Buy Geographic phone numbers to improve connection with customers in local areasBuying local phone numbers

To maximise engagement with local customers, use a suitable local phone number. Where you want to target business in other areas adding a local number will increase your credibility. People are more likely to answer calls from local phone numbers. If you want to target other countries, you can buy overseas numbers, for example, a +33 number for France.

How does it work

Businesses usually buy either single local phone numbers or blocks of ten contiguous numbers for a monthly fee. Larger blocks are available, but when more local numbers are added later, they are unlikely to continue in the same range.

Depending on several factors, these numbers are either added to an existing account or set up as a new one. The main being the choice of provider and call tariff. If you use a current provider, adding the local numbers to that account is the best option as it minimises admin and simplifies billing. Setting up a separate account will be necessary if you want to change your provider for some reason, like reducing costs. You might choose to port your existing numbers to the new provider at a later date.

Call routing

Your phone system uses rules to route calls which is critical to the efficiency of the phone system. Local phone numbers are assigned extensions, hunt groups or services, and call routing rules can vary based on time, date and extension status. An example is a number allocated to a sales group that would ring all extensions in the sales team during business hours but ring the support team at other times. Businesses can direct calls to interactive voice menus or professionally recorded messages depending on the business need. Hunt groups offer various strategies, including in order, random or depending on who has taken the most calls. Most of us hate talking to Interactive voice menus, but when properly designed, they will give an excellent caller experience and business efficiencies.

Routing calls to services can include conference calling or fax to email. Many companies pay for a third-party conferencing service with this built into their phone system. Double payment happens because users are unaware of the features offered by their phone system, which is typical with sales-focused phone system providers. To get the best out of your local phone numbers, it is better to deal with a phone company that offers ongoing support and training.

Fax to email is still relevant and, even if only used occasionally, is a feature of most modern phone systems. If you use a third party for fax to email, it adds another cost where using the functionality built into your phone system is already included.

Beware of cold calls and lengthy contracts.

Salespeople who cold call and sell on headline prices are only interested in making a sale. They want you to sign a highly complex contract for sixty months or more and don’t care if you get the best solution.

Planning local phone number use will plan the best use of local phone numbers for your business and ensure you have a credible plan before spending any money. The call routing design is the most critical factor and will make a huge difference in business efficiency as it means getting the best out of your staff.