Global Call Forwarding – The Perfect Solution for Businesses and the Pros that Power Them

While you could skip the international call forwarding number and simply inform all of your contacts of your temporary phone numbers, doing so requires you to inform everyone who may possibly have a need to reach you.

Global Call Forwarding: The Perfect Solution for Businesses and the Pros that Power ThemGlobal call forwarding is a versatile telecommunications method that helps businesses and business professionals stay in touch around the globe. From a business perspective, setting up an international call forwarding number makes it possible to appear local in various countries while also allowing for affordable international calls. From a business professional’s perspective, global call forwarding ensures that calls continue to come through despite frequent international travel.

How Global Call Forwarding Connects International Customers to Businesses in Faraway Countries

Businesses often establish local phone numbers in external countries and then use call forwarding to route those calls to their main office or call center.

For example, if you operate a business in the United States and would like consumers in Brazil to be able to call your US office, you have two choices:

  • Give them the direct line to your US office (because a North American toll free number won’t work in South America)
  • Establish a local number in Brazil and call forward it to your US office.

Think about perceptions for a moment. If you give a Brazilian customer a US number to dial, the customer may worry about costs or be concerned about dealing with an international company. There may also be concerns about language or time zones.

In contrast, if you give a Brazilian customer a Brazilian phone number to call (either local or toll free), the customer will see a familiar number and costs won’t even be considered. From the customer’s perspective, it’s a local phone number; thus, language and time zone differences are not a concern either.

In addition to overcoming concerns about costs, time zones, and language, a global call forwarding number can also be used in lieu of establishing a local office. Imagine the costs of renting office space and staffing local offices in just three countries compared to ordering three international call forwarding numbers.

Now multiply that by the number of countries you want to serve. The savings are significant, and you would be able to handle all of those calls in a central office.

How Global Call Forwarding Allows Business Professionals to Be Found Around the Globe

Global call forwarding is also beneficial to business professionals who travel frequently. By setting up an international call forwarding number, you can be found wherever in the world you may be. Not only can you be reached internationally, your callers can do not need to do anything special in order to reach you. Below are a few of the many benefits of global call forwarding:

  • One number can reach you anywhere in the world – Once you establish a global call forwarding number, you can set it up to ring at the number of your choice at any time. For example, you might start by setting its ring-to number to your main office phone number. When you head to Hong Kong for a few months, you can set your ring-to number to your office phone in Hong Kong. When you go on vacation in France, you can change your ring-to number to your hotel room in Paris. No matter where you are, your callers can reach you.
  • Easy for callers – While you could skip the international call forwarding number and simply inform all of your contacts of your temporary phone numbers, doing so requires you to inform everyone who may possibly have a need to reach you. Not only that, your callers may be hesitant to dial an international phone number due to unfamiliarity with the process as well as concerns about international calling costs. By forwarding your calls as needed, you no longer need to inform others about how to reach you and your callers no longer need to be concerned about the technicalities or costs involved in reaching you when you’re out of the country.
  • Complete control over access to you – Setting up an international call forwarding number also gives you complete control over when and where you can be reached. Using advanced features such as time of day routing ensures that if a call comes through in the middle of the night, it will be sent to voicemail. Likewise, if you’d prefer not to give out your cell phone number but need to take calls on your cell phone when out of the office, you could simply forward your calls to your cell phone when needed. This allows you to take the calls at your convenience when out and about without having to reveal your personal cell phone number to customers, colleagues, and business partners.

Whether you would like to extend your business’s reach to other countries or need a convenient way to receive phone calls when traveling outside of the country, global call forwarding is the perfect solution.

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Types of Virtual Numbers

Virtual numbers with simultaneous call processing also ensure that callers do not hear a busy signal.

Types of Virtual NumbersVirtual numbers come in two basic flavors

Local and Toll Free. With a local virtual number, you are not restricted to numbers available to your locally. In other words, if you live in San Diego, California, you are not restricted to San Diego numbers. You can get local numbers for cities all over the world and have them ring to any phone you choose.

Toll free numbers are toll free versions such as 800 and 888 numbers. Like local virtual numbers, you can get toll free virtual numbers for various countries including the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and dozens of other countries.

Both local and toll free virtual numbers involve routing calls to the phone number that you designate. As the virtual number account holder, you would be responsible for paying the costs associated with forwarding those calls to your ring-to number.

You can choose a plan that includes monthly minutes or begin with a buy-the-minute plan and can decide to change the plan later after you know your typical usage pattern.  The plans are month-to-month so there are no long term contracts.

How Virtual Numbers Make You Look More Professional

Having a toll free number for your business immediately makes your business look larger and more professional. It shows that you are serious, and it eliminates any concerns callers may have about dialing long distance.

If you’d like your business to appear more professional, consider setting up your virtual number with an auto attendant. This is an affordable alternative to a traditional PBX. You could assign separate mailboxes for individuals or departments and have the auto attendant route calls based on the caller’s choices. For example, your auto attendant could prompt users to “press 1 for sales, 2 for accounting, and 3 for shipping.” This is an efficient way to route calls to the appropriate person, and it can also give the illusion of a larger operation.

In addition to routing calls based on caller input, you could also take advantage of a lesser known feature called time of day routing to route calls. For example, if a call comes in after 5:00 PM, you could have it automatically sent to voicemail. You could do the same at lunch time.

Virtual numbers with simultaneous call processing also ensure that callers do not hear a busy signal. When several callers dial the virtual number at once, the extra calls will be sent to the next available extension or voicemail.

In addition, virtual numbers can also double as fax numbers. Whenever someone needs to send you a fax, they can fax documents directly to your virtual number and you’ll receive it as an email attachment. You’ll never miss a fax again due to a lack of paper, toner, or ink. Plus, you’ll no longer need to maintain a separate fax line and fax machine.

Virtual numbers can also make you look local which in turn can increase your credibility.

For example, if you run a small mom-and-pop graphic design firm in a rural community, you may have difficulty competing with firms from New York City simply because of your rural location. By ordering a virtual number with a New York area code, your business can overcome this perceptional problem.

Overseas example

You offer a service on the Web and are located in London.  Since your customers are located worldwide, you want to make it easy for a customer in Argentina or Costa Rica to reach you.  You have the option to own an Argentina local number in Buenos Aires or an Argentina toll-free number.  For Costa Rica, choose from Costa Rica toll-free or a national Costa Rica number.  The possibilities include your ability to acquire a local number in a country of your choice spanning most of the civilized world.

From setting up a toll free number to creating a virtual PBX system and beyond, virtual numbers can help small businesses and solo professionals look more professional. Even better, virtual numbers are an inexpensive alternative to traditional phone systems and fax machines.

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