Answering phone calls from your customers is an important part of doing business. Current customers and prospects might call a business for customer support or to make a purchase. While email is an effective way to communicate, many consumers still prefer to do business over the phone.
Businesses have a few options to communicate with international customers: most popular are email and phone. Emails can easily be sent and received internationally with no restrictions, but international phone calls are a different story. Check out this page about how to make an international phone call.
For one, callers need to pay international calling costs. Secondly, dialing international phone numbers with foreign country codes can be confusing. The bottom line is that customers prefer not to make long distance calls.
In order to eliminate international calling costs and country code prefixes, smart businesses set up international call forwarding. Basically, any business can avail local or toll-free numbers in their top markets, and forward calls internationally to any destination. This is known as international call forwarding.
International call forwarding is easy to set up. However, each business has unique telecom needs. Here are 4 things to consider when setting up international call forwarding:
What are your top markets?
Which countries drive most of your sales? We recommend getting virtual numbers in at least your top 3-5 markets. This will ensure that you capture the most business and maximize earnings potential.
The best international call forwarding service providers offer phone numbers in more than 100 countries and thousands of cities worldwide. It’s important to determine your top markets, and get numbers in those countries. Customers will prefer to dial a familiar phone number in their native markets.
National, local or toll-free?
There are choices to be made when you set up international call forwarding. One of the most important decisions a call forwarding subscriber makes is which type of virtual number he avails.Subscribers can choose either national, local or toll-free numbers, depending on the needs of their business. What’s the difference, you might ask? Check out this article we wrote about Local vs Toll Free.
The best virtual number for your business depends on your unique requirements. National numbers will give your business a national presence in a target market. They can be dialed nationwide, and internationally. Local phone numbers have area codes that correspond to particular cities. Finally, toll-free numbers are free phone numbers that can be dialed from within a specific country.
The type of number depends on your business because each phone number has different advantages.
How do you plan to use international call forwarding?
There are many ways to use the service. Before setting up international call forwarding, you should determine how you plan to use the service.Many subscribers publish contact numbers on their website or in marketing materials. It enables any business to advertise a business phone number, and in some cases, a virtual office location.
In addition, some subscribers use their virtual numbers as a booking hotline or for customer support. There are many ways to use international call forwarding, and it is important to determine how you will use the number before activating your service.
How much traffic do you expect?
This is a good question to answer because it determines which plan is best suited for your business. The cost of an international call forwarding plan will vary depending on the number of included minutes.
If you feature the number in an advertisement or marketing materials, expect heavy call traffic. The same goes for hotlines- booking hotlines and reservation numbers typically receive a lot of traffic. On the other hand, an alternate backup phone number might not receive as many incoming calls.
It’s prudent to have a good forecast of how many minutes you will need but rest assured if you are still uncertain. Global Call Forwarding allows subscribers to upgrade their plans free of charge.
Tips for other call forwarding subscribers
We hope these tips help you when setting up international call forwarding. Can you think of anything else to consider? It’s our priority to help businesses connect with their customers.