Jul 05, 2017
A virtual telephone number is one you rent without a land-line or sim-card.
You pay for:
- The number itself;
- Monthly rental;
- Call charges;
- Optional: a receptionist service.
We have partnered with a provider that offers a full-featured service with low-cost fees. This is not a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service; the call quality is good.
The great thing about buying a number is that you can advertise it in specific places and keep your other numbers private. This ensures that only sales calls go to your sales number and support calls go to your support number. Your mobile number gets accessed only by people you trust.
You can redirect virtual number to your mobile. The caller only sees the virtual number but you are answering the sales call when you're out and about.
You can move office and keep the same number. You just take your laptop, equipment and staff to your new office and the calls still keep coming in while you're moving furniture around!
A man in Shropshire can buy a London address with a desk-rental facility, buy an 0207 number and have all the appearance of being based in London. If clients want to meet him at his London office, they can. You can have a local presence.
You can add other numbers later without have to negotiate with BT and call an engineer to your premises.
No equipment purchase is necessary; the number can be redirected to any other telephony device, like your mobile or landline.
• Other features
- Automated switchboard - "Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Support ...";
- Voicemail - callers can leave messages if the number is not answered;
- Voicemail to email - Call time, date, caller ID and sound file emailed to you;
- Low call charges - clients call a London number while you're in Spain;
- Online control panel to manipulate your number's features.
• So what are the charges?
- £25 +VAT upfront for an 0207 number;
- £3 p.m. +VAT line rental, initially charged 6 months in advance;
- The cost to forward to landlines is 1.25 ppm;
- The cost to forward to mobiles can vary depending on what service or what number range a customer is using.
To give you an idea of charges to forward to a mobile (cell phone)*:
A geographical number like 0207, forwarding to the major UK network providers, is charged 10p per minute
A non geographical number, like 0845, forwarding to the major UK network providers, is charged at 17.45p per minute
You pay for the calls to you. Payment is by adding credit in advance to your account. No credit = no call forwarding. The divert to VoiP is free.
• Call redirect
This is where 0207 1448077 redirects to 0777 8141899. The numbers can be redirected to your mobile or landline. Callers think they’re making a cheap call to a UK landline but, little do they know, Joey M. Obile answers from his car. In Poland!
This is great for sales and good for sole traders who want to move up, image-wise. It says: sometimes I’m in the office, sometimes I’m out and about. I’m smart enough to get calls redirected in a sophisticated way, I’m local to London and I’m passing on a cost-saving, in call charges, to you.
Tip: 0207 and 0208 are inner and outer-London prefixes. They’re getting scarcer. 0203 is more recent and, unfortunately, says “I’m a newly-founded company without the resources to get an older prefix so I may not be trustworthy.”
Tip: Use redirect only if and when you want to make sales. If your calendar is full, set it to answering-machine mode. You will be paying call charges for the duration of any call and if the caller is calling from a cellphone (~ 18 ppm), it could be pricey.
- Get professional call forwarding, at a low cost;
- Choose whether calls are delivered by VoIP or PSTN;
- Divert calls anywhere in the world, using the standard telephone network;
- Or route calls anywhere in the world at very low cost, using VoIP;
- Change your divert number, so calls reach you at work, at home, or on any landline;
- Go to your number's online control panel to update the divert destination;
- Enjoy business freedom, without penalties;
- Get the benefits of expert support - from people, not machines.
You only pay for any call-forwarding costs associated with your number.
If you want any extra features you can upgrade later.
• Add a receptionist
One popular upgrade is getting a human, 'virtual' receptionist.
The receptionist answers calls in your company name and relays the message you specified as to why you are not available.
This presents a friendlier and more corporate 'voice' for your business, convincing customers to leave their personal details rather than ignoring the voicemail and hanging up. The service then sends you their message and contact details by SMS and email.
Key features and benefits having a human receptionist:
- Use professionals and save money without the expense of hiring them directly yourself;
- Be relaxed about missed calls. The receptionist team can handle them for you;
- Get more business by getting contact details from callers who normally don't like to leave voicemail;
- Use the call-centre for 'overflow' for those times times when you're especially busy;
- Be available 24-7, taking calls even while you sleep;
- Good impression: Callers believe you're a 'corporate enterprise', regardless of how many people you actually employ;
- The receptionist takes the name, contact number and a short message from every caller;
- The details are sent to you immediately by SMS and email.
- How much does it cost?
No hidden per minute costs. A virtual receptionist costs just £19.50 plus VAT p.m. which includes up to 15 calls with immediate SMS/email notification. Any additional messages are then charged at £1.25 +VAT.
Sign up today for our mail forwarding services, tick the info box about virtual telephony and we'll send you a link so you can get it set up.
* Fees correct as at 5.7.17.