What are Virtual Phone Numbers? What are Their Benefits?
Is it the end of analog tech in communication? Find out why virtual phone numbers are the “in” thing and why you should explore it.
Communication is an integral part of a business, and having a business phone number, along with a verifiable business address, is paramount to affirming your business’s legitimacy and consistency. Compared to having just a mobile phone number, a business phone number enhances your credibility and assures your clients that their calls will be handled professionally, in a tone that is synchronous to your business branding.
Now, the concern most companies have, especially small business, is setting up an affordable but reliable telephone communication system. With a traditional framework, they are pinned against a wall, forced to pay for expensive PABX systems that cost an arm and a leg. Also, those in rural areas encounter concerns with long-distance or wireless calls not going through; in some cases, having call quality issues. Some even find it challenging to implement additional features because of costs or a decaying/obsolete infrastructure.
Fortunately, telecommunication companies and VoIP providers have come a long way since the dark ages when operators, clunky desk phones, complicated octopus wiring, and aging servers used to be kings. Today, we get a practical and cost-effective solution in place of analog tech by way of virtual phone numbers. Also known as a Direct Inward Dialing (DID), virtual phone numbers, unlike traditional phone numbers, are not tied to a specific phone or device. They are a part of a virtual phone system deployed in the cloud by Software-as-a-service VoIP vendors. VoIP providers use this as a mechanism to bridge traditional legacy systems and VoIP phone systems to create a cost-effective and robust communication solution that defies distance barriers.
Like a Swiss Army Knife with multiple tools and functionality, a virtual phone number does more than just route and receive calls. They are taking the business landscape by storm and for a good number of reasons. VoIP providers can add/delete call features and scale instantly; maintenance tasks are undertaken seamlessly, without lengthy downtime and hefty costs. Indeed, it has been changing the way telephony works, which shouldn’t be a surprise if it triggers the end of the need for landlines. If you’re still hesitating to get one, here are several benefits your company will appreciate once you decide to transition to a virtual phone number.
Benefits of Virtual Phone Numbers
Cost Efficiency and Localization
One of the main pain points of communication is costs, primarily if your company operates internationally in multiple locations. With a toll-free virtual phone number from VoIP providers such as Ooma Office, companies will be able to slash off as much as 50% of costs associated with regional and international calls. Customers will have that peace of mind knowing that their calls will be handled locally, and they won’t be charged exorbitant fees, even if the calls are routed to the other side of the world. On the other hand, companies will be able to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime, whatever the device, at minimal or no cost. Since virtual phone numbers are compatible with almost any device — handsets, smartphones, or VoIP phones– companies need not invest in new hardware, plus, they can implement new features in a pinch without costing extra.
Unified Distribution Workforce
Having a basic traditional phone system can be extremely pricy, and this doesn’t even include additional features beyond basic phone functions. Multiply that cost with the number of satellite offices you have, and the amount would be enough to eat up a fledgling business’s profits. Another concern is system incompatibility between sites, which causes fragmentation and reduces productivity. And if you manage to use a compatible phone system, you’d have to assign a separate, localized phone number for each site.
All these concerns become naught with a toll-free virtual phone number that unifies scattered teams regardless of location. Organizations can reach mobile computing employees as long as they link themselves to the VoIP virtual phone number. VoIP providers like GoToConnect can help small businesses set up a queuing mechanism, such that any incoming call via the virtual phone number gets routed to a ring group. The calls can be routed chronologically or simultaneously, depending on the strategy you want to uphold. That way, no call gets dropped or remain unanswered, which improves customer experience. You may also enable collaborative features to allow interactive conference calls, developing communication streams, and speeding up business decisions.
Aside from standard call routing features, virtual phone numbers can also help companies monitor and measure sales campaign success. Companies can designate a phone number to a campaign instead of routing it through the central business phone number. This strategy allows managers to monitor leads, inquiries and calls the campaign generates, as well as to measure sales performance vs. predefined metrics.
VoIP virtual phone number providers, such as RingCentral, offer unlimited extensions, perfect for running large-scale campaigns. You can run market tests and observe where you’re getting more calls from. That way, you can generate reports and make necessary changes immediately to improve campaign performance. If you’re still undecided about how this could work, you can test drive by signing up for a free virtual phone number or a toll-free virtual phone number trial that activate within minutes, no strings attached.
Wider Reach for the Best Talent
Remote work options expand your reach, and that’s not limited to clients. Since you are no longer bound locally, you can exponentially grow your goldmine talents. With a virtual phone number, you can conduct interviews without worrying about costs, or set up a face-to-face web conference through an IP address. Imagine how much more productive and profitable your company would be: having the best talent pool, even if they’re from the other side of the globe?
Remote Work Options
With a virtual phone number, organizations can telecommute and do their work anywhere using call management tools. You can also have the option to have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment that allows you to save on costs in terms of device provisioning while maintaining efficient workflows.
Since VoIP and virtual phone numbers run on the cloud, you can integrate it with customer management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as Salesforce, Google, or Zendesk. Having this option elevates the way you manage your clients and your operations, but provides you with visibility and control as you’ve never had before. This allows you to make more sound and timely business decisions that are paramount to success.
Choosing a VoIP Provider
Having a virtual network is genuinely an emancipating experience for many companies, but as good as it may sound, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Although similar, these VoIP providers have different capabilities. It would be helpful to jot down the telephony features that would add more value to your business and compare VoIP phone providers side by side before committing to a new system. This way, companies, no matter how small, can access secure and reliable enterprise-level telephony features that help their markets grow faster without spending a fortune. With virtual phone numbers, you never have to miss a beat again.
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