In a never-ending quest to stay one step ahead of the competition, you may have spent hours researching new methods and tech, with mixed results. Then again, you may have heard of how virtual phone numbers can add new functionality to your business.
The reality is that virtual phone numbers are powerful tools that can be used to market your business and open lines of communication that weren’t available in the past. In concept, calls made through virtual phone numbers are routed to and from a destination number instantly through the cloud. This means that you and your organization can reach new locales instantly and add new dimensions to your business model.
There are a number of benefits to using virtual phone numbers, which we’ll discuss in this article.
Tracking Marketing Efforts
Virtual phone numbers are typically used as a method not only to have customers get in touch, but also to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns (traditional and digital). For example, let’s say that you purchase a billboard on the highway. You can purchase a virtual phone number to publish on it, and use that to track how many calls you receive – this way you can tell if your billboard is working.
The lifeblood of a startup or new business is how much capital it has and how it can allocate this to stay afloat and thrive. Businesses that take unnecessary financial risks seldom gain the foothold that equates to high-cost measures. Your business may consider setting up offices in other regions of your country or countries altogether as quickly as possible to beat out your competitors.
However, this approach can be costly and time-consuming — two resources that need to be conserved as much as possible when a new business is dealing with the unexpected turns and chaos of gaining stability in a market. Virtual business phone numbers are substantially cheaper than setting up a new physical location in another city, region, or country. Plus, you don’t have to spend time filing paperwork and restricting your business’ reach with local area guidelines that are designed for physical businesses with limited reach. With virtual phone numbers, you gain instant access as soon as you begin subscribing with a service provider, like Global Call Forwarding.
Virtual phone numbers can serve as a way to test a new market. If your business gains traction, then it serves as an indicator to build a physical presence. Or, not. After all, many customers prefer to save time by handling their business over the phone rather than by visiting a branch office in person.
Understanding Your Customer Base
One way to determine whether you need virtual phone numbers is to consider your potential customer’s point of view. Some customers, unfortunately, can’t make long-distance calls; whether they live adjacent to another country’s border or half-way around the world. This economic barrier is alleviated by virtual phone numbers, which can be dialed like local phone numbers with the exact same functionalities.
Another aspect to consider is that even if those customers do have the ability to contact your business, your business’ inability to provide an easier way to establish communication can reflect negatively on your organization. Customers appreciate businesses that tailor their communication offerings to their terms. With a virtual phone number that has the same country code and area code, your potential audience won’t have any knowledge of where your business is located, as the impression will be that you are inherently local.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you may travel frequently to do business in different locations around the world. When you are in a new location, you may make vital contacts that you wish to stay in touch with to create new business opportunities after hands are shaken and positive discussions are had over lunch.
Adding a local virtual phone number to your business cards, documents, or contact information listed on your website demonstrates to others that you want to meet them on their own terms — not force them to call long distance or dial unfamiliar numbers. Similarly, when your phone number appears on their caller ID, contacts are more likely to respond to local numbers instead of “foreign” numbers from other places.
As a technology writer, Tom Senkus has built his freelance career on helping businesses gain a competitive edge.