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7 Must-Have Communication Tools for Global Expansion

Expanding internationally and entering new markets can be unsuccessful if not planned properly. One of the most important parts of global expansion is preparing to communicate overseas and across borders. …Read More »

Expanding internationally and entering new markets can be unsuccessful if not planned properly. One of the most important parts of global expansion is preparing to communicate overseas and across borders. What are some useful communication tools for international businesses?

Global Expansion: Useful Communication Tools

The following 7 global expansion communication tools can help you maintain good communication with your employees as well as future clientele when you expand internationally.

1. International Business Numbers

First and foremost, consider using international toll free numbers. These are essentially toll free numbers for international countries. Depending on where you want to expand, you can get international toll free numbers for that area. For example, if your US business wants to extend sales to Asia, you can get India or Singapore toll free numbers, and so on. Calls made to these numbers can be forwarded internationally to a number or device of your choice, including your US office.

Individuals calling from these countries will think of your number like any other local numbers and your business as locally accessible. This allows you to enter new markets and encourage customers to call your business number for free. And since you use an international toll free service, you won’t be paying high international calling rates. Instead, you pay according to your subscription plan.

2. Local Phone Numbers

Virtual local phone numbers are numbers with local area codes. These are useful when you are targeting specific states, cities, or regions in different countries. For instance, you can get a Dubai local number or a Sydney local number. Locals calling a local number are charged regular rates, even if the call is forwarded internationally to your business in the US.

Both ITFS and local phone numbers give your international clientele and business contacts convenient and inexpensive ways to connect with your business, irrespective of its location.

3. Outbound Calling

Outbound calling is a telecom service that supports your outgoing and cold-calling efforts. An outbound calling strategy will help you contact local and international customers through any device or number. You can even display a local or domestic toll free number as your outgoing caller ID to present your business as local. Global Call Forwarding’s outbound calling service comes with a web dialer that is easy to install and use. You can save contacts, update caller history, and more with our dialer.

4. Live Chat and 24/7 Customer Support

Offering live chat on your website with either agents or chatbots can assist web visitors who want to learn about your products and services or need troubleshooting help. You may choose to hire remote agents located in the areas falling under your global expansion strategy. These agents can provide around-the-clock customer support via chat and phone conversations. They will also be able to offer services in regional and local languages and time zones.

With live chat and 24/7 customer support, you can increase customers’ reliability on your service and company.

5. Text Messaging Services

You may also consider getting an SMS plan along with your business number. Doing so will give interested prospects another easy method of contact. While most customers prefer to interact via phone calls, some customers prefer email or text messaging. You can appeal to this target group by making the option available.

6. Ticketing and Problem Tracking Software

Additionally, having a reliable ticket or case tracking system will prove useful when customers need quick support. Consider investing in an online help desk that allows customers to submit a ticket and track the ticket’s progress. Furthermore, train employees to quickly resolve tickets as they come up. This can help increase customer satisfaction and trust in the company.

7. Social Intranet

A social intranet refers to a private hub or network that only certain members of an organization have access to. A social intranet for your business can enable internal communication and collaboration. You can develop your office’s intranet by using a content or project management system. Furthermore, an intranet is a recommended solution for companies executing a Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” policy.

Prepare Well for Global Expansion

To successfully enter your business in the global market, one must be prepared in many ways. And global or virtual communication becomes an important aspect. To learn more about how Global Call Forwarding can help you build a strong communication system, speak with our global specialists today!

top countries for global expansion

Top 5 Countries for Global Expansion in 2020

Is global expansion on your agenda for 2020? Then it’s time to look at the top 5 countries to consider expanding to this year. Here we highlight countries to consider …Read More »

Is global expansion on your agenda for 2020? Then it’s time to look at the top 5 countries to consider expanding to this year. Here we highlight countries to consider and resources such as important contacts and business phone numbers.

Global Expansion in 2020: Top Countries to Consider

This list of top countries for global expansion in 2020 is based on:

  • Availability of skills
  • Quality of infrastructure
  • GDP growth
  • Connectivity
  • Complexity of the landscape

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

  • Before entering new markets:
    • Conduct market research to determine which countries are suitable for your business
    • Plan how to target and enter these markets
    • Test marketing to see how your product may do in new markets
  • While entering new markets:
    • Local authorities to work with
    • Local partnerships to develop
    • Business phone numbers to establish contact
    • International SEO to boost marketing strategies
  • Once you’ve entered and established business in the new market:
    • International toll free service to offer locals a free way to contact your business
    • 24/7 customer support to increase customer satisfaction
    • Regional offices to develop a stronger local presence

Keeping these in mind, let’s now look at the top 5 countries to consider for global expansion:

1. Singapore

Singapore continues to attract international attention with its flexible market, strategic location, and favorable environment for foreign investment. Singapore ranks high for the availability of skills and innovation.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • EntrePass — a work pass for foreign, international business-owners.
  • Economic Development Board (EDB)
  • Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
  • Workforce Singapore (WSG) & Skills Future Singapore (SSG)
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Local Phone Numbers

2. Ireland

Recently, Ireland’s GDP and inward investment have seen tremendous growth. Along with such growth, the country’s proximity to the UK makes it a new attractive spot for foreign investment.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Companies Registration Office (CRO)
  • Sealmaker
  • Revenue Commissioners
  • IDA Ireland

Local Phone Numbers

  • We offer a variety of Ireland virtual phone numbers for business. You can get:Ireland toll free numbers
    • Ireland national numbers
    • Ireland local numbers
    • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

3. Denmark

Denmark has been and continues to be one of the easiest Scandinavian countries to enter and do business with. Additionally, Denmark is also home to much highly-skilled talent across numerous industries.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Register of Foreign Service Providers (RUT)
  • Danish Business Authority
  • Danish Tax Agency’s online service — TastSelvErhverv
  • Labour Market Insurance
  • Danish Working Environment Authority
  • Central Business Register (CVR)

Local Phone Numbers

  • Using Denmark virtual telephone numbers will help you establish a local communication channel. We offer:
    • Denmark toll free numbers
    • Denmark mobile numbers
    • Denmark local numbers
    • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

4. Hong Kong

Irrespective of Hong Kong’s current social and political instability, it ranks high in the interest of US and UK tech companies. This is due to its growth and development, dense population, competitive advantages as well as access to premier talent.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Gov.HK
  • Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) System
  • InvestHK
  • Business Facilitation Advisory Committee (BFAC)
  • Economic and Employment Council (EEC) and Business Facilitation Team
  • Business Liaison Groups (BLGs)
  • Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)
  • Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS)

Local Phone Numbers

  • Hong Kong virtual numbers help businesses in and out of Hong Kong develop a local presence. Global Call Forwarding offers:
    • Hong Kong toll free numbers
    • Hong Kong national numbers
    • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

5. Mexico

Mexico is among the most developed countries in Latin America. The Mexican dollar currently is favorable to foreign investment and growth.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Tax Administration Service
  • Public Registry of Property and Commerce (RPPC)
  • Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS)
  • Mexican Institute for Foreign Investment

Local Phone Numbers

Ready for Your Business’ Global Expansion?

Expanding to these countries is much easier thanks to advancements in technology and telecommunications. You can start by establishing connections through business virtual phone numbers, testing the market, and then gradually moving physically. We here at Global Call Forwarding can help you communicate globally with ease and without dramatically increasing your expenses. Learn how today; call or chat with us now!

the ultimate list BYOD policy pros and cons

The Ultimate List of BYOD Policy Pros and Cons

How do you decide if a Bring Your Own Device or BYOD policy is right for your business? More and more employees are attracted to working remotely or on their …Read More »

How do you decide if a Bring Your Own Device or BYOD policy is right for your business? More and more employees are attracted to working remotely or on their own devices. And doing so can positively impact productivity and efficiency. But can your business handle such a policy?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy: What Are the Pros and Cons?

Before we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of a BYOD policy, let’s first have a look at what is a BYOD policy. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to a business practice where employers let employees use their own devices and tools for work-related purposes. A bring your own devices policy can be based on:

  • Employees using their devices with or without IT control
  • Use of devices with limited or no local storage
  • Use of devices for non-sensitive tasks

With growing remote-working trends, the need for a BYOD policy seems more and more prevalent. Such a policy ensures that business continues even in the middle of a pandemic where employees work outside of the office.

However, as with any new policy, one must consider the pros and cons before committing. Let’s have a look at why you should implement a Bring Your Own Device work practice.

Pros of a BYOD Policy

So, why are more and more businesses considering adopting a BYOD policy? Here are some major advantages of letting employees bring their own devices to work:

  • Employees get to work with devices they are more comfortable with.
  • Employees can use tools and apps of their choice to improve productivity.
  • No learning or training is required to use devices.
  • Cost-savings for the company; there is less need to purchase or replace technology.
  • Greater remote working opportunities.
  • Flexibility in terms of where, when, and how to work.

Cons of a BYOD Policy

While the advantages of implementing a BYOD policy can seal the deal, there are a few important disadvantages to be aware of:

  • Possibly blurring the line between work and personal lives; who will be responsible for repairs or new purchases?
  • Need for strict control so employees do not use or misuse privileged information and data.
  • Employees may not have their own devices or high-quality devices.
  • Higher security risks.
  • The potential loss of company data and privacy when an employee leaves.
  • Complex and experienced IT team required to integrate devices and operating systems.

Is a Bring Your Own Device Policy Right for Your Business?

So, now that you know the pros and cons, how do you decide if BYOD is right for you? Such a policy can greatly impact productivity and reduce costs. However, there are risks that cannot be ignored. The solution then is to create a policy that addresses the risks and includes solutions to combat them. For example:

  • Use MDM software to separate data.
  • Define parameters and rules for device use.
  • Monitor device use.
  • Consider using a virtual phone system to stay connected from any location and device.
  • Decide who will be responsible for repair or replacement costs, and so on.

Having these factors decided beforehand will ensure a smooth and successful implementation of the policy.

That aside, a BYOD policy may seem more fit for small businesses than large corporations. Before making a commitment, think of different ways such a policy can impact your business and employee productivity. Also, consider remote-working as a trend and attraction for new employees. If BYOD is right for you, take time to create a solid policy that addresses your primary concerns!

work from home call center

Work From Home Call Center: 4 Best Practices [2021]

With the rise in work from home as an option, more and more employees demand flexibility in hours and location. This has given rise to the possibility of a home-based …Read More »

With the rise in work from home as an option, more and more employees demand flexibility in hours and location. This has given rise to the possibility of a home-based call center that does everything a regular call center does, however, running entirely from home. Here we will highlight 4 best practices that can help ensure your work from home call center runs smoothly.

How to Make a Home-Based Call Center Work Effectively?

Agents and employees prefer to be employed at a work from home call center because it offers flexibility and convenience that can directly impact the quality of their work. With remote or virtual call centers, employees do not have to worry about commuting or work their location. They can work from the comfort of their homes while still doing their job well.

But as a call center manager, virtual call centers may seem like an unproductive alternative as you are not able to keep a constant eye on your agents. So, what are some ways to improve work from home call center productivity that can keep managers and agents happy? Here’s a look.

1. Invest in Virtual Call Center Software to Improve Productivity

Unlike on-premise call centers, virtual call centers comes equipped with necessary call center tools to let your remote and work-at-home agents perform well. Here are some of the top features included:

  • Virtual phone numbers (toll free, local, and international numbers) — To improve local and international calling at cheaper rates.
  • Call forwarding and routing — Direct and route calls based on location, time, skills needed, etc.
  • IVR systems — An automated response that interacts with customers when agents are occupied.
  • Extensions for different departments and call transfer — To improve connectivity and collaboration between teams and departments.
  • Call recording — To record business calls for quality assurance.
  • Outbound calling — Includes a web dialer and customizable caller ID capabilities to make local and international calling easier.

2. Choose Useful Project Management Systems & CRMs

To ensure that employees are doing their jobs well, it is important to have reliable systems in place that track projects, progress, and more. Here is where project management and customer relationship management systems come into play. With the right systems, your teams can create and manage tasks, update customer information and interaction, and more from any location. And you can keep track of their progress, review recordings of calls, and offer ways to improve.

3. Get Outbound Calling Features

An outbound calling service can be very helpful when running a work from home call center. Outbound calling makes local and international calling from any location easy and inexpensive. You can get outbound calling through your VoIP service provider along with your selected local, toll free, and international virtual phone numbers.

With this service in place, your remote employees can call local and international customers by displaying local or toll free caller IDs instead of a random, unknown number. For example, when calling Florida, they can display a Miami local number or US toll free number. And when calling Dubai, they can display a Dubai local number or UAE toll free number. Customers are more likely to answer and even return the call of a number they recognize as local or if it is a toll free number. An international or “unknown” number is much more likely to not get answered.

Plus, the web dialer makes it quick and easy to place and answer calls on any device it is installed on; such as a computer, laptop, smartphone, etc. You can store customer contact information and interaction in the dialer, as well as check voicemails. All of this makes an outbound calling service a work from call center must-have.

4. Track Call Center KPIs

Finally, track performance through call center KPIs. Software such as your CRM or VoIP phone system will help you get call reports and analytics. Here you will find information about:

  • How many calls were answered
  • How long the agent took to answer the call
  • Duration of the call, and more

Common work from home call center KPIs to track include:

  • Average time in queue
  • Average response time
  • First call resolution
  • Average handle time (AHT)
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores

Increase Productivity and Accountability for Your Virtual Call Center

Feeling more confident about running a work from home call center? There are plenty of tools and practices that can make virtual call centers work effectively. The trick is to find what works best for your needs. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more about how our services can improve your call center.

Picture of global expansion

11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets

Is global expansion on your next business meeting agenda? Any business aiming for success will consider entering the global market at some point. This is because expanding beyond your immediate …Read More »

Is global expansion on your next business meeting agenda? Any business aiming for success will consider entering the global market at some point. This is because expanding beyond your immediate location can help increase sales and credibility. But how do you make such a big decision and ensure it doesn’t fail? Here are some best practices and tips to consider when going global.

11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets

Considering global expansion for any business can seem like a daunting task. However, there are plenty of tools and resources available to make this transition as smooth as possible. Here we outline best practices to consider when expanding internationally. These practices are divided into different stages:

  • Planning
  • Presence
  • Follow-Through

Stage A: Planning

The first step to any business’s global expansion strategy is thorough planning. This includes choosing which markets or areas to target and how to go about targeting them.

1. Which Markets to Target
Conduct market research and gather data and intelligence that can help you determine which regions are prime for your business. Create new buyer personas and study different demographics. Research customer behavior, preferences, patterns, and local trends. Consider: what is the demand for your product and purchasing power of your buyer persona?

2. How to Target New Markets
You can start small by test-selling specific products or services in these markets to see how they respond. You may even consider using research and small business tools made available by the governments in those areas.

3. How to Offer Sales and Support in These Markets
Open lines of communication between your main office and the new areas you want to target. Common options include contact forms, live chat on the website, social media accounts, and local phone numbers. This way, you can sell and provide support to entities located in these new markets.

4. International Payment Methods
An important aspect of global expansion is to make processes easy for customers and clients in different states and countries. One of these processes includes setting up international payment methods. In order to decide which payment methods are useful, you will need to research the local buyers’ preferred methods. Additionally, ensure that this payment method has a reputation for security and is credible.

Stage B: Presence

Now, once you’ve decided which markets to enter, the next step in global expansion is creating and maintaining a local presence in these markets.

5. Global Marketing with Partnerships
Start by establishing connections and partnerships with local experts and business contacts. A local partner that has access to the right network of customers, employees, and contacts will prove beneficial. This way, you can quickly enter the market, access the right audience, and create your local presence. You may also consider starting on existing online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, etc. You can test the demand and make the necessary changes before you start selling with full force.

6. International SEO
Next, you want to optimize your online presence with international SEO strategies. International SEO is like geo-targeting where you’re optimizing your website for different countries and languages. It helps search engines identify the countries you want to target. Then it provides the tools to support your marketing efforts. For example, it may offer different languages you may use or show users local results before international results, etc.

7. Global Sales Development
Now it’s time to start making calls. Once you’ve got your partnerships set up and your website optimized for different markets, the next step is to increase brand visibility and awareness in these local markets. To do so, you can use phone sales. A business phone service can support your sales development strategy by letting you call your local, long-distance, and international customers. Furthermore, you can buy international SIP trunks in order to display a local phone number instead of a number they don’t recognize. This way, you can establish connections virtually while taking your time with opening a field office.

Stage C: Follow-Through

Once you’ve got your markets ready and have partnerships and communications set-up, the next step in global expansion is to start making sales and offering customer support. There are a few different ways you can do this. The best way is to get virtual phone numbers and talk to your business contacts over the phone. Here are the most important tools to consider.

8. International Toll Free Service
An international toll free number is a toll free number for different countries. In other words, each country has designated toll free numbers that customers from within this country can call for free. Global Call Forwarding is the most trusted provider of international toll free numbers. Your business can get international toll free numbers for each country that you want to do business in.

9. 24/7 Customer Support
Another important global expansion best practice is to offer 24/7 customer support on different channels. This includes phone, email, live chat, SMS, trouble tickets, and more. You can offer after-hours service by developing an efficient automated self-service system that resolves common queries. Most commonly, businesses will facilitate global customer support using ITFS. Customer support is often handled by workers in remote locations and different time zones.

9. Regional Offices and Infrastructure
Ultimately after reaching global revenue targets, your business will need to open regional offices and colocation centers. Regional offices will host local staff in each region. In addition, your critical infrastructure will be hosted at colocation centers. You can find co-working spaces and regional data centers by doing a quick search online.

10. Local Phone Numbers
Local numbers have specific area codes that distinguish them from other areas. Local calls are charged local rates instead of long-distance rates. This is why businesses choose to get a local business number so local customers can contact them without any hesitation. When it comes to driving international growth in 2020, convenience is more important than ever. Your business should aim to provide a convenient experience as part of your follow-through.

11. Universal Freephone Numbers
A UIFN is a single, universal toll free number accessible from 45 different countries. However, this list of countries is predetermined and cannot be altered. If most of the countries you want to do business with fall under this list, then you search for a UIFN to streamline your inbound calls.

Start By Setting Up International Communications

We at Global Call Forwarding can set you up with local, international, and toll free numbers to get your international communication taken care of. Start by signing up for a new business number or porting your existing number on our homepage. For more information, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

virtual team communication tips

Virtual Team Communication: 10 Proven Tips for 2021

Is your business considering moving to virtual offices? Then you need to be well-versed in virtual team communication tools and practices that will maintain productivity and efficiency. Tips for Virtual …Read More »

Is your business considering moving to virtual offices? Then you need to be well-versed in virtual team communication tools and practices that will maintain productivity and efficiency.

Tips for Virtual Team Communication

When businesses allow for remote working, there’s always a certain level of nervousness attached to it. How will managers communicate with remote employees? How will different teams or offices communicate with each other? How do we track progress and productivity? Here are 10 proven tips to ease virtual team communication to ensure productivity.

1. Make Remote Working a Reality

In this day and age, a business that absolutely does not consider work-from-home as an option may run the risk of losing good employees. The most popular reason why business managers don’t want to consider remote working is because it’s hard to keep an eye on employees and maintain accountability. However, with the right work from home setup, you can establish and maintain communications while tracking the progress of remote teams.

When working remotely, many issues may pop up such as:

  • Lack of collaboration
  • Inability to contact employees
  • Urgent problem-solving needs, and so on

However, the right tools and platforms can help resolve these issues and create a more cohesive virtual office. Here are some of the tools available right now that can assist your team in virtual environments.

2. Invest in Reliable Technologies and Platforms

When working virtually and in different locations, what are the best ways to keep in touch and track your employees’ performance? The most popular answer: project management and cloud phone systems.

Project management systems can help track progress and milestones. On these platforms, teams can work together on projects and share them through the internet. As a manager, you can have access to your teams’ tasks and projects, and keep yourself up to date.

Get a business phone system that enables voice and video communication over the internet. Your entire team can make calls from their computers. This helps reduce costs and maintain connectivity. Communicate with employees as and when needed. Additionally, you can have calls routed to specific employees to ensure everyone is doing their job and no employee is sitting idle.

3. Choose the Right Virtual Team Communication Tools

Similar to the above point, depending on your business’ functions and needs, you will require appropriate virtual team communication tools. These include:

  • One platform for all communications (phone, email, chat, SMS, etc.)
  • Call forwarding and call transfer
  • Call recording software to record business calls
  • Audio and video conferencing
  • Project management systems
  • File storage and collaboration tools, and more

Find applications and software that work best for your teams. This may require some trial and error but getting the right tools can positively impact collaboration and productivity, even when working remotely.

4. Offer Different Mediums for Easy Communication

Don’t just stick to email or phone conversations for quick support. You may consider having a chat or SMS tool that can be accessed via their smartphone. You can also develop a system where employees who have queries or encounter issues may submit trouble tickets or “problem-forms” and receive the right solution via email. The trick is to offer different ways to stay connected.

5. Consider Time Zone Differences

Remote teams are not always located in the same city or country. And for this reason, all of your employees need to be aware of the different time zones involved. You may consider creating an online spreadsheet detailing contact and time zone information. This ensures no calls and meetings are conducted at inappropriate times. A time zone calculator may prove useful so users don’t have to spend time calculating the exact hour.

6. Create Guides, Knowledge Bases, and More

Another important aspect of virtual team communication is the ability to quickly access important or necessary information. One way to do so is by creating reliable communication channels (as mentioned above). However, another effective method is to create support guides and knowledge bases that can be accessed by relevant people. The point is to provide easy access to information so employees can do their jobs effectively. These guides can be stored on Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, or on your project management system’s storage feature.

7. Monitor Metrics and KPIs

Next, monitor important and relevant KPIs instead of constantly micromanaging and monitoring your employees. Focus on the results of their performance instead of how they are getting work done or how long they’ve been at their desk.

8. Make Goals and Proper Business Communication Behavior Clear

All your teams and employees need to be on the same page and know what the final goal is. The same goes for proper business communication. Define, explain, and practice. For instance, are emojis or GIFs allowed? How does voting take place? Does everyone need to respond or do only relevant people? How many times should employees check their messages or email, every 30 minutes or every hour? And so on.

9. Avoid Long and Unnecessary Video Calls

Video calls are necessary at times to get everybody on the same page to receive quick updates. However, it is easy to go off-track and end up on video calls for more time than needed. Therefore, plan to have video calls only when necessary and follow best practices. This will help in reducing the time spent on these calls and increasing productivity.

10. Check-in With Your Team Regularly

Finally, check in with your remote teams as often as possible but within reason. You may choose to do brief monthly meetings. However, it may help to check-in via email, a quick call, or chat every week to make remote employees feel valuable.

Need Help with Virtual Team Communication? Ask Us!

We offer tools that can help keep your business communication stay connected no matter where your employees or offices are located. Our virtual phone system can route calls as needed and it provides high-quality connection. To build your cloud phone system, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 today!

outbound strategy

11 Tips to Improve Your Outbound Calls Strategy

Are your outbound calls not making enough sales? You may need to rethink your strategies and implement new ones. Here are 11 tips to improve your outbound calling strategy and …Read More »

Are your outbound calls not making enough sales? You may need to rethink your strategies and implement new ones. Here are 11 tips to improve your outbound calling strategy and generate more leads.

11 Proven Tips to Improve Your Outbound Calls Strategy

Outbound calls are outgoing calls made from a company to its customers, vendors, and business partners. During outbound calls, agents or representatives call a list of promising leads or prospects and encourage them to make a purchase or sign up for a service.

Some common reasons for outbound calling are:

  • To increase brand awareness and visibility
  • Proactive approaches such as checking in with customers, setting upcoming appointments, following up on recent purchases or abandoned carts, etc.
  • Offering customer success services where you and customers or clients together work towards a goal
  • Verify or activate accounts
  • Send out reminders for upcoming payments or renewals
  • Collect feedback or conduct market research, to name a few

Outbound calls are sometimes known as cold calls, which are frequently used for sales, telemarketing, customer success, and more. However, cold calling is difficult because most customers are not prepared for your pitch.

So what can you do to grab their attention more effectively? Here are 11 useful tips to improve your outbound calling strategy.

1. Set Realistic Goals: Identify KPIs

First, it is important to set reasonable goals and share these with your teams. These goals and milestones can be modified as your business grows and new factors come into play. Make sure everyone understands what the goals are and how to achieve them. For example, are outbound calls meant to survey prospects or make a sale? How many sales should be made per month or per quarter? And so on.

Additionally, you want to identify relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can measure employee performance. Common KPIs associated with outbound and sales calls are:

  1. Average Handle Time: Length of calls in relation to the total number of calls. Longer handling times may indicate difficulty in closing, poor persuasion skills, or insufficient product knowledge.
  2. First Call Resolution: Number of calls resolved on the first call in relation to the total number of calls. High first call resolution indicates that agents are doing well and are able to sell effectively without wasting time.
  3. Conversion Rate: Number of sales in relation to the total number of calls. A low conversion rate means that not enough sales are being made and the outbound calling strategy needs more work.
  4. Occupancy Rate: Time agents are spending on calls in relation to the amount of unavailable time spent. A low rate for an agent or rep means that they are struggling with post-call work.

2. Create the Ideal Call List

This goes without saying but if you are not targeting the right audience and demographic for your business, you won’t make great sales. Therefore, creating the perfect list can impact how well your business performs. Conduct market research and allow collaboration between marketing and sales teams so that together they can work on ideal buyer personas for your product. Then, develop a promising list that agents can pursue and generate more sales with.

3. Get an Outbound Calling Service

Consider getting a business VoIP service to support your local and international outbound calls. With a web dialer, your call center agent can quickly place calls from a computer and log important call notes.

Additionally, they can contact long-distance clients and display local area codes instead of international ones. Individuals are more likely to answer recognizable or local numbers instead of random, unknown ones.

4. Train Your Phone Sales Reps

Part of ensuring your phone sales reps are doing their jobs well is training them to do them correctly. Train and re-train agents to highlight and refresh best practices that they should imitate. Sit in on calls or record calls and review them to offer advice on proper and ineffective strategies. Refer to experts and webinars for more useful and modern sales development training tactics that outbound call center agents can use.

5. Collaborate with Marketing

Your marketing team has a good idea of how to sell to audiences. And your sales team knows who this audience is. Putting these two teams together can help you gain a bigger picture of your target audience and how to appeal to them.

6. Pay Attention to Your Prospect

Most agents dominate the call trying hard to make their pitch and sale. However, in order to gain their attention, you need to engage the prospect. Listen to them, pay attention to their needs, concerns, and issues. And adapt your pitch to make it flexible, allowing you to customize its relevance. This is much more useful as opposed to a stock script. Make them feel valued as individuals and not merely as another conquest in your sales job.

7. Study. Analyze. Optimize

Next, study your processes, responses, and agent performance. Use the KPIs and other metrics to track how your call center or business is performing. Analyze call tracking metrics to boost inside sales revenue.

8. Identify the Best Calling Times

Another factor worth paying attention to is the best time of day to call prospects. Most experts suggest that Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to call prospects. This is because they are not preoccupied with the upcoming week or getting ready for the weekend. Additionally, calling between 11 am and 1 pm or 4 pm and 5 pm is preferable instead of early morning or during the pre- or post-work commute.

9. Consider Outbound Calling Tools

As mentioned before, consider outbound calling tools such as a call center dialer, CRM, and customizable caller ID to boost your success rate. These tools make it easy and even automate processes to a certain degree which can make placing calls and closing deals faster.

10. Simplify the Process

Make it easy for prospects to understand your brand and product, find more information, and make the purchase. Only offer information that is necessary and relevant. Overstatement and technical jargon can put customers off.

11. Record and Review Interactions

It can be very helpful to see how your employees are interacting with customers. Use a call recording software to review calls and pay attention to customer preferences, behaviors, and more. This will give you insights into what aspects of your product or service are most and least successful. Based on that information, you can create better products and services and improve customer care.

customer service trends in 2020

Top 9 Customer Service Trends You Must Know in 2020

In 2020, due to the pandemic, customers and businesses are working from home. They are considering ways to change their lifestyles to support their work-from-home lifestyle. This may lead them …Read More »

In 2020, due to the pandemic, customers and businesses are working from home. They are considering ways to change their lifestyles to support their work-from-home lifestyle. This may lead them to your business as a possible and comfortable solution. If that is the case, then you need to up your customer service game to support all types of customer queries. Here are some important customer service trends to keep in mind this year.

9 Top Customer Service Trends in 2020

Ensuring your customer service and support efforts are always top-notch is important to maintaining customer satisfaction and retention. If your teams don’t do their best, then it becomes easy to lose valuable customers. Therefore, you must check your customer service strategies and tools every year to see where and how you can improve.

So, if you are looking to upgrade your customer service and stay of the game, here are the top 9 customer service trends to keep in mind.

1. Offer Multimodal Communication

If you are only responding to phone calls and emails, then you are way behind the game. Most companies are adopting multi-channel communication tools so they can assist customers no matter how they choose to reach out. This includes live chat, trouble tickets, text messaging, video conferencing, social media messaging, and more.

2. Become Mobile-Friendly

Most potential customers will find your business through their smartphones. This may occur due to a targeted ad that pops up on their social media or they do a quick mobile search for services like yours. For this reason, you want to make your website and reaching your customer support team easy for mobile users. Consider optimizing your website for mobile-view and adding click-to-call buttons that allow users to call instantly from their phones. You may also want to add easy-to-fill forms on the website for customers who want to send a quick message or email.

3. Include More AI and Automation

Use office automation to streamline processes and save time spent on simple, mundane tasks. Project management systems that automate tasks and enable file-sharing are essential for keeping offices well-connected and functioning seamlessly. Well-designed CRMs or customer information storage systems, IVR systems, chatbots, etc., are some additional ways to incorporate AI and automation in the office.

4. Be Active on Social Media

Having social media accounts is a must in this day and age. Not only does it give you the opportunity to market and target a different demographic, but it also gives you the ability to advertise and run social media campaigns. These campaigns can help bring new customers to your business while also adding another quick customer service tool. Be active on your social accounts, educate customers about products and services, and respond regularly to comments and messages.

5. Offer 24/7 and Real-Time Support

Besides offering various channels for customer support, you also want to provide 24/7 and real-time support. Consider live chat and chatbots to answer common customer queries, solve problems quickly, offer product/service descriptions, and guide them to completing a purchase. A phone equivalent of live chat is your IVR system. You can design the IVR to offer 24/7 service with troubleshooting support and self-service options. This way, callers can get assistance even after hours or on the weekends.

Related: 9 Best Customer Service Examples for 2020

6. Invest in Easy-to-Use Software

Provide your team with simple and user-friendly software. Complicated software takes longer to learn and has more room for error. If your team is spending more time navigating through the software, that is less time spent on providing excellent customer service. Research and find easy and more efficient solutions for your business phone system, CRMs, and project management tools.

7. Offer Work-from-Home Opportunities

One of the most important customer service trends this year is remote work. Working from home is growing more and more popular because it accommodates productivity. And your customer service team may want the option to work remotely, possibly until the end of the year. Prepare for this by considering call forwarding that can keep your remote workers and teams connected without increasing your monthly business communication bill.

8. Consider Video Streaming

A new development in customer service trends is the inclusion of video streaming and conferencing. Video is a useful form of communication and should be incorporated as much as possible in sales, marketing, and customer service. You can use video for product descriptions, service education, launching new items, and more.

9. Personalize and Customize for Each Customer

Finally, continue to personalize your services for your customer. Stock emails and responses can easily disenchant prospects. Based on their search and purchase history, offer personalized offers or discounts, rewards, and recommendations that mean something to them.

Related: 23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

Improve Customer Service Today!

All of these trends may not be applicable to your business. However, identify the ones that do and make an attempt to include them effectively and creatively so your business can care for their customers better. Happy customers lead to a happy business, after all!

Set up a Virtual Phone System

How to Set up a Virtual Phone System?

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

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

What is a Virtual Phone System?

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

A virtual phone system is made up of:

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

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

1. Determine Your Needs

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

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

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

2. Research Virtual Phone Service Providers

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

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

3. Sign Up for the Service

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

4. Set Up Call Forwarding

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

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

5. Set Up Features

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

6. Start Placing and Receiving Calls!

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

Get Your Virtual Phone System with Global Call Forwarding

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

how to do product demo

5 Ways on How to Do a Winning Product Demo

A product demo goes a long way when trying to sell your business’ product or services. For some businesses, it can make or break the sale. And so, as a …Read More »

A product demo goes a long way when trying to sell your business’ product or services. For some businesses, it can make or break the sale. And so, as a salesperson, you must do everything you can to make your product relevant to your prospect.

How to Do a Product Demo Successfully

A successful product demonstration includes describing the product well but also making it relevant and useful to the prospect. So, what do you need to keep in mind while preparing for a product demo? Here are some ways you can create a solid demo.

1. Study the Product Well

Nothing puts prospects off more than a salesperson who doesn’t know the product they are selling. To be able to sell during the product demo, you first need to know what the product is and how it can benefit your audience.

For instance, if you are selling a new version of a product or service, make sure you understand what comes with the new version before the demo. Pay attention to new features, technical details, and more. Essentially, be prepared for questions about the product or related processes.

2. Research Your Client

Every prospect is unique and has specific circumstances under which they are considering your product. Therefore, it is important that you are able to present your product or service as the ideal solution. To do that, you first need to know relevant information about your prospect. Do your research and study your client before the product demo.

Don’t just Google their name and skim their website. Understand their service, number of employees, size of the company, essential needs, and so on. Look through their LinkedIn page and social media accounts. Read their press releases, articles, interviews, and industry reports. You may even choose to see what their competitors are doing to see if you can help them achieve it.

There are plenty of helpful tools for salespeople to research potential customers.

3. Craft Your Offer, Rehearse, and Personalize

Once you have the right knowledge about the prospect, you can craft a personalized offer that is relevant to them. A successful sales demo not only demonstrates the product but highlights and identifies it as a solution to an existing problem. When creating your offer and product demo, consider these questions:

  • What are the prospect’s common challenges?
  • What are the main areas of concern in their industry?
  • Which features or sub-features of your product/service can solve their problem?
  • Are all features applicable and relevant? Which features should I pay more attention to?
  • What is the best way to describe the features? Can I use examples that are similar to the prospect’s situation?

4. Have a Plan (and a Plan B)

Plan out exactly how you want this product demonstration to go. Write down each point to cover. Map out the sequence of topics you want to bring up. Highlight portions you want to repeat or reinforce. Revisit and rehearse the plan a few times until you feel comfortable.

Create a plan B in case things don’t pan out the way you want them to. For instance, your internet or phone connection may not be good or your prospect may have to cancel. What can you do to continue this conversation? Have backup software or communication tools ready to go. In case the product demo gets rescheduled, have other activities that you can pour your energy into.

5. Make the Call Confidently

Finally, once you are ready to make your call, make sure that:

  • Your internet and VoIP phone service are strong.
  • Make sure your communication tool is working well.
  • Your microphone (and camera, if applicable) is on and works.
  • The software for the product demo is ready.
  • Your plan A and B are both readily available.
  • Keep relevant websites and tabs open.
  • Keep your CRM or notebook ready to take notes.

All Set to Create the Ultimate Demo

As a successful salesperson, it is your job to do the extra work that will give you better chances of making a sale. With all of this in place, you can confidently make the call and focus on giving an excellent product demo!