When operating a business, it is important to maintain an open line of contact for your customers. When they have questions, problems, or concerns, there should be a phone number available for them to call, and their calls should be answered promptly and professionally. A popular option for many businesses has always been the toll free phone number. This kind of phone number has several pros and cons, and it is important to understand these when deciding whether or not to set up a toll free number for your business.
One of the main benefits of a toll free number is portability. If you work from a home office or do not have a stable long-term headquarters for your business, you can avoid the complications of frequently changing phone numbers by setting up a toll free number and forwarding calls to your new land line.
2. Customer Support
The main reason your business needs a phone number is to provide customer service and support. Toll free numbers can easily be set up with call waiting systems, automated call filtering, and options to speak to live representatives. This can help you field multiple calls at once, helping your customers easily get the information they need directly from the source.
3. Encourage Calls
Many customers hesitate before calling a company’s phone number. Toll free numbers eliminate any uncertainty in the minds of your callers by projecting a professional image for your company. The free aspect of calling also opens up your lines to long-distance and international customers, furthering your reach in the market.
1. Increased Expense
Setting up a toll free number will require some initial investment, and recurring costs associated with maintaining the phone line. Aside from payments to the company that provides your toll free number, you may find yourself needing to employ additional staff to manage this new part of your business. There are always unseen costs, so be mindful of this before committing to a new phone line. If budgeting is already tight for your company, the benefits of setting up toll free calling for your customers may not out-weigh the expenses.
2. Mobile Competition
A major force in pushing the toll free service out of business owners’ minds these days is the popularity of mobile phones. Smart phones are so capable now that they can allow you to handle almost all of your business matters easily from any location. Additionally, many families around the country are dropping their land lines in favor of mobile contracts, and businesses may not be far behind in this trend.
3. Unsolicited Calls
Due to their very nature, toll free numbers are often subject to a large volume of unsolicited calls. You can expect to receive plenty of calls from people who have no interest in your products or services. This can obviously get annoying very quickly, especially if your are handling the calls yourself. Whether or not any of these factors make or break the deal on a toll free number will naturally depend on your unique needs.