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Written by
Katy Ratican
2 Feb 2022
5 minutes

How to get a virtual phone number: Everything you need to know

Considering getting a virtual phone number? Here’s a detailed guide on virtual numbers to help you choose the right option for your business
How to get a virtual phone number

What email did to the postal service is what virtual phone numbers are doing to traditional phone systems.

With their advanced technology and mass adoption, they’re replacing the old ways in which organisations communicate. Whether or not you’ve considered getting a virtual phone number, this detailed guide will tell you why more and more small businesses and entrepreneurs are opting for one.

What is a virtual phone number?

A virtual phone number uses the internet to make and receive phone calls. It isn’t tied to a fixed landline phone. Calls can be routed to a pre-determined phone line that could be a mobile or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Calls can be taken on any device that’s connected to the virtual phone number.

Virtual phone numbers offer several advantages to businesses. They offer flexibility to select the devices that can receive the calls. This makes them uniquely suitable for remote work. Since they are not location-based, businesses have been using virtual phone numbers to make them look bigger and more credible.

For individual users, a virtual phone number provides anonymity. It also helps people separate their work and personal communication. The fact that they’re device-neutral also makes them preferable for a digital-first world.

The benefits of a virtual phone number

As you learn more about using a second phone for work, you’ll realise that a virtual phone number is not a luxury, but a necessary tool. Here are the most common benefits of using a virtual number.

1. A separate number for work

When you use the same number for personal and professional communication, everything will get mixed up. You’ll find it difficult to search for your business contacts and messages. But with a virtual phone number, you get a dedicated work number just for work.

All your business contacts and their messages will be in one place. Importantly, you’ll know that all calls and messages coming to that number are work-related.

2. Enhanced privacy

In an age where everyone’s concerned about digital privacy, it’s incredible how often people are forced to share their personal phone numbers with complete strangers. But with a virtual phone number, you can safely share the number with your customers or clients.

You don’t have to worry about spammers or robocalls since you won’t be indiscriminately sharing your number.

3. Productivity beyond the office

Landlines tie office calls to a location. If you’re not in the office, you often have to take those calls on your personal number. Since a virtual phone number is location-neutral, you’ll be able to answer the calls and read the messages from anywhere.

The caller won’t know that you’re not in the office. You’ll also be able to route the call to specific devices and let people answer from different locations. This makes virtual phone numbers the perfect solution for a remotely placed workforce.

4. Significant savings

When you get a virtual phone number, you’ll immediately start noticing the savings. To begin with, there’s no additional device needed. If you were to get a number the conventional way, you would have to spend on not just a new smartphone but also a SIM.

It’s not just the expense on the device that you’ll avoid. You wouldn’t need any other hardware with an app or a cloud-based virtual number. Plus, unlike the traditional phone plans, your monthly bills will be lower. You only have to pay the subscription fee to use it.

5. Easy to set up

If you opt for the traditional landline system for your business, you’ll have to buy the hardware and then wait for the service provider to set it up. Getting an additional mobile number will also take some time since you’ll have to get your SIM and then wait for it to get activated.

A virtual phone number is effortless to set up. If it’s an app-based number, all you’ve got to do is download the app.

6. Inexpensive marketing tool

A virtual phone number is an excellent tool for marketing campaigns. As a toll-free number, for example, it wouldn’t cost your customers extra to make a call. This will get more people to use the service.

This also makes them the ideal option for customer support. If you use a local virtual number, it will also make your business seem rooted in the city, which will add to your credibility.

7. Business-friendly tools

Most virtual number apps also offer several business-friendly tools. Some of the most popular second-line apps offer auto-reply, voicemail, customised call greetings etc. There are virtual phone number apps that even provide unique marketing tools such as review aggregation.

All these help to optimise your operations and reduce costs while making your business seem professional.

How do I get a free virtual phone number for my business?

Once you select one from the top-rated second phone number apps, you can decide between the following types of virtual phone numbers:

Local numbers: Since they come with area codes, they will make yours look like a local number.

Toll-free numbers: These come with a prefix and don’t charge the caller for the calls.

Vanity numbers: You’ll be able to include your business or category name in these numbers.

Can I port my existing phone number?

Most virtual phone number providers allow for number porting. This is how you transfer your service provider but keep the same number.

How do I keep my business contacts separate from my personal contacts?

This can be tedious when you use the same number. It’s exceptionally easy to separate your business and personal contacts when you get a dedicated virtual number for work.

Can I get a free trial?

Many of the best virtual phone number providers do offer a free trial when you sign-up.

Chalkboard: Your solution to a virtual phone number for business

Chalkboard isn’t just a top-rated virtual phone number app but also an enhanced marketing tool. The second-line app offers:

Auto-reply: Send pre-written messages to the calls you miss.

Separate work and personal lives: Recognise work-related calls while you’re with family or friends.

Organise business contacts: Keep all your business contacts in one place, which will make it easy to find them.

Review aggregation: Automatically send requests to your customers to review your business online.

Review notification: Get notified when your contacts leave reviews.

No device needed: You don’t have to buy a new phone. Download the app and use it on any of your connected devices.

Highly affordable: A simple subscription fee that doesn’t charge you for calls or texts.

To experience the difference Chalkboard can make to your business, sign up for a free trial.

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