What did advertisements look like when you were a child? Perhaps that famous actor, or those two dogs dancings, or even that touching tale of mother and child? If not the visuals, we bet you can still hear the jingles play in the back of your head.
At the same time, remember numbers like Airtel 121 or Vodafone 141 that were often advertised at the end of these jingles? Sure, these are easy-to-recall numbers, but that’s always the case with toll free numbers—just like nostalgia-evoking jingle music, these digits always remain with you. Be it today or a decade later.
This is, of course, only a small way in which toll free numbers can be beneficial to your organisation. Before we jump to the details, let us go through the basics:
What is a Toll Free Number?
We all know about the 1800 numbers we often find on television advertisements or billboards. However, not many of us know of their function. 1800 or toll free numbers are contacts that can be used by consumers to call a company (helpdesk, sales team, etc.) without any charge. To be clear, the cost of the call does not vanish but is simply transferred to the receiver instead.
1800 numbers have been an important invention in the telecom industry as they eased communication between the consumers and organisations by incentivising the former. Customers now communicate more frequently with companies. Not only is the call free of charge but the number is easy to remember and associate with a brand. Furthermore, it makes any company look larger than it is and more professional.
What is a Vanity Number?
There’s no doubt that toll free numbers are easy to remember. However, if you wish to take the recall value up a notch, you should try a vanity number. A vanity number refers to an 1800 number followed by letters or words (corresponding to the dialpad) that can be easily associated with your brand. You can also include your brand name in your vanity number. For example, Servetel may favour a 1800-SVTL (1800-7885) number as opposed to any generic combination.
Vanity numbers can be tailored and, thus, have an extremely high recall value. They can be memorised in seconds and give your brand a competitive edge.
Now that we have covered the basics and benefits, let’s look at some applications of a toll free number and how a single contact can change corporate and public communication:
How can a Toll Free Number help?
To recap the earlier points, toll free numbers are easy to remember, possess high recall value, can separate your business from the competition, and ease the communication between you and your customers.
In addition to this, you can purchase separate extensions to your 1800 number for different departments. This will ensure that there is first-point query resolution and increase customer satisfaction. The different extensions can also be used for various marketing campaigns. With this arrangement, you can monitor the statistics of individual endeavours.
To understand this better, let’s take the example of a beauty cream. One brand may pick a certain strategy to advertise on the television, and a different strategy to advertise on the radio. This way, they are able to reach varied audiences. Once the campaigns have run, the company can analyse how much engagement each medium got through the call responses they receive. This will enlighten the company as to which platform is the most profitable and where they should increase or decrease their budget.
As per Finances Online, 70% of customers call businesses after a Google search and 50% are frustrated by lack of calling options. Using a toll free number, you can have a uniform contact that can be advertised on every platform, including search engines. This increases connectivity with your consumers.
Toll free numbers combined with an IVR system (interactive voice response, which adds an automated call menu) also allow you to reroute your consumer calls to any preferred department or agent. This reduces wait times and increases efficiency in customer service. After all, for basic queries and simple routing, you don’t need human representatives when an IVR can do the job.
Many TV shows and brands even use toll free numbers for voting and survey purposes.
There are clearly several applications of 1800 numbers. So, the question remains, how does one acquire this number?
How to get a Toll Free Number?
First, you must consider certain necessities of your company and the features that a 1800 number service provides:
- How many minutes of calls does your company receive every month? This value determines what sort of service is preferable for your establishment. Some companies may provide cheaper plans and then demand a high fee for going over the limit. To avoid exorbitant overage charges, you must research your incoming calls and choose a plan accordingly.
- Does your customer contact require its own voicemail storage? Some toll free number providers enable you with separate storage for your customer voicemail. This may be a better option as it helps you separate your corporate and personal voicemails from the public ones. The organisation of your voicemails can save you time and effort in the long run.
- How can you block spam callers? A toll free number provider will extend the feature of blocklists. You can add spam numbers on this list to prevent them from contacting your agents and wasting their time. These calls can increase the workload on representatives and add to the wait time. Hence, eliminating them is highly beneficial for your company.
- How can you track missed calls? Missed calls are lost opportunities. A lack of response can leave consumers with a bitter opinion of your company. Your toll free number provider should offer you an SMS alert service so you can monitor these missed calls and consider further actions.
- What is the process after someone dials the contact? Using IVR integration and a monitoring dashboard, you are in control of the route that every call follows. Using keyboard input, the IVR system will reroute their call to the best-suited agent. You can monitor these statistics and the representatives’ performance using the monitoring dashboard.
Once you have understood the features and considered the requirements of your organisation, you must compare different toll free number service providers. Plans and features vary from one provider to another. With Servetel, you can access all the above-mentioned benefits and more. While comparing providers, make sure you consider their fees, the monthly minutes, the features provided, and the numbers available. You must also keep in mind the quality of service they will provide later. Reviews are a great way of judging your compatibility with a toll free number provider.
Choosing a contact is a careful practice. You must decide whether you prefer to own a general number or a vanity one. The latter may sound more flashy but is not required for every business. Your number will be the representative of your business communication once you’ve purchased it. Hence, make sure it is ideal for your business—easy to memorise and associate with your brand.
Even if you move office spaces across the country, you need not change the number. Most providers offer high scalability that enables you to relocate or expand your business anytime you like.
Congratulations! You now own a 1800 number for your organisation. You can start your marketing campaigns and see the boosted productivity for yourself.
Good communication is the foundation of every good relationship, even if it is just a corporate one. Toll free numbers allow you to engage in seamless communication with your consumers and encourage the latter to initiate the conversation. Buying a toll free number may sound complicated, however, it is a quick process. Once you have identified your company needs, you can procure a contact that is ideal in terms of features and services. Equip yourself with a memorable toll free number and become business-ready for ease in communication and analytics.