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virtual landline number for businesses

Tips for Buying a Virtual Landline

Use the tips and advice in this article to make sure you know what to look for and consider when buying a virtual landline for your business.

Virtual landlines offer businesses a convenient and smart way of retaining a professional image whilst ensuring they never miss a call whilst they’re out and about.

When you use a virtual landline, you can make and receive business calls on a landline number using your mobile phone at any time and from any location.

Benefits of a virtual landline

Businesses can choose a virtual landline number for any geographical location in the UK, allowing them to appear as though they are operating from that location without having to invest in physical premises there.

Here are five key benefits of opting to invest in a virtual, mobile landline number.

  • Gain customer trust with a professional, geographic landline number.
  • Allow you to answer calls when working remotely.
  • Stop missing calls and losing business.
  • Professional geographic number without having to invest in premises in the location.
  • Many useful call features available.

As well as being a convenient, professional, and cost-effective solution, a virtual landline number can provide a whole host of useful features including call screening and call answering services.

What to consider before buying a virtual landline

Virtual landlines are usually geographic telephone numbers that start with either 01 or 02.  02 numbers are London numbers, whilst the dialling codes for other towns and cities in the UK usually start with 01.

When deciding which type of virtual landline number you require you should consider:

  • Whether your products and services are localised.
  • Which type of number will make you appear more professional.

A small business can give the appearance of a larger and more established business by opting for a London number. And a business that provides localised products or services will find it easier to gain trust with a localised number, even if they are operating from a different location.

Where possible you should also choose a number that is memorable so that it stands out on marketing material and is easy for customers to remember.

Where to get a virtual landline

Buy your virtual landline from an experienced communications company to ensure that you get the best service and deal possible.

At Smart Numbers we provide reliable virtual landline numbers with professional, multi-level menu systems and useful additional features including call screening and live call answering.

All our virtual numbers are priced cost-effectively with no hidden extras and no contracts.

If your requirements change, then we can also help you to convert your virtual number into a fixed landline in the future.

To find out more about our virtual landline numbers and how using one could benefit your business, give us a call here at Smart Numbers on 08450 178 179 or 03450 178 179 (0345 numbers are included free in your contract).

6 Criteria For Choosing a Hosted VoIP System

Discover six criteria to help you choose a cost-effective hosted VoIP provider and plan that will meet your requirements both now and in the future.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol communications, offer businesses a convenient, cost-effective and flexible communications solution.

With so many different hosted VoIP systems and providers to choose from, selecting the right one can be challenging. We’ve put together a list of six key criteria to look at when choosing a suitable hosted VoIP system.

Quality of connection

If sound quality or connectivity is poor, then even the most feature-rich VoIP service becomes useless. An excellent connection is fundamental to a professional and efficient VoIP service and should be the first criteria that you check out.

At Smart Numbers we only use trusted, award-winning networks, allowing us to provide reliable and fully tested and supported Tier 1 grade VoIP telephony solutions.

Call management features

Think about the call features that would help your business to become more efficient and productive. From basic call management features to call queuing, conference calling and 24/7 call answering, there are a wide variety of call features available to make your business’ communications more professional and efficient.

Here at Smart Numbers, we provide plenty of different call features to suit the requirements of businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Price

Be sure to choose a VoIP system and plan that includes all the call features that your business requires without over-servicing to get the best value for money. Always shop around and compare prices before signing up.

At Smart Numbers, our VoIP hosted plans range from an affordable £16.99 a month for the basic plan to a more feature-rich executive plan at £14.99 a month, allowing you to choose a suitable and affordable plan for your business.

Customer support

Downtime and technical problems with your telephone system can be inconvenient, stressful and costly to your business. Always find out what customer support is available before signing up for a VoIP service to ensure that help will be at hand when you need it the most.

Reliable and ongoing customer support and maintenance is available with all our hosted VoIP systems.

Convenience and ease of installation

Always check whether the service is compatible with your broadband provider, what the installation process involves, and what equipment is required to get set up to avoid hassle and frustration later down the line.

We make it as simple, convenient and fuss-free as possible to get set-up with one of our hosted VoIP systems. Installation is fast, simple and painless, our VoIP systems are compatible with any broadband provider, and we can help you to transfer your existing phone number if required.

Scalability

VoIP systems that can grow with your business offer the best convenience and value for money. Check whether features can be expanded to suit your business’ requirements in the future.

Our flexible hosted VoIP systems make it easy to add or remove users, extensions and features to suit your business’ ever-changing requirements.

Find out more about Smart Numbers’ hosted VoIP systems and plans by calling our team on 0345 0178 179.

Difference between 5G and 4G

What is the difference between 4G and 5G?

Every few years, a new generation of mobile network enters the market and in 2019 we are seeing the transition from 4G to 5G, but what’s the difference? For many, the transfer from 3G to 4G was seeming of little importance and was hardly noticeable aside from increasing data bandwidth speeds.

As such, to better understand 5G, we will be exploring what it means for networks, the benefits and implications of this new generation as well as helping you to determine what differentiates 5G from its 4G predecessor.

What is 5G?

In order to begin to understand the difference between 5G and previous generations, we must first define 5G. As with any generational update, 5G is faster, smarter and more efficient than ever before. By offering speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, 5G networks are set to operate 100 times faster than the current operating speeds of 4G. Naturally, there will be general performance improvements but most notably, it will allow for superfast mobile broadband.

What differentiates 4G and 5G?

The key difference between 4G and 5G is undoubtedly the drastic reduction in data transfer time meaning communication between devices will be much faster. Currently, many users regularly experience bandwidth issues with both 3G and 4G due to the number of devices and people connected to these networks. 5G aims to solve these issues and have the capability to successfully sustain a high level of traffic. This will mean users can expect to make clearer calls using 5G to other 5G areas, significantly faster download speeds for HD and 4K videos and what is predicted to be almost ‘instant connections’

When can I switch from 4G to 5G?

A number of network providers such as EE, Vodafone and 3 have already launched 5G in a range of cities such as London, Manchester and Edinburgh and will continue to launch in more later this year. Providers such as O2 are also set to launch in October 2019 starting with 6 major cities and following suit by expanding in the latter end of the year.

Will I need a new handset?

In short, yes. There are currently a number of 5G compatible handsets on the market such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, LG V50 ThinQ and the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, to name a few. It is, however, worth consulting with your current provider to determine whether your current mobile is 5G compatible. For this reason, many have predicted that 5G isn’t likely to take off until 2022 when the market price for 5G handsets has decreased. However, towards the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, it is predicted that we will see a lot more 5G handsets released- so keep an eye out!

Since the inception of first-generation networks in the 1980’s, mobile networks have rapidly evolved to the 4G services we use today. The previous evolutions from 2G to 3G and 3G to 4G have primarily focused on faster data to fuel the rise of mobile broadband. Ultimately, what we are now experiencing with the shift from 4G to 5G is so much more than increased speeds but the creation of a new platform and opportunities for global markets within mobile applications.

For more information on our telephony packages for small businesses, contact Smart Numbers today.

5 Business Benefits Of Investing in Virtual Landline Numbers

In the past, businesses have been confined to operating solely in their local area but with the introduction of the virtual landline, these restrictions have become a thing of the past. Virtual landline numbers use call forwarding and IP telephony to ensure you can receive calls to your mobile wherever you are. Businesses are now able to use any area code number of their choice to put customers at ease and successfully operate in the region.

Businesses of all sizes can without a doubt benefit from investing in virtual landline numbers which is why here we will be discussing our top 5 benefits to help you understand how this service can help you grow!

Work vs Personal Life

Separating your work and personal life is a struggle for any business owner, particularly when it feels like you never switch off. The benefit of a virtual landline number is you can quite a literal turn off without turning off your phone and not only blocking out work but your friends and family. A virtual number ( www.smart-numbers.net/virtual-landline-number )allows you to keep your personal number whilst being able to receive calls from your virtual numbers without customers having access to your personal phone. Plus, the system associated with your virtual number will allow you to control between which hours you can be contacted as well as setting up a business voicemail.

Say Goodbye to Installations

Hardware installations are a thing of the past with a virtual landline as this innovative system offers you and your business complete flexibility! No longer are you tied down to the office waiting for your new landline to be set up, as the system can be set up instantly to integrate both your mobile as well as your employees.

Operate Nationwide

Often businesses operate across the country but are not based locally to each region which is why a virtual landline number is so important. Wherever you are in the world, a local geo number can advertise you locally and put customers at ease- a perfect solution to businesses looking to expand their reach.

Enhance Your Phone System

Unlike traditional landline systems, a virtual number provides you with the opportunity to upgrade your businesses telephone system. Features such as call forwarding, email/SMS notifications, advanced customisation and conferencing are all easily integrated.

Memorability

We all remember ‘118 247’ from the old Yell ad as welvil as Hastings Direct’s ‘0800 00 1066’ and it all comes down to having a memorable number. Whether it be a recognisable sequence of numbers or a number that holds relevance to your business name i.e. Hastings and the battle of Hastings in 1066, a memorable number can be an amazing advertising tool.

Without a doubt, businesses of all sizes can individually benefit from this innovative and effective upgrade that costs no more to set up that any local landline! Whether you are simply looking for a way to keep work and home separate or find a new means of expanding your business, the benefits of a virtual landline number are endless.

Hosted VoIP Telephony Vs. Landlines: How do they Compare?

Choosing a telecoms solution for your business can be a real challenge. When you are running a business, every penny counts. Keeping costs low whilst ensuring you have the infrastructure in place to make sure everything runs smoothly is a top priority. The choice you make on what type of phone system to use can have a huge impact on your operations and your bottom line, so it’s important to know the facts.

When it comes to business telephony there are two main choices. Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) or the more traditional landline. Here we will take a look at both options as well of some of the key differences between the hosted VoIP telephony and traditional landline so that you can make the best choice for your business.

What is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)?

VoIP is a telecoms technology that makes it possible to make and receive calls over the internet. The phones are connected to the internet using a broadband connection plugged into a computer or router. Phones powered by VoIP convert calls into digital signals without relying on the physical infrastructure of years gone by.

What are Landlines?

Landlines can be thought of as the traditional phone solution. Based on analogue technology developed at the end of the 1800s, they rely on signals sent through exchanges, or switch-boxes, that connect calls between phones.

Both Voice over Internet Protocol and landlines have their benefits and downsides. In order to work out the best fit solution for your business, it is useful to examine the two options side by side. Here are the top three areas to think about;

Cost

One of the key things to consider with any business decision is cost. Voice over Internet Protocol solutions offers significant savings in this area. Not only does a VoIP system eliminate the significant initial outlay of a landline solution with multiple phones and expensive hardware requirements; but it also reduces the service and maintenance costs that come with it.

Reliability

Landlines do offer a bit more reliability than VoIP phones, however, this gap is rapidly closing. In order to minimise the difference, it’s important to have an understanding of both the VoIP provider’s internet speed requirements as well as the offering of your internet service provider.

Features

VoIP phones offer a wide range of features as compared to landlines, which are generally limited to the basics. From the ability to facilitate remote working over a number of locations to automatic call forwarding and even virtual receptionists; the ever expanding capabilities of VoIP make it the clear winner in this respect.

For more information about the features, costs and reliability of Cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems or to get your business started, contact Smart Numbers on 03450 178 179.

How a landline number for mobile could improve your wellbeing at work

If you feel chained to your desk for fear of missing an important business call, a mobile landline number could make your job more flexible and satisfying.

Customers often perceive small businesses that use a landline number for mobile as being less trustworthy and professional. Whilst a fixed landline number looks more professional, it also ties you to your office, which can be demotivating and an inefficient way of working.

A mobile landline number offers the best of both worlds. A professional number that can be answered whilst on the move, from any location, using your mobile phone.

As well as making good business sense, a landline number for mobile could help to make your job more varied and interesting, improving your happiness and overall wellbeing at work.

How does flexible and remote working improve wellbeing?

The internet and modern technology make it easier than ever for people to work away from the office. As flexible and remote working opportunities become more readily available, many people are now discovering the benefits that flexible working can have on their wellbeing.

Here are some of the key ways that the flexibility offered by a mobile landline number could improve your wellbeing at work.

Peace of mind

Having a landline number for your mobile can reduce stress by offering you peace of mind that you’re not missing any important business calls, no matter where you are.

Time working away from the office

Spending too much time within your office’s four walls can be draining and demotivating. Having the option to work from a different location when you need a break can help you to feel more refreshed, inspired and motivated.

Makes meeting other commitments easier

Juggling a business and family life can be difficult. A virtual landline means that you won’t miss any important calls just because other commitments mean you can’t get into the office until later. Need to drop the kids at school, or take them for an appointment? No problem. A virtual landline makes it easier to work around family life, reducing stress and making your household an overall happier place.

Variation

Being able to answer calls whilst out and about also gives you more scope to make your job more varied and interesting. Client visits, industry conferences, and field research can all be seamlessly integrated into your working week without worrying about whether the phone will get answered back at the office. Adding more variation to your job can keep you feeling happy, fulfilled and motivated at work, as well as inspiring you to try new ideas and ways of working.

Getting set up with a virtual landline is easy too. You don’t need any special hardware or a physical phone line installed, because the service is built inside our network. That makes getting started completely hassle-free!

For more information about our phone numbers and call solutions, give our team of experts a call on 08450 178 179 and we’ll be happy to help.

Five Features of Virtual Landline Numbers

There’s more to our virtual landline numbers than making and receiving calls. Discover the additional features that could help make your business communications more efficient.

Our virtual landline numbers allow you to make and receive calls from a landline number using your mobile phone whilst you’re out and about.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes use our convenient service to retain a professional image whilst working remotely.

A virtual landline offers you flexibility, stops you from missing opportunities, and helps you to work more efficiently and be more productive.

Here are just a handful of the useful additional features that you can enjoy when you choose a virtual landline number with Smart Numbers.

Multi-level menu system – All your special features organised in one convenient, easy-to-access place. Easily change or configure your telephone settings from any location whilst you’re out and about using the simple menu system.

Secret call screening – Our useful call screening feature allows you to view who is calling before you pick up the telephone. This handy feature can save you time by helping you to avoid spam or nuisance calls. If you’re very busy or in the middle of a meeting it can also help you to identify which calls are a priority and those that can be called back again later.

Live call answering – Our live call answering service is now available on all discounted call plans. Use this useful feature to ensure that you never miss another business opportunity. Our professional UK-based call centre team will answer your calls whenever your line is engaged, unattended or set to do not disturb. You can choose to use this feature as much or as little as you require. Prices start at as little as 69p per call answered.

Voicemail – Stop missing out on business opportunities by diverting calls to voicemail if the line is engaged or you don’t answer the phone after a set number of rings. You also have the option to create personalised voicemail messages for both in and out of office hours. What’s more, as soon as you receive a new voicemail, we’ll send it to your email address as an audio file. You can also opt-in to receive text alerts when a new voicemail has been received if required. We will also send you the details of all callers who choose not to leave a voicemail message.

Call stats – Our call statistics feature allows you to easily track and manage all telephone enquiries. Information gathered as part of this feature can be used to monitor the success of different advertising campaigns and work out the cost per enquiry.

You can rest assured that if your requirements change in the future you can easily have your virtual landline installed as a fixed landline. Meaning there will be no need to change or disrupt your service.

To find out more about our virtual landline service or call solutions, give our team a call on 0845 178 179 and we’ll be happy to help.

How a virtual landline number can help to grow your business?

Have you considered that your traditional landline number could be slowing business growth?

Many businesses use a fixed landline number or a mobile number to run their business when they first start out.

However, you’ll find that this option soon becomes restrictive and impractical as your business begins to grow.

Switching to a flexible virtual landline number ( www.smart-numbers.net/virtual-landline )is easy. You won’t need any special hardware or a physical phone line installing, so getting started is completely hassle-free.

What’s more, most businesses find that switching to a virtual landline helps them to grow their business and improve their bottom line.

Here are the three key ways in which a virtual landline can help to drive business growth.

Stop missing business opportunities – If you’re a small business using a fixed landline number, it can be difficult to ensure that your telephone is constantly manned. You and your employees need to take breaks, have meetings and make calls of your own, all of which can mean important calls going unanswered. Missing calls means losing customers, sales, and new business opportunities, all of which are important to business growth.

 A virtual landline number will help you to ensure that your business calls are always picked up. Choose to divert calls to your mobile phone, or to multiple destinations simultaneously if required, to ensure there is always someone available to pick up the phone. If you need someone to answer calls out-of-hours, our 24/7 live call answering service could be right for you! Our professional UK-based call centre team will answer your calls when you’re not available.

Get more done – If your business telephone number is fixed at your office you may feel bound to your office chair for fear of missing calls and opportunities. Not only can this be a restrictive and inefficient way of working, it could also put you at risk of burning out.

Using a virtual landline gives you the option to answer business calls using your mobile phone from any location. You can then effectively work from anywhere, offering you flexibility, and helping you to multi-task and be more productive with your time.

Gain trust – When you’re first starting out, gaining trust and credibility is key to winning new customers. Customers are less likely to trust a business with a mobile telephone number, or a local area code that they don’t recognise.

Using a virtual landline number allows you to retain a professional image and appear more established than you are whilst answering calls on the move. If you’re targeting customers in a geographical region that you’re not located in, using a virtual landline number with that area code to make calls can improve the chance of prospects answering the phone or calling your number.

For more information about our virtual landlines and call solutions, give our team of experts a call on 03450 178 179 and we’ll be happy to help.

24 hours, 7 days Live call answering service

Never Miss Another Call With 24/7 Live Answering Service

Maximise your business’ profitability with Smart Numbers’ 24/7 live call answering service.

Answering the telephone is a repetitive and time-consuming task that causes constant interruptions and can be a real drain on time and resources.

It is nevertheless, an extremely important job that can affect your business’ bottom line if neglected.

What does a 24/7 live call answering service provide?

Our 24/7 live call answering service connects your business’ telephone number to our call centre, allowing our professional, UK-based team to pick up calls on behalf of your business when you require us to.

The service is flexible and can either be connected permanently or on an ad-hoc basis according to your requirements.

Our team will provide a seamless service, answering calls using your company name as though we were based in your office. Our team will take messages, orders, and answer customer queries as required, sending all call information to you by text, email or web form.

What type of businesses benefits from 24/7 live call answering?

Businesses of all different shapes and sizes can benefit from having a dedicated team available to pick up calls when they aren’t able to. However, the service is particularly useful for small businesses, start-ups and tradespeople.

Small businesses and start-ups may not be able to justify the expense associated with hiring a full-time employee or team of people solely to answer the telephone. A full-time employee would need to be paid a regular wage, holiday and sick pay, as well as incurring expenses for training, equipment and overheads. Using a call answering service is a flexible and cost-effective way of covering the phones as and when needed without the expense, risk, and commitment associated with hiring a permanent employee.

24/7 live call answering can be particularly useful for tradespeople. Customers often research and contact tradespeople out of office hours in the evenings and at weekends. Answering calls during these times can be inconvenient and stressful, making it difficult for tradespeople to switch off from work. Using a 24/7 call answering service ensures that you never miss an opportunity, without impeding on your down time, giving you the advantage over your competitors.

How can 24/7 live call answering benefit my business?

Here are just a few of the benefits of using our call answering service.

  • Never miss another sales call or business opportunity.
  • Stop passing leads onto competitors.
  • Maximise profitability.
  • Free up your time for running your business.
  • Cover holidays and sickness.
  • Cheaper than employing someone full-time.
  • Calls answered out of office hours.

At Smart Numbers, our 24/7 call answering service starts at just £1.29 per call, or £14 per month. The service is completely free to set up and can incorporate any whispering functionality that your existing phone line has to retain business continuity.

For more information about the service or for help choosing a live call answering service plan that is suitable for your requirements, give our team at Smart Numbers a call on 03450 178 179.

 

Innovative Ways to Utilise Business Phone Numbers

Are you using your business telephone numbers to its full potential? Discover five creative ways to start getting more for your money.

Virtual phone numbers offer businesses a whole host of useful features to help them stay connected and answer calls more efficiently.

By thinking outside of the box, you can use your phone system for more than just answering and making telephone calls.

Here are a few innovative ways to utilise your business telephone number and start getting more from the service.

Create a VIP line

Have a dedicated telephone number for very important clients. That way when that number rings everyone knows to drop everything and answer it as quickly as possible.

Appear more established than you are

Start-ups and small businesses can use virtual numbers to appear bigger and more established than they are. Appearing more established can foster trust when you’re just starting out and help you to win your first few big breaks.

If you’re a one-man band, you may use your mobile number for business to allow you to answer calls from anywhere. Diverting a virtual landline number to your mobile phone makes your number look more professional whilst still allowing you to answer calls when you’re out and about.

Setting up a call menu with different options like ‘press 1 for sales or 2 for customer service’ can also give the impression that you are a bigger business.

Track the success of marketing campaigns

By directing enquiries generated by different marketing campaigns to different telephone numbers you can effectively track the number of enquiries and subsequent sales acquired from each campaign. These valuable metrics can then be used to calculate the return on investment achieved by each to help you improve the performance of future campaigns.

A/B test advertising messages

Use two different virtual numbers to A/B test the effectiveness of different advertising messages. Once you’ve analysed the results you can switch off the least effective message and invest all your remaining budget into the one that performs best. A/B testing creates more cost-effective and profitable advertising.

Test demand in new areas

Ever wanted to expand your business into new areas but unsure whether there is demand? Before you begin testing the water, get a virtual landline number featuring the relevant area code to gain trust and increase your business’ appeal in the area you wish to target.

Send yourself audio memos and reminders

You can start using this handy business hack if you have inbound call recording. This feature instantly records dialogue on an inbound call, saves it as a sound file, and sends it to you in an email. When you’re out of the office this feature can be used to quickly and easily record and send yourself reminders, memos, or important notes for when you’re back in the office.

For help implementing any of the ideas in this blog, or for more information about any of our services at Smart Numbers, get in touch with our team of experts by calling us on 03450 178 179.