What are Local Access Numbers? The Cost-Cutting Solution to International Calling

Posted on: 2016-08-22 | Categories:VoIP Services

VoIP has practically become synonymous with cheap or free calls but the technology is useful for so much more. There are a number of features in VoIP that improve upon older processes or make it easier to accomplish the same purpose as the equivalent tool in PSTN phones. In fact, many businesses find that improvements in productivity or efficiency affect them more dramatically than just cutting costs.

What Are Local Access Numbers?

Local Access Numbers are a unique feature of VoIP that takes advantage of the underlying technology to offer inexpensive calling. These numbers are easy to use and don’t require any change in behaviour. Users don’t have to remember a specific sequence or re-train themselves just to benefit from local access numbers.

Local Access Numbers are exactly what they mean – they are specific local numbers that are provided by VoIP vendors to provide inexpensive international calling. How inexpensive? In most cases international calls can be made at the price of a local call. Local access numbers are useful for both consumers and businesses for different situations.

Local Access Numbers for Consumers

These numbers are most useful for people who frequently call international numbers to keep in touch with friends and family. People who travel frequently for work or who have temporarily relocated to a new country can use local access numbers for inexpensive calling. Local access numbers work both ways i.e. for both incoming and outgoing calls.

In the case of incoming calls, callers can dial the specific number to get in touch with you and still be charged only the cost of a local call. It works the same way for outgoing as well. Users can simply dial the local access number and then punch in the required landline or mobile phone. The call is automatically connected and charged at the price of local call.

Local Access Numbers for Businesses

In light of the above use case for consumers, it may seem odd for businesses to use local access numbers but they provide numerous benefits for corporations as well. After all, businesses don’t have friends and family. But what they do have are customers, partners, vendors and distributors.

One of the most common situations for businesses to use this feature is to provide  a way for customers to contact them without incurring international charges. For instance, a business may provide a local access number for customers in a specific market. It bypasses toll charges and long-distance charges and improves the likelihood that people will call in. As a result the company is more likely to get useful feedback from customers.

Local access numbers are also a great way to promote collaboration between various supply chain partners, employees and suppliers. When international calls don’t get charged hundreds of dollars, users don’t have to keep an eye on the clock when talking to someone. This can dramatically improve productivity and reduce the time needed for completing tasks.

Local Access Numbers for Market Research

Quite often businesses find themselves conducting market research in different countries even if they don’t already have a presence there. This may be for launching new products, hiring experts/consultants or even opening a brand new office. Having a few local access numbers in each market can make the whole process much faster and less expensive.

These numbers can be useful to get feedback on marketing campaigns as well. For organizations that are running multiple simultaneous campaigns at the same time, local access numbers can provide a way to screen calls based on region or area. For instance, suppose the same ad/sales campaign is being run in two different markets. Giving out multiple access numbers means that the marketing teams can easily track which market is responding better or for comparing positive responses between the two areas.

Local access numbers are generally viewed as a shortcut for expensive international calls but they can also be used creatively in various business circumstances. In the case of international organizations, local access numbers can be used to provide a local presence for customers even before the new offices are operative.

Like many other great VoIP features, local access numbers are not utilized to their full potential by businesses. However as enterprises become more comfortable with the technology, hitherto unknown features are also getting their turn in the sun.