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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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.