International phone numbers can be a huge help for you if you are planning to expand your business to other countries but are worried about the costs. Here are the most important benefits - and how can you get a number for your business.
Decades ago, you could only focus on local markets. But now, you have the power of the internet and the newest technology at your disposal. Reaching clients from other countries or even different continents is as easy as finding local customers. That means far more clients and business opportunities for you.
The problem is, your competitors can do the same. So when you decide to go global, you aren’t dealing anymore with local companies only. No, now you have a whole worldwide competition as well. So if you plan to aim for the global markets, you need to do it wisely. The biggest question might be how to take care of customer service for international customers.
Thanks to the technological revolution, you can use emails and live chat service to communicate with people around the world easily. But does it mean that you can forget about setting a phone line for international users? Absolutely not! Not everyone is tech-savvy enough to know how to use a live chat. Access to a computer might be a problem sometimes as well. In some situations, calling a company is simply the fastest way of contact.
But if you wanted to set a phone line or a call center in every country you target, that would be both complicated and crazily expensive. Having people call you from various countries on your local number (with added high rates for international calls) is pretty much out of the question as well.
Is there a solution to this problem? Yes, and it’s a pretty easy one - have a look at how you can buy international phone numbers for your business.
How do international business phone numbers work?
International phone numbers (also called virtual phone numbers) are domestic phone numbers for each country where you want to make your business visible. Because they look and act like regular local phone numbers, customers can you for toll-free or for a standard call rate.
The difference is that the international phone number is not connected to a direct phone line as it would be with a typical landline. Instead, it uses the internet to forward calls.
The number can be then assigned to any device. It can be:
- conventional IP phones or mobile phones
- but also tablets, and laptops if they have a Virtual phone system.
Imagine that you have customers coming from the USA, Germany, China, and Australia. Handling all of them with a regular phone line would impossible - not with their sky-high call rates for international calls. But with the international phone line, taking care of them is a piece of cake. Whenever any of the customers wants to call you, they are dialing a phone number set for their own country. Their call is then redirected to your main call center phone line.
So a person living in China will dial a number set for China, but someone living in Australia would pick a number that acts as a local Australian. All those calls are then pushed forward to your primary phone number.
International phone calls also have several other advantages - let’s have a look at those.
Benefits of international business phone numbers
#1 International phone numbers are readily available
To get a landline local phone number, you would both need to fill tons of complicated paperwork and call local phone operators. But if you want to buy an international phone number, it’s much easier.
First, you need to pick a virtual phone service out of various systems available. From the inside of the app, you can purchase as many local phone numbers as you need. Here’s how it looks like in our CloudTalk app:
After you pick a number and finish a purchase, your number is immediately ready to use.
#2 Virtual phone numbers cost far less than a standard landline
Setting a traditional phone line for international calls would cost your business far more money than it would be worth it. Compared to that, virtual phone numbers cost only a fraction - you are paying a single monthly fee. If your business has specific needs or plans to purchase a higher number of phone numbers, you can also negotiate the price of the monthly fee.
#3 There are no charges for international calls
One of the biggest perks of having an international phone number is that neither you nor your customers have to worry about fees for international calls. How many customers would call you if they knew they have to pay sky-high charges for international calling? But the virtual phone number looks identical to any other local phone number so your callers will only pay a local fee.
You can pick a toll-free number as well. A toll-free number is a number for which your callers don’t have to pay, so they are more likely to call you whenever they have a question or an issue.
#4 It helps with building worldwide presence even for a smaller business
In earlier years, only big and wealthy companies could afford to reach out to customers from different countries.
After all, the costs of expanding a business to other countries were staggering. But with international phone numbers, reaching out to customers from different countries is possible even for smaller companies. You no longer need to set a call center or a traditional phone line in a chosen country to be visible. With an international phone number, it’s just like you had an actual office in that country.
What is more, virtual phone systems can help tremendously with building a positive image of the companies. They can set customized greetings to each of the numbers, allow the customer to leave a message, or create separate business lines for each department. All to boost the company’s image and the customer satisfaction rate as well.
#5 You can pick as many numbers as needed
When it comes to regular phone numbers, there is usually a limit on how many numbers a company can have. Not to mentions, businesses typically have to fill tons of paperwork before they can use their new phone number.
There’s no such problem with international phone numbers. Do you need local phone numbers for several countries? Different numbers for the sales and support department? You can pick as many as you need for your business to flourish - quickly and easily, without any paperwork!
#6 Virtual phone systems offer multiple features
Virtual phone systems aren’t just for purchasing and managing your virtual phone numbers - they can do far more.
With such a system, you can make and receive calls wherever you and your team members are. Since the phone number isn’t tied to a specific line, your employees can work from anywhere they want. The only requirement is that they have access to a laptop or mobile device.
The virtual phone system also offers many handy features, such as:
- Call queuing - if you have different types of calls coming in, you can create customized call queues. There, you can sort calls based on the rules you set earlier in the app. All requests are then directed to a specific agent or department.
- Call recording - with a virtual phone system, you can automatically record all of your calls. Once the call ends, you can open the recording and listen to it whenever you need to.
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) - with it, you can create an IVR menu with different options to help your caller find the right department and the right agent for their question and issue.
- SMS/Text messages - virtual phone systems allow you to send text messages either to individual customers or to groups of customers.
Some of the features are especially useful for call centers. While we are at it, why not have a look at our article about handy call center software features to learn more about those?
International phone numbers within your reach
If you are looking for an excellent way to make your company known internationally without staggering costs, virtual phone numbers are the way to go. They are a simple and inexpensive way in which even smaller businesses can build up their reputation for exceptional customer service. International phone numbers also give you a great deal of flexibility - you can get as many phone numbers as you need to and manage them easily from the app.
Are you looking for an international number for your own business? With CloudTalk, you can get one (or more) in a couple of minutes.