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Should I Use a Toll Free Number?

Toll free numbers are cheaper than ever and readily available, but should you use a toll free number for your business?

Image of a person using a toll free number to make a phone call

You’ve actually just stumbled upon one of the great marketing debates of the 21st century, “Should I get a local or a toll-free number for my business?” There are many sides to the argument, but we’ll give you some viewpoints on the matter to help assist your decision-making process.

Toll Free numbers are relatively inexpensive now. In the past, they were VERY expensive. You can go to www.solaxis.com and get a toll free number for $5/month and pay only $.03/minute of usage. But the question remains, “Is a toll-free number better for my business than just a local number?”

A toll-free number gives your customers a way to contact your company without having to pay for the call themselves. Customers appreciate a toll-free number, particularly in busy times when you might have to put them on hold temporarily. Also, with ever-shrinking local calling areas, toll-free numbers ensure your customers aren’t accidentally dialing a local long distance call that they did not want to make.

Having a toll-free service will enhance your productivity and increase customer satisfaction by allowing customers to reach you anytime, anywhere. It is well-known that toll-free numbers build credibility with consumers. Eighty-six percent of customers will associate a toll-free number with the quality of the business products or services. By providing your customers with an 800 number option to call you, they will believe that you want to talk to them.

There really are many advantages to having a toll-free number. You can use toll free numbers to track the success of specific advertising campaigns. And another  strong advantage is that you do not need to implement a new phone service, reprint all of your letterhead and business cards just because you relocate. Toll-free numbers are portable and move with your business. The entire US becomes a local calling area to your customers.

Polling has shown that 90% of Americans say they use toll-free numbers on a regular basis. Toll-free numbers eliminate the need to split area codes and save you from the cost of having to deal with this in your business. Nearly all telephone exchanges are available – unlike local exchanges which have only a limited calling area.

Additionally, over 90% of households have computers or smartphones.  This means that more people are likely to purchase products and services over the phone when they see a toll-free number listed on your website. More than one-third of Americans estimate that they make sixty or more toll-free calls per year. Over 70% of those calls are business related, either service oriented or product purchasing. Having your own toll-free number will help you create a good customer-oriented image.

A potential downside to using a toll-free number is that it can take away from any sort of small, local business vibe you’re trying to put out there. Potential customers who see a toll-free number when they are specifically looking for a local company might skip over your business. You may also end up getting calls from people who are outside of your service area, which would be an unnecessary interruption.

In the end, the best choice when it comes to using a toll-free numbers vs local numbers is to leverage both! Cater to the people in your area code and target your small business angle with a local number. On top of that, you can expand your market reach with a toll-free number to bring in new customers. It all boils down to how you want your callers to perceive your business before they dial and how accessible you’d like to be for them. A toll-free number solution can be an integral part of your communications plans.

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Why use a Toll Free Number

Can I get an international toll free number?

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This entry was posted in Answering Service, Business, Sales and Marketing, Voicemail by Brian Gabriel. Bookmark the permalink.

About Brian Gabriel

As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.