Have you ever wondered what should you use as your company’s business number? Should you use a local number or an international toll free number? It’s a tough decision to make because both local and toll free numbers have pros and cons. Therefore, you have to decide after considering various facts such as the reach of your business, target audience, nature of services provided, budget, etc.
If you cater only to customers based in your city and don’t want to bear the telephone bill for international calls, a local number is a better solution for your business. On the contrary, if you deliver products or services to different parts of the world and your operational budget permits free calling solution to buyers, then international toll free numbers are worth the money. Let us explore the pros and cons of regional area numbers and toll free numbers and find a way of reaching the right decision.
Pros of Toll Free Numbers
Increase in sales: As you pay for the incoming calls, people calling your office or store to inquire about products or services don’t need to spend anything when they are calling from a land line. This is a huge benefit for the customer and not the business owner, but as more people contact you to enquire about your products/service, you get a better opportunity to convert a curious person into a buyer. Customers will listen to your sales pitch because they know that no matter how long they talk, the bill will be paid by you. Besides, some people call the sales team to clarify their doubts and as cost free numbers let them converse freely, you get a chance to erase the shadows of doubt from their mind and as a result, the ROI grows.
Location anonymity: If you sell nationwide and internationally but don’t have offices across all the states or countries, toll free number is a good option for you. You can hide your location from prospective buyers and maintain a universal appeal. How does this help? Let me clarify. Suppose you sell car parts and buyers see that your number starts with 07 from the website. They will immediately realize that your store is located in Queensland. Now, if some of the customers live in Tasmania, they will think, “Oh, it is so far away!” On the contrary, if they see a toll free number, the location remains unidentifiable to them and they don’t hesitate to place an order.
Boosts brand value– People consider toll free numbers as an indication of brand power. As people know that only reliable organizations use toll free numbers, they immediately trust your brand. This is a great boon for startup companies. Even if not many people know your company’s name, they won’t doubt your authenticity.
Cons of Toll Free Numbers
Expensive: As the business owner, you have to pay for the incoming calls and that can be really expensive if your customer care department handles thousands of calls every day. Big organizations may be able to cope with this but if budget is an issue for you, then the ever increasing bills can prove to be problematic.
People are leaving landline phones– Toll free numbers are free of charge as long as someone calls from a landline phone. Calls made from cell phones are chargeable, and considering a large number of people use smartphones, toll free numbers may not be the best option for certain businesses.
Pros of Regional Numbers
Create a physical presence: You can connect with your target customers emotionally by providing a local number. For example, a florist based in Melbourne can increase sales by providing a local number. Buyers will understand your store’s location by looking at the prefix digits and since flower is a product that is always wise to buy locally, they will be more interested in your offerings.
Customers pay for the calls: No matter how many incoming calls you take per day, it does not add a single penny to your bill. Whether people call you from landline or mobile, the callers have to pay for the minutes they spend conversing with your customer care executive.
Cons of Regional Numbers
Different numbers for different stores: If you have multiple stores in the same city, there will be separate numbers for each branch, and that can make your company a bit difficult to find. Toll free numbers can be used for multiple stores based across multiple locations, but local numbers can’t be used like that. Thus, a buyer has to search contact details store-wise to know the phone number of the shop near his locality.
Buyers may not call as they have to pay: This is one of the major reasons for not using a local number. Not only do your local customers have to pay but people calling from other states have to pay STD charges.
As you can see, there are several ways in which toll free numbers can be helpful. While local numbers may be a better option for a small business, tool free numbers, in spite of a handful of disadvantages, can offer a high ROI to growing business and large organizations.
Author Bio: Mrunal Khatri is working with Zintel. With our international toll free number Zintel has a solution that is just right for your business – to help you project the image you want, better manage your resources, and significantly lower your communication costs.