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TECHNOLOGY

A Virtual Phone Number is an Essential Tool in the Digital Era

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A Virtual Phone Number is an Essential Tool in the Digital Era


While it may seem as though our work needs us to be on call 24/7, there comes a time when there needs to be a line drawn between work and relaxation.

One of the key ways of achieving this while still providing a professional response to clients is through the use of a virtual phone number.

This article will explain exactly what a virtual phone number is and what it can do for you and your business.

What is a Virtual Phone Number?

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When we think about a traditional phone, then it’s limited by a physical location; it needs to be plugged into the socket for it to work. Then when we consider mobile phones, you need to have a SIM card to make calls or receive messages.

A virtual phone has none of these limitations. You can still make and receive calls and messages, but it also provides the opportunity to configure how it operates to meet your needs.

Key Benefits of a Virtual Phone Number

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We’ve identified six key benefits that will have you convinced of the need to get a virtual phone!

1. You Only Need One Phone

If you need two phone lines, then the traditional route would be to get a second phone and sim card. With that comes all the hassle of carrying them both around with you while also remembering to keep them both charged.

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With a virtual phone number, you just need one phone. So that means you have your sim card and then an app for the second number. Then there’s the added advantage of being able to get a virtual phone number up and running in just minutes. 

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2. Take Calls From Anywhere

If you’re traveling overseas, then using your mobile phone can start to get really expensive both for you to receive the call and for the person calling you. With a virtual phone number, you don’t get that problem. Because the number isn’t associated with a physical phone, you can take calls no matter where you are in the world.

Now you could be sitting on the beach on vacation and still take calls without anyone knowing any difference! (though we strongly recommend getting some time off from work each year!)

3. Flexibility in Directing Calls

Remember what we said about trying to get some time away from work? Well, with a virtual number, you can quickly and easily direct calls to another member of the team. 

4. Track Marketing Responses

When you have several marketing campaigns running at the same time, it can be difficult to accurately assess which one is giving you the best results. With virtual numbers, you could set up a different number for each campaign. Now you can answer calls knowing which campaign the caller is responding from, which means a far improved customer experience, and you can track your return on investment from your marketing spend.

5. Never Miss a Call

Not answering a call from a client is a sure-fire way of losing their business to the competition. A virtual number offers two different ways of avoiding that situation. First of all, you can set up the virtual number to be redirected to a group of other numbers at the same time. So that might mean that it goes to everyone in your customer service team. 

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The second option that comes with apps such as Chalkboard is to have an automated message response. So, when a call isn’t answered, the caller will be sent a pre-written autoreply message. While taking the call should always be the priority, there may be times when that can’t happen. This way, your client will still know that you value their call and that someone will come back to them.

6. Extra Functionality

With a landline phone its functionality is pretty much limited to making and receiving calls. With an app-based virtual number, you suddenly have access to a whole range of features to make life easier.

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So, one feature that can be a huge time saver for small businesses comes the ability to automate the customer review process. Getting reviews can be hugely time-consuming, from asking customers to give feedback through to checking and responding to what’s been published. 

A virtual app can automate the process of asking customers to provide reviews and then notify you every time a new review is published.



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TECHNOLOGY

How Hotels and Resorts are Adopting Virtual and Augmented Reality

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How Hotels and Resorts are Adopting Virtual and Augmented Reality


Once upon a time, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) were only used for video games or seen in movies (think Tony Stark and all of his cool gadgets in Iron Man).

But today, thanks to all of the advances in technology, the use of AR and VR is no longer something you see only in sci-fi thrillers or something that you use for entertainment. No today, AR and VR are becoming much more commonplace, and this technology is being used in a variety of useful applications across a variety of industries. The hotel and hospitality industry is just one field that is making use of augmented and virtual reality, and its popularity is really exploding!

In fact, AR and VR have become powerful marketing tools for hotels and resorts around the globe. These technologies are really changing the way people are travelling, and it’s definitely for the better.

How are hotels and resorts utilizing augmented and virtual reality and how are these technologies helping both entrepreneurs and travellers alike? Read on to discover the exciting technologically advanced future or travel!

What is Augmented and Virtual Reality?

Before we jump in and explore how hotels and resorts are using augmented and virtual reality, it’s first important to understand exactly what these technologies are.

Both AR and VR create experiences that fully immerse users into different environments or allow them to experience things in a whole new way, but these two technologies do differ. Loosely defined, virtual reality means near-reality (virtual meaning near and reality meaning the here and now; what you are actually experiencing.). Virtual reality immerses users into an interactive computer-generated environment. It incorporates a variety of senses, primarily sight and sound, to create a life-like experience. In other words, you feel as if you have been transported to another location even though you never physically left your current location.

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Augmented reality, on the other hand, involves adding to the reality that you already see; it doesn’t replace your reality, but rather enhances it. AR has the ability to bring elements of the digital world into the real world (again, think Tony Stark in Iron Man).

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So, now that you have a basic understanding of virtual and augmented reality, let’s examine how hotels and resorts are utilizing these technologies.

Providing an Experience Before Booking

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How many times have you reserved a hotel, only to find, much to your dismay, that it was not at all what you were expecting. Sure, pictures can help you get a vague idea of what to expect, but they really can’t give you a clear idea.

With virtual reality, you can get a real idea of where you’re going to be travelling before you make a reservation. You can slip on a headset and be transported to a resort or hotel and actually walk through the lobby, see the guest rooms, and check out all of the amenities.

VR is not only beneficial for travellers’, it is also beneficial to hotels and resorts; particularly lesser-known properties or those that are located in remote areas, as it allows them to give people the opportunity to see what they have to offer.

Establishing a Competitive Edge

The hotel and hospitality industry is extremely competitive. Travellers’ have so many options when it comes to where they can stay. And with hotel and resort database sites, like Booking.com and Travelicity.com, the competition has become even steeper.

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With so much competition, it can be hard for hotels and resorts to set themselves apart from the crowd. Photos and marketing content can only do so much. But augmented and virtual reality can really help hotels and resorts establish a competitive edge. It allows them to distinguish themselves and showcase their unique selling points. In other words, it gives them the chance to show prospective travellers the chance to explore the gardens, visit the restaurants, and lounge by the pool that resort A has to offer, thus allowing the resort to stand out in the crowd and attract more people.

Making Booking Easier

Another way that hotels and resorts are adopting advanced technologies to simplify the booking process for their guests. For example, most hotels and resorts offer different types of accommodations; standard rooms, suites, handicap accessible rooms, and so forth. By using augmented and virtual reality, guests can actually see what different accommodations offer to determine what will best meet their needs.

When potential visitors have the opportunity to really experience different accommodations, the process of making reservations becomes a lot easier for them.

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Ensuring Guest Satisfaction

Hotels and resorts are also using AR and VR as a way to improve guest satisfaction. When people have the chance to see what they are going to get before they arrive, it’s much more likely that they are going to have a more pleasant experience, and when they have a more pleasant experience, guests are much more satisfied. When guest satisfaction improves, so does the reputation of a hotel or resort, which translates to much greater success.

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Augmented Environments

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A lot of properties are using AR as a way to make the environment of their hotel or resort more enjoyable for their guests. For instance, some hotels are using AR to allow guests to use their smartphones to see them alongside images of their favourite celebrities or cartoon characters.  Other hotels are using AR as a means for showcasing products or entertainment options the hotel/resort features.

Summing It Up

Augmented reality and virtual reality are already proving to be invaluable tools for hotels and resorts around the globe. These technologies are a truly effective way to develop a competitive edge, allow guests to see what properties have to offer, improve the booking process, and ensure guest satisfaction.

Given the incredibly positive effects that augmented reality and virtual reality have had for hotels and resorts, it is exciting to think of how these technologies will further be adopted by hotels and resorts, and how AR and VR will enhance marketing for establishments and experiences for travellers in the future.



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