While the importance of toll-free numbers for all kinds of businesses is evident, selecting the right toll-free number provider is also a crucial decision. Once you have chosen and advertised your toll-free number, it becomes the central point of contact for all the business communication including lead generation and support services.
Selecting the right toll-free vendor is not a simple task, rather is a test of your business knowledge, and so the services provided by a toll-free provider play a crucial role in shaping your business communication.
According to studies,
“A product ad featuring an 800 number can generate approximately 30% more orders.”
A toll-free number can start with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855 and 844. The most popular pattern in India is “1800”, so if you have expansion plans in India, going with 1800 pattern is undoubtedly going to increase customer’s faith in you.
The next action is to channelize the benefits of the toll-free number in favour of your business growth, which is quickly accomplished through detailed research of your business requirements and its alignment with toll-free benefits.
Following are the five points that you should consider before finalising a toll-free number provider.
1. Number Availability
A toll-free number reflects your brand, so before stamping on to the final option give a check to the variety of numbers a vendor offers. Your toll-free number should be a representation of your business.
The toll-free number should have repetitive or easy to remember pattern, or you can also opt for a vanity number.
a) Repetitive & Easy-to-Remember Patterns
Numbers such as “1800-11-8181” or “1800-22-8989” follow a repetitive pattern, which makes it easier to memorize. These are sample numbers for your reference. The cost of these numbers varies from vendor to vendor.
b) Vanity Numbers
Vanity numbers are an artistic way to leave your mark among customers. These numbers look attractive to customers without affecting your brand image.
If you are a business owner of a flower shop, then opting for a vanity number like 1-800-FLOWERS is sure to yield you profits.
As per standard numeric keypad of a mobile phone, F is for 3, L is for 5, O is for 6, W is for 9, E is for 3, R is for 7, and S is for 7. Therefore, 1-800-FLOWERS is actually 1-800-3569377. There can be multiple vanity toll-free numbers for different brands and services, but they can cost more than the simple toll-free numbers.
c) Simple Toll-Free Numbers
These toll-free numbers follow no set pattern, but their easy availability and diverse number patterns make it a preferred buying option. These are the combination of 6 different numbers such as 1800-28-1972* or 1800-78-1234*. As it appears to be a complicated pattern and so it takes time to register in the customer’s mind. These numbers are the cheapest among other available options.
2. Phone Services
A crucial determining factor in selecting the best toll-free vendors is to assess their service quality. Skilled toll-free vendors follow a holistic approach by instilling the details of the processes as inbuilt or add-on features to make sure your calling and customer experience go smoothly.
Some of the critical services you should consider while opting for a toll-free vendor are listed hereinbelow.
- Number of Minutes
- Call Recording
- Admin Portal
- Dashboard Analysis of Calls
- Customization Options
- Black Listing
- On-Hold Music
- API Integrations
3. Pricing and Budgeting
It is imperative to finalise a budget for the services you need. Once your budget has been settled, the process of filtering toll-free vendors become more relaxed.
Monthly, yearly, or pay-as-you-use are few of the different payment methods toll-free providers facilitate their customers with.
The key factors (such as the amount of calling minutes, built-in features, number of calling channels, call rates, and others) hugely define the pricing structure of your toll-free service.
As already aware, the business has to bear the calling expenses itself for toll-free numbers, so seek for a provider whose calling rates do not burn a hole in your pocket.
Many toll-free providers may offer low-cost basic plans with a lesser number of inbuilt services and would gradually increase the price with add-on features. Depending upon your budget limitation, you may or may not avail the additional services.
4. Customer Reviews
The Call Centre market is flooded with a myriad of companies promising high-quality cloud telephony solutions. So, make sure to perform a background check of all deliverables provided by a toll-free service provider.
You can check for the reviews about its services on social media and other websites or contact old customers to know about their experience.
Buying a product is the half battle won, and the remaining half lies in the product maintenance. The technical glitches come unannounced, and once a toll-free number or its accompanying software/hardware faces a technical issue, there can be downtime that may hit the entire business.
So, before closing the deal, you should inquire about the guaranteed uptime in case of a technical failure. At the same time, do not forget to confirm round the clock availability of an expert agent who can resolve any technical snag with efficiency in a shorter time span. It provides business continuity and protects you from any business loss in the long run.
Lastly, make sure your service provider gives you the flexibility of number porting in future without involving much complexities or formalities.
Share your suggestion in comments that may be helpful while selecting a right toll-free number provider. You can also share the feedback of your current or previous toll-free provider.