Communication is the key to the success of any business. To understand the customer’s needs and ultimately make a sale, one first needs to have a top class communication system to get through to the customers. The concept of the virtual toll free area codes and numbers is one such tool that helps businesses in building customer relations.
Though some may believe the contrary, but even after the advent of online shopping and purchase, statistics state that 20% customer still prefer contacting a business via phone instead of using an online approach. However, hardly any customers are willing to pay to approach you for information about your product. This is where the need for toll free area codes and numbers comes in.
But before we go into the details of the various toll free area codes, let me tell you a bit more about what exactly is meant by it.
What are toll free area codes?
A toll free number literally means a number that does not extract any toll from the caller. In simpler terms, it means that the caller does not have to pay to make the call. Standard calling rates like 60p per minute are usually applicable to any calls made by a number. However, a toll free number is exempt from this payment.
A toll free number or toll free area codes do not serve much purpose in a household but are an essential part of any business. Why? Most customers are not willing to pay for calling a business, especially when the call involves long periods of waiting on hold. A business may turn away potential clients due to the lack of toll free area codes. And all businesses aim to attract clients, not to lose them!
And what’s more, customers can even send text messages to your toll free number without paying a penny. You just need to make sure that your toll free number is text enabled. Your customers can now chat with you via text messages, absolutely free of charge!
Old and new toll free area codes
Sticking around since the 60’s, the 1-800 toll free area code is the most commonly used one. In fact, it has been used so much that it has been completely sold out and no new extensions are available for it anymore!
This is why FCC has recently launched a new batch of toll free number prefixes. On the third of June 2017, seven new toll free area codes were released. Namely, they are 833, 800, 888, 877, 866, 855 and 844. Some reports also state that the toll free prefix 822 is going to be launched by the Federal Communications Commission by the year 2020.
Vanity numbers allows you to do something fun with your toll free number and add your business name in it. For example, 1-800-RENTALS is an existing toll free number! However, it is better to stick with local numbers to avail the benefits of the VoIP phone system.
A little more about toll free area codes
We are all familiar with the traditional 1-800 toll free prefix. Unfortunately, all combinations for this prefix have been sold out and no new combinations are available for upcoming businesses. This is why the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has recently launched a set of new toll free area codes to be used by businesses. Let us have a closer look at them.
1. 833 toll free prefix
The 833 prefix is among the few toll free area codes that are available for use today. It is nothing significantly different from the 800 prefix and carries out all the same operations. Since getting a toll free number with the old 800 prefix is no longer an option due to the unavailability of any new combinations, the 833 prefix is preferred.
If your business is based in Canada or the Caribbean, this is the perfect toll free prefix for your business number. It is easily accessible and aims to help you provide better customer service by letting customers contact you for free. All your customers residing in these areas can call you without any hesitation on 833 area code USA numbers.
Among the newest toll free area codes in the game, the 833 toll free prefix can be used for any USA based local number. You can now get a premium and unique toll free number for your business in just minutes!
2. 855 toll free area code
Just like all other toll free area codes, the 855 prefix also lets callers call your number without letting any money loose from their wallets. What sets this prefix apart from the rest is that it is location specific. This means that this toll free prefix targets a particular geographical location, the Northern part of America.
Getting toll free numbers is undoubtedly the easiest way to boost your business and customer relations. Though the standard 800 prefix has been around much longer and is now almost ingrained in the minds of the people, it has unfortunately run out of new phone number combinations. On the other hand, the 855 toll free prefix is new in the market and has plenty of new vanity names and numbers available for your business.
Now just imagine that out of all available toll free area codes, you had an affinity for the 800 prefix and thus you ended up getting a recycled number for your business that once belonged to another business. You will then end up getting calls from old customers, marketers and business associates of the previous owner of the number. Thus, the toll free number that was supposed to come as a blessing for your company will turn into a burden that wastes the time of your agents.
3. The old 800 toll free prefix
This is the oldest and most widely used prefix among all toll free area codes. None of the new codes have really caught on like the 800 prefix had. It was the first code to be released to the public. In fact, whenever someone mentions toll free numbers, the first thing that pops into the minds of the people is the 800 prefix. It is almost as if the 800 toll free area code has become synonyms with toll free numbers.
However, such extensive use of the 800 toll free prefix has drained its resources. All the possible number and vanity name combinations that can exist have already been used with the 800 prefix. Due to the lack of availability of new toll free numbers with the 800 prefix, the FCC released several new toll free area codes last year.
Nonetheless, if you are eager to get nothing but a 800 toll free prefix number for your business, there is still a way. Several businesses that has purchased toll free numbers with the 800 area code are now shut down or out of business. Hence, old numbers which are no longer in use are being recycled and sold to new clients. However, this has its own drawbacks as already mentioned earlier.
4. 888 toll free area code
The 888 prefix is among the newly released toll free area codes. Using this area code, you can add a professional and exclusive touch to your business. It enables callers from all over the world to call your business without incurring any call charges.
This 888 toll free area code is specifically targeted at the North American cities. It doesn’t matter where your business is based or from which part of the world you operate; the 888 toll free prefix can be used to stay in touch with your North American clients. All you need to do is get a virtual local number of the United States of America and buy the 888 prefix along with it. Your customers can now contact you overseas, absolutely free of charge!
5. 844 prefix
The 844 toll free prefix is not much different from your other toll free area codes. It covers all states that come under the North American Numbering Plan. It functions the same way as the 800, or any other toll free prefix.
Toll free numbers have rapidly gained popularity and approval all over the globe. Ever wondered why? Because toll free numbers go an extra mile in providing good customer service. Any business that doesn’t have one will lag behind their competitors and lose a lot of potential customers. Moreover, once you purchase a toll free number, it stays with your business till the very end. Wherever you move, whichever location you shift to, your 844 toll free number will travel with you!
Why are toll free area codes and numbers necessary for your business?
I could go on and on about the advantages of toll free numbers and how it can positively impact your business. However, I’ll sum it up in a few simple points for you.
Firstly, we can all agree on the fact that businesses make it big not by selling the best product, but by taking a little extra care of their customers. Toll free numbers go a long way in providing improved customer service. It enables customers to freely approach the company with any doubts or queries that they might have, without worrying about the call cost and duration. Thus, it not only makes your business more approachable, but also enhances the customer service experience of your clients.
Second of all, toll free area codes and numbers are extremely easy to remember. For example, a simple number like 844-22-22-22 is much more likely to stick around in a customer’s memory than a complex ten digit number like 729-461-8893. This will ensure more number of calls rolling in everyday, thus offering more potential for lead generation and conversion.
It gives your business a professional touch. As soon as we dial a toll free number and get received by an IVR, we know that the business is legitimate and professional in its ways. This creates a good impression of the company among the people, thereby increasing chances of sales. Having toll free numbers and area codes gives more credibility to one’s business.
Last but not the least, you can open a branch or shift your business to any part of the world without worrying about keeping in touch with your old clients. No matter which city or country you are in, you can use the same toll free number to represent your business. Moreover, it allows customer from any part of the globe to call your company without incurring any charges. Taking your business out into the global market has never been easier!
Thus, we can safely conclude that toll free area codes and numbers help your business grow, and grow with your business.
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