Having a smartphone means you can be reached virtually anywhere, at any time. While incredibly handy for family and close personal contacts, you may have second thoughts about sharing your cell phone number with business contacts.
After all, you probably don’t want clients or your boss calling you at all hours. Using a virtual phone number on your smartphone is a great way to strike that ever-important work-life balance while still enabling calls (but on your terms) when away from the office.
What You Need
First, you’ll need to get a virtual phone number. This is a separate phone number that you can give to your business contacts, and anyone else who may need to reach you on your cell phone. Since the virtual phone number is not tied to a physical phone, you can assign it to ring to whichever phone you prefer to receive calls on — in this case, your smartphone.
There are several types of virtual phone numbers:
- Local virtual phone numbers – These phone numbers are offered in specific area codes or cities, helping to create a local presence.
- Toll free virtual phone numbers – These virtual numbers are toll free.
- Global virtual phone numbers – Global virtual numbers are specific to each country. For example, if you need a way for your contacts in Spain to reach your smartphone, you’ll need a virtual number specific to Spain. Depending on the countries involved, you may need to order several global virtual phone numbers and then route them to your smartphone.
The type of virtual number you select will depend on your intended usage. For example, if you plan on using it exclusively with your local contacts, a local virtual phone number within your area code is the obvious choice. On the other hand, if you have business contacts across the country, or around the globe, a toll free or global virtual phone number may be a better choice.
How it Works
The beauty of using a virtual phone number that rings to your smartphone is this: you can keep your cell phone number completely private and control when to receive virtual calls on it.
When you first set up the virtual phone number, you will be prompted to designate a “ring to” number (or destination number). Enter your smartphone number here. This means that anytime someone dials the virtual phone number, the call will be forwarded to your smartphone.
Note that you can change this ring-to number as needed. Therefore, you might set it to ring to your office phone during business hours and then to your smartphone for your commute home and during select hours on the weekend with voicemail picking up during the times you don’t want to be disturbed. You can even automate your preferred schedule using the “time of day routing” feature.
Using a virtual phone number on your smartphone is a smart way to ensure your business contacts can reach you during and after business hours. Not only can they have an alternate means of reaching you, you can control how and when the virtual phone number is forwarded to your cell phone.