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Virtual Phone Numbers

Virtual phone numbers are numbers in one locality that reach destinations in other localities, either in the same state, country, or around the world. Entities that have virtual numbers establish virtual offices in their chosen localities, enabling a local presence without actually having to physically be there.

business meeting man and woman
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 – ID#100204678924

Using Virtual Phone Numbers

When a caller dials a virtual number, a forwarding service routes the call to a preprogrammed destination. The call is toll free to the caller. Forwarding companies like Global Call Forwarding provide the virtual phone numbers to subscribing entities. Monthly usage determines the cost of virtual numbers.

The major benefits of owning virtual phone numbers are as follows:

  • An entity can establish a virtual office in any specific locality
  • Virtual phone numbers are toll free for callers and less expensive than other numbers
  • Virtual numbers generally accept toll free calls from landlines, mobile phones, pay phones, fax transmissions, and in some cases calls from other countries. Toll free numbers are more restrictive and can be more expensive than virtual numbers.

Generate New Business with Virtual Phone Numbers

Virtual numbers help businesses increase their sales and expand into new markets. For example, an enterprise could have a burgeoning business in Brazil with its population of 207 million residents, 42 million landlines, 244 million mobile cellular phones, and 123 million internet users. If that company wanted to expand into Chile, it could open an office there and hire additional staff. However, by purchasing inexpensive virtual phone numbers in Chile, it can reach Chile’s 18 million residents, 3 million landlines, 23 million mobile cellular phones, and 12 million internet users at a fraction of the cost of a satellite office.

Create an International Presence

Global Call Forwarding allows your company to create an international presence in over 140 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia/ New Zealand. You can establish a virtual office in any of those countries. This will enhance your international sales and customer support. In addition, the Advanced IVR (Interactive Voice Response) feature can route calls based on the place of origin. Therefore, a caller from France can reach an attendant fluent in French.

How to Get a Virtual Phone Number

The process to obtain a virtual phone number is easy. First, visit www.globalcallforwarding.com. Select the country for the new phone number and then select a number type. Follow any additional entries for the particular type. Next, enter the destination country and number. Click on “View Rates & Try For Free.” Pick one of the five plans. Select the desired optional features. Complete your information and click “Try For Free.”

Never Miss a Call

Virtual phone number subscribers have many options to handle incoming calls. Depending upon preprogrammed criteria, a receptionist, direct contact, or the IVR/ PBX system answers calls. Another option is Simultaneous Ringing whereby the phone system forwards calls to multiple lines. For example, a user can program simultaneous rings to their landline and mobile phone. When that person is away from their desk, they can answer the call on a cell phone.

Sequential Forwarding is another option to assure that users never miss a call. With this feature, the phone system delivers calls to a list of predetermined numbers. Unanswered calls (you can set the number of rings for calls) automatically connect to the next number on the list. The feature allows up to four additional numbers.

Time of Day Routing and Day of Week Routing are free features to assure that calls reach the proper destinations. Time of day routing forwards calls based on time of receipt. Day of Week routing forwards calls based on the day of the week.

To prevent dropped calls, Failover Forwarding allows subscribers to program multiple numbers or Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) accounts to handle unanswered calls or non-connected calls. Multimedia transmissions or VoIP calls use SIP accounts. The failover-forwarding feature utilizes multiple layers of Tier 1 carriers.

If all else fails, Voicemail is another feature of Global Call Forwarding’s virtual phone numbers. There is also an optional feature that is especially useful for a variety of industries: Call Recording.

Personal Use

International and domestic virtual phone numbers are affordable enough for personal use. This is especially useful for persons with family, friends, and associates in foreign localities. For example, if you have many family members, friends, and associates in Italy, but you live in the US, you could have a virtual phone number so it’s easy for them to stay in touch with you. In addition, a subscriber can establish a foreign virtual phone number and program it to reach different persons based on IVR input. This is a great way to save money and stay in touch.

Lower Your Overhead

The features associated with virtual phone numbers help businesses lower their overhead costs. The IVR system reduces staff involvement in handling incoming calls. Furthermore, customers can get self-service account information using the phone system. There is also no need to invest in expensive Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment since a cloud-based PBX is a free feature of the virtual phone numbers.