Business phone numbers, such as 800 numbers, are the bridge to facilitating communication in your business. This includes specific features of business phone numbers, such as forwarding calls to relevant departments so that customers are always attended to quickly and efficiently.
Since these lines are specific to business communication, used to manage calls from clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders, a business number should be a top priority for any business.
This is the most accessible and traditional method clients will use to contact the company. Tending to customer inquiries through timely engagement with clients boosts customer engagement and satisfaction.
That said, you need to make some decisions when it comes to your business number. You can go for a toll-free 800 number or choose any other type of business number. But, which one should you get?
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about 800 numbers and other business numbers so you can spend less time looking and more time taking care of your business.
What are 800 Numbers?
An 800 number is a toll-free number with a three-digit code (number prefix).
They are often used in the customer service sector to aid purchases or give more information about an organization.
Since 1996, toll-free 800 numbers have been used by businesses as their support lines and primary phone numbers. Consequently, more toll-free prefixes were added to the mix to meet the growing popularity and business demand.
Toll-free numbers allow new and existing clients to reach your business directly, since many clients prefer calling a business phone number instead of sending an email or writing a letter.
How Does an 800 Number Function?
The business that owns the toll-free number is responsible for phone charges. The call is free to the person who dials in the number, whether locally or internationally.
You can also use toll-free numbers to send and receive messages, if the providing company has enabled SMS texting.
Benefits of an 800 Number
There are several benefits of an 800 number that make them attractive to businesses. Some of these include:
- Improving Customer Service: A toll-free number connects you directly to your clients, helping you answer customer questions quickly and with minimal effort. Also, clients can call in from anywhere, anytime, at no extra cost.
- Providing a Competitive Edge: Toll-free numbers help corporations build a professional image. This credibility can help the business stay ahead of potential competitors.
- Increasing the Impact of Business Marketing: McDonald’s once had a toll-free number (1300-13-1300) which was widely advertised and easy to remember. Similarly, your company can utilize toll-free numbers to be noticed, increase the chances of client calls, and also track those calls. This factor can springboard your branding to new levels.
- Providing Business Visibility and Professionalism: Toll-free numbers are hosted on the cloud; therefore, they’re never down. Coupled with an IVR system, you can extend the cloud telephony features provided.
- Prepares a Business for Scaling: A typical business has at least one to over 20 numbers associated with it. When your business grows, so does your call volume. With an 800 number, you can route calls, making them easier to handle.
Additionally, teams can shift from place to place without losing contact with current and future clients as toll-free numbers are not limited to one location.
Alternatives to 800 Numbers
If you’re looking for an alternative, other toll-free numbers with different prefixes that still work the same include:
- 822 toll-free prefix
- 833 toll-free prefix
- 844 toll-free prefix
- 855 toll-free prefix
- 866 toll-free prefix
- 877 toll-free prefix
- 888 toll-free prefix
Related: Are Custom Numbers Worth It?
Other Types of Business Numbers To Consider
Looking for something different? There are other options with their own perks. Some of the other business numbers you might consider include:
Local Phone Numbers: Enhance Your Local Presence
Local phone numbers are an excellent way of being present in a local community. Customers usually use them to contact a business without being concerned about long-distance charges. Customers are more likely to pick an unknown call with a familiar area code, knowing that it’s coming from nearby.
A local business phone number may come with most phone service plans, with additional lines being offered for a small fee.
You can create a local presence and improve brand awareness in the region with a local number. 70% of consumers are buying from local brands. With a local number, you may have a competitive edge over those without.
Vanity Phone Numbers: For Better Business Name Identity
A vanity number is a personalized toll-free number that appends relevant keywords, such as 1-800-PHONES.
Vanity phone numbers are easily memorable. A customer who contacts you for the first time will instantly know what you sell when they decide to call.
Custom phone numbers come with toll-free prefixes such as 800, 888, etc. However, you can also get a local vanity number instead of toll-free.
If you want to be memorable to your clients or have an easy-to-remember number to place on radio and TV ads, billboards, or even help your brand seem more established, a vanity number can help you achieve that.
International Numbers: For Businesses with a Global Reach
International phone numbers help you reach businesses outside the periphery of your country of residence.
Instead of the long, confusing numbers and the high international charges, you can provide your international callers with a local number to call.
This will allow you to communicate with your international customers, suppliers, and remote workers freely without worrying about charges.
Factors To Consider When Getting a Business Phone Number
The Type of Phone Number
Different business phone numbers offer different functionalities, advantages, and downsides. The type of phone number you choose should help you meet your business needs and save money. A local number is an ideal choice if you’re targeting the local market. Similarly, an international number might be enticing, but it will be of no use if you don’t have a global audience.
The Number Availability
Before selecting a final number, research the variety of numbers your provider offers. Remember the number you choose represents your business.
When choosing a vanity number, ensure it is available and has an easy-to-recall pattern. If another business has already picked it, you can’t have it. That means you might have to get a little more creative but remain simple to come up with a suitable number.
The Quality of Phone Services
Assess the quality of services provided by the provider you’re considering. Experienced vendors offer a whole approach, which leaves room for add-on features you may want to include later, depending on your phone system.
Some of these features include:
- Number of minutes
- Admin portal
- Call recording
- On-hold music
- Call analytics
- API integrations
Your Customer Base
The primary purpose of getting a business phone number is to communicate effectively with your customers. Thus, the nature of your customers will significantly influence your choice.
If your customers are spread all over the country, a toll-free number would be ideal. However, it’s possible to have only local, nationwide, and international customers, or all three.
In addition, you may have not only customers but also employees and suppliers in different regions. In such a case, you are not limited to one type of phone number. Consider getting a local, toll-free, and international number to cater to all your needs, if this is right for your business.
The Phone Service Provider
Where you’re getting your phone services is crucial to your business. Who are they? What is their reputation? Do they provide prompt support when you need it, or do you have to wait for days before your issue is addressed?
Even with a perfect number, if your provider can’t guarantee unparalleled support and efficient services, you don’t stand a chance to succeed.
Before engaging the provider you’re considering, check out what other users say about them and how they handle their clients.
Different phone numbers have different costs. A local phone number may come with the system when you get a virtual phone system.
However, the caller doesn’t incur any charges for toll-free—your business is charged for both incoming and outgoing calls. Call rates for global numbers are also different and are charged the local rate in that country.
Thus, before picking the type of number you’re considering, ensure you understand the charges from your provider.
Get a Phone Number for Your Business
800 numbers have been popular for a long time. They are still relevant and likely a necessity for your growing business. Your customers can easily remember your brand and call you from anywhere at no cost to them.
When you need different numbers to fit your business capabilities, you can choose from several different available options. But you are not limited to one type. A mix of different numbers can significantly increase ability to serve your customers regardless of where they are.
Not sure where to get a business phone number?
Phone.com is your go-to provider for business communication solutions. From a modern phone system to millions of business phone numbers to choose from, you can rest assured you’ll find the service that is perfect for your business.
Whether you want to create a local or international presence, Phone.com has a wide range of phone numbers at your disposal. Plus, you get a toll-free or local number with every account, paired with unmatched support.
Contact us today and let us help you improve communication in your business.