Many businesses both large and small use toll free or 800 phone service to deliver a better customer experience. Although these toll free services are used more on the sales side for ordering, some businesses, in the interest of better customer support also provide toll free contact for support and warranty issues also.
Just as there are many different types of business models today, some will benefit much more from an 800 number than others. The traditional brick and mortar corner retail store with a local market only may not obtain the same benefits of toll free service as a web or Internet business selling throughout the country.
To decide if you actually need an 800 number, consider the following points.
1. Who are your clientele? If your customers are all local and your business is generated all within the same town, toll free service may not be seen as important by your customers. If however, you’re selling and shipping products throughout the country or even internationally, toll free contact calling may mean the difference between landing or losing a sale.
2. Does your business have a web presence and are the products offered of interest to others outside your direct area? A web site suggests that you’re looking to increase information to your customers and probably desire to gain additional sales. Although online sales are popular, many customers still expect clear contact information. and if they are asked to pay for the call the risk of losing that order increases.
3. Do you offer customization? This can include anything from paper goods and stationery to customer designed gold clubs. Any business that builds or modifies a product specifically for a customer. Providing any customization almost demands having direct contact available.
4. Are you away from the Office a lot? Many times a small business has a staff of 1. Being the business, it’s important that you are available to your customers at least during business hours. With the help of telephone technology, it’s possible to have your customers reach your cell phone toll free through an 800 service number.
The decision to commit to an 800 telephone number is based on need and future growth of your business. If your business is local with all local customers and growing outside that immediate market area is of no interest, then an 800 number probably isn’t needed.
If however your business is growing national or internationally, has a web site for sales or does custom work, the benefits of providing a toll free contact for your customers is great.
800 or toll free calling and many other services are now available from both your local phone company and many Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP companies. Check around and select the features that will best support your customer and grow your business.