The inevitable need for a business phone number

Email. Live chat. Chatbots. Social media. There are countless other channels through which we can communicate. However, none of these channels can offer the comfort and convenience of a real conversation with a human being. Even in the digital era, businesses need a phone number to maintain a constant connection with their customers. 

Every business, from Australia to Zambia and everywhere in between, irrespective of the type of business it operates, and the scale at which it works, needs to call its prospects for winning sales deals and talk to its customers for providing support.

A domestic phone number or a mobile number does not suffice for the numerous telephony needs of a business. A business phone number that the business can call its own, that can give the business a unique channel to communicate with its customers and stakeholders is mandatory.

 

How to buy a business phone number?

Every business, whether it is a neighborhood mom-and-pop store or a globe-spanning enterprise needs a business phone number. Just like how it needs a website, a visiting card, or a brand logo. In the past, getting a phone number, be it for business or domestic use meant visiting the franchisee office of a network carrier and giving an application in writing. This was followed by a long and uncertain wait which could spill into weeks, if not months. 

There was little control over the phone number that was allotted and the features it offered. Also, the pricing plans were rigid and never in favor of small and growing businesses. Also, adding an extra number, extension, or changing the registered address meant more physical work and hassles. 

Today, you can get a business phone number without breaking into a sweat. Thanks to VoIP and virtual phone numbers you can easily get your business a dedicated phone number instantly. Also, you get to choose from toll-free numbers, international numbers, vanity numbers, with a long list of telephony features. All of this without having to step out of the comfort of your home or office. 

Here are some steps you can follow to get a phone number that will serve your business for the good. 

  • Choose VoIP-based phone numbers
  • Choose the right service provider
  • Choose the type of phone number you want
  • Choose the telephony hardware
  • Buy phone credits, if required

Choose VoIP-based phone numbers

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It is a transmission method where voice signals are transmitted over the internet instead of physical cables. VoIP is considered to be superior to traditional phone systems because it offers superior voice clarity, has literally zero downtime and also does not require complicated hardware to operate. VoIP phone numbers offer versatility, great flexibility for remote operations, and are also customizable. So, as the first step, make sure you choose VoIP-based phone numbers above traditional phone devices. 

Choose the right service provider

Just like buying a number for your smartphone, you must choose your business phone service provider. Before signing on the dotted line, evaluate the service provider on various parameters like availability of phone numbers, connectivity, customer service, ease of use, etc. It would also be safer to know if it is possible and easier to move from the service provider to another provider if things do not go as per plan. 

Choose the type of phone number you want

There are several types of phone numbers you can choose from. Local, toll-free, vanity are some of the options. You can also choose to have phone numbers that can be masked, blocked for inbound calls, and so on. It is essential that you have these requirements laid out in detail beforehand to ensure that the service provider supports them. 

The most popular types of business phone numbers are:

  • Local phone numbers
  • International phone numbers
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Vanity phone numbers

Local phone numbers

Local phone numbers belonging to the same state or city where your business operates. Establish your local line of communication, ramp up your local presence in business listings, and always be reachable to your customers.

Read more about Local Phone numbers

International phone numbers

Phone numbers in specific international cities or States with their area codes and country codes. With VoIP business phone numbers you don’t even have to have a physical office in the destination country to operate the phone number.

Read more about International Phone numbers

Toll-free numbers

Give your business the appeal of a customer-centric business with toll-free phone numbers that do not charge customers for their calls. Toll-free numbers have 1800, 855, 877, 888, etc. as their prefix. This makes them easy to remember and also call when the need arises. 

Read more about Toll-free numbers

Vanity phone numbers

In a crowded marketplace where there are too many competitors, having a vanity phone number that is unique, noteworthy, and also that spells the business is a good way to make an impression. Vanity phone numbers do just that. 

Read more about Vanity phone numbers

Choose the telephony hardware

VoIP-based business phone numbers typically do not require any telephony hardware. Your laptop, smartphone, and literally any device that can connect to the internet can double up as a phone system. However, if required, it is possible to have dedicated desk phones. These phones come with a dial pad, perform the dedicated function of handling calls, forwarding them, assigning extensions to internal numbers, and so on. In addition to traditional rotary phones, you can also opt for SIP phones that can handle VoIP services while giving the comfort of a desk phone. 

Buy phone credits

Most VoIP service providers require customers to buy phone credits before they can start using the service. The phone credits apply both for incoming and outgoing calls. They are the cash equivalent of calls made using the internet. In a way, it is the charge for using the cloud infrastructure and the phone system software. While choosing the phone service provider, it is necessary to evaluate their phone credit pricing as well. 

Features to look at before buying a business phone number

A business phone number is no longer just a way to call your business. For smooth business communication, a business phone number must do much more than just being a means to contact. It should be embellished with certain telephony features that will facilitate smooth number management, call handling, and call monitoring. 

Features for number management

Number porting

One of the key aspects a business must look for while shopping for a phone number is — number porting. Number porting is transferring your existing phone number to a new carrier. It ensures that your customers can reach you on the same number while you can avail the services of the new carrier without any hindrance. Also, it spared you from the need to set up complicated call forwarding rules from your previous number(s). 

Learn more about Number porting

Caller ID

One of the default features of a smartphone that we all have got used to is the caller ID. in a business scenario, knowing the identity of the caller helps us decide how to respond and also to proactively prepare for the call. A business phone number, especially a virtual phone number can offer that by default. Also, it can also provide contextual information like previous call history and notes from previous calls, if any to facilitate a smooth conversation.

Learn more about Caller ID

Call masking

Your business needs to have a single phone number that customers can call when they need to. However, it is difficult to operate a business with a single phone line. You need multiple lines to ensure that everybody is able to use the phone system as and when they need it. During situations when calling a customer becomes necessary, call masking ensures that the outgoing call is made to appear as if it is originating from a single phone number and not multiple numbers.

Learn more about Call Masking

Features for call handling

With a large volume of inbound calls, it is necessary that your business lets you do more than just calling and forwarding. It should also offer advanced call handling capabilities that will make everyday telephony operations easier. 

SIP calling

Moving to a futuristic technology often means accumulating obsolete hardware or software. In telephony, it means all the telephony hardware like desk phones and SIP phones that you invested in might become redundant. However, this situation can be avoided with a VoIP-based business phone number that can be used for handling calls on SIP phones. They are compatible with yesteryear dial pad phones as well as modern digital devices.

 

Call routing

Your customers could call your business for several reasons. Routing them to an IVR menu that can provide the information or to an agent who can provide a solution should be simple and easy. Call routing helps with that. A business phone number can help you set up custom call flows that will ensure that the incoming call is routed to a specific person, voicemail, or even an IVR when there is no one available to attend the call. 

Learn more about Call Routing

Call blocking

No individual or business is spared of spam calls. They drain your time and can affect your productivity. A VoIP-based business phone number can proactively detect spam calls and block them even before they land on your phone. It lets you set up proactive measures in the form of rules that automatically block calls that are labeled as spam or possible bot-led fraudulent calls. 

Learn more about Call blocking

Features for call handling

With a large volume of inbound calls, it is necessary that your business lets you do more than just calling and forwarding. It should also offer advanced call handling capabilities that will make everyday telephony operations easier. 

Call Recording

Your business phone number is not just for two-way communication. These recordings could act as a source of learning material for new recruits, for admins to monitor quality levels, and also to devise better ways of serving customers. With call recording capability, you can automatically record calls, pause call recording, and listen to previous recordings. 

Learn more about Call Recording

Conference Calling

There are times when a customer problem cannot be solved single-handedly by an agent. It might require the participation of experts from technical teams or even a manager to resolve the issue. Conference calling makes it possible to bring multiple stakeholders together on the same call and resolve issues faster. In the process, it improves customer experience.

Learn more about Call Conferencing

Call Metrics and Summary

For any business that uses the phone as a channel for customer support or sales call, it is necessary to have a pulse of the metrics. It is necessary to have access to minute details like call duration, connectivity rate, abandoned calls, the average time taken to resolve an issue over call, etc. these metrics can help admins devise better ways of managing the call center. 

Learn more about Call Metrics and summary

Freshdesk CONTACT CENTER

Introducing, Freshdesk Contact Center (formerly Freshcaller)

The one-stop destination for VoIP phone numbers from 90+ countries.

Freshcaller is a VoIP phone number provider that offers local, international, toll-free, and vanity phone numbers across 90+ countries. With Freshcaller, you can ensure that your global business is accessible on a local phone number even if you do not have physical offices in every global location.

If you are already engaged with a network carrier, you can port the number to Freshcaller and enjoy all the benefits of cloud telephony without compromising on any of the call cost benefits of operational agility that Freshcaller provides. 

Freshdesk Contact Center dashboard

F.A.Q on Freshdesk Contact Center's Business Phone Numbers

What size and type of businesses can use VoIP phone numbers?

Every business that needs a phone system can use VoIP phone numbers. However, certain countries have legal restrictions in using VoIP services. Please write to us at support@freshcaller.com to see if your business domicile qualifies to use VoIP. 

Can I keep my old phone number?

Yup. Freshcaller lets you port-in or carry forward your existing phone numbers from your legacy phone system, another cloud telephony service, or any other telephony service. Learn more about number porting.

How much does a VoIP phone number cost?

Freshcaller VoIp phone numbers pricing works in three ways. First, you will have to buy agent licenses. Depending on the plan you choose, the agent license fees will vary. Second, you have to buy phone numbers. You may also port-in phone numbers from your existing system. Third, you have to buy phone credits to be able to make calls. Inbound and outbound call charges will be debited to your phone credits. 

Please visit our agent licensing pricing page and call rates pricing page to get a complete picture of agent license cost and call rates. 

Is it free to call a toll free number from a mobile phone?

Irrespective of the device from which the end-user makes a call, it's the business that bears the cost for the toll-free number. The end-callers/customers need not pay while calling to a toll-free number even via a mobile phone

In how many countries does Freshdesk Contact Center currently support buying numbers?

Currently (as of 3rd June 2020), Freshdesk Contact Center supports buying phone numbers in over 90+ countries.