Author’s Bio: As an international entrepreneur and proponent of VoIP-related tech, Tom Senkus shares his knowledge of how businesses and startups can expand their international presence in creative ways. At www.tomsenkuswriter.com, you can find his list of writing services and published output.
Are you looking for ways to use international call forwarding via virtual phone numbers? If so, we’ll cover a number of potential uses of international call forwarding to expand your international presence, no matter where your business is headquartered.
First, Understanding Call Forwarding
It’s important to understand what Call Forwarding is before you understand how to use it in expanding your organization’s international presence. Essentially, call forwarding uses Internet-based technologies like VoIP and cloud computing to route calls instantly from one phone number to another. This means that you can use a phone number located in one country/area, have calls routed through a virtual phone number of your choosing, and have the call appear on the recipient’s caller ID as one that they recognize as originating in their country/area. Normally, the caller might balk at picking up a foreign number, whether it comes from an international source or an area that they’re not familiar with. With the call forwarding capabilities of virtual phone numbers, the process is seamless. Depending on whether you choose a qualified service provider for your virtual phone number needs, like United World Telecom (https://www.unitedworldtelecom.com/) and many others, you can expand your business model based on available phone numbers and included functionalities.
Now that you have a firm understanding of how call forwarding works, you may have some ideas of how to creatively leverage them for your business. In the next sections, we’ll take a look at some common usages to give you time-tested ideas.
Localization Efforts in New Markets
New markets present a unique challenge for businesses that are just breaking into an area. International call forwarding with virtual phone numbers avoids this problem, as you can a) use a local area phone number that is tied to an area that the caller is familiar with, b) enable callers to reach your foreign business without knowing that your business is not located in the country, or c) use a toll free number that corresponds to the country so that you blend in with professional entities (see below). All of this helps with your localization efforts to efficiently gain a new audience instead of spending an inordinate marketing budget on “convincing” new customers that you mean business. And, once you’ve established a base of customers, you can safely create a brick & mortar presence in the area to further handle customers now that you know how well your business is accepted.
Professional Brand Image
When you’re penetrating new markets, nothing counts more than your public image and how international customers respond to your business. This is where using ITFS numbers (International Toll Free Service) for call forwarding come in handy. By using a toll free number, you subconsciously communicate to your potential international customers that your business is capable of handling high-volume calls and your business wants to be taken seriously among domestic competition. Furthermore, if you couple your toll free numbers with add-ons like “IVR/extensions,” you can add a directory to your number so customers can self-select and find exactly what they’re looking for (even if it’s just the operator).
One of the best uses of international call forwarding is to ensure that your business is accessible around the clock, even during off-hours. This is achieved by using call forwarding add-ons like time of day routing, which routes calls from one destination phone number to another based on when the caller dials your virtual phone number. For instance, during business hours, calls made to your virtual phone number are directed to your sales team; during off-hours, those same calls can be routed to an outsourced call center or another branch of your company that is capable of being available based on customer demand. And if you don’t have any available staff, you can direct customers to a voicemail box or to your website for their inquiries. The idea is that by giving customers access to your business 24/7, you show that you’re capable of handling business no matter where it originates.