How Do I Get a Virtual Phone Number? And Why Would I Want One?

You can get a virtual phone number from a voice over IP reseller. Alternatively, you can automatically acquire a virtual phone number when you purchase an internet-based phone system.  

Are you a small-to-medium sized business looking for more information about getting a virtual phone number? Yabbit’s got you covered! Whether you’re a skimmer or a browser, you’ll find everything you need to know about virtual phone numbers below. 

FOR SKIMMERS – A Summary of Virtual Phone Numbers 

  • How to Get a Virtual Phone Number. Virtual phone numbers can be obtained one at a time from a cloud phone provider, or automatically acquired when you purchase a hosted/virtual/cloud phone system. 
  • Maintaining Brand Identity with a Virtual Phone Number. Most IP phone providers – like Yabbit – allow you to port your existing number to a virtual one. This means you don’t have to go through the hassle of switching to an entirely new number. 
  • Main Benefits of Virtual Phone Numbers for Businesses. One of the biggest draws of a virtual number is that it allows users to be reached anywhere – regardless of location – while maintaining a high level of privacy. No more being tied to a specific location or landline in order to take calls! 
  • Regain Your Personal Life With a Virtual Phone Number. Balancing your job and personal life can be difficult if you use your mobile phone for business. A virtual phone number lets you actually have days off and attend important events without your phone buzzing in your pocket. It allows you to reroute business calls to another team member or to voicemail. So be sure to take advantage of this amazing technology and free yourself from being tethered to your phone. 

FOR BROWSERS – An In-Depth Overview of Virtual Phone Numbers 

Now that we’ve got the highlights covered, let’s dive a little deeper into virtual phone numbers. Let’s start with the obvious. 

What is a Virtual Phone Number?

A virtual phone number – sometimes called a cloud, hosted, or online number – is a number that isn’t physically connected to a specific location. Instead, virtual phone numbers “live” in the cloud use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to send and receive calls via the internet. So now, instead of being tied to a specific office or specific phone, you can take calls on your mobile, laptop, desktop, or any other internet-connected device! 

Virtual Phone Number Pros

You can take and make calls from anywhere. This is especially helpful for employees who are on the road a lot or working remotely. Not only can they communicate with customers from anywhere on any device, but they can also preserve their privacy. For instance, instead of giving customers their personal cell phone numbers, they can have a virtual phone number assigned to that device. This preserves professionalism while also making your employees easier to reach.  

You’ll deal with less equipment charges.  Virtual phone numbers are just that – virtual. So, they don’t require any special equipment, hardware, or maintenance, saving you quite a bit of money. 

You can send calls to the proper team, even if they’re not all in the same office. For instance, if you have multiple offices and someone calls to talk to your IT team, you can program your virtual phone number to ring your IT call queue rather than one specific office phone. That way, any employee on that team can field the call – no matter what office they’re in. Whether it rings simultaneously (all phones ring at once) or sequentially (the call goes through the team one number at a time until someone picks up) is up to you.  

You can keep your numbers local. We all know we’re far more likely to pick up a call if it’s from a local area code. The same can be said for your customers! A virtual phone number allows you to assign a local area code to your phone line, even if your office isn’t in that area code anymore. Not only does this make your customers more comfortable, but it also lowers call costs. That’s a win-win, we think! 

You can integrate your numbers with your marketing campaigns. This pro is largely dependent on what CRM system you use. Most of them allow you to assign a virtual phone number to a specific campaign within the system. If someone calls that number, you automatically know it’s in response to the campaign and can act accordingly. Once the campaign is over, you can also track how effective the campaign was based on how many calls the number received. 

You can enjoy advanced communication features. This pro is provider-specific, because not all providers offer the same features. So, when you’re looking for a virtual phone number, make sure the provider you’re talking to has the features you want like business messaging, voicemail-to-email, three-way calling, call transfers, etc. Oh, and be sure to ask them about uptime and customer support too. 

If you set proper boundaries, you can have a life again! Many small businesses use their personal mobile numbers to communicate with customers. This often leads to a terrible work/life balance as you’re always “on.” But with a virtual phone number, you can take a day off, enjoy a holiday, attend a wedding or a funeral, and reroute your calls to other teammates as required.  You simply cannot do that with a mobile number. 

 

….and Now for the Cons 

We’re nothing but honest with our readers at Yabbit. So, while a virtual phone number’s pros outweigh the cons, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share the cons too.   

If you don’t set proper boundaries, you’ll always be “online.” We mentioned earlier how virtual phone numbers let you have a life again. They do! But only if you set the proper boundaries and take advantage of its privacy-protecting features. If you don’t it’ll be hard to disconnect and get the downtime you need to recharge and be prepared for the next day, which could lead to burnout. So don’t forget to use them! 

Your call quality is dependent on your internet connection. A virtual phone number relies entirely on the internet. So, if you have a weak or bad internet connection, your call quality and reliability might suffer too. Prior to purchasing your virtual phone number, be sure you’ve got a reliable connection, a hotspot or two, and your service provider has excellent customer service. 

Your data limits might be pushed. If you’re using a cell phone with a limited data plan – or any phone that’s charged per minute for calls – you have to make sure you’re not wasting that data on calls that aren’t work related. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself paying a lot of overage fees. 

 

How to Get Your Own Virtual Phone Number 

Acquiring a virtual phone number is easy. If you’ve already purchased an internet-based communication system, you can just add more virtual numbers to that system through the platform itself or through your provider. A virtual phone number can cost anywhere between $5 to $10 a month. 

If you haven’t purchased an internet-based communication system but would like to, you can easily purchase a package from a provider that includes virtual numbers. Usually, this kind of plan will start at $10 a month for one to two virtual phone numbers with a limited number of minutes.

Typically, these charges will grow based on how many minutes you need. With Yabbit, you simply pay a flat rate for the number, without any per-minute charges, hardware charges, or device charges. And that rate gives you access to an entire suite of UCaaS features! 

 

Virtual Phone Number FAQs 

Q: Can I get a virtual phone number for free? 

A: The short answer is yes. Providers like Google Voice allow you to get a virtual phone number for personal use at no charge. If you’d like a free virtual phone number just pick your provider, set up an account, designate an area code, and start making calls. But be forewarned – there are a few major drawbacks to free virtual phone numbers: 

  • Many providers make you pay for the number if it’s for professional use 
  • You have minimal privacy protections and little-to-no HIPAA compliance 
  • Scammers often use free virtual phone numbers, so other telecom providers might block incoming calls from your number 
  • You have a limited set of features and calls are harder to manage 

 

Q: Can I make my traditional phone number a virtual phone number? 

A: This can be done quickly and easily by an internet-based communication provider via a process known as “porting.” If you’re nervous about your current provider, we’d recommend you ask about their porting process for virtual phone numbers before signing on with them. 

 

Q: Can I get a virtual phone number in [insert country name]? 

A: Good news is you can get a virtual phone number in most of the world. But what countries you have access to depends on your provider. At minimum, most providers have numbers in 50+ countries. But some can give you numbers in 100+ countries. It all depends on what your business needs. 

 

Find Your Perfect Virtual Phone Number with Yabbit 

Our goal at Yabbit is simple – to give you the highest quality connections no matter your location. This is why we’ve got virtual numbers in over fifty countries and offer virtual phone numbers as part of our UCaaS platform and as a standalone service. If you’d like to learn a bit more, just reach out to us over the phone or online 

We pride ourselves on being all ears and will provide custom recommendations based on your unique needs. Experience the Yabbit difference today! 

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