Communication plays a critical role in the success of any organization, and despite email remaining the preferred form of communication for businesses, having a reliable and efficient phone system is also vitally important. This is where virtual phone numbers come into play. Virtual phone numbers have become increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes and across a range of industries, and are particularly useful for international companies.
But just what is a virtual phone number and how is it used in business? In this blog, we’ll explore what virtual phone numbers are, how they work, and the benefits they offer to businesses.
A virtual phone number is a phone number that is not directly associated with a physical phone line or location. It’s a cloud-based phone number that allows businesses to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection — these can be used for anything from a virtual number for LinkedIn to a number for calling international teams and team members.
A virtual phone number works by routing calls through the internet rather than traditional phone lines. When a call is made to a virtual phone number, the call is passed through a cloud-based phone system and then directed to the appropriate device or location. This means that businesses can have their virtual phone number forwarded to any device, such as a mobile phone, landline, or computer.
There are three main types of virtual phone numbers: local virtual phone numbers, toll-free virtual phone numbers, and vanity virtual phone numbers. Let’s explore each of these in a little more detail.
Local virtual phone numbers are associated with a specific geographic location. They are typically used by businesses that want to establish a local presence in a specific area without physically being there. For example, a business located in New York can use a local virtual phone number with a Los Angeles area code to make it easier for customers in that area to reach them.
Toll-free phone numbers start with a toll-free prefix, such as 800, 888, 877, or 866. These numbers allow customers to call a business without incurring any long-distance charges. Toll-free virtual phone numbers are often used by businesses that want to make it easier for customers to reach them, regardless of their location.
This option is where a business uses a custom phone number that spells out a specific word or phrase. For example, a business selling flowers may use the vanity phone number 1-800-BOUQUET. These numbers are often used for branding and marketing purposes and can be easier for customers to remember.
Overall, the type of virtual phone number a business chooses will depend on its specific needs and goals. Whether they want to establish a local presence, make it easier for customers to reach them, or create a memorable brand image, there is a virtual phone number option to suit their needs.
Virtual phone numbers offer numerous benefits to businesses, including the capacity to save costs, increase flexibility, and improve accessibility. Here’s a summary of the most tangible benefits of a virtual phone number:
Virtual phone numbers offer several advantages over traditional phone numbers. Not only are they often more cost-effective as they eliminate the need for physical phone lines and expensive hardware, but they also offer more flexibility and scalability as businesses can easily add or remove lines as their needs change.
Businesses can use virtual phone numbers in various ways to help improve their communication systems and better serve their customers. Here are some common use cases for virtual phone numbers:
Virtual phone numbers can be used to provide ecommerce customer service and support.. Businesses can set up a dedicated virtual phone number for customer service inquiries, which can be forwarded to a call center or customer service representative. This allows businesses to provide timely and effective customer service and support.
Businesses can set up a virtual phone number to track incoming sales calls and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Plus, vanity phone numbers can improve brand awareness by making the phone number more memorable.
Virtual phone numbers can be particularly beneficial for businesses with remote or distributed teams. Businesses can provide virtual phone numbers to their employees, allowing them to work from anywhere and stay connected with colleagues and customers. This can improve productivity and collaboration among remote teams.
Virtual phone numbers can be used by businesses to expand internationally. By setting up virtual phone numbers with local area codes in different countries or regions, businesses can establish a local presence and better serve customers in those areas.
Using a virtual phone number can be beneficial for all kinds of businesses, but you might consider creating one if the below applies to you:
Whether it's for customer service, sales and marketing, remote work, international expansion, or call tracking and analytics, virtual phone numbers can provide significant benefits to businesses of all sizes.
With the ability to establish a local presence, reduce communication costs, improve accessibility, enhance the efficiency of customer service teams, and manage incoming calls more efficiently, virtual phone numbers can benefit businesses across a number of industries.