Proximity obviously factors greatly in consumer decisions – but there’s also a sense of community that strongly influences where people choose to spend their money. For this reason, businesses that use local telephone numbers signal that they exist to serve the community and welcome local trade.
Operating from a single local phone number is not always possible for many businesses, however. There may be a range of departments – or even virtual workers – in various locations. This is where cloud phone systems have a particular advantage: A single local number can be used, no matter the location of the call recipient(s).
Because cloud phone calls are handled via the internet, businesses can redirect calls anywhere. It’s even possible for someone working from home miles away to be hooked up to a local business number.
Alternatively, a business may wish to have a local presence in a variety of different places (where separate outlets or regional offices are in operation, for example). With a cloud phone system, it’s very simple to utilise multiple local phone numbers for the same business account. Once again, because the phone numbers are virtual, many can be added as required – all managed from one central location. A business can always confer a “local” image, wherever it may set up shop.
There’s yet another intriguing benefit to having a local number. In recent years, internet search engines have moved to provide results that are tailored to the individual performing the search – based on geography, time of day or many other factors. Google’s AdWords quality guidelines state, “Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible”. Therefore, a business’ prominence in search listings may actually improve with a local number. With 97% of internet users depending on the web to find local products or services (based on a survey by BIA Kelsey), this can give a real boost to a local business’ online presence.
Cloud telephony has the potential to break through any geographical barriers. With the limitations of traditional phone lines removed, a business can always remain local, wherever it may happen to be.