In September 2017, Sprint ceased operations of its wireline consumer long-distance service and all the service’s associated features. The discontinuance need not have detrimental results for Sprint customers, because they can easily turn to modern alternatives that will allow for cost effective long distance calling. One solution is to obtain international toll-free numbers from alternative carriers.
What is a Virtual Phone Number?
A virtual number is one that is programmed strictly for the purpose of forwarding calls to another number. Virtual numbers do not require any dedicated hardware. Calls can be forwarded to existing landlines, call centers, mobile phones, or to a voicemail box. Virtual international numbers allow your company to have a virtual presence in many countries throughout the world. Your clients, colleagues, and competitors will not ever need to know that you do not have a local physical presence.
Virtual numbers don’t have to be international. You can even take advantage of them if you are in the United States. For example, let’s say you have a real estate business that is headquartered in New York, but you want to attract customers in Philadelphia. You could get a virtual phone number with a Philly area code. These calls will be transferred instantly and seamlessly to your main business line, without any caller realizing you may not actually be in Philadelphia, enabling you to have a local presence that can propel your business in this new market.
Which Replacement Carrier Should I choose?
You should consider a carrier that provides virtual international toll-free numbers, such as Global Call Forwarding. This type of service has a number of advantages.
- Cost efficiency: Because regional and international calls to your virtual business numbers can be redirected via toll-free Internet links, the call is answered without any additional cost to the customer.
- Local business presence: Marketing surveys show that current and potential clients prefer to deal with local customer service providers. Having virtual business numbers allows you to establish a local presence without having to relocate or send staff to a different area. Virtual numbers also permit you to provide more personalized customer service.
- Business image: Having a professional image is crucial, particularly if you are a start-up or small business. Virtual numbers can enhance your business profile by allowing you to create different business departments, functions or locations, even when you are working out of a non-traditional office space.
- Consistency: When you sign up for virtual phone numbers, they are never tied to a specific device. In spite of this, your customers can always reach you by dialing the same number, wherever you are working from, without a concern over who is going to answer.
- Security: When you use the virtual international number you can log all your calls, which enables you to easily keep track of your call costs. You can see who called, where they called from and when they called. You can also block unwanted numbers to set call limits and reduce your costs. Caller IDs can help you blacklist and whitelist numbers or redirect calls, so you don’t waste time or money.
- Brand continuity: If you are juggling several products or services through different sources, a virtual number can help you maintain the integrity and continuity of your brand. Even if you have already established a client base who use certain numbers, emails and contact names, you can still port each of these channels to your new virtual communications system.
Advanced customizable features: Global Call Forwarding offers a suite of additional features including SMS email forwarding, black and white listing, rollover minutes, time of day routing, customized greeting, local ringback tone, and simultaneous ringing.
How International Toll-Free Numbers Can Help you Track Marketing Effectiveness
Tracking your phone calls can help you learn which of your marketing strategies are effective and which campaigns are not working. Right now, you may mistakenly think that several of your marketing plans are bringing in results. However, the only way to be sure is to actually verify your hunch with data. When you log and track your calls, you will be able to attribute your phone calls, which allows you to trace them directly to their sources.
Not only will this prevent you from wasting money on advertising, but it will also boost your return on investment. By tracking your calls you can see immediately which of your marketing efforts are converting leads to customers. This will help you better understand exactly how your customers are getting to you.
Call tracking also allows you to recapture dead leads and lost clients. You can gear follow-up calls to specific customer concerns. The extra information gleaned from call tracking enables you to know what a customer wants/ needs in order to complete an unfinished transaction.
If you are not able to clearly see what’s working for your company now, how can you make the right decisions for the future? One suggestion we can offer is to use call tracking with your virtual international numbers. This can work in a number of ways to your advantage, and it can help you determine what the most effective marketing channels are. Then, you will be able to focus your efforts, and your budget accordingly to see the best results.
Can I Keep My Current Phone Number
Yes, you can retain your current number if you choose a virtual toll-free number. You also have the option to transfer your existing toll-free numbers to Global Call Forwarding. It’s a very user-friendly process, and you can complete it all in just a few easy steps. If you opt for our Value Service or higher, we will even waive the porting fees.
Do I Have to Add Onto or Replace My Current Phone System?
With Global Call Forwarding, this is not necessary. Virtual regional and international toll-free number services integrate with your existing phone system. They do not require additional equipment or software.
If you were a former Sprint Wireline International Toll-Free Number Customer, there’s no need to worry about this service being decommissioned. You can get everything you had from this service and more from a reliable virtual international call forwarding service such as Global Call Forwarding. This way you will be able to keep your international customers, allow them to call you toll—free wherever you are, and you won’t even have to change your current toll-free numbers. You get to save money, your customers will remain satisfied, and affordable communication will be available for all.