As you may know, when a caller dials a toll free number, the caller isn’t charged for making the call. Instead, the subscriber is billed to put the call through as a courtesy to their customers and clientele. In this article, we’ll take a look at some important reasons why your business should be using toll free numbers, as well as how they can impact your business.
Opening Lines of Communication
One of the primary reasons that businesses use toll free numbers is to open up lines of communication between their customers, both potential and pre-existing. Because it is impossible to know how many customers aren’t contacting you because they’ll face charges from their service provider, a toll free number serves as a bridge between your business and the caller. If the caller resides in the same country as your toll free number, then your business can be reached toll free.
However, what happens when a domestic toll free number is dialed by a person outside of the country? For those international customers, callers may be billed long-distance charges or blocked outright by their service provider’s network restrictions — defeating the purpose of advertising a toll free number in the first place.
For those who seek alternatives, there is a workaround for businesses that want to open toll free lines of communication for their international customers — ITFS numbers. Short for “International Toll Free Service numbers,” ITFS numbers allow your business to extend toll free services abroad while also preserving the same numbering format and functionality of “normal” international toll free numbers.
Building a Professional Image
When you call a large business or a government institution, you’ll probably dial a toll free number to get in touch with them. For smaller businesses and startups, using a toll free number helps boost your market value and enhances your image among your competition — especially for those who are just starting out and have yet to become fully established.
For instance, if you had two similar businesses to choose from with nearly identical services, but one offered a toll free number and the other went to someone’s personal mobile phone, which would seem more professional? Obviously, the one with a toll free number clearly and instantly comes across as a business number.
The idea is that toll free numbers are a useful service for customers, but they also serve as a subconscious indicator among the public that your business is a full-fledged professional entity.
Marketing and Advertising
Similarly, for businesses using toll free numbers, there are cost-effective marketing abilities built automatically in if you advertise them prominently. After all, think of the many popular businesses that have used toll free numbers in their commercials. Many of them opt to not only offer cost-free calling, but they use vanity numbers which are easy to remember, which has the unique benefit of making the company’s more memorable. Just a short list of companies who take advantage of this service includes:
- 1 (800) FLOWERS
- 1 (800) COLLECT
- 1 (800) MATTRESS
- 800-Virus-No (McAfee Anti-Virus)
- 800-Junk-USA (College Hunks Hauling Junk)
- 800-44-Store (Public Storage)
- 800-905-Geek (Geeks on Call)
To advertise your toll free number, make sure to post the number prominently on all marketing materials, website(s), social media posts (and profiles), email campaigns, and so forth.
Because most toll free numbers are powered by VoIP (“Voice over Internet Protocol”), particularly through the abilities of cloud computing, toll free numbers can now be augmented with a host of add-ons and features that can increase a business’ operations. For instance, by using “call recording,” a business can comply with international regulatory committees that seek to reduce scammers by having evidence of their wrong-doing. Additionally, call recording can help ensure that your business staff is compliant with protocol and procedures, providing the best customer service in line with your company’s mission.
Other add-ons include “simultaneous ringing,” which — just as the name implies — allows all designated phone lines to ring when a caller decides to contact your business through your toll free number.
If you’re interested in purchasing toll free numbers for your business, consider using United World Telecom (https://www.unitedworldtelecom.com) for your organization’s needs. With toll free numbers available in more than 140 countries, UWT offers a large number of features and add-ons that can enhance how you do business and communicate with clientele, including:
- SMS forwarding
- Advanced IVR/PBX
- Call recording
- Simultaneous ringing
- Vanity phone numbers
- ITFS numbers
- Time of day routing
by Tom Senkus
Author’s Bio: Tom Senkus is an entrepreneur that shares his knowledge of the telecommunications industry. His work has been featured in over fifty publications.