Running a business successfully takes a lot of components. But, we have seen a great rise in “customer service” in the past couple of decades. Pick any business, you’ll see hundreds of competitors all set to snatch your customers if you miss out on any service that customers are looking for. In such cut-throat competition, providing solid customer service is the need, and can also be your USP.
A toll-free phone number is a great way to show your customers that you care about them. It shows your customers that you’re there if any help is needed. Simultaneously, they don’t have to bear the cost of calling. So, it’s a gesture of great care and importance to your customers.
This guide is purely dedicated to the businesses who are looking forward to understanding what toll-free numbers exactly are, and how they can incorporate such numbers to their business. We will also talk about various types of toll-free Business numbers, and affordable ways to get them.
Shall we begin?
What are toll-free numbers For Startups?
Toll-free numbers are the telephone numbers with a specific three-digit prefix that customers can use and reach to business without any cost. If toll-free numbers are “text-enabled”, customers can also text on such numbers and contact businesses to solve their problems.
Toll-free business phone numbers usually begin with prefixes like 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, or 844.
A Little History
In 1967, toll-free numbers were first introduced by AT&T to make things easier for the callers. Prior to that, calling on such a number was a different ball game. Callers had to contact the provider, get the approval of the recipient, and patched directly via the operator, just to contact!
There was only 1-800 prefix available at that time. But soon, businesses realized that the toll-free number is a great marketing tool to capture new customers and retain the existing ones. There was a big problem of portability at that time. That means, if any business wants to change the provider of their 1-800 number, they had to leave that number behind and find a new number. But, that made the whole situation haphazard on a new level. In cases where a business is not happy with a specific provider, they had to change the toll-free number and the customers had to face this shift.
The whole point of providing toll-free numbers was to give customers that sense of comfort, so changing the helpline number made customers anxious, and gave them a sense of discomfort. Plus, it doesn’t come out very trustworthy when a business keeps changing its helpline. To solve this mess, the FCC ruled out that toll-free numbers must be portable. So, a company’s issue with the operator doesn’t bother customers.
Soon, toll-free numbers for startups were customizable and companies started creating numbers that can be easily remembered by customers. Like, 1-800-CHEESE.
Toll-free numbers are managed by the Responsible Organization a.k.a. RespOrgs. These organizations can access the database and assign the numbers to businesses to manage the whole system. Now, many business VoIP and cloud-based phone systems are providing toll-free numbers for startups, acting as RespOrgs themselves.
Benefits of Adopting a Toll-Free Number
- Starting with the most obvious, it is extremely easy for your customers to contact you as a business. When such numbers are printed on your marketing material, customers get the sense of relief that there will be someone to solve their problem in the future.
- Toll-free numbers are easy to remember! The psychology says that we, as a human, have the habit of assigning things to each other. If your service number is easy to remember, people will easily associate your brand name with the number very easily and therefore it is beneficial to invest in a toll-free number for any brands.
- It’s a great tool for marketing. It is a proven way to market and spread your brand name easily. Many brands have taken a step further by matching the toll-free number with its domain name. Like; 512gotbugs.com.
- This is a good one! A toll-free number is a solid way to make improvements in your product/service. Since the number is free of cost for the consumers, they don’t have to worry about bearing the cost for a complaint. Assuming that your customers will reach out to you when they face any issue with your product or service, it is great data for you to analyze what exactly is the problem and how you can solve it. You don’t have to spend thousands of bucks on finding problems because your customers are going to do that for you.
- Toll-free numbers can help you track and compare multiple campaigns. I’ll explain. Let’s say you have 3 marketing campaigns running simultaneously. You can simply assign an individual toll-free number to each campaign and track the inquiries. This is a great way to find the right approach to marketing for your future projects. Plus, you’ll get to know what kind of questions are coming to your way if you actually decide to go with a campaign on a larger scale.
How To Get A Toll-Free Number For Your Business
I believe, the above advantages are satisfactory enough to convince you that toll-free business phone numbers are not just beneficial, it is kind of a necessity. It builds a trust factor in consumers, which is extremely important these days.
There’s only one way you can get toll-free business numbers – By contacting the RespOrgs i.e. cloud-based phone systems. Business VoIP phone systems a.k.a. Cloud telephony systems directly offer toll-free business numbers to you when you opt for their telephony systems.
A cloud-based phone system helps you connect your internal team as well as manage your customers in an efficient way. These systems are filled with extremely useful features that can help you analyze consumer behavior as well.
Now, there are many Virtual mobile phone number providers, but we’re going to discuss the top 5 toll-free phone number providers in the below table. These providers offer supreme telephony solutions and offer toll-free phone numbers at a very affordable rate along with toll-free call forwarding services.
|Provider||Starting Price||No. Of Minutes||Call Forwarding|
|CallHippo||$0/User/Month||Pay as you use||Y|
|Grasshopper||$29/User/Month||Pay as you use||Y|
A toll-free number has become a need of the day. In this tough competitive world, getting a toll-free number is the right choice. If you’re an enterprise, you can pick the heavy options like RingCentral, Phone.com, etc. Nextiva and Grasshopper fall under a medium-sized business umbrella. CallHippo is the only virtual phone number provided with the most affordable rates among all. CallHippo can be a great buy for you whether you’re a small business or an enterprise.
The mentioned 5 are the highest rated virtual phone number providers right now with the best features on-hand. Make sure to check out their features before you make any purchase.