Virtual PBX Featured Article

International Business with Local Telephone Numbers

March 12, 2020

By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Virtual PBX Contributor

Business today is global. Even smaller businesses have international connections, and many SMBs are finding that they’re navigating international waters to take advantage of opportunity. For companies unused to the idea, it may be somewhat scary. Building an international customer service presence will come with challenges. For starters, how are you going to communicate with those customers?

The Importance of DID Numbers

Before you begin communicating with international customers, you’ll need to take some steps to ensure that you’re a local number to anyone who needs to contact you. This means that potential and existing customers aren’t going to dial international to an American toll-free number or accept that you’re a “web site only” business. You need a local telecom presence.

To ensure that all your customers find you local, you can approach foreign communication service carriers about international direct inward dialing (DID) numbers. This is a kind of virtual telephone number that allow calls from customers to be routed directly to an existing local phone number in the customer’s region. DIDs use local numbers regardless of your business’ location, which helps businesses connect more directly with foreign customers and business partners.  

Companies looking to break into foreign markets – or improve their presence in markets they’re already doing business in --  need international DIDs to provide them with a local presence in each market they’re operating in. This is true even in cases where the company doesn’t have a physical presence or office in a region. At the very least, foreign customers and partners will find your business to be more accessible. In addition, your calls will be displayed as local on customers’ caller ID, and outbound callers won’t be subject to international calling fees.

The Importance of Cloud-based Call Center Solutions

Many of today’s cloud-based contact center solutions contain features that can help companies support foreign customers more directly, including DID numbers. These tools include tools DID number support, international-toll free (ITFS) and international local numbers (ITL). These solutions can also help collect data from DID numbers, allowing companies to analyze who is calling from abroad, when, how often and what they’re seeking, making them ideal for understanding where your foreign business is located, and how best to support it. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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