You see them on websites, billboards, infomercials, business cards, and pretty much every other place businesses are promoted. If you read the title of this blog you know that we’re talking about toll free numbers!
Many companies rely on toll free numbers to handle sales and support calls but should you? If you find yourself asking this question, here’s some information that may help!
Why Do It?
Shoppers are much more likely to call into a toll free number than a long distance number. This means that adding a toll free number to your website is likely to attract a more calls from potential customers. Many small and medium size businesses that have implemented toll free number report that their sales increased dramatically after doing so.
Having a toll free number makes your business look more professional. Instead of listing a local number and giving off a “ma-and-pa shop” type impression, your company will look like a large professional business.
Often times you can get a vanity toll free number that helps integrate with your marketing strategy- enhancing your brand image and creating something that sticks in consumers’ minds. For instance, say you are selling ink cartridges. Is it easier to remember 1-123-456-7890 or 1-800-INK-NOW1?*
Figure Out what’s Important to You:
There are a lot of toll free number providers out there, begging the question “which of these providers is right for me?”
Every company will have different needs, and there are a seemingly endless number of features to compare and contrast. To make things as easy as possible, these are some basic questions you should ask yourself that will help you decide which provider to use, and which plan to utilize:
- Will I need forwarding to my cell phone?
- Will I be calling out on the toll free number from my cell phone?
- Do I need a company directory for various departments?
- Do I need an alphabetized directory of all employees?
- Do I want hold music for my customers?
- Would I utilize “time-of-day routing”?
- Do I need to be able to record calls?
- Am I willing to pay more for an answering service?
- Do I want my voicemails emailed to me?
Our forum users have been commenting on this topic for some time. Here is their feedback on which providers are best for small to medium sized businesses:
“RingCentral works great for us.” –zevious
“We use GotVmail. They can forward to your cell and [have] lots of other features like an automated attendant and day/night mode.” –Rob1
“I have been using kall8 for a few years and am very happy. I can even have people fax to my toll free number. All voicemails and faxes are delivered via email.” – happytushies
“For a while, we used Angel.com. Now, we use AnswerConnect with live operators and 24 hour order taking capability.” –rabglus
“We decided to go with RingCentral and have been very happy with the service.” –rperissi
“We use gotvmail. All calls ring to my cell phone but it makes us look bigger – asks the customer to choose from several departments and announces the call to me before I hit ‘1’ to answer the call.” –g1tech
For more information on toll free number providers (as well as a number of other topics relevant to business owners) please visit our forums!
Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist
*Please note, these phone numbers are not valid- that’s why we used them!