(Update: This blog was originally published on 6th July 2018 and was last updated on 13th August 2020 for comprehensiveness and accuracy.)
The advent of multinational corporations and manufacturing units around the world has helped businesses transcend geopolitical boundaries. These large-scale operations require a robust yet flexible communication system.
Coordination with a truly diverse team from across the globe poses its own challenges. Even a simple task like finding a common slot for a meeting can become cumbersome due to different time zones. Technical glitches and unstable Internet connections add to the woes.
Cloud telephony offers powerful solutions to overcome communication and coordination challenges in all aspects of your business. A virtual number is one such solution, facilitating a seamless connection with all your stakeholders, 24×7 and from anywhere in the world.
Business virtual numbers offer a plethora of benefits, but before jumping into the details, let us get a broad idea about virtual numbers and their functioning.
What is a Virtual Number?
As the name suggests a virtual phone number is not connected via any tangible phone line or SIM card but is rather connected via the cloud. Also known as Direct Inward Dialing (DID) or access number, it is used to redirect calls from a published or centralised number to any other destination like a landline or a mobile phone. When a customer dials in a business virtual number, it is seamlessly forwarded in accordance with a pre-set logic, to your personal or office number.
Benefits of a Business Virtual Number
It has various advantages, ranging from reduced international call charges to increased local brand presence, round the clock availability, and more. Here are the prominent advantages and features of a business virtual number:
1. Optimise Expenditure
The need for extensive hardware set-up and related infrastructure is redundant with virtual numbers. In addition, expenditure on related activities like regular maintenance, extra staff, emergency repairs, etc. also becomes obsolete. Instead, you pay an inexpensive subscription fee to a provider for all these services.
Furthermore, service providers usually offer a “pay-as-you-use” model that allows you to scale your operations while putting you on the driving seat of your expenditures.
2. Personal vs Professional
All hardworking professionals understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. However, entrepreneurs and business owners are often overwhelmed by numerous calls throughout the day. A virtual number helps segregate your personal and working hours without causing any disruption to your business. Calls to the same business number can be forwarded to a different number based on the time. For example, during your working hours (say, between 9 AM to 5 PM), calls can be directly routed to you or your office, while otherwise, they can be routed to a teammate or be sent to voicemail.
3. Enhance Local Presence
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. International corporations need to blend in with the local populace in order to create ties with the community. A local number is the best way to achieve this balance. It helps people better associate with a brand while enhancing the trust factor. Moreover, customers are more likely to answer a call from a local number, i.e., from their own city or state as compared to an unfamiliar code.
Businesses can opt for varying numbers for different cities. This would help your agents provide improved and customised information catering to a particular region and also help you analyse region-specific call data.
4. 24×7 Connectivity
In this day and age, round-the-clock connectivity is imperative for businesses. Loss of potential clients can be devastating for a company, and hence, you cannot afford to miss a single call. A virtual number automates this task for you, readily routing numbers to the set destination. This lets you answer calls from any location, and even on the go. It also allows operational flexibility for your agents who need not work from the physical office space anymore. Incorporating this technology in your communication model ensures that you never miss a call again.
5. IVR Integration
Ever wished that your customer calling from Punjab is automatically greeted in Punjabi, while a customer from West Bengal is greeted in Bengali? Virtual numbers integrated with IVR technology help achieve this, and much more!
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a powerful telephony solution that automates all your communication needs. Using a pre-recorded message, it greets all incoming calls and routes them to the best-suited team or agent. Furthermore, callers can enjoy self-service tools along with prioritised service using the technology. Companies benefit from reduced wait time and improved analytics, thereby improving the overall efficiency.
6. Number Portability
A published and well-marketed business number often becomes a beacon of your identity. Changing your number midway can hamper your sales and hurt your brand image.
A virtual number allows easy portability, ensuring your number stays yours! In case you want to shift your business to a new city or try a new cloud telephony service provider, you can easily do so by paying an affordable number transfer fee.
A virtual number is an intelligent solution for your business communication needs. It offers powerful features like call-routing, auto-notifications, and more at economical prices. Virtual number and cloud telephony solutions have already made their mark in the business world by amplifying the quality of customer experience and business growth. It is the right time to incorporate these technological developments into your business model and reach greater heights.
To know more about virtual numbers and cloud telephony solutions, and how these can help boost your business, read our expert blogs.
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