The short answer is yes, toll free numbers are quite relevant still. Toll free numbers can be an incredible asset to both small and large businesses, providing a free communication method for customers to reach their favorite businesses. Toll free numbers are easier than ever to obtain, and are quite versatile in how they can help boost your business’s sales and professional image. Does toll free matter? Keep reading to learn more about these great tools and how to obtain one for your business.
Toll Free Numbers
Toll free numbers are those 800 numbers you see on billboards, business cards, and other advertisements. The prefix for a toll free number is usually one of the following 800 combinations: 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, or 888. What does toll free actually mean?
Toll free means that whoever is placing the call to the 800 number will not be charged for the phone call, even if it’s a long-distance call. Customers can call help desks, support lines, or stores free of charge, with many toll free services supporting extensions and text services as optional features.
Having an extension directory can help customers locate the person or department best suited to assist them with their question or concern. If you’ve ever called a major department store such as Wal Mart or Target, you’ve probably heard the automated voice say something like “Press 1 for produce, 2 for electronics, etc.” This system helps organize and direct phone calls effectively, making wait times shorter and service quicker.
The Cost of a Toll Free Number
Depending on the plan you choose, your toll free number will either be billed on a per-minute basis or via a monthly service plan, much like your phone bill. Depending on the extra features you want, such as extensions or text features, the plan may cost more or less.
A minute-to-minute plan can be a great option for small businesses who don’t receive such a high call volume on a daily basis. You’ll only pay for the minutes you use, and so you can ensure you won’t be overcharged by a plan that offers a general charge to use the service. If your minute to minute plan exceeds the cost of a monthly plan, you might want to make the switch.
How are Toll Free Numbers Used?
Toll free numbers are still relevant because of the ease and convenience they create for customers. With a toll free number, you can increase customer satisfaction by making it easier to reach you, and with quick response times from each department or team member.
No matter what time of day it is or what the customer’s location is, the call won’t cost them anything. Why should customers have to pay to reach your business with questions about your products or services?
A business that is difficult to reach or operates outside of the customer’s locality can be frustrating for the customer, potentially causing them to disengage with your brand and costing you future sales opportunities. A toll free number makes your brand easier and less costly to reach, even if you’re operating in a different state or country.
Another advantage of toll free numbers is that they are easy to remember. If you decide to purchase a vanity number, you can include a phrase or acronym in your phone number to make it even easier for your customers to remember. Something along the lines of “1800-FLOWERS” is simple to remember and associates that phone number with your business or industry.
With toll free numbers, you’ll increase the credibility and professional image of your brand as well. A toll free number makes your business sound larger and more legitimate, even if you’re a startup. Customers will see the 800 number as a sign of your legitimacy and may be more likely to trust your brand even if they’ve never interacted with it before.
If you decide to move to another state or country or even switch providers, your toll free number will follow you. It doesn’t matter what your geographical location is, the toll free number makes any call placed to it free to the caller. This level of portability makes moving simple, without having to acquire a new phone number and potentially confuse your customers.
Marketing Made Simple
Having an 800 number for ads can make the marketing process simple since the number will be easier to read and memorize. Vanity numbers make for excellent marketing tools, and you can even use your 800 number to track your marketing efforts.
You can ask your customers which ad they saw your number in, to get a better idea of where your marketing efforts are having the greatest effect. If your toll free number is attracting attention in one area but not in another, you know where you need to focus your marketing efforts from now on. Narrowing down your marketing efforts will make them much more effective long-term.
Toll free numbers will probably always be relevant since they’re a simple way for businesses to give back to the customer by providing a free way to get in touch. Nothing beats free, and customers will definitely appreciate a no-charge call, especially if they have a complaint. Increase your customer satisfaction with a toll free number today, or upgrade to a vanity number for easier memorization and brand recognition.