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5 Reasons to Change Your Virtual Number Provider

2017 is right around the corner, and for an entrepreneur, the start of a new year can be a great time to take a step back and evaluate your business. Not only do we encourage business owners to review their financials, they should determine what their necessary business expenses are.

Each business has different expenses that are vital to their operations. For example, most firms need to rent an office, pay their employees, and pay for the products and services they sell. Technological advances have also changed the way many organizations operate, making services like internet and phone a requirement.

Virtual Phone Numbers Can Help Your Business Succeed

Virtual phone numbers are practically required for most small, medium and large enterprises to succeed. A virtual phone number is a local or toll free number that is not directly associated with a telephone line. Local and toll free numbers make a business more accessible to call, which will translate to more inbound sales calls and greater customer satisfaction. It is a worthy, almost necessary expense, in today’s business environment.

Although setting up a call forwarding service might be a requirement, businesses have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the best international call forwarding service provider.  Many providers offer new users a free trial of their call forwarding service. However, you might already have a virtual number provider.

For those with an existing service provider, we created a list of 5 reasons you might want to change your virtual number provider:

1. Poor call quality

There is no excuse for poor call quality today. When virtual phone numbers were first created, call quality was inconsistent in certain regions. However, technological innovations have enabled providers to offer crystal clear phone calls in any part of the world. The best call forwarding service providers will use Tier1 networks to deliver excellent call quality. We recommend changing providers if you have trouble hearing what callers are saying.
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2.  Not enough features

A call forwarding service without features is like computer without software. Depending on the needs of your business, a good call forwarding service provider will have useful features. For example, a virtual number for the purpose of a call center phone system will benefit from features like simultaneous ring and call recording. On the other hand, solo entrepreneurs or small business owners can benefit from Integrated Voice Response, voicemail, time-of-day routing, etc.

3. Exorbitant rates

Advances in technology have reduced international calling rates a great deal over the past 2 decades. Has your service provider passed these savings along to you? Or does paying your monthly bill cause you a lot of financial stress? Virtual phone numbers are relatively inexpensive and they typically offer a pretty good return on investment, but you need to be forwarding phone calls with the right service provider.

4. Unfair contracts

A good call forwarding service provider will not require you to sign any contracts. As a business owner, you should be able to add or remove virtual numbers as you please. Some providers force users to sign long term contracts that will lock the user into a rate or require termination fees. Look for a provider that doesn’t charge setup fees, nor require you to sign a contract.

5. Too much required equipment

Virtual phone numbers are just that – virtual; the call forwarding service, along with the advanced features, can be configured and customized from the cloud. The only thing you should need is an internet connection and phone service.

Virtual Numbers – Is it Time to Switch Providers?

Are you satisfied with your call forwarding service? If not, now could be an opportune time to switch your virtual number provider. The beginning of a New Year is a great time to make a change to ensure that your business will hit the ground running in 2017.

Do you use virtual phone numbers for your business? What qualities do you look for in a call forwarding service provider? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

GCF’s Guide to Call Forwarding

Any business that conducts its operations internationally needs a reliable way of communicating with customers. Accessibility is a major key to customer satisfaction and reliable call-forwarding services will instantly make businesses more accessible to customers. An international call forwarding service can be configured so that customers can call your business at a local calling cost, no matter where your company is located. There are many competing call forwarding service providers, and we hope that this guide will allow you to get the most out of your service.

Using Advanced Features

One of the benefits of signing up for a good call-forwarding service is the advanced features that are included with the service. You will have access to intelligent features that can drastically improve your phone forwarding system and make it much easier to manage a high number of incoming calls. Business users will find it convenient to manage their accounts from an online control panel. There are a wide range of features that can be customized to the needs of any specific business. Some of the top features are:

  • Advanced IVR: an interactive voice response system is a computer system that will greet callers and route them to the appropriate department or extension. Callers can navigate your customized menu by using their voice or keypad. This is one of the best features for businesses.
  • Time-of-day routing: this is convenient for users that move around throughout the day because calls can be forwarded to different numbers at different times or on specific days of the week. This ensures that you have the opportunity to answer every call.
  • Simultaneous ring: this will allow multiple numbers to ring at the same time when your virtual phone number is dialed. If you have an inbound call center with multiple representatives, you can configure the service so that the phone of each representative will ring.
  • Call recording: can be utilized for training and quality assurance purposes. Configure the service so that all or a certain percentage of calls will be recorded. You can play the recordings back through the online control panel. Service providers will typically offer this feature at an additional cost.
  • Voicemail: A voicemail ensures that important opportunities do not go unanswered. This feature lets you listen to messages from customers no matter where you are.

What to look for and what to avoid

Call forwarding service providers should never require you to sign a contract. It is also important that your provider does not require an initial payment or activation fees. We suggest you choose a service that you can cancel at any time.

In addition, the best call forwarding service providers will typically offer a free trial that lasts two weeks so that you can test out the full service, risk free. The free trial should let you try out the full service and not a partial version of the call forwarding service you desire.

Finally, it is important to evaluate the billing procedures and note when your account will be charged for the service. You don’t want to pay for a service that you aren’t using!

The local or toll free numbers and international call forwarding service should be usable within a few minutes of activating your account. You should have complete control over your account features and settings throughout the service, and the option to add/remove numbers at any time is convenient. We hope that this guide explained call forwarding and that it will allow you to pick a call forwarding service that is right for your business.