Before we answer the question posed in the title, it is important to understand what a virtual phone number is in the first place. This basic understanding will help you realize the full potential of this communication marvel.
What is a Virtual Phone Number?
In layman’s terms, a virtual number is a phone number that is not tied to any physical location. Owing to this unique characteristic, it’s ideal for an organizational setup.
Apart from this difference, it’s like your regular phone that can be used to make or receive calls. A virtual phone number can be assigned to a VoIP phone, mobile phone, or even a softphone.
There are 4 main types of virtual phone numbers –
- Vanity Numbers – These are nothing but easy-to-remember alphanumeric phrases that can be associated with your brand. For example, it could be 1 (800) FLOWERS, 1 (800) CONTACTS, and 1 (888) BEACHES.
- Toll-free numbers – These are the most common type of virtual phone numbers currently in existence. They are the numbers your customers dial to reach you without paying any fee.
- Local numbers – These are the numbers with a specific area code. The goal of this type of number is single – to make your business appear more local, despite you being in another city or state.
- Local international numbers – These are the numbers that make your business seem local to the overseas market. In other words, you can dial a number in the US from India and still appear to the receiver that you are calling from the US.
How Does a Virtual Phone Number Work?
Virtual phone numbers use the internet rather than landline networks or cell tower to connect calls. This means any device that uses the internet, such as a mobile or a laptop, can be used to attach your virtual phone number.
When you make calls from a virtual phone number, the audio signals transmitted to the device are first broken down into packets of data. These packets of data are then transmitted to the cloud. A call automation software transforms this data back to audio signals and sends it to the call receiver.
Further reading: What is a Business Phone System?
How to Get a Virtual Phone Number in 2022?
In a country like India, getting a virtual number is way easier than getting a physical or regular phone number. Here are the different steps involved in it –
Step 1: Pick a cloud telephony(or VoIP) service provider
While evaluating and selecting, consider different factors like features, security, ROI, user-friendliness, the support offered, integrations, etc. Picking the right service provider in the first instance is very important because it becomes a daunting task to change the provider later. On top of it, the wrong choice can impact your business negatively.
Step 2: Decide the right plan
Once you have selected the virtual phone number provider, the next logical step is to pick the right plan suited to your needs. Decide this carefully after considering your expected call volume and your planned workflow. If your call volume is quite high, pick a plan that offers unlimited calling facilities, even if it is costlier. You will find that in the long run, it would have saved you a considerable sum. Some providers even provide a free virtual phone number if you subscribe to their other services.
Step 3: Choose the configurations
While discussing with the service provider or while signing up, choose the type of virtual phone number you would need. You will also be asked the city or area code of your number by the service provider so that they can assign them to your business. Complete the process by entering the payment and billing details.
Step 4: Use the virtual phone number
You can start using the virtual phone number right away. The best part is you can scale down or up according to your precise needs. You can add or remove numbers instantly based on the expected number of calls.
Major Differences between Virtual Phone Number and a Regular Phone Number
Here are the main differences between the two common types of phone numbers you find in 2022 –
|Virtual Phone Number||Regular Phone Number|
|It is not bound to any physical location||It is bound to a physical location|
|It is ideal for businesses||It is ideal for homes|
|It doesn’t require any special equipment or even an actual phone to place or receive calls||It requires a physical phone installed to make or receive calls.|
|It works through the internet||It works through your regular telephone lines|
|Call routing is seamless||Limited call routing options|
|Minimal maintenance is needed to maintain a virtual phone number as there is no complex hardware involved||More maintenance might be needed as there are many physical equipments in the form of phones present.|
Benefits of Virtual Phone Number
Here are the major advantages of using a virtual phone number for your business –
#1 Builds trust
We are living in a time where the number of marketing calls has skyrocketed. People are bombarded with sales calls every day. The trust level on such calls has hit rock bottom. People particularly avoid calls that they don’t recognize, such as the ones coming from unknown area codes. This is where a virtual phone number can help. You can configure the virtual phone number to the area of your target audience so that they will think that it is a local business. This automatically shoots up the call pick-up rates.
Virtual numbers are device-agnostic and location-agnostic. Your employees can use any device of their choice to make or receive calls from any location in the world. This feature is particularly useful if your business is operating in the hybrid/work-from-home model or you have employees across the globe. Many virtual phone number providers install a simple app on your device, letting you attend calls.
#3 Improved customer experience
Poor customer experience is probably the number reason why customers leave a business. Imagine a customer with a pressing problem reaches your business number and the employee is not at his/her desk. That will result in a missed call. End result – your customer will be frustrated and might even switch over to your competitor if this issue persists. Such things can be avoided in a virtual phone number as it can be set up in such a way that the call gets forwarded to another employee or agent if the original person is unavailable.
This is a given since virtual phone numbers do not need any complex hardware setup or servers to operate. They are extremely easy to set up and use and seldom require any training. In other words, you do not have to spend thousands of rupees on training your employees on how to use a virtual phone number. Also, since everything is managed and maintained by the service provider, you do not have to worry about any maintenance costs.
There are two ways in which a virtual business phone number offers scalability. One, it can let you increase the number of agents or employees in your business without worrying about spending additional costs on equipment. Two, it lets you expand your business to other countries effortlessly because you can easily get an international local virtual number for your target country. This way, you can expand your business to other countries without even stepping into it.
And that’s everything you need to know about a virtual phone number. As you have seen in this post, a virtual phone number comes with a huge array of benefits, right from elevating caller experience to building trust for your business. By using a virtual phone system, your business can easily scale up in no time.
If you are looking for a VoIP number or a virtual phone number for business at great rates, your search will end with FreJun. FreJun is the best virtual phone service that can your overall communication process in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can a virtual phone number be integrated with IVR technology?
Absolutely! You can automate the whole communication process by integrating your virtual phone number with IVR technology. To the unversed, IVR or Interactive Voice Response uses a pre-recorded message to greet incoming callers and take them through a predetermined call flow.
- What other features does a virtual phone number provide?
Apart from facilitating seamless communication, your virtual number also comes along with a bouquet of features such as call transcription, call forwarding, SMS, email notification, etc.
- Can the receiver identify that you are calling from a virtual phone number?
No, it’s not possible to differentiate between the two numbers as they look alike. Depending on your configuration, the number will either look like a mobile number(virtual mobile number) or a landline number with an area code.
A business analyst turned writer who loves to paint away his free time. A staunch follower of the 'Workcation' concept, he loves to combine the art of writing with the enigma of traveling.