Virtual phone numbers are phone numbers that operate through the use of the Internet. Virtual phone number systems allow a business’ customer service agents to make and receive calls from the office, their home, or even while they are traveling. Virtual phone number systems can also provide real-time insights to help managers running a call center. Managers need not even be present in the call centers while monitoring. 

Why use Virtual Phone Number Services for Inbound Call Centers? 

Customer service teams and call center representatives handle the majority of telephone communications for a business. Some businesses require that all of these staff members be present on-premises while they are handling customer service conversations. The aim of this is to have managers present to oversee operations and ensure the quality of the conversations are up to the standards of the company. Any business owner will tell you that conversations with customers can easily make or break relationships with those customers, as well as make or break the business as a whole. 

With all of this in mind, there is a growing percentage of the workforce that prefers to work from home or somewhere out of the traditional office space. The idea of having a call center on-premises is essentially outdated. Businesses need to carefully examine the idea of a virtual call center and all of its capabilities in supporting their goals to offer quality customer service while accommodating the preferences and needs of their employees. 

What is a Virtual Call Center?

Businesses use virtual call centers to handle the grand majority of voice conversations. With a virtual call center, some or all of the customer agents may be working from different locations. Agents may prefer to work from home, while traveling, or from a different city, state, or country. The same idea applies to those supervising these call centers. Any situation where phone teams work from settings other than a central physical location is a virtual call center

Advantages of Virtual Phone Number Services for Virtual Call Centers

There are many advantages to virtual telephone number services and virtual call centers. To mention a few:

  • The use of virtual business phone numbers allows staff members the flexibility to take phone calls from anywhere they are physically located. This could be their office, their home, or anywhere else. 
  • There are many features you can use in conjunction with a virtual phone number, including call recording, call forwarding, SMS capabilities, customized voice greetings, and extensions. 
  • Call center supervisors can monitor calls from any location as well. 
  • Set up is easy and quick.
  • A virtual phone number service is limitless in that you are not dealing with landline hardware. Integrating upgrades and features are easily done. 
  • When comparing virtual numbers to landline services, the cost savings of virtual numbers is unmatched.

How Can I Set Up a Virtual Phone Number Service for My Call Centers?

Setting up a call center with landlines and hardware can be costly and time consuming. When using virtual phone number services for inbound call centers or outbound call centers, all you need is Internet access. You will need to decide whether you want a local or toll free number as well as what number you want calls forwarded to from the virtual phone number (landline or mobile phone device). There is nothing about the process that will slow you down. This is essential as all business owners know that time is money. 

Global Call Forwarding Offers Virtual Phone Number Services 

Global Call Forwarding has been in the business of offering business communication solutions for decades. Being on the pulse of everything that relates to the needs of businesses as well as their clients and customers is at the core of everything that Global Call Forwarding offers. Customer service agents for GCF are available around the clock. They can aid you in setting up and making the best use of virtual phone number services for inbound or outbound call centers.

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5 Simple Steps to Getting Started in The Cloud

All start-ups and small businesses have heard that the cloud is everywhere and can transform your business. But what is it and what can it do? Cloud-IT specialists Principal have the answers.

Confusingly, the cloud is used by providers, software sellers and businesses who want your money as a catch-all term for a variety of things. It can become quite complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.

The cloud is basically an on-demand storage or software resource that you can access immediately through the internet.

Tech giant IBM offers a handy definition of the various different types of cloud applications which is a good place to start. It’s likely that after reading that you’ll have more questions than you started with. To help, here are 5 simple steps to getting started in the cloud.

1. Pick your cloud

The first thing to clarify is, like the sky above, there isn’t one cloud – there are infinite numbers of potential clouds. As a business, you need to configure one that works for you.

As a small business you will want to focus on how the cloud can benefit you. For most, that’s likely to be moving certain data and applications to the cloud.

The first step is to analyse your data centre usage. This audit can identify your current software and storage requirements, enabling you to identify areas that could be better served in the cloud.

It’s important to recognise that to work any proposed move needs to improve efficiency and be cost-effective.

The bottom line is, if it won’t save you time or money, then think again.

2. Solid security

The cloud is as secure – if not more secure – than your own proprietary network, but you still need to be cautious.

Once you’ve identified the information and software you’d like to be hosted by the cloud then take the time to assess what this means for security.

The Data Protection Act and European Data Protection Regulation all have implications for how you manage and store data, and how you select your partners too – more on that below.

3. Simple strategy

Once you’ve done the groundwork, you can begin straight away. Microsoft, Adobe, SAP are just a couple of the huge names who have moved to providing software via the cloud. Dropbox is a leading name in cloud storage, but isn’t the only one.  All you need to do to get started in the cloud is get your credit card out and sign up.

If you do though, you could be making a mistake. According to tech bible ZDNet, what most cloud projects miss is a strategy – and we agree.

A solid cloud computing solution needs structure. This will help create a system that works for the organisation and your customer. It is also built with the future in mind, growing and developing as your business does.

4. Cloud culture

Your implementation strategy is important. Equally important is how your organisation embraces the cloud. It’s all about culture.

The cloud offers freedom to access information, work collaboratively, remotely and at all times of the day. But it comes with some new risks. These are particularly important to recognise as employees increasingly use their own devices for work.

Businesses need to develop working practices and approaches that are fit for the new world of the cloud. You’ll need to introduce new staff guidelines for document sharing and storage to help you and your employees work in a new way.

5. Provider or partner

If you’re tech minded it’s relatively easy to set-up a personal cloud, but you need to explore whether it’s the right approach for you.

Focusing solely on individual providers can leave you with a fragmented cloud system, with complex and inefficient interdependencies between different pieces of software from different providers.

In the end, you could end up paying for a system that far more complicated than the one it replaced.

One way of avoiding this is working with a partner who can help you configure a cloud solution that works for you. They can also take care of some of the security and access issues, helping you devise a strategy for success.

A successful transition to the cloud needs some thought and some planning, but genuinely does have the power to transform the way you work – increasing productivity, efficiency and profit.

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