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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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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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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Become More Flexible with Global Call Forwarding

At the same time, you could establish several international forwarding numbers in countries around the world and have them ring to your call center.

Become More Flexible with Global Call Forwarding
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Whether you run a small business or an enterprise organization, global call forwarding can help you become more flexible and agile.

With global call forwarding, you have several options. For example, you could establish a virtual number that follows you no matter where in the world you may happen to be.

At the same time, you could establish several international forwarding numbers in countries around the world and have them ring to your call center.

Imagine the possibilities! Below are just a few examples of how your company can take advantage of global call forwarding.

Using Global Call Forwarding to Stay in Touch Globally

As an individual who travels frequently, you may want to check into using global call forwarding as a means of staying in touch with employees, clients, and family members back home when you travel overseas. As you know, your cell phone doesn’t always work in  other countries, and when it does, international roaming rates make accepting calls from people back home an expensive proposition.

Many business travels find it cheaper to buy a disposable mobile phone once they arrive in a country but that brings problems of its own. For example, you need to inform everyone that you have a new number for them to call if they need to reach you when you’re in that country. Since the phone number is local to the country you’re in, your contacts will face international long distance charges should they need to call you. Plus, once you dispose of that phone, you’ll need to tell your contacts that that phone number is no longer valid.

With global call forwarding, you establish a local phone number within your own country (or a toll free one depending on your preferences). You can keep this virtual number indefinitely. The beauty of global call forwarding is that you can change the “ring to” number on the fly. When you purchase a disposable mobile phone in a new country, you simply switch the global call forwarding number’s ring to number to your new mobile phone. You do not need to inform your contacts. They simply dial the same number they always dial. Since the virtual number is local to your own country, your in-country employees, clients, and family members do not need to worry about international dialing costs.

Meanwhile, if you use a reliable, low-cost global call forwarding service, the rates that you are charged will be far more affordable than international roaming rates. In fact, you can view per minute rates for each country you frequently visit before you sign up for a plan.

Using Global Call Forwarding to Establish an International Presence

Another way to use global call forwarding for your business is to establish local phone numbers in the countries that you serve and then have those calls diverted to your call center or main office. To customers in various countries, the phone numbers are completely local. They may even feel as though they’re dialing a business across town thanks to the way the number appears and even the sound of the ringtone. However, the phone will ring to your designated number whether it’s in the same country or not. This provides your business with a flexible alternative to setting up physical locations around the world.

Using Global Call Forwarding to Route Calls by Time of Day

Using Global Call Forwarding to Route Calls by Time of DayHaving a global call forwarding number in a different country does bring with it one challenge: global time differences. However, those differences can be dealt with using time of day routing. For example, if a caller calls you during local business hours, how do you want the call handled if it’s the middle of the night your time?

With time of day routing, you can send calls to a live answering service, call center, or voicemail based on the time of day calls take place. Since callers don’t expect to be helped after business hours, you could send those after hours calls to voicemail as expected or, if those calls occur during your normal business hours, you could exceed expectations by handling those calls in real time.

Time of day routing is a flexible feature that allows you greater control over how incoming calls are routed based on the time of day they occur.

Global call forwarding is a convenient, low-cost choice for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a globetrotting executive who needs to stay in touch at all times, a mid-sized business owner who wants to make it easy for international customers to reach your office without investing in a physical location, or a call center manager who needs to staff a call center to handle incoming calls around the clock, global call forwarding can help you become more flexible.

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Time to Get a Virtual Number

This virtual number is not tied to a given phone jack or device; it is completely virtual.

Is it Time to Get a Virtual Number?Whether you run a small business or perhaps operate out of your home, your customers, suppliers, partners, and others need to be able to reach you.

While you may have an office phone number and a mobile phone, you may want to add a virtual number.

Some customers add or several virtual phone numbers to the mix to create a phone presence in other countries where they do business now or would like to do business.

Virtual numbers are the most portable numbers you can get, and you can change where they ring on the fly. This allows you greater control over when and where you can be reached. Not only can a virtual number make you more accessible, it can also pay for itself. Here’s a quick look at what a virtual number is and how it can pay for itself.

How a Virtual Number Works

If you’re familiar with how a toll free phone number works, you’re already familiar with how a virtual number works. After all, a toll free number rings to whichever local phone number you assign it to.

When your business moves to a new location, your toll free number moves with you. You simply change the “ring to” number to your new office’s phone number. There’s no need to change your marketing materials and business cards when you move your office. The same is true of a virtual number. However, virtual numbers may or may not be toll free, and you can get international virtual numbers.

With a virtual number, you are assigned a local, toll free, or international phone number (depending on your preferences). This number is not tied to a given phone jack or device; it is completely virtual. When you first order your virtual number, you are prompted to designate a ring to number which can be any number you want such as your main office number, your mobile phone number, or your home phone number.

You can change this ring to number at any time and as often as you want. For example, if you want your virtual number to ring to your hotel room when you’re on vacation, you could do temporarily switch the ring to number to your hotel room’s phone.

The Benefits of Getting a Virtual Number

Having a virtual number is beneficial in many ways including, but not limited to, the following:

  • You can control when and where you can be reached – While you could give callers your mobile phone number, do you really want to be accessible 24/7? With a virtual number, you can be as accessible as you want without having to give up your personal phone numbers. For example, if you need to be accessible while at a conference, you could have your virtual number ring to your mobile phone. Those callers will never know your mobile phone number. Thus, when you’re at your son’s soccer game over the weekend, you won’t necessarily be bombarded with business calls on your cell phone.
  • You can create a business presence virtually anywhere – Whether you serve several cities within your own country or have customers located around the world, you can get a virtual number that’s local to each of your markets and have all of those calls routed to your main office or call center. Your callers will dial a local number, yet the phone will ring wherever you designate the ring to number.
  • Your number is portable – There’s no need to change phone numbers when you move your office.
  • You can use your virtual number to create a virtual PBX system – Several advanced features common with virtual numbers combine to form a virtual PBX system with features that rival costly systems. Start by creating a custom greeting and configuring the auto attendant to route calls in a manner that makes the most sense for your business.

How a Virtual Number Can Pay for Itself

When you order a virtual number on a no-contract, pay-as-you-go basis, you will incur charges based on usage on a per minute basis. If you have a domestic virtual number, your rates will be flat whereas they will be variable for international virtual numbers. In both cases, you’ll pay for your calls by the minute according to your service provider’s rates. While adding another bill to your business might give you reason to pause, many business owners find that a virtual number quickly pays for itself.

For example, if you travel internationally, receiving phone calls on your mobile phone can result in international roaming rates as high as $1.99 per minute. With a virtual number, you can route your incoming calls to a disposable cell phone purchased at your destination country. Instead of paying nearly $2 a minute, you’ll pay your plan’s rates for the countries involved.

You can also use your virtual number to receive faxes, allowing you to save the cost of a fax machine, separate phone line, and fax supplies such as toner or thermal paper.

Finally, you can use your virtual number to bypass your local long distance carrier and make cheap international phone calls. Simply change the ring to number to whatever number you need to call and dial your virtual number. This allows you to take advantage of your international call forwarding service provider’s low per minute rates for the countries you need to call.

Getting a virtual number can make sense on many levels, and it can pay for itself by slashing your costs in other areas. Is it time to get a virtual number?

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International Call Forwarding for Non-Profits

Using call divert, calls can be routed virtually anywhere the organization needs them to ring at any given time. For example, if a small non-profit organization usually operates in the United States, it could have its international forwarding number ring to its main office in the United States most of the time.

International Call Forwarding for Non-ProfitsNon-profit organizations, like their for profit counterparts, must increasingly do more with less. Pressure from stakeholders and donors often prompt non-profit organizations to take a harder look at how to shave administrative costs so that more of their resources can go toward providing much-needed services or emergency help.

Non-profits can both cut costs and become more accessible internationally by using international call forwarding.

International call forwarding involves establishing an international forwarding number and routing calls to that number to a different phone number known as the “ring to” number.

Using call divert, calls can be routed virtually anywhere the organization needs them to ring at any given time. For example, if a small non-profit organization usually operates in the United States, it could have its international forwarding number ring to its main office in the United States most of the time.

However, when the entire team is mobilized to provide aid in another nation after a catastrophe, it could use call divert to route those calls to its temporary office in the affected nation, a mobile or satellite phone, or to an alternate call center located elsewhere in the world.

Non-profits can use international call forwarding in a variety of ways to cut costs or become more agile – or both. Below are a few ideas for using an international forwarding number.

Create an International Presence with International Call Forwarding

Imagine that you run a small non-profit based in the United States that provides food, clothing, and financial assistance to people in Haiti. While most of your donors are likely located in the United States, some may also be located in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, France, Canada, and the Bahamas.

In fact, each of these countries have a large population of Haitians, many of whom may share your commitment to helping the impoverished nation.

As you develop marketing materials targeted to these nations, you realize that your US toll free number won’t work internationally with the exception of Canada. With international call forwarding, you could create local toll free numbers for Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic, France, and the Bahamas and use your main number as the “ring to” number.

To your international donors, your international call forwarding number looks as if it rings to a local office when in reality it rings to a phone in another country. The localization effect can inspire confidence, add a local feel to your non-profit, and overcome potential concerns about making an international long distance phone call.

Create a Virtual PBX with International Call Forwarding

Many international call forwarding service plans come with auto-attendant and call routing features commonly found in more expensive PBX systems. For non-profits that would like the advanced features of a PBX but can’t justify the expense, international call forwarding may be the answer. You can create a customized greeting and divert calls to the appropriate voicemail box or live attendant based on time of day or country of origin.

Receive Incoming Faxes

Fax machines require separate phone lines, plain or thermal paper, and/or ink and toner cartridges. Instead of maintaining a standalone fax machine and regularly spending money on fax supplies, your international forwarding numbers can double as incoming fax numbers. Rather than receiving a paper printout, your incoming faxes are routed to your email address as an image attachment. Since you can check your email from virtually any computer or mobile device connected to the Internet, you can receive faxes even when away from your office.

Make Low Cost International Phone Calls

Since you can change your international call forwarding number to ring to virtually any number in the world, you can also use it to make cheaper international phone calls. You’ll need to double check your per minute calling rates for the countries involved and compare them to the rates of your carrier. If they’re cheaper, and they very well could be dramatically cheaper, then temporarily change your ring to number to the number that you would like to call. Instead of dialing that international number directly, dial your virtual number which will then ring to your designated phone number. This bypasses your local carrier and gives you access to your international call forwarding service provider’s network and rates.

From ensuring that your team can be reached wherever it happens to be deployed and enabling low cost calls from international donors around the world to creating a local presence, gaining access to advanced PBX features, receiving incoming faxes, and making cheap international calls, international call forwarding is a terrific choice for any non-profit organization with a global mission.

Create a global presence and cut your costs at the same time with international call forwarding.

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