Deciding whether a toll-free or local telephone number is right for your business involves several considerations. A toll-free number allows customers anywhere to call your business free of charge via landlines or virtually. A local number is also available via a landline or virtually, but has fees attached for any caller who is not located within the immediate area surrounding your business and for some cell phone callers, depending on their cellular network.
More About Toll-Free Numbers
Most businesses that have customers, partners, vendors – or all of the above – located statewide and/or nationally find that having a toll-free number is worthwhile. Long-distance calls are less expensive for the business to make and customers know they can always contact the business free of charge.
In addition, customers located farther away from where the business is physically located won’t be discouraged from contacting a company with a different, local exchange. A toll-free number effectively removes a contact barrier between your business and your remote customers.
Toll-free numbers also provide a professional, national presence for businesses and can be used as a marketing tool. They allow you to customize your telephone number with an easy-to-remember vanity number that can remind customers of your business in a unique way. A toll-free number can also be used to support national advertising campaigns and promotions. Toll-free numbers provide you with a list of calls received and their duration.
However, toll-free numbers are more expensive than local numbers and may discourage potential customers from calling due to their perception that they will be speaking with a large, impersonal company located far away.
Breaking Down Local Numbers
Businesses with a primarily local customer base may find that local numbers are better at attracting customers looking for products and services that are located nearby. The current trend of supporting local businesses by shopping locally is certainly one to leverage. Local customers using landlines can call the business free of charge with local numbers and they are much less expensive for the business to use.
For companies that are expanding rapidly in a defined area, assigning each department a different local number can help simplify customer and vendor calls. It’s important to note that the benefits of a local number serving a local clientele can only be realized if the business has professional call answering and customer service-oriented operators. They are the first contact between your business, customers, and potential customers, so they can be the difference between a successful sale and a discouraged caller.
Using both local and toll-free numbers, designating one or the other the primary and the alternate as your secondary number gives the customer the choice. Since your toll-free number terminates on your local number, why not have both?
Northwest Telephone Answering Service is a Trusted Resource
Northwest Telephone Answering Service has over 35 years of experience as a provider of answering and dispatch services. We are one of the most experienced providers of these types of services in the country. We use the latest technologies available offering reliable, affordable service for a vast array of industries. Our expertise and experience allow us to customize each of our accounts so you can feel confident your business is receiving exactly the services you need. Our staff undergoes ongoing training in order to efficiently manage and route thousands of calls a day in a professional manner. When you partner with Northwest Telephone Answering Service, you are working with a true team of professionals.