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Opening a Business in London

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England is an attractive place to start a business if you are a foreign natural, and its capital city, London, is one of the best locations. If you are considering starting a business in the UK, here are some things to consider.

  • The visa issue: If you are a foreign national, depending on which country’s passport you hold, you may need to apply for a work visa before you can open your business in London. If you do require a visa, it is important to apply for it well ahead of time. Entrepreneur visas are usually granted or declined within three weeks after application, but you can apply up to three months in advance.
  • The legal issue: It’s important that you have a solid business structure. At this point, you obviously know what type of business you want to start and how it will be run. So, now you need to decide on a legal structure. In the UK there are four different legal structures to choose from. These are a limited company, limited liability partnership, partnership, and sole trader.
  • The incorporation issue: It is entirely up to you whether you incorporate your business or not. If you are operating as a limited company, you will have to register with Companies House.
  • The tax issue: Next you will need to register for tax. If you are incorporated, you should register for Corporation Tax. You will also have to register with HMRC as a self-assessment taxpayer.

Opening a Business in London: EU Citizens

Currently, if you are an EU citizen, you do not need a special permit to start a business in London, or anywhere else in the UK. This may change after the BREXIT. The only current exception affects nationals if countries which acceded the EU in 2004. These include Romania and Bulgaria. If you are a national of either of these countries, then you may need to apply for a permit.

Opening a Business in London: Entrepreneur Status

You will be pleased to know that prospective entrepreneurs get favorable treatment from the UK immigration authorities. Currently, a points-based system is in place. There are two tiers to this system. Here is a look at both of them:

Tier 1: This level is devoted to entrepreneurs, investors, and highly-skilled workers. The eligibility criteria for this tier are very rigid and include: a minimum of £50,000 in investment capital or a current investment of £50,000 in a UK business. Furthermore, if you are not already an investor, your money must come from an FCA registered venture capital fund, funds made available by a UK government department, or a UK seed funding competition for entrepreneurs endorsed by the DIT.

You can also apply for a Tier one permit if you have £200,000 in investment funds that are yours, provided by a joint investor, or held in a joint account with your spouse. As well as meeting these criteria, you will have to meet the general mandates for Tier 1 applications. This entails proving that you are from an English-speaking country or that you have a recognized qualification in the English language.

Tier 2: This is for skilled workers who are being introduced to the UK for the purposes of employment. If you are bringing staff to London to help you start your new business, they will need to apply for Tier 2 permits in order to be eligible to work for you in the UK.

Visa Extensions

If you are granted a Tier 1 entrepreneur permit, and you wish to apply for an extension, you will have to meet additional criteria. Including:
You must have invested a minimum of £200,000 in a business which already exists in the UK. This money excludes a director’s loan or any commercial property loans.

You have to be involved in the running of the business when you are applying for an extension.

You must have registered with HM Revenue and Customs as a self-employed person or as a company director with Companies House within three months.
Although there are extensive regulations determining the eligibility and behavior of foreign nationals who wish to start a business in London, you should remember that you will need a permit to work in the UK, just as you would if you were applying for a position to work for someone else in London.

Some restrictions make it difficult for foreign nationals who wish to start a London business with a small budget. This may become increasingly difficult once Brexit is in place, so keep that in mind. You should remember that immigration laws are very strictly enforced and anyone who fails to comply with them will be prosecuted. If you are in doubt about your status or eligibility to open a business in London, you should talk to a specialist in the field of immigration and overseas business.

Lunar Wanderlust: Moon Travel is on the Horizon

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Almost 50 years ago, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 became the first lunar launch to reach the moon. When it landed in the lunar Sea of Tranquility, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin (known as Buzz) became the first people to set foot on the lunar surface.

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Fast forward to the present day, and if you’re bored with hiking Machu Pichu or cruising the Bahamas, your next vacation might be a trip around the moon, and it may happen within the next two years. At around $150 million per ticket, it not likely that people will be queuing up for this ride, but for those who can afford it, the trip may be worth every penny, especially since no one has seen the moon up close since 1972.

Your lunar excursion will take around 17 days, with half of that time taken up by traveling to the moon. So just how close will tourists be able to get? Experts claim that the craft will get within 100 kilometers of the moon’s surface.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX team were hoping to send their first lunar tourist trip in 2018, but it seems that more uncrewed tests must be made first. This is understandable as everyone obviously wants to be sure that the equipment will get everyone there and back safely.

Early in 2017, Musk announced that SpaceX would fly their first two paying customers around the moon before the end of 2018. Their spacecraft is known as the Dragon capsule, which is powered by the Falcon Heavy rocket. Now it’s looking as though the lunar launch won’t happen until mid-2019 at the earliest. One of the customers who has put a deposit down has been identified as Yusaku Maezawa, founder of the online Japanese clothing company, Zozo.

The Dragon has already made several trips from earth to the International Space Station carrying cargo, launching on the back of SpaceX’s Falcon rocket. SpaceX is working on preparing the crewed version of the Dragon. The company also has a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA to use the Dragon and Falcon to transport astronauts to and from the Space Station.
SpaceX may not be the only team to have a finger in the lunar pie. If tweets from NASASpaceFlight.com are to be believed, the first flight of NASA’s Orion-Space Launch System is to launch with a crew in 2019. Doing the flight around the moon without a crew would enable NASA to test a wide range of different systems, but with a crew, they would be able to prove that it can send people into cis-lunar space.

Why Haven’t Humans Returned to the Moon Yet?

The short answer is, it’s very difficult. The longer answer is much more complex. First of all, the next trip won’t just be about taking a few steps on the moon. NASA is planning to eventually set up a sustained human lunar presence. So, the goal is much bigger than last time. This means astronauts will require new tools and technologies to enable them to stay on the moon for weeks or months at a time, and NASA has to build a ship capable of transporting a crew and all the necessary gear.

It is Rocket Science

Once the spaceship is built, the next problem is how to get it to the moon. The space shuttles and rockets that NASA currently uses do not have the capability to break through low-earth orbit while carrying the equipment needed for a crewed expedition. The amount of rocket energy required for such a voyage does not exist anymore.

To combat this setback, NASA is working on two new rockets for the next lunar landing: the Ares I and Ares V. Not only will these crafts be larger than the previous spacecraft, but they will also be able to carry much more weight.

Budget Challenges

Size and weight are not the only hurdles to overcome; NASA also has to build the craft within a rigid budget. The budget amounts to $35 billion to build Orion, and the Ares I. That’s a lot of money, but NASA claims that a return trip to the moon is worth it for several reasons. Not only will it add significantly to the amount of lunar science that can be learned, but many of the newly developed technologies could also have applications here on earth. Some examples include closed-loop life support and environmental controls and highly efficient energy storage systems. NASA officials claim that these tech advances alone, are worth the fiscal challenges because of the positive impact they could have for our terrestrial society.

5G is Coming

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After all the trumpets and fanfare, 5G is finally coming. 5G is the fifth, and latest, generation of connectivity. According to experts, it will be ready for prime use by the end of 2018. Currently, the hardware is being tested, the software is being fine-tuned, and carriers are preparing for 5G deployment.

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What is 5G?

5G is not just about faster smartphones. Because of its higher speeds, the new standard is also set to initiate new possibilities for virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things and connected vehicles. In fact, it’s about to change any arena in which machines need to communicate with each other.

You will need to buy a new smartphone to take advantage of 5G’s capabilities. But according to Robert J. Topol, Intel’s general manager for 5G business and technology, the future of 5G is the beginning of the “post-smartphone era.”

What’s Happened With 5G So Far?

The 5G protocol was completed in June 2018. Qualcomm has made the antennas which will be used by 5G-capable smartphones. Because they are using millimeter-wave frequencies, which will allow for faster speeds. The first range of 5G smartphones is due to appear early in 2019.

Motorola is likely to be the first smartphone manufacturer to begin wheeling out 5G-ready phones. The Moto Mod will be one of the new models. Exclusive to Verizon, this $480 phone should be available in 2019 as soon as Verizon’s 5G network is up and running.

How Will 5G Impact Existing Applications?

Rather than replace the current 4G network, 5G will supplement it by adding increased bandwidth to mobile broadband, as well as improving its capacity and reliability. This is possible thanks to the addition of thousands of mini antennae to buildings, utility poles, and cell towers. Mobile speeds will make an impressive leap from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps, making it competitive with even fiber-optic wired networks.

Some of the Advances 5G Will Bring

As well as speeding up movie and music downloads, 5G is set to advance the use of every existing (and future) smart technology. Here are just a few potential uses:

  • Connecting with smart apparel such as temperature-adjustable sportswear
  • Enhancing the use of prosthetic devices
  • Monitoring patients with internal health monitors
  • Monitoring and adjusting home heating and air systems
  • Optimizing home water usage
  • Self-adjusting home and business security systems
  • Assisting seniors in monitoring their medication use
  • Connecting to online health services
  • Improving smart agriculture
  • Facilitating the use of drones for weather assessment
What Wireless Carriers Are Doing
  • AT&T: This carrier intends to launch 5G services in 12 cities throughout the U.S. by the end of 2018. As yet, they have not announced which ones.
  • Verizon: Verizon is launching fixed 5G to homes in Sacramento, California and four additional locations in 2018. It has not yet released plans for mobile 5G.
  • Sprint: In the early part of 2019, Sprint will launch 5G services in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Phoenix, and New York.
  • T-Mobile: This carrier is also planning an early 2019 launch with nationwide coverage by the end of 2020. In 2018, they began installing 5G-ready equipment in 30 U.S. cities including Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York.
5G Goes Beyond Smartphones

Every smartphone user dreams of unlimited data, but there’s a lot more to 5G for the wireless generation than just phones. For example, 5G is set to impact everything from your home security system to automated vehicles. It’s going to enable all your internet-connected devices to communicate much faster without hang-ups. Experts are ready to welcome 5G as one of the major events of this data age because it will enable huge amounts of data to be transmitted and used by devices that require large bundles of information.

The shift to 5G is a big deal because it will require all local, state and federal agencies to coordinate together. For example, to make sure that local governments don’t postpone installation of the new 5G infrastructure, the Federal Communications Commission is making new radio frequencies available. Frequencies which rely on 5G.

One concern this aspect of 5G has raised is that local councils may slow down the 5G network approval process. Some skeptics are also pointing out that the 5G network launch may be used by local governments as an opportunity to charge high fees for the required installation permits. Additionally, questions have been raised about the effects of 5G networks on health. How these aspects of the rollout will pan out remains to be seen.

As well as the advantages already discussed, 5G offers the potential to revamp many local industries including healthcare, education, agriculture, entertainment, manufacturing, and energy. So, it’s hardly surprising that policymakers are eager to welcome the 5G data revolution.

Mastering the Telephone Interview

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In an increasingly competitive market for jobs in virtually every sector, companies and recruiters are commonly asking that candidates go through a telephone interview first. Based on impressions made during a phone interview, the next round of candidates may be asked for an in-person interview. This means that mastering the telephone interview is key. Here are some points to keep in mind when aiming to ace a phone interview:

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Preparation Matters

Prior to the interview, you should thoroughly research the company you are interviewing with and, if possible, also research the interviewer, just as if you were preparing to meet for an in-person interview. Learning about the organization’s key players, markets, and strategies is very important. You can create a sheet of notes to have in front of you. This is one of the perks of having a phone interview.

Also before the interview, prepare a list of questions for the person interviewing you. These questions should serve the purpose of collecting more information about the company and the job duties, so that you are able to fully determine if this is the right organization and position for you. These questions should also help to show the person who is interviewing you that you are the right candidate for the position.

Set the Scene

In mastering the telephone interview, for the interview date and time, make sure you are in a quiet place, free of distractions. Have a copy of your resume in front of you and make notes or highlight any key portions that you would like to bring up during the conversation. Try to be available a few minutes early and have a paper and pen at hand to take notes. If you are planning to use your cell phone for the phone interview, make sure it is fully charged. If you are using a landline phone, then make sure that your cell phone is turned to silent.

During the telephone interview, it is important to listen first. An interviewer will typically start with an introduction to tell a candidate about the company and about the position, including expectations and challenges. You should take notes during this time. If you have particular strengths that would play an important role in helping you to be successful in the position, wait until the interviewer is done speaking and point out those strengths in relation to anything they have just explained.

Consider Points for Effective Phone Communication

When you are in an in-person interview, you are able to make eye contact and you can receive visual cues with regard to whether you are making a good impression or not. When you are interviewing via telephone, you have to rely on voices and verbal communication, so it is important to listen intently and make sure your voice and choice in words convey your experience, your personality, and your interest in the position. Smiling while you speak is very important in mastering the telephone interview. Demonstrating your enthusiasm about working for the organization is critical.

Mastering the telephone interview doesn’t end there. If you are sure you want the job, it is important to end the call with a positive note and thank the interviewer. You should also ask what the next step is with regard to the selection process.

After the phone interview, you can follow up the next day to reiterate your interest and your abilities to do the job successfully.

The job market is competitive and mastering the telephone interview is an important part of the process in ensuring you are prepared to outshine the competition. Once you have followed the steps mentioned above, if you still haven’t heard anything back from the company, you can send another message to follow up about a week later.

Top Digital Communication Trends Enhancing Today’s Businesses

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Communication is a fundamental element in running a business. As a business owner, you should ensure you are remaining in regular contact with customers, partners, and remote employees. You should also ensure that the customer communication journey is unified. In other words, no matter which department they speak to within a company, everyone should be on the same page, so that customers leave with the impression that the team within the company is a cohesive one.

Digital Communication Trends

The forms of communication, which support team collaboration in turn, enable the scale of your existing business to increase. Whether this means opening a new branch, finding new clients, or expanding your sphere of activity either domestically or internationally, digital communication trends are playing a significant role in this area. With that in mind, here are some of the top digital communication trends enhancing today’s businesses:

Cloud Services: The concept of cloud computing is not particularly new, but developments in this area are new. Cloud storage is generally safer in comparison to standard data centers and is more tolerant of faults. Retrieving and transferring data from the cloud online is also simpler than it may be with physical storage. This is important when putting VoIP networks in place. VoIP technology, for example, is more commonly being used in telephone systems today. The use of a cloud-based system versus traditional landlines for telephonic communications allows for mobility, flexibility, lower costs and the use of many corresponding features that perhaps would not be offered with the use of a traditional phone line.

Internet of Things: The concept of the Internet of Things has gradually begun to enter the sphere of business communications. This allows mobile device users to keep in touch from anywhere in the world with the use of different types of wireless connection, such as WIFI, GPRS, and Bluetooth. In addition, IoT allows business owners to provide large-scale awareness of how business processes are put in place. M2M technology, for example, accompanies the IoT concept and provides the capability of gathering important business data on an ongoing basis. M2M technology maintains a constant symbiosis between all electronic active devices that exist within your business.

Artificial Intelligence: The AI concept is best explained by referring to the well-known Siri for iPhone. The software is based on the voice requests of the user and operates based on the chatbot principle. It searches the browser and implements various processes in the mobile device. These types of software solutions are now even more advanced. There are various mobile apps that have been developed for different business purposes, including remote communication processes. In essence, users acquire full-fledged virtual assistants that are able to take up some of the duties of a real employee.

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Communications Tools for Modern Businesses

Each and every year brings us significant developments in business communications. As far as top digital communication trends enhancing today’s businesses, the aforementioned three emerging trends in digital communication present great opportunities for those who develop software to create new software solutions.

With the intensity of competition ramping up amongst various business owners in virtually every sector, it is important for business owners to stay ahead and remain informed of the top digital communication trends enhancing today’s businesses. Communication tools are arguably one of the most powerful tools available for reaching out to customers and forming lasting relationships with your customers.

Digital Communication: the Path to the Future

Emerging technology is constantly raising the bar and changing the customer communication space. From cloud-based communication systems, chatbots, and artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things, consolidator sites and communication ecosystems, these technologies are challenging the way we have always thought about communication and forcing everyone to stay abreast of top digital communication trends enhancing today’s businesses or face being left behind.

Customer Experience: Why it’s a Necessity for All Businesses Today

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A primary topic of conversation circling throughout the business world today is focused on customer experience: why it’s a necessity for all businesses at the current time. Organizational leaders are recognizing the importance of delivering a customer experience that allows them to stand out in comparison to their competition.

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Whether directly related to customer service, product quality or the way customers feel about the organizations they do business with, customer experience is at the top of the list with regard to what determines if a customer will continue to do business with a brand or not.

It All Comes Down to Customer Experience

Current studies indicate that 89 percent of organizations compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. There is a large amount of opportunity to disrupt competitors and gain market share within an industry. Every single thing that a brand does – marketing, research, advertising or other areas – plays a role in forming the customer experience. This is precisely why customer experience is such a necessity for all businesses. In fact, focusing on customer experience may be the most important investment a brand can make in today’s competitive global business climate.

In the past, there were three general ways through which a customer could interact with a company – in person, via a phone call, or through writing a letter. Today, you can add faxing, emailing, and social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Social media, in particular, has given customers an outlet through which to complain to the world if they are unhappy with a product or service they have been provided. Customers who are pleased with products and services also tend to share their experiences via social media.

Improving Customer Experience

With all of these new ways for customers to communicate with businesses, it makes the creation of a unique and powerful customer experience even more challenging. Regardless of the additional challenges, it is a vital component on the road to success for any company and this is why leaders of every organization should sit down and discuss the importance of the customer experience. To provide a starting point for discussion, here are some tips to consider when discussing how to improve customer experience:

  • Data from customer interactions via various channels should all be stored in one place. A customer may reach out via telephone one time and via a live chat the next time, but notes regarding these interactions should all be stored in one location for easy reviewing by your customer service team.
  • Carry consistency throughout the company. Particularly when a company is large, there may be different departments or teams to carry out various individual tasks. This can become frustrating to customers if they are bounced around from one department to the next and the individual teams do not seem to be on the same page. It is important for there to be consistency from one department to the next in explaining procedures and the handling of various situations.

Customers Determine the Effectiveness of Your Efforts

A company establishes what they want their brand to represent and how they convey that message to their market, but the customers are the ones who decide whether or not that message is clear to them and if they are happy with the way it has been conveyed. There is a lot that rides of providing a consistently positive customer experience. A company should hire and train good people and then ensure they are given the right tools to meet customer expectations.

If you are a business owner and have not already, it is time to undertake a full analysis of the customer experience and realize why it’s a necessity for all businesses today.

4 Simple Steps To Get Return Customers

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It takes effort to create a return customer, but with the number of sales they bring to your store in return, they’re worth the extra effort. If your business is using up all of its resources towards directing its advertising budget on attracting new clients, you may be missing out on a huge market… the customers that you already have.

The Power of Loyalty

Getting a new customer will usually cost your business money on marketing and advertising. Loyal customers don’t just buy your products; they tell other people about them. They might even post your products on their social media pages, giving your business free advertising to hundreds or even thousands of new potential customers.

New customers may appear once or twice and you’ll never hear from them again, but every new customer is an opportunity to create a return customer. And that is why it is important to take care of every single customer as well as you can. If you do it right, every customer can become a lifelong customer, which really pays over time. If you offer a great product or service, there is no reason why you won’t be able to create a strong following of return customers.

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Here are 4 simple steps to create a loyal following of return customers

Create The Right Environment

If your business isn’t presentable, you probably won’t get many people wanting to return. Take a walk around your store and make notes. Your store should be comfortable and welcoming. The inside and outside should be clean, the lighting should be inviting, and the layout should be easy to maneuver through. If a customer cannot find the product that they need, then your layout might need some changing up. Take some time out to think about your decor and finishing touches, too. Listen to the feedback you hear from staff and customers about the environment and see what could use some sprucing up, while leaving the things that are already working.

Have Your Staff Put Their Best Foot Forward

If you’re not always around or selling directly to your customer, then you need to be sure that you have a loyal and friendly staff, who preferably believe in the products they are selling. Your staff should not only be friendly, but they need to be knowledgeable as well. A kind and well-informed staff will leave the right kind of impression on your customers. If a customer has a positive experience, they are more likely to return even if they did not purchase anything the first time. Gather your staff together for training sessions to be sure that they are upholding your business to the highest degree. Having a properly trained staff will ensure positive interactions.

Learn Your Customers’ Names

Introductions are the best way to make a good impression on someone right away. If you are not great at remembering names, try to make a mental note about something that the person is wearing and repeat their name back to them. If your business is very busy and you don’t have time to introduce yourself to everyone, go out of your way to introduce yourself to people that you already recognize. Recognizing a frequent customer will help you to learn what the customer wants and expects.

Remember Your Customers and What They Like and Don’t Like

Now that you have brought in a customer for a second time and have introduced yourself to them and gotten their name, you can start taking notes about their shopping habits. Many businesses use this technique and it makes their repeat customers feel appreciated. For example, if you run a wine store and you already know that a customer likes a certain wine region, you can remind them when you know you are getting a new wine from that particular region. If you own a restaurant, remembering people’s allergies and sending out their favorite appetizer as a compliment will guarantee that your customers will return.

Return Customers = Greater Value

If you remember to do all four of these simple steps, your business will soon be on its way to maximizing its profits. As a business, you want as many customers as possible, however, loyalty goes very far in the long-run. Gaining a customer and keeping them for years to come means your initial marketing efforts were ultimately successful, enabling you to bank on them long-term. Considering the large expense marketing can be, why not extend your efforts for the highest yield?

Uses of Sequential & Simultaneous Call Forwarding

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Sequential and simultaneous call forwarding can help your company build loyalty and trust between your business and customers. Simultaneous ringing allows for multiple phones to ring at once.

When multiple phone lines are being rung it is more likely that the call will not only be answered, but the issue will be solved quickly. Response time is essential when dealing with customers. It shows that you value their time and their input. Sequential ringing is typically used when you have a preferred phone that you would like the call to be directed to.

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Sequential Call Forwarding

The reasons for using this service vary, but some examples of when you will need sequential ringing are, if your battery is low, the placement of the phone is more convenient to get to, the call needs to be directed to a specific office and when that office is not available the call must then be forwarded to the next best option. No matter where the call falls on a predetermined list of phone numbers, you know that the call will be answered even if someone is away from his or her desk.

Also, if your company takes advantage of the use of call centers, sequential forwarding can be used to connect your business to a call center located across the globe. Whether your phone call needs to go to India, or you merely stepped away from your desk, and the call needs to forward to your mobile, both can be done with sequential call forwarding.

Sequential Call Forwarding works by forwarding the call to the first number you have set up beforehand, it will ring for a length of time that you have also set, and if the call is not answered within that time frame, your call will be directed to the next number on your list like a phone tree. If the second phone does not pick it will be forward to the third number, and then to the fourth and final number. Once it has gone down the list of 4 different numbers, then the call can be sent to voicemail.

Simultaneous Ringing

Simultaneous Ringing is slightly different from sequential call forwarding. Instead of being forwarded to one person at a time, several phones can ring at once. This is especially beneficial for a call center. This advanced feature is included with your toll-free number purchased from United World Telecom. Although several phones can ring at the same time, only the first phone to answer the call will be connected to the caller. Similar to sequential call forwarding, you can set up your desktop to ring and your mobile phone to ring, but instead of one ringing first, they will both ring at the same time. That way the caller won’t have to wait for an answer no matter where you are and you won’t miss out on a sale.

Setting up Simultaneous Ringing in Your Control Panel is Very Simple

  1. Head to United World Telecom’s website to login to your account.
  2. When you have logged in to your account, click Account Overview to find Call Forwarding
  3. Click on ‘Call Forwarding Configuration’ and choose the toll-free number that you want to set up.
  4. Click ‘Call Forwarding’ after you have selected the toll free number and then click ‘Advanced’ to set up more advanced forwarding tools for that number.
  5. Find ‘Forward all calls to’ and enter the phone numbers that you want to ring simultaneously when the toll free number is dialed.
  6. Don’t forget to apply the settings!

The virtual phone numbers available at United World Telecom are filled with features that will make running your business simpler and smoother. You will never miss another essential business call when you take advantage of the sequential call forwarding and simultaneous ringing features that can be applied to landlines, mobile numbers, desktops, and tablets. These services make it simple to stay in communication with your customers around the clock.

Enhance Profitability with US Phone Numbers

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Expanding your business to the United States marketplace has become very simple thanks to the rise of the digital age, international trade rules, and globalization. Getting a USA virtual phone number can assist businesses by giving businesses outside the US the opportunity to establish their organization. There is no need to pick up and move your entire business to a foreign land when you can create a virtual presence by simply using a virtual phone number.

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Open Up Greater Communication with US Phone Numbers

Virtual phone numbers will give you an advantage over your competition in the US by allowing your business to establish communication with your American clients. Investing in a toll free number will allow your business to be accessible to customers across the world at any moment.

United World Telecom offers toll free phone numbers and local US virtual numbers packed with easy-to-use features that will put you ahead of your competition and increase your ability to make sales. Set up your virtual phone number to start building your company’s reputation in America.

If you are not sure whether getting a US phone number is the right decision for your company, check out these benefits and features of a virtual phone number and see how a virtual number can positively impact your business.

  • Virtual phone systems allow you to stay in contact with customers overseas without taking on international costs. If your company already has customers in the US and you or they are spending huge amounts of money on calling fees, then the choice to switch to a virtual phone number is easy. Stay within your budget by getting a cost-effective virtual number.
  • Since you’re not overspending your budget on international phone calls, you can use your virtual phone number to grow your relationship with your customers overseas. They will have better access to your customer service lines, and you can address their issues and questions right away.
  • You can establish a presence in any geographical location of your choosing without constructing a new building.
  • Your team will be able to stay in touch and collaborate easier.

Virtual Phone System Features

Now that you know all about the benefits, put them into action with the range of features offered in a virtual phone system:

  • Call Recording: You can keep a record of all calls that are being made, then you can use that data to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Your team will grow stronger, and your customers will take notice when their needs are being properly met.
  • Voicemail: Customize a professional voicemail for holidays and hours outside of regular business operation.
  • Call Forwarding: Whether you choose to use sequential forwarding or simultaneous ringing, you enhance your chances of answering the phone. With sequential forwarding, you can customize your settings to be sent to one phone first before being sent down a list of offices. For example, you can set your phone calls to go to your desk phone before they are sent to your mobile device. With simultaneous calling, multiple phones will ring at one time, and the first person to answer will be connected with the caller. This tool is great if you utilize a call center.
  • SMS Messaging: A majority of Americans use cellular phones and prefer text messaging as their way of communicating. It also raises the chance that your message will be received since many Americans screen phone calls. This additional feature is great if your target audience is millennial Americans because you are much more likely to get a response from a millennial through text.

Getting a U.S. Phone Number

You can obtain your virtual US phone number by contacting United World Telecom. Either call their toll free number at 1 (888) 908 6171 or visit their website to find a new virtual phone number.

On the website, simply choose the virtual phone number that you want, either toll-free or mobile, and enter your destination number (the number you would like the calls forwarded to). From there, you can choose the plan that best suits your business’ needs and add any additional features. If you are not sure if the service is right for you, start with the free seven-day trial. Then enter your contact and account information to begin making and receiving calls right away.

The Largest Call Centers in the US

Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 – ID#100174291746

Call centers can handle inbound and outbound calls for your business, and can be within your company or you can outsource the call center to other companies that specialize in customer service.

These call centers are departments where your current and potential customers will be directed to when they have an inquiry or comment.

Call centers can be used by telemarketing companies, online retailers, help desks, charities, and more. Any organization or company can use the telephone to sell products, answer customer questions, or provide services.

call center employees
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 – ID#100204682278

There are two types of call centers, inbound call centers and outbound call centers. Inbound call centers handle phone calls from customers and may have to take many calls at the same time, and will therefore need services like call forwarding and an IVR system. The inbound call center usually handles technical support, accounts management, complaints, questions, scheduling appointments, and sometimes purchases can be made over the phone as well.

Outbound call centers usually utilize an agent to represent the company or a client. This agent will carry out tasks including, telemarketing, fundraising, debt collecting, surveys, and lead generation. To maximize the amount of calls that will go out, the outbound call center will usually use an automated dialer that can transfer to an agent when the phone call is answered.

Outside of inbound and outbound call centers, there are four additional classifications of call centers. Theses are in-house, outsourced, offshore, and virtual call centers.

  • In-house call centers are part of the company in which that they represent, meaning that the company itself has its own call center and finds and hires its own agents.
  • Outsourced call centers are third party organizations that handle the inbound and outbound calling of any company that it has been hired by. This organization hires and trains the agents for the company on its own. Many businesses opt for this call center if the business is smaller and cannot accommodate its own in-house agency.
  • Offshore call centers are basically outsourced call centers but the outside organization is from another country. The costs are usually cheaper to use a call center from abroad, however customer complaints often go up because of language issues or lack of knowledge about the products or services.
  • Virtual call centers use cloud call center technology to answer calls, which means the agents can work from anywhere in the world. Virtual call center agents work from small offices or their own homes.

As companies expand, their call centers grow alongside them. The largest call centers are in-house operations that employ thousands of people with different positions. These employees are divided into customer service, technical support, claims processing, and more. The biggest call centers can carry out tasks from both inbound and outbound services.

The majority of these huge call centers are owned by Fortune 500 companies that can afford huge facilities to house all of their agents and the latest call center technology. The majority of companies prefer to use states in Southern region of the United States such as Georgia and Texas.

The following are the top companies with the largest call centers in the United States.

  • State Farm- State Farm owns three high-tech call centers around the US. Their largest call center, and the biggest one on this list, is located in Atlanta. Georgia and employs 10,000 people. The next two call centers are located in Richardson, Texas and Tempe, Arizona and each employ around 8,000 people.
  • Geico- Geico’s call center is fourth placed behind all three State Farm Insurance centers. Their call center is located in Macon, Georgia and employs 5,600 people.
  • Fidelity Investments- Fidelity Investments call center is located in Westlake, Texas and employs 4,400 people.
  • Humana- In Louisville, Kentucky Humana employs 4,000 people at their call center.
  • Citibank, Verizon, and Progressive Insurance- Each of these companies employs 3,500 people. The call centers are located in Irving, Texas; Alpharetta, Georgia; and Tampa, Florida, respectively.

The majority of companies looking to outsource their call centers or create their own tend to find places within metro locations or nearby larger cities. The reasoning behind these decisions is that they want to make access easier for their clients and they want to pick from a larger labor market. However, companies rarely go above metro areas with a population over 1 million. If you’re looking to expand your operation to include call centers, look to some of the biggest companies and their call centers for the right strategies.