A virtual phone number takes your communication capability to a whole new level. It can be used to get over locational barriers that might prove to be a barrier to sales, or to connect remote workers to a ‘central hub’. It can also be used to direct inbound callers to specific desks. Whatever use you put a virtual phone number to, it will help your company to promote a professional business front while eliminating the need for an expensive in-house telephony system.
Using VOIP as a virtual phone number connector
The majority of virtual phone numbers today use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which means there is no need for a real physical telephone number. The number the caller dials uses internet-based protocols to forward the call to a real number selected by the virtual number client. There is no telephone line, and, if the client wishes, the call can be forwarded to his or her laptop or mobile device.
In effect, the virtual phone number acts as either a router (from the virtual number to a laptop, for example) or a gateway (from the caller to the client’s landline or mobile phone via the virtual number).
Uses of virtual phone numbers
There are a number of uses for virtual phone numbers.
- Companies that are reaching out to particular segments of targeted clients may want to do so in a specific geographical location. Providing a number to call that is in a different country or even state can be off-putting to many people. A virtual phone number allows the marketing company to give the impression of being local to its target audience, and therefore increases response statistics.
- In the modern business world, greater numbers of workers are located remotely to their company’s head office. Again, a local number portrays ease of access and, for many customers, increases credibility.
- Companies that have multiple departments, which may be spread over large distances or even in different countries, can provide a single number for customers to call. Upon answer, the customer will be provided with a menu of choices, and dependent upon which is selected, the call will be directed appropriately.
Self-employed, one-man bands also use virtual phone numbers. An automated receptionist acts as a cushion between professional and private calls, and gives a more professional appearance to clients.
Finally, for those travelling – particularly students and business travellers – a virtual phone number allows friends and relatives to keep in touch for the cost of a local call.