Based on the data given by International Monetary Fund 2018 the United States has the world’s largest economy in the world at $20.4 trillion, while the UK has occupied the 5th position at $2.94 trillion. Not only this, according to the World Bank Rankings US and UK are among the top 10 countries to do business with.
So if expanding your business to International Boundaries is the next big thing on your mind then you should definitely consider these two options.
Yes, there are still foreign regulations, taxes, policies, and communication systems to be taken care of but thanks to technology and the pool of information available on the internet, these requirements are now easier to find and understand.
When you expand yourself beyond the geographical boundaries you have to let your customers know that you exist. There should be some way to reach them and some way for them to reach your business. Hence to take care of your communication needs while expanding to the world’s biggest economies we are right here to assist you.
The market of the VoIP phone system is highly competitive. With plenty of options available, we are sure you will find a decent virtual Phone provider for your business. However, there are also fly-by-night providers that advertise low prices initially but then overcharge for basic functionality or delivers inconsistent voice quality. Hence to make sure you are investing in the right place we have listed down the Best practices to make the most out of US and virtual UK Phone numbers.
1) First and Foremost test the voice quality
Establishing a VoIP phone system in the two strongest economies of the world to provide a consistent, clear call quality is not an easy feat. Beware of the small service providers that rely on cheap servers in one or two locations. You should look for a provider that guarantees a consistent uptime and is transparent about their Mean Opinion Score( MOS). MOS is the most common measurement of call Quality used by Virtual service providers. If a provider on your list is not clear about the call quality standards or doesn’t track quality scores such as MOS, beware.
2) Uptime and Redundancy
Nothing will halt your business to reach sky-high except the virtual lines failing to deliver calls. Ask the potential candidate on your list about what failover or redundant routing protocols they are using to ensure that you are able to reach customers at all times.
3) Add-ons for Basic Features
Beware of service providers that offer UK and US numbers at low prices but then smartly include add-on cost for even the most basic features that should be accompanied with the service plan that you are going to purchase. This is one of the common tactics that is used by unestablished providers who are trying to get their foot in the door by advertising low prices.
Some of the basic features that should be power-packed with your US phone number and UK phone number are:
- Simultaneous Ringing
- Time of the Day Routing
- Basic IVR/Auto-attendant
Besides this one feature that should be available with every provider is hosted call recording. If you need call recording for legal, quality assurance, or training purpose call recording rates can make a huge difference here.
4) Setup Costs, Number Porting, and Cancellation Fees
Virtual Phone number providers are subject to fees imposed by local carriers all around the world. This is the reason behind the different rates for different countries. Besides this, another important question you should ask your potential Provider is about the number of Portability and Cancellation fees.
Obviously, you don’t want a US phone number or a UK phone number where you will be trapped in contracts and cannot switch to other service providers. A company that is confident about their level of service will never charge a Cancellation Fee.
3 Factors that will determine the UK and the US business phone number pricing
1)Monthly Subscription Fees
A monthly price for hosting the VoIP Phone System. Some providers include business features and talk time in their plans while some may not and may charge an additional fee for each feature.
2) Call Forwarding Rates
A majority of providers include a certain amount of talk time in your monthly subscription fee while other providers may include a virtual Softphone with their service thus helping you to reduce your forwarding costs.
Tip: Buying a bundled package with minutes included is usually a better and affordable option when compared to paying per minute option. The more call traffic you expect, the lower will be your average cost per minute.
3) Set up Fee
A one time fee charged when you activate your plan. Many Countries have high set up costs, hence it becomes necessary for the provider to charge it from us. However, the ones who are already very well established in the market might not charge you a setup fee for using their services.
Enough of Tips and Tricks, Now let’s Talk Something Real
How to Call from the UK to the US?
Suppose you want to make a call from London, UK to a US phone number in Los Angeles, California, follow these 3 simple steps:
1) Dial the country code of the country you want to call: For US it is “1”
Your Dial Pad should look something like this: “1”
2) Dial the area or the city code: For California, it is “323”.
Your Dial Pad should look something like this: “1 323”
3) Lastly, dial the Local US Phone number of the person you are calling
Your Dial Pad should look something like this: “ 1 323 xxxxxxxxxx”
What about the US to the UK?
The same procedure will be followed. Suppose you are calling from the US to a UK phone number in London.
1) Dial the country code of the country you want to call: For the UK it is “44”
Your Dial Pad should look something like this: “ 44”
2) Dial the area or the city code: For London, it is “200”.
Your Dial Pad should look something like this: “44 200”
3) Lastly, dial the Local UK Phone number of the person you are calling
Your Dial Pad should look something like this: “44 200 xxxxxxxxxx”
So these are the few things that should be considered when you are planning to buy a VOIP system in countries like the US and UK. You will be investing in Dollars and Euros, hence you need to be really precautious, one wrong step can ruin so many years of planning, money, and more importantly your dream of surpassing the geographical boundaries.