The call answering professionals: Over 23 years of virtual receptionist experience

Virtual Phone Numbers – What, Why And How?

By Nick East

August 13, 2019

We all know how a telephone number works. When you have a telephone line installed, you’re given a string of numbers associated with it. When dialled, the phone plugged into that line will ring. For mobiles, it’s similar, except there is no physical line connecting everything. But did you know that there is a third option for businesses? It’s called a virtual phone number, and it doesn’t fit into either of those categories. In today’s blog, we talk about what a virtual phone number is, why your business needs one, and what you could do with it.

What Is A Virtual Phone Number?

Virtual phone numbers (also known as Direct Inward Dialling), are a type of telephone that doesn’t need that traditional telephone line in order to work. Instead, the number itself is used to forward calls onto another line, or series of lines, depending on how the network is set up by the end-user. This means one company could have 20 different phone numbers that customers can dial, but all of them could ring through a single phone in a single office. Or each one could feed to a different, tethered phone line. Or a mixture. Usually a virtual telephone number can be set to forward calls to different telephone numbers depending on the time of day and the day of the week using time of day routing; for example, between 9 and 5 on working days incoming calls will be forwarded to an office, but at the weekends it would go to a mobile.

How Could Businesses Use A Virtual Phone Number?

There are many ways a business could use a virtual phone number, depending on what their needs and aims are for their company. However, there are 3 main ways we see virtual phone numbers being used, which are:

  • Extended Reach – Businesses can showcase a national or even global presence. A company based in London could have a local phone number for Manchester or even China, without having to pay for foreign exchange lines, which makes them seem larger or more widespread without any extra cost.
  • Marketing – If you’re running multiple marketing campaigns (both online and offline), then you need a way to measure their success. Some businesses will assign a different phone number to each form of marketing they use so that they can track which campaign or medium brings in what kind of traffic.
  • Virtual Services – Various providers of virtual business services (like virtual addresses, virtual receptionists or virtual offices) will use a virtual number to tie in their other virtual services together into one seamless solution. This allows their customers to have a phone, address and voice presence almost anywhere in the world.

Why Does Your Business Need A Virtual Phone Number?

Virtual phone numbers may seem like a small thing, but they can have a huge impact on your business. For one, it means your actual phone number is sheltered – which is perfect if you value privacy. This is particularly great for self-employed people or sole traders who don’t want their personal home or mobile number splashed all over websites and leaflets.

It also allows local businesses to appear bigger, allowing them to use national numbers rather than local ones. The same works in reverse too – bigger businesses can opt for local numbers to have more of a presence for customers – as many people prefer to work with local businesses. You can also set up freephone numbers, which can make you look bigger and encourage customers to get in touch. 

Virtual phone numbers also give you flexibility around the world, and your work. Since virtual phone numbers aren’t directly tied to one specific phone, remote teams can essentially work from anywhere and never miss a phone call.

At Verbatim, we are experts in all thing telephones, which means we are the perfect people to help you set up and use your virtual phone numbers. When you work with us, you will be assigned a personal account manager who can talk you through all the ins and outs, get you set up with your own number and get everything ready to go. We can even manage your calls for you when it’s ready, if you want things to go even smoother. Our virtual phone numbers start at just £5.99 per month for geographic, national, local or freephone numbers, and thanks to our brilliant team you can be set up in just 5 minutes. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.


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