Whether you run a regional business or a global one, appearances matter – especially to locals. Having a local phone number immediately reassures potential customers that your company is legitimate and ready to help. What they may not realize is that while yes, you are legitimate and ready to serve, your business may be located thousands of miles away. With virtual phone numbers, you can appear local yet receive phone calls virtually anywhere.
How Virtual Numbers Work
Virtual numbers are a form of call forwarding. Many companies use virtual phone numbers as way of creating a local presence without having to maintain a physical office in the desired country or city. For example, if your business is located in Idaho and you’d like to serve customers in Beverly Hills, you could order and advertise a Beverly Hills phone number. When prospective customers in the Beverly Hills area dial that virtual phone number, the call will ring to your office in Idaho.
With a virtual number, callers are able to reach your business wherever it is located by dialing what appears to be a local phone number. If callers call from within the same local calling area, no toll charges will appear on their telephone bills. As the owner of the virtual phone number, you will pay the charges associated with forwarding the call to your designated ring-to number. This is similar to owning a toll free number in that you, the virtual phone number account holder, pay for the cost of the calls.
The Benefits of Virtual Phone Numbers
Localization is one of the primary reasons businesses use virtual call forwarding numbers. However, the benefits of having a virtual phone number extend far beyond appearances. For example, virtual numbers allow you to enter new markets without the need to rent space and staff an office.
Even if you have an office nearby, you may want to use virtual numbers in specific communities in order to make it as convenient as possible for your customers to contact you. For instance, if you serve communities located in different area codes, having a local phone number alleviates customer concerns about paying long distance fees. While you could solve that problem with a toll free number, doing so gives the illusion that your company may not be local at all.
Virtual phone numbers are also beneficial if you want to take advantage of less expensive office space in a neighboring city. For example, if you want to provide mobile service to clients in Beverly Hills, you may find office space there to be cost-prohibitive. Meanwhile, rents may be much more affordable in a different Los Angeles city. However, the phone prefix, and in some cases, the area code, will be obviously different. With a virtual Beverly Hills number, you can create the upscale presence you want with minimal fuss and low costs.
Virtual numbers are portable
Whether you need to change the ‘ring-to’ number due to staffing issues, travel, or a permanent office move, you can keep your virtual number and forward it to any number in the world as needed. Your callers will never know the difference. To them, your office is just a phone call away.