Is It Time To Get a Toll Free Number for Your Business?
Today’s small businesses are inundated with information about digital marketing and communication, but it’s important to keep a wider view of both marketing and customer communications, even if traditionally successful communication tools like toll free numbers are less touted in business advice columns. Not only do traditional tools often provide cost-effective support for your digital communication efforts, but they also increase your accessibility and bring in customers who may not be comfortable or fluent with online communications. It’s not just a toll free number for business, either. Supporting offline communication means folding traditional marketing and advertising in if you want to get the best effect, and there are a lot of reasons why this complementary approach to meeting your customers’ needs is worth your while.
Toll-Free Numbers Are Inexpensive
Running a toll free number has been one of the most inexpensive communication options for companies for a long time. As far back as 2005, there were plans that offered you line access for as little as $5 per month, with additional costs based on call volume and caller location as well as other factors. Since then, VOIP phone service has expanded the range of providers and lowered the cost of operating as a phone service provider to the point where the entire basis for structuring plan costs has changed away from metrics like call length and volume, and toward support for a certain number of lines and incentives for longer contract periods. On top of that, the supremacy of smart phones in the market means there are now hybrid options that can allow you to rely on your cellular voice line while taking calls directed to a toll-free number, making it even easier to take full advantage of the opportunities and advantages of your own toll-free line without driving up your data with VOIP bandwidth use.
Increase Sales and Streamline Communications
One of the big advantages to today’s toll free services is the ability to streamline your call system with a virtual interface that requires less hardware infrastructure and provides all the same benefits:
- Take questions and offer customer service
- Institute call center QA and improvement plans supported by metric data and analytics
- Manage multiple lines without needing multiple physical phone lines
- Pay for access and features, not call time
- Focus on your main business with support and troubleshooting help from your provider
In 2017, the FCC opened new toll-free prefixes to alleviate pressure on providers that was caused by the long-term popularity of these lines, which means its easier to get vanity numbers that reflect your brand and stick with customers. That means your contact information will be even easier to remember. As a marketing tool, this provides you with both an easy to remember, promotable online referral for clients who want to talk about your product and an easy way to drive conversions from your print ads and other traditional media ad buys.
New Prefixes and Number Availability
If you’re thinking about getting a toll free number for your business, it’s a good idea to consider your options sooner rather than later. New prefixes are only opened when there is a high demand built for them, which means that even at three years out from the last release, there’s likely to be a long wait before another one. The further away from a new prefix the market gets, the harder it is to get the perfect number for your brand. Why wait to make your company more accessible? Toll free phone numbers not only help you reach out, but they also help customers have confidence in your company by showing them there are people working on the other side of the computer screen, even if they ultimately opt for an online transaction.