Why should you have a virtual phone number for business?
Small and large businesses looking for a secure, reliable alternative to traditional landline numbers are switching to virtual phone systems. These offer a large variety of useful features to facilitate the growth of your business and support exceptional internal and external communications.
If you’re looking for flexibility, accessibility and all the tools required to compete with your biggest competitors, it’s time to start exploring the world of virtual phone numbers.
What is a virtual phone number for business?
With traditional landlines in the UK set to be disabled by 2025, businesses are being forced to find new solutions for their communications.
For most, the answer is a Voice over Internet Protocol - Or VoIP - solution, often referred to as a virtual phone system, which allows businesses to stay in contact with their customers from anywhere in the world.
Largely due to the upcoming switch from traditional to digital telephony, but also impacted by the recent pandemic and subsequent rise in flexible working, many businesses have already invested in a virtual phone system.
VoIP systems offer a lot of features and benefits that weren’t previously available to businesses. On top of the flexibility of a virtual phone, you can choose between multiple numbers, reduce your overall communications costs, handle a higher volume of calls and enhance your reputation.
Overall, a virtual phone number is a great option for your business and provides an exceptional opportunity for smaller companies to leverage a variety of incoming call features to level the playing field with their competitors.
What can you do with a virtual phone number?
Having a virtual phone number allows your business to stay connected from anywhere in the world, providing you have a mobile data or internet connection. Unlike a traditional landline, you’re not tied to a fixed location and desk phone. Instead, you can use your virtual phone from any compatible device, such as a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
Moreover, VoIP systems provide a wide array of features that aren’t available with legacy phone systems and are easily scalable to your business. On top of that, virtual phones are much more cost-effective than their traditional counterpart. So, as your business grows, you can easily expand your communications to match.
What types of virtual phone numbers are there?
Each type of virtual phone number offers unique benefits, so it’s important to determine which is right for your business. However, it’s important to know that you are not limited to just one number. You can purchase multiple virtual phone numbers of each type if needed.
There are three main types of virtual telephone number:
- Local numbers
- International numbers
- Toll-free numbers
Local numbers are tied to geographic locations. Much like traditional landlines, these will begin with a particular area code. The main benefit of having this type of phone number is that you can use your local presence to access new groups of customers, as people in that locale won’t have to pay long-distance calling fees. Therefore, consumers living within your chosen area code will be more likely to call your business.
Similarly, an international phone number will help your business establish a presence in a specific country. Again, this is useful for introducing your business to a new market, allowing citizens of that country to avoid paying international calling fees and increasing the likelihood of them calling you.
A toll-free number charges the receiver, rather than the caller. Generally, in the United Kingdom, these are 0800 phone numbers. The main advantage of a toll-free number is that it allows you to emphasize the credibility of your business. Simultaneously, you benefit from avoiding any of the long-distance or outgoing call fees associated with traditional telephones, because your phone service is hosted over the internet.
Working remotely? Use any device anywhere!
- Make business calls from your computer
- Available for Windows and macOS
- Sync contacts from your mobile
- One-click call audio & video meetings
- Superior call quality & HD voice
- Available on iOS & Android devices
- Powerful call controls in your hand
- Join meetings from anywhere
- Never miss a call
What is the difference between VoIP and virtual landline systems?
The main difference between virtual phone systems and traditional landlines is that a VoIP system can operate from any location, as opposed to being tethered to a specific line and place. Additionally, a business using a legacy system will have to purchase a separate number for every location at which they operate, costing time and money.
Furthermore, a virtual phone can be used from any compatible device, whereas a landline phone forces the user to have a desk phone. Setting up a new phone line or extension for your existing VoIP system is a simple process. Your system administrator can usually configure this through your provider’s website.
When do you need a virtual business phone number?
Whether you’re a startup with two employees or a large company of 200 people, investing in a virtual phone number for your organisation is a great idea.
There are numerous benefits of virtual phone services for businesses. Not only can your team work from any device, anywhere, but you’ll also find that your employees cancreate more impactful relationships with customers through the perks and features provided.
Services such as call recording, global call forwarding and call menus empower you to deliver improved customer service, and being able to answer an important inbound call when you’re not in the office upholds professionalism and maintains your credibility.
How do you know if your business needs a virtual phone number?
Communication is key for any business. Therefore, when looking for the best solution at a fair price, it’s clear that virtual phone numbers are the way forward.
VoIP systems were essentially created with businesses in mind and therefore carry a huge number of benefits for them. The rise in remote and hybrid working over the last few years has created a huge demand for flexibility, whilst customer expectations remain high, making virtual phone numbers an attractive option for modern, forward-thinking companies.
With your virtual number you are always accessible, which is the main pulling factor for most businesses that have already made the switch. So, like any small business, if you are looking to grow, build strong customer relationships and establish a solid reputation, a VoIP system should be on your radar.
How can virtual phones enhance your customer relationships?
Customer service is a key aspect of business where smaller companies can compete with the fiercest competition. A virtual phone system allows organisations to configure and easily manage their telephone support services.
With a VoIP system, you can easily direct customers to the right agent through dial-pad presses, ensuring clients can get the answers they need as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, you can set up your virtual phone so that customers can dial an extension for a particular employee who may have helped them previously. This means that their experiences will feel more personalised and their engagement will increase.
On top of that, the majority of providers offer a mobile app, so your employees can tackle urgent issues from anywhere. The flexibility of VoIP means your agents don’t need to be at their desks to take a phone call, reducing waiting times and the volume of unanswered calls.
How safe are virtual phone numbers?
One of the huge benefits of a virtual phone system is that you don’t need to link it with an address. You can pick numbers dedicated to your business, which helps smaller companies avoid giving out personal numbers.
For example, if you’re a company offering gardening services in the Greater Manchester area, you can purchase a local phone number with an 0161 area code. This means that despite not having an office, customers will know that you’re based in their region.
To ensure your phone service is secure, it’s best to stick to the most reputable providers, which will reduce the chances of having to deal with issues surrounding function and security.
No phone can offer 100 per cent security, but if you pick a VoIP phone that offers enhanced security and encryption, you’ll be in safe hands.
What are the advantages of virtual phone services for small businesses?
There is a multitude of advantages of VoIP systems for small businesses, including:
- Lower costs
- Increased accessibility
- A variety of useful features
- Improved voice quality
- Higher security
On top of these, a virtual number is completely portable, meaning that no matter your location, you can always use the same number. This is particularly useful for small businesses because in the event you change your business address, you’ll retain your phone number.
A VoIP system also facilitates better productivity, as it allows you to send documents and other media, and offers integrated video calling. So, you could quickly send an important document or conduct meetings with staff or clients from any location.
How do I get a virtual number for my business?
If you’re ready to invest in a small business phone system, you’ll be pleased to know the process of obtaining and setting up a virtual number is extremely simple.
How do you get a virtual phone number?
Once you’ve carefully considered the offers from different providers, your chosen vendor will be able to get you set up in just a few minutes. You can choose to get a new number or port your existing one.
Once set up, you’ll be able to access your phone system from any device with an internet or mobile data connection. Then you can start leveraging all of the features that come with a virtual number to grow your business.
Which mobile number is good for business?
Choosing your phone number can significantly affect how consumers view your business. So, don’t overlook this when you’re starting a new venture or switching from a legacy system.
A local number will make customers feel more comfortable when dialling your business, emphasising the idea that your business could be just around the corner from them. If you have a significant number of clients in an area you don’t operate from, this might be ideal.
Having a virtual international number can expose you to a wealth of potential customers. Generally, these numbers are opted for by businesses that have no association with a particular region. Additionally, you can use them to avoid paying international calling fees.
To demonstrate credibility it can be useful to choose a toll-free number, which charges the receiver of the call, rather than the caller. Typically, companies utilise toll-free numbers to provide customers with the best experience possible.
How much does a virtual phone number cost?
A VoIP system generally costs between £15 to £20 per user, per month. Basic packages can be as low as £6 per user, per month, whilst some of the most expensive systems on the market come in at approximately £135 per user, per month.
Entry-level packages are often pay-as-you-go and will come with fewer key features. For example, you probably won’t be able to record calls or host audio conferences, while CRM integration may require additional fees. These plans often have lower security and customer support capabilities.
It’s important to compare the prices and services offered by different VoIP providers to find a service that accommodates your specific needs.
Why shouldn’t your business use a UK landline phone number?
While there is nothing inherently wrong with landline phone numbers, it’s clear that virtual phone numbers out-compete them in most ways. With such a wide range of benefits, VoIP systems are becoming the go-to option for small and large businesses alike.
A virtual phone number for business will future-proof your company. All the perks offered by a VoIP system are designed to facilitate your business needs. bOnline offers services with high definition call quality, video conferencing, screen sharing, voicemail and much more. These features will give your business a cost-effective and hassle-free communications solution to help you stay connected internally and externally.