How to keep personal contact information private

If you are like most people you have probably had your current mobile number for a long time. You probably suffer from the odd robocall or are still getting cold calls from that double glazing salesman you declined from last year.

There have been some quite revolutionary changes in how an individual can keep their personal contact information private.

We tend to publish or input our personal contact details when signing up to new services, placing adverts or when doing business. We never truly know what is happening with our information and whether or not it is being used for some other purpose outside of what we are led to believe. We also have no control over when we can be contacted and by whom.

The ability to use virtual or burner numbers now means that you can mask your actual number by connecting one or many new phone numbers that you then have complete control over.

When publishing a virtual number means that your actual phone number is kept private allowing you to have complete autonomy over who or what businesses have access to you.

You can add virtual or burner numbers in 1000’s of cities around the world, you can even add additional mobile numbers with no commitment, and that actually cost less than your favorite cup of joe.

This is perfect for those situations when you have to provide a phone number that may only be used for a short period of time, or you just want to control who can call you and when.

Imagine you are setting up an eBay account and wish to provide a number for interested buyers to contact you on, a virtual number can be deactivated following the removal of the advert. Another example is if you want to provide a local or mobile number for your business or friends and family, you can setup local or mobile numbers all over the world and route calls to those numbers to you wherever you are, the use cases of virtual numbers are endless and can be setup instantly.

Setting up a virtual number takes a matter of minutes; you’re then able to fully manage how you accept calls to that number. Whether you just want to forward calls to your current private number or if you wish to setup a professional answering and forwarding platform for your business and its members, you have the freedom to instantly set it up with no technical experience required. When the time comes that you no longer need the number, or wish to add new numbers, you can just add a new one or delete your number along with all those contacts you gave it to.

Whether you want to setup a professional phone system or just a new personal local or global contact number you need to visit www.voicerules.com and can set up phone numbers in 60 Countries.

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Quick Guide to Porting Your Phone Number

Number porting may be a term that you have either used or at least heard before, the nature of this article is to outline the process of porting a telephone number from one telecommunications service provider to another.

Porting is a way of keeping your current number; a good means of porting is to port what would seem like a fixed line phone number into a virtual environment. The benefits of doing this is that your personal number then becomes more transferable and thus more manageable, so you can keep it for life and any calls to that number can follow you anywhere whether for business, travel or personal use.

We must first state that when ever porting you should first check with your current provider before starting the process as they may have some deep embedded caveats when porting your number, companies can charge a small fortune if you want to keep your number and move it to another provider.

There may be two reasons for this; one, your current carrier just wants to make a last bit of money from you before you say goodbye, or, a more valid reason would be that they had originally paid for you to port your number into their network and they wish to recuperate that cost(if they haven’t done so already).

Usually porting numbers outside of the USA and Canada can incur a one off porting charge. This is usually for porting in (transferring your number to a new carrier) rather than porting out (moving from your current provider to another).

If companies charge for both then that would be their decision to do so.

What is the process?

The process believe it or not is pretty straight forward its just a pain in the backside as you have to get all the right documents and information in place before you can proceed.

With good hand holding by your new carrier this should be a breeze and the process almost takes care of itself.

Once you have done your bit by providing the right information the port process will be in motion and you should be kept in the loop on the stages that follow. Your new service provider should be the go between you and your provider that you’re porting away from, this will make the process almost seamless.

Required Documents

Letter of Authorization (LOA)

This document will show your address, name and phone number on the headed paper of your new carrier. The detail of an LOA basically states that you are the owner of your number and agree to move your number from your current carrier to your new one. You will then be required to date and sign this document.

Proof of ownership

This can simply be a copy of a bill from your current provider that shows both your account number, phone number and the address and name on this document should match the details that appear on the LOA (above).

Identification

This can be a copy of your passport or driving license. Again matching the details on the 2 documents above.

Service Pin/Passcode

You may be requested to provide your service PIN or Passcode, this would have been setup at the start of your agreement with your current carrier. You can easily obtain this information by contacting your current provider and requesting it.

How Long Does It Take?

Once all of this information has been gathered and passed over to your new service provider, they will then submit this information to your current carrier to initiate the port process on your behalf.

Your current carrier will notify your new service provider of the timeframe of the port, it can usually be quite vague and they will just say 10-14 days or something similar.

Be aware that the process can take anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks depending on the status of your current number and how quickly your current carrier processes everything.

When the port takes place you should suffer no downtime, your new carrier should be prepared to accept your newly ported number and any setup of your new service should be done prior to the port actually taking place, this will avoid any downtime.

If you wish to keep your current number but have the flexibility to manage how calls are delivered to you from that number (no matter where you are in the World), then you must visit http://www.voicerules.com, there are lots of options available to you to manage your phone numbers and also inbound and outbound calls.

VoiceRules is a clever app for managing all your voice communications in-house with no technical expertise.

http://www.voicerules.com

 

 

Managing Business Communication From Anywhere

70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page.

47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does not have a phone number associated with their search results, they will be more likely to explore other brands.

61% of mobile searchers state that click to call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process.

69% of searchers that are mobile call a business straight from Google Search

Statistics talk for themselves. Its true, your customers still want to talk to you when they are in the buying process. This can be either good or bad news for your business.

Its probably not such good news if your lucky enough to have a business that allows you to work remotely.

Or is it??

Now that you can single handedly build glorious web sites or eCommerce shop fronts using platform such as http://www.shopify.com, http://www.weebly.com, http://www.sharespace.com and http://www.Wix.com without any prior experience, opens up lots of doors and opportunities.

You could then go on to advertise your business using Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, the list goes on.

So, back to these pesky customers that want to do something as ludicrous as actually talk to you and ask questions about your business?!

With the growth of tech in the communications space has enabled flexible telecoms  to be available to everybody. What this actually means is that providing your startup with a fancy way of answering and delivering calls to you and your team is totally achievable.

Oh and by the way – you can manage calls to and from anywhere in the World.

So, picture yourself having one or many local phone numbers setup in cities around the World. When anyone calls these numbers, those calls are then routed to you and your team in which ever CoWorking space or Hotel room you may be frequenting at any given moment.

You could also take this one step further….

So you may just have a local number thats published on your web site for customers to contact you. You may have a click to call button that appears on your mobile search when people are looking for your products or services that they can instantly click and be connected.

Or how about setting up Facebook or Instagram ads that have a ‘Call Now’ button available to your prospects. You may be rolling out an advert campaign locally or just focusing on a particular geographical location. Targeting your ads with local or toll free numbers to your customers will increase the sales potential to your business.

These platforms are easy to setup and extremely gentle on the pocket. For example you could have an all signing and dancing phone system providing in depth analytics and a bunch of professional features for less than $18.00 per month.

How many sales do you need to see to show the ROI on that?!

Drop us a line if you need help or have ideas on how you want you call management system to work for your business.

Do all the above at http://www.voicerules.com

 

 

 

Interactive Voice Ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google & Bing

We have been working with customers that have been adding VoiceRules phone numbers to marketing campaigns and monitoring the results using our analytics dashboard.

As you are able to rent numbers for short periods which allows you to test across different mediums and monitor those results to see what works for your business.

Use cases as follows:

facegram

Adverts can be created directly through your Business Pages in just a few minutes. By adding a “Call Now” button, customers can call you directly from your adverts that appear in their News Feed.

Use it today to get more sales, new customers and great results. Also geo-target your customers by adding multiple Country or City based phone numbers then easily route calls directly though to your team wherever they are based.

 

 

Binggle

Setup phone numbers for your Bing and Google Ad campaigns and add geographical phone numbers by creating call extensions.

69% of searchers that are mobile, call a business straight from Google Search. 36% of searches on Google are associated with location.

When your call extensions appear, people can tap or click a button to call your business directly.

VoiceRules will route those calls for you anywhere in the World.  For the best mix of local targeting and broader reach, you may also want to use location extensions.

When you use location extensions, ads that feature specific business locations or department can direct calls to phone numbers of your choice rather than your general company phone number.

You’re able to monitor the success of your marketing campaigns from within the above-mentioned platforms on click through rates etc. However data is not available to tell you how successful those calls were when they reached your business.

VoiceRules analytics dashboard provides you with granular data on the success of your calls once they are delivered to your Company.

Use the VoiceRules features to direct calls to your team members anywhere in the World, also record calls for training and quality purposes.

Check us out at….

https://www.voicerules.com

 

 

Love Your Employees?! Set Them Free!

Remote teams are fast becoming normal for the majority of Company working environments and the amount of new businesses following this trend is growing rapidly with around 80% of work contracts that include flexible working options (flexjobs).

Remote work is when a member of your team works outside of a traditional office working environment. This could be at home, in a coffee shop or some other flamboyant location of their choice with Internet access.

Remote workers are also known as telecommuters, virtual staff, cloud workers, home or mobile workers.

Happy Employees are productive

This method of working is quickly becoming the preferred way to work for todays employees with 85% of millennial’s wanting to have the possibility to telecommute 100% of the time, this meets the current and future demands of a younger workforce. (workplaceinsight.net).

Working remotely has also shown health benefits for individuals. Staff that work remotely have proven to not only be happier with increased morale but are also less stressed about their work and are more productive when working remotely (Forbes.com).

Remote work not only applies to employees but also 1000’s of Entrepreneurs are appreciating the benefits of working almost anywhere around the globe.

Ticking boxes for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are fully appreciating the benefits of location independence and as technology is being built daily to support these environments is proving to be a more attractive option for todays Business owners.

Cost savings are high on the list of importance for any new business venture. The ability to work from any location without the need for the normal overheads is saving companies a fortune in startup costs. This allows them to focus their budget on what’s important for their business to help them to succeed in signing up their next customer.

You only have to look at today’s Social Media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to get a feel on how these individuals and their teams are working in environments that appeal to their personal aspirations whilst working and getting paid to do so along the way.

Team Collaboration

As new technology is launched to make remote working easier gives employers more options when monitoring staff and customers at the same time.

Tools like Basecamp, Trello and Slack are topping the charts for some of the best remote team management tools on the market. With their slick interfaces and functionality these platforms are extinguishing any worry that business owners may have when considering the management of remote teams.

Is a Remote Working environment right for you?

The option of working in a remote environment may be beneficial to both an employer and its workforce for the reasons outlined, but this doesn’t mean that this way of working is right for everyone.

Some companies still wish to have their teams where they can see them and interact face to face rather than over collaboration tools or video calling with Skype.

With any new exciting ways of doing things unfortunately also brings new challenges. These learning curves may not appeal to a new or current business.

Published by VoiceRules.

VoiceRules is a leading platform provider for the remote management of international sales and customers contact support for small businesses and Entrepreneurs around the world.

Interactive Phone Numbers for Social Media

Have you heard the term ‘Call To Action’?

If you are an Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner then no doubt you have a presence on Social Media. Some prefer to stick to one of the mainstream Social Media platforms but its considered necessary to have a presence on all popular platforms including, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Social Advertising

So we are all aware of the fact that Social Media is the place to focus considerable effort for marketing or customer support, and as we are able to target customers accurately means that most companies (with the budget) consider this as a major part of their Marketing strategy.

Customer interaction now comes via Email, Chat or by Telephone. Companies now have to consider one or all of these methods of communication and focus on ways to manage them, so that they do not miss a sales opportunity or a Customer Service request.

Companies now use products such as Zendesk, MailChimp and Intercom (to name a few) for customer contact management.

Voice Support

Larger businesses that have an office and multiple staff have structure to manage a rise in traffic of inbound voice calls.

However, smaller businesses don’t have this luxury and sometimes stick to more traditional methods of communication like Email or Chat, this however can be frustrating for customers that wish to have a more instant line of communication when it suits them.

Traditional methods of communicating are increasingly being developed, with the above named companies proving this by demonstrating more exciting and useful communication ability, taking the customer experience to whole new levels.

The same cannot be said for Voice calls, as current customers or prospects are forced to connect directly via a phone to your business or call centre.

Interactive Telephone Numbers

ITN’s can be obtained in 1000’s of cities around the world and don’t actually require for your business to have a fixed location to manage Voice Calls from Customers.

Numbers can be used in a variety of ways, and smaller businesses can breathe a sigh of relief as managing the routing of phone calls between team members can be done seamlessly but still keep a strong professional interface to the outside world.

Phone numbers can be rented short or long term, don’t require a fixed location and can be used for different marketing campaigns so that monitoring results is made easier.

Call to Action (CTA) buttons from Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be setup to directly connect Customers from Business Pages to Company Team members, this also stops smaller businesses having to publish mobile numbers.

Local or National phone numbers can be available to visitors so they are only charged at local rates when wishing to respond to a campaign, general enquiries or support. This also gives businesses a local presence building rapport with its customers wherever they may be.

Inbound Business phone calls can be intelligently answered and routed to individuals and Teams irrelevant of their location, so calls can be answered at any time by anyone.

Freelancers or Temporary Staff

Another use of short-term rental of phone numbers can be when employing freelancers or temporary staff. Companies can easily setup multiple phone numbers for team members so they can be contacted directly. Utilising ‘Bring You Own Device’ (BYOD) allows businesses to take advantage of current user tech, but it also creates potential privacy issues for staff members (publishing personal mobile numbers and being contacted outside of office hours), temporary phone numbers stop this by masking personal numbers, keeping them private and simultaneously managing and recording calls within a business.

There are lots of useful and exciting ways of managing and monitoring this form of communication for companies and smaller businesses and Entrepreneurs shouldn’t have limited options when customers wish to call their business directly.

Specialists such as VoiceRules provide a non-technical environment for Individuals and Small Businesses to instantly setup ITN’s and manage/monitor phone call traffic for their numbers locally or globally. Calls can seamlessly be distribute to team members and monitored anywhere in the world at low cost.

The VoiceRules platform also allows its customers to build profiles and analyse performance of their phone numbers by showing Enterprise level data on calls, so that customers can monitor the success of their campaigns.

Check out our secure platform at http://www.voicerules.com

 

VoiceRules or Skype for your Business?

We are getting lots of inbound enquiries asking how VoiceRules differs from managing phone calls using Skype, so we thought we would outline some major differences here.

Reasons for use

Even though you can use Skype for your Business and Personal phone calls, it restricts you if you are apart of a team or are dealing with several inbound calls from a single or various locations Locally, Nationally or Internationally.

There is no way of managing more than one active inbound call using Skype. Should you not be available or on another call then your caller will be routed to your voicemail.

VoiceRules allows you to manage how calls are managed and routed. If you are an individual or part of a team, you can easily control how calls are directed and answered so you don’t miss a call. Your caller therefore doesn’t have to be transferred to voicemail.

Features

Skype simply connects you to your caller either directly through its app or WebRTC (browser) interface. If you’re not online when the call comes through then it can route the call to a single destination (e.g. your mobile)

VoiceRules has a suite of features depending on how you wish to accept and manage delivery of calls. The platform presents a professional interface to your callers.

Our IVR (Auto Attendant, Virtual Receptionist) greets your callers with a personal message. Then by using their keypad can select from a menu (that is easily preset in our Dashboard) where they want their call to be routed. This call can then be connected to a single destination or multiple destinations irrelevant of where you and your team are in the world.

VoiceRules also offers Standard Call Forwarding, Hunt Groups, Recording of Calls and Playback on the move, Multiple Voicemail Boxes, Unlimited Simultaneous Calls, Unlimited Users, Analytics (track the performance of your calls and phone numbers), Browser Based Dialling/Receiving of calls (WebRTC) and Conferencing.

Costs

Skype charges are mostly prepaid, although this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are giving a good deal. Your first minute of any call suffers a ‘Connection Fee’ this can considerably bump up the cost of any call (you can find these charges in their small print).

VoiceRules (on average) charge more than 40% lower than Skype and we don’t just connect calls via any carrier. We in fact only connect with Tier 1 providers around the world so the level of service does not suffer from degradation and quality is always maintained. We guarantee a 99.95% uptime of our service, monitored 24/7, just like any serious telecoms provider should be doing.

Scalability

You are able to add up to 10 Local, National or International numbers to your Skype account, which you will pay $18.00 per 3 months for each number.

With VoiceRules your month-by-month subscription gives you access to a Global Telephone Platform. Which is basically a Phone System you would expect to find in any serous working environment. The difference with what we do is that our platform not only provides you calls to your business from anywhere but also can be used in line with how your business grows. To add phone numbers start as low a $1.00 (Your first International Phone Number is $FREE) and you can add/remove as many as you need over time.

Summary

If you simply want to route calls to one mobile or landline number then you have the option of a number of solutions on the market including Skype and VoiceRules.

IF you need to manage more than 1 phone number from Local, National or International destinations then VoiceRules is what you need. Its not only one of the best priced products on the market, but is also fully scalable and can be used to manage calls to a team whether they are in the same office, or if those individuals are on every corner of the Earth.

The VoiceRules platform gives you and your team freedom to be anywhere and receive calls both through the browser and on your current mobile devices.

VoiceRules is available in a self-service environment. Numbers can be setup on demand with no commitment. Our packages range from $6.00 to $18.00 per month depending on the functionality you require and include an International Number of your choice in various Countries and 1000’s of cities around the world.

http://www.voicerules.com