In order to create this structure, consider:

  • Which teams need to talk daily.
  • Which teams need specific methods of communication. For example, do all teams need access to phones or direct lines? Or, do all teams need a project management system that documents tasks and projects?
  • How can managers maintain and report progress in a department? What tools might they need?
  • Can a forum or knowledge base be created to reduce meetings/interactions regarding basic elements?

3) Choose methods of communication suitable for your needs.

Based on the above analysis, pick from the communication methods discussed above that would fit well with your core groups. Then consider which methods are absolutely needed and which can be optional.

4) Invest in the right communication tools.

Some businesses start off using the most commonly-used tools such as Gmail, Outlook, Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Slack, Google Hangouts, etc. However, what tools are best suited for your company depends on what you want to achieve through them. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • If you run a small business, use a single tool for email, internal chat, and calendars that can be shared, etc. Using multiple platforms can lead to confusion and slow down important processes.
  • For external business communication, create guidelines regarding your brand. For example, editorial notes, tone of voice, etc., and make sure that everyone communicating externally is made aware of your brand’s voice.
  • Consider an easy-to-use and reliable VoIP phone system to keep remote teams well-connected.
  • You may even consider investing in virtual phone numbers that help you communicate easily with international customers.
  • Use cloud storage to secure and keep track of important documents.
  • You may even consider using a project management system such as Teamwork or Monday to keep track of projects and tasks as they move within different teams and departments.

How Global Call Forwarding Can Help

We can provide you with essential communication tools to boost internal and external communications. From VoIP to a variety of virtual phone numbers and communication features, we can help you build and set up a high-functioning office phone system that keeps you connected no matter where you or your teams are located. For more information, speak to an expert at 1 (888) 908 6171.

Singapore National Numbering Plan

Singapore Phone Numbers: The IMDA Numbering Plan Explained

The Republic of Singapore has one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. Its booming economy provides great potential for foreign investment. In this article, we will detail the …Read More »

The Republic of Singapore has one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. Its booming economy provides great potential for foreign investment. In this article, we will detail the different types of Singapore phone numbers that exist so you can find one suitable for your communication needs.

Telephone Numbers in Singapore

Telephone numbers in Singapore are regulated by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The IMDA created a National Numbering Plan. The National Numbering Plan describes how Singapore phone numbers are administered and managed. It also sets out the eligibility and assignment criteria along with application procedures for various number types.

The goal of their National Numbering Plan is to provide a level playing field for competition and ensure that the number allocation process in Singapore is fair and transparent.

Numbering Plan and Format

Due to its small geographical size, all phone numbers in Singapore belong to the same area code and are eight digits long. The formatting convention for a Singapore phone number is +65 NXXX XXXX. For example, the local hotline number for Singapore Airlines is displayed as +65 6329 7537. The toll free number for

According to the National Numbering Plan, phone numbers are classified based on their leading digit. Singapore numbers with leading digits 3 and 6 are reserved for IP telephony and PSTN service, respectively. Short codes are typically three or four digits long.

Other special service numbers, such as ITFS and premium-rate numbers, also exist in Singapore.

What Country Code is Singapore?

The country calling code for Singapore is 65. This means that when calling a Singapore phone number from outside the country, the caller should dial +65 followed by the destination number. While inside the country, callers can omit the +65 and simply dial the eight digit number.

The History of the Telephone in Singapore

Singapore is reported to be the first country in the East to have a phone system. The telephone was first introduced in Singapore in 1879. Since then, there have been tremendous nationwide developments. This helps enable such a small country to have such an advanced infrastructure and thriving economy. Some of the leading exchanges or service providers include Singtel and United World Telecom.

How To Get a Singapore Phone Number

It’s easy to get a Singapore phone number in just a few minutes. First off, we recommend choosing a trusted provider of business phone numbers within the country. Of the utmost importance is high voice-quality. In addition to voice quality, we advise that you do not sign a long-term contract. Our service, for example, is month-t0-month without any long-term commitment. There is always documentation required in order to get started, which is standard KYC procedure for any Singapore phone number provider.

Anyone can get a Singapore phone number, even if you’re located outside Singapore. People that want to answer calls in another country would, however, need to choose a provider with international forwarding capabilities. After choosing a provider, it’s easy get started in just a few steps. The best providers usually have Singapore numbers available for instant online activation.

Singapore Virtual Phone Number Pricing

Through our evaluation of the top phone number providers, we recommend that you choose a provider offering month-to-month service. Once again, it is important that you’re able to stop the service if the need arises. This is the monthly pricing that we found for phone numbers in Singapore:

  • Virtual Singapore phone numbers start at $17.95 per month.
  • Toll free numbers start at $27.95 per month.

Singapore Toll Free Numbers

Singapore toll free numbers are for businesses operating in Singapore. The formatting convention is 800 XXX XXXX. They have existed for years and continue to be in high demand due to their ability to attract potential customers. Customers do not have to worry about high calling rates when calling a business with a toll free number.

Additionally, individuals associate toll free or 800 numbers with established businesses, improving your company’s visibility and credibility. This encourages them to connect with you regarding product inquiries or customer support.

Benefits of Singapore Phone Numbers

So, what are the benefits of Singapore numbers? Here are some advantages when you get a Singapore number:

  • Expand your business to Singapore
  • Create and maintain a local presence that will benefit your business
  • Explore new markets and customer bases
  • Increase sales and lead generation in Singapore and
  • Provide local or toll free customer support
  • Increase your business’s professional appearance and improve regional credibility
  • Route calls to anywhere in the world via a stable internet connection
  • Keep your remote offices well-connected

Learn More About Singapore Phone Numbers Today

To get a Singapore phone number or learn more about how they can boost your business’ communications, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171!

9 Best Virtual Phone Number Providers

Top 9 Virtual Phone Number Providers [2020]

Choosing a virtual phone number provider can be a daunting task. There are so many service providers that exist in today’s market. This guide helps you navigate the best virtual …Read More »

Choosing a virtual phone number provider can be a daunting task. There are so many service providers that exist in today’s market. This guide helps you navigate the best virtual phone number providers in 2020.

What is the Best Virtual Phone Number Service

Virtual phone numbers are telephone numbers that route calls over the internet; that is “virtually.” VoIP services make a lot of sense for small and medium sized businesses. In fact, studies show that more than 30% of all businesses worldwide are using some type of virtual number service.

It can help businesses reduce telephony costs while scaling their communication systems. There are so many options available today that can expand the capabilities of any business phone system.

What Are the Types of Virtual Phone Numbers?

There are several different types of virtual phone numbers available from providers in 2020. We consider the most common types:

  • Local phone numbers: assigned to specific states or cities within a country
  • Toll free numbers: assigned to specific countries with a designated prefix; charges the receiver instead of the caller
  • International toll free numbers (ITFN): toll free numbers for international countries; best for businesses with global offices

Virtual phone number services are typically made possible through international call forwarding. This enables providers to offer number originations in a certain country while they forward calls to other countries worldwide.

Key Factors Considered in Our Evaluation

The most important things to consider when choosing a virtual phone number provider are service, quality, and reliability. First off, we recommend choosing a provider that has been in business for more than ten years. It is also important to choose a provider with a outstanding reputation for call-quality and customer support.

We evaluated the best virtual phone number providers based on more than twenty different factors. Here are some of the many factors that we considered in our evaluation:

  • Pricing: this includes the total pricing for virtual phone number service. We consider whether their plans are priced monthly or annually and whether services are billed annually versus monthly. Some virtual number providers also charge per user. Also, setup costs were taken into consideration.
  • Convenience: it is important to choose a provider that offers convenient ways to get numbers and manage your services.
  • Ease of Use: we always recommend choosing companies that have an easy to use control panel to manage service features.
  • Service Features: IVR is essential in today’s business environment.
  • Customer Support: service and support should be a company’s top priority.
  • Reputation: we checked the Better Business Bureau for complaints against companies in our list.

Who are the Best Virtual Phone Number Providers?

We have put together a list of 9 virtual phone number providers for your convenience based on features offered, variety of plans, set-up/cancellation options, etc.

*Note: Prices and information about the providers mentioned here are current and subject to changes.

1. Global Call Forwarding

Features:

  • Variety of virtual phone numbers: toll free (160+ countries), local, ITFN, UIFN, vanity
  • Mobile accessible numbers
  • SMS-enables numbers
  • Unlimited extensions for different departments
  • SIP trunking and VoIP phone systems
  • Call forwarding options
  • Outbound calling (customizable caller ID function)
  • Call recording (inbound and outbound)
  • Customizable IVR systems

Cost: Global Call Forwarding offers 5 different virtual number plans based on business needs: $12.95/mo, $23.95/mo, $78.95/mo, $158.95/mo, $248.95/mo

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contract: No; cancel anytime

Free trial: 7-day free trial for business accounts

2. Jive Communications

Popular Features:

  • Call management tools
  • Call blocking
  • Custom schedules
  • Find Me/Follow Me feature
  • Integrations
  • Unlimited SMS and messaging

Cost: Contact a Jive representative

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contracts: No; cancel anytime

Free trial: First month free

3. Talkroute

Popular Features:

  • Toll free, local, vanity numbers
  • Outbound calls
  • Interactive voice response (IVR)
  • Call Logs and Reports
  • Single and multi-digit extensions

Cost: Talkroute offers 4 different virtual number plans: $19/mo, $39/mo, $59/mo, and $99/mo.

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contracts: No; cancel anytime

Free trial: Yes, 7-day trial

4. Vonage

Popular Features:

  • Call screening
  • Do Not Disturb function
  • Call monitoring
  • Voicemail (transcript form)
  • Integrations: Salesforce and Zoho

Cost: Vonage offers three virtual phone number plans: $19.99/mo/line, $29.99/mo/line, and $39.99/mo/line.

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contracts: No; cancel anytime

Free trial: 14-day free trial

5. CallHippo

Popular Features:

  • Local, toll free, and vanity numbers
  • Call conferencing
  • Call queuing and barging
  • Smart call forwarding
  • Simultaneous ringing
  • Call recording
  • Analytics and reports

Cost: CallHippo offers 4 virtual business number plans: $18/user/mo, $24/user/mo, $40/user/mo, and customized solutions with features of all the previous plans.

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contracts: No; cancel anytime

Free trial: No

6. RingCentral

Popular Features:

  • Unlimited calling
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail-to-text
  • Analytics and reports
  • Flip calls between devices
  • Call screening

Cost: RingCentral has 4 virtual phone number plans: $29.99/user/mo, $34.99/user/mo, $44.99/user/mo, and $59/99/user/mo.

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contracts: No, cancel anytime

Free trial: Yes

7. OnSIP

Popular Features:

  • Unlimited voice and video calling
  • Call recording
  • Website chat
  • Inbound bridge
  • Voicemail boxes
  • Polycom phones included

Cost: OnSIP has 2 virtual business number plans: $18.95/user/mo and $49.95/mo for each account + 2.9¢ per minute.

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contracts: N/a

Free trial: Yes, 30-day

8. Phone.com

Popular Features:

  • International, toll free, and local numbers
  • Call routing
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Texting services
  • Call management tools (call transfer and forwarding options)
  • CRM integration
  • Voice tagging
  • Ring-ready phones

Cost: Phone.com offers 3 pay-per-minute virtual number plans: $12.99/mo, $19.99/mo, and $39.99/mo. They also offer 3 unlimited plans: $29.99/mo, $37.99/mo, and $49.99/mo.

Set-up fees: N/a

Long-term contracts: N/a

Free trial: No, 30-day money back guarantee

9. Nextiva

Popular Features:

  • Unlimited calling
  • Unlimited video conferencing
  • Call recording
  • SMS
  • Mobile VoIP app

Cost: Nextiva offers two virtual phone number plans: $20/user/mo and $27/user/mo

Set-up fees: No

Long-term contracts: No

Free trial: Yes

Get Virtual Phone Numbers From a Trusted Provider

We can help you get virtual numbers most suitable for your business needs. For an efficient and smooth running virtual phone system, consider virtual phone number provider Global Call Forwarding. To learn more, speak to an expert at 1 (888) 908 6171 today!