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

 

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Phone Call Management For Global Entrepreneurs

With the exponential growth of location independent working environments has caused a great amount of new products and services directed around helping businesses and individuals run day-to-day management. Location Independence includes Remote Teams, Remote Workers, Digital Nomads, Lifestyle Entrepreneurs to name but a few.

These businesses or individuals have built their whole working environment around the ability to travel and work basically anywhere they want as long as they have a laptop, mobile and good WiFi.

Challenges

Even though it may seem to the standard 9-5ers that this is the dream, it does also come with its challenges.  Self motivation and time management are probably two regular battles that these individuals have to endure, but having a whole team which works remotely can somewhat intensify the situation.

There are already a bunch of useful tools to manage Team Communication and Project Management, there are also other tools that can keep an individual motivated or help them to complete their daily tasks.

But as the world is more accessible for doing business, which is an exciting and achievable concept, but with this, managing these environments can become quite tricky.

Potential Issues

Customers not only want to communicate over email or live chat but they do also wish to have a conversation over traditional phone. Traditional Phone conversations are still one of the more popular methods when customers wish to query something before using or buying a product/service.

With click to call and click to connect from web sites or social media business pages including Facebook, Instagram and Google, means that offering local support when you and your team are moving across the globe is challenging.

Solutions

There are many global voice platforms available including Skype and Sonetel which can help with an International presence and provide their customers with the a structure to do so.

Skype was originally built for calls between users and appealed more to the general public, as the calls are free for voice and the same for video calls to other Skype users.

Skype for business has been created to offer more support towards business that may not be fixed in any location and offers some support for multiple locations across the globe – albeit expensive for packages and individual calls is still a step in the right direction.

Sonetel offers international phone numbers in 50+ countries starting at $0.89c and continue to grow by the day selling individual numbers to Entrepreneurs around the world. Calls can also be slightly more expensive and they do also offer some functionality for routing calls to various destinations via intuitive features.

VoiceRules

Another popular alternative in this space is VoiceRules

VoiceRules is here to fill a gap in the market. This gap has occurred through the growth of Location Independent setups.

The VoiceRules platform is a low cost Professional Call Management Suite that offers a variety of features all accessible through any browser or tablet.  No software needs to be local to the user to be able to use its features, in fact any device can be used for managing, monitoring and recording calls for individuals or small remote teams. It can even be used for personal calls from Family and Friends when on the move.

With development around WebRTC VoiceRules have enabled the user to have a fully functional phone platform at their fingertips. Users can not only buy International local Phone Numbers around the world for short term or long term use, but also empower the its customers to set those numbers up with ease to manage how calls are routed to Team Members wherever they may be in the world.

Customers can dial Local, National or Toll-free numbers so that they feel as though a business is a local, but in fact these businesses may not even have an office and may also be constantly moving across popular Work Hubs in South East Asia, for example.

VoiceRules has also developed a browser based telephone dialer. This digital handset can be used when dialling customers. Local numbers to those customers can be displayed on their handset when they receive a call. In turn when companies have inbound calls to themselves or their teams, these calls can be routed to appropriate users on local mobiles so that calls are never missed.

VoiceRules has also built an Analytics module which visually displays data to the user so that users can manage projects and see where calls are coming from, to who and can manage the results.

Amongst a whole bunch of other useful features and a development program introducing further solutions in this space, VoiceRules is seeing some incredible growth and even after its first week of launch has already accumulated 100+ customers.

They are currently offering a 7 day free trial at www.voicerules.com so check them out!

De-Stress with a Business Contact Number

Did you know that you can easily set yourself or your business up in 1000’s of cities instantly without even stepping foot or opening an office in that Country?

Well you can! With the increasing availability of Global Internet and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) means that you can setup a local or International presence for yourself or your business within minutes and with ease.

International Coverage

Phone numbers are available almost anywhere including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Australia.

This opens up a whole new and exciting ball game for new and existing Entrepreneurs and Businesses.

Saves Cost & Lets You Breathe

Before now to open a local business was a gamble and with the expense of having an office, telephone lines and staff could be an expensive one at that.

Having the ability to purchase local phone numbers on a short term rental basis means that corners can be cut to test a market before opening up shop there.

Virtual Numbers or Direct Inward Dialling (DID) numbers (as they are also known) can be used for a number of different reasons. Not only do they stop the need for individuals to give out their mobile numbers – keeping them private, but can be associated with particular campaigns so that companies can monitor Sales or Customer services calls from particular regions to identify which projects are a success or not or to monitor where a business needs more growth/attention.

Compete on an International Stage

Usually these numbers and associated benefits were only available to larger organisations, with the rapid movement of VoIP means that such services are also available to Entrepreneurs or Small to Medium Businesses (SMB’s).

Numbers can be managed by non-technical individuals directly which means that directing calls to who ever you want when ever you want takes the pressure off having full time staff.

Calls can be routed Call Centres, Virtual Receptionists or any of your team members around the world no matter where they are or what technology they are using.

You may also display your number when calling your customers. If you wish to display a local number to your caller when dialling them this can be also be achieved with little effort. This gives your customer the feeling that you are local to them which in turn builds rapport, even if you may be on the other side of the world to them or on a vacation.

Click to Connect

With the rise in Click to Connect features for Social platforms (including Facebook and Instagram) and direct from a Company web site indicates that your customers wish to contact you when they need to via whatever means possible.

This demand means that businesses need to rethink how they are managing/implementing this process, and with what solutions dependent on their individual requirements or situation.

Low Cost Maximum Impact

The good news is you don’t need to employ a full time receptionist or layout serious cost to project yourself as being a large company when in fact it might only be you and a small team in your business.

A Virtual Number opens up new doors and opportunities, if you haven’t considered them yet then maybe you should.

Numbers can be purchased or rented as low as $1.00 each per month and when attached to a sophisticated Phone Call Management solution can catapult your business into an international market within minutes.

Come test drive our platform with a 7 day free trial at www.voicerules.com

Cost Hacking Your Small Business Empire

Are you thinking of building a new start up, looking to expand, or just looking to reduce cost in your current business? There a number of overhead costs to take into consideration but as new technology becomes available so do your options in keeping business costs to a minimum. Here is a demonstration of ways in which you can avoid tremendous expenditure and at the same time allow you to focus on important areas of your business.

Virtual Office

A virtual office is an office that has no practical existence. Virtual offices have no dedicated workspace like a traditional office. Companies which provide virtual office services, provide you all the facilities which make up an office. The virtual office is one, or one of many hubs for your customers/clients to connect to you and your business. Having a virtual office can save you from the complications of having an actual office, still give your company a local professional look and feel but allow you to focus on some more important areas of your business. A virtual office can be set-up almost anywhere and will incur far lower costs and shorter contracts. Cost savings come from the rent/price of the office building, the costs to maintain and run the office like electricity bills and the expenses of stationery and a number of other miscellaneous items required to run an office. If you wish to have a physical presence in a city or a number of cities this expense can be astronomical, a virtual office can give you an introduction into whether or not you wish to open shop in a particular City or Country at minimal risk/cost.

Remote Workers

Employees are found to be happier than 9-5 office workers and dedicated when they work in a virtual environment. They can work easily from their home or any location worldwide if its practical to do so. They are also found to be more productive and have a lower turnover rate. You also do not have to hire people on constant pay-role. You can have the work done by freelancers at comparatively lower rates and you will only have to pay them for the work done. There is no need to hire a person for a full time job and give them heavy salary and other benefits. Using platforms such as Upwork.com, Toptal.com and Peopleperhour.com can introduce you to professionals to assist you with short or long term business tasks from Tech Talent through to Virtual Assistants.

No Hardware Outlay

Previously starting a business needed a large amount of investment in hardware including the furniture, computers, fixed and mobile phones amongst other necessary items to make an office look and operate properly. If you opt for a virtual office instead of a traditional office all this money can be used for some better purpose, maybe one example could be the investment in good staff. Also while BYOD (bring your own device) allows users to use their current preference of technology, this gives business owners one less thing to worry about, and in the process save a shed load of potential cost, not only for the actual hardware itself but also the ongoing maintenance.

Team Collaboration/Management

So, having a virtual working environment is a great way to keep costs low, whilst working from absolutely anywhere (in the world). But, how do businesses manage this network of workers? There are some cool collaboration and management tools on the market that assist businesses in getting the very best out of their remote team. Products such as Insightly.com, Slack.com, Trello.com, Asana.com and Hivedesk.com empower you to easily communicate, manage, monitor and track your team and their work and tasks for all of your projects, all from easy to use interfaces and at low or no cost for small teams.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Obtaining new customers is one thing, managing those customers can be a stressful process. Although you may want the very best for your customers and wish to attend to them in the quickest time possible, sometimes things can fall through the gaps. Now that today’s businesses have every opportunity to network with customers outside of their home territory means potential more commerce, but at the same time can create more problems (good and bad). Now that your teams can be remote and based anywhere, well, and so can your customers. Customer management platforms are available not only for large businesses but also small. Platforms such as sellfapp.com, Zendesk.com, LAdesk.com, Zoho.com to name a few, are some of the more popular and cost effective options. Being able to notify, monitor, manage, delegate and control prospects as well as outcomes for customer requests can be managed from a central platform and distributed throughout your network of colleagues in a well structured environment.

Voice Communications

In virtual environments, the working hours can potentially be 24/7. Your employees can work at any time and the customers can contact the office round the clock. The bridge connecting the employees to one another and the customers to the employees i.e. the virtual office never goes offline. Communications can be managed using a whole range of available tools whether within your business or externally.

A popular internal communication platform is Skype that works on VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Skype.com gives the ability for you to communicate free of charge whether by voice or video call between you and your team no matter where they are located.

External communications and management of your inbound business calls can seem a little trickier. VoIP communications have advanced somewhat because of the continuous global expansion and the increasing speed of the Internet from both mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity. This can also be said for inbound business calls. Working within a virtual environment means that you, your team and your third party suppliers can literally be based any where around the world and at any time, as with your customers.

Like other virtual environments VoIP compliments your business by giving it the ability to have a presence in 1000’s of cities and allow you to portray an enterprise level presence to your customers and prospects.

Not only can you purchase local, National and Toll-Free numbers from almost anywhere worldwide, but you can also easily manage, monitor, record and route those calls across your business team, making sure that you never miss a call whilst keeping a professional interface to your customers. Communication can come from traditional phone calls all the way through to click to call campaigns directly from your web site. Companies such as VoiceRules.com give you the ability to have a fully virtual, feature rich, voice communication network giving you and your team the flexibility to work absolutely anywhere globally.

Successfully Managing Your Business Phone Calls

So, picture this, you’re at an Internet café in Italy when you receive an important business call on your laptop, tablet or mobile device. You’re travelling from city to city, or maybe country to country and receive an important voicemail, notified to you via your e-mail inbox on the move, that you missed whilst in transit. Your business has a phone number with a UK, USA, Australia or Hong Kong local or national area code, even though your latest office hub is located in Indonesia, or your colleagues work remotely and are scattered all over the world.

This is voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). VoIP has moved on somewhat since its earlier days and with VoIP services and features, your phone calls travel with you and your team across the globe with little effort at a dramatically low cost whilst increasing your productivity and flexibility of you and your team. It also provides useful features and capabilities that everyday phone technologies can’t offer.

The popularity of VoIP has been growing stronger. Because of the vast, rapid expansion of the Internet and various applications available has enabled businesses to be more flexible with how, where and with whom they do business. This has directly built a requirement for more flexible office working conditions and has enabled staff and business owners to base themselves almost anywhere with Wi-Fi.

The truth is, VoIP’s benefits far outweigh the negatives. Find some further information below;

1. VoIP Saves You Money.

VoIP calls have always been known to be low cost in comparison to standard business lines or mobile roaming charges and on average savings of 50% and sometimes more can be achieved.

Landline set-ups not only have long contractual agreements and can also take some weeks to be installed but more importantly set small businesses back around $30.00 per line on average (dependent on country), before adding any other telephone features.

Productivity levels are also not taken into consideration when looking at the cost benefits of VoIP. Allowing staff to work absolutely anywhere increases moral and therefore productivity. Various studies indicate that around 31% of businesses moving to VoIP do so for this reason alone, giving them a competitive edge over their competitors.

Today’s VoIP services have evolved and allow you to make and receive calls using standard phones and other mobile devices; staff can utilize their current technology devices (BYOD) saving hefty hardware tech investments and maintenance.

As some platforms are also setup and managed through easy to use interfaces that a company or individual can use and manage themselves with absolutely no prior technical knowledge, this also saves considerable cost on maintenance fees and the need for in-house technical expertise.

2. Make you and your team more Productive

Remote working is an industry within itself and growing at some speed.

If you’re not the latest entrepreneur working from out of a business hub somewhere in SE Asia, you are freelancer providing your very best skills to businesses big and small from all corners of the globe, earning more money, are happier and probably stress free.

VoIP simply enables your business to be global. You can not only easily set-up and manage your communication infrastructure to suit your business requirements but you can also easily set up a local presence in 1000’s of cities around the world, suiting the need of your staff and customers, and routing business calls to you or your team anywhere.

Your business can now be totally mobile, maybe even neglecting the need for an office or even the need to give out your personal mobile number, in fact actually keeping it personal!

Now there’s a thought? No roaming charges and no out of office hour’s calls, etc….

The features of an Enterprise level telephone platform are now available to individuals and SMB’s. Being able to take advantage of features like a professional call answering, simultaneous calling on multiple devices, endless amounts of Voicemail boxes and Intelligent Call Routing to name a few, means that not missing important calls and avoiding phone tag therefore reducing time wasted and saving money.

3. Clarity, Scalability and Installation

Call and sound quality has always been a sticking point for some when considering the move to VoIP, however, as Internet connectivity has improved so has the quality of VoIP calls. In fact, many businesses today have abandoned traditional phone platforms in favour of VoIP.

In a study of a selection of SMB’s in 2015, out of the 57% of those companies considering the transition to VoIP, only 1 respondent out of 208 reported to be dissatisfied with the call quality.

Installing a VoIP solution for Individuals or Businesses is as simple as one another. With the growth of SaaS platforms in all areas of tech means the route to setting up a fully blown telephone platform can not only be done in a matter of minutes but provides a non technical easy to use interface to manage it day to day if necessary.

Scalability is an important factor for any business; most VoIP providers today will support you and your businesses when the need to scale up arises (or down for that matter). Being able to easily add users to your network and have specific or relevant communication routed to them is important for general, sales or customer service needs.

4. VoIP platforms make you, your business and your phone platform highly flexible.

VoIP platforms allow you to do things that are simply not possible with traditional phone technology. For example;

Mobile Office Solution

As long as you have access to Wi-Fi, you can use your VoIP platform anywhere, such as in a hotel, on the Beach or at any Startup Hub around the world. Customers and employees can connect with you or your business just by calling your regular local business phone number to them—they no longer need to call your cell phone, which means you can save on roaming charges and allow you to keep your mobile number personal and be selective as to who can contact you directly and when. If travelling from Country to Country you can simply add your contact number to your platform as you go, so no matter what country you are in you will continue to receive your business calls.

Be contactable on your personal devices

Some VoIP platforms include a telephony interface that enables you to send and receive calls using your laptop or tablet. Now you will not miss an urgent call from a client or colleague no matter where you or your teams are in world.

Get voicemail on your e-mail

VoIP services allow you to have voice mail or multiple voicemail boxes; messages are forwarded to your regular e-mail inbox. You and your team can get all your messages in one place, and your voice mail can be easily archived or forwarded to others. Voicemail can be easily setup for your company in multiple languages to cater for those countries and languages where your customers may be based. By manipulating your call traffic you can easily route inbound calls to the right team members, should they be busy or unavailable you can route calls to other members or to voicemail and notify those team members easily.

Easily setup virtual phone numbers.

It goes without saying that having a local or national presence when dealing with your customers goes a long way in building rapport and trust. You can easily setup phone numbers in 1000’s of cities around the world in a matter of minutes, and not just the one assigned to your companies region. For example, you may have a business based out of Hong Kong, but could have local or national numbers set up throughout Europe or the USA.

This benefits those countries that are expanding their business and want to attract customers in multiple countries, having a local presence for your business is important, this also neglects the need for a local office, saving $1,000s in set-up, overheads and various other ongoing costs.

Call forwarding

VoIP offers a true uninterruptible business communication solution, with uptime at 99.9% and intelligent routing means that you will never have to worry about downtime of your voice communications network. The ability to strategically control the routing of your business calls means that if you ever experience downtime on your local internet connection, or you are in transit travelling from country to country you can manage how calls are routed in the event of not being able to answer them, or being available at any time. The ability to setup your own rules and profiles around how your business calls are routed is fully under the control of you and your business. Being able to route calls to various destinations worldwide or worse case to voicemail means that your calls from your customer or prospects are controllable and never missed.

Analytics

Data is a big topic if you’re looking to understand why, when, and how calls are made to your business. To be able to monitor the calls that connect to your company/departments and their outcome provides some serious business development criteria, whether your business is large or small. Being able to manipulate the information on your calls gives your business sales and marketing focus. For example; Click to call campaigns allow your business to be directly in touch with your prospects or customers by prompting them to connect to your business directly and with ease, you may have various Local, National or International numbers setup for specific campaigns or geographical areas, you may be dipping your toe into the water in a foreign country.

Analytics will show you how to improve on those campaigns by providing valuable data. Data can be collected around why and when calls are made, the duration, which person or team responded to those calls and their outcome.Volumes and percentages can be used to increase, amend or retract focus in certain areas of your business.

No matter what size of your business may be, VoIP is a surprisingly flexible, affordable technology that offers the same, sophisticated communication tools your enterprise-size competitors have for a very small fraction of the price, it gives your small business scalability and future proofs your business.