What is a Virtual Business Phone Number, and why you need one
A virtual number is a telephone number without a directly connected telephone line. This is very useful, for example, if you have multiple office workers having to work from home due to covid lockdown. They may need to have their office landline number as a virtual number routing calls to various destinations such as softphones, home office desk phones or mobiles.
A virtual number is a phone number that’s not attached to a particular device or phone line. Historically, a phone number only worked over a single phone line. The line was materially connected from the phone provider to the address, whether a home or business, by physical telephone wires. Any calls could only be assigned to that particular destination. With a virtual business phone number, the company would have phone system (PBX) hardware in the office or home that would configure call routing rules, extensions etc.
There are a lot of benefits that come with having a virtual phone number for your business:
Utilising a virtual business phone number can mean you are available by phone anywhere, at any time, 24/7, all while keeping your number completely private.
A virtual phone number provides business savings and versatility for any sized business.
The virtual number can be used on its own or as part of a virtual business phone system setup.
Some phone providers enable you to port your regular phone number to a virtual one.
A good telecoms setup is essential for every business. In the past they have been costly and challenging to implement in small businesses in the past but not anymore; these days, a virtual business phone number is an uncomplicated, affordable solution that can help develop and scale your business. Here’s all you need to know about virtual phone lines.
What is a virtual phone line?
This telephone number is not attached to a particular phone device or line. It enables users to redirect and route calls from one number to another, device or IP address. Virtual phone lines are sometimes referenced as ‘online numbers’ too.
In the past, phone numbers worked over an individual phone line that was connected from the phone company to your business/home. Any telephone calls made to that phone number could just be transferred to that specific location. As the name suggests, mobile phones are more ‘mobile’ than landlines but are still reliant on mobile towers to give coverage. With a virtual number, physical limitations are taken away, which provides a business more flexibility and control in how it receives calls.
How do virtual phone numbers actually work?
Virtual numbers use the internet instead of a phone line or mobile phone tower to give coverage, allowing users to be connected to by phone or computer. This means as a business; you can change the device you utilise in real-time.
What does this mean practically?
Let’s say that you only need to be available on your mobile phone at certain times of the day; you can route the calls you receive during business hours to a virtual phone line.
How do I obtain a virtual phone number for my business?
Virtual business phone numbers can be obtained in a few ways. If your company has a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system enabled, then you can easily add virtual numbers to it.
If you don’t have a VoIP system already, you can arrange for your setup to include one and a number of extensions you might need.
What are the business benefits of having a virtual business phone number?
You are free, free to work from almost anywhere, being able to receive calls from any location, anytime and via your selected device. If a staff member is away and needs to be contactable by phone but doesn’t want to make their private mobile phone number available, you can attach a virtual number to their mobile.
Another example of when Virtual phone numbers can be beneficial is when a business has many office locations. They are useful because when the phone rings in one office, that call can be sent to each office phone. This can be set up by creating a “call queue” or “ring group”, which rings the phones of any staff member who is selected as a member of the queue or group.
For businesses that are located in a different place than their customers, you can attach a local area code to your phone line. It’s been proven that customers like calls from local numbers/area codes and are more likely to answer or use a call number they recognise.
Another useful feature is that you can assign a certain number to a specific marketing campaign, meaning you can track metrics and know if someone is calling from that particular marketing campaign.
This data can help evaluate the effectiveness of any given marketing campaign when telephone numbers are featured.
Virtual phone lines can save businesses a lot of money, as they are digital, there is no need for equipment, maintenance or installation.
When researching the market for a virtual phone provider, always check if the providers you find offer voicemail and text features as well as phone services. Alongside this, be sure to check if they offer ring call, caller ID, call waiting/forwarding, call transfer and recording. That way, you have a system that your business can scale into. Make sure you also check ‘uptime’ and if customer support is included.
Teleproject UK are always happy to discuss your business telecom requirements and chat through a variety of options suitable for you.
Teleproject first began
trading as a telecommunications
consultancy firm in Hertfordshire
in 2004 before rebranding in
2009 as Teleproject UK