International call forwarding is a process by which incoming calls from one part of the world are routed to a landline, mobile phone, handset, or computer in another part of the world.
Invented by Ernest J. Bonnano in the 1960’s, the earliest forms of call forwarding worked on an internal business phone system and gave users the ability to transfer calls from one extension to another. Call forwarding increased efficiency, allowing calls to be easily routed from empty desks to manned phones. Callers no longer had to hang up and dial again to reach someone, and fewer customer calls were missed or lost. Over time, this service evolved and it now allows calls to be forwarded globally, giving callers from anywhere in the world the ability to contact an international SMB.
International call forwarding allows you to secure a local, toll-free number in the countries where your customers and potential customers are located. You can then forward their inbound calls to your main office or any phone you specify, while still appearing local to the caller.
Scalability is critical when implementing systems for a growing SMB. Hardline communications systems can make it difficult to implement international call forwarding when the need arises. Hardline systems can also complicate things when your organization is ready to open new offices or add new users. Online communications systems; however, are much more scalable, growing and adapting with the needs of your company.
International call forwarding can be customized to meet your organization’s exact needs and specifications. It can be implemented on a large scale, streamlining your inbound call center operations. It can also be implemented on an individual basis, allowing executives and employees who travel the ability to route calls wherever they may be.
If you’re thinking about expanding into new markets, international call forwarding should be part of your planning. International phone numbers can give you a local presence in any country you choose, eliminating the need to open a physical office in each location.
This perceived local presence helps to build trust and credibility among your target customer base. And it gives customers a toll-free way to connect with you, no matter where they are or where you happen to be at the time they make the call. This eliminates a critical barrier to entry in new markets and allows for organic business growth without exponential growth in overhead.
Scalability and growth aren’t the only considerations for an entrepreneur toying with the idea of international call forwarding. Business communications systems can be a critical element when it comes to the success of your organization.
Some benefits of international call forwarding to consider:
Reduced costs. International call forwarding can allow you to avoid many of the costs typically associated with expanding into new markets. These systems are internet and cloud-based, which means they can be administered from any computer and do not require additional hardware.
Seamless call routing. International call forwarding allows for the transfer of inbound calls between locations. If you have international offices, calls can be diverted to another location at the close of business or during times of heavy call volume, ensuring no call is ever dropped. International call forwarding can also be implemented for individuals. When principals are traveling, their desk phones can be routed to their mobile device or even a laptop, to ensure they are always accessible to clients and staff.
Improved customer experience. Call routing features mean no inbound customer call ever has to go unanswered. International call routing also allows you to monitor the inbound customer experience, ensuring that calls are answered the same way, every time, no matter where in the world the call is being answered.
Call data collection. With online, international call forwarding, call reports can be generated to help management make data-driven decisions regarding staffing and workflow.
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