Count of active mobile connections in India has reached 999.6 Mn by April 2019. This rising number clearly indicates that you, as a business owner, should start revamping your communication strategies to align with the expectation of the growing mobile audience.
But the big question is:
“How to start the revamp process?”
The first thing you need is a check on your communication system.
Do you have a dedicated business phone number?
If yes, how do you manage customer calls?
If the answer to any of these questions seems unclear, then you must consider employing a toll-free number solution for your business.
What is a Toll-free Number?
Unlike any local mobile or landline number, a toll-free number is a special business phone number that allows customers to call without getting charged for it.
Instead, the number owner pays the call charges. That means, the organization receiving the call on their toll-free number have to pay the call charges of every call they receive, and customers don’t have to think twice before calling on these numbers.
These numbers follow a fixed prefix (800, 0800 or 1-800) which varies by country.
1-800, is the followed toll-free prefix in India, which is succeeded by a six- or seven-digit number. Due to its special format (1-800-xxxxx), these numbers are uniquely distinctive from any other phone number.
How Does Toll-free Number Work?
Although the pattern of a toll-free number differs from a regular mobile or landline number, the calling process remains the same. Like any other number, you can call a toll-free number from landline or mobile. An important point to remember here is that toll-free number can only be used for incoming calls. One cannot make outgoing calls with a toll-free number.
Let’s see how the toll-free calling works,
- Customer dials your branded toll-free number
- Call reaches the telephony server
- Server bridges the call with the organisation’s representatives
Why Should You Consider Toll-free Numbers?
Being cost-free for customers is a substantial factor while reasoning the importance of toll-free number. But, if you think, it is the only factor that makes toll-free a promising option for your business, you might be wrong.
Here is a list of reasons that advocates that there are more benefits of a toll-free number other than cost.
1. Easy on Human Memory
According to research, a human mind can hold up to seven items in short-term memory for about 20-30 seconds. Thus, remembering regular phone number is hard for the customers.
But in toll-free numbers, this psychological fact is countered by another psychological strategy of remembering in chunks.
The toll-free number is broken into small chunks of number, which makes the number easier to remember.
For instance– if your number is 1800-103-6989. The number is broken into three halves, i.e.,
The broken halves are easier to remember than 18001036989.
2. Position as a Nation-wide Brand
Another advantage of the toll-free number is that it positions your company as a nation-wide brand. This is because customers from all over the country can contact you without worrying about the call charges.
Moreover, you do not need to purchase separate numbers for every location your business operates. You can use the same number for every city/state throughout the country.
To top it all, relocating or scaling the business is also seamless. You can be contacted on the same number regardless of the location you expand in. That means you’ve one less thing to worry about while scaling your business.
3. Multiply Call Handling Capacity
How many simultaneous calls can you answer with a regular phone number?
But with toll-free numbers, this limit extends to “n”.
Yes, you can answer “n” number of customer calls concurrently using the toll-free number, which means you do not miss out on any incoming call. However, you can put caps on the limit of simultaneous calls, depending upon the varying communication needs.
This flexibility to customise the calling capacity makes toll-free a promising option for every business size.
4. Uplift Customer Service Quality
Customers are infuriated if they struggle to contact you in any way. Toll-free number especially take care of these frustrating customer scenarios by providing an easy to remember, easy to connect, and free of charge calling platform.
Customers don’t have to think twice before contacting your business. It not only acknowledges their queries promptly but resolves them quickly.
This promptness of customer handling leads to enhanced customer service quality.
5. Leverage Comprehensive Calling Solution
Answering calls is one thing, but managing them is another ball game. Toll-free number solution masters this game with the help of integrated call management system.
A complete toll-free solution comprises of a toll-free number along with a full-fledged calling system. You can not only answer calls but make the calling process a lot intelligent with the use of call ringing, routing, and recording services. Also, you get detailed calling reports to assess all the calls received on your phone numbers.
Types of Toll-free Number
You know that toll-free number gives you a nation-wide presence. But what if you run a global organization?
Do you need to buy a separate toll-free number for every country, or can the same number be extended to all countries?
Let’s try to find the answer by understanding the types of toll-free numbers available in the market.
1. Universal International Freephone Numbers (UIFN)
Companies with offices in multiple countries are the ones likely to use UIFN. It is same as toll-free numbers, i.e., you have a single (universal) number to connect with customers, and customers from around the world can call on this number without paying the call charges.
However, there are two things you must know before opting for this number.
- UIFN is regulated by the International Telecommunication Union, and only 50 countries are registered with this service. That means UIFN only works in these 50 countries.
- The cost of UIFN is higher than other types of TFN.
2. International Toll-free Number
These numbers are country-specific toll-free numbers, i.e., if your customer base is in the UK and Australia, then you need to purchase different toll-free numbers for both the countries.
The calling remains free for the customers, which means the business has to pay for the calling charges. However, the cost of purchasing an International toll-free number is lower than the UIFN
3. Domestic Toll-free Number
As the name suggests, these numbers are used by domestic businesses. Companies whose presence is restricted to only one country use this number. Domestic numbers have minimum restriction and are inexpensive in comparison with other two toll-free types.
How to Choose a Toll-free Provider
You have understood all about toll-free number including what toll-free number is, how it works, what are its types, and how you can leverage it. After being convinced of why you should choose it, the next thing is to know is how you can get the best toll-free number for your business.
There is a list of things you must remember while making this decision. The points might differ depending upon your business needs, but a few things which you must check is:
1. Number Availability
This number will be your brand’s identity, and so, you need to put the best foot forward before finalising the number. To start with, check the variety of toll-free number a service provider can offer. These can be,
● Easy to Remember Repetitive Patterns
Numbers like “1800-11-8181” or “1800-11-3333” are easier to remember. Check if the provider has these easy to remember number patterns. The cost of these numbers might vary from provider to provider.
● Vanity Numbers
Vanity numbers are intriguing in the first look due to which they are the preferred choice of many businesses. These numbers are used for marketing as brands can add their name in the phone number itself. This makes the number easy to remember and are a great tool for marketing. The cost of these numbers is higher in comparison to other toll-free number types.
Some of the famous vanity numbers are 1-800-Go-FedEx, 1-800-FLOWERS.
Let’s understand how these vanity numbers are used with an example, for instance, 1-800-FLOWERS,
As per the alphanumeric keypads of a mobile phone,
F is for 3,
L is on 5,
O is on 6,
W is on 9,
E is on 3,
R is on 7,
and S is on 7.
Therefore, when calling 1-800-FLOWERS, the actual number you need to dial is 1-800-3569377.
● Simple Toll-free Numbers
These numbers are easily available, low-priced, and diverse options. They do not follow set patterns except the prefix, due to which they’re harder to remember concerning other toll-free number types.
Example – 1800-123-456747
2. Added Services
After number availability, the second important thing to tick off your checklist is the added services provided with the number. Instead of only searching for a number, go for complete solutions that can cater to communication requirements holistically.
Some of the mandatory services you must look out for in the search process is,
- Call Recording
- Call Analytics Dashboard
- Ringing Strategies
- IVR Integration
- 3rd party Application Integration
- Customization Flexibility
- Admin Portal
Pricing is a crucial factor while selecting a toll-free number provider.
Thus, before starting the comparison, you must estimate your communication budget. Once you know how much to spend, the decision-making process becomes a lot smoother.
After you’ve estimated the budget, look out for the pricing plans service providers are offering.
Calling rates, added services, round the clock support, and more are the key differentiating factors in the pricing plans. You’ve to look out for a pricing structure which does not burn a hole in your pocket.
There are few service providers in the market like Servetel that offer flexible pricing structure, i.e., you can build your customized pricing plans by picking the services you need. Depending upon your usage, service providers also offer bulk discounts that can easily fit your planned budget.
No product is invulnerable to technical glitches. Errors can come unannounced and put the business to screeching halt, which is why it is important to focus on the maintenance quality given by the service provider. Many times, decision-makers focus so much on the product quality that maintenance quality takes a back seat.
Thus, before closing the deal, you must inquire about the quality and frequency of maintenance service they provide. The deciding questions can be
- What is their customer support timing? Does it match your availability?
- How quickly your issue gets resolved?
- How easy is to port in or out?
- What is their uptime in case of technical failures?
Go for It
Gone are the times when TFN was only used as a contact number. With the cloud evolution, toll-free numbers have turned into toll-free solutions that not only facilitate calling but provide a comprehensive telephony suite to manage your communication. From creating a brand presence to applying call intelligence, everything can be done through this solution.
If you’re looking for one such solution which can help you deliver exemplary customer service and multiply your business productivity at the same time, Servetel’s toll-free solution is what you need.
Get in touch with our toll-free solution experts at 1800-120-4132 and avail the best toll-free services for your business.