Author’s Bio: As an international entrepreneur and freelance writer, Tom Senkus shares his knowledge on the latest developments in telecommunications, particularly for emerging startups and new businesses. For more information on his published output and writing services, visit www.tomsenkuswriter.com
Have you been looking for the most efficient way to expand your business presence worldwide? If so, you may have been relying on outdated models of communication, such as landline telephones. The truth of the matter is that cloud computing has revolutionized the business world for telecom, resulting in emergent tech like VoIP, or “Voice over Internet Protocol.”
VoIP enables callers to reach one another anywhere in the world instantly, where audio data is transmitted instantaneously through the cloud. Simply put, packets of data are aided by VoIP and related software (referred to as a “softphone”) to be sent and received in real-time without latency issues or degradation of sound quality. For those in the business world, this means that you can keep in touch with clients and customers in the same way that you would with domestic callers.
Virtual Phone Numbers
Of course, VoIP is the technology that makes this global communication possible. However, while VoIP is the technology behind modern telecom, one of the greatest advancements from this technology has been Virtual Phone Numbers.
Simply put, virtual phone numbers are identical to “normal” phone numbers in function and look. For function, callers only need to dial the phone number as they would any other domestic phone number and they’ll be put in touch with the recipient; your business. As for the look, virtual phone numbers contain the same amount of digits, country codes, and region/area codes that are tied to specific parts of the world.
However, the power of VoIP is what goes on behind the scenes; this is what makes virtual phone numbers a powerful business tool. Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits made possible by virtual phone numbers to gain a deeper understanding of why VoIP is the most functional way to communicate in the business world.
Benefits of Virtual Phone Numbers
Using business phone numbers aided by VoIP technology make your business more accessible to the world. Consider international calling as a prime example. When international callers try to reach your business located abroad, they may face long-distance fees or have their call blocked by their service provider. Also, international callers may not know how to dial outside of their country – or they may prefer to only do business with organizations that they perceive as “domestic.” With virtual phone numbers, which are available in nearly every country in the world, your business circumvents all of these barriers to gain trust and authenticity in new markets.
There is also more to communicating than simply being put in touch with another party. Because virtual phone numbers are available in a variety of options, your organization can subconsciously communicate aspects that can attract, impress, and retain customers. Here is a look at the most common virtual phone numbers:
- Toll free numbers: These types of virtual phone numbers communicate professionalism and enable callers to reach your business without incurring a charge. As mentioned previously, international callers may face obstacles with calling your domestic toll free number; however, virtual toll free phone numbers are available as ITFS numbers, which are International Toll Free Service numbers. ITFS numbers enable your business to extend toll free calling across borders without the caller receiving charges
- Vanity phone numbers: As phone numbers with a visually-appealing series of digits, vanity phone numbers enable you to integrate your line of communication into marketing materials. For instance, placing a memorable vanity phone number on a billboard can substantially increase the number of callers reaching your business because the number is easily recalled and it stands as a symbol of your business being an expert in the industry.
- Local phone numbers: If you’re looking to target specific markets, local phone numbers enable you to choose a country code and area/region code that local residents are familiar with. This means that the process of localization is greatly aided and helps open up lines of communication with those who would otherwise block/ignore your calls.
Last, because VoIP is an Internet-based technology, there are add-ons that can augment virtual phone numbers to greatly expand their functionality – and thus, your business model. Take, for instance, “time of day routing.” As one of the most popular add-ons, time of day routing changes the destination of where inbound phone calls are redirected. This means that if a customer contacts you after business hours, you can forward those calls to a self-selecting directory, voicemail system, or to a call processing center that can handle the call. Another add-on, called “CallMeClick,” enables those who browse your website to instantly initiate a call by clicking on a link on your website. It is because of these functions and more that VoIP and virtual phone numbers are at the forefront of modern business communication.