Sometimes even a very small business change can have a major impact for your company, and the area of communications provides just such an opportunity. Securing a toll-free number for your company is fairly inexpensive, and the setup is very easy to accomplish, but the benefits it can provide go far beyond the simple cost of setting one up. Here’s what you need to know about business toll-free telephone numbers, and how they can help your business.
Toll-free Numbers with VoIP
Traditional business systems can handle both local calls and long-distance calls, and if you do business across several different regions, at least some of your customers will have to make long distance calls. By setting up a toll-free number, all of your customers will be able to call you, free of charge.
If you have your toll-free number set up with a hosted VoIP system, the charges to you are minimal, especially when compared to old-style land lines. The advantage of coupling your toll-free number with a VoIP system is that it gives you access to additional features, for instance call hold, ACD queues, etc.
To get up and running, all you have to do is notify your VoIP provider that you’d like to set up a toll-free number for your customers, and it can likely be installed within just a few hours. Even though VoIP services will permit you to have virtual phone numbers in any area code, it is still very much to your advantage to have a toll-free number set up.
Especially for companies which have a broad customer base, it’s advantageous to have a toll-free number when you’re not sure where your clients are calling from. Another good thing about having a toll-free number, is that it is a clear indication to your clients that you are a national company, as opposed to one with only a local presence.
Benefits of Toll-Free Numbers
One of the first ways that toll-free number will benefit your business is by improved customer satisfaction. Just by having the toll-free number, you will be providing better customer service because it toll-free number is almost always easier to remember, and also usually easier to locate. Your customers won’t be bothered with long-distance charges, and they won’t have to wait till they get home to call you. If you have a customer who is already upset about something, the last thing you want to do is make it difficult for them to contact you.
Generally speaking, toll-free numbers can be customized to reflect some aspect of your business, and in fact, vanity numbers are still trending hugely in the business world. Most phone numbers can be hard to remember, but that’s not the case when your phone number actually spells out a phrase that is associated with your business. It only requires a tiny bit of creativity for someone internally to invent a phrase which spells out some specific aspect of your company, that has a close association with your business process.
Flexible Phone Numbers
Like most VoIP features in general, toll-free numbers are fairly flexible, so if you do happen to move to another provider, you can take your toll-free number with you. Your location will have no impact on the toll-free number itself, so no matter where you move to, you will still have the same toll-free number which your customers can keep calling.
You can extend the concept by installing an entire group of toll-free numbers for whatever country you’re operating in, and if you operate in several countries, you can install several groups of toll-free numbers, one for each country.
Use Them as a Marketing Tool
If you can dream up something very catchy to spell out with the characters of your toll-free number, you can use it effectively as a marketing tool for your company. Whether it’s business partners or clients, they will all be reminded of your company every time they make a call.
Many companies have taken advantage of this built-in benefit by setting up a vanity phone number which they can use in an advertising campaign. It’s very easy to couple your toll-free number to a memorable song or jingle, or possibly even to a call to action. A really good toll-free number can be used across all your marketing and advertising efforts, e.g. TV ads, billboards, radio advertising, customized stationery, etc.
Legitimize Your Business
If you have only a small business, and you are having difficulty competing against medium-size companies or even large corporations, toll-free numbers may be the ideal way for you to level the playing field. They cost very little, but they can pay enormous dividends in terms of brand recognition and perceived professionalism.
Customers tend to view companies with toll-free numbers in a slightly different way, and they may perceive your company to be larger than it really is. Having a toll-free number conveys the impression that you have a national presence, regardless of whether you really do or not.
It can have the effect of building credibility for your company, and legitimizing your business, without you making any effort whatsoever to extol your company’s virtues, or to attempt any huge marketing effort. It’s a very little thing that can have a very huge impact on your business.