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7 Best Outbound Calling Strategies: Make Calls That Convert

Is your sales team suffering from a low period and struggling to reach monthly goals? It may be time to rethink your sales techniques and make some improvements. Here are …Read More »

Is your sales team suffering from a low period and struggling to reach monthly goals? It may be time to rethink your sales techniques and make some improvements. Here are some outbound calling strategies to reevaluate your cold-calling tactics and bring your company back on the right track.

Outbound Calling Strategies

There are several reasons why businesses with large outgoing call volumes succeed or fail. A lot of it has to do with how you are conducting your outbound calls, the level of training your agents undergo, and the tools and technology you use. What strategies can you use to refine your outbound calling results?

1. Set (or Re-set) Goals

The first step when creating any strategy is to decide on the end goals. What is everyone on the team hoping to achieve through these tactics? Is the objective to gain straight sales or set appointments or just survey prospects to determine which are valuable? Additionally, how many calls do you intend to make over the course of a week or month? Having these goals established will ensure each team member is on the same page and works towards the same end.

2. Create the Right List

Another important step in attempting to sell your product or service is identifying who your target audience is. If you don’t pay attention to this key factor, you will waste time calling the wrong people and not making the right sales. Start by conducting market research to determine and understand your ideal customer group. Then, create a list and work off of that.

3. Work with the Marketing Department

Working with the marketing department can help you understand when and how the company may be losing prospects. Use that information to fix the problems before they occur. For example, say your marketing team discovers that most failed customers are the ones that result in abandoned carts. Your outbound strategy might then focus on reaching out to these users and helping them complete the process or resolve any existing doubt.

4. Train Your Agents

Preparing your agents is equally important. Conduct training sessions every couple of months as a refresher to reinforce company standards. Additionally, make sure that reps are familiar with the tools, software, and technology they need to use. This way, no time is wasted on learning in the middle of a call. Provide training materials and opportunities like webinars, textbooks, seminars, etc., that can assist agents in doing their best and increasing their confidence when on-call. Consider using call recording for quality assurance and performance analysis. Reward successful interactions and use failed interactions as lessons.

5. Rethink the Script

To follow the script or not? That is the real question. It is known that customers automatically tap out of a conversation when they hear a monotonous script that they know had been heard by many. But scripts help reps retain key information, stay consistent, and make fewer mistakes. The cold-calling script acts as a safe switch for when they forget or lose track of their speech. The trick to creating a script that is informative but not monotonous is to give reps input. Let them create the script with you through a collaborative and flexible process so that their concerns and issues can be represented as well. And the final product is one that works for everybody.

6. Prospect Comes First

Keeping the prospect engaged and interested has often proven to be a difficult task. If they did not expect your call, it’s less likely that the customer will let you even complete the first sentence of your script. First, you want to grab their attention with an offer that piques their interest. Use persuasive words and phrases. Make customers feel valued and heard. Perhaps you can call them by their name, ask how they are doing, and ease into the script. Let them know how you came across their contact. This way, you don’t come across as creepy or stalker-ish. More importantly, be mindful of their time and let them know that. Offer to set up another call time, if they are busy now. Letting your customers know you care and respect their time will give you a better chance at converting them.

7. Smart Calling

Besides implementing all these strategies, keep in mind that timing matters as well. If you are calling prospects too many times or during odd hours, chances are, you will lose that sale. Additionally, if you call an interested client too late, that too may be a dead end. Using analytics, determine what are the best times of the day and days of the week to reach out or return calls. For example, you can use outbound calling to follow up with an interested customer who dealt with a sales chat rep or interacted with your website or requested a callback. Here, the sooner you connect with them, the better you can capitalize on their interest.

Outbound Calling with Global Call Forwarding

Want to upgrade your company’s outbound calling service? Purchase outbound calling and virtual numbers from Global Call Forwarding. You can then use our Customized Caller ID feature to override the caller ID to display one of the numbers you purchased instead. For example, that way, when calling Mauritius, the caller ID will display a Mauritius number. Additionally, you can also get Outbound Call Recording and record outgoing calls! Sign up today or talk to an expert for more information.

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Infographic: Must-Know Facts About Business Phone Calls

Business communications are an important factor in the successful running of an enterprise. Whether you are using in-house customer care teams or outsourcing to a contact center, how you interact …Read More »

Business communications are an important factor in the successful running of an enterprise. Whether you are using in-house customer care teams or outsourcing to a contact center, how you interact with potential customers can heavily impact your sales. Advancements in telecom technology have paved a way to enhance office productivity and sales with call forwarding, tracking and recording, high call quality, and more. And these tools have made it easier than ever to maintain good customer relations through business calls. Keeping some of the below stats in mind, you can determine what is the best way for your company to connect with users.

Business Calls: Increasing Productivity and Customer Retention

Business dealings consist of internal and external calls. Internal refers to correspondences within the company and its team members. External calls, on the other hand, relate to the incoming and outgoing calls that connect your business to its clients. A good office phone system will ensure the smooth running of all business communication channels. With good call quality and contact tools, you can attract more customers while making yourself always reachable for returning ones.

Reasons Why Business Calls are Still Important

Interestingly, more than 92% of all customer interaction happens on the phone. Convenience and good customer service are strong contributing factors. It is no surprise that individuals find customer care important. A business that is easily reachable increases trust in the eyes of the caller because they know that you can solve an issue quickly, if the need arises. On the other hand, a company that takes the time out to call a user to provide information or assistance can further pique their interest in the service. Welcome and follow-up calls are appreciated because the customer can feel valued and not just treated as another price point.

Another reason why they prefer calling over emailing is that they believe a phone call is the quickest and most effective way to get a response. More than half of website visitors prefer contacting an enterprise through phone calls rather than email or contact forms. Click-to-call ads and call-to-actions which appear on mobile searches have greatly increased this number. Click-to-call options appear on sponsored ads or business listings where they provide a call button. Web visitors can click on these buttons to immediately call the business instead of searching for the number and dialing it in their dial-pad to call.

Tools That Enhance Business Dealings

Virtual phone service providers offer a wide range of tools that can be used and customized to meet your corporation’s needs. You can use call distribution features like Call Forwarding, Simultaneous Ringing, Time of Day Routing to direct calls to different destinations and locations. The point of this is to ensure that if one agent or employee is unable to answer a call, another one can. Additionally, if you have offices spread across states and countries, you can forward calls to those areas during certain hours. Again, this makes sure that if your office is closed or busy, another team can answer calls. The key is to make your business accessible so that customers don’t have trouble reaching you. At the same time, effective call distribution will ensure that your employees are not overwhelmed with overflowing business calls.

You can use tools like Call Recording, Analytics, and Call Tracking to improve and strategize. Recorded calls can help train new employees and act as a refresher for current employees. You can also identify good and weak sales tactics, or conduct performance analyses based on how agents behave on call. Call tracking and analytics can provide insight into important call stats and metrics like:

  • Number of calls occurring over a day, week, or mont
  • Average handle times (AHT)
  • Customer effort score (CES)
  • Average speed of answering (ASA)
  • Queue times
  • Where incoming calls are coming from, etc.

Use this information to retrain agents or streamline marketing efforts, all with the end goal of refining customer relations.

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Make Good and Lasting Connections

Improving your business communications is the first step to attracting new customers and satisfying existing users. Sign up with Global Call Forwarding to take advantage of our virtual phone service tools and features or call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more.

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How To Record a Phone Call

No matter which end of business you are on, you may need to learn how to record a phone call. This is significant when you need to remember important information …Read More »

No matter which end of business you are on, you may need to learn how to record a phone call. This is significant when you need to remember important information or store important information that can be referred to later. It is not always possible or convenient to type out notes from a phone call. But a recording of that call gives you more time with the material. It also gives you time to review and learn from the quality of that conversation. And so, call recording is becoming an increasingly necessary tool for business communications, even more for companies looking to improve their customer service efforts.

How To Record A Phone Call for Business

You can choose how to record a phone call from a few different methods. But it depends on what type of phone system you have and what type of calls you want to record. For instance, do you want to record incoming calls only or outgoing calls, as well? Additionally, if the quality of the recording is important for your purposes, then you may want a call recording software that is designed specifically for good recordings.

It is important to note that there are federal and state laws regarding recording phone calls. To be careful, always ensure both parties verbally consent to being recorded, so that you don’t run into any trouble. Read the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules for information about call recording laws.

Call Recording to Boost Customer Care

Many companies, such as call centers and customer service businesses, use call recording to keep track of customer interaction. Recording calls and then reviewing them later can help to identify successes and areas of improvement. For instance, you can use recorded calls to train or monitor employees on what to do and not to do when on a call. Or, you can use recordings to establish customer profiles and preferences. They can be a way to survey your target audience and understand how they are interacting with your product and business.

And so, customer service agencies and large corporations seek call recording software to manage their needs. Sometimes, they opt to work with a phone service provider that lets you record inbound and outbound calls. But the question remains, how to record a phone call without it interrupting your communication experience?

Recording on Your Smartphone

Sometimes, you need to record a call on your Android or iPhone to store important information, especially when you are unable to write down info during the call. For example, certain professions like journalism or reporting would require the interviewer to record the on-going call. And then, refer to it later for exact quotes. Other times, you need the person on the other end to provide verbal consent for a service, and the recording acts as evidence. Either way, recording the call can save you time that would otherwise be spent looking for that information.

Keep in mind, however, Androids and iPhones don’t come with built-in call recording abilities. Although, you can get a recorder app on your smartphone and start recording when you dial a number. Or, you can get a calling app with a built-in recorder. These can record calls and help you manage, share, and store them, as well. Another option is to buy cheap hardware or a recording gadget and plug it into your phone.

However, there are some shortcomings in recording apps that may impede your business’ communications. For example, apps may be able to record either incoming or outgoing calls, but not both. Or, they may be able to record calls made to your personal phone only, making it difficult to access all recordings in one consolidated space. For these purposes, you may want to consider a call recording software or a phone service provider that offers recording capabilities.

Record Calls with Global Call Forwarding

Imagine this: a phone service that lets you record inbound and outbound calls, record calls from anywhere, and on any device. When you purchase a virtual telephone number from Global Call Forwarding, you can also make use of its call recording feature. This feature lets you record calls from all virtual lines associated with your account. It also stores recordings as MP3 files in the control panel. This makes it easy to access all recordings in one place and play them back as needed.

And, now, with Global Call Forwarding’s new feature Outbound Call Recording, businesses can record outgoing calls as well. And then use these recordings to monitor performance, avoid liabilities, and more. But more importantly, you do not need any additional equipment or set up for this to work efficiently. All you need to do is access your control panel on your device and make or answer calls.

Improve Customer Interaction and Build Better Relations

Now that you know how to record a phone call, it is just a matter of choosing which way, app, or software to go ahead with. You can improve the way you correspond with important clients and keep records of conversations that may be needed later. And, you can increase employee productivity by rewarding desired behaviors and training ones that need improvement. Recording phone calls can be beneficial to the overall functioning of a business. Call Global Call Forwarding today to see how we can help you with your call recording needs.

benefirt of local-phone-numbers-bulk

The Benefits of Buying Local Phone Numbers in Bulk

Local numbers are a smart addition to any business. They give your business an authentic presence in particular target markets and make your company more accessible to individuals in local …Read More »

Local numbers are a smart addition to any business.

They give your business an authentic presence in particular target markets and make your company more accessible to individuals in local and international areas. Given the fact that your business needs a new phone number for each targeted area, the need to get bulk toll free numbers is a high-priority. Therefore, the more that you purchase in bulk, the greater the benefits for your business.

Let’s take a look at the many benefits that come with using bulk local numbers from Global Call Forwarding, including:

  • Tracking Marketing Efforts
  • Easy Access for Your Customers
  • Improving Regional Marketing Efforts
  • Streamlining Your Business
  • Cost-Effective Business Expansion
  • Utilizing Advanced Features to Remain Competitive

Track Marketing Efforts

By using multiple local numbers, you can see where the majority of calls are coming from. For instance, with the intuitive dashboard from Global Call Forwarding, you gain insight into how effective your advertising campaigns are. Additionally, you can also view the effect of regional marketing campaigns, which appeal to different target demographics. Most importantly, armed with this insight, you can make more intelligent decisions about marketing, distribution, and more.

Easy Access for Your Customers

When using localized phone numbers in international markets, you make it easy for customers to contact you. In other words, there are no long-distance fees, no service blockages, and no issues when dialing out of the country. That is to say, bulk local numbers consolidate particular regions and open up communication there. For instance, purchasing bulk local numbers in Europe can facilitate communication between countries that ordinarily have restricted access or require separate SIM cards for callers.

Improve Regional Marketing Efforts

Each domestic market that your business wants to interact with has an inherent bias towards domestic businesses. Having a presence in multiple markets but differentiating each one with a local number is a valuable asset to your company.

For example, the United States is a country comprised of 50 states, 16 territories, and the District of Columbia (a federal district). To get adequate coverage, you may want to purchase a local phone number for the major cities of the U.S. For larger organizations, you can purchase a local phone number for each state/territory to ingratiate your business.

Streamline Your Business

The routing capabilities of virtual phone numbers can sum up all of the bulk phone numbers and redirect them to one destination phone number. This means that you don’t have to constantly switch between numbers or constantly redirect inbound calls.

Further, using an add-on like simultaneous ringing ensures that all connected phone numbers ring to multiple devices. Whether your employees use a laptop, headset, smartphone, and more, inbound calls are streamlined. This is valuable for providing customer service as fast as possible, never leaving a potential call unanswered.

Cost-Effective Business Expansion

It has never been easier to grow your business than buying local phone numbers in bulk. From emerging startups to established enterprises, bulk local phone numbers immediately give your business a presence in whatever market you’re looking to penetrate. Simply choose a local phone number, advertise it to your audience, and begin to receive calls.

Furthermore, there’s no need for opening up a branch office in a new area, which has been an insurmountable barrier for many SMBs and startups. With bulk local phone numbers, your business can save time and resources to focus on other aspects of your organization

Utilizing Advanced Features to Stay Competitive

The bottom line is, when you purchase bulk local numbers with Global Call Forwarding, you’re gaining the ability to use advanced tech in your business model. Likewise, we offer businesses and individuals a wide range of add-ons and features that can revolutionize how you compete in your industry. For example, some of these include:

In Summary

Global Call Forwarding can help your business get bulk local numbers hassle-free. Consequently, the process is 100% online and/or with the assistance of our expert representatives. Above all, if your organization is still on the fence about getting bulk local free numbers, consider the benefits of having them and contact us today!

what is the meaning of an outbound call?

What Is Meant By Inbound And Outbound Calls

What Is The Meaning Of An Inbound Call? Inbound calls are types of calls that a customer makes in order to connect with a contact center or a call center. …Read More »

What Is The Meaning Of An Inbound Call?

Inbound calls are types of calls that a customer makes in order to connect with a contact center or a call center. The help desk also responds to inbound calls just like a contact center, but calls initiated to a help desk will usually come from employees and less likely from a customer.

Inbound and outbound calls can be attended to exclusively or in a combination of both by the call center.

Customers who initiate an inbound call to a call center will usually be doing so to make inquiries about products and services, as well as to make complaints. The information gathered by the call center agent is then used to find a resolution to the complaint or to provide information that the customer has inquired upon.

There are several metrics that are used to measure the performance of an inbound call agent, these include: average handle time (AHT), time in the queue, and first call resolution (FCR). Inbound call centers occasionally enumerate the service goals that the call center will aim for in a service-level agreement (SLA).

Due to advancement in communication technology, inbound call agents now communicate with customers via other means such as chat and through emails, which allows customers’ needs to be met from a variety of methods.

What Is The Meaning Of An Outbound Call?

Unlike an inbound call that is initiated by the customer, an outbound call is a call to a customer from the call center or on behalf of a business. Have you ever received a call from a strange number with a voice which could be that of a man or a lady asking for or giving information about a product or service? That is what an outbound call is.

Outbound calls are part of a series of activities that businesses engage in by utilizing call centers to reach out to their customers and prospects.

Are Outbound Calls Effective?

Modern technology has improved the features of outbound calls that assist call centers in doing a better and effective job. New features such as auto-dialing and predictive dialing are tools that help call center agents maximize their time more efficiently.

Another great tool that helps in making outbound calls more efficient is the automatic call-back tool. Other features such as call scheduling, as well as customer relationship management tools all help to enhance the quality of outbound calls. Call center agents who have information about customer behavior are equipped to make better quality outbound calls.

Generally, outbound calls have improved in efficiency over the last decade with improvements made to enterprise software, which are readily available and are at the disposal of the call center.

The typical nature of an outbound can include:

  • Fundraising calls
  • Sales calls
  • Telemarketing
  • Calls for contact list updating purposes
  • Surveys
  • Verification services

What Is An Inbound Call Center?

An inbound call center is company that responds to calls initiated by customers.

Inbound call centers are designed to provide customer support or service. In many cases, inbound call centers have been found to be a part of the sales division by taking sales orders and also to serve as an internal help desk for organization and businesses.

Inbound call centers provide the following services:

  • Reservations, scheduling appointments, registrations
  • Customer service – respond to complaints, take inquiries, and requests
  • Order entry and processing, along with taking sales orders
  • Support for customers, as well as internally for certain businesses

In most cases, many organizations do not directly handle inbound calls. They usually contract that aspect to external inbound call centers. Businesses rely on external call centers to receive inbound calls because it is typically cheaper to purchase the service, rather than paying the cost of employing several call center agents, along with implementing an actual call center into their business.

Most businesses take advantage of incurring the cost of inbound calls on a “per minute” charging basis compared to incurring the financial burden of acquiring calling equipment and staff that the task needs.

What Is An Outbound Call Center?

An outbound call center is a type of business activity center that consists of a collection of call center agents who make calls to existing and prospective customers on behalf of clients and businesses.

Outbound calls are often facilitated with the use of modern technology in order for them to be efficient. With the help of tools like a predictive dialer, a large volume of calls can be made within a shorter time.

These are some of the uses of outbound call centers:

  • Great for proactive customer service – delivery arrangements, informing customers about delays in delivery or other services
  • Sales calls to prospective customers
  • For booking appointments/ appointment setting
  • A method used for acquiring market research
  • Consumer satisfaction surveys
  • Sales calls to existing customers – upselling or cross-selling
  • Sales calls to existing customers – renewals

What Are The Differences Between Inbound And Outbound Call Centers?

The type of calls that take place at a call center ultimately determines whether that call center is an inbound call center or an outbound call center. This is the main factor that can differentiate between one or the other.

If over 50% of calls that take place at a call center are inbound, that call center is considered an inbound call center. The same criterion applies to outbound call centers.

If you operate a call center, determining the type of call center that you are operating or planning to operate is key to implementing the protocols and systems you want to run in your call center.

For example, if your call center handles primarily inbound calls, there may not be a need for technology devices like a predictive dialer. Your focus will be more on tools that are more suited to inbound calls.

For call centers that are engaged in outbound calls activities, more resources should be put into software programs that will help make them more efficient. Tools such as call scheduling, predictive dialing, and automatic callback are some of the essentials for an outbound calling center. Calling features such as call monitoring, which is great for listening in on outgoing calls should also be utilized for those interested in maximizing the services offered.

888 Meaning and How To Get an 888 Number

888 Meaning and How To Get an 888 Number

Are you seeing the 888 phone number everywhere and wondering what it stands for? You’ll notice these numbers on billboards, ads, company contact details, and more. Find out more about …Read More »

Are you seeing the 888 phone number everywhere and wondering what it stands for? You’ll notice these numbers on billboards, ads, company contact details, and more. Find out more about the 888 meaning and why you should get an 888 number.

888 Meaning: Get an 888 Phone Number for Your Business

When you type in “888 meaning” in Google, most search results will give you information about the spiritual meaning behind the 888 number. However, 888 numbers are also phone numbers used by businesses and corporations to correspond with their clients and customers.

The internet is filled with people wondering, is 888 a toll free number? Yes, the 888 number is a toll free code. And these numbers work just like 1-800 toll free numbers. Toll free numbers are numbers beginning with a three-digit code. Codes currently available are: 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 887, and 888. These numbers are preferred by businesses and their customers alike because calls made to toll free numbers charge the receiver and not the caller. Therefore, calling an 888 number is almost free for anyone calling. In cases of providers that offer text-enabled numbers, customers can also send and receive texts from toll free numbers.

You can purchase a regular toll free number or a virtual toll free number easily. Virtual phone numbers use voice over internet protocol (VoIP) systems to route calls over the internet. This is good for companies that have international clients or want to expand their business to neighboring cities and states. Calls made over an internet connection are much cheaper than through traditional phone lines, making them a viable option. So, how can you get an 888 phone number for your business? Here’s the process.

1) Find a Provider

The first step to getting an 888 phone number is researching various providers. A virtual number can give you added benefits and features that work over the internet, making sure you are always connected. So, you may also want to consider getting a virtual 888 number. Browse through a variety of plans available and see what rates work for you. Most rates are based on the number of minutes used or the number of users.

Global Call Forwarding has five plans: Basic, Value, Power, Premium, and Enterprise. And they are all based on the number of calling minutes you may need. We also offer a Rollover Minutes feature which lets you accumulate unused minutes and carry them forward to the next month. We recommend Global Call Forwarding for virtual toll free numbers because we have a plan for businesses of every size. And setting up your 888 number with Global Call Forwarding is quick and easy.

2) Choose Additional Features

Another thing to consider when selecting a provider is the kind of features they offer. For example, do you need features like call forwarding and call transfer? Does your company have international offices and therefore, do you need to route calls to alternate numbers during certain times of day to ensure no call is missed? Then, features like Simultaneous Ringing, Time of Day Routing, etc can be very helpful. Additionally, if you want your company to seem professional to callers, setting up an interactive voice response (IVR) system may be a good idea. This will greet callers and direct them through a menu of options.

All of Global Call Forwarding’s plans include the following features:

  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Recording
  • Unlimited Extensions
  • Advanced IVR/PBX
  • Enterprise API
  • Customized Greeting
  • Time of Day Routing
  • Failover Forwarding
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Fax to Email
  • SMS Forwarding
  • Local Ringback Tone
  • Simultaneous Ringing
  • Sequential Forwarding
  • Select Country Forwarding
  • Account Management

These aside, you can add additional benefits that you require such as the new Outbound Call Recording feature or more. So, it is important to consider what providers can offer you and how these features can be customized for your specific needs.

3) Consider Making it a Vanity Number

Depending on the type of business you are running, you may want to consider making your 888 number a vanity number. Vanity numbers are unique and attractive numbers that utilize patterns or letters to make a statement. For example, 888-FLOWERS or 888-222-2224. Vanity numbers are easy to identify and remember which makes them a good tool to have.

Get an 888 Number to Make Your Business Communications Productive

Improve your business communications by signing up for an 888 number with Global Call Forwarding today! Or call us at 1-(888)-908-6171 or chat with us through our website to learn more.

Start Calling With Your Wireless VoIP Phone Set Up With Global Call Forwarding

Start Calling With Your Wireless VoIP Phone: Set Up With Global Call Forwarding

So, you’ve given in to peer pressure and decided to switch to VoIP for more flexible and easy communication. But now you need help setting up your wireless VoIP phone. …Read More »

So, you’ve given in to peer pressure and decided to switch to VoIP for more flexible and easy communication. But now you need help setting up your wireless VoIP phone. Global Call Forwarding makes it easy to prepare your phone for incoming and outgoing calls.

Wireless VoIP Phone Systems: Why You Need Them

A voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system allows you to make and receive calls over the internet. Because of this, you don’t need to pay traditional phone line charges or exorbitant long-distance calling fees. You only pay what you sign up for with your virtual phone service provider.

Setting up your wireless VoIP phone with Global Call Forwarding’s service is simple and easy to do. There are different applications you can use that are compatible with our service. Now, since VoIP systems work over the internet, you can use any device to make and receive your calls. For example, you can use your smartphone, laptop, iPad, tablet, or a desk phone. On our Outbound Calling instructions page, you will be prompted to choose between ‘Computer’ and ‘Phone.’ We’ll have a look at how to set up your VoIP on your smartphone.

Wireless VoIP Phone: Android and iOS

To make any of these apps work in configuration with your Global Call Forwarding service, you will need the following information: PIN number, Password, and Domain.

To locate the PIN number for your account:

  • Log into the Global Call Forwarding Control Panel.
  • On the left side, under Account Overview, select Outbound Calling.
  • In the first column, you will see your PIN number.
  • Then, on the right side, click on the Tools icon.
  • A pop-up will appear. Scroll down to Password.
  • Make a note of the PIN number and Password.
  • The domain associated with Global Call Forwarding is mysipaccount.net.

VoIP for Android

If you want to use your VoIP service over your Android phone, select ‘Phone’ from the outbound instructions page. Then, select ‘Android’ from the next dropdown menu. Then, you will have three software/apps to choose from: Zoiper, Grandstream, and CSipSimple. You can also download any of these apps from the Play Store app. After installing any one of the apps, open it and follow the prompts. Add an account by clicking the ‘+’ button, and click on Advanced Settings, if applicable. Next, enter your PIN number (under SIP username, ID, or authentication ID). Then, enter the password and domain, and you should be all set. Once the account is registered, start making calls with your wireless VoIP phone.

VoIP for iOS

Now, if you want to use our VoIP service on your iPhone or iPad, select ‘Phone’ and then iOS (Apple) from the instructions page. You will then be able to choose from Zoiper and Acrobits. These apps can also be found in the Apple Store as well. Install any one app, open it, and follow the prompts like you would for the Android phone. Add a new account and enter your PIN number, password, and domain. This will set your iPhone as a wireless VoIP phone.

Turning Your Laptop into a Wireless VoIP Device

Global Call Forwarding also gives you the option to convert your laptop or home computer into a wireless VoIP phone. On selecting ‘Computer’ from the Outbound Calling instructions page, you can select your operating system (OS): Windows and Mac. And then, download the appropriate software on your desktop to use our service. This way, you can make and receive business calls on your laptop, while multitasking and making call notes. This is a common practice for virtual call centers. Additionally, remote employees find this useful as well, since they need just one device to get all their work and calls done.

VoIP, a Virtual Communication Solution

Having mobile VoIP gives you many additional benefits that improve your communications: good call quality, call connection, group and video chats, and call conferencing. By converting your regular phone or computer to a wireless VoIP phone, you can make calls from just about anywhere. All you need is to set the software up once and then use a good internet connection. VoIP is a convenient and dependable way to ensure you are always accessible, even during international travel. Get equipped with a virtual phone system with Global Call Forwarding today and always stay connected!

ITFS numbers

What is an ITFS Number and How Does it Work?

What is an ITFS Number? ITFS stands for International Toll Free Service. An ITFS Number is an international toll free number that can be called with no charge to the …Read More »

What is an ITFS Number?

ITFS stands for International Toll Free Service. An ITFS Number is an international toll free number that can be called with no charge to the person making the call. ITFS numbers enable callers from a certain country to dial a phone number in a different country without being charged a long-distance fee.

How Does an ITFS Number Work?

While the person making the call does not incur any charge, the person or business that subscribes to the international toll free service gets billed for incoming call activity.

An ITFS number works by forwarding incoming calls internationally. Calls made to an ITFS number can be delivered to other countries using public switched telephone networks (PSTN) or Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

International toll free service is particularly useful for customer support and sales in other countries. Let’s assume that a business located in the United States has customers in China. That business would get a China ITFS number. Customers in China could dial the number for free and those calls could be answered in the United States or anywhere else in the world!

International Toll Free Service versus Direct Inward Dial

Direct Inward Dialing (DID) is a telephone service that enables incoming calls to ring through to a specific phone instead of going to a menu. ITFS also enables incoming calls to bypass a menu and go directly to a phone.

However, the calling party is usually charged a local fee when calling a DID number. Calls to an ITFS number, on the other hand, are completely free of charge.

ITFS Format

The format of ITFS numbers signals to callers that the phone number can be dialed for free. Depending on the country of origination, international toll free service numbers usually start with 800, 0800, or 1800.

International Toll Free Service around the World

ITFS is available from more than 160 countries around the world. However, the format of the numbers and overall perception can vary across different countries.

United States

For a foreign company wishing to establish a virtual market presence in the United States, the world’s largest economy, a US ITFS number is essential to your success. An ITFS number gives domestic callers access to your company. It allows customers in the United States to reach your foreign offices and virtual call centers at no cost to the customer. Prospective customers and business contacts are more likely to reach out to your company if the call is free.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a major participant in global business, and is a politically authoritative and economically dominant country. Therefore, companies would do well to establish a virtual presence there. Businesses in any country can establish a virtual presence in the UK with an ITFS number. The company simply needs to buy a UK ITFS number and forward the calls to the intended destination, anywhere in the world.

Toll free prefixes in the UK are primarily 800 and 0808, but 0500 is still used. Toll free numbers are free to call from within the UK, bust the cost of calls to the toll free subscriber is dependent upon the international destination. For example, the cost of calls to a business located in the USA differs from calls made to a virtual call center in India.

Germany

Telephone numbers in Germany are confusing because they vary in length. They contain both geographical and non-geographical codes. Cities with larger populations have shorter numbers. Older telephone numbers are also shorter. Therefore, if your company subscribes to a Germany ITFS number, callers in Germany can reach you with ease. They caller can simply dial a toll free number, and not an international dialing code plus an area code, while also paying for the call. 

China

China has a population of more than 1.3 billion people. Even the smallest company can gain access to this enormous consumer market, and project an international image in China with an ITFS number. The company simply needs to sign up for an international call forwarding service from China with an ITFS number. This will help the company grow its virtual business presence in China, and enable the firm to compete with large multinational organizations.

A China ITFS number will forward calls from China to a destination anywhere in the world. Call quality is important, and subscribers should look for a service provider that uses Tier 1 network carriers to forward calls from China. 

UAE

The UAE is a rapidly emerging market and business center in Western Asia. GCF provides ITFS numbers for the UAE as either 8000 plus 6-digit toll free numbers or local numbers with a +971 area code. These numbers allow foreign businesses to establish a virtual business presence in the UAE region. Many businesses have both 8000 toll free numbers and local numbers to provide toll free call forwarding to their customers.

If you have these numbers, consider utilizing attendants who are fluent in local dialects and languages. Because of time-zone differences, subscribers should consider setting up a free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that allows a computer greeting system to receive incoming calls from UAE and route them to the appropriate destination based on voice or keypad commands. By using IVR, your customers will appreciate you having gone out of your way to serve them.

India

India is one of the largest countries in the world. Its land area is just under 3 million sq km, and its population is approaching 1.3 billion. The GDP growth rate is 7.6%. Many Indian customers transact with foreign businesses using the internet and emails. However, businesses extend their reach in India by subscribing to an India ITFS number. An India toll free number gives customers in India a free way to call your business, and will encourage prospects and business contacts to reach out. A toll free forwarding service can be used to route calls from India to your business anywhere in the world.

How To Obtain a Work Visa in the United States

How To Obtain a Work Visa in the United States

For many people living outside the United States, working in the US is the ultimate dream because of better living conditions and exponential opportunities. However, the process of obtaining a …Read More »

For many people living outside the United States, working in the US is the ultimate dream because of better living conditions and exponential opportunities. However, the process of obtaining a work visa can be strenuous and complicated. And so, in this article, we’ve put together important information one needs to be aware of when considering getting a US work visa.

What You Need to Know About the US Work Visa

First, it is important to understand the different circumstances under which an individual can work in the US. According to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), individuals who wish to work in the US must have one of the following:

  • A Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
  • An Employment Authorization Document (work permit), or
  • An employment-related visa (allows work for a particular employer)
  • Each of these documents has different application requirements depending on your specific circumstance and whether you are applying for temporary or permanent visas.

Temporary vs Permanent

To work in the US, you need to obtain either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for a permanent stay. Here is an explanation of each:

A Temporary Worker: Works in the US for a temporary period of time. Once in the States, this worker is restricted to employment and activity for which their visa was issued. Depending on their situation, this visa may be eligible for renewal.

Temporary Visitors for Business: This visa also requires the need to obtain a business visa (B-1) when traveling for business-related activity.

Student and Exchange Visitors: With these visas, people may be allowed to work under certain circumstances as part of their educational program. Students must submit an application and get approved by authorized officials at their school or university. For example, students studying at a university need permission from a Designated School Official (DSO) while exchange students need approval from their Responsible Officer (RO). Students can work part-time during their school years with Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) and work post-graduation with Optional Practical Training (OPT) opportunities.

Permanent Workers: Are authorized to live and work permanently in the States.

Different Types of Work Visas

Next, you need to consider the different types of work visas offered by the United States government to determine which you are eligible for.

H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation This is a common work visa for those working in specialty occupations. A higher education degree is required.
H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional A post-secondary degree of least four years in the field of specialization is required.
H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker For agricultural work, temporary or seasonal. Limited to citizens of designated countries.
H-2B: Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker For non-agricultural work, temporary or seasonal. Limited to citizens of designated countries.
H-3: Trainee or Special Education Visitor Required in order to receive training, that is not graduate, medical, or academic, and provided the training is not available in the trainee’s home country.
L: Intracompany Transferee To transfer and work at a branch, parent, or affiliate of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or for a position requiring specialized knowledge.
O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture, and television fields.
P-1: Internationally Recognized Athlete or Performer To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance.
P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) To perform through an exchange program between an organization in the United States and another country.
P-3: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) To teach or perform under a cultural program focusing on a traditional ethnic, musical, folk, or artistic presentation.
Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program Required in order to teach or share information about the history, traditions, and culture of one’s home country through participation in a cultural exchange program.

 

Steps to Obtaining a Work Visa in the US

Step 1: Petition for nonimmigrant workers, Form I-129. An employer must submit Form I-129 on your behalf and this must be approved by USCIS before moving forward.

Step 2:Complete the online visa application. Once USCIS approves the Form I-129, you can apply for the visa. Start by completing the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-150. Upload your photo when completing the form. Then, print the application to bring to the interview.

Step 3:Schedule an interview. The interview will be scheduled at the US Embassy or Consulate in the country you reside in. Wait times vary based on location, season, and visa category.

Step 4: Prepare for the interview, pay the required application fee, and review instructions available on the website. L visa applicants may have to pay the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee and the Border Security Act fee.

Step 5: Gather the necessary documentation. Documents required are:

  • Passport valid for travel to the States
  • Confirmation page of Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
  • Application fee payment receipt
  • Photo (bring a copy in case the photo fails to upload on the online application)
  • Receipt number (for your approved petition that appears on your Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129)
  • L Visa Applicants (if included in an L blanket petition, bring Form I-129S)
  • Review instructions and required documents for your specific location

Step 6: Attend the visa interview ― where a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive the visa and which category is appropriate for your purpose of travel. Digital fingerprint scans will also be taken.

After the interview, the application may require further administrative processing. Once approved, you will pay an issuance fee depending on nationality. Review visa processing time to learn how soon your passport with the new visa will be ready for pick-up or delivery.

Take Caution When Applying

As with every important step in your life, applying for a work visa in a different country is a big step that requires time and consideration. Make sure you understand the visa’s requirements and eligibility to ensure you make no mistake. Lastly, consult governmental websites and immigration lawyers for more information.

Global Call Forwarding is a virtual phone numbers provider offering communication solutions in more than 140 countries across the globe. Get a local, toll-free, or universal toll-free number from Global Call Forwarding today!

what is an ivr

What is an IVR?

IVR stands for interactive voice response. It is a highly effective technology and a simple tool that allows a computer to communicate using a voice and digital tones that are …Read More »

IVR stands for interactive voice response. It is a highly effective technology and a simple tool that allows a computer to communicate using a voice and digital tones that are typed into a keypad. In other words, it is the charming voice that lets you know your menu options when you dial a company’s customer service line. The IVR allows customers to interact with its system through their own keypad at home, where they can then be transferred to the point of contact that will best suit their needs. IVR systems are pre-recorded by a human or they can be dynamically generated into audio instructions through a computer “voice.” These systems are also designed to be able to handle a large call volume and can even be used to make outbound calls.

IVR systems are typically used for retail orders, travel information, weather conditions, utilities, mobile purchases, and banking payments. IVRs are sometimes called voice response units, or VRU. These systems are simple and effective tools, but some managers and business owners are unaware of how much they can actually help their companies. The IVR can route phone calls, enable the identification of callers, reduce costs, and increase efficiency within any business.

man cellphone laptop
Source: Stockphoto.com O#1202 – ID#100150145640

IVR systems have been around since the 1970s, but they are much more impressive for businesses now. The earliest voice response systems had limited vocabularies, but once more companies began to invest in the technology, telephone lines and hardware evolved and became more intelligent. Today, the software is much more commonplace, therefore it is cheaper, more specialized, and easier to use than ever before.

What can IVR Systems Do?

As previously mentioned IVR’s can create customized greetings that you can choose to record yourself or if you prefer, you can use pre-recorded IVR messages. IVR’s can also collect useful information from callers. When callers listen to your recorded messages, they can choose their best menu option and their calls will be directed to the most useful department, or your customers can choose to contact an agent directly.

IVR’s can also create automated responses to customers’ most frequently asked questions. That way customers can find out the information they need quickly without having to speak to an agent. Having an IVR system also means that your company can now handle a large number of incoming phone calls at once. If your company has been struggling to stay in touch with your customers, the IVR will make sure that each customer gets their needs met or adds them to a queue if every agent is busy. Usually, these systems will have an option to let the caller leave their information in a voicemail so that an agent can call them back if they do not want to wait in the queue.

IVR: The Best Option for Business Communication

An IVR is such a simple tool that a smaller business can use the system to make their company seem like a larger corporation. Even if there are very few people working for your company, you can still use the IVR as an impressive way to direct your customers to the right professional for their needs.

The Benefits of an IVR System

There are several benefits that happen for a company when you use an IVR system. IVR increases first contact resolution because customers are directed to the most qualified agent for their questions. It also affects the consistency of the agents working for your company. If your agents specialize in one specific area, they will be more efficient at meeting the needs of their customers’ inquiries. This is because they will be skilled with specific problems and will not need to defer to management or other agents.

IVR systems are also cost-efficient since they can replace a customer service agent or receptionist that would usually be in charge of directing calls. Even smaller businesses can afford an IVR system, which makes them an ideal investment for businesses of all sizes. IVR systems are a very professional option since they give customers a chance to be greeted professionally while having their problems handled quickly, or redirected automatically to the right department.