In today’s hyper-connected world, there are multiple channels through which you can communicate with your customers—social media, SMS texting, chatbots, etc.
However, phone conversations are a more professional way to engage with your customers on business-related matters. Despite the growth of social media and instant messaging apps, 54% of customers still prefer phone conversations over other communication mediums.
Toll-free numbers are the most frequently used method, owing to the many benefits they bring to businesses. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to toll-free numbers and touch on the process of assigning these numbers. We’ll then explain why you should use them in your business.
What Are Toll-Free Numbers?
Toll-free numbers, also called freephone numbers, are telephone numbers with three distinct codes that allow customers to reach businesses without being charged for the call.
Common prefixes for toll-free numbers are 800, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888. These numbers are especially popular for customer service hotlines. You might have seen them on pamphlets, billboards, handouts, and even on business websites.
Basically, your business incurs the incoming call charges, so clients can freely reach customer service operatives at their convenience and whenever the need arises. Simply put, the cost of making a call to a toll-free number is borne by the business, not the customer.
Are Toll-Free Numbers Ideal for All Businesses?
Experts say “location” is the most important thing when buying property for commercial purposes. The same is true for determining whether you need a toll-free number for your business.
If all your customers are local, then the cost of a toll-free number may not be justified.
But if you have a national customer base or sell online, you may want to consider getting a toll-free number. If you’re getting a lot of orders via phone, getting a toll-free number might help to boost retention and increase your business’s credibility.
What Is the Process of Assigning a Toll-Free Number?
As mentioned, 800, 888, 866, 877, 855, 844, and 833 are the freephone numbers codes that you can work with. The FCC issues these numbers based on the order of application.
As a business owner, you would need to work with “Responsible Organizations (RespOrgs)” to set aside numbers and manage relevant records on your behalf. These organizations maintain access to toll-free databases to ease operations.
The FCC also auctions certain numbers within the 833 code database.
Note: The overall role of the FCC is to set rules regarding allocations and management, and to prevent the warehousing, brokering, and hoarding of freephone numbers, although there is an exception to this rule with the “833” code.
What Are the Benefits of Using Toll-Free Numbers in Your Business?
If you plan to set up a free phone calling service for your business, there are a few upsides. Here are a few advantages to using toll-free numbers for business.
Enhanced Customer Retention
When you have a toll-free number for your business, customers can conveniently reach your customer service representatives to air out concerns, opinions, complaints, and questions. This capability leaves a good impression on your clients. The more clients can reach you anytime and affordably, the more likely they will continue doing business with you.
Strengthens Your Brand Image
Having a free number your customers can call and get their issues solved portrays a positive image of your company.
Every organization aims to build a strong brand to better position itself in the ever-competitive marketplace. There are many strategies a company can use to strengthen its brand image. This may include participating in community events, erecting billboards, and more.
However, the most effective way to strengthen your brand image is to provide services that meet your customers’ needs. This way, your customers will market for you. They will become your brand ambassadors and spread good vibes about your brand on social media.
Toll-free numbers are a great place to start. These numbers come with considerable trust benefits. They are recognized as quick dial business hotline numbers, and any organization that uses them cannot be considered a cheap company.
Another benefit is that toll-free numbers make your business look trustworthy regardless of its size. This becomes particularly important when you are a start-up looking to build a loyal customer base. At the end of the day, clients want to work with businesses they deem credible and trustworthy. And a toll-free number can get you there.
You Can Leverage Toll-Free Numbers for Marketing
You can also use these numbers for marketing your products or services to existing and potential customers. During the lead generation process, it can sometimes become hard to convert leads into sales when there is a low awareness within the market.
The solution is to get a toll-free number and have prospective clients call in to make inquiries. When leads are generated, you can direct your sales team to follow up and improve sales.
Toll-Free Numbers Are Affordable
Toll-free numbers are associated with a higher return on investment (ROI). These numbers are relatively affordable for most businesses compared to mainstream telephone subscriptions. Therefore, you get a good value for money when you allow customers to call in for free.
Toll-Free Numbers Are Easy to Remember
Finally, it is easier for customers to remember your organization’s toll-free line than to master mainstream telephone numbers.
Vanity numbers that use identifiable patterns of letters and numbers can easily be recalled. An example of a vanity number is 1 (888) FLOWERS. Return clients will have this number at the back of their heads, making it easier for them to remember and call anytime they need your services.
Regardless of the industry in which your business operates, getting a toll-free line has several advantages. Freephone numbers can help you enhance customer retention, improve credibility, strengthen your brand image, and market your products or services.
Ready to get a toll-free number?
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Get in touch with us today for more information on toll-free numbers and how our solution can help meet your business needs.