In this article, we’re going to tell you about one of them – international numbers.
Business owners often need to think creatively if they want to take their business to the next level. By getting an international number, this is exactly what they’re able to do. But, before we get going, we need to explain what exactly an international number is.
VoIP technology allows businesses to connect their incoming and outgoing telephone calls via the internet rather than the PSTN. There are plenty of benefits to doing this (see Sip Trunking: 8 Things You Should Know if you want to find out more), and one of them is access to international numbers.
An international virtual number is a VoIP number that adopts the numbering format of an overseas country or city. This allows businesses to establish a presence in a country without ever setting foot on foreign soil. Using an international number, businesses can appear to have a presence in any country of their choosing. This means international numbers are a fantastic tool for internationalisation.
There are three types of international number available:
In-Country Local Numbers
In-country local numbers look exactly like the local numbers of the country or city you’re targeting. Calls are charged at the same rate as a local number, which means consumers won’t know that you may be picking their call up in another country.
International Toll Free Numbers (ITFN)
ITFNs adopt the format of your target country’s toll-free numbers. This means your number will look and behave just like a local toll-free number. As such, consumers won’t be charged. This number type often increases the number of incoming calls and improves a brand’s perception.
Universal International Freephone Numbers (UIFN)
UIFNs are also free to call. Unlike ITFNs, UIFNs are not country-specific, which makes them great for businesses looking to establish themselves in multiple countries simultaneously. UIFNs use their own numbering format. Starting with the prefix 00800, UIFNs resemble toll free numbers in many countries and are used by large organisations such as the EU.
The number type which best suits you will depend on your business’s specific requirements. See the examples below to get an idea of which type of international number will work for you.
You’re looking to increase your brand perception overseas by getting international customers to think they are calling a local office
Because an in-country-local number looks the same as any other local number in your target country, this number type will give the perception that you have a local presence anywhere in the world. As such, in-country local numbers are ideal for multilingual/global call centres and businesses that want to operate in numerous countries – without having to pay the overheads associated with setting up additional offices.
You want international customers to feel they’re making a free call to a number in their own country
International toll free numbers are an effective way to entice customers to contact your business via a freephone number. As the number looks and behaves just like a local toll-free number, this gives the impression that you’re operating locally. This number type will also increase the amount of incoming calls by reassuring customers they won’t be charged for their calls.
You want your international customers to know they are calling a trustworthy, freephone number, and you want a single number that can be used across multiple countries.
Universal toll free numbers are similar ITFNs. However, a UIFN is a single number which can be dialled from over 40 locations worldwide and can be redirected to your business without paying international rates. Using the “00800” prefix, your UIFN can be used across all your international marketing collateral. UIFNs are associated with international companies/ organisations (such as the EU) and resemble the recognisable ‘0800’ number, acting as marker of trust and helping boost consumer confidence.
When it comes to choosing a communications provider, you want to know you’ll be properly looked after. As a team, Elite Group has decades of experience in telecoms, data, hosting and everything in between.
When you choose Elite Group, our technology consolidation experts will work alongside your business to connect and unite your global communications infrastructure. But it’s not just about making life easier for you: our experts will also make sure your communications solutions work smarter, maximise performance and minimise the costs.
And, once you’re set up, we don’t just walk away. Instead we’ll allocate you a dedicated, named account manager so you have direct access to ongoing support, ensuring you receive a consistently great service and long-term value for money.
Elite Group is the leading unified communications provider. We supply international numbers in more than 145 countries and over 7,500 cities.