With the rise of AI and omnichannel technology, which is in fact peaking right now, businesses may be overlooking conventional game-changers. Toll-free numbers, or 1-800 numbers as they are also called, have been around for a long time. However, they still make perfect sense for businesses, both big and small. Toll-free numbers continue to give value, and young enterprises seeking growth can use one to their benefit and increase their customer base.
One of the most important benefits of a toll-free number is that it is recognized across numerous generations as a number that can be trusted to bring results when contacted. This is because they have been around since the late 1960s. Customers have an easy and free line of communication with their favorite brands. The phenomenon of cheap long-distance calls for mobile phone users across the U.S. has still not diminished the trust and demand for toll-free numbers.
How does a toll-free number work?
The customer does not pay for making a call on a toll-free number. The bill goes directly to the company. When first introduced, the most common prefix for toll-free numbers in the U.S. started with 800, but others have been introduced since then, including 888,877, 966, and 855.
What going toll-free can mean for a business?
Using a landline or personal mobile for taking business calls is not as professional as a toll=free number. Brand image and customer service are instantly impacted positively by the presence of a toll-free number on the contact details of any business. Importantly, it is also easier for people to remember them.
Improved brand image
Toll-free numbers show customers that a company is just a free phone call away from helping them. They indicate accessibility, friendliness and a willingness to improve their brand image.
Because these numbers are recognized by everyone as numbers used by businesses, they impart feelings of trust and recognition. In the absence of an area code, callers are not aware what part of the U.S. they are calling, and this opens up the opportunity for a company to capture customers from across the country.
Enhanced customer service
Even though customers are turning to the web for their customer service needs, most people still favor live interactions, i.e. a phone call.
The reasons for this are that most people are still concerned about sharing information online as they have cyber-security concerns. People also prefer instant responses to their queries or when they need problems ironed out. Chatbots are often not geared to help with all types of queries and solutions. Many people prefer a personal approach and interaction to having a computerized or recorded message played to them.
Toll-free numbers allow people to speak to an actual representative who can help solve any issues instantly. Instant solutions help garner positive reviews for the customer service of any business.
Keeping track of your marketing efforts
Toll-free numbers allow companies to have extensions which can be used to keep track of the callers from their various marketing campaigns. This is an invaluable marketing tool, allowing businesses to know which campaign is giving the best ROI, and can increase call volumes and sales. Toll-free numbers should be included on the business website, social media, traditional advertising flyers, etc.
How toll-free plans work
Companies can select their numbers online and view the pricing options. Most plans include some free features, and the monthly rate usually includes a certain amount of time for calls, after which the business pays extra for additional time. Companies with a high volume of calls do qualify for special discounts with most companies.
Additional numbers can be added from the cart and extensions are free of charge with most plans. Some companies offer a free trial period to test for a limited period.
Companies can choose from a variety of plans which often include some standard features and then can add any premium features at an extra cost. Most toll-free number companies have a monthly billing system.
How to get a toll-free number
Worldwide companies can now get toll-free numbers and the added services that come with them with just a few clicks on a website.
GlobalCallForwarding, Avoxi, TollFreeForwarding and Call Hippo are some examples of online companies where you can get prices for toll-free numbers online.
In particular, GlobalCallForwarding has used the latest technological advancements to its advantage and included free features like a customized greeting, unlimited extensions, time of day routing, sequential forwarding, and account management among their other standard features. The premium features available include outbound calling, SMS forwarding, call recording, and rollover minutes.
Businesses and brands that choose to be remembered understand the importance of having a toll-free number that includes all the enhancements of the digital technology available to everyone today.