Business marketing has continually been reshaped over the years. The competitive landscape is fierce, and brands must take advantage of every resource available to them in order to stay alive. One such resource is a toll-free number, a powerful marketing tool that can augment your business’s customer service, brand value, and much more.
Today, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about toll-free numbers, from how they work to what their benefits are — showcasing why you should invest in one, too!
How Does Toll-Free Calling Work?
A toll-free number, sometimes known as an 800 number, or vanity number, is a unique type of phone number that enables callers to interface with businesses without incurring any charges. Instead, the organization that owns the toll-free number takes on the costs of incoming calls.
Here’s how a toll-free number works:
- Caller dials the toll-free number: When someone wants to connect with a business, they simply dial the toll-free number on their phone.
- Call routing: Then, the call is routed to a telecommunications service provider (also known as a “Responsible Organization”). This entity manages the toll-free number on behalf of the business that owns it.
- Toll-free database query: The organization now checks a central database to find the actual phone number associated with the toll-free organization. This database maintains a mapping between toll-free numbers and their corresponding “routing” or destination numbers.
- Call connection: After identifying the destination phone number, the responsible organization connects the incoming call to the business’ regular phone line. This typically occurs over traditional phone lines or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks.
- Call billing: The business or organization that owns the toll-free number pays for the call based on the number of minutes spent on the call.
Toll-Free Numbers: The Benefits
Using a toll-free number brings many advantages to a business, both short and long-term.
Enhanced Customer Service
Since toll-free numbers are able to minimize friction and maximize direct communication between a business and its customers, they dramatically bolster customer service efforts in the organization. This is because toll-free numbers offer a seamless channel for consumers to send inquiries, receive support, and give feedback, all of which directly move the needle for your business.
Stronger Brand Image
A dedicated toll-free number also creates a more professional image for your business, thereby strengthening your brand image. Not only do these numbers project credibility and trustworthiness to your audience, but they also showcase how customer-focused your business is. Vanity numbers can also be chosen to reflect your business (e.g.,+1 (800) FLOWERS). This directly translates to more loyal customers who actually trust your brand.
Further, toll-free numbers also overcome any barriers that would prevent your consumers from doing business with you. This is because your audience can now interact with your business from anywhere — without incurring any charges.
Such accessibility can drastically broaden your brand’s scope, planting the seeds for future growth and expansion to occur.
Another major benefit of toll-free numbers is that they usually come fitted with advanced analytics features, from basic call details to transcripts and more. Having access to such call data can be invaluable for small businesses, providing insight into their customer’s needs and behaviors. After analysis, you can identify ways to better meet those needs, improve service, track marketing efficiency, and otherwise optimize your strategies.
Toll-free numbers also provide you with flexibility in managing your calling capabilities. Imagine you’re relocating your business — which means your phone number will change, too. This would likely be a major challenge for most businesses since your audience no longer has your number, and you’d have to rebuild your customer list from scratch.
With toll-free numbers, however, you can overcome this hurdle entirely. They offer the ability to link any phone number to your account, even new ones.
Getting a toll-free number for your business can generate a plethora of benefits. Not only is it a practical decision for any brand to better capture and connect with its audience, but it’s also a powerful marketing tool that can reinforce your brand image and build trustworthiness with your audience.
Get ahead of the curve now and invest in a toll-free number.