By: Cassidy Comfort

What role can a virtual phone number play in helping a business expand to an international location?

In order to keep a competitive edge with increasing technology and competition across the globe, businesses need to be prepared to adapt to a new and ever-changing climate. It is vital for businesses to become accessible to a wide range of clients. One means of achieving this is through the use of a virtual phone number. A virtual phone number is a telephone number that is used to route calls across various locations to a user’s actual phone number or numbers (Rouse “What is Virtual”). Virtual phone numbers help businesses improve the way they communicate by eliminating the physical boundaries of a regular phone number, not only by eliminating phone lines, but by allowing users to connect with clients across multiple locations. Through the implementation of a virtual phone number, businesses will increase accessibility with clients around the world, availability to customers, and affordability over international calling for both the business and the clients.

A virtual phone number allows a business to stay connected between various offices, which can lead to quicker and more effective customer service. A customer can call the company’s virtual number and be transferred to whichever office location may be of the best service to them (“International Virtual”). This means businesses do not necessarily have to have a physical office in a certain country in order to have a virtual phone number in that area. “The primary benefit behind an international virtual phone number is that customers are more willing to contact a company to buy its products since they have the perception the company has an office in their own country” (Smith “Going Global”). Status is very important for a business and portraying the image of an accessible global company will make customers feel the business is secure and successful. By providing a virtual phone number, the business also saves the customer time and money, because the client can contact the company using their local dialing channels. When a company is considerate of its customers, it makes it easy for those customers to classify the company as trustworthy.

International calling can be expensive and a virtual phone number offers a more affordable alternative. It enables long distance service without incurring long distance charges (Rouse “What is Virtual”). Companies are also able to be present in different countries without the costs of placing employees in international offices (Smith “Going Global”). Additionally, a virtual phone number gives a business the opportunity to test different markets before physically moving there. A company can also decide not to physically relocate at any point and to operate through use of their virtual numbers in the long term.

SMS (short message service) forwarding enables a business to receive incoming text messages from their customers in email format (“SMS Forwarding”). This feature promotes greater efficiency to the way businesses and customers can communicate. Since this international service is available for a variety of different countries, it could help bridge language gaps or miscommunication that may occur during a spoken phone call. The SMS forwarding feature is also user friendly because many people may find this more convenient than taking the time to make phone calls. Another feature that is included with a virtual phone number is affordable Outbound Calling. This enables a business to make international calls from their virtual phone numbers. This is also beneficial to the receiver, because the business’ number will show up on their caller ID, which makes a company more recognizable to the person receiving the call. This leads to a great way to improve branding, because having global accessibility can portray the image of a large, global company (Smith “Going Global”). The additional features that come with a virtual phone number, such as SMS forwarding to email and Outbound Calling, create additional communication channels between a company and its customers, which enhances a business’ sense of professionalism, thereby leading to higher sales and success (PR Newswire “Global Call Forwarding”).

A virtual phone number helps a business to expand internationally. It provides companies with the ability to stay connected with customers among different locations. As stated by Thierry Genoyer, CEO of Global Call Forwarding, “The addition of these new services will enable customers to have greater accessibility to companies. Today’s businesses constantly strive to implement diverse methods of communication to remain in contact with potential customers” (PR Newswire “Global Call Forwarding”). Companies who utilize a virtual phone number will increase their professional image through greater customer service and availability to current and future clients; thus, increasing their productivity, profits, and financial success.

Works Cited

“International Virtual Phone Numbers at Global Call Forwarding.” Global Call Forwarding, www.globalcallforwarding.com/services/international-virtual-phone-numbers/.

PR Newswire. “Global Call Forwarding Announces New SMS to Email and Outbound Calling Features for Virtual Phone Numbers.” PR Newswire US, 6 Aug. 2018. EBSCOhost, login.ezproxy.fgcu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=201808060900PR.NEWS.USPR.UN70336&site=eds-live.

Rouse, Margaret. “What Is Virtual Phone Number? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” SearchUnifiedCommunications, Mar. 2008, searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/definition/virtual-phone-number.

Smith, Emma. “Going Global with an International Virtual Phone Number.” Land, Sea, & Air Shipping Services – InterlogUSA Blog, 26 Mar. 2018, blog.interlogusa.com/going-global-international-virtual-phone-number/.

“SMS Forwarding Services at Global Call Forwarding.” Global Call Forwarding, www.globalcallforwarding.com/features/sms-forwarding/.