As your business grows, so do the needs of your customers. And a local office number might not be enough to handle hundreds of calls per day. And this is where switching to a Toll-free number can be a game-changer.
Whatever sector or market your company competes in, maintaining customer communication is essential. Whether for sales or customer service, a dedicated toll-free phone number ensures you never lose touch with your customers.
If you're just getting started, your local office number probably might be enough. However, when your company starts to grow and begins to attract more clients, your front desk number will most likely become insufficient.
As a result, getting a toll-free phone number makes the most sense. In this article, we will talk about why your business needs a toll-free number.
What is a Toll-Free number?
A toll-free number is a phone number that your customers can call free of charge. It works by billing the cost of all arriving calls to the owner of the number, rather than the person making the call. Toll-free numbers are popular with large-scale businesses whose customers may be continents away. Having a toll-free number means the customers don’t have to worry about long-distance fees or international rates while reaching out to you. This does wonders for improving the customer experience and building trust and loyalty in your customer base.
A toll-free number begins with a three-digit code that denotes the region of the number. These number prefixes can look like this: 800, 877, 866, etc.
Some companies use toll-free numbers to great advantage for marketing their brand by using vanity numbers. These numbers use personalized serials or codes to make the number more appealing, easy to remember, or promote their brand. For example, FedEx the international delivery service uses a vanity number with their name inserted in it – 1-800-GO-FEDEX. Another funny example is 1-800-HURT-NOW, which as you probably guessed, is a personal injury attorney service.
How do you get a toll-free number?
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a business can get a toll-free number through “Responsible Organizations” or “RespOrgs”. These RespOrgs are toll-free number service providers who can get you your desired toll-free number on a first come first serve basis. They might also provide additional services like call monitoring, maintaining caller databases, and recording services. They might even provide VoIP integration, making the system even more convenient.
LimePhone offers toll-free service along with a host of other features like call analytics, monitoring, automated text replies, and many more. Alternate services might be RingCentral or Grasshopper. Typically, vendors include toll-free numbers as a package with other services which might drive up the costs. So, shop around for the plan that suits you the best.
How to tell if you need a toll-free number?
Toll-free numbers aren’t as popular as they once were. With the rise of the smartphone and internet connectivity, fewer and fewer people reach out to companies or brands through phone calls. Again, Toll-free numbers might be relatively inexpensive but they still require money to own and maintain. So if you’re running a small business, this might be an unnecessary expense that would be better used somewhere else.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to target a customer base using landlines, a toll-free number might help bring more attention to your business and make it more accessible. And of course, the marketing potential is only limited by your imagination.
So, in short, if you’re a medium to large business looking to grow your brand or need a way for your customers to reach you easily, a toll-free number might be exactly what you need. But if you are a small or local business with a small and localized customer base, a toll-free number might be unnecessary.
Pros of using a toll-free number
Now that you’re sure that a toll-free number is a right move for your business, let’s take a look at the potential advantages that a toll-free number can bring to the table.
Here are some of the pros of getting a toll-free number.
· Increased Credibility: Toll-free numbers give the impression that the company is established and professional, which can enhance the company's credibility. They provide an image of being a large and reputable business, even for smaller companies, which can help increase customer trust and confidence.
· Increased Availability: Toll-free numbers are available 24/7, allowing customers to reach the business at any time. This can help businesses provide better customer service by being available outside of regular business hours.
· Scalability: Toll-free numbers can easily scale with the growth of a business. They can accommodate an increasing volume of calls and can be configured to handle multiple calls at once. This allows businesses to expand their operations without worrying about communication systems.
· Marketing and Advertising: Toll-free numbers can be used in marketing and advertising campaigns to encourage potential customers to contact the business. They can be included in print ads, websites, social media, and other promotional materials. They can also be used to track the success of advertising campaigns by monitoring call volume.
· Global Reach: Toll-free numbers can be dialed from anywhere in the world, making it easy for businesses to expand their reach globally. This can help businesses attract customers from other countries and create a more diverse customer base.
· Competitive Advantage: Toll-free numbers can give businesses a competitive advantage by providing better customer service and making it easier for customers to contact them. This can help businesses stand out in a crowded market and attract more customers.
· Increased Sales: Toll-free numbers can help businesses increase sales by providing an easy and convenient way for customers to contact them. By providing customers with a toll-free number, businesses can encourage them to call and make purchases, increasing revenue and profits.
· Improved Call Routing and Management: Toll-free numbers allow businesses to route calls to the appropriate department or agent, improving call management and reducing wait times. This helps improve customer satisfaction by providing quicker access to the information they need.
· Improved Customer Analytics: Toll-free numbers can be used to collect customer data and analytics, such as call volume, call duration, and call origin. This information can be used to improve customer service and marketing strategies.
· Privacy and Security: Toll-free numbers provide a layer of privacy and security for both the business and the customer. Customers can call without revealing their phone numbers, and businesses can use call blocking and other features to prevent unwanted calls. Toll-free numbers also provide a secure line of communication for sensitive or confidential conversations.
· Portability: Toll-free numbers are transferable, so businesses can keep their old number for crucial business calls. When shifting their firm to a new location, they do not need to obtain a new phone number. As a result, there will be no disruptions in customer communications.
· Cloud Advantage: Toll-free numbers are compatible with cloud platforms, giving them an edge over traditional phone systems. Cloud communication systems enable optimal uptime and solid infrastructure, allowing businesses to provide a superior client experience.
· Customizable Features: Toll-free number services offer a range of customizable features, such as call forwarding, voicemail, and call recording. This allows businesses to tailor their communication system to their specific needs and improve their customer service.
Overall, toll-free numbers offer a range of advantages to businesses of all sizes. They can improve customer service, increase sales, and provide businesses with a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Cons of using a toll-free number
While toll-free numbers have many advantages, there are some disadvantages that small businesses should consider before deciding to use them:
· Cost: Although toll-free numbers are more affordable than traditional phone services, they can still be a significant expense for small businesses, especially those with low call volumes. Monthly subscription fees and per-minute charges can quickly add up, making toll-free numbers less cost-effective for some businesses.
· Perception: While toll-free numbers can increase a business's credibility, they can also create the perception that the business is larger than it is. This can be a disadvantage for small businesses that want to promote a personal touch or niche service.
· Limited Local Appeal: Toll-free numbers do not have a local area code, which may make it difficult for small businesses to appeal to customers who prefer to shop locally or who prioritize supporting local businesses.
· Dependency on Service Providers: Small businesses that use toll-free numbers are dependent on service providers for their communication needs. If the service provider experiences downtime or technical difficulties, the business may be unable to receive calls, which can result in lost sales and unhappy customers.
Overall, while toll-free numbers can be a valuable tool for small businesses, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding to use them. If you are a small business, consider your specific communication needs, call volume, and budget before making a decision.
· How do I get a toll-free number?
- You can get a toll-free number from any business phone service provider like LimePhone, RingCentral, Grasshopper, etc.
· Are toll-free numbers free internationally?
- No. It’s not possible to call a toll-free number from abroad. You can only your customers from the region your number supports.
· How much does a toll-free number cost?
- The price of a toll-free number depends on the service provider and the package it’s included in. On average, the cost is around 20$ to 60$ per month.
· Where can I get a vanity number?
- Most toll-free number providers have options for any sort of vanity number you could want. Some special numbers may be more expensive that the normal ones.
So to recap, a toll-free number is a phone number that your customers can call for free and the cost of the call is billed to the owner of the number. This is helpful for large businesses whose customers may be far away and doesn't want to pay long-distance fees.
Toll-free numbers can also be personalized for marketing your brand. You can get a toll-free number through service providers like LimePhone, RingCentral, or Grasshopper. Whether or not you need a toll-free number depends on the size of your business and your customer base.
If you're a medium to large business looking to grow your brand or need a way for your customers to reach you easily, a toll-free number might be helpful. But if you are a small or local business with a small customer base, a toll-free number might not be necessary.
Hope this article tells you everything you need to know about toll-free numbers. Be sure to check out LimePhone for more amazing features.