Is Your Business Ready For Brexit?
With the triggering of Article 50 just round the corner, there is still much we don’t know about how Brexit will affect trade between Britain and the rest of the EU.
At this point it’s far from certain that Britain will enjoy tariff free access to important European markets (and vice versa), or how tariffs may influence trade. With long negotiations ahead it’s likely we are in for a period of instability.
What is for sure is that trade will continue between Britain and the EU in some form. Brexit is bound to affect some industries more than others and no doubt there will be winners as well as losers when an agreement is finally reached.
What can your business do now to prepare for Brexit?
If your business trades with others across the EU, or if you are European company that trades with Britain, it is wise to plan ahead and do what you can now to minimise disruption at a later date.
One simple step you can take now is to set up a contact phone number in each country you operate in that your customers and suppliers can use to contact you. By doing this now when the process is clear and straightforward, you can establish a presence and promote your number(s) ahead of any changes. This will ensure continuity when Britain finally leaves the EU.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need a phone number for every country operate in, but setting up a dedicated number in each of your main markets would be prudent and an easy way to protect your business from disruption and difficulties further down the road.
When it comes to choosing a number there are many different options available to you. Not every option is available in every country though, and the rules and regulations do vary from country to country.
Here is a short summary of the options available to you:
- Local Numbers. A popular choice is to set up a local or regional number in each country and use that as your contact number there. For example, you could set up a Berlin number if you operate in Germany and a Paris number if you operate in France. Local/regional numbers are easily recognised and trusted in each country, with a low call cost shared between both you and the caller.
- Freephone Number. If you’re interested in using freephone numbers, we usually recommend setting up a dedicated number for each country you operate in. This is more straightforward than using a Universal Freephone Number (see below) as it allows you to target individual countries separately. The cost you will pay to receive calls does vary from country to country though, and in some cases you may be required to pay the full call charge on calls received from mobiles. This can add up, so it’s worth weighing up whether there’s a business case for choosing this option.
- Universal Freephone Number. This is a single freephone number that can be dialled across many European countries. The prefix code may vary from country to country, but the main number itself stays the same. Whilst in theory this sounds ideal, the Universal Freephone Number is not without its problems so may not be a good fit for you. It is not accessible from every country and the prefix changing from country to country may cause confusion in some cases.
- Premium Rate Numbers. Another option would be to use a non-geographic premium rate number. This would be similar to using an 0870 number in the UK. There are different options available in each country, so it’s usually best to contact us for more information. Premium rate numbers can help keep your costs down, whilst also not being excessively expensive for your callers.
Of course you’re free to mix-and-match number types and choose the best option for each country.
Using international numbers with your Callagenix services
Integrating your international numbers with your Callagenix services is very easy as they work in exactly the same way as all the UK ranges. In other words, you can use any international number with any Callagenix service. It’s simple to add them onto your existing phone service or set up a completely new way of handling the call. For example, you may wish to divert calls in each country to a local agent or support team, or just divert them back to a specialist language team in your UK office. It’s completely up to you.
If you have any questions about how to set up or operate one or more international numbers using your Callagenix account please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options.
Things can vary quite a lot from country to country, so it’s worth getting in touch early to find out what’s involved.
It’s not just the EU
In this article we focussed on Britain and the European Union but the information above applies to other countries around the world. We can supply a range of number types from over 100 countries, so no matter where you do business we’ve got you covered. Get in touch today to find out more.