A strong toll free phone number has been one of the most important parts of business strategy for quite a while, although many companies don’t spend much time considering their true impact. A well implemented toll free phone number can actually help a company to create new business, make more sales, and handle more customers. This requires the right professional approach, however.
The strategy of using a toll free phone number starts with picking a number that’s recognizable and simple, often referred to as a “vanity” number. This typically means using a word or recognizable pattern, as this makes the number easier to remember for potential customers and business clients.
While this doesn’t always seem like an important step (especially for companies that cater to government or industrial clients), it greatly improves the potential of the toll free phone number in a basic, identifiable way. After all, nobody can call a number without remembering it, and a well-chosen phone 800 vanity numbers can serve as a tremendous branding opportunity. Of course, once a number is selected, it becomes difficult to change for the same reason, which is why the initial choice can be so important. A business should take some time when deciding on a number, and carefully consider available options that would be effective in their particular field.
Advertising becomes much easier with a toll free phone number, especially the aforementioned “vanity” numbers. A company’s advertising should therefore be modified after a toll free phone number is introduced, both online and offline, and the new number should be clearly displayed on company websites, brochures, press releases, letterhead, and anything else that bears a company logo.
Campaigns will become more effective once a toll free phone number is displayed consistently. Customers and business contacts see the toll free number as a sort of professional status symbol, and mentally associate these numbers with larger businesses. This association can be used by small businesses to great advantage, and can allow them to successfully compete with the larger companies in their field–and large companies can use the number to enforce their brand.
Regardless of a business’s size, a strong phone and voicemail system can be very helpful once a toll free phone number has been chosen. Modern virtual PBX systems allow for unprecedented efficiency, and different extensions and departments can be routed off of a single phone number, building the appearance of a large, professional company in the minds of potential clients. Voicemail has a similar effect, and can also improve a company’s efficiency through virtual PBX systems that allow the delivery of individual voicemails to a user’s email.
Some businesses go further by installing complete systems capable of selling products and services to customers 24 hours a day, while keeping the virtual PBX system capable of easily handling traffic to individual users inside the company (a simple phone tree explains options to callers, routing them to the correct departments or individuals). Contrary to popular belief, such modern routing systems are fairly simple to install, work over existing phone lines, and aren’t restrictively expensive. They allow a toll free phone number to be used in new and creative ways; for instance, individual extensions can be quickly created and used for certain ad campaigns.
Another emerging technology is broadband phone and VOIP connections, which are also fairly inexpensive and easy to use. These systems allow more call traffic to be handled, and can be combined with a phone and voicemail system to eliminate dropped calls and shorten hold times. Every business should investigate these technologies–they provide quite a few valuable and downright nifty resources, which can decrease the time spent on each phone call, improve sales, and build credibility very quickly.
The most important thing for businesses to remember when implementing a toll free phone number is the importance of a professional approach at every level. From the time a call is received until the moment it ends, every caller should get the impression that they’re speaking with an efficient, caring company that values their business.