Virtual phone numbers are cheap. However, their affordability is beside the point. People are buying them these days because they are so convenient, streamlining communication, availing features like IVR and call forwarding, and providing access to more budget-friendly call rates.
For businesses, though, virtual numbers have become a crucial branding tool. First impressions are important in most walks of life. The virtual numbers a company chooses to acquire will affect the way they are perceived by customers.
For that reason, the type of virtual number your business chooses matters. In case it wasn’t clear, virtual numbers are not all the same. You actually have several options to consider, including:
This is where every business should start. 0800 numbers are called freephone numbers because they are free to call for customers. In other words, your business has to cover the cost. Depending on the volume of calls your business receives, this can make 0800 numbers appear expensive. However, that isn’t an excuse to ignore them. 0800 numbers tend to attract calls from customers and that sort of engagement over the phone is important for businesses.
01 and 02 Numbers
01 and 02 numbers are geographical. Each prefix is associated with a particular area of the UK. Your business can use 01 and 02 numbers if they want to target a particular local market. Geographical numbers always put people in certain regions at ease because they imply that your business is part of the local community.
On the other hand, 01 and 02 numbers can be problematic for companies that want to appeal to a national audience. They create the sense that your business is restricted to a particular area. If that isn’t your intention, there are better types of virtual number available.
03 numbers are favoured by businesses, public organisations, governmental bodies and the like. Some people call them national numbers. They are non-geographical. In other words, someone who calls your 03 number cannot identify your location.
However, 03 numbers are charged at the same rate as local numbers. You can also take advantage of free minutes. They were introduced to eliminate the price confusion that 0870 and 0845 numbers had created. 03 numbers are what your business should use if you want to give your customers a single point of contact.
They definitely simplify pricing in the UK seeing as their rates remain unchanged regardless of whether customers are calling from a landline or a mobile phone.
Most of you probably associate 09 numbers with horoscopes, fortune-telling, telephone dating, adult entertainment services and the like. These so-called Premium rate numbers are expensive to call. This is because the person who owns the line wants to make money every time they get a call.
As such, the rates are so much higher. If you provide services over the phone, 09 numbers make sense. Otherwise, for regular businesses, they do not serve much of a purpose. There are also 0843 and 0844 numbers to consider.
As you can see, selecting a virtual number for your business isn’t a simple matter of pointing at the first number you can find. The type of number you choose speaks volumes about your business. It will impact your communication model, marketing strategy, expenditure, and the level of success you can expect to attract in the long run.
To get an affordable virtual phone number for your business, give us a call free on 0800 088 6543 today.