International Virtual Phone Numbers: Connecting Globally & Eliminating Borders

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In the hyper-connected business world of today, the days of nine-to-five, normal operating hours have gone the way of the dodo. Between your website, your email and your social media accounts you are basically keeping your doors open at all times, so why should your phone be any different? You might have a voice mail setup for when you can’t answer, but that really limits your personal interaction with customers to the times when you are working. The US Chamber of Commerce says that 97% of all exports come from small-to-medium businesses (SME), so the odds are pretty good that if you run a small business, you’ll be dealing with different phone numbers and time zones on a regular basis.

It’s important that the people who work while you sleep feel like they are just as important to you as those who are on your schedule. International communication remains a problem even in today’s technology laden world. This is where a virtual number can facilitate several facets of your business’ communication.

International Virtual Phone Numbers

Time of Day Routing

With a compatible virtual number service, you can forward all incoming calls to any physical number you choose (even a cell phone) and you can set it up automatically by the time of day. Say you’re waiting to hear back from a client, but they’re in London and you’re on the west coast. They may be nine hours ahead of you, but that doesn’t mean you have to be impossible to reach during their business day. If you have an east coast office, you can- forward all early morning incoming calls to their number and keep business running smoothly for your London client.

Alternately, if you don’t have multiple locations, you can set it to ring your home phone or cell phone. This could be especially useful in a situation where you’re expecting a call, but can’t afford to spend time sitting around waiting for it to come in. Just set up your number to switch to your cell phone at quitting time and you never have to give it a second thought.

Simultaneous and Sequential Ringing

Everyone can be too busy for a phone call, but with one of the more popular ringing features, you can make sure a call is always taken regardless of when it comes in. With simultaneous ringing, you can forward to multiple lines at once that will all continue to ring until one of them is answered. This can be your own phone or one from the various points of contact you might have around the world. Your London, New York and Los Angeles offices can all receive the same call at the same time, or with sequential ringing, you can have them ring one at a time in a circle until someone is available to answer.

Some services offer a combination of these two features where a specific set of phones ring at once and then the call diverts to a sequence of additional lines, such as employee cell phones, or any numbers that serve as a backup.

Local Numbers

Part of the hassle of traditional international phone communication is the complicated phone numbers, country codes, and city codes that get in the way of a quick, important call. Unless you have them memorized, you probably don’t know how to dial France versus Italy, even if you have the local number in your hand.

A virtual number can be linked to a local number of your choosing, which then forwards through to your phone when dialed. It even includes their local dial tone so that a phone call to you feels as familiar as a call to their family.

There are many reasons why communication can get held up, so why add to that list with a poor telephone service. Reducing the potential for confusion and miscommunication will go a long way to not only developing stronger interpersonal relationships with your business, but to gain a more effective foothold in your international markets.