A few questions we often get when companies are considering switching to a new VoIP Business Phone system are . . . What are my phone number options? Can I keep my existing phone number when moving to a new system? Can I add additional phone numbers and if so what kind?
In this article, we’ll look at the various phone number options available to you when moving to a new VoIP phone service. We’ll explore keeping your existing number, DIDs, toll-free and local numbers, and how and why you might want to use each type of number.
Can I keep my existing number?
This is the top question asked and in short, the answer is YES! Your existing business phone number is part of your brand identity. Existing clients already know your number and it probably exists on a lot of your marketing material including business cards, letterhead, websites, and other printed and digital marketing pieces. So of course, you don’t want to change it.
Your existing business phone number is handled and managed by your current phone provider. The process of transferring your existing phone number from one provider to another is called “porting”. When you are ready to move your number to a new phone service your new service provider can assist you with porting your number from the old service to their new service.
When we meet with new clients that are switching to our Highbridge Communications Phone Service one of the first steps we take is to identify any existing phone numbers they have and want to keep. We then fill out the required paperwork and make sure the numbers port to our system on the day they will be switching service for a seamless transition.
Direct Inward Dialing (or DIDs)
Many companies like to give certain employees or departments their own unique phone number that is associated with their extension. This allows external callers to call that number and dial directly through to that person or department without having to reach the main receptionist or auto-attendant.
This is often used for salespeople so they can give their DID out to a customer and use it on their business cards and email signatures. This allows callers to get directly connected to them or reach their voicemail without wading through phone menus or receptionists.
It is also frequently used for departments that users need to call directly. For example, you might get a DID for the billing or customer service department so that callers can dial that number and reach the department directly. Call routing rules can be configured to indicate which number was called and make sure the incoming call rings the correct phones.
If you have non-local customers who want to call your business, you can provide them a toll-free number. This means your customers can call your company on a toll-free line without incurring any expenses. Your company will be billed a small monthly rate and a low per minute rate for these incoming calls.
If your customer base is relatively local, then the cost of a toll-free number (those starting with the prefixes 800, 866, 877 and 888) may not be justified. On the other hand, if you’ve got a national customer base or have an e-commerce website, you may want to consider getting one.
From vanity numbers to numbers with patterns that are easy to remember, a toll-free number for your business can be a great way to market to potential clients.
Local Phone Numbers
If your business serves more than one geographic area selecting numbers within regional area codes helps you establish a local presence by offering your customers a local phone number to call.
There are several benefits to utilizing local numbers. Customers like doing business with local companies. They appreciate knowing that businesses understand their area as well as their specific needs. Calling a local number also feels more personal than calling a toll-free number.
With VoIP, a local phone number no longer needs to ring to a specific office or location in that area. If your business is centralized in one city but you are expanding into different cities or states, you can setup a virtual regional presence for people to call in those locations. Calls to these numbers can be forwarded to ring the number or device of your choice at any of your offices.
Choose the numbers that are right for your business
As you can see, the power and flexibility of a Business VoIP Phone System allows you to have all the type of phone numbers you might need for your business. If you are switching from another service you can keep your existing number and then add DIDs, toll-free numbers, or local regional numbers in other cities to help with customer support and marketing. The big advantage is that we can program the calling rules for any of these numbers so they always reach the right person, department, or office they need to.
We can help you get started!
Give us a call today to learn more about our Highbridge Communications Cloud Phone Service. We would be happy to discuss your business communication needs and provide a complimentary audit of your current network and phone system. We then work with you every step of the way to plan out your new system and make the switch seamless. You’ll be amazed at the ease of use and flexibility our service provides! Call us at The Garam Group at 315-473-9600 to get started today!