Remember the dark old days of telephony? Only local businesses had local numbers. If companies wanted a London number but were based in Luton, let alone Lisbon or Lagos, they needed a physical office in that city. It wasn’t easy. And it certainly wasn’t cost effective.
Thankfully, however, things have changed. Now it’s easier for businesses to attract clients across the country, or indeed across the world, thanks to new cloud-based telecoms technologies.
It’s no surprise telecoms providers are queuing up to offer these services. Customers are more likely to call local numbers than long ones with codes that read like maths puzzles. It’s all about perceptions, psychology, and trust. Plus there are savings to be made too.
Customers prefer calling local numbers because they believe local people understand them and their needs; therefore they can offer a more effective and personalised service. What’s more, customers like supporting local businesses and believe they can trust them. Research shows that people often feel insecure when dealing with companies in distant lands.
The ability to shift one’s perceived location is therefore a powerful tool, and businesses can tailor numbers to suit their strategies for growth. Large corporations, for example, prefer local numbers so they appear more accessible and friendly.
Smaller provincial companies, on the other hand, might choose an international number to appear larger and more established. Globalised companies are usually perceived as successful, so this illusion could help them win lucrative contracts.
As the telecoms industry becomes increasingly competitive, it’s essential for providers to provide better services and add value. Cloud-based ‘virtual’ phone numbers are a great way to do this: they help businesses expand into new markets without major overheads.
The ability to establish a local presence without setting up regional offices is a huge advantage for businesses. But if a particular company decides that it does need physical offices, it can keep multiple locations worldwide on a single phone network.
The communications webshop developed by SpeakIntelligence, for example, is a fully automated intelligent routing platform that streamlines processes. Providers simply add a widget to their website which lets customers choose local numbers without going direct to telecoms companies in each country.
With new advanced IVR – which automatically routes calls to the right extension –efficiencies are made, all calls are local ones, and end-users won’t have to dial lengthy international codes. Everybody wins.
Although modern technology has made the world seem smaller, customers still crave local services. It’s not just that they trust local businesses more; they also believe a local company will respond faster. After all, they’re based just around the corner.
The benefits of cloud-based telephony also appeal to businesses themselves. There’s a lot more flexibility whether you’re based in Telford or Timbuktu. And a local address isn’t always required to use a local phone number anymore.
New technologies also enhance efficiency. Calls from all over the world can be routed into a single contact centre or office. This enables businesses to go international with ease, while the use of local numbers allows them to present themselves as friendly neighbourhood suppliers.
There’s no doubt that the industry is changing dramatically for the better. The SpeakIntelligence webshop lets businesses choose local numbers for up 2,500 cities across 150 countries. What’s more, the whole process is automated and can be arranged in just a few clicks.
Isn’t this something all telecoms providers would want for their customers?