Most people nowadays use website contact details to get in touch with a Business. They usually have email addresses and Business Phone Numbers plus other information like address details and contact names.
Why Do you Need the Number?
One reason might be that a company you deal with has changed its contact details since you last dealt with them. They could have been taken over, moved, or simply gone out of business. The details you have are out of date and you are having difficulty in contacting them.
If the number you have is a cell number, it could be different for a number of reasons. One reason is that If a prepaid number is not used or recharged for a period of time, say six months, it is reclaimed by the cell company (“Churned”) and reissued to another client.
There are however, from time to time, darker reasons.
Throughout history, people have been scammed by organisations giving false contact details. This has increased dramatically with the Internet and e-commerce. Unscrupulous merchants create glossy websites, you buy their products, and receive poor service or often nothing at all. The contact details on the website are false, and you have lost your money. You have the business name and want to know if there is another phone number for it.
How do you find the Business Phone number of a Business? Here are five ways to help you.
Online Data Sources
Most businesses want to be found and register or are registered in online business directories. Yellow Pages, White Pages or the local equivalent are a good place to start. There are usually other online business registries that can be used.
If the company needs formal accreditation or registration, such as a pharmaceutical company, it is often possible to find the company and its contact details from the body providing the accreditation.
Trade Associations often maintain membership lists with contact details, so it the company is a member of one, their contact details may be available from there. Hopefully they are up to date.
Another place to start is with company registration details. All businesses need to be registered for tax and compliance purposes, and nowadays most registration details can be found online on a Government database. Registration details will give you a registered address and contact details at the very least.
Sometimes the registered address is not the head office or branch you want to find, but they can usually provide you with the contact details you need.
Carrying out an online search on the company name may turn up other potential sources. There may be blogs and customer response sites on Social Media applications like Facebook and LinkedIn that mention the company. At the very least you may find a contact who can provide you with the necessary information.
If you suspect you have been scammed, a search highlighting other customer complaints can often confirm it.
Websites and Social Media
Most businesses have an online web presence. Their web site usually has a contacts page. The contact details will usually include the opportunity to send an email or contact a help desk, perhaps by online chat.
Their material, especially on Social Media often includes contact details, so you may be lucky and find a phone number. If not, you will have a point of contact in the organisation who can help you.
There are several online services, PC and Smart device, that given a business name will find the business number for you. They will be different applications in different countries, and some may be localised to a particular country or area only. Some are free, and some need a “voluntary” donation or payment before revealing the number.
They also can provide the reverse service, given a phone number, they will tell you who it belongs to. Be aware that their information might be incorrect or out-of-date.
Before the Internet, the ability to source a business phone number could be found from offline sources.
All landline and most cellular service Telcos offer a Directory Enquiry service. Given a company name and perhaps address, they will provide the business phone number. This may be a free or charged service, and some numbers are ex-directory, though this is unlikely for a business.
The Library can be a Treasure Trove of information. It will have the hardcopy business directories, in some cases, back copies of newspapers and magazines, and often the staff themselves will be able to help you find the information.
If nothing else, most libraries now provide online access that you can use to carry out online searches.
Finding a business phone number is not difficult. It is in the interests of most reputable businesses to make themselves contactable. However, It can be a tedious and ultimately unsuccessful process for some, probably less reputable concerns.
The last two years have seen a major shift in IT towards Working from Home and remote access to systems. Because of lockdowns, and the closure of physical outlets, the pandemic has closed some businesses and forced others to move to e-commerce.
Two major disadvantages of Working from Home include the increased communications costs with the staff member, and a feeling of remoteness and isolation when they don’t interact with team members and other members of staff regularly in person.
Many businesses have already installed VoIP to take advantage of the cost and operational benefits of a Unified Communications platform. If the company has a high-speed and stable Internet connection, and most with e-commerce will, it is easy to use the corporate VoIP system to extend communications to staff Working from Home to overcome these problems.Continue reading
Most businesses have installed a VoIp for Business system. The digital revolution has enabled most to replace their existing PSTN based systems with VoIP because of the benefits in cost management and customer service.
They might have justifiable concerns over call quality, and that they will need disaster planning measures so they don’t lose their phone service if they lose power. Recent advances in technology and the use of standby power can dispel these concerns. Bottom line, the advantages of VoIP for Business to the business far outweigh any potential drawbacks.
Integrating VoIP for Business in an integrated communications environment including video conferencing, instant messaging and Social Media integration brings the business firmly into the 21st century and at the leading edge of communications.
One effect of the pandemic has been a quantum increase in remote working. In some cases, lockdown and travel restrictions have forced a move to work from home. Adopting e-commerce as a business platform has meant interacting digitally with customers and suppliers.
In remote working the need to communicate remains, and is even more important to maintain team morale. Virtual meetings using applications like Zoom, NetMeeting, and Skype have become the norm.
For many, remote working and remote meetings are very new and they are wary of the technology and unsure of how they should interact with other meeting attendees. Sometimes the first few meetings are less productive than the face-to-face equivalent as people find their feet and create a new working culture.
Working from home is rapidly becoming the new normal worldwide. Businesses are quickly modifying their strategies and operations to accommodate it. Ome area of particular interest is that of integrating VoIP for Business into the remote working scenario.
There has, admittedly, been a slow move towards remote working as the digital infrastructure spreads and improves in recent years. Internet access through WiFi has become common in public spaces like hotels and malls and through fiber connections to homes.
The pandemic has accelerated this process, mainly through companies forced to have locked-down workers working from home. A second driver has been the effect on bricks and mortar retail outlets. Foot traffic has plummeted, retail shops are closing, and the malls they operate in are closing, some never to reopen. Retailers are forced into an e-commerce environment. It’s no longer developmental but survival strategies.Continue reading
One of the major benefits of the digital revolution for business has been the emergence of computer-based PBX systems offering advanced features. in the past, these were limited to larger companies but the emergence of cloud-based technologies has seen the emergence of the Cloud PBX which allows small companies the benefits of voice over IP but at a vastly reduced cost.
Here are 7 benefits which will come to a business if they implement a Cloud PBX solution:Continue reading
The impact of digital convergence and improvements in technology have generated widespread adoption of VoIP phone systems by businesses and individuals. Businesses use them to substantially improve their business profile and improve communications efficiencies. All users use VoIP to substantially reduce their communications costs, particularly for long-distance and international calls.
There is one major difference between the traditional PSTN phone systems and digitally hosted VoIP phone systems. That relates to performance during a power outage. Power to PSTN systems is provided by the PSTN supplier and PSTN phone systems, therefore, they continue to work during a power outage.Continue reading
The increasing effect of digital convergence and the undoubted cost and other benefits of VoIP networks has led to their widespread adoption in all sizes and types of business. However, as with all things, there are two sides to the coin, and maintenance of an acceptable level of service for your VoIP system is of paramount importance.
Before looking at monitoring techniques it is important to see what we are looking for.
Typical complaints and their cause include:Continue reading
One of the more significant developments in computing in recent years has been the wholesale adoption of VoIP systems by businesses and increasingly by home and mobile users. Simply put, VoIP systems remove the costs and restrictions imposed by the traditional PSTN service providers.
Because of digital convergence among other things, the initial objective, to replace PSTN connections with digital connections has grown by leaps and bounds into fully-fledged integrated communications environments supporting media connections, not just voice.
Businesses are now presented with options among others to improve their presence and reduce their costs. Here are five such.
Cost reductions through Call Security
In the past, PBX systems were location based. Extension numbers were tied to a physical location such as a desktop. The ability to restrict calls was linked to the physical device. Anyone using the handset could only make the calls that were allowed for that extension number, for example, local calls only, no national or international calls.
VoIP systems are by contrast person based in that an individual uses a PIN number to log-on to the VoIP system wherever they might be. They can log-on from the traditional desktop handset or by using SIP technologies from a smart device. Call security, therefore, becomes person based rather than location based. The ability to make calls resides in the individual profile. Applying call security according to individual needs becomes that much easier.
Using VoIP can make a business seem much larger than it actually is. Two examples are automated call forwarding and departmental assignment.
With automated call forwarding, calls made to a local number are automatically forwarded to a central number. In this way, a company can seem to have a local presence, but in actuality operate a central support organisation. Many companies have done this with their call-centre operation. For example, British Airways operated a centralised call centre in India. All calls to a local or national call centre were automatically forwarded there.
With a departmental assignment, different extension numbers can be published for sales, finance, procurement, and so-on. However, they can be automatically forwarded to a single extension number. The company looks like it has different operational departments when in reality it does not.
Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”)
An organisation that operates a call-centre to provide customer support can tailor its VoIP system to support a CRM environment. The VoIP system can be linked to a database application. In this environment, the call-centre operative will have customer information displayed on a local computer screen when that customer calls in. The data is retrieved using the incoming telephone number. The operator can then answer the call with “Good day <customer name> “ giving a much more personal and warm aspect to the interaction.
Often details of previous and current interactions with that customer are shown giving the ability to deal more effectively with the customer. VoIP provides that capability.
Automated Documentation Support
A large part of customer support is providing documentation, usually product related. This obviously can be accomplished via a website application, but most VoIP systems can also provide this facility.
The requestor dials a number, taken for example from a media advertisement and is presented with the option to email a document to a specified address. In this way, the requestor receives the information they want, and the company has an email address for future marketing activity. All without any manual intervention thanks to VoIP.
Automated Call Handling
There is nothing more frustrating than calling an organisation and being forwarded from extension to extension as your call is not answered. The use of calling, hunting and auto-forwarding groups maintained by the VoIP system can significantly ease that pain.
While they are similar there are differences between calling and hunting groups. Calling groups allow anyone in that group to pick up a call for anyone else in the group. For example, a call to an extension where the normal answerer is unavailable can be picked up by someone else nearby. This is especially useful after hours where desks are unattended.
Hunting groups automate this process. If a call is not answered after a certain time interval it is automatically forwarded to another extension number. Calling and Hunting groups often work together to improve customer service.
Auto-forwarding is particularly useful for support and alarm calls. The VoIP system can be programmed to auto-forward calls to a particular number to another number, for example, the duty engineer. The forwarding can be done manually by manually programming the number into the extension profile itself, or in some cases can be accomplished via a calendar. In this way, incoming calls should be answered, not just ring out.
The increasing sophistication of VoIP systems now enables small businesses to punch above their weight and bring improved customer service levels at little or no cost.
The advent of Voice over IP telephony (“VoIP”) has radically changed the face of communications for both personal and business users. It has opened up opportunities for enhanced, and substantially cheaper communications, especially for long-distance and international calls. VoIP for Business has provided communications options that are not possible with a fixed line environment.
However, the prudent personal and business user needs to be vigilant to make the best return on their investment and achieve the lowest possible international call rates.
Here are three simple tips for personal and business users to make sure that they accrue the full benefit of cheaper international communications.Continue reading