Virtual phone numbers tend to still be a little esoteric, even though people who are running a business usually have some idea of what they are. In reality, there isn’t too much difference between a virtual phone number and a regular phone number, and in fact, it’s helpful to think of a virtual number simply as a regular number that happens to be hosted by a virtual service provider. Here’s what you can do with your virtual phone number.
Even though a virtual number is not attached to a phone, you can make outbound calls from your existing phones, while showing your virtual number on the caller ID (as part of a virtual phone system like Talkroute).
People can dial your virtual phone number to reach you just like any other phone number, and the experience is exactly the same for the caller. The only difference is that, when the call comes in through your virtual number, it is then immediately routed to your phones and begins to ring those phones.
Send & Receive Text Messages
Text messaging can also be enabled on a virtual number. To your customers, it appears and functions exactly like normal text messaging, and to you, it’s actually augmented. Depending on what texting service you are using, not only can you send and receive texts normally, but you can also manage and organize your messages.
Transfer it to Any Carrier
The FCC protects your right to keep your current phone number, and this applies to virtual numbers, too. This means that if you leave your virtual service and want to keep your number, then you can port it out to a cell phone, landline, or even VoIP carrier. It is a real phone number; we only call it a “virtual” number if it is currently hosted by a virtual phone service.
As part of a virtual phone system, you can even add traditional extensions in the same way that you would with a conventional wired office system, and they can be assigned to individuals or departments.
Add a Menu
Making it sound professional is a top priority when setting up a phone system, which is why you may want the use of a Call Menu, or auto attendant, so that your callers can press a number and be connected to the right person. Fortunately, this feature can easily be added to a virtual phone number.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.