A toll-free number is a money maker for most businesses. It reduces perceived geographic distance, reduces the financial onus on the customer and broadcasts a willingness to offer service. These toll-free numbers are very easy to obtain, with a low price that even the most bare-bones business owner can afford. Getting a toll-free number is a quick step that can leave a positive impression in the minds of your clients.
Comparison shop the many toll-free number services available on the Internet today. Most large phone companies also offer toll-free number services, and may be better for a business with a large call volume. Anita Campbell, editor of the Small Business Trends blog, notes that "a competitive toll-free service plan might go for as little as $10 a month...and less than five cents per minute for incoming calls on your toll-free line."
Decide what format you'd like the number to be. Some businesses, like 1-800-CONTACTS, depend on their number to supply branding. Since custom vanity numbers cost extra, consider whether this is a necessary expenditure.
Decide if you'll need international access on your toll-free number. Many businesses opt to restrict their toll-free numbers from foreign callers due to the high fees. If you don't have much international clientele, restrict your number to U.S. customers only.
Sign-up on the toll-free number website. Use your credit or debit card to set up monthly payments, or pay for a block of time upfront. You'll need to supply your business information and phone number to register.
Sign in and set up your phone service. Many services allow for call forwarding to one or more phone numbers, and can even set up a virtual operator system that can route calls to different people. You'll also have the option to set up voice mail and times to re-route the number after closing.
Think about using an VoIP provider like Vonage or RingCentral for your toll-free number. Big companies like AT&T top the price range, while VoIP services offer lots of perks like "auto-attendants, unlimited extensions, unlimited voice mail and the option to customize a personalized message or music when a caller is placed on hold," according to Toll Free Comparison.
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