What are commonly referred to as 1800 phone numbers actually take a wide range of formats these days from the widely recognized 1-800, to 1-888, 1-877—and more. In fact, today there are seven toll free number prefixes available, according to the FCC¹. They are: 800, 888, 877, 855, 844, and 833, which was just added this June², the first time a new prefix has been added since 2013. Despite the multiple prefixes, most continue to refer to toll free numbers collectively as “1-800 numbers.”
CHECK OUT OUR SELECTION OF TOLL FREE NUMBERS FOR SALE
Contact AccessDirect today for more information about available toll free numbers and our virtual PBX phone system solutions. Just give us a call (toll free, of course!) at 877-599-6500, and one of our friendly customer service representatives will be happy to assist you! We will help you find a toll free number that is perfect for your business.
While smart phone plans are common these days, with plans bundling in the cost of making local and long-distance calls based on data use, the truth is that consumers are still wary of “paying” to call a business—even if that cost involves using up their data!
Having a 1800 phone number sends a subtle—yet powerful—message that can positively impact consumer willingness to pick up the phone and call. Toll free options also include some very business-friendly services like toll free forwarding. Many businesses, though, are uncertain about exactly what it takes to get a toll free number or what’s involved in buying toll free numbers.
Are toll free numbers “free”? They are to consumers, but not to the businesses that choose to buy toll free numbers to create convenience for customers and potential customers. Costs vary depending on your needs and the number of minutes used each month. They are, though, a very economical option for companies wishing to convey an aura of credibility quickly.
TOLL FREE NUMBER SERVICE GIVES YOUR SMALL BUSINESS A BIG COMPANY PRESENCE
For businesses, having a toll free number conveys a sense of legitimacy, particularly for those businesses whose markets extend beyond their own geographic location. Toll free numbers have come to be synonymous with “big.” TargetMarketing³ points to research from the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions which indicates that 90 percent of consumers say they use toll free numbers on a regular basis. If you think of your own behavior when connecting with businesses by phone, you likely fall into this group.
Many small-business owners mistakenly believe they can adequately serve their customer base with just a local telephone number. But if yours is like most small businesses these days, you probably use the internet to market your products and services to customers outside of your local area. A sizable portion of these individuals won’t do business with you if they have to pay for the phone calls. Consider, as well, that a local area code may send unintended messages to your audience. For instance, suppose your business is based in a small town on the outskirts of Chicago with an area code that is different from Chicago’s familiar 312 area code. The 331 area code of the Chicago suburbs simply doesn’t have the same clout as an 800-number would carry. That’s why a toll free number is so important to the success — and even the long-term survival — of your company.
That toll free number sends a “big business” signal to your audience. When customers see a business with a local phone number, they often think that it’s a small company that won’t be able to provide the service they require. On the other hand, toll free numbers for business can make any company seem like a large, full-service operation, even if it’s just a small start-up with a few employees—or a sole practitioner. Regardless of the size of your company, the fact that the call is free will increase the likelihood that customers will pick up the phone to connect with you. And you’ll also benefit from productivity enhancers like toll free forwarding.
Keep in mind, of course, that it’s not just having a toll free number that bestows big-company status to your company. It’s what you do with that number—from ensuring that you promote it widely through all of your on- and offline communication channels, to taking a professional approach to answering the phone, creating out-of-office messaging, etc.
That means making your number prominent, and easy to find, on your website, in your advertisements and printed collateral, on business cards, etc. Don’t be shy about clearly conveying to your audiences how easy it is to get in touch with you—and how cost-effective!
When they do reach you, seal the deal, by answering the phone promptly or providing a friendly and professional out-of-office greeting and the ability for callers to leave a message (which, of course, you’ll return as soon as possible). Other options to consider include call forwarding or an auto attendant system.
Toll Free Number Options
Once you’ve made the decision to provide a toll free number for your audience, you have some additional choices to make. AccessDirect offers four unique programs, with solutions based on the size and scope of your business.
We can walk you through the options and help you choose the one that will work best for you—and your target audience.
Stand Alone Toll Free Numbers
Just looking for the simple customer convenience of a toll free number? We’ve got you covered. But, if you’re looking for added functionality, we also have more to offer.
You’ve almost certainly heard of 1-800-FLOWERS and, if you have, you know what a vanity number is. It’s a number that you convert to letters that spell out some word or phrase associated with your product, service or brand. Just another way to help you stand out from the competition.
Our Direct Receptionist and Direct Enterprise plans include an automated attendant that presents your callers with options and can route calls to your cell or landline number. Best of all, these systems are hosted virtually in the cloud, requiring no hardware to install or update. This type of system is known as a virtual PBX, or Private Branch eXchange. As your business grows beyond a single phone line and you add staff and associates to help you on-site or in the field, you’ll want to have a convenient way for everyone to make and receive calls. That’s where a virtual PBX system can help. A virtual PBX phone system can connect your existing phone number to a virtual system that can allow for call forwarding and other features. These systems are highly customizable and can readily be configured to meet your business needs.
If you choose to purchase a toll free number as part of a virtual PBX phone system from AccessDirect, you’ll also get a wide range of business-friendly features such as an auto attendant, voicemail, find me follow me call waiting, and many others. And, if you have toll free number service, we can easily transfer your existing number to your new virtual PBX system.
Toll Free Forwarding
AccessDirect’s toll free forwarding helps ensure that you won’t miss a call and that all calls will be properly handled
Toll Free Fax Service
If you receive a lot of faxes, our toll free fax service can be a convenient option. Your customers will also surely appreciate the ability to send you faxes without incurring any costs. Toll free fax service enhances the credibility of your company, while also providing your customers with one more convenient way to communicate with you. And you’ll save money on paper and ink!
What Should You Look For When Choosing a Toll Free Service Provider
Cost is always a concern for small businesses and we understand that. We have economical options for you to choose from and we’re committed to working with you to provide you with what you need and only what you need.
But cost isn’t the only consideration when selecting a toll free service provider. Functionality and service also come into the picture and must be considered as part of the total package.
While there are several toll free service providers to choose from, few can match the level of customer service available from AccessDirect. When you buy a toll free number from us you also get:
- Reliable U.S.-based live phone support. Automation is great and technology is continually evolving, but sometimes you simply need to speak with a real person. Our knowledgeable staff members are easy to access and eager to answer your questions—live!
- Customized set-up at no additional cost. While you could probably figure out how to set up your number yourself, we like to provide that extra touch. No two clients are alike so we take the time to understand your needs to ensure you choose the right options.
- No contracts or lengthy commitments. If you find that a toll free number isn’t providing the benefits you had hoped for, or if your business needs change, you’re not tied to a long-term contract. We’re confident that we can help you find the plan you need, though, based on the many ongoing relationships we have with our loyal customers.
Whether you’re a one-person shop or a small- to mid-sized business, AccessDirect has a variety of solutions to offer.
Buy a Toll Free Phone Number For Your Business From AccessDirect
You’ll find a wide variety of toll free numbers for sale at AccessDirect featuring all the available toll free exchanges. You can even purchase a customized toll free number, or vanity number, that’s easy for your customers to remember and helps promote your brand. Purchase a toll free number separately or as part of a state-of-the-art virtual PBX. What are you waiting for? Get in touch to begin reaping the rewards of a toll free business number.
- “What Is a Toll-Free Number and How Does it Work?” Federal Communications Commission. FCC.gov, 14 July 2017. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.
- Pilon, Annie. “10 Things Small Businesses Should Know About the New 833 Toll Free Phone Exchange.” Small Business Trends. Smallbiztrends.com, 22 June 2017. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.
- Faust, Paul. “5 Reasons to Rethink Your Telephone Number, Telemarketing, Vanity Phone Numbers.” Target Marketing. Targetmarketingmag.com. 11 May 2011. Web. 14 Aug. 2017