Sound communication is the foundation of a successful business and when it comes to communication, telephony still plays a key role. Though social media, website widgets, and VoIP are good communication platforms, the role that the business phone system plays in terms of easy access, reach, and reliability is unbeatable.
The main motive of communication in any business is to provide the customers with an easy and result-oriented channel for communication wherein a customer doesn’t need to give a second thought before reaching out to you.
Here are some aspects to consider before you go ahead to find a business phone system.
- Why is it important to have a business phone system?
- When do you need a local number over Toll-free and vice-versa?
- Does a bad caller Id affect your business?
How to choose the right business phone system – Local Number Vs Toll-free
Before we dive into the pros and cons of Local Number Vs Toll-free, let’s understand,
Why is it important to have a business phone system?
When you just enter the world of any business, it seems easy. Diving deep into it makes you realize how challenging the journey is. Smooth communication with your customers and understanding their needs is the key factor for the success of any business and a business phone system is certainly a solution.
It is vital to establish a rapport between the organization and the customer. This connection helps you understand the needs of the customer and then you can customize your services accordingly.
In the same way, it is vital to have a genuine phone number that makes the customers feel secured while making a purchase or trying to resolve any of their queries, as it is the easiest and convenient mode of communication.
When do you need a local number over Toll-free and vice-versa?
Choosing a business phone system between local and toll-free numbers depends on your business requirements and purpose. Different aspects of both toll-free and local numbers can be considered by analyzing two factors, one is business geography and the other is customer needs.
Firstly, let’s understand more about local numbers and toll-free numbers.
- Local Numbers
Having a local number helps a business to build a local presence, and it becomes easier to reach out to the local customers. It basically helps a business to establish a name among the local customers. A local phone number also helps the marketing team during business campaigns and also to generate leads for the business.
- Toll- free Numbers
It’s important to have a local number, but it is equally important to break boundaries building an international presence. Toll-free numbers are most efficient to reach out to international clients in a very productive manner with low cost, easy, and catchy numbers.
Now, let’s discuss the pros and cons of a Local number and Toll-free number based on various important factors.
As compared to a local number, toll-free number definitely provides better connectivity. There is no hindrance to services, network, and the location of your telephone service. It makes it easy to reach international clients in a smooth manner.
Also, international call charges are quite expensive. No company will get a service that is expensive and charge you a lot. However, there are some toll-free companies such as toll-free forwarding, who offer a number with a local prefix to your overseas customer along with a call forwarding facility that allows you to route numbers to call centers, any landline, and mobile phone.
However, if you have business partners from foreign countries, they will anyways call you on your direct phone number as they might be used to extra charges. So they prefer a quick call rather than thinking about the money.
A business phone system facility is a must for better communication. Importance of communication cannot be denied when it comes to business world, Jims Gustke, Vice President of Ooma, view on staying connected with customers, “No matter the type or size of the company, every business needs a tool or solution to present itself in a professional manner and at the same time, to stay connected to customers and colleagues.”
If your target customers are local people within a city, the local number is certainly more useful. Moreover, even a company located in a diversified geographical location can also benefit from local numbers by buying multiple local virtual phone numbers for each city’s office and then merging them in a single-unit processing system. On the other hand, a toll-free number is more suitable for e-commerce enterprises dealing with national customers.
However, some small businesses still choose a free phone for multiple features in one package. A quality service provider of toll-free numbers offers features such as call forwarding, porting, caller ID, and a lot of many features, it is a risky process and leaves chances of bearing unnecessary expenses and one fine day, and you find out that your expenditures have increased, due to communication.
But, nowadays these features also come with local numbers; they provide you with an optional toll-free number along with the local number. Even local numbers have a toll free option and they are also provided with advanced and professional services such as call screening and masking, flexible user options, auto-attendant with a custom voice menu, dashboard, call details viewer, etc.
Make sure you buy a quality virtual local phone number that provides you to communicate with distant offshore customers through alternate options to contact such as click to call widget service, instant messaging, etc. Also, having a VoIP can help you with all of it along with call monitoring service to monitor calls, just by sitting at a single location from a web platform at a remote location.
Business is all about reaching out to more customers and to understand their needs. The thing is a layman usually considers that a company with a toll-free number might be a large national/international company. Though considering that option might be good for some entrepreneurs but it may also make your business lose a client. For instance, if you have an 800 prefix in your phone number, some people think that you are located at a far distance even if you are located nearby. It can also be possible that a first time customer may think that his call will be directed to some huge person in the company and that can be a benefit or drawback depending on the circumstances.
Yes, if you’ve noticed if you call a customer care number of a Multinational Company, they take a lot of time to respond and even if they do they don’t consider you seriously. Dr. Bill Lampton, communication consultant, and keynote speaker analyzed around 30 professional speakers such as the ones with the highest book sales, tight calendars, high fees, and great reputations and, the results were incredible. According to this survey, out of 25 people, only 8 people have toll-free numbers. So before you go ahead and disconnect your toll-free number, first analyze if your business requires communication with friends, relatives, and other local people around or it requires international communication and then opts for a suitable service.
Talking on the marketing front, both toll-free and local numbers have their advantages and disadvantages. When your promotions and ad campaigns are not limited to the market in a limited locale, you should go for toll-free numbers. E-commerce websites and other online company’s locations don’t matter. They mostly purchase 800 series toll-free numbers to reach clients from various areas free of cost. So, if you have a business phone system enabled with a toll-free number, even distant customers contact you directly on call. This increases overall sales as you are able to reach more customers through an easy mode of communication.
According to a survey by Bright Local on how consumers prefer to contact a local business, 41% of people prefer calling on the phone. When it comes to building trust in the customer, local numbers always end up building confidence in your customers. They consider the local numbers more genuine and never ignore incoming calls, unlike toll-free number.
Most of the respondents disconnect your call if it’s an 800 series toll-free number, considering that you are a spammer or calling to get some personal information for their advantage.
Also, when you have to call your customers many times for quality control, confirmations, and many other services which require regular communication, toll-free numbers are not as advantageous as local business numbers.
Does a bad caller Id affect your business?
Now, that you have a clear idea about the local presence and the pros and cons of the local number and toll-free number, you can clearly analyze and answer this question. Certainly, a bad caller Id affects marketing, and identifying a caller Id depends on the text flashing on your screen while you receive a call.
As this survey chart shows, people prefer to answer calls from local numbers, nearly four times more than answering a call from toll-free code from some unknown area. But, the chances for answering toll-free number with local area code increase a bit more.
Hence, we can clearly conclude that the majority of respondents prefer to respond to local numbers than toll-free numbers. Certainly, it proves that local presence matters more and people prefer to respond to local numbers. For more information, stay posted.