If you are a growing business, then this post is for you! As a growing business, you are probably looking for simple ways that you can better manage an increasing number of orders, customers, and clients. We are here to share one simple thing that you can do, that will help you connect with a local community, improve your scalability, and increase your accessibility.
That one thing? Having a local phone number!
In today’s post, we are going to walk you through what a local phone number is, and alternative forms of business phone numbers. From there, we are going to share with you the big advantages that a local phone number can give your business. Finally, we’re going to share with you the best way to implement a local phone number, and how to determine the best provider.
In the end, we hope to leave you feeling confident to give your business access to the best phone number for your team.
If that all sounds good to you, then let’s get started!
A local phone number represents a specific region, city, or state. The local phone number is identified by the three digit area code. This is different from the country code, which precedes the 10 digit number.
Local phone numbers are a great tool which help you to establish a local presence within a specific community. Callers are able to identify the local area code as being a part of their neighborhood, city, or region.
Utilizing a local area code helps you to get closer to your customers, even if you are thousands of miles away. Your callers will instantly appreciate this, as they will feel more confident calling a local phone number. This can also help your callers avoid international fees or other long distance calling charges.
A local phone number is typically used by individuals and local businesses, but your team doesn’t have to reside in a specific region to access a local number. We will dive into that later as we explain virtual phone numbers, but first let’s take a look at some alternative types of phone numbers.
Many growing businesses might be tempted to use their mobile number for their business. But the unfortunate truth is a mobile number often can’t support your business as well as other types of numbers. That is because a mobile number is tied to a SIM card, making it tied to one specific device. Having one device for a growing business just isn’t sustainable, as you’d struggle to incorporate your team members into your phone communication strategy.
A business owner can elect to take advantage of a toll free number. Toll-free numbers have distinct three-digit codes such as (888) or (800). The advantage to a toll-free number is that the person placing the call is not charged for the call. Instead, the owner of the toll-free number is billed for the arriving call.
A vanity number is a custom-made number that is designed to be highly memorable for your customers. For example, if you own a floral company, you may want to take advantage of a vanity number that looks like this: 1-800-FLOWERS.
When you take advantage of a virtual phone system, the number you are using will be considered a virtual phone number. A virtual phone system is a phone system that uses internet based technology to transmit and receive voice signals, instead of relying on the old fashioned telephone wires.
That means for a growing business, you won’t have to install telephone wires and set up a landline. It also means that you can take advantage of the crystal clear voice communication that is made possible by relying on modern technology to support your phone systems.
Virtual phones are a great solution for growing businesses, as they can be made accessible to teams of all sizes. The pricing is often relative to the number of employees using the system, so you won’t be burdened with an expensive cost.
Virtual phone systems come with more benefits than just providing high quality phone experience. They also enable you to no longer be tied down to one location. That’s right, once you ditch your landline you are able to take full advantage of flexibility and increase your mobility. You will be able to access your business phone number from a variety of different devices and locations.
Once you have signed up for a virtual phone system, you can receive your virtual phone number. A virtual phone system should give you access to ALL of the phone numbers that we have been discussing. That’s right, you should have access to a local area code, toll-free number, and vanity numbers. In terms of a mobile number, a virtual phone system can provide the convenience of utilizing your mobile device while still staying connected to the rest of your business. That would be through a mobile app, instead of using the native phone on a smartphone device.
Having a local phone number is a great way to grow your business, especially if you are taking advantage of a virtual local number. With a virtual local number, you don’t have to worry about being physically tied to one location.
This can allow you to take advantage of local areas where you are trying to expand your presence, without having to set up a physical location there. For example, if you are a Canadian team who sells a product that would perform well in Michigan, you are probably trying to find a way to expand your business presence. By simply selecting a Michigan local area code, you would be able to give your business a local identity.
A virtual phone number will also be highly scalable, which is a must have for a growing business. When your phone system and number can grow with your team, you know that you won’t be stuck having to switch systems later on. A highly scalable solution will only charge your business per user, so that you are only paying for as many employees as you currently have.
Whether you are hoping to expand your business into a new market, set up a local phone number before setting up a new location, or have other opportunities outside of your immediate location, a virtual local phone number is a great option.
There are other fantastic benefits that your team could see. If you want to better support remote workers, having a virtual local phone number will allow teammates from around the world to support a specific market. If you are hoping to provide 24/7 service in California, you can easily find team members around the world who can access that same California based phone number, allowing for a more constant phone presence.
Between gaining credibility and access to new customers, and being able to better support remote workers, having a local phone number is a great way to help your growing business.
Implementing a local phone number shouldn’t be an extensive process. If it is, you likely don’t have the right phone provider supporting your business. In general, accessing a local area code for a specific place around the world should be simple. With Yodel, you simply have to contact our team through our live chat to let us know you would like a specific area code, or simply use our self-service option to select the number of your choice.
From there, you are able to take your business phone number and run with it. This local phone number can be used across your marketing materials, especially as you target your new local area code.
It can feel tricky to find the right provider, so we wanted to make sure you felt equipped to sort between different options. Start by determining where your local area code of choice is located. It should be easy to determine if a provider has phone numbers available in that location. From there, make sure that the provider makes sense in relation to your business needs as a whole. We’d recommend looking for the following things as you conduct your search:
Does the pricing of the provider make sense for your overall communication strategy:
Your local area code shouldn’t come with a massive increase in costs. In fact, you should be able to see reduced savings! When you take advantage of a virtual phone number, you should be able to cut the cord, and costs, of a traditional landline phone. One of the things to look for is a hosted VoIP solution. When you go with a hosted VoIP solution, the overhead costs associated with a phone system are no longer your responsibility. Instead you can simply look to your virtual phone system provider to supply you with affordable phone communication. Your communication budget shouldn’t have to suffer just to be able to have a new local area code. Instead, find a provider that makes sense for your business and your budget.
Will your new provider be able to offer your team secure lines:
Phone communication often conveys sensitive information. Your callers are relying on you to be able to provide a safe and secure communication method. With so many different phone providers out there, it may be hard to tell which provider will be able to offer your team a secure form of communication. Look to phone systems that are GDPR compliant to access a virtual phone number that meets call security requirements. These requirements are some of the strictest and most up to date with current technology risks, and can give you and your callers peace of mind.
Does your provider offer clear call quality:
With a business phone system, you need to ensure that you are getting a high quality voice communication experience. This can help you avoid frustrated customers and employees, as dropping calls and patchy service is an annoyance to everyone involved. Virtual phone providers can work with trusted local carriers in order to give you access to the best possible call quality. All you need on your end is to have a stable internet connection, and the rest is taken care of for you.
Does your provider offer smart integrations:
Smart integrations are a great way to combine your business phone system with tools that your team already loves. This can help you avoid information silos, and can lead to more efficient and productive workflows. If you love your CRM, live in Slack, or have another business tool your team relies on, it just makes sense to connect it to your business phone solution.
Is your provider able to increase your team’s efficiency:
Efficiency is just one of the benefits when your team is able to avoid unnecessary distractions, better prepare for phone calls, and take calls on the go. Look for a variety of features that are designed to help your team offer more effective and productive communication. Some of these features may include smart call routing, blocking irrelevant and spam calls, and determining caller intent.
Getting started with a local phone number shouldn’t be a complicated task, but unfortunately with so many options to choose from it can become overwhelming. Hopefully our guide was able to help you determine what is important to consider when looking at different local phone number providers.
That is why we wanted to mention Yodel’s free 14 day trial. Signing up comes with no commitment, and you can see the benefits of testing out a virtual phone system before locking yourself into one provider. Our team is always available to help out, with helpful demo calls, webinars, and resources for you to take a look at.