What is a Virtual Phone Number?

A virtual phone number is a telephone number that is not associated with specific devices or phone lines. They are not physically connected to any physical device either. This does not just mean that you no longer need to use landlines to communicate, as that has been the case for a few decades now, but also omits the need for a SIM card.

Virtual landlines are largely used by businesses to send and receive SMS and notifications. Using a unique number rented over a period of time via an internet connection.  As the user of a virtual number, you can redirect calls from one number to the other. It is completely secure and private, which is why so many businesses use it all year round.

How Do Virtual Phone Numbers Work?

Virtual numbers work by making use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology. This technology allows you to make calls using a broadband internet connection rather than analogue phone lines. Popular messaging mediums such as the iMessage, Whatsapp, and Google Voice use the same technology. 

The calls you make from the virtual number your company has rented, will be connected over the internet and to conventional phone networks that your contact list would be using.

These are access numbers, also known as Direct Inward Dialing (DIDs) numbers, which are secure and can be used without a direct connection to any device

Simply put, they are not bound to any phone or SIM card.

Which Countries Are Available For Virtual Phone Numbers?

All countries that have business opportunities are available to get virtual mobile numbers instantly. From Australia, France, Hong Kong, Spain, UK, USA, Thailand to Vietnam, Italy, and Ethiopia, you can get your virtual business number with just a few clicks on your screen.

virtual phone number by countries

How Do I Get A Virtual Phone Number UK That Can Receive SMS?

Because of the service’s nature, virtual landline providers are not bound to physical locations. It operates through VoIP – “Voice over Internet Protocol,” which works via the internet. This means you can get this service in the UK from a provider that is actually based somewhere else.

Octopush, being a UK-based company itself, can give you a wide range of options that will help you increase your business network.

If you want to skip the procedures and get started already, then you might want to create a free account on Octopush. To do this, all you need is to type down your phone number, and you’ll be guided to their services. They have an option where you can subscribe to a free UK number that will only receive text messages. However, for additional facilities, you will have to pay a tiny amount.

Virtual Phone Number Benefits

Virtual landlines cut down your costs big time. But how does it do that? And are there any other benefits? To answer your questions, here’s a list of advantages of switching to a virtual phone.

virtual phone number illustration

Developing Your Business Worldwide

A report from UNCTAD revealed that there were 80,000 multinational companies in the world in 2006. That number has undoubtedly increased by a lot over the years that followed. A local virtual landline number also helps attract more local customers than a global number.

Purchasing virtual phone numbers in bulk enables the company to expand globally. With Octopush you can advertise a single phone number to your audience, and the customers calling those virtual numbers will be redirected to a single location number, or to several devices, hence enabling your company to receive many calls at the same time.

With this unique strategy, not only can you save the time taken to route calls or switch between callers, but you can also save the resource and energy of not having to set up branch offices in several areas.

This not only kills the burden of overseas calls and their enormous costs but also increases your brand image and overall trust in the target market as customers feel more comfortable with a local number.

Organise Your Business

Octopush and other virtual phone number UK providers are moving the world a step closer to becoming 100% wireless. 

The common household is truly unwired. But this is not the case for all businesses though, as several organisations use PBX systems, consisting of wired communication to route calls and extension and for voicemails. Even to this day. 

Virtual phone numbers dismiss the need for a separate business number, therefore allowing you to finally ditch those pesky wires.

Employee Privacy

Octopush takes its clients’ and employees’ privacy very seriously, so it only makes sense the service that we provide follows that theme as well. 

Virtual phone numbers allow employees to be available for contact on their cell phones without having to share that number with their clients. As they can be patched through using the virtual line for the company.

This feature is beneficial in protecting the privacy of workers, and allows them to pour their hearts into their work, knowing their personal information is safe and will not be misused.

Improved Customer Service

Businesses can greatly prosper as it allows them to engage with their customers more frequently. No customer will go unnoticed as virtual numbers do not require any precise device, team, or department to handle it, thus ensuring that a customer’s calls will always be answered.

Buying virtual phone numbers in bulk will allow your international customers to have easier access when contacting your company, your customers won’t have to pay for long-distance calls, and they also won’t have to face any service blockages or time zone differences.

Overall, your company will expand easily at an affordable price.

With their many unique virtual numbers that allow businesses to rent digits which “just feel right” for their professional reasons, Octopush will let you choose a number of your own and customise it for your customer service purposes. Instead of being stuck with a number that is both confusing and lengthy.

Increased Productivity

With the help of a virtual landline number, your productivity, along with your performance, increases greatly.

One of the greatest benefits offered by virtual landlines is that they can always be reached regardless of the location, thus encouraging increased efficiency from the employees and also improving a company’s relationship with its customers.

You can work from anywhere – be it their home, an office, or even from a different location. You can save yourself a variety of charges and instead invest the money on something else.

Receive OTPs

There are cases where you might not want to use your business’s number to receive an OTP (One Time Password) for your account on a site, for example, Gmail. 

You can use a virtual phone number when opening up a new Gmail account. After filling in preliminary information such as your first and last names and username and setting a password, you will be asked to verify your phone number for security purposes.

The virtual phone number can be used as the phone number for the account that you are trying to create. You will receive access to the OTP and can connect that account with that virtual phone number. You can now proceed to fill out other required pieces of information such as your birthdate, gender, and more.

SMS API

With the help of Octopush, you can integrate its SMS API and receive messages directly from your contacts on your mobile phone software or application in bulk.

That is all there is to it, really. Getting virtual phone numbers really makes life simpler for you.

How to Find a Virtual Phone Number UK Service Provider

First, check if they provide a free trial. Companies that are confident in their service and have been doing well usually offer free trials for a limited amount of time. Availing a free trial will allow you to gain firsthand experience of their service and find out their strengths and weaknesses and help decide whether or not to invest in this service provider.

You can find out whether their strengths lie in areas that are very important for your business. If they do, it is likely to be a great fit since they are good at providing the features that your business needs. Similarly, you can see if their weaknesses lie in areas that your business does not need and will not do so in the future after it grows either. 

Next, you should check their features. One of the advantages of using a virtual landline number is that it grants you access to a wide range of features that you normally would not get with doing business with conventional phone companies. Thus, it makes sense to allow the features some weightage in making your final decision. 

So, what kind of features are likely to be included in the package of most service providers?

1. Apps across different devices

You do not want to be tied to one specific device, that would defeat the purpose of renting a virtual number to some extent. You would want to be able to access the virtual landline services through an app or software on different devices, ranging from a laptop, a desktop, to a mobile phone. 

This will allow you or your business representative to take calls irrespective of the kind of device they are the closest to at the moment. Being more available to your customers means that you will never miss calls again or miss out on any more potentially profitable relationships.

2. Using SMS for communication with customers

SMS messaging has become an increasingly popular medium to communicate with your customers. Being able to send and receive SMS messages from your customers and chat with them is important if you want to deliver a great interactive customer experience.

You should be able to use your virtual phone number to manage messages from customers. Since it is virtual, you do not have to be with a particular device in order to send or receive messages. You can text from wherever you are, using whatever device you are the closest to.

virtual phone number sms marketing customer chat

Octopush’s virtual phone number service will help you call your prospects and clients as well as receive calls and SMS messages from them. It will all be done using a local number that you can manage remotely from any device of your preference.

3. Call recording

Recording your incoming and outgoing calls can help you derive useful insights since you can learn the perceived benefits and drawbacks of taking a product or service from your business from the point of view of the customers themselves. You can then use these insights to train your sales and customer service staff. 

4. Call forwarding

This feature allows you to forward any incoming calls to another device or phone number. It is helpful because you might want a particular team member to handle calls from certain customers. Or, you may want to take any personal calls from your personal phone number. You may simply just be too busy to take most calls at a time. Whatever the reason, this is a very handy feature to have.

5. Recording of messages

You may want to record a greeting to welcome customers when they call. This can help them feel warmly welcomed by a human being and not as if they are talking to a mobile screen. You can also set business hours.

Some providers may allow you to customise your IVR (Interactive Voice Response) to include guides to self-service options for callers if your business does need such greetings.

6. Call routing

This is slightly different from call forwarding. Call routing allows you to direct incoming calls to others in real-time, within certain limits. If you have a bustling call centre, this can help smooth out traffic a bit.

7. Easy integrations with your existing systems

If integrations make you want to tear your hair off, that is not a good sign.

Your service provider should offer you integrations with a wide variety of tools. This way, you can easily incorporate the new plugins and modules no matter what tools you have already been using.

8. Responsive customer support

A good company’s responsibility should not end with just providing you with a virtual phone number. It is usual for businesses to have questions or face issues with different features.

For example, you may need help figuring out how to use a new feature. Your provider’s customer support should be there to help you throughout the process while maintaining the utmost professionalism.

How to Set Up a Virtual Phone Number

Here, we have detailed an easy-to-understand and quick 4-step guide to setting up your very own virtual phone number.

Step 1: Select a Provider

There are many providers in the business. The most popular ones include Sonetel, Mightycall, Nextiva, and Plivo.

While the other providers are all decent options, Octopush provides virtual phone numbers for reasonable prices, on top of reliable reputation, and top-notch customer service.

Step 2: Select a Number

After finding the right provider for yourself, your first step is to select a local number.

This step isn’t too difficult and top-tier companies such as Octopush will give you premium options to pick from.

Step 3: Add your Devices

The step is also very easy. Connect the devices you wish to use to the virtual phone number that you pick, and you’re good to go.

If you’re still confused about doing the entire thing yourself, leave the hard work to Octopush, and we’ll help you out with everything from scratch.

Step 4: Complete your Business Information

The final step includes giving your provider your business information, particularly your business number, greetings, and welcome message.