The Ultimate Guide To Virtual Phone Numbers In 2021
Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the years and has become an integral part of our lives. Today, almost everything can be done using technology. One of the main successes of technological advancements is communication. It has made it easier for people to stay in touch and maintain relationships across the globe. Businesses have also gained immensely through these progressions in technology, making it much more convenient to enhance their product offerings and cement their position as a brand.
A virtual phone number is one major achievement for enhanced communication as far as businesses are concerned. This smart way to keep in touch with clients and employees has offered a more professional approach to businesses, giving them credibility and restoring trust in the clients. Read on to know more about this modern internet-based alternative for communication and how it can benefit your business.
What is a virtual phone number?
In the 90s, could you imagine having a phone number without a plethora of cables and wires? It was an unimaginable situation but with modern technology it is possible to have a phone number without any cumbersome paraphernalia. Here is where virtual phone numbers come into play.
Virtual phone number is a telephone number without any connections to a physical network or device. It can be connected to make or receive calls through the internet on any phone, be it a landline, mobile, VoIP desk phones or laptop. You can easily select the devices to receive calls from the virtual number and also change them whenever needed. This flexibility makes it convenient for businesses to function from anywhere and at any time.
How does it work?
Virtual phone numbers work with voice over internet protocol (VoIP) systems. These systems convert them into digital signals and send them through the internet. Thus, to have seamless connectivity, you need to have a reliable and fast internet connection.
These phone numbers do not require a physical address or a SIM card. A secure internet is all that is needed to place real telephone calls. The VoIP system ensures that your calls are connected easily and over time; more VoIP codecs offer good call quality without eating into your data.
A virtual number does remove all the physical barriers that tied down phone numbers previously. You can use them with cloud phone systems or UCaaS providers. This allows you to buy them from the provider directly and manage them via the web in the service’s admin portal. It technically means that now you have set the destination of a virtual phone number and change it in real-time without waiting around for the service providers to do it for you.
Difference between regular business numbers and virtual phone numbers
A regular phone number is limited by distance as it is tied down to a phone line or SIM card. It means installing telephone lines in the office building to connect every phone. This becomes cumbersome and expensive. It also needs regular maintenance.
On the other hand, a virtual phone number gives you access to the phone through different devices. This type of phone system does not need much infrastructure setup. All it needs is software and data backup that the service provider gives, leaving you to do minimal maintenance at your end.
Variety of virtual numbers
Many types of virtual numbers are available on the market today. You need to pick one as per your business requirements.
1. Toll-free phone number
These are the long numbers with the country code and area code - 1 800 numbers. These are the most common type seen on billboards and in a lot of advertisements. These numbers can have different area codes, such as 800, 844, 866, 855, 877, and 888. The most beneficial part about toll-free phone numbers is that they charge the receiver and not the caller. Thus, clients calling from anywhere in the world are not charged for the calls and even you don’t have to pay exorbitant long-distance calling fees as these numbers work over the internet. With ITFS and UIFN numbers, you will only have to pay local calling rates.
2. Local phone number
A virtual local phone number is tweaked to be similar to phone numbers from your locality. This enhances the pick-up rates as customers might not want to answer calls from unrecognizable numbers. These numbers allow people to call without any fees or toll.
3. Vanity number
These numbers are ideal for brand recognition as they are catchy using a mix of numerals and words. For instance, you can have your company name as part of a virtual number such as 1-800-BIKES.
4. Mobile number
A virtual mobile number is a ten-digit number that is just like a standard mobile number. It is usually assigned to field agents to make secure calls to clients. These cloud-based numbers are not linked to any SIM or mobile device. Thus, the number needs to be integrated with a CRM or another app for it to work.
How can a business make use of a virtual number?
The majority of businesses get a virtual number to make and receive calls but you have a sea of options to explore through these numbers. Some of them include:
1. Work from home
With the ongoing pandemic, the work from home culture has taken a new surge. With a virtual number, employees can easily access the work from home option. In fact, many small businesses do not have the infrastructure and funds to have a proper office set up; that is when these virtual numbers come in handy. Remote employees can access the business phone just like they would have done while in the office.
2. Lead engagement
Virtual numbers help in business generation as they identify the source of leads and also convert them by locating them with call flow. In addition, you can prioritize based on the lead score along with notification triggers that ensure that agents can follow up fast.
3. Boost marketing
You can also use virtual numbers to improve marketing and publicity. You can have a separate virtual number for each advertising campaign, location, language, channel and more. This will let you know the leads generated through that campaign as well as track the ROI of the other offline campaigns.
4. Employee training
If in your business, most of the sales and customer engagement are done through the telephone, you can use the virtual phone number as a training tool. You can make use of call analytics to measure KPIs and improve employee training. For instance, you can use the call recordings of top-performing employees and use them as samples for training new employees.
Benefits of virtual phone numbers
Now that you know about the workings and types of virtual phone numbers, it is time to decide if your business requires one. These are some important benefits of virtual phone numbers that can help you decide.
One of the major benefits of having virtual phone numbers is the monetary gain. You can make and receive global calls at local rates. It not only reduces costs but also enhances business opportunities by connecting with international clients and companies.
2. Low maintenance and infrastructure
The virtual phone system works through VoIP that needs minimal infrastructure. All you need for this cloud-based phone service is a good internet connection and some software. All the additional investment and clutter of wiring, telephone lines, fixed landlines is eliminated.
3. A professional feel
Virtual phone numbers add a professional flair to the business as customers have a dedicated number to call at any time. This is critical for startups as these numbers can boost their brand image. Also, having many virtual numbers for different departments within the organization makes the organization seem larger than it actually is, which in turn adds to the professional touch.
4. Brand recognition
Customers and clients can remember virtual phone numbers easily as they remain the same at all times. In addition, if you have a vanity number, clients can have a better brand recall. For instance, you can have 1-800-FLOWERS if you have a flower business. It also works as a great marketing strategy.
5. Add-ons at minimal cost
Virtual phone numbers are not only meant for receiving and making calls. They have many more features that make it a comprehensive communication tool. For instance, a leading virtual phone service provider like Vumber lets its customers have a personal greeting message. It also has the facility of call back and caller ID. Vumber also allows you to add more numbers to your Vumber account so that every call is answered even if you are busy on another call.
Virtual phone numbers allow call recording and have caller ID. These help track any customer’s call. In addition, you can add a security profile with every virtual number that does not let any unauthorized person from making calls.
So if you are still stuck with an archaic business landline number, it is time to change now. Get your business a virtual phone number today and transform the way you communicate with your customers.