Would it feel weird to you to if you called an 800 number to order a pizza? Or dialed 1-800-HAIRCUT to schedule a trim? What about calling toll-free to a store a few miles away to see what time it opens? At first blush, you might think not think much of it. But, when you start to dial that number, you might start to wonder, "why aren’t I calling a local number for a local service?"
Guess what? Your customers feel the same way!
If your company has satellite offices, you probably need more than a toll-free number. Because looking local to your customers is important to them, it should matter to you, too! Here’s why companies with multiple locations should invest in local business numbers for each of their offices.
1. You’re part of the community.
Having a local number (or numbers) caters to regional customers. When a customer sees his area code, he thinks, “I can trust this brand to take care of me in my hometown,” even if your brand is known nationwide. Which leads us to the next point:
2. Your customers trust you; you’re not just an outsider.
Face it, not all potential customers trust the idea of a company who isn’t “from around here.” No matter how well you serve your customers, research shows that, among businesses who use both local and toll-free numbers in yellow page listings, the local numbers bring in upwards of 68 percent more leads. That’s a lot of leads! Maybe it’s sentimentality, maybe it’s because a local number is associated with close ties, or maybe it’s just because there are still a lot of people who haven’t bought in to the idea of not having brick-and-mortar store to do business at, but what’s local is golden.
3. Your numbers have the local business “feel.”
Local business is associated with personalized service that is a must for all businesses, whether they’re based one or one thousand miles away. Toll-free numbers have a hard time with this. One study said it this way:
“The reason why ads with 800 numbers fail to receive high call volumes in both print and online media is because of the general negative reaction of customers to an 800 number. Such a number suggests the following: “not a local business”, “call centre”, “long waiting queues”, “less personal service”, “automated voice systems.”
If your company has multiple locations, numbers pinpointed to each office can give you an advantage over toll-free-only competitors.
4. You can add numbers for each location.
As your company reaches its growth goals, you’ll be able to connect as many additional local numbers as you need in as many locations as you need.
For example, consider Dr. Clean, our favorite dentist. He’s got a main practice as well as a satellite office about an hour away. Though only about 70 miles apart, his satellite office is located in a different time zone and is on the state border, and the closest town, where most of his patients live, is actually in the bordering state.
When Dr. Clean established his second office, he chose to add a number local to the town his patients live in. He wanted his patients to understand from the minute they called to schedule their appointments that he was their local dentist, even though his main office was in a different town. That way, he could avoid the misperception that patients would have to travel to a different city (in a different area code) for their care.
5. You can still have your 800-number, too.
Of course, your business may need and benefit from a toll-free number, too. We think you should have all the tools you need to help your business succeed, so you get both. By pairing local and toll-free numbers, you can maximize your reach and your target audience.
From a customer service standpoint, it makes sense, doesn’t it?
Looking local is also easy to implement. Through number routing, companies with multiple locations can easily establish several local business numbers (and toll-free numbers, too!).
Then, once you’ve established your numbers, you can track and measure your business to see where business is booming and where you may need to make adjustments. With that information, you’ll be able to identify what really makes your phone ring (and you’ll be adding more numbers in no time!).
Have we convinced you yet? You can pick your number here, or, give us a call or contact us to if you need a little more information.