What is a Virtual Phone Number?

Thanks to cloud computing, there have been a number of emergent technologies to come to light that have been making the task of establishing business presence worldwide easier than ever. One of the key developments includes telecommunications. Perhaps you’ve heard of the benefits of VoIP, or “Voice over Internet Protocol,” which has made something called “virtual phone numbers” possible.

What are virtual phone numbers? In the simplest sense, a virtual phone number routes calls made to one number and delivers this call instantaneously to another phone number, which is referred to as the “destination phone number.” This means that if someone called your virtual phone number in India, that call would be instantaneously routed to your call center in the United States.

Vice versa, by using outbound calling through a virtual phone number service provider, like Global Call Forwarding, you can direct calls from that US-based call center to India. Best of all, when your number appears on their caller ID, it appears as the virtual phone number (and not the destination phone number).

There are many benefits to virtual phone numbers, as we’ll discuss in the next section.

Benefits of Virtual Phone Numbers

Establishing a Business Presence

With today’s business world in mind, you know that a large number of businesses that you deal with on a day-to-day basis don’t require any in-person interaction. That means that if your business or organization work similarly, you can establish a business presence anywhere in the world just by getting in contact with customers and clients. Typically, this requires a virtual office, where transactions can be processed and a host of services are implemented through automation.

However, when your potential customers want to speak with customer service representatives, that’s where virtual phone numbers come into the picture. Virtual phone numbers allow you to start doing business in any market. This is a key cost-saving measure, as establishing a brick and mortar presence in a new region or country can be expensive and time-consuming, including leasing, hiring new staff, and following a particular area’s regulations for foreign business. With virtual phone numbers, you can circumvent all of these barriers and begin doing business with new markets. Considering that a subscription to virtual phone numbers is vastly cheaper and less risky than setting up a branch office, this can be key to testing out whether your business gains traction in a new market. On the other hand, when your business idea doesn’t get a foothold in that market after setting up a physical location in another area, the process of extricating your organization from this failed attempt can be costly.

Creating Trust and Authenticity in Your Business

Virtual phone numbers can be selected in any country and area code. This means that if you want to emulate local businesses, all you have to do is subscribe to a virtual phone number that matches your target market. Customers can begin contacting your business as they would any other local business. This type of communication leads to an authenticity in new markets, which would take more time and effort than using typical expansion efforts. Similarly, by giving these customers a way to access your business (rather than them having to find alternative methods), they subconsciously trust your business as one that wants to meet them in the middle.

Accessibility

Remember that when using virtual phone numbers to contact new target markets, not every person can reach your business the same way that you can. In fact, there’s a large number of phone users who don’t have the ability to call long distance or the ability to call out of their country. By using virtual phone numbers, these same callers can reach your business. For instance, not every Chinese citizen can reach the United States due to income restrictions and personal choice. With Chinese virtual phone numbers, you can bridge the gap and reach new customers.