International expansion gives you access to faster-growing economies and millions of customers, thus increasing sales. It also helps you lock up the markets before your competitors do.
However, taking a business globally is both exciting and challenging. It involves adapting to new cultures, different time zones and providing customer service in regional languages. You need to prepare for these challenges beforehand to streamline and smoothen the international expansion process.
One of the ways to handle these challenges smartly is with business phone numbers. It allows you to reach your international customers at a pocket-friendly price and build a robust local presence.
In this article, you’d learn how business phone numbers can help you when going global. Let’s get started!
What is a Business Phone Number?
A business phone number or virtual phone number is like a regular phone number but is hosted on the internet. This means all your calls (incoming and outgoing) will be routed through the internet instead of the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
Operating a business phone number doesn’t require any special equipment or hardware. You can handle calls from your smartphone or laptop while keeping your personal number safe.
Moreover, you can buy different numbers for each country you want to expand to. You don’t need to have a physical presence or office to buy a local virtual phone number.
How Do Business Phone Numbers Work?
As mentioned above, business phone numbers route calls through the internet. All your international phone numbers are tied to a single domestic virtual number of the country you’re operating in.
For instance, if you are in the US and buy phone numbers for Australia, Germany, and Poland. All the calls to/from these countries will be forwarded to/from your US number, which is mapped at the back of these virtual numbers.
ALSO READ :
Using these numbers is also pretty simple.
Suppose you want to expand your business to Poland. And you want to do the groundwork of connecting with your potential Polish customers beforehand. All you have to do is invest in Poland Phone numbers from a reputed business phone number provider.
Here’s a short primer for the same:
- Go to the website of any well-reputed best business phone number service provider such as Grasshopper, CallHippo, or RingCentral.
- From there, select the country and specific area codes you need for your virtual phone number. In this case, it will be Poland’s virtual phone numbers. You could choose one or more area codes, depending on your need.
- Make the payment, and you can now call up customers using your Poland phone numbers.
Steps to Call Poland
- Dial the country code, which is “48” for Poland.
- Then add the area code for the specific area you’re making the call to. For instance, if you want to call Wroclaw, you will have to enter “71”.
- The phone number for a fixed-line is 9 digits, with the area code included.
So, the format to call Wroclaw, Poland, using Poland phone numbers would look like this on your screen – +48 71 XXX XXXX.
Why Use Business Phone Numbers When Taking Your Business Global?
Now that you know what a business phone number is and how it works, let’s understand how it can benefit you when going international.
1- Reduce Operational Costs
Setting up local offices or call centers in each country could be both expensive and complicated. It could easily eat 20-30% of your total revenue. Business phone numbers save you from these expenses.
Businesses save around $1,727 per month on mobile and long-distance calls using a virtual phone number. Besides, when customers call your business, they won’t have to incur hefty international charges.
2- Handle Your Absence with Voicemails
Voicemails help you attend customers when you are unable to answer calls. It could be due to various reasons, such as you’re busy on other calls, you’re on leave, etc. Voicemails allow customers to leave their messages so you can listen to them when you come back.
Most business phone providers offer voicemail to email and transcription options so you can easily scroll through the calls that need immediate attention.
3- Engage Customers with IVR
Interactive voice response (IVR) is a telephony menu system that allows customers to engage with your phone software using their keypad.
You can set up a custom IVR to redirect customers to the right department every time they call your business. For instance, press 1 for sales, 2 for account information, 3 for latest offers, and so on.
IVR also allows you to share the latest updates about your business and automate customer support (for simple queries). Another advantage of IVR is that it allows you to greet your customers in their native language. You can even set up customized greetings for different festivals or events to make callers feel special.
4- Improve Your Services with Call Recording
Call recordings are a great way to understand your customers’ needs and expectations. Of course, when expanding globally, all your customers in each country will have different expectations from you.
By analyzing call recordings, you can better understand your international customers, train your employees, and enhance your services to meet their expectations.
5- Increase Sales with Call Only Ads
Call leads are more likely to convert because verbal communication is involved, and it allows you to better explain your products or services.
Once you get a virtual phone number for each country, run Call only Ads to attract customers in those geographic areas to increase sales. You can even track the performance of your ads using analytics and optimize your campaigns based on what works and what doesn’t.
Other Things to Keep In Mind When Taking Your Business International
Apart from a business phone number, there are several things that you need to take care of to take your company global successfully. It includes:
- Create a Buyer Persona: As mentioned above, customers in each country are different. Therefore, you need to create an ideal buyer persona to better understand them and personalize your offerings.
- Familiarize yourself with the culture, customs, and business etiquette: This should be priority numero uno for any business, big or small, looking to go international. Business communication is different across the world. For example, Poles and Germans expect you to be blunt and to the point in a business context, whereas customers in Italy tend to be more personal and relationship-driven.
- Analyze your Competitors’ Strategy: If you know of competitors who have taken their business international, study their strategies and analyze how well they worked and if you could do something similar. Analyze how they went about marketing the product to customers in a specific country, what kind of obstacles they faced, and whether a similar strategy would work for you.
Connecting with international customers from the comfort of your own local business workspace was unheard of. Today, it’s an effortless reality. With the advent of technology such as social media, virtual phone systems, webinars, and the advances in communication systems, in general, you would be seriously underscoring your business potential if you are not making use of these systems.