Pay phones. Calling collect. Toll free numbers.
One of these things is not like the others.
Long gone are the days of scouting out a phone booth to make a phone call, and cell phone minute plans make calling collect ubiquitous---minutes are minutes whether youâ€™re calling one house over or several time zones away.
So, if a vast majority of customers use services that don’t charge them to make calls, and they can call from any location, should your business have a toll-free number? Ask yourself these five questions to see if a toll-free number is a good call for your business.
1. Do we serve customers outside of our area?
If you’re shipping to, serving, or otherwise communicating with customers who are across the map, a toll-free number is a must-have. It tells potential customers that you’re willing to serve them no matter what their location. Consider this: you’re browsing online for a specific gift and you see two companies selling the same item for the same price. One has a toll-free contact number, and one has only a local number. Who do you call first? Chances are, you’re going to pick the 800-number, even if the only reason is because they appear to be more professional. Which leads us to our second question...
2. Does our business portray a professional image?
800-numbers are a great equalizer in terms of professionalism. No matter how many employees you have or how long you’ve been established, a toll-free number gives an "official" feel to your business correspondence. With vanity numbers, the potential for unique branding and advertising is even greater.
3. Is our business growing?
Hopefully, your answer to this is a resounding yes! For growing businesses, toll-free and 800-numbers are an asset because they can easily be scaled from two to 200 numbers. In fact, you only have to pay for what you use---there’s not any charge for services that don’t work for you.
4. Are our offices in more than one location?
Toll free numbers work well for franchise businesses and satellite locations by providing cohesive contact information for each office no matter where it is located. Extensions allow you to route the call to the right employee, even if he or she is located hundreds of miles away from your main office!
5. Do we need a cost-effective solution that still lets us care for customers?
Another benefit of utilizing toll-free numbers is their low cost. Toll-free numbers are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install for business owners, and, of course, are free for current and potential customers. Though it’s true that many customers don’t have to pay for calls---especially if they are calling from cell phones---it still matters for two reasons: First, it still matters to some people. Take, for instance, the outcry against Spirit Airlines when the company announced it was switching from toll-free to not free numbers. Secondly, though it may not actually affect your customers, the perception that you would charge them to do business with you doesn’t seem like very good customer service (whether they would actually be charged or not!).
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, a toll free number could benefit your business. It takes only a minute to get set up, and you can add more numbers at any time. Contact us today and let us handle the details!