Call forwarding lighten your load

Mobile call forwarding is the ability to take your existing mobile phone number and redirect the calls to another telephone number.

As the popularity of mobile phones has grown, more and more people are eliminating their land lines and exclusively use their cell phones. Many smaller companies even advertise a cellular number as their businesses main contact.

While the use of mobile phones is increasing within the business community, the need for mobile call forwarding has increased also. Mobile call forwarding is the ability to take your existing mobile phone number and redirect the calls to another telephone number. Companies are often in need of call forwarding in order to have their mobile phones answered when they are not in the office.

When you travel, you can then set up the cell phone to call forward to a virtual number.  The virtual number then redirects calls to any other number you chose, in any country, which could be a disposable cell phone that you purchase inside another country, your international branch office phone, your hotel room phone, or any other phone you may have access to.

In order for this to work, your cell phone in your home country must support call forwarding. Once set up, your contacts back home can dial your cell phone number as usual and reach you.

We welcome any posts if you have a story regarding personal experience using call forwarding virtual numbers with your own business use.

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6 Tips for Setting Up an International Toll Free or Local Virtual Number

Whether setting up shop in an overseas country, traveling abroad, or making it easier for your international contacts to reach you, setting up an international virtual number is an excellent communications choice. Use the tips below to get the most out of this affordable communications method.

1 Choose a reliable call divert service that supports the countries involved.

Some international call forwarding companies use VoIP technology to keep costs as low as possible. However, sound quality and reliability remain concerns. Choose an international virtual number service provider who uses traditional phone networks rather than Internet technology to divert your calls. Not only will you be happier with the sound quality, you’ll likely find that rates are competitive. Naturally, you’ll need to focus on a service provider that also supports each of the countries involved.

2 Set up local ring tones.

Not all service providers offer local ring tones. If yours does, make sure to set it up. This will generate tones to your local callers that sound just like the tones they are accustomed to hearing when dialing other phone numbers.

3 Choose a pay-as-you-go plan

especially if your need for international call forwarding is expected to be relatively short. Paying as you go ensures that you aren’t stuck with monthly payments or expensive early termination penalties.
within their countries. Without this feature, the tones they hear could be disorienting.

4 Learn how to quickly change your ring to number

Whether via an online portal or your phone’s keypad, you’ll get much more out of your international virtual number if you know how to quickly and easily change its ring to number. For example, many people use their international virtual number to make cheap international long distance calls by changing the ring to number so that it rings to their desired recipient’s phone. Once the call is over, they then reset the ring to number.

5 Use time of day routing

This feature becomes quite important when significant time differences are involved. By using time of day routing, you can control which phone rings and when based on the time of day the call is placed.

6 Set up a greeting and voicemail

Did you know that an international virtual number can serve as an auto attendant (if such a feature is provided in your plan)? If your plan offers auto attendant features, set it up so that your callers are automatically greeted and prompted to select from several predetermined options.

Get the most out of your international virtual number by using these tips. Don’t have an international virtual number yet?

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The Ultimate in Phone Portability – a Virtual Phone Number

Ensure your callers can reach you regardless of where you are or which physical phone you currently have access to.

Not too long ago, moving to a new home or office location meant abandoning your old phone number and getting a new one. Not only was getting a new phone number a hassle for you, it was also a hassle for all of your contacts who needed to change their records and automatic dialers. Businesses could convert their old main numbers to call forwarding numbers but tended to phase those out over time.

For residential users, VoIP and telephone number portability eventually arrived, opening the doors to taking your old phone number with you. Those options still exist, but a new option has emerged offering the ultimate in phone portability: the virtual phone.

Why Order a Virtual Phone?

A virtual phone is one that essentially resides in the so-called cloud. When you order a virtual phone, you are issued a phone number which you can then assign to ring to any other phone number in existence. Because you can change your virtual phone’s ring to number at will, you can take your virtual phone with you wherever you go. The possibilities are unlimited.

For example, you could use your virtual phone to:

  • Route calls to your mobile phone
  • Route calls to your home’s landline
  • Route calls to a hotel room phone when traveling
  • Route calls to your main office
  • Route calls to a back office line
  • Route calls to a temporary workspace phone
  • Route calls to a colleague’s phone
  • Make cheap international long distance calls by changing the ring to number
  • Route calls to a disposable cell phone when visiting another country
  • Use the virtual phone number’s calling features to create a virtual PBX system
  • Ensure your callers can reach you regardless of where you are or which physical phone you currently have access to

Where to Get a Virtual Phone

Due to its virtual nature, you’re not buying a physical phone per se but rather a call divert service that routes incoming calls to a designated phone number. aitelephone.com offers an affordable virtual phone service suitable for domestic and international call forwarding. Simply select an international virtual number that makes the most sense for you and sign up for a pay-as-you-go virtual phone plan.

Once established and configured, give your new virtual phone number to your contacts and let them know that they can use this number to reach you no matter where you may be. From there, you can use the online account management tool to change your ring to number as needed and change any personal preferences you wish.

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Conducting Business on the Go with a Virtual Phone

Rather than giving clients your Los Angeles office number or your LA mobile phone number, you could get a virtual number for New York and another one for Barcelona.

If you frequently conduct business on the go, a virtual phone is a must. Sure, you could give out your mobile phone number and hope your phone works overseas, but why would you want to do that? Do you really want customers, prospects, business partners, and colleagues to have your personal mobile phone number? Can you be sure that they’ll respect its sanctity once you return and can be reached via your office phone number? A virtual phone is the answer.

What is a Virtual Phone?

It’s not the phone itself per se, but rather the number. A virtual phone number is extremely portable. It is not tied to a single device or physical phone jack. Though your virtual phone number will have its own country and area code, you do not actually need to reside in a specific geographic area in order to get a local virtual phone number. It is truly virtual.

For example, let’s say that you have a home office in Los Angeles but frequently help clients in New York and Barcelona. You also frequently travel to New York and Spain on business. Rather than giving clients your Los Angeles office number or your LA mobile phone number, you could get a virtual number for New York and another one for Barcelona. Once you get these numbers, you’d then log into your virtual phone account online and configure them to ring to your designated phone. When working from home, the ring to number would be your home office phone. When traveling, you can easily change it to your mobile phone, hotel room phone, temporary office space phone, or a disposal cell phone obtained in Spain.

Advantages of a Virtual Phone Number

With a virtual phone number, you can be reached far and wide —whenever and wherever you want to receive phone calls. At the same time, if you don’t want to be reached, you can program your virtual phone to route your calls elsewhere such as to voicemail, a call center / answering service, or to your assistant.

Features such as time of day routing, voicemail, and auto attendant are particularly useful. For example, you may want calls to ring to your mobile phone during local business hours and then ring to your voicemail after hours. Depending on your virtual phone service, you may even be able to receive voicemail messages as transcribed text via email. If you plan on being unreachable for an extended time period, you could set up your auto attendant to inform callers that you are unreachable and then give them options to either leave a voicemail message or speak with your assistant.

Because your virtual phone number can follow you wherever you go, there’s no need to give up your personal mobile phone number. Imagine being able to attend your child’s baseball game or dance recital without being interrupted by clients who don’t realize that you’re enjoying some quality time with your family. Should you feel the need to be reachable, simply route your virtual phone number to your mobile phone and take calls as needed. The choice is yours.

You can also use your virtual phone number to make cheap international phone calls. Remember, with a virtual phone number, you can designate any number as the ring to number. Need to call an important client in Barcelona from LA? No problem, simply change your Barcelona virtual phone number to the client’s phone number temporarily. Dial your virtual phone number which will now ring to your client’s phone. Discuss your business while enjoying your service providers low per minute rates for international calls and then end the call. Finally, switch the ring to number back and receive virtual phone calls once again.

Being in full control over your availability is empowering; it’s good for you as well as for your contacts. Order a virtual phone number today.

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Successful Virtual Number Strategies

There’s no need to rent office space or hire a local representative. Instead, international call divert routes those calls to your existing office staff in your home country.

Using an international virtual phone number is a fantastic way to create a local business presence in countries where you do business.

It eliminates cost concerns and looks familiar. Your customers will feel more confident dialing a familiar looking phone number than they would feel if presented with an overseas phone number.

They may also feel more confident in your abilities to serve them because you don’t appear to be located on the other side of the Earth.

In addition to appearing local and eliminating cost concerns, an international virtual phone number can save you a great deal of money. There’s no need to rent office space or hire a local representative. Instead, international call divert routes those calls to your existing office staff in your home country.

Finally, international virtual phone numbers are extremely portable. You can set them up to ring to any phone, at any time.

For example, if you decide to travel to Dublin to meet with your clients in person, you could change your Dublin international virtual phone number’s ring to number to a temporary mobile phone that you buy once you arrive in Dublin.

Your clients could then reach you using the same phone number. Likewise, should your main call center need to go offline due to a natural disaster, you can use international call forwarding to route your international phone calls to a secondary call center located elsewhere.

Should you get an international virtual phone number? If you conduct business overseas, the answer is yes.

Call Divert Service Basics

Do you want to provide better service to your customers or remain readily accessible no matter where in the world you may happen to be? If so, using a call divert service is an excellent idea.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

  • Start with a reliable call divert service provider – You will need a service provider who: supports the countries involved, offers robust virtual phone services, provides high quality connections, and offers good rates. If you intend to use your call divert service to divert international calls, you will need an international call divert service provider that supports those countries. If not, a domestic service should be fine. It’s also important to choose a service provider that uses a high quality telecommunications network to route your calls rather than substandard VoIP routing. Make sure your call divert service provider offers the features that matter to you as well such as time of day routing, local ring tones, or auto attendant. Look for flexible service plans such as pay as you go plans with no contracts, no minimums, and no early termination fees.
  • Configure your call divert service – Once you’ve ordered your call divert service plan, it’s time to configure it. The first task is to designate its primary ring to number. Remember, you can change this number at any time. Next, set up your voicemail greeting and any other features you intend to use.
  • Explore your international call divert features – Most call divert services include some sort of Web or phone-based interface, or both. Familiarize yourself with these tools so that you are completely comfortable using it. Learn how to change your ring to number on the fly so that you can get the most flexibility out of your service as possible. You may want to bookmark your online call divert dashboard or memorize the phone-based call forwarding commands.
  • Publish your virtual phone number – Now that you have your call divert service plan and are comfortable working with your new virtual phone number, start sharing your number with others. If you ordered the number as a means for your office staff to find you, let them know they should use this number to reach you until further notice. On the other hand, if you ordered your call divert service as part of a marketing initiative, start publishing that number. Add it to your website, Facebook page, advertisements, and so on.

With a pay as you go call divert service, you can continue using your virtual phone number for as long as you deem necessary. Some call divert users keep their numbers indefinitely while others use them to track a single advertising campaign. By choosing a pay as you go service, the choice is up to you.

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Should You Get an International Virtual Number?

Let’s say that you advise technology startups in Silicon Valley. It makes sense to have an office in Palo Alto, and you do. However, you’ve noticed that a lot of your clients have moved to Dublin, Ireland.

If you do business internationally, getting an international virtual phone number (or several of them) may make sense.

International Virtual NumberWith an international virtual phone number, you can create a “local” presence in a designated country without having to actually establish a physical office there.

The international number looks like any other local number to your overseas customers and partners, but it rings to your designed phone located in another country.

Who Needs an International Virtual Number?

For example, let’s say that you advise technology startups in Silicon Valley. It makes sense to have an office in Palo Alto, and you do. However, you’ve noticed that a lot of  your clients have moved to Dublin, Ireland.

They still have strong ties to Silicon Valley, and you don’t want to lose business simply because of geographic differences. At the same time, opening a second office in Dublin is cost prohibitive.

Your clients want to speak with you regularly, but they hesitate to do so due to fears about international long distance costs. The answer: an international virtual phone number.

In this example, you’d need to order a Dublin virtual phone number and designate your Palo Alto office phone as its “ring to” number.

Whenever a Dublin-based client needs to call you, he or she would dial a local number for Dublin. The call would then be forwarded to your office in Silicon Valley where you can advise your client just as you would have done had your client stayed in the area.

That’s just one of any number of possible scenarios where a business could benefit from an international virtual phone number.

On a larger scale, you could have multiple international virtual phone numbers for any number of countries where your business has a presence.

In order to handle all of these calls, you could route them to a single call center staffed with agents who speak the languages involved. To ensure that the right agents handle each call, set up call routing based on country code.

For example, all calls originating in Portugal and Brazil could be routed to agents who speak Portuguese while calls from Germany would go to agents who speak German.

Advantages of Using an International Virtual Number  

Using an international virtual phone number is a fantastic way to create a local business presence in countries where you do business. It eliminates cost concerns and looks familiar.

Your customers will feel more confident dialing a familiar looking phone number than they would feel if presented with an overseas phone number. They may also feel more confident in your abilities to serve them because you don’t appear to be located on the other side of the Earth.

In addition to appearing local and eliminating cost concerns, an international virtual phone number can save you a great deal of money.

There’s no need to rent office space or hire a local representative. Instead, international call divert routes those calls to your existing office staff in your home country.

Finally, international virtual phone numbers are extremely portable. You can set them up to ring to any phone, at any time. For example, if you decide to travel to Dublin to meet with your clients in person, you could change your Dublin international virtual phone number’s ring to number to a temporary mobile phone that you buy once you arrive in Dublin. Your clients could then reach you using the same phone number.

Likewise, should your main call center need to go offline due to a natural disaster, you can use international call forwarding to route your international phone calls to a secondary call center located elsewhere.

Should you get an international virtual phone number? If you conduct business overseas, the answer is yes.

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Stay in Touch While in another country with International Call Forwarding

In addition to booking flights, lodging, and various tours, make sure to add planning your communications to the list.

Stay in Touch with International Call ForwardingSummer will be here soon, making it important to begin planning your vacation. In addition to booking flights, lodging, and various tours, make sure to add planning your communications to the list.

After all, your cell phone may not work as expected when traveling overseas and high international calling costs could catch you off guard. Even if your cell phone does work, you could be subject to outrageous per minute international roaming fees.

By the time your bill arrives, it will be too late. Avoid this potentially costly problem altogether and stay in touch at the same time by using an international call forwarding service to divert your calls and lock in some of the most competitive rates in the world.

How to Make Low Cost International Calls When Vacationing or on assignment Overseas

First, you’ll need a means of calling your family, friends, business partners, and other parties back home. As mentioned earlier, your cell phone may not work overseas. Thus, you may want to buy a disposable cell phone locally once you arrive. However,  while a local cell phone will be useful for making and receiving local calls, on its own it doesn’t solve the challenge of low-cost calls home. You’ll need an international call forwarding number to do that.

For example, if you are traveling to Paris, France and need to call your office in the United States while you’re on vacation, order an international call forwarding number that’s local to Paris, France and then set up the “ring to” number so that it rings to your US office.

Whenever you need to call your office in the United States, simply dial the French call forwarding number on your cell phone. This call will be treated as a local call by the mobile phone carrier. You will be billed separately by the international call forwarding service at its low per minute rates.

If you don’t feel the need for a mobile phone, you can use this same strategy to avoid excessive international dialing costs imposed by French hotels. Again, order an international call forwarding number local to Paris, France and set the ring to number to the international phone line of your choice.

You can change the ring to number as often as you’d like. From your hotel’s perspective, these calls will be treated as Paris-to-Paris local calls. Thus, you’ll bypass the hotel’s international long distance charges.

How to Receive Low Cost International Calls When Overseas

What about your contacts back home? How will they get in touch with you? Whether you want to ensure that your immediate family can reach you no matter where you go or you have an international business deal that requires you to be on call, setting up a global call forwarding number will do the trick.

In this case, you’ll create a global call forwarding number that’s local or toll free for your contacts back in the United States. Give them this number and let them know that it can be used to reach you while you’re on vacation. You’ll need to set the ring to number so that it rings to your hotel room or disposable cell phone at each destination.

Though setting up multiple international call forwarding numbers and managing their ring to numbers does take a bit of work, it can slash your international communications costs dramatically.

If you need to stay in touch while traveling overseas, international call forwarding is an affordable way to do it. Best of all, month-to-month, pay-as-you-go plans are available with no long term contracts or early termination penalties.

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3 International Call Forwarding Tips for Budget Conscious Businesses

For example, if your main office is located in Barcelona, Spain and you will be spending a week in Beijing, China, you could order an international call forwarding number local to Beijing and configure its ring to number to ring to your office in Barcelona.

3 International Call Forwarding Tips for Budget Conscious BusinessesWhether you’re an entrepreneur on a budget or an executive tasked with reigning in costs, international call forwarding can play a role in your business plans.

Global call forwarding numbers are readily available for hundreds of countries around the world, and you can use them in a variety of cost-effective ways.

Here are three tips for using  international call forwarding to trim costs and stay in touch.

1. Creating an international presence around the globe. Whether your main office is located in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia, or Africa, you can help customers and business partners connect with you by ordering local toll free phone numbers for the countries of your choice and then forwarding those calls to your main office. These international call forwarding numbers give your business the appearance of having a local office; however, you do not need to operate a physical office. Instead, your staff answers the phone at your main office or at a call center located elsewhere. Time-of-day routing, local ringtones, and other features can be used to enhance the experience.

2. Making low-cost international phone calls while traveling. In addition to using international call forwarding numbers to route global calls to a central location, many business professionals order personal call forwarding numbers to use to make low-cost international phone calls while traveling. For example, if your main office is located in Barcelona, Spain and you will be spending a week in Beijing, China, you could order an international call forwarding number local to Beijing and configure its ring to number to ring to your office in Barcelona. Whenever you need to reach your office while in Beijing, you’d simply dial a local number (thus avoiding high international long distance costs and hotel surcharges) and be billed according to the rates offered by your international call forwarding service provider.

3. Remaining available while traveling. Unless you have a pricey global satellite phone, traveling from one country to the next usually means that your mobile phone may or may not work due to cellular network differences. Even if your mobile phone does work in a foreign country, international roaming charges may make communications cost-prohibitive.

While you could let everyone know your hotel phone numbers, this is an impractical solution that requires a great deal of coordination. Plus, you won’t be at your hotel room the entire time. A better option is to order an international call forwarding number in advance, give that number to anyone who will need to call you while you’re gone, and then set it up to ring to voicemail temporarily. Once you arrive at your destination, purchase a no-contract cell phone and then re-configure your international call forwarding number so that it rings to your new cell phone. Repeat as needed as you travel from one country to the next.

International call forwarding is a low-cost solution to several business challenges. Whether you need a temporary phone number in a foreign country or want to build an international presence for your business, affordable global call forwarding plans are available on a month-to-month basis with no long term contracts or early termination penalties.

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What You May Not Know About International Call Forwarding

For example, if the person who usually handles all incoming calls from Italy calls in sick, you could change the ring to number for your Italian call forwarding number to ring to another qualified, Italian-speaking person in your company.

What You May Not Know About International Call ForwardingThink that all there is to using an international call forwarding number is getting the number and then setting its “ring to” number? Think again. Yes, setting up an international call forwarding number can be as simple as that.

However, to squeeze the most value out of your global phone number, you may want to learn more about international call forwarding and the numerous features available to you.

Make an Impact with International Call Forwarding

Getting a global call forwarding number could immediately transform your local business into one with international appeal. For example, if you’ve recently begun selling products in Brazil, listing a toll free Brazilian number on your product packaging would reassure consumers that your business is readily accessible. In contrast, listing a number for a company located in North America, Europe, or Asia may cause Brazilian consumers to reconsider their purchase.

Sound Local with Local Ring Tones

Did you know that the sound of a ringing telephone varies from region to region? A caller may hear a different ring tone when dialing London than when calling Hong Kong. For those who frequently call specific countries, a mismatch between ring tones could be jarring. Avoid confusing callers by using local ring tones whenever possible.

Handle Global Phone Calls Night and Day with an Auto Attendant

One of the biggest potential problems with issuing an international call forwarding number and answering it on the other side of the world has to do with time zone differences. Fortunately, this problem can be handled by an auto attendant. For example, you can set up your global call forwarding number so that it rings to different phone numbers (such as various call centers located around the world) based on the time of day a call comes in. You could also roll calls to voicemail at a specific time.

Create a Virtual PBX with an International Call Forwarding Number

You can take call routing even further by configuring your international call forwarding number so that it serves as a virtual PBX system. For example, you could set up your call forwarding number to greet callers with a recorded greeting. From there, the auto attendant could instruct callers to push specific buttons on their keypads in order to: speak with a customer service representative, reach technical support, get directions to your office, leave a message, or anything else.

Never Miss a Call with Simultaneous Ringing

What happens if ten people call your international call forwarding number at the same time? One option is to set up simultaneous call forwarding to multiple phone numbers at the same time.

Eliminate Your Fax Machine

Tired of paying for an extra phone line for a fax machine that rarely gets used? Your global call forwarding number can accept faxes. Any incoming fax will be converted to a PDF or image document and then emailed to the email address of your choice.

Month-to-Month International Call Forwarding

International call forwarding numbers can be ordered and used on a month-to-month basis with no long term contracts. If you need a temporary or long-term call forwarding solution, these plans provide fantastic features, low rates, and the flexibility your business needs.

Change Your Ring To Number On the Fly

It’s possible to change your ring to number quickly and easily, and as often as you’d like. For example, if the person who usually handles all incoming calls from Italy calls in sick, you could change the ring to number for your Italian call forwarding number to ring to another qualified, Italian-speaking person in your company.

These are but a few of the many ways you can use international call forwarding numbers. Don’t just “set it and forget it,” take advantage of your global call forwarding plan’s advanced features.

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International Call Forwarding – A Frugal Tool for International Calls

You will be billed by the global call forwarding service provider for the call forwarding service at its low per minute rates.

International Call Forwarding - A Frugal Tool for International CallsYour college student just announced that she’s been accepted at a prestigious international university.

Though everyone’s excited, you may wonder how you’ll stay in touch or be concerned about the cost of international phone calls.

International call forwarding is a frugal option for international college students and their parents.

Low Cost Ireland to US Phone Calls

Let’s use Ireland and the United States as an example. If your college student will be attending a semester in Ireland, she’ll need an inexpensive way to call her family and friends in the United States. Likewise, you’ll need a cheap way to call her in Ireland.

Start by ordering an international call forwarding number that is local to the city in Ireland where her university is located. Set the “ring to” number to your home phone number. When in Ireland, she will dial a local Irish phone number whenever she wants to call home. The phone will ring at your house in the United States. In Ireland, that call will be treated as any other local phone call. Her local phone carrier will not impose international long distance charges because it is essentially a local call. You will be billed by the global call forwarding service provider for the call forwarding service at its low per minute rates.

Low Cost US to Ireland Phone Calls

Next, set up an international call forwarding number that’s local to your family in the United States. For example, if you live in San Diego, get a local San Diego phone number in your local calling area. Set up this number’s ring to number to your daughter’s dorm room number back in Ireland. Since you’ll dial a local San Diego phone number each time, your phone company will treat it as any other local call. Again, your international call forwarding service provider will bill you its low-cost international call forwarding rates.

Depending on how generous you want to be, you could share this local phone number with your college student’s friends who remain in the area. Keep in mind, however, that you will be billed for any calls others make using your call forwarding number.

Using a global call forwarding service while your college student is studying abroad is a fantastic way to keep your communications costs low during the school year. Month-to-month plans and low international call forwarding rates make global call forwarding a fantastic, frugal choice.

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Virtual Business Tools: How International Call Forwarding Can Help

Whether you need to be available for calls from important clients or your family members back home, an international call forwarding number makes reaching you a simple matter with no additional work or international long distance expenses for your callers.

Virtual Business Tools: How International Call Forwarding Can HelpDid you know that a single phone number can partially automate your business?

Getting an international call forwarding number is like having a virtual secretary who can track you down no matter where in the world you may be.

Not only can your global virtual phone number ensure that you can be found, the right international call forwarding service can also deliver a fantastic user experience to your callers.

How a Virtual International Phone Number Can Find You

An international call forwarding number is a virtual phone number that is local to a given country. It does not have a physical location connected to it. Instead, it can be configured to ring to any phone that you designate. For example, you could get a virtual phone number for Ontario, Canada and set it up to ring to your main office, your mobile phone, your home office, or any other phone number you choose – at any time.

You can also set your virtual number to ring to ALL of your designated ring to numbers at once or to ring them sequentially until you pick up. Having a number follow you around is ideal for business professionals who frequently work at different locations. It also allows you to reduce your reliance on your cell phone for business calls when sitting behind a desk. Thus, you can conserve your mobile phone’s minutes. A virtual number also allows you to receive mobile phone calls when necessary while simultaneously keeping your mobile phone number private.

What happens when you need to leave the country? Your international call forwarding number can find follow you. Simply change the ring to number to your overseas contact number such as the phone in your hotel room or temporary office space. Your colleagues back in Canada would call you as they always do by dialing the same phone number. Meanwhile, you would receive the call in a different country. Callers may not even realize that you’re not in your Ontario office!

Virtual Number Benefits to Callers

This brings up another important point about international call forwarding: your callers’ experience. Whether you need to be available for calls from important clients or your family members back home, an international call forwarding number makes reaching you a simple matter with no additional work or international long distance expenses for your callers. They simply call you as they normally do using the same local or toll free number.

On your end, you can configure your virtual number in a variety of ways to enhance the caller’s experience. For example, if you’ve traveled out of the country and into a different time zone, you might want to set up time of day routing so that calls are routed to voicemail while you sleep.

Creating a Virtual PBX

Whether traveling abroad or setting up your main office, you may want to create a virtual PBX with your international call forwarding number. Advanced auto attendant features allow you to greet callers and prompt them to make specific choices such as “press 1 for sales; 2 for service.”

A single international call forwarding number can serve a variety of purposes and partially automate your business. Use a virtual number to receive calls no matter where you may happen to be, to ensure a consistent caller experience, and project a professional image.

Best of all, international call forwarding plans are affordable and available on a month-to-month basis – and hundreds of countries are supported.

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10 Ways to Use Global Call Forwarding

Use global call forwarding numbers to appear larger and more capable.

10 Ways to Use Global Call ForwardingGlobal call forwarding using virtual phone numbers can be used in a variety of ways, allowing you to connect with international friends, family, colleagues, partners, and customers using a single virtual phone number. Below are 10 ways to use global call forwarding to connect with others around the globe.

1. Use a global call forwarding number to keep in touch with family members living abroad. If you have family members living in another country with high international calling costs, consider ordering a global call forwarding number that’s local to that country. Once established, your family members would dial a local phone number that forwards to the destination number in your country. You would pay a fixed per minute price that’s typically much lower than the host country’s rates.

2. Using a virtual number to stay connected when traveling the world. If you travel around the world, you could order a global call forwarding number that’s local to your home country and give that number to your family, friends, and colleagues to call.

As you move from one country to the next, simply change your ring-to number to your new local phone. Your contacts back home would dial a local or toll free number and you’d pay a low per minute rate.

3. Set up shop in another country. Want to start offering products and services overseas? Instead of setting up a physical location in another country, consider setting up a virtual location with an international call forwarding number. Your customers would dial a local phone number to reach you no matter where in the world you actually are.

4. Use a global call forwarding phone number to receive international faxes. Instead of maintaining separate international phone and fax lines, sign up for a global call forwarding number with a fax-to-email feature. Whenever someone needs to send you a fax from that country, they’d simply fax the document to you using the call forwarding number. You’d then receive an email containing a PDF of the faxed document. Not only does this eliminate the need for a separate phone line, it also means that you can get rid of your fax machine and its ongoing expenses.

5. Use global call forwarding numbers to appear larger and more capable. If you would like your business to appear larger, ordering several virtual phone numbers can instantly give your business an international boost.

6. Use virtual numbers to establish yourself in a given country. Are you headed to an international conference where you have the potential to close business deals with partners around the world? Consider establishing global call forwarding numbers in your target countries and then print up business cards with your new phone numbers. Your prospects will likely feel confident calling you from their home countries thanks to your local presence.

7. Use global call forwarding to avoid costly international roaming rates. When traveling internationally, your mobile phone may or may not work at your destination. Even if it does work, you could be faced with sky-high international roaming rates. A better option is to order a global call forwarding number and then buy a disposable cell phone at your destination. You can then designate your new mobile phone as the ring-to number and receive your calls no matter where you go.

8. Use global call forwarding to control when and where you receive international phone calls. International call forwarding plans typically allow you to change the destination phone number on the fly. In addition, many plans have a “time of day” routing feature where you can preprogram how calls are handled based on the time of day they are made. For example, if you do not want to be disturbed between 6:00PM and 5:00AM local time, you can configure your phone number to route any calls between those hours to voicemail.

9. Use global call forwarding in an international call center. Global call forwarding numbers can be routed to an international call center where you can have customer service agents available to handle incoming calls. If you have multiple call forwarding numbers, you may want to route calls to specific agents based on country codes. Similarly, you can route calls to different call centers based on time of day.

10. Use global call forwarding to reduce international calling costs. With low international calling rates and the ability to switch ring-to numbers on the fly, many people have found that global call forwarding is a cost-effective way to make international long distance calls. Rather than dialing directly, you can change your ring-to number to the number you’d like to call and then dial your global call forwarding number. This bypasses the traditional system, puts you on your call forwarding provider’s network, and gives you access to low per minute international calling rates for dozens of countries around the world.

Global call forwarding is a versatile solution to a number of international calling scenarios.

How will you use your global call forwarding number?

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Virtual Numbers for Startups and Small Businesses

After all, some callers won’t think twice about calling you at all hours. By giving callers your virtual number, they can call you 24/7 yet you won’t necessarily have to hear the phone ring while you’re trying to sleep or spend quality time with your family.

Virtual Numbers for Startups and Small BusinessesStartups and small businesses need to be accessible, yet they often run on a tight budget. Virtual numbers allow entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners to receive phone calls professionally without the expense of a PBX system. Not only that, virtual numbers are highly portable.

Whether you need to work out of a temporary location at first before moving into your office, your virtual numbers can follow you wherever you may go – and your callers will never be aware of your movements.

How Virtual Numbers Work

Virtual phone numbers are essentially call forwarding numbers that are not associated with any given phone line or device. You can order virtual numbers with specific country and area codes so that they are “local” to a given region. For instance, you could order a virtual phone number for Los Angeles and another for Ireland and then set both of those numbers to ring to your New York apartment.

People in LA would see a familiar area code and think that they’re calling your Los Angeles office. At the same time, your contacts in Ireland would see a familiar local number and feel confident dialing your Ireland office without any concerns about paying international long distance charges.

As the account holder of those numbers, you would pay your virtual call forwarding service provider for each minute of service. Depending on the plan, you’d likely pay different rates based on the country of origin. Virtual numbers are quite similar to toll free numbers both in terms of how they work and how they are billed.

With a virtual number, you have complete control over the destination phone number. You can change this number at any time online. If you plan on working at the local coffee house for a few hours, you could change the ring-to number to your cell phone.

When you return to your home office, you could then change the ring-to number to your home office phone. Similarly, if you need to leave the country, you could change the ring-to number to your hotel room or temporary office space.  Meanwhile, your callers will not notice any disruptions because they can reach you as they normally do.

Virtual numbers are available for locations around the world. In addition to domestic and international virtual phone numbers, you can also get toll free virtual phone numbers if desired.

Benefits of Using Virtual Numbers for Your Startup or Small Business

Using virtual numbers can deliver several important benefits for startups and small businesses. Below are just a few to spark your imagination:

  • They can help you compete with “local” bidders. If you’re bidding on a project in another city or country, decision makers may have a preference for doing business with local companies. Getting a local call forwarding number, even if it’s just for short-term use as part of the bidding process, can give your business a local credibility boost.
  • Easy split testing. Use different virtual numbers to split test your advertisements and landing pages. Which phone number receives the most calls? Which phone number generates the most sales?
  • Look bigger. While your startup may be excelling despite the fact that you’re running it out of your garage, you may not want to appear as though you’re working out of your garage. By establishing a toll free number and a few virtual numbers in major cities, you can instantly appear to be a larger company. Many virtual number service plans include auto attendant, music on hold, and multiple mailbox features that can also help your company to look bigger than it currently is.
  • Protect your privacy. As an entrepreneur, you need to be readily accessible, but you may not want to give out your personal mobile phone number or home phone number. After all, some callers won’t think twice about calling you at all hours. By giving callers your virtual number, they can call you 24/7 yet you won’t necessarily have to hear the phone ring while you’re trying to sleep or spend quality time with your family. You decide when to accept calls from your virtual number and when to send them to voicemail or to an assistant.

Virtual numbers are ideal for startups and small businesses alike. With one or more virtual numbers, you can immediately establish your business in a given community as well as appear bigger than you are.

You can also move from one location to another, control where those calls go, compete with local bidders, test your ads, and maintain your privacy. Best of all, you can get virtual numbers on a pay-as-you-go basis with no contract or minimum usage requirements.

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Virtual Call Forwarding Numbers and Enhancing Customer Service

For example, your callers in Italy would dial an Italian toll free number which would then be forwarded to your designated ring-to number in the US.

Virtual Call Forwarding Numbers and Enhancing Customer ServiceDo you serve an international customer base?

Global call forwarding can play an important role in your customer service strategy as well as deliver several important cost advantages. Whether you run an international call center or a small business that serves a couple of different countries, using call forwarding smartly can improve service levels.

Connecting with Customers with a Global Call Forwarding Virtual Number

When properly configured, global call forwarding can ensure that your customers from around the world can reach a customer service representative with minimal hassles. Did you know that a toll free number issued in one country doesn’t necessarily work for callers in another country? While you may have a US or Canada toll free number, callers from other countries such as Italy, Egypt, or China will not get through if they attempt to dial that number.

If you want callers from other countries to be able to reach your business without incurring toll charges, you will need to establish toll free global call forwarding numbers specific to each country. For example, your callers in Italy would dial an Italian toll free number which would then be forwarded to your designated ring-to number in the US.

Setting up a global call forwarding number is not difficult. In fact, the process is similar to setting up a traditional toll free business number. Like a traditional toll free number, toll charges for an international toll free call forwarding number are paid by the account holder and not the caller.

By setting up a toll free global call forwarding number for each country that you serve, your international customers will not need to incur any long distance charges to call your customer service center.

In addition, seeing a local number overcomes potential concerns about calling outside of the country as well as gives callers the impression that they are dialing a company located within their country.

While global toll free numbers work in much the same way as domestic toll free numbers, time zone and language differences add complexity to the equation. If you are serious about serving a global audience, consider staffing your call center with native speakers during hours that coincide with business hours in the callers’ countries. Depending on where your call center is located, you may need to schedule native speaking CSRs to answer calls in the middle of the night.

To ensure the best service possible, you can set up calls to ring to specific extensions based on their country codes as well as route calls based on the time of day they are made. For example, if a call originates in Spain, you could route that call to one of your Spanish-speaking CSRs.

Similarly, if a call from Spain originates after-hours, you could send that call to voicemail as callers are not expecting to be served after-hours.

Global call forwarding isn’t just for large businesses who can afford to staff international call centers. Small businesses often use call forwarding on a smaller scale. For example, if you’re a business consultant with clients in the Philippines, you could establish a phone number in the Philippines and then route those calls to your home office.

Your clients will appreciate being able to call you without incurring high costs, and you can become more accessible. In fact, you’d likely have an advantage over a business consultant who has not bothered to establish a local presence.

Because time differences are a major concern, consider adjusting your work schedule to accommodate clients in your target country. You may have just a small window of time each day that works for both you and your clients. However, by letting them know the best time to reach you, you’ll be better able to connect.

Another option is to use an answering service to prescreen calls that arrive in the middle of the night. Provide your answering service with guidelines as to when to notify you of an urgent call. This can ensure that you’re available to handle emergencies yet not constantly bothered at all hours with non-urgent matters. At the same time, your international callers will reach a live person regardless of when they call you.

Cutting Costs with Global Call Forwarding

Many businesses use global call forwarding as an alternative to physical locations. The cost savings can become significant. It is far more efficient to have a central office than it is to lease office space and staff offices around the world. By keeping operations central, you can also reduce your travel costs as you will no longer need to travel from one office to the next.

Whether you run a large business with international call centers or a one-person consultancy that caters to international clients, global call forwarding is a great way to deliver customer service.

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