What is a virtual phone number?

A virtual phone is a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional phone systems or VOIP, which requires zero hardware. With virtual phones, your entire business phone system runs through a mobile app, downloaded on the smartphones that your team is already using, paired with a web management portal.

Using a virtual phone system like CallHippo to host your business phone number, you can easily establish schedules for your call routing, dependent on the time of day or day of the week, so that all your business’ calls are managed effectively, with unlimited subscribers, assign virtual extensions, set up ring groups and more.

How does a virtual phone number work?

Virtual phone numbers do not require a SIM card or a physical address. It uses secure internet technology to place real telephone calls between people.

Instead, virtual numbers accept calls through Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP has flourished because it can provide real-time communication using existing broadband connections. With the help of cloud-based virtual phone service providers, your phone calls are digitized and connected over the internet and across traditional phone networks.

[Infographic] A Complete Guide to Virtual Phone Number

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How is a virtual number different from a regular number?

A regular number is tied to a phone line or SIM card provided by a local or national phone service provider. For office systems, this means installing telephone lines throughout the building to connect each phone, which is expensive and needs regular maintenance. 

Virtual numbers, on the other hand, allow you to access the phone through multiple devices and locations. The infrastructure needed for a virtual number, such as data backup and software, is usually hosted by the service provider, leaving minimal maintenance at your end.

Benefits of Virtual Phone Number

Cost Savings

Virtual phone numbers are generally much more cost-effective than standard phones, especially once you factor in the cost of hardware associated with landlines, VoIP systems, and secondary mobile devices.

Flexibility

A virtual phone number can also allow you to operate your company by phone anywhere, anytime. You can also benefit from access to voicemail services with 24/7 voicemail and call diverts.

Real-Time Control

One of the major benefits of using a virtual phone system is being able to dynamically manage what happens when a call comes in. With CallHippo, you can easily log into the web app and re-configure call flows at any time.

Privacy

With a virtual phone number, you’ll never have to give your personal number out to a client again. Clients can reach you on your business number any time, without having any clue it’s a virtual phone. And you have the benefit of being able to tell which calls are coming into your business number, so you can answer professionally every time.

Better Work/Life Balance

With virtual phones, you configure your schedule and determine what happens with calls that come in outside of your office hours. Maybe they route directly to voicemail, or maybe you just route callers to another user on the account who is available. One way or another, virtual phones give you the ability to compartmentalize your work life, so that it doesn’t bleed into your personal life.

Advanced features

Virtual phones come feature-packed, often including call queueing, call tracking, automatic call distribution, etc. out of the box.

How can a business use a virtual number?

Remote work

Recently, many businesses, both SMBs, and enterprises are using virtual numbers to enable remote work. With a virtual number, remote employees can access the business phone system the same way they would while they are in the office. Call routing with virtual numbers can merge field staff seamlessly with office teams and assign calls appropriately. 

Lead engagement

Virtual numbers not only help to identify the source of leads but helps to convert them by locating them within an appropriate call flow. You can set up prioritization based on the lead score. You can also set up notification triggers to ensure that agents follow up faster.

Track Offline Marketing effectiveness 

You can assign a different virtual number to each advertising campaign, channel, location, language, etc. to get an accurate idea of the leads generated by each. It also helps track the RoI of offline campaigns.

Customer disputes

Using a virtual number for business through a cloud platform that automatically records all incoming and outgoing calls can help maintain records to resolve customer disputes. 

Employee training

If your sales and customer engagement is done entirely, or even largely, through the telephone, you can use the virtual number-based system as a training resource too! You can use call analytics to measure KPIs and identify training opportunities. You can also use call recordings of the top performers as samples during the onboarding process and to help other agents perform better.

Virtual phones offer flexibility and convenience, along with advanced features that allow you to customize your business’ phone experience. With all the benefits of virtual phones and the enormous cost savings that come along with them, it’s easy to see why so many businesses are making the shift. 

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