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.

Did 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.


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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Equip Your Business with a Low-Cost Virtual PBX

Equip Your Small Business Office with a Low-Cost, Fully Functional Virtual PBX

Virtual PBXHave you priced PBX phone systems lately? While enterprise organizations have the resources to pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per user, small business owners are rarely in a position to do the same. Instead, they make do with smaller systems or multi-line business phones. If you’re thinking there’s a probably a better way, you’re right. Consider a virtual PBX.

What is a Virtual PBX System?

Instead of investing in PBX hardware, a virtual PBX is “hosted” by a telecommunications provider such as us. You simply order a plan and receive calls on your designated ring-to number. Depending on the plan you choose, you could order local virtual numbers, a toll free number, or global virtual numbers and then set them to ring to your virtual phone system.

While similar to local or international call forwarding, virtual PBX systems have more features and extensions. For example, with multiple extensions, you could set up an extension and voice mailbox for each employee. You could also designate different extensions for different purposes such as “press one for sales, two for accounting, three to get directions to our office,” and so on.

World-Class Features; Low Costs

Virtual PBX systems come with a number of important features – and they’re surprisingly affordable. Some of the more notable features include the following:

  • No busy signal
  • Time of day routing
  • Call alerts
  • Online dashboard
  • Toll free numbers
  • Voicemail or live answer
  • Auto-attendant
  • Outgoing message
  • Low cost, month-to-month plans available

Using a Virtual PBX to Pre-screen Leads

Virtual PBX systems with multiple extensions and numerous features are appealing to small business owners because of their capabilities and low costs. Not only can you create an impressive image and route calls more efficiently, you can also use your virtual PBX to pre-screen sales leads. Here’s how:

  • Choose a hosted phone system that supports long (up to ten minutes) outgoing messages
  • Record an audio presentation about your company, product, or service
  • Configure the feature to allow leads to leave a message or be routed to a live salesperson
  • Advertise your informational “hotline”

Once your hotline is set up and advertised, interested leads can call your toll free number to learn more about your product or service. The informational recording provides your prospects with valuable information and prompts them to take the next step. Once they’ve left a message or have opted to speak to a live agent, they will be better informed about your product and service and ready to move forward. Those who need more time or simply aren’t interested can simply hang up. This technique can be used to ensure that your best sales agents are spending their time working with interested, informed prospects.

Since your local and global virtual numbers along with the entire virtual PBX system can be configured to ring to specific numbers as needed, this solution is also extremely portable. While large organizations can afford to invest in the latest business phone systems with all of the bells and whistles, most small businesses don’t have that luxury. With a virtual PBX system, you can get similar features along with unique benefits at an affordable price. Plus, your customers and leads won’t know the difference!

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