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Reasons why a softphone is essential for your remote team.

6 Reasons Why a Softphone Is Essential For Any Remote Team

Managing remote or distributed teams can be a hassle. Ensuring that employees stay connected and are able to contact customers and answer customer service calls is important. However, not everyone …Read More »

Managing remote or distributed teams can be a hassle. Ensuring that employees stay connected and are able to contact customers and answer customer service calls is important. However, not everyone has access to the tools needed to make such a system work. Here is where a softphone can benefit your remote team.

How Can a Softphone Benefit Your Remote Team?

A softphone is a software that transforms any device (computer, laptop, smartphone, IP phone, tablet, etc.) into a phone. You can then use this device to make and receive calls over the internet instead of a cellular or traditional phone line. All you need to make this work is a headset, a camera (if video calling is needed), and a voice over IP service. Then, employees can connect with co-workers and customers from any location and any device!

Here are 6 reasons why a softphone is essential for your remote or distributed team.

1. Save on Communication-Related Costs

Softphones don’t need extra hardware or equipment to make them work effectively. And so, you won’t need to supply your remote teams with equipment. They can simply use their existing devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) to connect to your VoIP service and make and receive calls. This helps you save hardware, equipment, and IT costs.

2. Never Miss a Call, Stay Reachable

The best part about voice over IP is that users can stay connected from any location. And since employees and agents can use any device, they are reachable no matter where they are located. Plus, incoming calls can be forwarded to their number ensuring that they never miss a call. And when calling customers, they can change their outgoing caller ID to represent the company’s phone number instead of their own number. This way, their personal phone number is protected while they continue doing their job.

3. Maintain Productivity

A softphone gives a remote worker the ability to work at their own pace and from the comforts of their own home or local coffee shop. When giving employees the ability to work remotely, you cut down on commuting and transportation woes and give parents the opportunity to take care of their children while still being able to work. Remote working can significantly reduce stressors present in one’s life, helping them focus better on important tasks. Employees that do not feel burdened or stressed and can therefore do their jobs better, thus maintaining productivity.

4. Take Advantage of Advanced Communication Features

Softphones also give users access to advanced business communication features. The variety of features depends on your VoIP service. Most providers will offer the following:

  • Ability to make and answer calls
  • Call transfer
  • Call forwarding and routing
  • Outbound calling (with dynamic caller ID)
  • Call with a single click or by dialing through the dialpad
  • Access to voicemail
  • Ability to make notes about the call and the caller
  • Contact management

5. Support Your BYOD Policy

A bring your own device policy is a workplace policy that encourages employees to use their own devices. This is an ideal situation for remote workers as well as employers. Employers don’t have to worry about expenses related to equipment such as providing laptops or computers, etc. At the same time, remote workers can use devices and applications they are comfortable with. A softphone can easily fit into your BYOD policy as users can convert any of their devices into business communication tools. This way, they remain productive through devices they are comfortable working with.

6. Make Remote Working a Possibility

For many businesses, transitioning to remote-work is not easy. However, business VoIP technology and softphones make remote working or managing distributed teams easier. So, now, you can offer employees the option to work from home or hire agents in different time zones to get more global customers.

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 the GCF Web Dialer for any device to make and answer calls through the internet. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to get started today!

How much does an international toll free number cost?

How Much Does an International Toll Free Number Cost? [2020]

International toll free numbers can help you expand your company’s reach by creating communication channels between your company and interested customers in other countries and states. Here we will outline …Read More »

International toll free numbers can help you expand your company’s reach by creating communication channels between your company and interested customers in other countries and states. Here we will outline how much an international toll free number costs and what important factors to take into account when purchasing an ITFN.

International Toll Free Number Costs: Factors to Consider

International toll free phone numbers are toll free numbers for different countries across the world. Residents within those countries can call your ITFN for free while incoming calls are forwarded to a location or line in a country of your choice.

This enables your business to offer sales and customer support to international countries. For instance, you can get a UK toll free number and have calls forwarded to your office in Singapore.

How much an international toll free number costs depends on the following factors:

1. How you answer calls
What device you answer calls on can affect the ultimate price you pay for an international toll free number service. For instance, calls answered on a mobile phone may be more expensive than calls answered on a VoIP or SIP phone.

2. Where calls come from
One of the biggest contributors to the international toll free phone number cost is the location of your callers. That is, where your callers are calling from. For instance, calls from China may be more expensive than calls from the UK or Singapore. Furthermore, what device — landline or mobile — is used to call can also affect the cost.

3. Talk time per month
What is your business’ call volume per month? How many calls and how much call time do you expect? This is also important to consider when getting an ITFN service. The more you talk, the more you pay. However, there are plans that reduce cost per minute when your call traffic increases.

4. Additional features and services
What additional features or add-on services do you need? These additional features can increase your overall cost. Important features like outbound calling, IVR, call forwarding, etc., should be easily accessible. If the prices for these services are too high, you may want to consider a different service.

5. Extra fees
Lastly, don’t forget to take into account any additional fees such as set-up or installation fees, cancellation fees, long-term contracts, etc. Look for a provider that doesn’t need set-up or cancellation fees so you can switch providers if needed.

Global Call Forwarding: ITFN Price Breakdown

Here we breakdown our current international toll free number costs for the most popular countries. We include our basic monthly plan, SIP trunking price, and forwarding rates.

1. US Toll Free Numbers

To buy a US toll free number, you can simply review the below pricing information and sign up on our homepage.

    • Cost of a US ITFN: $12.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $.02 – $.04 per additional minute

2. Germany Toll Free Numbers

With Germany virtual toll free phone numbers, you can now offer German residents a free way to connect with your business.

    • Cost of a Germany ITFN: $17.95
    • IP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.05- $0.07 per additional minute

3. UAE Toll Free Numbers

UAE 800 numbers can help your business offer sales and customer support to individuals and businesses located in UAE.

Cost of a UAE ITFN: $28.95
SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.43 – $0.47 per additional minute

4. UK Toll Free Numbers
Use UK freephone numbers to create reliable communication channels between your business and its UK clientele.

Cost of a UK ITFN: $12.95
SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.063 – $0.083 per additional minute

5. Singapore Toll Free Numbers
Buy Singapore toll free numbers to create a business in Singapore and add locals to your customer base.

Cost of a Singapore ITFN: $27.95
SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.063 – $0.082 per additional minute

6. Japan Toll Free Numbers

Japan toll free numbers will help you enter the Japanese market without increasing the cost of operations.

    • Cost of a Japan toll free phone number: $68.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.33 – $0.37 per additional minute

7. Hong Kong Toll Free Numbers

Use Hong Kong toll free numbers to increase sales and offer customer service to local consumers by making your Hong Kong business accessible and easy to call.

    • Cost of a Hong Kong ITFN: $27.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.063 – $0.082 per additional minute

8. Australia Toll Free Numbers

Want to expand to Australia? Australia virtual numbers can help you test the market and see how your product performs before you open field offices.

    • Cost of an Australia toll free number: $13.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.063 – $0.082 per additional minute

9. China Toll Free Numbers

Use China toll free numbers to sell to local Chinese residents and businesses. Enter the Chinese market and advertise locally.

    • Cost of a China ITFN: $44.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.37 – $0.41 per additional minute

10. India Toll Free Numbers

Doing business in India? Connect to India’s telecommunication network to make global communication easier and less expensive.

    • Cost of an India ITFN: $38.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.25 – $0.35 per additional minute

11. Mexico Toll Free Numbers

Mexico toll free numbers can open your business to include a Mexican customer base.

    • Cost of a Mexico ITFN: $12.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.063 – $0.073 per additional minute

12. Canada Toll Free Numbers

Get Canada toll free numbers today and start selling your product or service in Canada. Improve brand visibility and awareness by advertising locally.

    • Cost of a Canada toll free number: $12.95
    • SIP trunk pricing for outbound calls: $25 for 10 channels
    • Rate for forwarding to IP: $0.02 – $0.04 per additional minute

Choose Your International Toll Free Number Now!

ITFNs make it easy to do global business without incurring exorbitant international calling rates. Get an international toll free number based on the countries and regions you want to target and expand your business to. With these numbers, you can add new customer bases, improve sales, offer global customer support, and become a reputable international brand. Sign up today or call us to learn more!

A photo of bring your own device policy byod essentials

8 Key Points That Any Bring Your Own Device Policy Must Have

The rise and comfort of remote working have led to employers considering the different ways to allow remote working without losing employee productivity. In this post, we will look at …Read More »

The rise and comfort of remote working have led to employers considering the different ways to allow remote working without losing employee productivity. In this post, we will look at Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy and what important elements to include when creating one.

Building an Effective BYOD Policy: 8 Key Points

A Bring Your Own Device or BYOD policy refers to the work policy of allowing employees to use their own devices instead of company-sponsored ones. This policy is known to make employees more productive and efficient as they would be using devices and applications they are familiar with. Furthermore, such a policy paves the way for an easy switch to remote working, if need be. Lastly, it can also help companies save on yearly costs that would otherwise be spent on purchasing and maintaining equipment.

Here are some important elements and rules to keep in mind when creating your own Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, as suggested by IBM Security:

1. Create Policy First: Then Purchase Technology

The first step is to start creating your BYOD policy before purchasing any technology, even mobile device management or MDM tech. BYOD policies affect almost every team or department in the office: IT, HR, legal, security, and employees using the devices. Therefore, rules of use should be determined beforehand.

The Most Important BYOD Policy Factors to Consider:

When creating your BYOD policy, consider the following factors:

  • What devices will be supported and accepted for use? Who determines device use, employer or employee?
  • Who will pay for data usage? Will there be a stipend or will the employee be responsible for expenses?
  • What security measures will be implemented?
  • What apps will be allowed and which ones forbidden?
  • What resources and services can employees access on their devices?
  • What data will be collected from the employee’s device?
  • What will your Acceptable Usage Agreement (AUA) consist of?

2. Plan to Keep Personal Info Private and Separate from Company Data

Since a BYOD policy allows employees to use their own devices and apps, it is important to pay attention to privacy. Big data is so large that it’s raising privacy and ethical issues for major corporations around the world. In this case, keeping personal information private and separate from the company’s data is necessary.

Make your privacy laws easily accessible and help your employees and users understand what data will and will not be collected from them. For example, personal emails, contacts, text messages, call history, etc. Furthermore, help them understand why you are collecting what you are collecting and how it benefits them.

The next step is to keep personal and professional data separate. Important and valuable corporate data, documents, and other files must be protected by your IT team. This is helpful in the case of an employee leaving the company; IT can quickly wipe information from the employee’s devices and keep company data safe.

3. Decide How to Manage Data Usage

Whether or not you are paying for the plan, you will want the managers or the users to be able to track how much data they are using. Furthermore, you will want to be upfront about in-network and roaming charges while also tracking them or providing warnings for excessive use.

Make sure users understand how the data plan works and how to effectively use data. There should be a system of checks and balances. Use data to elevate employees, not penalize them. Help them understand the importance of WiFi and to use it whenever available.

4. Make Enrollment Simple

Use technology that is user-friendly, simple, and does not involve complex procedures. Include instructions and troubleshooting advice in your emails or text messages. Also, let them know who they can connect with in case they encounter an issue.

Make the enrolling of devices and users secure and easy to follow. For example, users may receive an email or text link. When they click on this link, they will be led to a webpage where they can register their MDM profile for a device. Here, they will also be able to read and accept the user agreement.

You want to be able to quickly enroll devices — even in bulk — while providing users the ability to enroll themselves. You can add a layer of security by enabling a basic authentication process like a passcode or pin.

5. Offer Self-Serving Options

One of the main advantages of a BYOD policy is the ability to reduce the time spent on troubleshooting or contacting the help desk. For this, you want to help your employees or users help themselves. Easy passcode recovery, geo-locating for locating lost devices, being able to quickly wipe a device to protect corporate data, and so on, are a few ways to help employees as well as your business while ensuring efficiency throughout the processes.

6. Enable Easy Configuration

An important part of successfully running a BYOD policy is being able to configure devices quickly and easily. The best solution is configuring devices over-the-air for optimization. Your platform or system should give the employee everything they need such as access to email, contacts, WiFi, VPN, relevant documents, apps, virtual phone numbers, etc. You may even make a note of applications that are unacceptable or include data usage warnings.

7. Monitor Devices for Usage

Now that you know how much data will be allowed and the stipend or budget allotted for usage, monitor your employees’ usage to ensure they do not go beyond the allocated amount. Furthermore, monitor how they are using their data. Some circumstances to watch for:

  • Attempting to disable management
  • Attempting to jailbreak or root a phone to get paid apps for free
  • Not complying with the security policy
  • Using apps that are not allowed or unaccepted within the policy

Some ways to battle devices that do not comply with your BYOD policy is to use your MDM solution to selectively to wipe their devices or to send warning messages. You may also choose to make additional adjustments based on what you are seeing.

8. Using Call Forwarding for Communication

Lastly, BYOD policies work very well along with call forwarding. A call forwarding service allows users to use their devices to make and receive business calls. You can use call forwarding to keep your team or office connected even when they are working from home or traveling. This way, your employees are reachable through inexpensive communication while continuing to be productive.

Create Your BYOD Policy Now

Keeping the above points in mind, take time and consideration when creating a Bring Your Own Device policy for your workplace. For call forwarding services or to learn how call forwarding can support BYOD, call us or chat with our experts today!

international 800 numbers

7 Reasons to Get an International 800 Number

An international 800 number can help your business gain more credibility, improve customer satisfaction, and boost overall sales. This article features 7 reasons why you should get international toll free …Read More »

An international 800 number can help your business gain more credibility, improve customer satisfaction, and boost overall sales. This article features 7 reasons why you should get international toll free numbers for your business. Read on to learn more.

What Are the Benefits of Getting an International 800 Number?

International 800 numbers — also known as international toll free numbers or ITFNs — are toll free numbers assigned to different countries. Calls made to these numbers are forwarded to representatives in different countries or locations for answering.

Residents and contacts within those countries can call the number for free. While incoming calls to the recipient (your business) are forwarded to your country or another location as desired. Say your UK business has an Australia international 800 number. Australian residents can call this number for free and calls are then automatically routed to your office in the UK.

So, how can 800 numbers benefit your business? Here is a look at the top advantages.

1. Offer Customers a Free Calling Option

With an international 800 number, your international customers and contacts have the option to call your business for free. Being given easy access to connect with a business greatly increases the chances of customer engagement. Whether it is to inquire about a new product, plan a partnership, or receive customer support, individuals will hesitate less when calling a business with a toll free number.

2. Improve Your Company’s Professional Image

800 toll free numbers have a reputation. For years, small businesses and large corporations have used these business numbers to make customer calling simple. Toll free numbers are associated with large and established corporations that care for their customers. And so, getting an 800 number improves your professional image as a business that’s established and customer-focused.

3. Acquire More Credibility

Not only do 800 numbers increase customer engagement, but they also make your business seem more trustworthy and credible. A toll free number makes you more accessible and easily reachable. Customers can rest assured that when they need your business, they can connect with you quickly and without obstacles. This increases credibility and gives your customers confidence in your abilities to meet their needs.

4. Easy Mobility

ITFNs make it possible for you to move anywhere within the country or the world without changing your number. You can have incoming calls forwarded to any number, line, or VoIP phone of your choice. And so, even if you decide to move to a new location, simply change the forwarding specifics and keep your numbers.

5. Gain Local Presence in Different Countries

ITFNs enable you to advertise locally in different countries across the globe. You can, therefore, develop connections with local customers, advertisers, vendors, and other business contacts by creating and maintaining a local presence.

6. Improve International Sales

By advertising locally and entering your business in local directories and other platforms for locations you are trying to expand into, you can increase brand visibility and awareness. Both of these are important when it comes to increasing international sales. Having an 800 number indicates to customers that your business is positioned to do business, offer a service, and it demonstrates your business is local to their area.

7. Offer Global Customer Service

Finally, you can offer global customer service by staying connected and reachable. Good and quick customer service leads to high customer satisfaction rates. And this is the best way to maintain and retain valuable customers, as customers need to know you are available to support their issues and concerns.

Ready to Purchase an 800 Number?

To get international 800 numbers, simply sign up on our website by choosing the country you want to target or offer customer service to. You can add additional numbers later once your service is activated. Furthermore, having an international 800 number is an ideal way to strategically offer communications and customer service. Purchase one today to ensure your international expansion connects with customers in the most efficient, effective ways possible.

Photo of BYOD bring your own device

BYOD: What is Bring Your Own Device?

Interested in creating a more productive and employee-friendly office environment? You may want to consider adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Here we will explain what a BYOD …Read More »

Interested in creating a more productive and employee-friendly office environment? You may want to consider adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Here we will explain what a BYOD policy is and how to create one.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Definition

BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is an IT policy that encourages employees to use their own devices such as laptops and smartphones for work. Other terms for such a policy include Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP), or Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC). With this policy, employees can use their personal devices to access office-related items such as email, documents, etc.

A BYOD policy generally entails access to the following 4 options:

  • Personal devices
  • Personal devices, apps, and data, but with IT control
  • Non-sensitive information and data
  • Personal devices with limited or no ability for local storage of data

A Bring Your Own Device policy should be implemented carefully while understanding the risks involved.

Why Is Bring Your Own Device Important?

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a rise in remote working. And because of this, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to consider BYOD as a work practice. The main reasons to adopt such a policy include:

  • Cost-savings for the business
  • Increasing employee productivity and efficiency
  • Growing remote working trends

Forbes put together some important BYOD-related stats:

  • About 61% of Gen Y and 50% of workers over 30 years of age find that their personal tech tools can help increase work-life productivity.
  • Approximately 60% of workers use their smartphones or tablets for work-related tasks.
  • BYOD-friendly businesses save about $350 per year, per employee annually.

Keeping these statistics in mind, one can see the appeal for a comfortable working environment where employees can use tools and apps they are familiar with. Additionally, businesses adopting a BYOD policy can reduce costs while still ensuring employees continue to do quality work.

How to Build an Effective BYOD Policy

An effective BYOD policy looks at and includes a few different and necessary factors and elements. When building your BYOD policy, consider these useful tips outlined by IBM:

  1. Keep enrollment simple and secure.
  2. Offer self-service options such as PINs, passwords, etc.
  3. Help them keep personal information private by explaining privacy policies and providing functions to protect their information.
  4. Use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution to keep personal and professional data separate.
  5. Define parameters for technology use and consider important factors such as — what devices will be accepted and supported? Who will be responsible for the payment? What will be included in the privacy policy?
  6. To maintain professionalism and productivity, monitor devices that are non-compliant.
  7. Invest in technology that will make communication easy such as a cloud phone system, management, and storage systems.

Remote Working Trends

Remote and virtual office set-ups are becoming more and more common. Employees appreciate the option to work from home and not having that option can deter some away from your business. Here’s an opportunity to maintain communication over different devices. Call us today to find out how we can help!

International call forwarding benefits

5 Top International Call Forwarding Benefits

International call forwarding is used by tens of thousands of businesses worldwide, as there are many associated benefits. Here we outline the top 5 benefits that an international call forwarding …Read More »

International call forwarding is used by tens of thousands of businesses worldwide, as there are many associated benefits. Here we outline the top 5 benefits that an international call forwarding service brings to any business.

5 Benefits for a Business That Uses International Call Forwarding

International call forwarding helps your company do business internationally, by forwarding or rerouting calls made to a virtual phone number to a destination number, or multiple destinations anywhere in the world.

For example, calls made to your virtual number can be forwarded to your smartphone, remote employees, or office PBX system. This makes it possible to receive free phone calls from any location in the world. It also gives your business credibility. Here are the top 5 benefits of using international call forwarding.

1. Make Your Business Reachable

With international call forwarding and toll free numbers, your business can provide international and long-distance customers and contacts a free way to connect with your business. Customers in different countries can call your international toll free number for that country for free and get the support they need. Meanwhile, you can forward incoming calls to any device or line that is convenient for you.

Making your business reachable and accessible is an important part of doing business internationally. Customers trust a company that responds and resolves issues quickly. If they struggle to get a hold of you, then your customers will take their business elsewhere.

2. More Global Coverage

If global expansion is on your company’s list of goals, then you need to find the right tools to help you enter the global market without dramatically increasing the cost of operation. Global Call Forwarding, for instance, offers virtual phone numbers such as local, mobile, and international toll free numbers for more than 160 countries across the globe.

You can use these numbers from your country of origin, without needing to relocate or open field offices. Then, test how your product/service is doing and how customers are responding to it. Based on how well the market test goes, you can choose to open a field office or hire remote customer service agents or employees in the vicinity. This way, you can add customers from various countries to your customer base.

3. Increase Local and International Presence

Virtual numbers help you create a local presence within countries, states, and cities across the world. This is because you can get a local or toll free number assigned to that area and callers can contact your business as a local business while you receive calls instantly in your home country through the international call forwarding service. And so, even if you are not physically present within a region or country, you have a virtual presence. However, customers are not privy to this information. Globalization is at a critical juncture, and international call forwarding services enable businesses to stay connected to customers on a global scale.

4. Reduce Use of Voicemail

With international call forwarding, you can have calls forwarded to your smartphone or home office during the evenings or the weekend. This way, when callers contact you outside of business hours, they can still get a hold of your services instead of leaving a voicemail. This can help build customer loyalty during this age of continuous connection, as customers appreciate talking to someone instantly.

5. Offer After-Hours Customer Service

Additionally, you can aim to offer 24/7 customer support by having calls forwarded to your home office or remote employees located in different time zones. This not only makes your business more reachable but more likely to improve customer experience and satisfaction.

Get International Call Forwarding Today

Get an international call forwarding service from Global Call Forwarding. Upgrade your business phone system so you can offer sales and customer support to interested prospects around the world. Want to learn more? Call or chat with us today!

A photo of a phone with a comparison of all international toll free number types

Comparing All Types of International Toll Free Numbers

Most companies are trying to go global to expand their reach and generate more sales. But how do you communicate with international clientele without increasing your expenses? International toll free …Read More »

Most companies are trying to go global to expand their reach and generate more sales. But how do you communicate with international clientele without increasing your expenses? International toll free numbers are the way to go! Here we compare all the types of international toll free numbers so you can find one that is perfect for your needs.

Comparing All Types of International Toll Free Numbers

An international toll free number or ITFN is a number type that enables international calling between a business and its customers. Callers dial this number for free and it connects to employees or agents in a different country by forwarding calls internationally to any device.

Certain types of international toll free numbers, such as traditional international numbers, are country-specific. That is, they are free to call from within the country they are assigned to. On the other hand, universal or global freephone numbers can be contacted for free from a predetermined list of countries.

If your business has an international clientele and you want to provide international customers with the same customer service and care you offer domestic or local customers, then your business could greatly benefit from international toll free numbers. It is known that modern consumers prefer convenience in 2020.

Let’s look at the different types of international toll free numbers so you can identify which is more suitable for your needs.

ITFN

ITFN are country-specific and can be called for free by residents of the country they are assigned to. You can forward incoming calls to smartphones, computers, VoIP softphones, and more. Businesses with international clientele will find these numbers useful. With these numbers, your company can create a virtual presence in different countries and offer customer service globally.

Domestic Toll Free Numbers

Domestic numbers are similar to ITFN in that they too can be called by a resident of the country the number is assigned to. In other words, residents of the US can call a US toll free number for free when in-country. These numbers are true “800 numbers.”

The main difference between domestic and international toll free numbers is that the former does not generally have additional fees for calls connecting to mobile or payphones. Therefore, businesses that want to provide callers with a free way to call from any device will find domestic toll free numbers more suitable.

UIFN

A UIFN is a single unique number that is accessible and free to call from multiple countries. Currently, 45 countries are included in the UIFN number program monitored by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). There are, however, some factors to consider when purchasing UIFNs:

  • Your number must be registered in at least 2 countries.
  • You must use the number between 2 countries within the first 180 days of purchase.
  • These numbers have a significant, one-time setup fee.
  • The different dialing formats are different from regular or standard toll free numbers.
  • Not all countries are included in the program.
  • The more countries selected, the higher the cost.

If you run operations and want to offer customer service in the countries included in the UIFN program, then you may consider a UIFN number to streamline incoming calls and provide just one number for customer support, sales, account management, etc.

What Type of International Toll Free Number is Right for Me?

If your business extends operations to 2-3 different countries, then you can get international toll free numbers or domestic numbers for each country and list them on your website or social media platforms. This way, you can provide customer service and sales assistance to clients within these countries.

However, for a business like a travel or hospitality company with multiple locations involved, a UIFN is more useful. This way, customers from around the world can connect with you through one number.

 Want to Learn More?

Global Call Forwarding is the leading provider of international toll free numbers. We have been in this business for over 20 years and we offer unmatched quality, affordability, and service features. We can help you find the ideal phone number for your company. Call us today to learn more!

Call Center Performance Management

What is Call Center Performance Management?

Sales and customer service reps and employees are often the first line of contact between your business and its customers. Therefore, their performance can directly impact how successful your business …Read More »

Sales and customer service reps and employees are often the first line of contact between your business and its customers. Therefore, their performance can directly impact how successful your business or call center is. Call center performance management is a surefire way to test and review employee performance and provide room for improvement.

What is Call Center Performance Management?

Call center performance management refers to the tracking, analyzing, calculating, and improving of agent and employee performance. Whether you run a virtual, remote, or on-premise call center, conducting performance management and reviews is important to determine how your agents are performing and how satisfied your customers are.

How to Manage and Improve Performance in Your Contact Center

Customers often reach out to a business to gain information about a product or service or to resolve an issue they are facing. And when they do so, they are almost always expecting a quick response, low wait times, friendly interaction, and a quick resolution. And so, your agents should be able to provide:

  • Personalized and friendly customer service
  • Improved first call resolution
  • Fast call resolution during the first call (in other words, high first call resolution rates)
  • Simple handling of the problem
  • Service for any additional issues

Call center performance management is tracking whether your agents and employees are able to do the above while upholding company standards. And then, training them appropriately, if they fail to meet your standards. The goal is to help your agents provide high levels of customer service and enhanced caller experience. Identifying where they are failing can help you as you help them succeed.

Measuring Call Center Performance Management

Call center performance management includes evaluating agent performance during customer interactions and how they line up with business goals. The best way to conduct performance management is to identify and use KPIs applicable to your business. Some KPIs to consider are:

  • Customer satisfaction scores (CSAT)
  • Average handle time
  • First call resolution
  • Average speed of answer
  • Average response time, and more

To measure the performance of your call center, first set realistic business goals. Then, use contact center software to learn about average handle time, wait times, conversions, first call resolution rates, customer satisfaction goals, and so on. By studying these metrics you can get a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. As a manager, you can then make well-informed decisions about workforce management and ways to improve customer service.

Contact Center Performance Management Tools

1. Call Center Software
Your call center software can help with tracking important KPIs and metrics through call logs and activity reports. On-premise call center software is run by the company while a virtual call center software is hosted by a cloud server. The type of call center software you should choose depends on how much control you want to have over the software as well as your in-house IT team.

2. Contact Center Metrics and KPIs
As mentioned above, call center performance management includes tracking and measuring agent performance. Use relevant KPIs to study and optimize agent behavior before, during, and post calls.

3. Inbound/Outbound Call Recording
Use hosted call recording to listen in or review calls. These recordings can also help you train new employees by demonstrating acceptable and unacceptable agent behavior.

4. Coaching and Training
Use training material to continue training customer service employees on ways to reach and maintain company standards. Refresher courses, workshops, webinars, software tutorials, etc., can come in very handy.

Start Optimizing Agent Productivity!

center performance management will not only help you identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses but will also show you what steps need to be taken to optimize productivity and efficiency. This can help your call center offer better customer service and improve customer satisfaction. Start today!

Customer Success

What is Customer Success?

If customer retention and churn are a problem for your business, then you need to up your customer success game. Here’s an in-depth guide to customer success and how to …Read More »

If customer retention and churn are a problem for your business, then you need to up your customer success game. Here’s an in-depth guide to customer success and how to improve your strategy.

What is Customer Success?

Customer success refers to the process of providing proactive customer support and service. This includes anticipating potential challenges or issues faced by customers and reaching out to them beforehand to resolve those concerns.

With customer success, businesses can work closely with customers to improve customer satisfaction and boost relations. By doing so, your business can increase customer loyalty and retention. After all, who doesn’t want to work with a business that takes the time and effort to care for its customers?

Customer Success and Customer Support

To execute good customer success strategies, it is first important to understand the differences between customer support and success. Here is a table highlighting key points:

Customer Success Customer Support
1. Type of approach Proactive approach; reach out to customers before they reach out to you Reactive approach; provide support when a customer connects with you over an issue
2. Duration of interaction Long-term interactions; you work with the customer closely over a longer period of time Shorter interactions; you work with the customer to provide immediate solutions to a problem
3. Teams responsible Team collaboration between sales, marketing, support, product development, etc Operated solely by the customer support or service team
4. Metrics to measure Customer satisfaction, customer retention, customer health, customer lifetime value, etc Customer satisfaction, number of cases and tickets issued, first call resolution rates, hold time, average handle time, etc
5. Tasks to accomplish Improve customer experience, upsells, cross-sells, etc Technical support, knowledge base and guides, resolve tickets, etc.
6. Discover Areas of opportunity Problem areas
7. Ultimate goal To ensure a successful customer lifetime value To react and quickly solve issues

6 Proven Ways to Improve Your Customer Success Strategy

Any company that has customers and depends on customer satisfaction must invest in customer success. Being in the service industry, you will notice that it is harder and more expensive to acquire new customers. It is much cheaper and healthier, instead, to retain your current ones by taking care of them. These happy customers, in turn, will make good recommendations and advocate for your service.

1. Increase Brand Awareness
Work on brand visibility to make your brand a real thing for customers. An updated website and social media accounts, stats and valid data, attractive design, and user experience are a few ways to grab customer attention. Use your marketing team to improve the way customers and potential prospects see your brand and interact with it whether online (through social media, your website, web forms, product demos, content marketing) or offline (exhibitions, stores, advertising platforms).

2. Create Buyer Personas
Your marketing and sales team must collaborate to create ideal buyer personas for your product so your targeting efforts don’t go to waste. When developing buyer personas consider these questions:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • Factors or demographics are important to your persona: their budget, age range, income, location, purchasing power, etc.
  • What does your persona value?
  • Which problems are you trying to help your persona solve?
  • What content or information will catch your persona’s attention?

3. Provide Educational and Informative Content About Your Product
Use your website, emails, and social media accounts to provide your viewers with information:

  • About your product
  • How it is used
  • What issues or problems it can solve
  • How other businesses have used the product, etc.

The point is to demonstrate your expertise in the field and highlight your product or service’s successes. Maintain an updated website, highlight interviews, customer testimonials, blog posts, etc. Use common terms, avoid overwhelming technical jargon, and make knowledge bases or guides accessible. All of this will help solidify your business’ credibility, making customers trust it more. Educating customers makes your product or service more user-friendly, thereby improving the customer experience.

4. Provide Guided Onboarding
Spend extra time and energy on onboarding new customers. Guide them through the beginning of their journey with your service so they clearly understand how processes work and where they can find help. Once they are well-settled, make yourself available and reachable for initial issues that may turn up. Then, gradually move to automation and alerting so customers become more independent.

5. Offer Customer Support
Whether it is email, phone calls, live chat, or trouble tickets, your customer support team should be easy to contact. Additionally, you must equip your team with resources for quick resolution such as guides, etc. Make your business available 24/7 for customer support. You can do so by forwarding calls to other office locations or remote offices or using an IVR system to help with common issues and troubleshooting support.

6. Work to Improve Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty means that for your customer, your business is “the one.” They will not look for another service or product to replace you. This is crucial to customer retention because a loyal customer will recommend your service to others and bring in more business.

Are You Ready to Build Successful Relationships With Your Customers?

Customer success is important as it can help your business build strong and meaningful customer relations. If your business needs to increase its customer retention rates, then it’s time to start offering more proactive support today!

First Call Resolution

What is First Call Resolution?

First call resolution (FCR) directly impacts customer satisfaction and retention. It is, therefore, recommended that your business or call center measure and track this KPI regularly. Here is a guide …Read More »

First call resolution (FCR) directly impacts customer satisfaction and retention. It is, therefore, recommended that your business or call center measure and track this KPI regularly. Here is a guide that will help you understand the importance of first call resolution and how to measure and improve FCR rates for your business.

What is First Call Resolution?

A first call resolution rate measures a call center or business’ ability to resolve customer calls when they first call. In other words, customers who call to inquire about a product or resolve an issue are helped during the first call and no follow-up calls or emails are required.

First call resolutions or FCR is an essential call center KPI or metric. This metric is also included in customer relationship management or CRM systems.

Why Should Your Contact Center Measure First Call Resolution Rates?

When customers contact your company regarding an issue or product, they expect to have an answer quickly. The longer they have to wait to resolve a concern or question, the more likely they will find a different company that provides faster service and quicker solutions. Customer satisfaction (CSAT scores) drives brand loyalty and customer retention rates. Good first call resolution rates can improve customer satisfaction and help you keep your loyal and valued customers close.

Furthermore, this metric also helps you measure the efficiency of your employees or agents. For instance, how quickly can agents resolve a call? How much time is spent on resolving issues? Do they spend more time with follow-ups with the same customers or are they able to attend to others as well?

Calculating first call resolution can give you insights into how your business is performing in terms of customer satisfaction. The higher the FCR rates, the higher your customer satisfaction scores. For any contact center or business, the goal remains: achieving high first call resolution rates and low talk time.

How to Measure First Call Resolution

FCR is commonly measured as the total number of calls resolved on the first call divided by the total number of calls received during a certain period of time.

When measuring first call resolution, you may want to consider the following criteria or factors that could affect this score:

  • What does “sufficiently resolved” mean? Is it only when a customer’s issue is resolved? Or does customer satisfaction count as well?
  • Does a callback include agents following-up with callers via chat, SMS, or email?
  • Will FCR include calls handled by your IVR?
  • What about calls abandoned calls due to confusing IVR, long wait times, etc.?
  • Will a caller reaching the wrong department be included?
  • What about a call where a manager was conferenced in or that was transferred to a colleague?

Make sure you clearly define what FCR is and how it will be measured so that your agents and employees are prepared.

How to Improve FCR in Your Call Center

There are a few different ways to improve your contact center or business’ FCR rates:

1. Set realistic goals: Define what FCR is and ensure your agents and employees understand the importance of good FCR rates and how to achieve them.

2. Train agents: Train call center employees to meet your company’s standards and mission. Use a call recording service to highlight strengths and weaknesses.

3. Conduct performance analysis regularly: Review employee performance and efficiency by sitting in on calls or reviewing recordings.

4. Identify common customer questions and issues: The fastest way to help customers is to be prepared for issues or concerns that may arise while using your product or service. Identify common issues and train agents to quickly resolve.

5. Develop an easy-to-follow knowledge base or guide: Provide employees with a knowledge base or guide that can help them help customers efficiently.

6. Track FCR on all communication channels: If you communicate with clients via phone, email, live chat, social media, etc., ensure that you track FCR rates on all these channels. A low rate on other channels can bring your overall FCR rate down.

7. Develop incentive programs and rewards for employees: Give employees good reasons to do their job well so they work harder to resolve calls on the first try.

8. Set customer expectations: Create better caller experiences by reducing wait times, employing an effective IVR system, etc.

Improve First Call Resolution to Boost Customer Loyalty

Can call analytics help you gain better insights into in FCR and how your business is doing to see where you can improve? Start measuring first call resolution today and secure your valued customers!