Tips for Managing Local Virtual Numbers

Managing Virtual Numbers
Managing Virtual Numbers

Tips for Managing Local Virtual Numbers

Many business owners quickly see the benefit of their local virtual numbers and promptly order additional virtual numbers for other locales. After all, local virtual phone numbers allow you to establish local presences around the world without requiring office space, additional staff members, and other business expenses. However, as your virtual phone presence grows, it becomes more difficult to manage. Use these tips to keep track of your local virtual numbers.

  • Use one provider – The more providers you have, the more complicated it becomes. Wouldn’t you rather deal with one bill each month rather than dozens? In addition to consolidating billing by using a single provider, all of your local virtual phone numbers can be listed and managed under one account. If you need to change a ring-to number, simply log into your main account, choose the local virtual phone number that you need to change, and edit as needed.
  • Use a spreadsheet or database program – This isn’t necessary when you have just a few virtual numbers to manage but can be helpful as your list grows. For example, you may want to record the following details for each local virtual number you have:
  • Local virtual phone number
  • City and/or country that the number is local to
  • Its ring-to number
  • Its purpose (localization, internal communications, hotline, etc.)
  • Where it is advertised (phone book, website, company trucks, etc.)
  • Local language and customs (will you need translators to interpret messages or bilingual staff to answer these calls?)
  • Expected end of life (some virtual phone numbers are ordered for temporary purposes while others are intended for the long term)
  • Track performance – Just as you measure the performance of other areas of your business, it’s smart to track the performance of your virtual phone numbers. Are customers calling your local virtual phone number? If not, do they know it exists? If so, are these calls resulting in sales?

Using one provider makes managing local virtual numbers much easier. By tracking important details in a spreadsheet or database program, you can quickly find relevant information should you later make changes to the number. For example, if you cancel a local virtual number, you should also cancel its associated advertisements. Tracking performance allows you to get a better sense of how well your local virtual numbers are performing so that you can adjust your approach or replicate its success with a new local phone number.

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The Advantages of Toll-Free Call Divert

Toll-Free call divert
Toll-Free call divert

The Advantages of Toll-Free Call Divert

Toll free phone numbers aren’t just for huge corporations. In fact, many solo business professionals and entrepreneurs have toll free phone numbers. However, unlike large corporations with massive telecom budgets, independent professionals don’t necessarily have the resources to man their phone numbers when they’re away from the office. Toll free call divert is the answer.

What is Toll Free Call Divert?

Call diversion is a telecommunications feature that allows a phone service subscriber to redirect, or divert, their incoming calls to another phone number or voicemail. With toll free call divert, this concept applies to a toll free phone number. By default, toll free numbers are already diverted to a designated “ring to” number. Taking that one step further with toll free call divert, the subscriber can change this ring to number as needed.

For example, if you have a toll free number that rings to your home office, you could use toll free call divert to redirect your calls to your mobile phone number whenever you travel on business. The advantages to using toll free call divert are plentiful and include the following:

  • Increased flexibility – Instead of missing calls while you’re away, you can divert them to an alternate number. Similarly, you could use toll free call divert to route calls to voicemail when you absolutely cannot be interrupted.
  • Reduced costs – If you normally use an answering service or hire someone to answer your toll free phone number when you’re traveling on business, you could reduce or eliminate these costs by diverting your calls to your mobile phone or a phone at your current location.
  • Portability – Toll free numbers are among the most portable numbers available due to call divert features. Whether need to divert calls temporarily while on a trip or permanently due to an office move, you can easily do so by changing the ring to number.

How to Divert Toll Free Calls

The specific steps vary based on your toll free call divert plan. For example, some plans allow you to divert calls by entering a code on the phone followed by the new ring to number. Plans with online account management dashboards usually have easy-to-follow prompts, enabling you to quickly change the ring to number online.

Toll free call divert is an easy-to-use feature that can reduce your costs while allowing greater flexibility and portability.

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Rollover Minutes and Call Forwarding Plans

Virtual Number - Rollover Minutes
Virtual Number – Rollover Minutes

Rollover Minutes and Call Forwarding Plans

Thinking about ordering a local, toll free, or international call forwarding plan? If so, one of the options you may want to consider is whether or not the call forwarding plan includes rollover minutes. A rollover minutes option, if available, can provide you with even more flexibility.

What are Rollover Minutes?

You’re likely familiar with the rollover minutes concept thanks to similar offers on long distance and cell phones. Many calling plans, including domestic and international call forwarding plans, are offered in packages where you pay for a pre-determined amount of minutes each month. If you exceed that value, you must pay for the additional minutes you use, often at a slightly higher rate than your bundled minutes. If you do not use up all of your minutes, you generally lose them.

How Not Having Rollover Minutes Costs You Money

For example, let’s say that you have a call forwarding plan with 900 minutes per month. In January, you only use 500 of those minutes. You will have paid for 900 minutes but only used 500 of them. In essences, you’ve overpaid for your usage. Now let’s see what happens in February when you use 1200 minutes. 900 of those minutes will have been included in your call forwarding plan, but you will need to pay for 300 additional minutes at a slightly higher per minute rate.

In this example, not only did you overpay for minutes in January, you had to buy additional minutes in February. If you had a rollover plan, you would have been able to save those unused minutes from January and used them in February. Not only would you be money ahead, you’d still have rollover minutes left to use in March, April, or several months from now. Minutes from each month that you are under your allotment would rollover, allowing you greater flexibility over your call forwarding usage.

Is Adding Rollover Minutes to a Call Forwarding Plan Financially Smart?

Adding rollover minutes to your international call forwarding plan is typically optional and offered for a small monthly fee which could be anywhere from $5 a month to $15 or more per month depending on your plan. In order to determine whether or not this option makes sense for you, you’ll need to examine your usage patterns and do the math.

For example, does your usage fluctuate from month to month or is it fairly stable? If you routinely use just under 200 minutes each month, then AI Telephone’s “Preferred” plan (222 minutes) with no rollover minutes might be suitable.

On the other hand, if your usage goes up and down dramatically each month, being able to “bank” your unused minutes makes a great deal of sense. Once you decide that the rollover option is a possible fit, look at the per month rate for the feature. Will you get more value out of using banked minutes than the fee or does it make more sense to forfeit your unused minutes and pay for overages? Do the math based on your anticipated usage. You’ll likely find that opting for rollover minutes is the financially smarter choice.

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How to Receive Mobile Calls when Traveling Overseas

Get your mobile calls overseas
Get your mobile calls overseas

How to Receive Mobile Calls when Traveling Overseas this Summer

Summer has arrived and the world awaits! Unfortunately, if you’re traveling from the U.S. to an international destination this summer, your trusty cell phone won’t necessarily work unless you use some sort of international or toll free call divert. While there’s something to be said for being completely disconnected while on vacation, being able to receive emergency calls is important. If you’re traveling on business, being disconnected from the office is not an option.

Most of us take our cell phones for granted and expect them to work no matter where we are. Once we cross international lines, however, nothing is guaranteed. Even if your phone works, international roaming charges could be an unexpected – and costly – surprise. Fortunately, a low-cost solution exists that allows you to receive your mobile phone calls in countries around the world: international call forwarding.

You’re likely familiar with domestic call forwarding, right? For example, depending on your cellular service provider’s calling features, to set your iPhone to ring to your home number, you simply go to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding and enter your home phone number. Whenever someone dials your iPhone number, the call rings to your home phone.

International call forwarding works in a similar manner. If you’re thinking you can simply change your mobile phone’s settings to ring to an international number as illustrated in the example above, think again. This technique only works domestically. You will need an international call forwarding service to accomplish this task. Don’t worry, it’s not hard but it does require some planning.

  • First, make sure your mobile phone has a call forwarding feature (not all do). If you can call forward calls from your mobile to your home number, then your phone is properly equipped. If it is not equipped with call forwarding, you may be able to change that via your online account dashboard or with a quick call to your provider.
  • Next, you will need to order a domestic call forwarding number from a service provider. If you’re in the United States, for example, you’ll need a U.S. call forwarding number. This is the number that you will forward your mobile calls to. This step is crucial because in most cases you can’t forward mobile calls to an international phone number directly. Even if you could, the costs would be prohibitive.
  • Once you have your domestic call forwarding virtual number, you will need to configure it so that it forwards to the ring-to number in the country you will be visiting. This number could be your hotel, a disposable cell phone you buy in that country, your local business office in that country and so on.
  • At the same time, you will need to configure your cell phone to ring to your new domestic virtual phone number. Once all configurations have been made, anytime someone dials your U.S. cell phone number, the call will be routed first to your new virtual number and then to your ring-to number overseas.

The same method will work regardless of where your home country is.  Simply get a virtual number in your country.  Call forward your mobile phone to ring to the mobile or hotel, etc, at your travel destination.

This process allows your local contacts to reach you overseas without requiring them to do anything different. You will incur costs for the call forwarding, making it important to choose a low-cost international call forwarding service. Because quality is equally important, you’ll also want to choose a provider that uses traditional telephone networks rather than Internet-based routing. Another useful feature to look for is time of day routing, especially if time differences are significant.

Don’t let your overseas travel plans keep you disconnected. Explore your international call forwarding options today!

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Localize Your Business with Virtual Phone Numbers

Virtual number call forwarding
Virtual number

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.

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Virtual Phone Numbers – Included Features and Options

Create Black and White lists for your Virtual Number service.

This feature enables Global Call Forwarding customers to create a list of phone numbers to help manage who you wish to call you on your Virtual phone number.

The customer can set up lists of caller ID’s that will be automatically blocked = ‘Black’ list.  Black list callers will be rejected by the system.

Caller ID’s can also be added to the White list and immediately connected.

Learn more about advanced call forwarding features

 

Virtual phone number-To curb the need for setting up local offices worldwide

Without virtual number services, businesses can imagine the cost of setting-up local offices worldwide.

Businesses that are growing have satellite branches spread across the world. The reason behind this is the global open business policies and the technological advancements that have allowed businesses to go beyond their national boundaries and acquire new territories without much of a hitch.

But going global is not as easy as it seems because it becomes an over burdening task for businesses to manage their new territory operations and cater to the clients present there. It becomes a stiff task for businesses with multiple branches to co-ordinate their business operation along with newly acquired overseas territories and clients.

But thanks to the technical breakthroughs that have equipped businesses with effective tools like virtual phone number services to manage and carry-out their overseas operations with utmost ease. What these services have done is that they have brought business and client on a uniform platform where both of them can associate well.

Gone are the days when businesses did not have the ability to stay connected with their clients.  But talking about today, clients prefer to deal with those businesses which provide effective customer services and offer easy access.

What these virtual call forwarding phone services have done is that they have reduced the extra burden of businesses in carrying out their operation in overseas territories. With these services businesses need not to set-up their local offices in countries where they operate or deals in. Basically with virtual number service a business opts for a specific number in accordance with the dialing convention of the country which the business is targeting. With that particular virtual number the client of that country can easily access the business.

The biggest advantage of virtual number service is that whenever the client makes a call he is not charged with premium international rates and that creates a sense in the mind of the client that the business has a local presence. This further helps business in reducing the need for setting-up local offices because with these services they can manage their clients well and provide them easy access to converse.

Without virtual number services, businesses can imagine the cost of setting-up local offices worldwide. This is the reason why more and more businesses are turning their heads towards these services as they are cost-effective and convenient.

Learn more about virtual phone numbers

Virtual call forwarding – Effortless way to stay connected worldwide

When conversing with people from different nationalities people generally feel the need for such services that enables them and their clients to stay connected without using their genuine numbers. The reason behind this is that it can create a problem when businesses do not have alternate number for clients to contact them and it is always not possible for people to pick-up calls every time because international time gap also makes it tougher.

It is indeed a problem but with technological advancements made in the field of telecommunications businesses today can provide their clients with mediums through which they can stay connected. So what is that which can make it easier for businesses around the world to stay connected with their clients without having the need to provide their actual numbers?

One element of telecommunication that has come to the rescue of businesses around the world is the virtual number service. With virtual number service businesses can opt for virtual numbers for specific countries where they operates. The biggest advantage of this service is that it enables virtual call forwarding and whenever a client makes a call he is not charged with premium international call rates.

With virtual number services businesses provide a significant platform to their clients where they can enquire and discuss about business proposals and quotations. Not only has this but virtual number call forwarding service reduces the need of setting-up local offices in countries where the business operates and helps it to acquire new business territories.

One can imagine the cost of setting-up local offices in countries where the business operates and the inconveniency that the client would experience without a proper medium for conversing. The cost of availing virtual number service is nothing when compared to the hefty amount that otherwise would have spent on local offices around the world.

With virtual number services the client also feels that the business has a local presence because the numbers are similar to their country’s dialing conventions. This helps in a better business-client association. Today these services are changing the way businesses used to cater to their clients.