Make Getting a Toll Free Number Part of Your 2013 Business Plan

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

If you are a business owner looking to set resolutions for 2013, getting a toll free number could be just the answer you are looking for. Not only will this number make tracking your calls and devising marketing plans simpler, but it will also provide your customers with the motivation they need to contact you instead of your competitors.

Toll Free Numbers for New Businesses
If your 2013 business plan involves actually starting a new business, then it is likely that you have spent some time considering your communications solutions. A toll free number  is by far the best option when it comes to selecting a telephone number because it will enhance your overall call volume and help to promote a sense of credibility, professionalism and establishment in the minds of your customers—even though you have only just opened your doors. These numbers look great on business cards and advertisements, and with vanity numbers, they can even be customized.

Incorporating the Number into Existing Business Plans
If your business has already been established but you are looking for ways to increase your call volume and remain competitive within your industry, you may still want to consider getting a toll free number. While you can retain your existing number for your local customers, you can also incorporate the new number into any future advertisements in order to enjoy a broader reach. In fact, many business owners have enjoyed plenty of success by including both local numbers and toll free numbers in their advertisements. Thanks to the flexibility and mobility of these numbers, consumers will have a choice when it comes to the number they want to dial.

Enjoy More Calls
Studies have shown that businesses with toll free numbers can enjoy up to a 30% greater call volume than those without, and this can have a serious impact on the number of sales you and your employees can generate. Each call presents a new opportunity for earnings, and without these telephone calls, your business simply could not succeed. This must also be viewed from a customer service standpoint; businesses that provide toll free numbers to their customers are immediately viewed as customer-friendly and eager to please.

Enhance Your Credibility
In today’s economy, credibility is everything. It is important for business owners to ensure that they are making the right impression on their customers, and a business toll free number is a great way to do this. By simply providing such a number, you are subliminally implanting thoughts of establishment and professionalism in the minds of your customers—and also potential customers. When provided with a choice between a company with a local number and one with a toll free option, nearly 60% of consumers will choose the toll free option, regardless of whether or not the company is local.

A toll free number is a great way for you to start your new business off on the right foot or perhaps even enhance the success of your existing business. It will help to promote the credibility of your business and will have a significant impact on your overall call volume, giving you and your employees a better opportunity to convert callers into buyers.

Toll Free Numbers are Easy to Order

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Some business owners choose to avoid ordering a toll free number because they believe the process is lengthy and difficult. The truth is, however, that ordering these numbers could not be simpler. By simply choosing a number, checking its availability and placing the order online, business owners can enjoy the benefits quickly and easily.

Standard or Vanity Number

The first part of ordering toll free numbers  is choosing whether to use a standard number or a vanity number. A standard number does not contain a word or phrase and is simply a series of numbers. A vanity number, on the other hand, is a group of alphanumeric characters that spells a word or phrase that is related to the business name, the industry or the products and services on offer. It is up to the business owner to determine which of these numbers will work best for them. Once this has been established, the next step involves choosing an actual number and checking its availability using an online tool.

Check Availability

Once a business owner has determined whether to use a standard or vanity toll free number, the next step in the process is checking its availability. It is up to the business owner to come up with his or her toll free number, though if a standard number is chosen, this can be randomly assigned. It is best to brainstorm several vanity numbers if this is the choice, and then check each of these toll free numbers using the tool that is provided on the website. If the number selected is not available, simply move on to the next until an available number is found. Then, continue on to the next page to complete the ordering process.

Place the Order

Once an available number has been found, the final step in the ordering process is checking out. Here, business owners will be provided with options on how to place their orders, such as how they would like to pay for their toll free numbers. Sometimes the option to pay monthly will be provided, but in other cases, annual payments may be accepted. Once the order has been placed, it merely needs to be processed before the selected number will be available for use. Business owners will also need to determine how many toll-free minutes they will need every month to fit their business needs. If the toll free numbers are part of a virtual telephone system order, the price will be combined.

Enjoy the Benefits

The last step in ordering toll free numbers for a business is enjoying the multitude of benefits they can provide. Consumers will be able to call a business without incurring any long distance charges whatsoever, and the simple act of providing such a number will help to instill a sense of professionalism in the minds of consumers. Business owners will be able to enjoy simpler statistical analyses of their calls, and this can certainly help them target their marketing campaigns in the future.

Ordering toll free numbers is a relatively simple process and one that can have a significant impact on the overall success of a business. With plenty of benefits for both the consumer and the business owner, these numbers are absolutely essential.

Toll Free Numbers Are Still as Popular as Ever

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Toll free numbers have been associated with successful businesses for several decades and this is still the case today. What started as a way to provide consumers with a way to contact a business without incurring long distance charges has now become a popular way to advertise, promote professionalism and even boost mobility.

The First Toll Free Numbers

The first toll free numbers were made available in the United States in 1967, and business owners used them to provide their callers with a means of contact that did not incur any long distance charges. It is important to remember that long distance calls during this period were quite expensive, and in order for a national business to get ahead, it had to offer its customers plenty of new and innovative technologies. While most people have mobile phones or unlimited long distance on their landlines these days, this does not negate the overall importance of providing them with a toll free number as part of a solid business plan. Consumers still associate these numbers with professionalism and establishment, and there are plenty of benefits to both the business owner and the consumer.

Benefits to the Business Owner

One benefit of using a toll free number is the ability to promote a sense of professionalism and establishment among consumers, regardless of the length of time a company has been in business. For many years, toll free numbers were expensive and difficult to procure; this meant that only the businesses that were well established and able to bring in plenty of revenue could afford them. While this is no longer the case, consumers still tend to associate toll free numbers with businesses that have realized success, making them an invaluable tool for businesses of any size. Another benefit for business owners is the mobility these numbers provide. Call forwarding allows the termination point of these numbers to be changed with ease.

Benefits to the Consumer

The primary benefit of a toll free number to consumers is the lack of charges they will incur when these numbers are dialed. Despite unlimited long distance or the lack of long distance charges from mobile phones, many consumers still remember the days of counting their long distance minutes in order to stay within their budgets. Consumers are also more likely to dial numbers that are easier for them to remember, so if a business chooses to make use of vanity numbers, this can have an even greater impact on overall call volume. People these days are creatures of convenience, so business owners that make the process involved with finding and dialing a telephone number simple are likely to receive the most telephone calls—up to 30% more, as some studies have suggested.

Although at one point a toll free number was used specifically to prevent consumers from being charged for calls placed to businesses, it is now often only a way to promote professionalism and stay competitive in industries fraught with competition.

Business Benefits of 1 800 Numbers

December 18, 2012 Leave a comment

There’s no doubt that 1 800 numbers are essential for the success of your business.  As a small business owner, you often need to compete with big business and 1 800 numbers can make your business sound big almost instantly. Customers prefer to transact with companies that are big and established and 1 800 numbers help you build this business identity.

Boost your business image

1 800 numbers take your business to new heights. It makes you more accessible to your clients and customers. When your customer knows that it’s free, it is more likely that they will call and enquire about your business. These numbers can be used with any phone-your cell phone, residential phone or office phone. So now your home business can also have a perfect corporate image with these numbers.

Honor your privacy

1 800 numbers can be used with any phone. You do not need any dedicated telephone line. You can use your existing lines and even your cell phone to set up these numbers.  You also have the flexibility to add local numbers. Maintain the privacy of your home, business or cell phone number yet sounding more credible and professional.

Make yourself available

Now your customers can call you from around the country without any extra cost or charge. With the 1 800 numbers you are accessible to your clients even when they are located across the country.  Since your customer need not pay the charge, even if it’s a long distance call, it is quite likely that you will receive enquires from customers located near and far.

Make your business mobile

1 800 numbers makes your business credible immediately and puts you in bigger business arena. No need to stay at your office working for long extra hours! With these numbers your office can easily move to your home or to any other place of your choice. You can receive calls on your cell phone using these numbers and answer the queries and questions of your clients and prospective clients. No more compromising your family for business or business for family because now both can work together!

More business at no extra cost

1 800 numbers give you better business profitability at no extra cost. No need to download any software or buy any expensive hardware.  You do not even need a new connection to set up this number. You can use any of your existing phones and phone lines to use these numbers.  Since the caller need not pay anything to answer his queries, it is more likely that you will get more business queries using these numbers.

Improved customer satisfaction

These numbers are also an incredible way to enhance your customer satisfaction ratio.  Your customer gives you a call to clarify his doubt and you pay the bill. Isn’t that incredible!! So it is likely that your customers will call you even for the smallest trouble and you will address it that will automatically increase your customer satisfaction ratio.

Start the New Year Right with a Toll Free Number for Your Company

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment

If you are interested in helping your business enjoy success in 2013, then a toll free number may be just the change you need. Such a number can have a lasting positive impact on your business, regardless of its size, the length of time it has been in operation, or your current customer base.

Benefits of Toll Free Numbers
There are many benefits to be had when it comes to getting a toll free number for your business. First and foremost, you will be providing your customers with a means to contact you without incurring any charges—regardless of how they choose to contact you. Whether they are calling from their own landlines, their mobile phones or a telephone from a motel room, all of these calls are completely free. These numbers also provide an opportunity for personalization that standard telephone numbers simply do not with the use of vanity numbers. By selecting words or phrases that are closely related to your business, you can make your telephone number—and your company—more memorable.

Toll Free Numbers and Virtual Phone Systems
To provide the best customer service experience possible, you can also consider using a toll free number as part of a virtual phone system. Some of the benefits associated with doing so include the ability to use an autoresponder to answer each and every one of your incoming calls. Each call will be properly routed to the correct employee or department and consumers will spend less time on hold. Call forwarding  is also included in these packages, making toll free numbers completely portable and better for the business overall. A virtual system also allows you to obtain extensions for your number as well, ensuring that each employee is accessible through the company’s toll free number.

Professional Business Image
Competing among other businesses within the same industry can be difficult, especially if your business is not yet established. By choosing a toll free number, you will be implanting a sense of establishment in the minds of consumers regardless of the length of time your business has been in operation. Toll free numbers have long been tied to businesses that are credible and professional, so by choosing such a number for your business, you will immediately be boosting your business’s reputation among its competitors.

Better Marketing Campaigns
Marketing is very important for businesses of any size because it is the primary means of letting consumers know that your business exists. Toll free numbers provide you with the ability to track the calls coming into your business; you will know who is calling you, from where, and at what times. This will help you narrow down your targeted demographic, saving you money on your advertising. By obtaining this information and using it to your advantage, you can easily gear your advertisements toward those individuals who are interested in your products and services.

There are many reasons why you should consider a toll free number as part of your business plans for 2013, including the benefits this number can provide to you and your customers. When combined with a virtual phone system, the possibilities are truly endless.

Five Interesting Ways to Use 1 800 Numbers

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Small Business Phone ServiceToll free numbers are not quite as ubiquitous as they used to be, thanks to the internet, but they can still be a fun and useful tool. These numbers, first established in 1967, allow people to call businesses and organizations without having to worry about the cost. The business absorbs that, and the fees are usually quite reasonable. Here’s a look at 5 ways your business or organization can use 1 800 numbers.

Help lines
This is perhaps one of the most well known ways to use 1 800 numbers and can be of great interest and value as well. Help lines can be for almost anything. Run a catering business? Set up a helpline to assist customers with questions about event planning and entertaining. Non profit organizations can use toll free help lines to provide support for the causes they represent. For example the ASPCA has a toll free helpline for people to report suspected animal abuse. Help lines can also be used to provide tech support and assist people in crisis.

Voting
Creating polls and surveys can be an effective marketing tool and setting up 1 800 numbers for people to call in and vote on is a great way to get customers involved. TV shows like American Idol have been using them for years. You can assign each voting option (yes/no, candidates names, etc) and easily collect votes. Contests are another good use for toll free voting and can be for fun or involve prizes.

Marketing
Toll free numbers can be a fun way to promote a brand or message. For example a company could have a commercial where one of the characters mentions a 1 800 number. Viewers that call get a special message inviting them to sign up for email updates or offering a special promo code. A toll free number can also be used in ad campaigns that use a series of ads to tell a story. The number encourages customer interaction by drawing them into the storyline. For people who work from home, a 1 800 number is a great way to come across as professional.

Virtual Bulletin Board
This is a great use of toll free numbers. Organizations, schools, businesses and groups can set up a 1 800 number for people to call to get information. For example, a school could use one for parents to call to find out about weather related school cancellations, upcoming events, and other school news. Organizations can use them for everything from sharing public safety alerts like severe weather warnings and amber alerts to volunteer openings and meeting times. A business could use one to provide business hours, account info and employment opportunities.

Voice Mail
Setting up a toll free number for use as a voicemail line can be very useful. A business could use it for employees who need to call in sick, or for customers to leave messages without the need to employ a receptionist. There’s another use too that is becoming more popular, especially with podcasts and other internet broadcasts. They often invite viewers and listeners to call their voice mail line to share their thoughts. The messages are collected and reviewed but not returned, and often they are played during the broadcast and answered by the hosts live on air. This is a great way to get customer generated content.

Aside from these ideas mentioned above, there are thousands of ways that 1 800 numbers can be used. The main advantage is that they are affordable and convenient with today’s technology.

Get a Toll Free Number for Any Business

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

When a business owner chooses to get a toll free number, the company’s overall image and chances of success are greatly improved. This is true for small businesses, home-based businesses and even businesses that are expanding into more than one brick-and-mortar location.

Home-Based Businesses

A home-based business is often very small and managed by one or two people. While using the existing landline or mobile phone that is already part of the household may seem like the economical thing to do, this can lead to serious issues with privacy, courtesy and more. A toll free number helps to separate personal calls from business calls, and in the event that the business owner needs to be away from home, some systems allow it to also be completely portable. The device or line on which the toll free number terminates can be changed in just a few simple steps. This way, regardless of where the business owner travels, the toll free number can travel as well.

Small Businesses

Small retail and service-based businesses such as coffee shops and bakeries will often opt for a standard local telephone number when they open their doors. Again, while this may seem like an economical choice since the businesses will likely only cater to local patrons—at least in the beginning—it is important to remember that there is a lot of competition within most industries these days. This means that business owners need to be intuitive about creating a professional environment that is appealing to their clients and customers. When they choose to get a toll free number, they are providing that sense of professionalism and establishment that many consumers crave.

Online-Only Businesses

Business owners who operate solely online will undoubtedly need to field plenty of questions from their clients and customers. Similarly to running a home business, it is important to ensure that customers have a telephone number at which the business owner can always be reached, even if it is an after-hours message. Again, a personal landline or mobile phone number is not the best option due to the loss of privacy and professionalism. For this reason, an online-only business owner should get a toll free number that is strictly dedicated to the business in order to separate personal and business calls.

Expanding Businesses

Retail or service-based businesses that are in the midst of or on the verge of expansion should also get a toll free number in order to consolidate calls. While it makes sense for each business to have its own telephone number, providing consumers with a single number to call when they are in need of products and services just makes things simpler. A toll free number can be programmed to terminate at any of the locations—or at both of the locations if extensions are chosen.

Business owners who want to make an impression on their clientele, get more call volume, and provide better overall customer service will do well to get a toll free number for their companies. There are many benefits to doing so, but the best by far is the ability to project a professional business image in any situation.

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