Please Describe the Story Behind Global Call Forwarding: How Did It All Start, And How Has It Evolved So Far?
United World Telecom was founded in 1996 in Delray Beach, Florida, by my father Thierry Genoyer and his brother Jean-Marc Genoyer with the goal of helping people make cost-effective and high-quality international phone calls.
At the time, Thierry worked as a financial analyst and found himself more and more frustrated with his job. So, he finally made a decision to start his own business and become independent.
In the past, he had looked into starting several other ventures, including an EdTech company, but those never came to fruition. Then, while reading the Wall Street Journal, he came across an article promoting the explosive growth of the international callback industry and its low barriers for entry.
For one, there was no large, dominant player in the industry. Secondly, starting an international callback business required a relatively small capital investment upfront.
As he continued reading, Thierry saw an ad for the equipment needed to start a callback business. He responded to the ad and received a tutorial on the business along with an offer to buy the necessary equipment. He also started researching equipment vendors and international voice termination wholesalers.
Because he had no background in telecommunications, he reached out to the director of telecommunications at the company where he worked at the time. Also, he had never worked with databases before, so he picked up an MS Access for Dummies book. Together, these helped him get started.
When his company was ready to go to market, Thierry built a website on Compuserve and joined various online forums that were related to the industry. He also found some international magazines where competitors advertised.
In its early days, United World Telecom modeled a lot of its go-to-market movement after competitors. This includes pricing, advertising, agent agreements, and more.
To get customers, United World Telecom advertised in Compuserve forums and placed ads in magazines like Asia Business, Jeune Afrique, and Newsweek International Edition — which was the best source of business for many years. Thierry and Jean-Marc also did a lot of cold calling early on.
In 2007, United World Telecom transitioned from reselling international callback solutions to providing call forwarding services. Global Call Forwarding was launched as an exclusive brand of United World Telecom and has expanded its service offerings over the years.
What services do you offer?
Global Call Forwarding is a leading call forwarding provider catering to multinational businesses worldwide. We provide international toll-free numbers and local phone numbers that businesses can activate from more than 150 countries.
Businesses can choose virtual phone numbers from our vast online inventory, control their phone system through an online portal, and set up custom call management features like routing rules. They can also make outgoing calls showing the same number as caller ID and much more.
Our workforce is a global and diverse team that is made up of people from eleven different nationalities and spread across three continents.
We serve thousands of businesses around the world across e-commerce, financial services, healthcare, travel, and insurance industries.
What are their benefits for an online business?
Global Call Forwarding can help an online business in a number of ways, as our solutions have dozens of use cases. The most common use case for our service is supplying direct phone numbers for sales, support, or internal help desks.
Teams can set up unique phone numbers for each employee to receive and make calls, while showing a local phone number as the caller ID. Companies will publish the numbers that we provide them on their website or on official messaging.
The primary benefit of our service is enabling businesses to establish a local presence in other countries.
More than eight in ten consumers prefer local businesses. In fact, some consumers are weary of dealing with international brands. They’re unlikely to answer calls from an international number they don’t recognize. If you’re doing business in other countries, showing a local presence helps you gain more opportunities and connect with more prospects.
Additionally, we have customers that use our services for campaign tracking. They assign different phone numbers for various campaigns or mediums so that they can measure how many calls each campaign generates and its success.
What distinguishes you from other Business Phone Number providers?
We have the largest online inventory of business phone numbers from 150 countries. Customers can browse our inventory and immediately purchase numbers that we have in stock, from even the most remote countries.
In addition to our global phone number coverage, our emphasis on call quality also sets us apart. While many carriers use least-cost routing (LCR), we’ve always resisted implementing untested and unproven routes to deliver calls.
Since the early days, we’ve only used big-name carriers for international call termination.
Finally, we believe that our customer service also sets us apart. Unlike many other telecommunication companies, our customers can always call us or chat with a real human being 24/7 – no robots.
We’re a family-owned business with a tight-knit team of kind, friendly, and smart people that are always happy to go the extra mile to help out.
How are you using Zoho SalesIQ?
Customer support is a major focus for us. Our customers can always chat with us for real-time troubleshooting or answers to any questions.
Zoho SalesIQ is very useful for us as a live chat tool on our website and online control panel.
Our sales team also uses Zoho SalesIQ to initiate chats and engage website visitors on high-intent pages.
Which trends or technologies do you find to be particularly exciting these days?
The cloud communications world is rapidly innovating. Some of my takeaways from Enterprise Connect centered around conversational intelligence, omnichannel communications, and interoperability as emerging themes in the future.
Online marketing is also constantly evolving. There’s already a lot of talk these days about community building, cookieless marketing, etc. But one of the most significant trends, in my opinion, is the rise of YouTube and video marketing.
Organic search is arguably the most valuable marketing channel. We get a lot of our business from Google.
According to BrightEdge, video thumbnails appear in about 26% of organic search results. In general, Google tends to show video results for these types of queries:
- How-to keywords (“how to screenshot”)
- Reviews (“AirPods review”)
- Tutorials (“setting up Google Analytics”)
- Anything fitness or sports related (“slam dunk”)
- Funny videos (“cute cats”)
Furthermore, pages with videos are 53 times more likely to rank on Google’s first page, according to Unbounce.
And this year, videos have started appearing in more and more search results, especially for informational B2B queries.
But video doesn’t only apply to search engine visibility. In fact, videos on landing pages can also increase your conversions by 80%, based on the same study.
So, we create informational videos about products and services that are related to our business. The videos that we’ve created in-house so far are a great supplement to our blog content, which had already been driving signups and generating leads. Our videos are also evergreen in the sense that they will be relevant to buyers for many years into the future.
If you want to learn more about Global Call Forwarding and United World Telecom, give them a call 24/7 or connect with them on LinkedIn.