A global virtual number may be a very important part of an expatriate’s arsenal when on an overseas job assignment.
For anyone that is retiring abroad or has made the commitment to living overseas, staying in touch with your associates, family, and friends back home is a common priority amongst American expatriates or expatriates from any country.
Technology offers a variety of great options including email, text messaging, FaceTime, and more. The humble phone call is also a cherished way to stay connected, but dialing conventions and costs are often a concern.
Fortunately, ex-pats can make use of global virtual phone numbers, an affordable alternative that breaks down barriers to calling one another. Here’s how you can use virtual numbers as an American expatriate living overseas.
A global virtual phone number is a special type of call forwarding number that acts much like a toll-free number. It is local to the host country but forwards the calls to a destination phone located anywhere in the world.
As the account holder, for example, you’ll pay for the charges incurred, when your loved ones initiate the phone call using your virtual phone number. Our competitive no-contract plans keep your costs low. In fact, many of our clients find that it’s cheaper to use a virtual phone number than dialing an international number directly.
We recommend signing up for two virtual phone numbers:
- A virtual phone number for your host country — You’ll use this number to make cheap international phone calls to your American contacts while living in your host country. For example, if you’re living in Italy, you can order a global virtual phone number for Italy that is similar to a local Italian phone number. It can either be toll-free for Italy or a regional phone number such as a Rome or Milan local number. In either case, you won’t need to dial international access codes or Italy exit codes to reach the destination phone in America. By changing the “ring to” or destination number in your account, you can call virtually anyone in the United States using a low-cost alternative to international long-distance services. Italy Virtual Number Database
- A virtual phone number for the USA— This is the number to give to your American contacts to dial whenever they want to call you. This virtual number can be a traditional toll-free number or it can be local to any number of US cities across all fifty states such as Los Angeles, Miami, Des Moines, Kansas City, San Diego, and more. Thus, if your loved one lives in Talladega, Alabama, you could order a virtual number with Talladega’s 256 prefixes and forward any calls to your overseas home phone number. Your loved one would dial a local number yet reach you wherever in the world you may be. US Virtual Numbers
If you simply wish to own a US/Canada phone number that collects voice mails for you and sends them to your email, view info here. You can buy a phone number in many US/Canada locations. You can even buy a number in Hawaii. View Hawaii numbers here.
Once you’ve established your global virtual phone numbers, you can use them immediately to both make and receive international phone calls. You can even set up specific rules so that incoming phone calls are routed to your home number, mobile phone number, or office number based on the time of day.
If you prefer that all of your phones ring simultaneously, that’s an option, too. If you’re living abroad with a partner, you can share a global virtual number and set up separate extensions for each of you, and use the automated voice response system to prompt callers to press the appropriate extension.
Offered monthly with no contract, our global virtual phone numbers are ideal for both long-term and temporary short-term use. Whether you’re on an extended tour, a short overseas assignment, or living abroad permanently, we have flexible global call forwarding plans to meet your needs.
Advanced Features for ex-pat entrepreneurs
Auto Attendant Feature Virtual Receptionist
An Auto Attendant option is often thought of as a virtual PBX receptionist.
If you intend to use your virtual phone number for business purposes, your virtual phone has an auto-attendant feature built-in, ready for you to utilize if and when desired.
The auto-attendant enables you to have more control over customer service calls and sales leads with advanced global call routing capability.
An Auto-Attendant is a menu-driven system that automatically answers and transfers incoming calls to the callers’ desired extension using the touch-tone keypad.
You can customize your phone number to send calls to an appropriate department, extension, or voicemail inbox, even outside of office hours. You can also set up any extension to (call forward) and ring-to a phone number in a different country when required.
Example | IVR (Auto Attendant Menu)