In this guide, you'll learn
It is the year 2023, and, regardless of their field of expertise, businesses worldwide need to continue to provide their audience with a straightforward platform for customer support.
In the hyper-connected world, growing companies will sometimes find their existing infrastructure falling short and handling all inquiries becoming increasingly difficult.
This is when toll-free numbers come to play.
First things first: what exactly is a toll-free call number?
Toll-free numbers are a unique type of “virtual number”. Unlike standard virtual numbers, these can be dialed without incurring any charges to the caller. Toll-free call numbers allow callers to reach out to your company from either a landline or a mobile device 100% free of charge. Toll-free numbers are often preceded by an 800, 866, 877 or 888 prefix.
These numbers are also known as freephone numbers in some regions, but this term is not used in North America.
For the better part of 6 decades, companies worldwide have chosen to pick up the bill for all their incoming calls to avoid callers being discouraged from getting in touch – a move that could potentially deploy business of valuable leads.
While diversifying your contact options can help you grow your client base (think of social media chats or email support), the toll-free approach is bound to withstand the test of time. This is because offering your audience the possibility of real-time communication over the phone is not only an efficient strategy but also does wonders for your brand reputation.
Who can benefit from a toll-free number?
If you are in the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey, you might be tempted to believe toll-free call numbers are not for you. This is likely due to the fact that, for a long time, toll-free calls have been associated with large businesses and corporations operating from the four corners of the world.
This, though, does not have to be the case. As the general public also intuitively associates a toll-free call number with some of the more established companies, your audience will be more prone to take your brand seriously.
Moreover, setting up a toll-free infrastructure now will help you optimize time and resources down the road when you will inevitably need to streamline your inbound call flow.
Setting up a toll-free number. What to Look for?
Most toll-free numbers nowadays will leverage VoIP (voice-over-internet-protocol) platforms. These solutions allow for basic telephony features such as voicemail and caller ID, along with more advanced resources such as interactive voice response and call forwarding.
Different plans will involve slightly different features as well as cover a pre-determined geographic area. Depending on your individual business needs and the size and distribution of your enterprise, you can choose to work regionally, nationally, or globally.
The advantages of leveraging a toll-free number for businesses of any size
Organizations big and small choosing to adopt a toll-free number will soon start noticing the benefits of their investment – namely:
Choosing a “catchy” toll-free number can really help your audience familiarize themselves with your brand. To this aim, adopting a vanity number can be extremely effective. Vanity numbers allow you to add your company name or other hard-to-forget words to your call center number.
We already mentioned that toll-free numbers could be obtained through a wide range of prices. Notwithstanding, most plans are easily affordable, especially when you consider their virtually inevitable return on investment.
Among the many benefits of toll-free numbers, scalability is one you don’t want to overlook. While you might choose to start small, an effective inbound call strategy is likely to dramatically increase your call volume. This, in turn, will require you to upgrade your existing infrastructure to accommodate more inquiries. The perfect toll-free number landscape for your company is one that grows with you and adapts to the fluctuating nature of the inbound call process.
The bottom line
Whether you are an established company or a new entrepreneur looking for affordable and effective ways to improve communication with your audience and generate more leads, relying on toll-free call numbers can help you grow.
Incorporating brick-and-mortar approaches such as a landline into your social media and email strategy will bring unexpected results in terms of brand positioning, customer loyalty, and return on investment.