Here's a quick whiteboard session about global phone numbers to supplement our recent post, "Can You Get One Global Phone Number?"
I'm Jeremy Evans, I'm a sales manager here at AVOXI.
So, what I’m going to discuss today is can I get one phone number accessible from around the globe.
We have customers that call in, existing and potential customers that have this question and it's a great one. A lot of times they see a UIFN number (Universal International Freephone Number) and think that Universal means accessible from anywhere.
So, what I want to do today and give the good, bad and as I said a breakdown of what a UIFN number is and hopefully put you in the position to make an educated decision on if it's the right fit for your business.
A UIFN as I said has 40 countries or so that this is going to be accessible from, as your thinking about this; if your customers are calling you from one of those 40 countries or a few of those 40 countries or so, this could be worth looking at.
Some of the good things; uniformity is a major plus when you think marketing initiatives and things like that as you're printing marketing material and things for your website that could be beneficial. Now, one thing that's going to differ base on the country that your customers are calling from is the prefix.
Now this a 3 digit calling code that's going to go in front of the eight digits that will be uniform, so all in a UIFN is an 11 digit phone number
that the first 3 are going to be unique to the country that people are calling your business from.
Another plus, is that it's potentially available in a vanity format, now for those of you that don't know what a vanity number is, typically it will spell something that either has the business name in it or something that the business does or is known for. For example, 1-800-GOAVOXI would be considered a vanity phone number.
Business class feature set available, like any phone number that you get from AVOXI, whether it's a local number, an ITFS, which is an international toll free number or a UIFN, there going to be business class features such as call forwarding available to our customers that will really enable your business to be nimble, quick, pivot, you know with the ever changing business needs in today's world.
Now let’s talk about the bad, the availability is limited on a UIFN number when you compare it to something like an ITFS (International Toll Free Number).
ITFS numbers, AVOXI can get those to about 140 or 150 different countries, these are going to be limited to 40, so again, if your customers fall within that 40 or your business deeds are within those 40 countries, it could be the right fit for you. Typically, it is more expensive, now with a UIFN there is a onetime registration fee that is required and that is all brands, all companies and it's about $500 and up. That's something to think about when you're thinking about the budget that you're going to allocate to this.
Longer turnaround time, regardless of the company, if it's AVOXI or one of our competitors that you're trying to get a UIFN number from, it's all about do they have it in stock; if they do, turnaround time quicker, if they don't, then it's going to at least be 30 days sometimes as much as 90 - 180, so that's another thing to think about.
Quick breakdown, with UIFN registration is required for a minimum of 2 countries, so if you need the UIFN, you have to think about the registration being 500 and up, then you have to get 2 of those 40 countries, as far as having it registered in those. So you might want Japan and Germany, you would have to then pay a monthly recurring cost for each of those countries that you would want this number for.
So again, if it was for simplicity sake, Japan, Germany, regardless of use there would be a monthly cost for each of those countries, if it's more than two then obviously the cost is going to rise there.
Dialing formats going to vary, again, the 8xx prefix will be different based on the country and then the access is going to vary by country too, so another thing to think about.
Quick things to consider as you're trying to decide if this is right for your business or not, where your customer's located, have a list of that on hand as you start to call around and shop providers, cost, things like that to decide if this is the right fit. How soon do you need the service? Again, think about the timeline, if a company that you're speaking to does not have that phone number available, see what the turnaround time's going to be because I guarantee it's going to be at least 30 days, many times much more than that. And the budget, what's the monthly cost, what's the rate per minute that you're going to be paying? and then tack on that registration fee.
An ITFS phone number, a lot of times is a great alternative solution to UIFN, but UIFN phone number could be a good solution, again, just think about that box of 40 countries, do your customers fit in there? If they do, we'd love to talk to you about it.
I appreciate your time.
See our post: Can You Get One Global Phone Number?