Does Your Business Need a Toll-Free Number?

article by Foster I. author
The most successful businesses are often the ones that are empathetic to their customers. At every step of the business relationship, and sometimes before one is even established, quality companies seek to put themselves in the shoes of the stakeholders from which profits are derived.

What price will customers be satisfied with? How do we provide friendly customer service? These questions are necessary for retention and acquisition alike.

However, some potential customers will not approach unless they see value beforehand. Small things such as how much it costs to establish contact are likely to throw them off. Therefore, it becomes important to use tools like a toll-free phone number, which offers a customer benefits before he or she makes a single purchase.

What is a toll-free number?

A toll-free phone number is one that charges the person who was called, rather than the caller, for all charges incurred during the call. These charges could simply be time spent on the line or other relevant expenses.

For instance, if a person wants to make a call to a business that would otherwise cost them several dollars or more, by calling their toll-free number, the business is responsible for paying whatever the call ends up costing.

Often, it is easy to spot a toll-free number when you see one. Anything that begins with 800 or 888 is usually toll-free, and they are now almost universal among businesses big and small.

Why is having a toll-free number important?

Why would any business want their potential customer to be billed just for contacting them? Even current customers are unlikely to be customers for long if they end up footing the bill for a call to customer service.

More importantly, many of the toll-free number providers these days offer companies an array of useful features that bring enormous value.

The Benefits of Toll-Free

Besides the obvious benefit of taking the cost burden off the customer, most toll-free numbers offered by a variety of quality VoIP providers like Ring Central give businesses flexibility and deliver results.

VoIP companies allow free call-forwarding and following with toll-free numbers, so employees like salespeople can be reached no matter where they are. If an employee is working remotely, on vacation or elsewhere, the same toll-free number will reach him or her regardless.

Another useful feature is local call masking, which displays local numbers to customers wherever they are and forwards them all to the relevant party. Additionally, it is easy to obtain detailed reports on incoming calls, which provide priceless insight into where revenue is coming from and how to tweak strategy accordingly.

Toll-free numbers impart enormous flexibility to any business. If your company needs to move for any reason, there is no need to mess with the phone system as all numbers, forwards, extensions and more are already established. This also applies to disasters and recovery: if your office is completely incapacitated by inclement weather, customers will still be able to get in touch and keep things moving.

Getting a Toll-Free Number

Most VoIP providers, who supply internet-based phone service to companies offer toll-free numbers as a free part of their package. Grasshopper comes highly recommended if this is necessity for your business, but there are many out there. Toll-free calling has come a long way and is now ubiquitous among VoIP providers, so do thorough research, and see what else is offered and determine what your business needs before committing.