Senior Writer: Supriya Bajaj
800, 866, 1800- these numbers are everywhere- billboards, storefronts, advertisements, websites, business cards, etc.
What’s the reason? Where do they come from? How they become this Popular?
History says that in 1967 At&T brought to the world the first toll-free number- starting with the prefix 800. The reason behind the inception of 800 toll free numbers was to find an easy way for the businesses to pay for the prospective call. Before that customer had to make collect calls and this calls would not get connected until the payment was made by the business that the customer was trying to reach.
The 800 online toll-free number became a star overnight, with 7 million calls generated in the first year. There was no looking back the demand for these number kept increasing. This led FCC to introduce 8 million new numbers in 1996 which became famous as 888 toll-free numbers. Then came 877, 866 and 855 prefixes.
It’s pretty much known that when you hit international boundaries you will also become a part of the million members family and get yourself a toll-free number so that your customers can reach you in the most effective way possible.
But don’t just get a toll-free number because it is the only option available or because we are saying so. Get yourself one because of the wonders it can do to your business.
Not convinced? Let us help you a little.
Pick calls from anywhere and anytime
Get an 1800 or 800 toll-free number and patch calls to any phone, anywhere, and anytime. Attend your customers on the cell phone, office, home, or from your vacation home in the Maldives. As your customers dial the same 800 online toll-free number, for them you will always be “in the office”.
Know which of your marketing campaign is rocking
Besides their easy availability, these online phone numbers are extremely affordable. You can buy multiple numbers and then use them to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. For example, you can use one number for your website, one for billboards, and one for your newspaper ad. Tracking the performance is simple- just check the call logs on the online management page and you can instantly know from where most of the inquiries are originating.
Flexibility is the key when you are evolving
What if you get a chance to move your operation halfway across the country as doing this will increase your profit and productivity two-fold? What about half-way across the world? Having an 1800 virtual Toll-free number will help you maintain the continuity even if you are moving every 2 months.
Nobody wants disasters to happen, but we need to take precautions. It doesn’t have to be a major catastrophe- a small fire or a flood is enough to disable your communication system and bring your business down. This is when these 1800 virtual toll-free numbers with forwarding capabilities will direct it to some different office at a different location ensuring a seamless experience for your customers. Even if everything falls apart there will always be someone available to assist your customers in the best way possible.
So are these numbers free to call from anywhere?
The short and simple to this question is a “No”.
Toll-free numbers are country-specific. Each country has its own set of rules, regulations, coverage, and restrictions. Each country has its own dialling format as well.
Say for example in Germany the toll-free numbers begin with 800 and are followed by 7 digits. So the 800 online toll-free number looks something like this: 0800-XXX-XXXX. In Ireland 1800 virtual toll-free numbers will have 1800-XXX-XXX format.
Few questions to ask before you take the big leap
First and foremost, determine what kind of toll-free number works best for your business? Where are your customers? Are you expanding to international Boundaries? Where you want to forward your calls using a toll-free number? Who will answer the calls? Which equipment will be used to answer the phone: landline, Softphone mobile, tablet, IP Phone, etc.
Thereafter you need to do some thorough research to find out the best online phone number provided in the market. What plans are available with them? Are they providing 1800 or 800 online toll-free phone numbers for that region? What are the restrictions? What features are accompanied by the number and the service? What will be the total cost?
Take as much time as needed to resolve this question. You will be getting your employees a completely new thing plus you will be investing money, so be very sure before you make the final call.
Expand your business to any country using Toll-free numbers
If you are planning to grow your business to international boundaries then establishing a close point of contact for your customers is extremely important. Whether you are running an E-commerce website or a service business, opening a brick and mortar store is not always the best option. This is where a Toll-free number can be a boon since you can request them in many countries and can assign them without requiring a physical location in that particular country.
With service providers like CallHippo, your toll-free number is a virtual phone number which means it will be connected to a cloud based phone system using which you will be able to answer your client calls from anywhere in the world, using an internet connection.