Geographic Phone Numbers Explained
Choosing the right telephone number for your business is a major decision and with so many available it can be tricky selecting the perfect one for you. Do you pick a local prefix (a geo number) or a more national option (non-geographic number) such as an 03 or freephone 08? We’ll explain more and hopefully, then you will be armed with all the info you need to decide.
OK, so you have most probably heard of geographic numbers but now simply need more information. So, before you make your choice we wanted to outline what geographical numbers actually are. We will also explore how they compare to non-geographic phone numbers and what the benefits of a nationwide option would be too.
Rest assured that geographic numbers are available for businesses of all sizes and all industries. They are a popular choice for many, from one-man bands right up to blue-chip organisations and those in between. With that in mind they are certainly worth a closer look for your business too.
What are Geographic Numbers?
The term geo number quite simply stands for ‘geographic number’. That means these are numbers that are dedicated to a specific location within the UK. Examples of geographic numbers are 0161 (Manchester), 01632 (Newcastle), or 0207/0208 (London).
In comparison, a non-geographic number gives your company a nationwide presence. It all really depends if you want to create a local presence, within a designated geographic location or need a nationwide footprint for your business.
As a Tier 1 phone company, we stock a varied range of geographic numbers, ready to activate in minutes – these also include international geographic numbers. So wherever you are based there is a number to suit. All of our virtual numbers can be easily routed to your landline, mobile number(s), or SIP – so it’s easy to forward calls wherever you are working from too.
Our quick-click call features give optimum functionality which are literally at your fingertips. What is more, we have a variety of attractive number options often chosen for their memorability factor – featuring double and repeating digits. Remember your business phone number isn’t just for receiving calls it’s an essential part of your branding too.
You will find that these memorable numbers are graded into Bronze, Silver, and Gold categories due to their level of memorability. Despite having numbers of a higher grade we also find that our regular geos are also snapped up.
Why Choose a Geographic Number?
Telephone Number Routing
You may have heard that geographic numbers are also referred to as virtual numbers. All virtual numbers (non-geo and geographic) are extremely popular as they can be easily routed to fixed numbers including your mobile phones and landlines. As cloud-based solutions become increasingly more popular you’ll be glad to hear that they can also be easily routed to SIP trunks.
Stored in the cloud these smart numbers give you greater flexibility, especially during their initial configuration and when ongoing service amendments are required. Incoming calls can be pointed to multiple destination numbers and conveniently forwarded as part of weekly call rotas.
In today’s world of hybrid working so many of us now split office and home-based working. With that in mind, the versatility which comes with a non-geographic number is essential for the modern office workplace and indeed home workspace.
You can make changes to your telecom set up literally wherever you are, on the road, onsite or even on the school run – it really is that simple! Taking more calls more often is easily doable.
Number & Data Tracking
Geographic numbers can be tracked in real time via our industry-leading portal, providing essential call data such as: the amount of calls taken, how many calls are answered or missed, call duration, and the busiest call periods. As you can imagine many managers find such information an invaluable way to monitor call handling and plan forthcoming rotas/staff allocation.
With a variety of call features in place, geographic are the ideal way to assist call handlers especially during heavy call times. Calls to these numbers allow your customers to be dealt with and informed even before their call is even answered. All of this adding to an overall high-quality customer call experience.
Let’s take a look at the top 6 call features available:
- Voice2Email – allows voicemails to be delivered (in real-time) into a designated email box(es) as an audio file ready for call handlers to listen to at their convenience.
- Call/Time/Day Plans are on hand for call routing schedules to be arranged up to a week in advance. This is a firm favourite for managers of both smaller office remote teams and call centres too.
- Call Forwarding can be easily actioned using mobiles or existing desk phones – no need for expensive extra equipment.
- Welcome Messaging means that callers can be greeted with a bespoke message even before speaking to a call handler.
- Call Queue places callers in a cloud-based queue where they can be notified of their position and listen to music as they wait. It is also a great opportunity to play bespoke messages, for example, telling callers about current offers or opening times.
- IVR (Caller Menus) allows callers to be directed to designated departments, services, or people, for example, Press 1 for Accounts, Press 2 for After Sales, Press 3 for Customer Services, etc.
There is a whole library of features available. We are always more than happy to talk you through the many options.
As we all know, accidents happen, and when they do they can result in telecom downtime – costing businesses massively. If your company’s telecoms went down (for example due to adverse weather) just think of the losses. Thankfully that’s where ‘disaster recovery’ steps in.
With, ‘disaster recovery’ firmly in place a contingency telecom plan can be ready and waiting in the background. So, should disaster strike a secondary telecom solution can be activated in minutes?
With one quick click, your geographic number can be redirected to alternative devices including your mobile phone(s), landlines, or SIP trunks. With that in mind can you really afford to be without a geo number?
We think that you will agree, that giving your business a phone number with a national presence and professional look for a rental of under £13 per month is great value. Couple that with our host of call features available without having to invest in an expensive call system and it’s safe to say that establishing your local presence with a geographic number is affordable.
Geographical Numbers, Call Charges Explained
Calls made to virtual geographic phone numbers are charged no differently than if dialling a regular geo number. In fact, a local number or virtual number call costs are charged at the same rate.
Geographic calls using a virtual business number are of the same quality as making inbound calls to a local number or mobile for example. This is especially the case if provided by a Tier 1 telecom company that will typically be working directly with main networks and therefore have means to ensure calls are of an optimum standard.
What’s more, our geographic numbers point directly to their destination number (i.e. the number they are routing to) and so non-geographic calls are seamless – no delays or odd dialling tones.
A Quick Look at Geographic Numbers
Geographic numbers do indeed have their place. Depending on your type of industry and the audience you wish to reach out to geo numbers can create a reassuringly local feel. This is ideal when appealing to nearby clientele.
As geographic numbers are also virtual numbers they provide an easy way to create a virtual presence wherever you are based – for example, you may work in London and want to create a virtual office/presence in Manchester. This can be done in an instant simply by advertising a local 0161 Manchester number.
Alternatively, should your business lend itself to a more nationwide demographic, using a geographic number (such as 0208 London or 0113 Leeds) may not be for you. In which case, non-geographic numbers are more for you. A Tier 1 service provider will offer both options, so the choice is yours.
Already have an NGN or geographic number but not happy with your current phone company?
Both geo and non-geographic numbers can be transferred from provider to provider. This is a process known as ‘porting‘. On average porting takes around 2 weeks and there is typically no downtime to your service. It is worth routinely assessing what you pay for your geographic number provider. If you’re not sure how your provider measures up simply ask us to take a look at your latest bill for a no-obligation price comparison.
Would you like a geographical phone number?
Rest assured that with a wide variety of geographic numbers in stock and as a Tier 1 phone company we can supply and activate your number in minutes. What’s more should you decide to move forward we will assign a dedicated account manager to activate and maintain your phone number for you.