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What is Contact Center Agent Elevation?

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The process of contact center agent elevation, also known as escalation, is one of the quickest ways to address customer expectations and queries. As customers want quick and tailored solutions, …Read More »

Global Call Forwarding Releases an Updated Softphone with New Features and Integrations

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Global Call Forwarding has released an updated GCF Softphone for Windows users. DELRAY BEACH, FL, Jan 2024 The new softphone is designed to improve business communication, facilitate efficient calling experiences, …Read More »

How to Establish a Local Presence in Lakshadweep?

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Collaborated with Vasudha K Thinking of expanding your business to South Asia? Consider Lakshadweep’s scenic and promising shores. Situated near international shipping ports like Karnataka, this archipelago beckons with untapped …Read More »

Phone Number Testing: Benefits and How to Do It

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Many of the insights for this article came from a breakout session at Cyara Xchange 2024. Global Call Forwarding also uses the Cyara Voice Assure product. Despite the emergence of …Read More »

How Forex Companies Use Virtual Numbers (5 Use Cases)

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The forex market is inherently international as it involves the exchange of global currencies. While the forex market has no central location, most traders are in major financial centers and …Read More »

Nigeria Phone Number Guide: An Explainer

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A Nigeria phone number is a vital asset for businesses looking to make their mark in the heart of West Africa. With a population exceeding 200 million, Nigeria offers a …Read More »

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. 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, SMS exchanges, etc. Or through email exchanges after collecting email contacts through website pop-up forms, lead magnets, LinkedIn email finder, high-converting landing pages, etc. In broader terms, businesses generally communicate in-person, virtually, 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. Also, a well-structured process flow diagram enhances communication by visually depicting complex processes, ensuring shared understanding among team members.

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 virtual 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.

Related: 7 Must-Have Global Expansion Tools for Communication

6 Reasons Why Effective Communication is Important

So, why should your business enforce better internal and external communication? Creating an environment for constructive and effective communication lets your business:

1. Align all teams and goals

By communicating consistently with your teams, your business can ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding short-term and long-term goals. Proper business communication encourages teams to collaborate, share ideas and suggestions, and collect feedback. All of this can help the business create a better work environment as well as develop efficient products and services for customers.

2. Improve employee engagement & productivity

Internal communication can enhance employee experience by providing coaching, training, and support. Through this, employees are equipped to improve productivity and stay on top of their work.

3. Encourage inter-departmental communication & collaboration

Sharing ideas and feedback can go a long way in building better experiences and products not only for customers but employees as well. Enabling your teams to work together through collaboration can help your business develop well-rounded products and market them in a way that means something to your customers.

4. Keep in-house and remote teams connected

Business communication is essential to keep all teams connected, whether in-house or remote. Make it easier for employees to connect with each other so that they can work together towards your business’ goals and milestones.

5. Support knowledge-sharing
By establishing an easy-to-use and efficient business communication system, your teams can follow knowledge-sharing best practices. This way, employees can share essential information and knowledge about the industry, field, and products and services. Without such a system, organizational knowledge will suffer.

6. Improve employee and customer satisfaction & retention
Lastly, all of the above reasons lead to the most important impact of business communication: satisfaction and retention. Happy employees make happy customers. And so, your business’ goal should be to retain employees and customers by improving their satisfaction and experience.

How to Communicate Effectively in the Workspace: 8 Useful Tips

Effective business communication best practices have been talked about for years as we continue to find better ways to express ourselves and collaborate with others. Here are some key points to keep in mind so that you communicate well in your place of work:

1. Adopt active listening

Many times, we assume we know what the problem is and what solutions work best. But our experiences differ, and so it is always a good idea to actively listen to what your colleague, supervisor, or customer is telling you. Actively listening to and acknowledging the other person shows them that you actually care about their concern. Treat their issue or concern as new and personal to them. This will help you offer solutions that will work for them instead of general, unattached help.

2. Be empathetic

Empathy is growing more and more important in customer service. However, that is not where it should start and end—practice empathy in all business- and non-business-related communication. Being empathetic and actually trying to understand where the other person is coming from will help you offer better and more tailored responses. And it will create better customer service experiences through genuine interactions and care.

3. Eliminate assumptions and biases

Biases are still very much present in communication. However, people are more aware and have been consciously trying to eliminate their own assumptions and biases when communicating with others. Avoid assumptions by communicating openly and honestly about needs and expectations. And reduce implicit bias in communication by being aware and respectful of the other person. This includes respecting the other persons’ identity — their gender and gender pronouns, race, culture, religion, disabilities,

4. Ask questions

When in doubt, ask questions and be open to receiving help. Asking questions can help clarify confusion, get assistance, and receive feedback. You also show the other person that you are paying attention and listening to what they’re saying. Make sure you ask relevant questions instead of asking about something they’ve already talked about.

5. Be respectful and patient

Working can be tough, especially during high-traffic periods and high-stress situations. Be patient and respectful during these moments. It is easy to get carried away and demand more than a person can accomplish. Communicate effectively to set realistic expectations, clarify confusion, and avoid misunderstandings.

6. Acknowledge and reinforce positive behaviors

Part of good effective business communication is highlighting good and positive behaviors and accomplishments. This helps your employees and colleagues feel validated, heard, and seen. And it will, in turn, reinforce desirable behaviors.

7. Validate feelings and ideas

Finally, validate and acknowledge feelings, ideas, and suggestions when shared. Dismissing how your colleagues feel or ignoring ideas they have for improvements can lead to distrust and indifference towards the company. This will further reduce the amount of investment the employee or customer has in your company leading to high employee turnover and losing valuable customers.

8. Be aware of international phone etiquette

When communicating with business contacts and customers in other countries and regions, it is a good practice to be aware of international phone etiquette. Practicing good phone etiquette demonstrates that you respect their culture by making an attempt to connect with them in ways that matter to them.

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. If you use your phone’s storage, make sure to clear it up regularly to free up space and maintain optimal performance.
  • 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.

How to Expand Your Business to Russia as a Foreigner

Want to expand your business to Russia as a foreigner? You are in luck. Russia, the largest country in the world, is prime for new foreign investments. The country has massive untapped business potential, presenting your company an opportunity to enter the market. Here are some useful resources to help you enter the market successfully.

Expanding Your Business in Russia as a Foreigner

Entering your company in a new market, especially one in a different country, requires documentation and other essential processes like registering the business, finding an appropriate business name, and so on.

Here are a few helpful steps to guide you when expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner.

1. Get the Right Immigration Status

To be able to expand your business to Russia as a foreigner, you will need the appropriate immigration status. And so, it is important to check if your current immigration status allows you to start a business in Russia. If you do not have one yet, you will need to decide if you need a residency or work permit.

2. Decide How to Register Your Business

When expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner, you have the following options:

  • Register as an individual entrepreneur or sole proprietorship.
  • Register using a Branch or Representative Office (RO).
  • Establish a Russian Legal Entity as a —
    • Limited Liability Company
    • Partnership, or
    • Public or Private Joint Stock Company.

Decide on a Local Company Name

This is an important part of expanding your business to Russia as you want to make sure that your business name is available and not already in use. Additionally, you will need an address for your business when registering it.

4. Prepare Documentation

The Russian Legislation states that the founders of a business looking to open or expand to Russia will need the following documents:

  • Full company name as well as any abbreviations that may be used
  • Names and signatures of the founders
  • Amount of shareholder contributions plus the nature of these contributions
  • Business plan as well as rules of the company
  • Legal responsibilities

This process may differ based on the type of legal structure you choose to register your business under.

5. Register Your Business with the FTS

Next, register your business with the Federal Tax Service (FTS) by sending them the following documents:

  • Registration form with notarized signatures (R200)
  • Copies of foundation papers
  • Proof of legal status as the business founder
  • Receipt of state registration fee (R4000)

If your application is accepted, then your business will be registered for tax purposes and you will receive the following documents:

  • Certificate of State Registration
  • Tax Certificate
  • Tax ID number
  • Copy of foundation papers with the mark of the registering authority
  • Extract from the Common State Register of Legal Entities

6. Open a Bank Account

Opening a Russian bank account is the next important step in expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner. To open a business account, you will need:

  • Notarized copy of signatures for the account (R200)
  • Documents confirming the identity and authority of the signatures on the account
  • Tax Certificate
  • Russian business license
  • Founding papers

7. Get a Russia Phone Number

Next on the agenda is to get a Russian phone number. You can purchase Russian numbers from a virtual phone service provider like Global Call Forwarding. Russia toll free numbers will give locals within Russia the option to call your business for free, no matter where you are located. Local Russia numbers let them call you for regular local calling charges.

Investing in Russian phone numbers will help you get in touch with locals, business contacts, and institutions as you prepare to move your business to Russia and build local networks. Have calls routed to any number or location of your choice with international call forwarding.

8. Advertising & Promote Your Business

Finally, you can start promoting your business as an international business. Consider using international SEO and digital and social media advertising to boost your business’ international visibility.

Get Russia Phone Numbers with Global Call Forwarding

We offer business numbers for companies looking to expand globally without dramatically increasing their phone bills. You can enjoy advanced communication features such as creative routing strategies, call recording, and more to improve customer service. Sign up today or speak with one of our global specialists to learn more!

Related: Understanding the Different Types of Telephone Numbers in Russia

Understanding the UAE Local Numbering Plan

UAE phone numbers, especially those from Dubai with the coveted (04) prefix, are highly sought-after in the global business landscape. Global Call Forwarding receives dozens of requests for Dubai local numbers weekly. We recognize this demand and constantly restock our virtual number inventory with UAE local numbers to meet your business needs.

Let’s explore the UAE numbering plan in our practical guide to UAE phone numbers.

Telephone Numbers in the UAE

Dubai’s meteoric and sustained rise has cemented its status as a major global city and business hub. As one of the fastest-growing cities worldwide, it boasts a thriving economy and a diverse, competitive business environment.

The UAE’s growth trajectory, strategic location, and digitization plans make it an ideal location for businesses seeking expansion in the Middle East. You can enter your business in this fast-growing economy with UAE virtual numbers.

UAE Local Numbering Plan and Format: Understanding the Basics

The telephone numbering plan of the United Arab Emirates is well-structured to ensure efficiency and clarity. UAE phone numbers begin with the country code +971, consisting of eight digits, including the area code. Emergency numbers are three digits and reachable from anywhere in the UAE.

The country follows a closed numbering plan. This means callers in the UAE should dial 0 before a local phone number.

Understanding Area Codes in the UAE

Area codes usually consist of ‘0’ followed by one digit. For example, Dubai’s area code is 04, while Abu Dhabi uses 02 for Abu Dhabi. Familiarize yourself with these area codes to help you better understand UAE local numbers:

  • 02: Abu Dhabi
  • 03: Al Ain
  • 04: Dubai
  • 05: Mobile Numbers
  • 06: Sharjah, Ajman, and Umm al-Quwain
  • 07: Ras Al Khaimah
  • 08: Western Region (Liwa, etc.)
  • 09: Fujairah

UAE Toll-Free Numbers

Metered phone plans in the UAE require subscribers to use credits when making phone calls. UAE toll-free numbers start with 800 and can be dialed for free from mobile phones and landlines within the country. These numbers are an excellent way to improve customer relations and expand your brand presence locally within the country.

UAE National Numbers

These phone numbers are considered “non-geographic numbers” and not local ones in the UAE. National numbers start with +971 600. They are usually reachable from mobile phones, landlines, and other countries.

Dubai Local Numbers: Your Connection to a Global Trade Hub

Dubai is a central hub for global trade, finance, and innovation. Your business gains direct access to this dynamic market by using Dubai virtual numbers. Dubai local numbers, starting with the area code (04), enable you to establish a virtual presence in the city while managing calls from any global location.

Dubai local number format: 971 (04) xxx-xxxx

How to Get a UAE Local Number: A Simple Guide

Acquiring a local number is essential to integrate your business operations within the UAE. Learn how to get started:

  1. Choose a UAE Call Forwarding Provider: Select a provider that offers reliable virtual number services in the UAE. Most cloud phone service providers only offer numbers in major countries. Global Call Forwarding partners with local operators and tier-1 carriers to ensure comprehensive, reliable, and high-quality coverage in the UAE.
  2. Purchase a UAE Phone Number: We offer various plans to suit your business needs, starting at $28.95 monthly and a 15-day free trial. Our plans include advanced features to enhance your communication capabilities. UAE-based company directors have praised our flexibility and dedicated customer service.

The Role of TDRA in UAE Telecommunications

The TDRA oversees and regulates the telecommunications sector in the UAE. It ensures competition, quality of service, and the efficient allocation of numbers. Understanding TDRA’s regulations and compliance requirements is crucial for businesses using UAE phone numbers.

Enhancing Business Communication With UAE Local Phone Numbers

Understanding local phone numbers within the context of international calling is key for companies operating in the UAE. This knowledge can help executives with targeted marketing and establishing a more localized presence in specific Emirates.

To learn more about local phone number options for the United Arab Emirates, talk to our team of experts.

How Will Brexit Affect My Business? A Quick Guide

New changes are happening all over the world — from adopting new business processes to nurturing social movements to adjusting to the global pandemic. And the much-talked-about Brexit deal is one of these major changes. Curious about what Brexit means for businesses in the UK and EU? In this article, we look at the different business-related areas that will feel the impacts of the new Brexit deal.

How is Brexit Affecting Business in the EU and UK

Companies and business owners across the EU and UK are worried about Brexit and business continuity. As the transition period comes to an end, many businesses in Britain and Europe are wondering, “how will Brexit affect my business?” From business travel to communication to new customs regulations, there are many ways the Brexit deal can impact your business processes. In this post, we discuss how Brexit will affect:

  • Business Travel
  • Working and Studying Abroad (Work Visas, Education, and Erasmus)
  • Impact on Trade (Customs, Supply Chain, VAT Regime)
  • Mobile Roaming and Calling Charges
  • Online Services

Let’s get into the different ways that Brexit may affect businesses in the EU and United Kingdom.

1. Business Travel

One of the main areas that the new Brexit deal affects EU and UK companies is in regards to the new restrictions on business travel. Individuals traveling for work from the EU to the UK and vice versa have new regulations to keep in mind.

British travelers will face restrictions on their passports. For example, British travelers will need at least 6 months left on their passports to travel to the EU. While these travelers don’t need a visa to enter the EU, they will need travel authorization. At immigration, they may be questioned about the duration of their stay, returned bookings, financing plans, and so on. Conversely, national ID cards are no longer valid for European travelers entering Britain, except for particular cases. And EU travelers will need to go through customs checks at UK airports.

Other changes:

  1. Additionally, duty-free shopping will continue. However, there will be new allowances for the quantity of goods you can bring back to the United Kingdom.
  2. There is also a new set of rules and regulations to follow when driving abroad. UK licenses will no longer be recognized as the same as the EU. And British drivers driving in the EU may require an international driving permit.
  3. The EU will lose access to professional service providers (doctors, veterinarians, engineers, architects, etc.) from the UK. These professions will not be automatically recognized in Europe. And UK professionals with these qualifications will have to jump through regulations to get recognized.
  4. Financial services will also be affected. UK-registered and regulated banks have announced (and started making) plans to close accounts of citizens residing in the EU or EU economic area.

2. Working and Studying Abroad

With the new Brexit deal, working and studying abroad (between the UK and EU) has become more complicated. Since the Four Freedoms of the EU — freedom of movement of goods, capital, persons, and services — no longer apply to British citizens, they do not benefit from visa-less employment and education within the EU.

Work Visas

The UK will issue a new points-based immigration system that treats EU & non-EU citizens the same. With this new system, travelers from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland can travel to the UK for short trips without a visa. However, longer stays and employment will require an application under the new points-based system. As explained in TLDR News’ video on how Brexit will affect work visas, the points-based system requires applicants to accumulate a minimum of 70 points. Out of the 70 points, individuals applying must have a job offer (20 points), demonstrate a high skill level (20 points), and speak English (10 points) — these are mandatory. The remaining 20 points can be achieved through the other criteria as listed by the government.

Education and Erasmus

To study in any of the European countries, British citizens will require a visa from particular EU countries, if their courses run longer than 3 months. Additionally, they will no longer qualify for domestic fees when studying abroad. All of this makes going abroad for education more expensive.

Furthermore, British universities will no longer participate in the Erasmus program. This means that European students won’t be able to study temporarily in the UK through the program. And students who still want to pursue higher education in the UK will have to apply through the new points-based immigration system and deal with higher international fees.

3. Impact on Trade

While Britain was part of the EU, companies could buy and sell goods across EU borders without paying taxes. Additionally, there were no limits on the amount of items that could be traded. However, with the Brexit deal, a few changes come into effect:

Customs/Border Tariffs

Since exiting the EU Customs Union, Great Britain will longer enjoy the benefits of free trade, making the movement of goods across the EU and UK more difficult. Now, British importers and exporters (trading with Europe) are considered non-residents. Because of this, goods moving between the UK and EU now require customs declarations. However, these goods will not be subject to tariffs.

On the other hand, businesses that used to face competition from overseas (EU) companies will enjoy a competitive advantage. This is because UK customers will have to choose between expensive imports and cheaper domestic products.

Supply Chain

Businesses can expect delays in their supply chain, including shipping and deliveries, due to border checks and queues. It is expected that the “EU would immediately implement tough new checks on agri-food products, with no grace period.” This is not good news for perishable goods as they may get caught up in these checks and queues.

VAT Regime

UK will no longer be bound by the EU’s VAT regime. As a result, importers and customers receiving goods from the EU will be subject to VAT for imports. The British government might decide to change the system, including making new goods 0% VAT-rated. However, what exactly will happen in the UK related to the VAT regime is still not concretely decided.

4. Mobile Roaming and Calling Charges

Many are wondering if Brexit will bring roaming charges back to businesses and customers. More specifically, will Brexit mean that phone calls between the EU and UK are considered international?

While part of the EU, British phone carriers were subject to EU phone laws. Through these laws, people could call, text, and use data on the same terms in the United Kingdom and across Europe. In other words, they could use their data at no extra fees, even when within the EU. Unfortunately, these laws no longer apply to UK phone carriers. And carriers are not legally required to offer the same rates as they did before.

As of December 2020, Vodafone confirmed that they had no plans to bring back roaming charges. Other major operators — O2, EE, 3 — haven’t publicly confirmed that they will increase calling rates.

If roaming charges are brought back, businesses in and outside of Britain and the EU can use virtual phone numbers as an alternative. For example, an EU company can get a UK phone number to connect with local customers in the UK without worrying about roaming or international charges.

5. Online Services

Lastly, when within the EU, there was a legal guarantee that the UK would have access to online services. However, this guarantee is no longer valid. Individual providers will need to decide how to make adjustments and amend their provisions.

How Global Call Forwarding Can Help with Brexit

The Brexit deal has led to both victories and uncertainties for people of different sectors in the UK and EU societies. Global Call Forwarding can ease some of these concerns by providing businesses in the UK and EU with European virtual phone numbers to help transition more effectively. You can sign up for a virtual phone number or buy a toll-free UK number on our website. Or, speak with our global specialists at 1 (888) 908 6171 to get a better understanding of how we can support your business during this change.

Top 8 Countries for Global Expansion in 2024

Take your business to the global stage in 2024 by extending services to these countries. Here we highlight 8 top countries to consider for global expansion. We also list important resources such as business contacts and business phone numbers.

8 Countries to Consider for Global Business Expansion in 2024

What do you need to make your global expansion successful? Here are a few global expansion best practices to pay attention to:

  • Before entering new markets:
    • Research the market and review your competition
    • Plan and outline exactly how you will target and enter new markets
    • Conduct test marketing to examine how your product will perform and how new customers will react to your product
  • While entering new markets:
    • List down essential local authorities to work with
    • Develop local partnerships
    • Get local business phone numbers to create communication channels
    • Utilize international marketing to increase brand awareness
  • Once you’ve entered the new market:
    • Use an international call forwarding service to stay connected with your customers, no matter where you are located
    • Take advantage of around-the-clock and multichannel customer support
    • Satellite offices and remote workers can help develop a strong local presence
  • Attaining global expansion after COVID-19:
    • Utilize global communication tools to stay connected with your valued customers
    • Demonstrate how your business is following COVID safety protocols
    • Invest in online security and privacy measures
    • Secure your supply lines and vendors

Keeping these tips in mind, let’s now look at the top 8 countries for global expansion in 2024.

1. Thailand

Thailand — also called the “Land of the Free” — has been steadily growing its influence around the world. A Southeast Asian country located between Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, and in close proximity to Malaysia, Thailand is in a prime position for international trade. Forbes has ranked Thailand as the 8th best-emerging market of 2024. Foreign direct investment has been successful in these major sectors: automotive, electronics, and digital sectors.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Foreign Licensing Department of the Ministry of Commerce
  • Thailand Board of Investment (BOI)
  • SMART Visa Program
  • Thailand 4.0
  • Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce
  • Revenue Department
  • National Innovation Agency (NIA)

Related: Thailand Virtual Phone Numbers

2. Malaysia

Even though Malaysia is a small country, it has a fast-growing economy with a high-skilled population. Malaysia has ranked high for its business-friendly environment, entrepreneurship, and quality of life. The main reason businesses look to expand to Malaysia is due to its favorable tax environment and affordable manufacturing costs.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM)
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Communications and Multimedia
  • Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC)

Related: Malaysia Virtual Phone Numbers

3. China

China has been in the news for a variety of reasons in 2020. However, despite being the first epicenter of the coronavirus and being under lockdown for months, the country is projected to bounce back at uncharacteristic speed through a Belt and Road Initiative. As such, businesses may want to consider adding China to their global expansion list.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Professional Employment Organization (PEO)
  • RMB Accounts
    • Bank of Communications
    • China Merchants Bank
    • Ping An Bank
    • Shanghai Pudong Development Bank
  • Chinese Visa Applications
  • U.S.-China Business Council

Related: China Virtual Phone Numbers

4. Philippines

The Philippines, though a small country, has one of the best-performing stock markets in Asia and a liberalized and business-friendly economy. Its economy has quickened and it has been projected to sustain positive growth for the next 6 years. Additionally, there are many resources, networks, and market opportunities that support new businesses and help them grow in the Philippines.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Philippine Embassy or Consulate
  • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
  • Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL)
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  • Cooperative Development Authority

Related: Phone Numbers in the Philippines

5. Switzerland

Switzerland boasts a highly competitive economy, a skilled and talented workforce, and is a hub for innovation. Its policies and business opportunities are highly attractive to foreign investments. Take advantage of its business culture and quality of life to further develop your business.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Agreement of Free Movement of Persons
  • State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)
  • Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
  • Switzerland’s commercial register
  • Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Registry

6. Indonesia

More and more investors are looking at Indonesia as part of their global expansion plan. This country’s business scene has many positive elements such as ease of doing business, cross-border trade capabilities, the ability for foreign investors to own land, and more.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM)
  • Ministry of Law and Human Rights
  • Ministry of Manpower
  • Online Single Submission (OSS) System

Related: Indonesia Toll Free Numbers for Business

7. Australia

Australia has been maintaining its steady economic growth for the past 25 years. Being a sustainable investment destination, Australia has attracted — and continues to attract — foreign investment from all over the world.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC )
  • Australian Government Business Registration Service (BRS)
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Private service provider (PSP)
  • Domain Administration Ltd

Related: How to Get Australian Phone Numbers

8. Italy

Italy boasts a stable economy and a strong manufacturing sector. This along with its stable political climate and pro-investment culture makes Italy a good choice for global expansion.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Register of Enterprises in Italy
  • Registrar of Companies
  • Italian Tax Authorities

Related: Italy Virtual Phone Numbers

Expand Globally in 2024

Take your business to the global stage in 2024 by expanding to new target markets and increasing your customer base. Establish connections, build global networks, test the market, and improve your global sales, one step at a time. We at Global Call Forwarding have the tools you need to communicate globally with your customers and business contacts. Call or chat with us today to learn more!

International Phone Etiquette for Business in 2024

Dealing with global customers is not always easy. Add to this, cultural differences, language barriers, and cultural nuances, and you have yourself a messy situation. However, you can prepare better so that you navigate these differences professionally and develop valuable relationships. Follow the appropriate international phone etiquette when conducting business interactions with international customers and clients.

What is Proper International Phone Etiquette?

When working with global customers and clients, you will have to have in-person, phone, and video conversations to move forward or close deals. Oftentimes, people are so used to doing business within their country or locally that they may be unaware of international business conventions.

International phone etiquette is the awareness of the differences and subtleties between various countries and regions and how to navigate these differences in order to communicate effectively.

How to Communicate Well with International Customers

So, what factors of international communication do you need to keep in mind when connecting with global customers? Here are some key elements to pay attention to:

1. Respect their Titles
When conducting business interactions, make sure you are aware of local conventions for addressing your attendees. Different countries have different cultural conventions for addressing one another. For example, in the US, using words such as “guys” may be common during business meetings. However, in countries like Japan and Germany, conventions are different: In Japan, it is polite to address someone by their first name, followed by “san.” On the other hand, in Germany, first names are not preferred. Instead, people are addressed by Herr/Frau followed by their last name. Being aware of these nuances can help you develop demonstrate respect and stronger relationships.

2. Listen Carefully and Actively
When dealing with international clients and business partners, a common challenge is understanding and interpreting accents. A second challenge is misunderstanding cultural references. To counter this issue, listen actively and carefully and when needed, ask for clarification. This is an important part of international phone etiquette. Furthermore, be clear in your own pronunciation and diction; speak slowly and clearly. If required, rephrase your sentence for better clarity and to avoid misunderstandings.

3. Don’t Use Slang
Avoid local and cultural slang, colloquialisms, or references as this may not work in an international setting. You will end up leaving your business partners or clients confused and they may see this as a sign of informality. In some cases, you may even offend some one. Awareness is required to identify and steer away from slang terms, phrases, and buzzwords.

4. Avoid Frustrations and Talking Down
Lastly, be careful when toeing the line of speaking clearly and dumbing down your words and sentences. You may run the risk of offending someone and sounding rude and patronizing. Be patient and focus on the common goal of communicating effectively.

Why is it Important to Practice Phone Etiquette?

Being aware of and practicing international phone etiquette can go a long way in securing essential deals and developing significant relationships. For many companies and clients, conducting business via phone and video conversations is a new shift.

In fact, some may still be apprehensive of closing deals without face-to-face interaction. If you do not show respect during phone conversations or are unaware of international business conventions, you may lose a valuable business relationship. And so, practicing phone etiquette can help you ease any discomfort and hesitancy.

The Do’s and Don’t of International Phone Etiquette

Below, we will look at the Do’s and Don’ts of international business phone etiquette for the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • China
  • South Africa
  • France
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • UAE
  • India
  • UK
  • Italy
  • USA
  • Japan

Australia australia

Do: Be bold. The business culture is accepting and respectful of new perspectives, even if they contradict others’ point of view. Expect business calls to be conducted in a relaxed affair, often casual and not purely focused on business. You may even be invited to informal gatherings outside of work.

Don’t: Avoid being too formal and procedural; business in Australia is often casual. Don’t schedule calls during the afternoons; Australian value and respect a work/life balance.

Brazil brazil

Do: People on the phone often confirm the identity of who they are speaking to, even if the phone call was arranged. So, expect to reiterate who you are.

Don’t Don’t be taken back by interruptions during important conversations. Enthusiastic and lively conversations are part of the Brazilian culture and interruptions and informal chatting are common.

China china

Do: Answer phone calls no matter where you are or what you are doing. Personal relationships are essential to the Chinese business culture, so strive to maintain relationships.

Don’t Don’t ignore calls, even if you are unprepared. Avoid rushing into decision-making or deal-closing processes; take time to nurture and create relationships.

France france

Do: The French have a conversational style of communication. Expect interruptions and enthusiastic tones.

Don’t: Avoid making small talk; it is often considered unnecessary and can make the recipient uncomfortable. Don’t schedule calls for small matters that could easily be discussed in an email. Lastly, don’t speak in French unless you speak the language fluently.

Germany germany

Do: Germany follows a formal code of conduct when it comes to business meetings and calls. They value efficiency and directness. It is normal to introduce yourself by stating your name, last name (surname), and the company you represent. Additionally, when addressing someone, use Herr/Frau (Mr/Mrs) and the person’s last name (surname) instead of their first name. Respect authorities and hierarchies.

Don’t: Avoid making business calls in the evening; specifically, after 5pm (M-T) and 4pm (F).

India india

Do: Begin by building a relationship or rapport through friendly and polite conversation.

Don’t: Avoid rushing right into business talk. Say “We’ll try” instead of “No” as a polite way of refusing. Avoid answering other calls when speaking with a client; the client should be your main priority.

Italy italy

Do: Get to the point quickly during business calls; Italian businesspeople are known to stay focused and will remind you when you begin to ramble. Focus on short-term goals and plans.

Don’t: Avoid small talk and casual conversation not related to work. Long-term goals and plans may not be discussed in every conversation.

phone etiquette

Japan japan

Do: Schedule business calls during office hours. Be aware of the meaning of the word “Yes” — unlike in the West, “yes” may mean maybe or perhaps instead of acceptance. Usually, “yes” is used as a polite alternative to “no.” Respect hierarchies and authorities.

Don’t: Avoid answering phone calls in public (business meetings, restaurants, public transport). Don’t slam the phone at the end of the call; place it down gently instead.

Mexico mexico

Do: Persistent calling is acceptable; don’t give up too easily.

Don’t: Most Mexican business is done during in-person meetings and so don’t try to close a deal over the phone.

Russia russia

Do: Be patient. Scheduling meetings and progressing through business processes and transactions can take a while.

Don’t: Avoid trying to close a deal through phone conversations as most business transactions and deals are made via in-person meetings.

South Africa south africa

Do: Business in South Africa relies on physical appearances and so in-person meetings are preferred over phone conversations.

Don’t: Business in South Africa occurs in a slow and orderly fashion and so avoid asking for specific deadlines or fast negotiations. Don’t use translators; English is the language business is conducted in.

Spain spain

Do: Be prepared for a lengthy business call filled with small talk and arguments relating to work.

Don’t: Greeting with “Hola” is considered disrespectful.

United Arab Emirates uae

Do: Silence is common when deliberating over key decisions. Be wary of key nuances in the English language; for example, “yes” may mean perhaps or maybe instead agreement as it does in the West.

Don’t: Avoid asking how female relatives (wives and daughters) are doing—this is considered highly inappropriate.

United Kingdom uk

Do: Expect plenty of niceties and small talk before a meeting begins. Time is valuable; be punctual and apologize when late.

Don’t: Avoid time-wasting processes. Don’t eat when talking (in-person or on the phone).

United States of America us

Do: The American business culture is accepting and encouraging of conducting business over the phone or video conferencing; in-person meetings are not always required. Expect business decisions to be made quickly.

Don’t: Even though American business meetings are informal and casual in tone, punctuality and deadlines are important. So, don’t be late to meetings or in delivering projects and tasks.

Invest in the Right Tools for International Communication

Global Call Forwarding can support your international communication efforts with our international toll free numbers. You can sign up online or speak with our global specialists by calling 1 (888) 908 6171.

What is the Best Time to Make a Business Phone Call?

Sales teams and telemarketers are finding it increasingly difficult to connect with potential clients and prospects. This is because there is a growing intolerance for business calls interrupting one’s already hectic workday. However, inside sales and customer care teams can be smart about this and find better ways to connect with customers and prospects. To do this, you must identify the best time to make a business phone call and then train your agents and employees to follow professional and considerate business telephone etiquette.

What is the Best Time to Make a Sales Call?

Picking the best time to make a sales phone call depends on a variety of factors. These factors revolve around who your core and target demographic is and what their daily schedules are like:

  • Do they work 9-5 jobs?
  • Are they parents who will be busy taking care of their children before 9 AM and after 5 PM?
  • Are they students who have classes at various times of the day?

Determining your customers’ schedules can help you identify the best times to call them regarding a past or present purchase. Not only should you call at the appropriate time, but you should also maintain professional business phone etiquette. By practicing professionalism and respect for your clients’ time, you will increase the chances of developing good relationships and more conversions.

Best Days of the Week to Make Sales Calls

According to a recent study on the best times to cold call businesses, Wednesdays and Thursdays were identified as the best days of the week to call potential clients and customers. On Mondays, buyers and clients are easing into work mode and preparing for their upcoming week. Similarly, on Fridays, people are generally already in weekend mode and not looking for new business opportunities. Cold calls and unscheduled calls during this time are often sources of frustration and can lead to immediate rejection.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays — the middle of the week — individuals have settled into the workweek and are prepared for all kinds of business. During this time, your call will feel less like an interruption. As such, calls made on Wednesdays and Thursdays have a higher rate of translating into actual conversions.

Best Time of Day to Make a Business Phone Call

When calling customers and prospects, you have to be respectful of their time. Most telemarketers and salespeople fail to connect with their clients by calling them at the wrong time and proceeding to take up a lot of their time. So, what is the best time to make a business phone call?

The best time to make business calls is between 4 PM and 5 PM. Clients and potential buyers are getting done with their work around this time and have the mental capacity to consider your business or proposal. Avoid making calls early in the morning or when buyers are just getting settled into their workday. So, how early can you make a business call? The second best time for business calls is between 11 AM and 12 PM.

Also keep in mind, what time during the day your business will not have as much success cold calling. As a general rule of thumb, avoid making calls between 1 PM and 3 PM. This is the time most people take lunch and are least productive. Therefore, you may not get an ideal response. Furthermore, do not call clients after 6 PM, unless they give you permission to do so. You will only frustrate them during their free time and lose their business.

best time to call infographic

Other Sales Call Etiquette or Habits to Keep in Mind

As you can see, the recommendations for the best day and time to cold call clients take into account their schedules so you are not bothering them during peak hours. Following this thread, your team should also practice other healthy cold calling habits to maintain professionalism and improve the way your customers view the business. Here are some good business phone etiquette points and habits to follow:

  1. Always ask if they are available for a conversation; don’t jump right into the sales pitch.
  2. Don’t interrupt your customer; wait for them to finish.
  3. Don’t rush your prospect into making a decision or show frustration at the time they are taking.
  4. Don’t be distracted or eat during business calls; your customer should be your priority.
  5. Ensure there is no noise of conversations happening in the background.
  6. Return calls and follow up as promised.
  7. If you need to keep a customer on hold for a long time, ask to call them back instead of making them wait.
  8. The best time to call a prospect or customer is within an hour of them reaching out to you (via phone calls, emails, query forms, etc).
  9. Don’t call a prospect more than 6 times, if they have denied interaction.
  10. Use a business phone system that has high voice quality to avoid any miscommunication or need for additional callbacks.

Related: International Phone Etiquette for Business in 2024

Upgrade Your Business Phone System

Global Call Forwarding’s virtual phone systems offer high voice quality and global connectivity for businesses of varying sizes. You can start by purchasing a virtual phone number or porting your existing business number to our service and then building a phone system customized to your communication needs. Call us today at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online to learn more!

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 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.

international 800 numbers

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.

SMS is Not Dead: How Businesses Can Leverage SMS Marketing in 2024

No matter who you are, when you hear the familiar ping of your phone letting you know you have a message, it is almost impossible to resist the urge to see who wants to get in touch.

Most of us will stop what we are doing and have a quick look, just to check if the message is something urgent from a friend, family member or client.

This natural human instinct to respond to a notification is why SMS is by no means dead. In fact, it is alive, kicking and essential.

Consider that according to Deloitte’s Mobile Nation report, 89 per cent of Australians own a smartphone. And while there are plenty of messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, SMS capability is pre-loaded on every device.

What’s more, when it comes to using smartphones, research has found that texting is the number one activity, even above using the device for phone calls.

Despite this, most major brands don’t have a mobile marketing strategy. They leave this amazing opportunity on the table; often because they fail to realize how simple and affordable sending automated texts via a bulk SMS platform can be.

Email vs mobile marketing

Sending a bulk SMS to your customers really is as simple as sending an EDM.

And while email open rates can be depressingly low (20 per cent is seen as a great result), studies have shown that texts and bulk send SMS open rates can exceed 90 per cent.

Due to the endless flood of emails received each day, people are increasingly turning off their inbox notifications. This is probably why marketing emails usually sit unopened for over an hour, while mobile marketing messages tend to get noticed in five minutes or less. Click-through rates are higher with texts as well (6 per cent for email vs 36 per cent for SMS).

Switching to mobile marketing and adding an SMS strategy to your campaigns just makes good business sense.

Related: Even more fascinating statistics about SMS marketing from SMSGlobal

Ways to use mobile marketing

With a bulk SMS platform, you can contact your entire database with a major marketing message or send personalized messages based on where your customers are at in their journey.

Here are a dozen awesome ways to integrate SMS to your client communications:

  • Bulk send special offers and limited promotions
  • Automate appointment or event reminders
  • Confirm orders
  • Send package delivery notifications 
  • Send Christmas, birthday or ‘client anniversary’ wishes
  • Bulk send new product updates
  • Share links to helpful content
  • Send customer surveys (you can even send a question with a yes/no answer and request responses)
  • Send competition entry links
  • Issue e-tickets
  • Start personalized conversations
  • Establish simple or complex recurring message functions

The way you use SMS can be tailored to your business and your customers. Get creative and have fun or use a bulk SMS platform as a practical way to support the people who rely on your business.

Related: Offbeat ways businesses use SMS to increase engagement 

How to use mobile marketing

Communicating with your audience using a mobile messaging solution is relatively simple. Once you have created your strategy and identified which customers you want to get in touch with, all you need is a platform designed to integrate SMS messaging with your existing technology. 

For example, if your business uses Salesforce, Zapier, HubSpot, WordPress, BigCommerce or Magento, you can connect it to an SMS platform like SMSGlobal. When a client signs up, makes a purchase or indicates that they would like more information, a text can be scheduled or delivered immediately. 

A good provider that gives value for money will be able to adapt to your existing platforms and will have a ‘built for you’ service, so you and your team don’t have to spend time figuring out how to activate your mobile messaging solution. They will even be able to take on the challenge of creating a bespoke HTTP integration that can work with your business’ unique software. 

SMS is what you make it

If you want the most direct line to your customers, integrate SMS messaging and create a mobile marketing strategy. Thanks to the current technology available, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the messages you send and how you initiate conversations with your clients.