Communication has been a foremost strategy for businesses to gain an advantage and expand in the 21st century. Businesses now use communication strategies to connect with their clients and corporate partners in real-time instead of spending days going back and forth. Gone are the days when this was dependent on telephone calls, going through multiple exchanges, and waiting for hours. The days when the ones who had to bear the cost were the customers.
However, with time, the trends changed. Smarter business strategies led to phone numbers dedicated for the customers to use, free of charge. Today, they are known as the toll-free number for businesses.
In this post, we shall go in-depth on this topic. We will learn about how it benefits businesses, types of toll-free numbers, interesting facts, and much more. So, stay tuned and read all the way through!
What is a Toll-Free Number?
A toll-free number is the phone number owned by a particular business, where the dialer (dialing this number) does not incur any charges or application fees - making it a convenient option to communicate with the business. That charge is being borne by the number's owner, which is the business!
It is one of the most popular and convenient methods for customers to readily connect with the business for general doubts, services, prices, etc.
Toll-free numbers can be used in numerous ways through different channels, from optional add-ons to standalone platforms like 800.com.
The cost of the toll-free number (borne by its owner) depends on the type of service, like for Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) platforms, you can expect the cost to be roughly around $10 to $15 per month.
Benefits of a Toll-Free Number
Thousands of businesses, corporations, and companies use toll-free and vanity numbers to promote their business and provide the best customer experience. Now let's take a look at why this kind of service has become an industry standard.
Allows Call Routing And Localization
Toll-free numbers have an option for call routing depending on the language, region, customer type, and other factors that can help improve the customer’s interaction.
Free of Charge for the Caller
The owner of the toll-free number, which is the company, is liable for all the charges associated, hence completely free for the dialer.
Using a catchy toll-free number, targeted audiences can connect with your brand more easily. This can be achieved through a vanity number. You can readily customize your contact center number with your company’s name.
Probably the most vital benefit is scalability, where your toll-free number has several advanced features allowing it to grow to meet your company’s needs. This lets you get the most out of your number.
Better Customer Service
Customers are the backbone of any business. Therefore, it's important to value them. Toll-free numbers extend a courtesy to the customers, sowing the seeds for a great customer experience. This is crucial for favorably establishing your company’s reputation among consumers.
A Portable Solution
Contrary to the conventional process where you need to change your phone number after relocating to another state or country, with toll-free numbers, you can move wherever in your region without needing to change your business number.
Toll-free numbers can provide way more than just two-way communication between your business and the customer, it can be paired with many useful features and add–ons that can make a significant impact on how you run your business. Toll-free numbers can be supplemented with call analytics, auto-attendant systems, smart routing, etc. These features can greatly improve the functionality of toll-free numbers and how they help your business.
Does Your Business Need a Toll-Free Number?
Toll-free numbers start with a unique 3-digit prefix code like 800, 888, 877, 855, 844, etc. The remaining part of the number can be anything you like. For example, they can be the numerical initials of your company name like the toll-free number of Jet Blue Airlines - 1 800 JET BLUE (538 2583).
On the other hand, a more marketable and amusing example is 1-800-HURT-NOW. It is a vanity number for a personal injury attorney firm. These examples show that the creative use of toll-free vanity numbers can provide brand value and free marketing for your company or business. Not to mention they make it much easier for your customers to remember your number and more importantly, make them want to call you.
Another key advantage of toll-free numbers is using them to connect your customers and clients to customer service. Service is one of the most crucial elements that play a defining role in how your business is perceived. Providing your customer with easy access to desired services along with making the process free of cost earns your loyalty from the customer base and promotes the brand's reputation. It can level up your brand with a seamless and smoother experience ensuring trust with your clients.
To summarize in short, toll-free numbers bring life to a brand by helping it grow successfully through entrusting clients.
Types of Toll-Free Numbers
The toll-free number is broadly categorized into three parts:
- International Toll-Free Number: As per the name, international toll-free numbers are the numbers that let its customers connect with the business internationally. These calls are free for the caller and can be forwarded to landlines, mobile phones, or even VoIP softphones. International toll-free numbers are tightly regulated and can be expensive.
- Domestic Toll-Free Number: Domestic toll-free number is similar to the international type but uses a local number and is confined within a single country. It is the type of number used by domestic firms having offices in several locations nationwide rather than abroad and allows its consumers to call them hassle-free, paying no additional expenses. They have fewer restrictions than international toll-free numbers and are cheaper as well.
- Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN): The Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN) is a single eleven-digit number that can be used in all business locations, whether local or abroad. It is a global toll-free number and can be used to call a business from anywhere in the world. But it is by far the most complicated and cost-inhibitive.
How to Get a Toll-Free Number for Your Business?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the governing board that manages toll-free numbers and holds the power to make any amendments to the rules and regulations of operating a toll-free number whenever the need may arise.
Toll-free numbers are available on a first-come-first-serve basis and are distributed typically through a ‘Responsible Organization’ (RespOrgs), which reserves, manages, and distributes the toll-free numbers to the business owners.
Here are the steps to obtain a toll-free number from providers like Limephone:
- Sign up for the Limephone account with your email address or Google account for a seven-day free trial.
- Choose the 'toll-free number' option.
- You are good to go! Now enter your payment details to use it for seven days, then chargeable.
- After completing the payment, you can start with your toll-free number service.
- It's good to market it through social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and official websites.
How are Toll-Free Numbers Used by Different Industries?
Toll-free numbers offer a professional touch to your brand and create a long-lasting impression on your customers. But the big question is, how do different industries utilize this platform?
One industry where the effects COVID pandemic has made the least impact is the Information Technology (IT) industry. This is largely because this industry utilizes cutting-edge automation in every layer of operation to maximize productivity with minimum human involvement. One of the greatest examples of this is Automated Toll-free Lines used by Tech companies, which allow customers to reach out and get support automatically, with minimum human oversight.
As a result, more customers are inclined toward IT services, including employees migrating from other sectors. The primary role of the toll-free number here is to generate leads by responding to the clients timely and effectively, helping them know about products or services, or through providing support.
Recruiting agencies are crucial to connect skilled people with the right employment openings suiting their profile. Here toll-free numbers can benefit both candidates and hiring companies by connecting them through a common line incurring no charges.
The automotive industry is a significant sector considering modern development, including vehicle dealers, automotive parts suppliers, service & repair shops, and auto financiers. Moreover, it is an enormous industry with numerous departments, from machining, assembling, and quality control, to final testing. To connect these, toll-free numbers play a crucial role by reducing lead time and promoting efficient productivity.
Mortgage businesses, lending companies, brokers, management investment organizations, insurance firms, to banks - all use a toll-free number for hassle-free communication with customers and clients.
Normally, these organizations tend to set up these numbers with automated answering providing detailed product information, ensuring that the client, can quickly get the service they want, creating a better customer experience, and promoting loyalty.
Emergency medical services are an overlooked mainstay for toll-free numbers. A medical emergency can happen anywhere and to anyone. A toll-free number allows for quick reporting of such unforeseen occurrences and prompt response. Here, even a minor delay can prove disastrous. Hence, toll-free numbers are a life-saving tool that can be used to call an ambulance or an emergency response immediately by dialing a specific number.
Toll-free numbers are widely used in the entertainment industry as a marketing tool. For example, a reality show may have a catchy toll-free vanity number that helps the production team to collect audience votes from across the country to finalize the winner. It's through these toll-free numbers that thousands of members of the audience can cast their votes.
Government and Non-Government Organizations
Organizations run by the government can have toll-free numbers if necessary. For example, the emergency number ‘911’ used by the police is technically a toll-free number that allows citizens to report emergencies.
Not just for government organizations but for non-profit organizations as well, toll-free numbers can be immensely useful to gather support for a cause, reach out to those who need aid, and so on.
Interesting Facts about Toll-Free Numbers
- Toll-free numbers are easy to remember, making them a worthwhile option for marketing.
- Calling toll-free numbers is more appealing to customers, as there is no price associated. Research shows that callers are 84% more likely to call a toll-free number than a regular business number. Thus they have a great impact on customers' responses and loyalty to the brand.
- Toll-free numbers can also be a great investment! A good toll-free number might be worth a lot of money. If your toll-free number gains popularity, you might be able to auction it off, making a substantial return on your investment.
- You don't need any additional hardware for setting up your toll-free number. Toll-free numbers work with your existing equipment like landlines, cell phones, VoIP, etc.
What Countries Support Toll-Free Numbers?
Almost 80% of countries support this feature. But if you are from North America but have traveled to another country, to call a toll-free number, there are certain permissible long-distance charges. However, these are comparatively lesser than your traditional overseas call.
What is the Average Cost of a Toll-Free number?
Since toll-free numbers are available and distributed by various providers, prices may vary. Some approved providers will charge $15 in addition per minute for incoming calls by its owner. Moreover, there are translation charges if you operate in another region with a different local language. So, it’s better to check beforehand with the toll-free number provider about the hidden costs.
How LimePhone Can Help?
Getting a toll-free number is much simpler and more affordable with Limephone, offering numerous advanced features for hassle-free customer service and client communication. Besides this, Limephone offers certain other benefits, as described below.
- Work Together: If your colleague is working a separate shift and needs to connect in real time for an official meeting, the internal thread in Limephone helps you to stay on the same network line.
- User-Friendly: Limephone is web-based, so you can download the app easily on your smartphone or laptop. Just select the number with the toll-free code and let Limephone do the rest!
- Improved Customer Service: There are numerous brilliant features of Limephone, such as call recording, auto-replies, call routing, etc. All of these features work seamlessly to ensure the best customer service experience. Here, you don’t need to hire a separate team to manage all the incoming calls - just automate replies with the virtual assistant and you’re set!
- Easily Use Multiple Numbers: Small business owners can also get a toll-free number along with their regular number and manage incoming calls, voicemails, and SMS messages from both at the same time. Limephone!
- Affordable: Affordability is something that makes Limephone stands out in terms of the toll-free number services.
In conclusion, toll-free numbers are a unique opportunity that works as both an irreplaceable line of communication, but also as a versatile marketing tool.
We hope our efforts to explain toll-free numbers in this article have been fruitful! If you found it fascinating and worthwhile, then share it with your friends!
To learn more about the Limephone services, get in touch with us or visit limephone.io for more details.