The physical limitations of conventional telephone communication can be removed with virtual phone numbers, without the need for extensive infrastructure. This technology increases the adaptability and mobility of corporate transactions and promotional information for consumers.
In this article, we explore all the features and benefits of virtual phone numbers, including how to register your WhatsApp Business account with a virtual number.
What is a virtual phone number?
Virtual phone numbers allow secure communication with anyone worldwide using internet-connected devices. They do not need a physical address or a SIM card to accept calls. It is a highly advanced technology that gives you full control because virtual numbers are not associated with a single phone line. You can connect calls to a landline, to a mobile phone—or even to a computer system.
Although they are not physically tied to a location, virtual phone numbers are quite similar to regular phone numbers. Any phone, including landline phones, mobile phones, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and softphones, can be used to place or receive calls using these numbers. Virtual phone numbers are now an essential component of corporate operations worldwide.
Regular phone numbers are provided by local telephone providers, and these numbers need a phone line to work. Virtual phone numbers, on the other hand, are not constrained by these restrictions and are not restricted to a single region. Because everyone has access to the same cloud PBX, it may effectively be used by employees who are both in and out of the office, or even out of the country.
The cost of a virtual phone number usually ranges from 0.99$ to $15. Prices may vary depending on the cloud-based phone platform.
What can you do with a virtual phone number?
Virtual numbers have the same working functionality as regular numbers and in some aspects, they have much more advanced features. So what exactly can you do with a virtual phone number?
Make and receive calls
You can make outbound calls with your virtual phone number, and people can reach you from anywhere via the internet. When the call comes in through your virtual number, it is then immediately routed to the device you prefer to use, such as VoIP desk phone, cell phone, softphone, or computer application.
Send and receive messages
Text messaging can also be enabled on a virtual number. To your customers, it appears and functions exactly like normal text messaging, and to you, it’s actually augmented. Depending on what texting service you are using, not only can you send and receive texts normally, but you can also manage and organize your messages, and forward SMS to your email inbox or your mobile phone.
You can add phone extensions the same way you would do with a regular office system, and they can be assigned to staff members or departments.
Add a menu
You can add a call menu to your virtual phone number so that your callers can press a number and be connected to the person or department they are trying to reach.
Use scheduled forwarding
Route your calls anywhere depending on the days and hours of your business. You can route your calls to your main call center during business hours and to voicemail when you’re not open for business.
Use call recording
Keep track of your calls by recording all or some of your calls, which can be played or downloaded at any time.
Use voice transcription
With virtual phone numbers, you can automatically transcribe incoming calls and voicemails, and store them for easy review.
Keep it forever (or don’t)
Even though the number you are using belongs to the VoIP service provider, if you decide to leave the service and want to keep your number, you can port it out to a cell phone, landline, or even a different VoIP carrier. A virtual number is a real phone number; we only call it “virtual” if it is currently hosted by virtual phone service.
If, on the other hand, you don’t need your virtual phone number anymore, you simply need to cancel your subscription.
Register it with WhatsApp
You can use a virtual phone number for WhatsApp to interact with customers, execute marketing and promotional activities, and automate conversations by integrating it with a customer communication platform like Rasayel.
How to get a virtual phone number?
Platforms that have the underlying technology to provide straightforward integration of real-time, cloud-based, customized communication services are labeled as CPaaS (Communication Platform-as-a-Service). Platforms such as Twilio, Telnyx, and MessageBird offer virtual numbers as part of their portfolio. Getting one is very simple and it will take you only 3 minutes to complete the entire process:
- Sign up for an account with your preferable CPaaS
- During signup, select your city or area code to pick your phone number
- Verify your account with an existing phone number and a credit card.
That’s it. Now you have a virtual phone number.
WhatsApp for business
If you want to run your business on WhatsApp, you have two options: you can use the WhatsApp Business application or WhatsApp Business API. Whichever option you choose, it can be operated with a virtual phone number.
While the app is suitable for companies with low traffic of messages exchanged with their customers, WhatsApp Business API offers tools and features that can help you increase your sales, improve your customer service, and minimize the risk of losing sales.
Over two billion people are using Whatsapp messaging services in 180 countries around the world. Whatsapp Business has already gained over five million users worldwide.
The secret behind WhatsApp Business' popularity is its ability to enable brands to create mobile stores for their businesses with catalogs and accept payments using Facebook Pay. Prospective customers can browse products and services, ask questions, and purchase without leaving the app, thanks to the built-in sales and marketing capabilities.
Businesses aren't the only ones using it; the public sector is getting involved too. Governments are increasingly using WhatsApp to communicate with their people. For example, Australia's government has set up a COVID-19 WhatsApp channel to send health messages to their citizens.
Businesses have started using WhatsApp because it works. With a more than 90% open rate, it's the most efficient tool for marketing and sales.
Businesses seeking to use the WhatsApp Business API must go through Meta's partners or Business Solution Providers. You can choose the BSP that offers the features and conditions most suitable for your needs. While some BSPs offer a variety of pricing packages and API solutions, others focus on providing user-friendly interfaces and tools that can make your operations run smoothly.
How to use WhatsApp Business with a virtual number?
Using WhatsApp Business with a virtual phone number has numerous advantages. Saving money and improving ROI, keeping business and personal conversations separate, managing multiple users, and saving time, to name a few.
Connecting your virtual phone number with WhatsApp is an effortless process:
- Download the Whatsapp Business app
- In the drop-down menu enter the country and your virtual phone number
- Wait for WhatsApp to send you a verification code
- Enter the code to complete the verification and your Whatsapp Business account is ready to go!
If you use a landline virtual number, then wait for the verification code timer on Whatsapp to end and click on the option to send OTP via a call to listen to the code.
What are the benefits of using a WhatsApp virtual number?
The main benefit of using a virtual number to receive WhatsApp messages is undoubtedly reducing company costs. Among other things, I am talking about an application easy to use, free of charge, and a tool that allows you to communicate without interrupting your activities.
WhatsApp has enabled brands to develop meaningful communication with their customers. As a result, they reduce communication costs by giving customers a virtual number rather than a regular WhatsApp channel, for example, as virtual numbers bear the cost of the communication for the entire duration of the call.
Any business, whether small or big, can realize the benefits of virtual phone numbers. They are ideal for multiple contact centers and can help you increase productivity.
Traditional numbers have some limitations that make them less suitable for business. Virtual numbers, on the other hand, are not subject to these limitations. They can effectively manage your company's communications and aid in the development of your brand.
Not only Virtual phone numbers can lower the costs of your communications, but they can also help you scale and improve the customer experience.
Signing up for WhatsApp Business with a virtual phone number is easy and can unlock numerous possibilities for your business to grow.
For a fast, simple, and intuitive experience for your team, jump on board Rasayel’s customer communication platform and start making killer sales on WhatsApp.