Back in 2020, COVID-19 slammed the brakes on global economic growth. Fast forward to the present day, and things are changing for the better. Look at the graph below showing the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth in Canada during 2009-21. Do not bother about the figures. Just check the growth trajectory!
The graph shows the economic potential in Canada even during adverse market conditions. If you own a business in Canada or are planning to set up one, there is no looking back. But have you thought about how you will increase your customer base post-COVID?
A Canada toll-free number can help you attract new customers and also retain the existing ones. Read this blog further to understand:
- What is a Canada toll-free number?
- How Canada toll-free numbers work
- Essential features of toll-free numbers
- Benefits of a Canada toll-free number for your business
- How to pick the right Canada toll-free number provider?
What is a Canada toll-free number?
A Canadian toll-free number allows customers to call businesses registered in Canada for free. Also, Canadian toll-free numbers are not restricted geographically to Canada alone. Even if you run a business in the U.S. or the Caribbean, your customers can contact you for free using the Canadian toll-free number.
Canada toll-free numbers have one of these prefix dial codes: 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, or 888. The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) controls the allotment of these codes to service providers. The NANP is a group of countries in North America and includes Canada.
An interesting fact about toll-free numbers is that the 800 code existed for nearly thirty years. During this time, customers used up all of its 7.8 million possible digits. Thus, there are so many new dial codes coming up to accommodate new users.
In a nutshell, toll-free phone numbers for businesses can help you expand your business across the continent. Now, let us understand some other aspects of toll-free numbers.
How Canada toll-free numbers work
As a business owner, you should know the basic process of how toll-free numbers work. The image below gives you an idea of what happens when your customers call you using Canada phone numbers:
When you have a Canada toll-free number, your U.S. and Canadian customers do not pay anything for outgoing or incoming calls with your support team. However, if a client calls you from any other country, you have to bear the long-distance charges. But do not get disappointed. You have two options to avoid such charges:
- Set up a VoIP business phone system to manage your toll-free calls. You can make and receive virtual calls in a hassle-free manner.
- Some Canada toll-free phone numbers are text-enabled. It means your clients can send your team text messages instead of making voice calls.
We highly recommend the first option for your convenience.
Essential features of Canada toll-free numbers
Toll-free numbers share many features with virtual phone numbers. So we will discuss the features of the latter in this section. You need to look for the following features when planning to invest in a Canadian virtual phone number:
- Auto-attendant for self-service (IVR).
- Integrations with business apps such as CRM.
- Call logs and insightful reports.
- Call controls (record, hold, mute, warm transfer, etc.)
- Call handling (caller ID, call queues, ring groups)
- Call forwarding (to one or more devices)
- Personalized greeting messages.
- Toll-free number porting to different service providers.
- Voicemail transcriptions (including voicemail-to-email).
- 24/7 customer support.
Benefits of a Canada toll-free number for your business
Toll-free numbers or virtual numbers are popular for many reasons. We will tell you three benefits of investing in a Canada toll-free number:
1. Receive more incoming calls
Conventional telephone systems have a limitation. You can receive a limited number of calls on a single telephone or handset. And if you want to increase the capacity, the investment required is massive. But things can change for the better with toll-free numbers.
Business phone systems provide you with multiple channels for a given toll-free number. Add to it the various advanced features, and it takes your customer experience to a new level altogether. For example, the call forwarding feature automatically routes the call to an available customer service rep. Thus, your customers do not end up waiting to get answers to their questions.
2. Showcase your legitimacy
Customers cannot pay you if they do not trust you. When you have a toll-free number, it becomes easy for customers to reach you. Moreover, you are incurring the expenses of their calls. It shows that you are genuinely interested in providing solutions and support to your customers.
Tip: Some customers will not understand the toll-free prefix codes. You can mention the word ‘toll-free’ along with your phone number in the ads.
3. Establish your brand identity through toll-free numbers
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer for a moment. Phone numbers of some brands are so memorable that they are stored in your memory permanently.
You can ask your service provider to get the toll-free number of your choice. Some virtual phone number providers in Canada also give you the option of choosing a vanity number, like 1-800-FASHION (if you are into the fashion business). The number should be easy to remember. When you provide excellent service to customers with an attractive phone number, they will associate it with your brand name. Thus, you can do tactical branding using vanity phone numbers.
The three benefits mentioned above serve your ultimate purpose of increasing the customer base.
How to pick the right Canada toll-free number provider?
Let us discuss some of the factors you should consider when searching for the best Canada toll-free number provider. Your provider should offer the following capabilities:
- If you own a small business, a virtual phone numbers provider is a good option. It has extra tools to support your business.
- The system should allow multiple conversations to take place at the same time. It reduces client wait times, and you will not lose potential customers due to busy lines.
- Explore a vanity number option for the reasons discussed in the previous section of this blog.
- Your provider should be able to port your existing number. If you decide to move your business to another location, you should not lose your toll-free number. There is a risk of losing your current customers who are associated with a particular toll-free number.
- Understand the pricing policy of the service provider. The price should justify the features. Pay only for the features that you intend to use at the moment. You can always scale up the system as your business grows over time.
Hope we could convince you about the importance of investing in a Canada toll-free number. The next step is to make a decision in this direction. Start thinking about how your business can break geographical boundaries using toll-free numbers.
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