Getting The Right Toll Free Number for Your Business
What purpose does a toll free number have in today’s business world? I mean, if you think about it, who really looks at area codes anymore and who still looks at long distance charges? With the advent of computer technology, operators were replaced, thus reducing long distance charges greatly. Then along came the cell phone that basically made the entire country one big local area for phone calls.
A Quick Toll Free Number History
The first reserved area code was 800 back in 1967. This was the first time a toll free service appeared and was monopolized by AT&T until 1984. Eleven years later, 800 numbers were practically gone, so a new area code was used, 888 and then again every two years, we got 877, 866 and now 855.
Throughout the last 43 years, “800 numbers” have become synonymous with big business and as a result, anytime we see an advertisement with an 800 number on it, we automatically know we’re looking at a large (and respectable) business — or at least we’re assuming that! This fact is the single-most important reason why, after all this new technology and lower phone charges, toll free numbers are still being registered at record speeds.
It’s only a matter of time until we see 844, 833, 822 and so on! There’s a lot more information about toll free numbers over at Wikipedia.
A vanity number is any phone number that uses the letters on the phone’s dialer to spell out a word or business name. A vanity number does not have to be a toll free number, but it most commonly is due to the ability to pick your own number digit for digit. Probably the most obvious use of vanity numbers are with businesses such as 1-800-FLOWERS, HP (1-800-HP-INVENT) or Apple (1-800-MY-APPLE).
The use of a vanity number is key to dramatically increasing call volume. It’s estimated that a memorable vanity number can increase call volume over 70%! As you can imagine, this can do some serious damage to your competitors if people can remember your number instead of their’s.
Toll Free Benefits
While the younger generation might be caught up in texting, email and cell phones, it’s still ingrained in our heads that 800 numbers are a tell-tale sign that any company using one has clout. Here are some reasons you should consider getting one (or two).
- Perception – As mentioned above, perception of who you are is important. People are more likely to assume you’re a big company or that you care about your customers enough to pay for their phone calls.
- Vanity – This is the only time that one of the seven deadly sins can be used in your favor! Finding a number that represents your business either by name or association will produce amazing results for your bottom line.
- Locality – You may provide a business online, so your customers might be from all over, but some customers shy away from “strange” numbers with unknown area codes. Get yourself a toll free number and simply redirect all calls to your main line!
- Marketing – This one falls in line with perception, but imagine your local advertisement — which looks better to you: Call now! 1-714-555-1234 or Call now! 1-800-FIX-MY-PC
- Reporting – You can track all calls from toll free numbers. Therefore, you can set up multiple numbers for different advertising campaigns and check the reports to see which ads are getting more calls.
- Call logs – Anyone that calls your toll free number will be listed in your call history. It doesn’t matter if that person has caller ID block or not. This allows you to not only see who’s calling you at all times, but also allows you to save these numbers for future marketing plans.
Where do I get a toll free number?
The first place to start is simply with your phone company. Verizon and AT&T have excellent rates for toll free service although there are monthly fess on top of all per-minute charges.
The problem with the phone companies is that they aren’t in the “business” of selling numbers or trying to locate the right one for you, so even though you can place a specific request, the odds of getting exactly what you want are very slim. You will likely just end up with a random number. Your next step is to tap into 3rd party resources.
There are many companies out there that promise to get you the best number and while they might do what they say, they will charge you for it! I’ve seen companies charge as much as $4000 to acquire just ONE number! Now, to a large corporation, this might not be such a problem — especially if that number is vital to their business needs.
Bill Quimby and TollFreeNumbers.com
If it seems like I was glazing over the content above, it’s because I was and the reason for that is because I really wanted to get to this part! I’m going to say this right off the bat: If you need a custom toll free number, go see Bill Quimby!
Think of Bill Quimby as sort of a GoDaddy for toll free numbers in an industry where there is no ‘registrar’ for toll free numbers. I wrote a lengthily review of TollFreeNumbers.com and in it I described my experiences with the site, Mr. Quimby and his team. Please read it if you haven’t already. Otherwise, I’ll explain what it is he does here.
There a few things you can expect from TollFreeNumbers.com:
- Order custom vanity numbers
- Browse through lists of numbers ready for purchase
- Search the national number database
- Obtain more information than you’d ever need about the industry
I think the best part about Bill and his team is that they are a small business and they aim to please. Their entire business model is based on helping the small guy out. They don’t concern themselves with profit to the point of stepping on customers to get it.
The next best part is that they are here to help get you what you want! It’s not like calling AT&T and dealing with a customer service rep that only knows how to process an order. TollFreeNumbers.com will do a lot of legwork for you to make sure you’re happy.
If you know you need a great toll free number, you should head on over to TollFreeNumbers.com right now. You will NOT be disappointed!!