Facts about a toll free business number

11th May 2009

A toll-free or freephone number is a special number where the caller is not charged the cost of the call. In the UK, toll free numbers are prefixed by several numeric combination’s, the most familiar being 0800. The cost of the call is charged by the telephone service operator to the called party who bears all charges. The cost of such calls depends on various factors like the amount of call traffic to the number, the rate of trunk lines to that facility and probably a monthly flat rate as service charge.

The called party subscribes to and uses a toll free number because it is good for his business, and business image. When a customer knows a company – be it a service industry, a manufacturer or a supplier has a toll-free number, it immediately records a psychological edge. Toll-free numbers, because of their popularity and proven results, are being used by professionals like lawyers and accountants. The customer is confident that he or she can punch out the numbers and talk to a dedicated line, regardless of location, without looking at his watch or hear the tick of a mental meter.

A toll free number is particularly good when the subscriber expects the following:

  • Calls for technical support. The subscriber would have factored such expected expenses in his costing.
  • Anticipates that such toll free calls will translate into future sales.
  • That earlier sales were influenced by the toll-free support his company was extending.
  • Customer satisfaction will be greatly enhanced with toll-free support.

All British networks charge the caller for calls made to toll free numbers from mobile telephones. There are however some exceptions.

Toll-free or free-phone numbers can be procured from various telecom companies at differing rates. A US toll-free number can be dialed from the UK, but the call is not free and the caller is first cautioned about it. Many carriers in fact charge the caller more to speak to a toll-free number that to a normal one.

Toll-free numbers are available in ‘memorable’ numbers.

A memorable number relies on mnemonics or some method of association which makes the number easily to remember and recall. Memorable numbers are often used by businesses as a direct response tool in advertising such as in radio, television, the print media and outside hoardings. A memorable number is alpha-numeric, with a numeric prefix followed by a phone word. The phone word should be one easily remembered and identified with the business of the called number. For example, a company in the weight-loss business might have a number like 0800 WEIGHT or 0800 LOCARB. Memorable numbers have been proven to generate twice the calls as a standard phone number.

A winning phone word is unforgettable and creates its own impact. It will connect with the customer and they will remember you. Numerical telephone numbers don’t have the same effect on your customers and hence do not attract as many phone calls.

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