0845 Numbers: A Better Alternative27th May 2012
There is a growing misconception in the business community that toll free numbers are more desirable than 0845 numbers. This is not necessarily the case. For many UK businesses a toll free number is simply an extra expense that could be avoided while maintaining a high level of customer service.
0845 numbers are NGN (non geographic numbers) and provide customers with a single telephone number to dial regardless of where they may be in the UK. Just as with a toll free number, calls can be routed to different locations as necessary. Unlike toll free numbers, initial routing can be based on the callers location.
One of the biggest complaints customers have is the time it takes to get through the IVR (interactive voice response). With 0845 numbers, the phone system can determine where a call will be routed based on the callers location. Many retail chains are already putting this feature of 0845 numbers to good use. A caller in Liverpool can be automatically routed to the branch in Liverpool rather than the main office in London for example.
Toll free numbers are also associated with call centres. Even when the centre is located inside the UK, callers are already preparing themselves for a conversation with someone in another country. 0845 numbers do not carry this stigma. Most callers know assume that they will be speaking with someone in the UK.
Together, these facets of 0845 numbers make it much easier to build and maintain a positive brand image with UK customers. Reducing the time a customer spends in the IVR or even eliminating the IVR all together goes a long way to keeping a customer’s view toward your business positive. Providing them a UK number is also a good way to show customers your business is focused on providing high quality, domestic service and support.