Are you currently using or thinking about using virtual phone numbers? If so, you should know about “call forwarding” and how it pertains to your organization.
Call forwarding is a simple but powerful concept to expand your business. When coupled with the power of virtual phone numbers, your business can exponentiate how it operates in new global markets. Let’s take a look at how it works and how it can aid in your business’ expansion efforts, no matter where your business is based or which markets you want to gain a presence in.
How Call Forwarding Works
Call forwarding is a process enabled by virtual phone numbers. The Internet-based technology cloud computing is used to route calls instantly from one phone number to another, which is referred to as the “destination phone number.” This means that you can contact and be contacted by customers and businesses in an area by blending in with a recognizable phone number, not an unfamiliar one (i.e. international calls, toll-free calls, or an unrecognizable series of digits). Similarly, because the technology is Internet-based, there are a number of functionalities that can be coupled with a forwarded call. Service providers, like United World Telecom (https://www.unitedworldtelecom.com/) and others, can help jumpstart your business’ expansion efforts by offering call forwarding, as well as a number of useful features and add-ons like call recording, time of day routing, and more.
Now that you are aware of how call forwarding works, you may have some ideas of how to implement this service to expand your business. In the next sections, we’ll take a look a few of the many ways that call forwarding can easily expand your business and its capabilities.
Testing New Markets
One of the riskiest things a business can do is expand into a new market without having done the due diligence beforehand to ensure that their business will actually be successful. One way of doing “reconnaissance” is by using call forwarding to test these new markets. Businesses that directly meet customers’ demands and preferences can then tailor their business accordingly. For businesses that meet resistance or gain a lackluster response from the new market, they can switch their methods or abandon the effort as required, without having spent a great deal to test the market.
Cost-Effective vs. Brick & Mortar
There simply is no comparison of the cost of a virtual phone number subscription with call forwarding versus setting up a physical presence in a new area. Virtual phone numbers with call forwarding are incredibly affordable, with many service providers even offering free trials. A brick and mortar presence, on the other hand, is incredibly expensive and resource-consuming. And, if you’re establishing a brick and mortar presence in a foreign country, you’ll have to contend with local laws and guidelines. By forwarding your calls, you’re able to sidestep these obstacles and directly address your potential customer’s needs.
One of the chief benefits is the ability to appear on a call-recipient’s caller ID as a number they recognize. Generally, a caller might find a foreign or a misdialed number to be suspicious. However, call forwarding enables your business to blend in with local competitors and raise your brand awareness without appearing foreign. In a similar fashion, you can use an ITFS number, which is a toll-free number that can be dialed internationally, to give a professional appearance to your brand while also remaining geographically-neutral.
Testing Different Marketing Methods
Call forwarding allows you to test various marketing methods. For instance, you can tie a unique virtual phone number to a billboard ad and keep track of how many calls originate from that phone number. This can give you a sense of the ROI of that particular method. As another example, you can use a phone number in a brief marketing campaign and test whether your customers respond to a toll-free number or a local access number that speaks to local consumers. Last, for short-lived marketing efforts, you can use the forwarded calls for assessing whether the marketing material was enticing enough to draw in new consumers.