What ever your product or service is, you have to reach potential customers. The more people you reach, the more likely it is to find customers. In our informational age, geographic barriers have dissolved, and your customers can be from anywhere. Better yet, they should be from everywhere. Once your customers find you, how do you convert the "looker" into the "buyer"?
Many businesses fit neatly into online sign up, and that's nice, but not every business. Email is efficient but is impersonal. Many products and services sell themselves better with a good chat, or sales pitch. The binary nature of the Internet can miss that all important "warm and fuzzy" feeling that a good product has when the customer hears your voice. Further, when the customer has a question, a problem or a complaint, nothing keeps customers happy like hearing from you. Customer service is often seen as a thing of the past. Many companies will do anything to keep the customer from actually talking to a real person. This is where the savvy business person can really grow a business. Where your competitors keep customers searching FAQ's, sending emails, or opening trouble tickets, your customers call you, and the problem gets fixed. Your business grows, your reputation soars, and you are a success. But, what if your business is in, say China, or India or somewhere far away from your customers? Will the potential customer in Brazil, or Canada, or the U.K., call you in China? Will you lose the sale? Worse yet, will the potential customer never consider your product because you are "here", and the customer is "there"? This is where virtual telephone really shines!
Virtual telephone numbers are local telephone numbers in cities, and countries, just like any other telephone number. However, the call goes to a location of your choice. For example, when you bought your mobile telephone, they gave you a local telephone number in the location you bought your phone. You bought your phone in Toronto, and you got a Toronto number. Nobody asked if you wanted a number in Paris, or London, or Sydney, or all of them. Essentially, your telephone was "locked" into the geographic location where you purchased it. Now, this is not necessarily bad. If your phone in Toronto had a South African telephone number, then everyone in Toronto might stop calling you. But, if your Toronto telephone had a Toronto number and a Sydney number, your customers in Toronto and Sydney would find it very easy to reach you. By adding telephone numbers in the geographic regions that you want to sell your product, you can reach new customers that you might not have reached before. The cost savings is also something to consider. Opening traditional telephone service in multiple countries and having the calls forwarded to your location is costly. The beauty of virtual telephone is that it leverages the non-geographic nature of the Internet, and avoids the cost of long distance. For example, your company in Tokyo has a wonderful product, with customers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Through traditional telephone methods, your long distance costs would be staggering. With virtual telephone numbers, purchased in geographically convenient locations, your customers can call you, with minimal cost to the customer, and to your business.
In my next article, we will look at virtual telephone services. For instance, do you wish your calls to ring on your computer, or mobile or landline telephone? Each method has benefits. What is the difference between receiving a call on your data connection of your mobile, versus your regular connection? In later articles, we will look at how to stay close to your family if your job takes you to a far away location; how virtual numbers can improve your security; using virtual numbers to reduce costs when your child goes to college and using virtual numbers when you go on holiday.
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